Everyone grieves…


Everyone grieves in different ways. For some it could take longer or shorter. I do know it never disappears. An ember still smolders inside me. Most days I don’t notice it. But. Out of the blue it’ll flare to life. ~ Mary V Snyder

I’ve written before about how the body knows, how the mind knows and remembers those horrific instances in your life.  I would liken that to a memory foam mattress.  How can I compare grief to a mattress? Well, the mattress knows exactly where it fits you, it remembers those angles and curves of your body as your mind remembers the intricacies and pain of grief.  And sometimes, or every year or milestone, your body gets right back into that groove because it knows what’s coming.

This year has been on the back of my mind for months.  Here we are about to enter the fifth month of 2014 and I have had this niggling thought in my head.  What year is it Joanna? 2014.  What’s the significance of 2014? Why it would have been mine and Barry’s 15th wedding anniversary.  Oh really? So is that why you have felt so uneasy about it? Probably.  It’s also probably why I have been quite bitter about this huge milestone.  15 years seems like such a big deal to me, and I am mad that I have to wait another 13.5 years to experience it with husband #2.  I always look forward to the milestones. I am jealous of all those people I know that are still happily married after so many years.  I had to start over.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am very happily married to the love of my life, and excited to grow old with him.  He completes me.  And we are madly in love.  But I’m still allowed to be bitter about missing these milestones the first time around. Hell, I missed the 10th year by 3 fucking months. Ugh.

So I was watching Call The Midwife tonight, which I just adore by the way.  Jenny’s boyfriend falls during a construction job and ultimately dies from an embolism. Cue big crocodile tears.  That’s what my husband died from.  Watching her fall apart, sobbing because she didn’t get a chance to say goodbye.  And then hearing an older woman (WWII Survivor) tell her that she might not think she’s ok now, but she will be one day, and that she had to keep on living until she felt alive again….all that resonated with me.  So much so that I wanted to find a quote about grief.  I went to google and typed in “quotes about grief”, and wouldn’t you know it, the very first one that popped up was the quote I wrote up above.

How very true. Little thoughts remind me, and sometimes they don’t bother me, but sometimes they set the ember ablaze like tonight. You learn to live with the heartache, it dulls, but a quick knife twist and it’s throbbing again.  No woman should ever have to say goodbye to her husband at 29, ever.

I guess grief is what I needed to push me to write again. But since I’m so slow with my writing, don’t expect to see a post for awhile probably.  If you get another within a week, count yourselves lucky.  I’m going to go nurse my crying hangover with a trip to my bed.  This one isn’t a memory foam mattress.


Resolutions? So Cliched

This year I am trying out something a little different than previous NY resolutions…since I suck at them anyway.  These are a little late in coming, as it’s January 6th, but…meh.

Give my kids more hugs. I feel like a guilty mother for even posting that.  But it’s true, I feel I need to hug them more.

Since hubby is deploying, I have a few things I’d like to accomplish while he is gone as well that aren’t as important as hugging…

  • Sort, Organize, Edit all 10K plus of my photos.  This is a huge undertaking for me, and since all my photos are organized by month, I plan to start at the very beginning in 2007.  I’ve done some, but not many.  Just a fraction of the 10K actually.  Once this task is done, hubby can add them into the Drobo servers so we can view them on the big 55″ tv.
  • Finally complete the Disney World/Universal Studios scrapbook from 2010 and start/finish Disneyland 2012
  • Make photo books from 2007-2013 (This isn’t as impt as organizing the photos, but it’s on my list to complete.  If I don’t finish it…no big deal).
  • Learn how to use my sewing machine.  Mom bought it for me the day before Barry passed away, and I’ve never been able to use it.  I have a mental block on it, and since it will be 5 years in October, I’d like to get past this.  Maybe make a couple pillow cases for the kids, or a sundress for my youngest.

I’ve also made a vow with myself not to buy any new makeup this year that I don’t need.  I have a TON of cosmetics, and I’d like to get through some of it.  That doesn’t include something I run out of that I use constantly, like foundation or bb/cc cream or powder.

2013 In Review

Since the new year has just started, I have seen countless “2013 In Review” type of posts all over Facebook and the internet.  One of my instagram friends posted a link to her blog tonight, and I got inspired by a few of her posts to write my own 2013 in Review.  Like her, we had a big exciting year with many changes to our family.


* I made the tough decision to cancel our wedding.  With my husband in Kansas, and no help back in WA, plus preparing the kids and I, and our house for a big move, the wedding was too much stress for me.  I still regret cancelling it, but hopefully one day we will be able to get a vow renewal in.

* Thanks to a friend of mine, I was able to go visit my husband for a long weekend, sans kids!  That was pretty damn awesome.  We stayed in his apartment here and got to visit some cool places, and just spend time as a couple reconnecting after spending 6 weeks apart.  One of my favorite places to visit was the Oz Museum.


* The twins turned 12! This was a huge milestone, but not so much as the one we are about to embark on, having teenagers.  Ack!

* Andrew came home for a short weekend and we took the kids to Great Wolf Lodge as a surprise.  They had no idea he was coming home, so  I told them I had an appointment in Seattle that day and would be back late when they got home from school.  We had him walk in the back door, and the looks on their faces was pure joy and disbelief


* I can’t remember too much about March haha.  Our youngest daughter turned 7 though!


* Wait, I remember March now…the kids and I flew to Kansas to spend time with Andrew over Easter break, so we left late March and came back early April.  I was telling the kids the whole time we were flying to Ottawa to see my brother, and then they heard me slip up on the phone talking to someone and the secret was out.  Dammit!  We had a great time, got to show them around Ft Riley and see the house we’d be moving into.  We also did an easter egg hunt while we were here.

* Later in April I put my house up for rent.  That was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do, and I won’t lie, it caused a lot of strife for Andrew and I. I was resigned to moving to Kansas, but I was not happy about leaving the home I had made for the kids and I after my first husband died.  We had started meeting some great people, and I felt so at home there.  But it was the best for us to move to KS.

* Went to the Seattle Zoo with our membership. Still miss that place


* We got a renter! It was barely on the market and she came around really quickly

* Andrew came home for Memorial Day weekend.  Mostly to help me out with the house and to get some last-minute things done.

* Started saying our goodbyes to WA state.  We had some good friends over for dinner while he was home, knowing it was highly unlikely we would get to see them again before we moved.  Miss you Jason and Lindsay!


* The twins graduated from Grade 6! This meant they’d be moving onto middle school once we got to Kansas

* Took the kids to Seattle a couple of times, and we saw all of our favorite places…the zoo, Archie McPhee, Fremont Troll, Dick’s Drive In, Gasworks Park, and we had frozen yogurt at The Fainting Goat (AMAZING!)

* Got to spend some time with a friend I’ve had for years.  We don’t see each other very often, but when we do, it’s always the same.  We love going to her house because she lives near a river and we love going swimming in it.  Miss you Janelle!!

* More and More organizing on the house and getting rid of whatever we could


* One of the biggest months for us

* Andrew came back July 5th, and we immediately made the drive up to my hometown to spend a few days with my extended family.  Got to go swimming in my childhood lake! Said goodbye to our extended family.

* July 10th we left for our honeymoon to NYC! We only got a few days there, but it was jammed pack.  Can’t wait to go back!  Eventually I will get around to doing recaps on our trip.  I’ve been terrible about that since then.  Some of the highlights: The Met, Laduree, Wicked, The Subway, AMNH, a swanky hotel, Central park, Candied Bacon ice cream from a food truck!!!!!, Two very expensive dinners at The Palm and Peter Luger Steakhouse, TIFFANY!!!!

* Came back from NYC, then a day later brought my sister back home (she watched the kids for us on our honeymoon), and brought one of our cats with her 😦 We can only have three pets on post here in KS.  Said goodbye to my mom, sister, Hades my cat, brother and hopefully-soon-to-be sister-in-law.

* Had 12 days to finish the house and move.  Movers came the 25th and we left the 27th

* Drove from WA to ID to MT to WY to SD to NE to KS.  Saw Yellowstone and Mt Rushmore!


* We arrived!

* Kids started school Aug 14th

* I made a new friend just because our youngest daughter saw a boy in her class walking to school.  The mom and I have been friends since. 🙂  I think meeting friends by chance here has given me better quality friends than the ones I met online before coming here. Not saying all are bad, but the majority have not been good quality friends.

* Hated the awful KS heat. Man that sucks balls.  It’s too damn hot here during the summer.


* I started volunteering at the USO! I love doing this

* I took over the FRG! I also LOVE this! It’s what I was meant to do.

* We started getting into more of a routine here and adjusting to life in KS


* Middle daughter turned 11!

* Fourth anniversary since my first husband’s passing, so it wasn’t an easy month for us.

* We took the kids to see Wicked in Kansas City  We loved it so much we wanted to see it again 🙂

* Andrew and I had both our two-year dating anniversary AND our one year wedding anniversary, but I can’t remember what we did for our date.  I did get a gorgeous diamond ring though!


* I convinced my mother in law to come visit my husband for the first time in 16 years.  He had always gone to visit her before.  She came for Thanksgiving.  The surprise on his face was incredible.


*  We had our first white Christmas! And it was the first Christmas we were able to spend together out of the three we’ve been together.  We made it extra special because we wont be able to spend Christmas together in 2014.

* Learned that Kansas can get really, really, bone chilling cold.

* Got to attend a Strong Bonds retreat through the Army.  All expenses paid, and we loved it.  It was good for our marriage and each other 🙂

* Took the kids to the Eisenhower museum (Very interesting!!!)

2013 also taught me that sometimes the people you think are your friends, really aren’t (Here in KS AND in WA state).  I left WA state a very bitter woman because I had been spurned by people who were supposed to be my friends, and couldn’t even bother to come say goodbye to us when we left or spend time with me before then, even though I had tried.  The day we left only a handful of people came to see us off.  One of those families was child #3’s best friend and her parents.  Donna, not sure if you’re reading this, but you’re the only one who made me cry.  We all miss you guys.

I had to learn to let go of some of my anger, as it was just eating away at me.  I learned that if someone wants to be your friend, they will make an effort.  Screw those who don’t.  I also don’t bother if I’ve been spurned by someone.  If you screw me over and LIE about it, you’re done in my book.  I also realized that some of the people I wanted so desperately to be friends with back in WA, they don’t matter and I won’t pursue it when we get back because it isn’t worth my time.

That being said, 2013 was not an easy year, but it was an exciting year full of changes. I’m glad it’s over though.  2014 has some difficulties in store for us…my husband is deploying. We will get through it though!  We have much to look forward to this year too…mom and sister possibly visiting in May, brother and his hopefully soon to be fiance visiting in June. Our oldest daughter’s best friend is coming for 2.5 weeks in July.  And the kids and I are going back home to BC to visit our family for Christmas this year.

One last thing.  I hate this laptop.  And I hate touch pads with every fiber of my being.  Do you know how many times I’ve had to fix my typing because of it?

Happy New Year!