• 29Jun

    I stopped in Clarksburg to see Dan. 

    I saw him in our yard as we worked to get our garden tilled up.  We expanded it this year and planted winter wheat.  The wheat is still there.  We were going to till it under come spring (09) and put some nutrients back into the ground.  I can see him out back where he formulated ideas to better the property and the world.  I can see him putting up the clothes line in the hopes that it would save us a few dollars on electricity.  The house is gone, the playhouse has been destroyed (and before I got a roof on it, too.  Bummers), and some of the big trees have been cut down.  The yard is quite overgrown.  Dan often “forgot” to cut the grass, but it never looked quite that bad.

    I saw him at work.  He would have this look in his eye when I would come in that said, “Hey look!  I am important here, I’m busy, and I want to show off for you.”  I think he liked it when we would visit because he could show off his family to the ‘guys’, too.

    I saw him driving (my view of him from the passenger’s seat) down familiar stretches of road.  The scenery looked so familiar . . . I can see his arm stretched out on the steering wheel, his confidence in his abilities prevalent in his moves.  I still have his sunglasses on my visor.

    I saw us walking down the street pulling the wagon as we came home from church.  I saw him in the ambulance that stopped to pick us up the one time we got caught in a rain storm.

    I saw him pushing the stroller as we walked around the VA park trying to get Abigail to come a little earlier.  And that last walk on Maranatha’s birthday last year the week before surgery.  He caught a baby duck one year for the kids to pet.  He caught a big duck on Maranatha’s birthday and Payden got to pet it (at 10 mo.).  We weren’t able to catch one this time so I guess Caleb will have to wait for his turn.

    I saw him at church.  I saw him sitting next to me as we sat and chatted with friends after church.  I saw him teaching Children’s church.  I saw him dropping off the babies at the nursery.  I saw him, worried, coming to find me the Sunday before Payden was born.  I saw him holding the hymn book as we sang.  I saw him smiling at me as I came back from playing the piano.  I saw him talking with friends as we ate one of our yummy meals after church.

    He’s still here and I miss him so.

  • 28Jun

    I want to go home. 

    I’m leaving a FYP (Finish Your Project) night and wandering the streets of Clarksburg again tonight.  The last time I did this I asked everyone there to pray for Dan as he was heading in to surgery the next week and I wasn’t going to be able to make it to the next FYP due to his recovery process and the like. 

    The streets are dark and quiet.  Everything is closed.  A few streetlights cast a dim light over the city giving it a restful appearance.  I am aware of the dangers that darkness presents and am cautious as I make my way to my vehicle.  Dan worries when I’m out late.  Of course, he probably fell asleep.  Why is it that he can’t stay awake on the nights I’m gone and come cuddle with me and go to sleep on the nights I’m home?  Grouch, grouch. 


    I know that if I let my mind go numb and let reflexes take over, that I will automatically drive to the location of our old house (which is sold and torn down).

    I want to go home.  I want to get mad at Dan for going to sleep early.  I want to stomp my way up those steps in the hopes that he will wake up and come running to help.  I want to see him sleeping in our bed.  I want to get changed and slip under the covers and cuddle up next to him while deciding that it just isn’t worth being mad at him . . he will have no clue. 

    Instead I cry rivers of tears as I head to my impersonal hotel room, full of sleeping kids and a nanny.  It hurts.

  • 27Jun
    Categories: Grieving Comments: 2

    June 22

    I cringe at the thought of “finding myself” again.  I don’t like the terminology.  It makes it sound like I was lost.  I wasn’t lost.  I had/have a very strong sense of who I was/am as a person.  Being married to Dan didn’t make me any less Liisa, despite what others may think.  I guess the correct terminology would be that I am “re-evaluating my role”.  I’m no longer just wife and mother.  Now I am called upon to play the role of father and mother and still try to teach my kids about being a wife and/or a husband, too.  (It would be easier to just show them.)  That’s depressing. 

    I do feel like I’ve lost a part of myself somewhere, though.  Living this close to my parents, in a house that Dan has never been in, going to the same church I grew up in, and visiting with friends I knew in school . . . in some ways I feel like I’ve reverted.  Don’t get me wrong, I liked who I was as a young adult, but being married brought a fullness to my life that I didn’t have as a single adult.  I miss that.

  • 21Jun
    Categories: Grieving Comments: 4

    It was a hard day for me.

    It must have been an incredible amount of pain for God to give up His son like He did and to such a calloused and uncaring world.  Maybe we should remember Him on Father’s Day, too.

    I know, we should remember Him everyday . . .

  • 17Jun

    If you all get a chance you should check out Sharon’s comment to “The Cost”.  It pretty much hit the nail on the head.

    I did laundry today!!  I’ve had water, but due to high PH levels and other such things a water softener was needed.  That was installed today and I was starting some laundry almost before the guys had it all hooked up.  Quite a few of my blankets, sheets, towels, etc need washed due to an excess amount of moisture in my basement.  And no, my basement isn’t flooding, the moisture is from the concrete.  It is still a bit green down there (e.g. not cured – why do they call it “green” anyway?  It’s not a tree or even a tree product!).

    That was the other thing I did today.  I cleaned up my basement.  If you can imagine a 30 X 28 ft square with boxes and their contents spread everywhere, tools, paint supplies, clothes, toys, furniture, etc., then you probably have a pretty good idea of what my basement looked like.  I was still missing a few important items and was also aware of the moisture problem so I made it my goal to get that mess cleaned up this week.  Now I have some stuff that needs tossed, some more stuff that’s been relegated to the yardsale pile, a few odd pieces of furniture that will either stay in the basement or possibly get tossed (except for my hope chest), a small stack of boxes!, and an organized shelf full of totes with kids clothes in them. 
    It looks good, if I do say so myself.  But once again I have to say that I couldn’t have done it without Glenda.  She took care of most of the clothes organizing.  That took her almost as long to do, as it took me to clean the rest of the basement.  And I don’t mean that she was taking her time at her job, just that there was that many bags and boxes of clothes to go through!  And that’s after we spent another day previously going through scads of boxes of clothing and organizing.  It sure does take a lot of clothes to take care of 7 kids.
  • 14Jun

    Death has become part of the games my children play.  Josiah (6) told me today that they were playing that Maranatha’s (2) daddy was dead and that Josiah (6) was her new Daddy and Abigail (4) was her new mommy (am I getting replaced too? Smile)

    Dassy (3) was playing with her dolls today and this is sort of how  her conversation went.


    Dassy: This is my baby.  I have two babies.  This is my baby’s baby (She’s a grandma already?)

                  I had two babies, but one died.

    Me: Oh, that’s sad isn’t it.

    Dassy: Yea, her mommy cried.  This is my baby and this is the died baby (her wording not mine)

                  I put the died baby to bed and left him there.

    Me: Like we did with Daddy?

    Dassy: Yeah, we put him to bed and left him there.

    We took the kids into the hospital after the nurses had moved Dan to a private room and cleaned him up a bit and let them say goodbye to Daddy.  Abigail(4) remembers that his blanket was blue.  Dassy(3) remembers that he was in bed and we left him there. 

  • 14Jun
    Categories: Grieving Comments: 5

    I should be jumping for joy.  I should be so excited that I can hardly sleep.  Here I am, in this fantastic house that dozens of people have helped to build for me.  It’s much fancier than anything I could have ever afforded.  I would imagine that there will be those who struggle with jealousy and wonder why God doesn’t bless them the same way. 

    I see the cost.

    Not “cost”, as in “price”, but the cost of people’s time, their sacrifice’s financially, their bruised thumbs and bloody knuckles, and their grief.  Many people who have helped me have also lost, whether it be a loved one, a house, a pet, a friend, the list goes on.  The loss of Dan, my husband, friend, companion, co-worker, and provider, is what prompted this whole project.

    I’ve never moved without Dan that I can remember.  I lived in the same house from the time I was 6 till I married Dan.  Then we moved about once every year.  =)  It’s funny, this house isn’t full of memories of Dan, but it does seem full of the loss of Dan.  Just sitting here in this bed,     alone,     I look across the room and it just feels so empty.  He’s not sitting there working on his computer.  There isn’t even a plate of food cooling off, waiting for him to get back from the bathroom.  The closet is empty of his clothes.  The bathroom is missing his razor and toothbrush.  His shoes aren’t sitting beside the bed waiting for me to trip over them in the wee hours of the morning.  The emptiness is so tangible tonight.

    The kids asked me where we were going this morning and I said, “We are going home.”  And then I cried.  Home is where the heart is.  My heart is broke.  I wanted to run away.  The desire to turn the van around and drive to West Virginia was nearly overwhelming.  But that’s not home any more either.  Dan’s not there any more than he is here.  No offence to everyone who worked so hard to build this house for me, but I would give up this mansion in a blink of an eye if I could have my Danny back.

  • 14Jun

    June 13

    We are in!!!  I am celebrating with a fizzy drink and an internet capable computer IN BED!!  O.k. so the bed is just a mattress on the floor, but hey!  I’m in my own room, the kids are asleep, and the night is still young. 

    I’m too tired to be here long, though.  I did some canning today.  Managed to make . . I don’t know . . half a dozen pint jars of strawberry jelly today.  Probably should have focused on getting beds set up and more unpacking, but just didn’t get the chance and the fruit will spoil, a bed won’t.

    Not everything is complete, but it’s functional.  It’s wonderful to have this much space for the kids to play.

    Thank you, Lord!!

  • 11Jun

    The inspector comes tomorrow!!  We are hoping and praying that he will give us a temporary permit that will allow the kids and I to live in the house while we finish. 

    The sewer bed is operational and a toilet was installed this evening.  I loaded the dishwasher, wanting to test the water flow, and then realized that I didn’t have any dishwasher soap.  I thought about starting some laundry, but we don’t have a water softener yet and I could end up with some strange colored clothes if I’m not careful.  I also don’t have my clothes line up yet (the dryer is operational) and there are flood warnings out anyway since we’ve been getting so much rain and there is more coming tonight and tomorrow.  So while I could easily live in the house (working bathroom and kitchen), there are still a few more things that need finished.  We are still taking pictures, I just haven’t had a chance to post them.  You might just have to come to our open house if you really want to see them.  =)

    My sister’s are having a yardsale this weekend, so I’ve been spending the last couple of days sorting and organizing tons of clothes.  Glenda (nanny) has been a tremendous help as she has unpacked and cleaned most of the kitchen, tended the kids, helped with sorting clothes, made meals, changed diapers, moved boxes, etc.  Just having her available has given me the ability to concentrate more fully on the many tasks I have to accomplish, has allowed me the chance and the space to grieve, and has relieved me of a tremendous load of work.  I don’t think I could have made it this far without her.  THANK YOU, GLENDA!!

  • 11Jun

    June 10

    Another Birthday this week.  Benjamin turned 7 on Wednesday.  My, how time flies!  How in the world did I get to be the mother of a seven year old?!  That is a rhetorical question, Wayne.  I was sorting through clothes today (and yesterday) and got to remembering some of my college days (my wardrobe hasn’t changed much since then).  It really doesn’t seem that long ago.

    Anyway, I think he enjoyed himself.  I took him shopping (so he could spend some of his birthday money) and he made some comment and I replied, “Oh, I guess since you are a boy a shopping trip probably isn’t real high on your list of things to do for your birthday.”  He thought about that a minute and then he said, “Mommy, what DO boys like to do?”

    I wanted to laugh and cry all at the same time.  I’m a girl!  How am I supposed to know?  It’s amazing how much of an identity children get from their parents.  I would have thought that he would have figured out “boy” things from his Dad by now, but maybe he’s just starting to realize there is a world outside of himself and since Dan hasn’t been here . . . . 

    I knew that whatever I said could possibly be used against me in the future.  If I told him that boys liked skydiving, digging for worms, fishing, taking mud baths, riding motorcycles or some such things, then I might end up impaling goey worms on sharp little fishing hooks, riding at excess speeds with little or no protection, or heaven forbid, losing all sense of sanity and jumping out of a perfectly good airplane myself.

    Just how does one answer a question like that anyway?!  I’ll take the, “Mommy, why is the sky blue?” kind of question any day.  =)