We survived Christmas...barely. It was tough and I had more than my fair share of meltdowns. On Christmas Eve we went bowling, like we always do. It was fun but just made me sad. Trent was an amazing bowler because he could hurl that ball so hard. I was really missing him that night. The kids were really excited though and I was really trying to put on the happy face for them. Luckily the tears waited until I was alone in my room
|Jarom throwing down a strike!|
|Me and Zach-Dang it he is almost as tall as me!|
|I am sure this is Jarom's look of awe at his mom's awesomeness on the lane! hahaha!|
|My sweet Mallory|
|Jonny the pretzel. Every time it was his turn to bowl we had to look under all the tables to find him. Exasperating!|
|Zach and Megan just chillin'.|
I read some Christmas stories to the kids and we wrote letters to Trent to fill his stocking. It was pretty lonely to see only his stocking remaining on the wall when we laid ours out for Santa.
|I framed two of our family pictures for everyone then added a charm that had each kid's name and 'Dad' on it with another charm that says 'LOVE'.|
Christmas morning was better. We opened presents with just our little family and that helped me. Before we started we said a prayer asking that Trent would be with us. I didn't feel anything special or different but I hope he was there. One of the Christmas presents from my parents was a ticket to Les Miserables that evening. All of my brothers and their wives got one too. I thought it would be fun to go to a movie even though I would be the obvious fifth (or ninth) wheel. I was wrong. Really wrong. When Trent proposed to me he gave me a music box that he had custom made with the song "On My Own" in it. He also gave me tickets to see Les Mis on stage. I thought it was awfully poignant that was the song he chose. Ugh. I did okay all through the movie but by the time we got back to Mike and Lyndsi's car I was loosing it quickly. I quietly bawled all the way home. When we got to the driveway I cried not-so-quietly for a long time. Mike and Lyndsi were bawling too. Finally Mike offered to say a prayer. That helped but not enough to keep me from completely falling apart after I ran down to my room.
I ended up talking to a friend for several hours and during the course of the conversation I expressed how devastating it is to no longer have a "safe place to land". I didn't realize until that moment that that is what I am feeling, that is what I am missing. I know that Trent still loves me and I love him. Nothing has changed with that. But I no longer have my safe place to go where anything I say is alright, anything I feel is okay, and whatever thoughts I share are safe. When you give yourself to someone, they take it all, every last vulnerable part of you. And if they really love you, they hold it very sacred and dear like Trent did. It is really hard to have given that all away and have the keeper of my heart be taken from me. Everyone needs a safe place to land, especially during times like this.
Honestly, the next few days are kind of a blur. I am not really sure what I did. It snowed a lot and it was nice to just lay around and not feel like I HAD to do something.
On Thursday I had to run to Walmart for a few things and while I was there it became very obvious that I my wedding ring no longer fits me. I had a scare on Christmas day when I was shoving wrapping paper into a garbage bag and felt my ring slip over my knuckle. I finally broke down and bought a stupid costume ring to wear and put my wedding ring on my necklace with Trent's wedding band. That makes my heart heavy. I don't like not seeing my ring when I look at my hand but I would be devastated if I lost it so this will have to do for now.
Friday we went to SLC to stay for a few days at a hotel with all of Trent's family. I knew it was going to be hard but wanted my kids to have some time with their cousins. It started off badly when at the entrance to the parking garage it said the clearance was 7 ft. Not a problem. But when you get inside and then they have another sign that says, be careful...some places the clearance is only 6 ft---that's a problem. Yep, we scraped the ceiling on every corner, down four levels until we found a spot to park. People were staring at us in horror as if I was too stupid to know what was happening. I was not really thrilled to say the least. I went straight to the front desk and demanded (in a mostly nice voice) that they go retrieve my suburban from the garage and park it in valet parking for the remainder of the weekend, which they did. Luckily we have a luggage rack on the top of the suburban and there was no damage to the vehicle itself. And truthfully, it didn't hurt the luggage rack at all either. But really, how annoying!
Within ten minutes of being at the hotel the staff had already mistakenly assumed that I was married to my brother-in-law, Dave. I should be grateful that there are men in my life who will step in and assist in any situation but it was like a stab to the heart which made the tears start flowing. The kids wanted to go swimming but I was in no mood to go. I went down with them but only lasted a few minutes before I was in the hall bawling my eyes out. I felt like I was trapped with nowhere to go, no privacy of any kind, and a million eyes all on me. I called a friend who let me bawl and rant and rave for as long as I needed. It was one of the worst meltdowns in a while. Ugh. During that phone call I got a call from another man who has recently lost his wife. I was nervous I would not be able to talk to him because of my emotional state. I cannot say enough about how healing it is to talk to people in my same situation. We talked for about 45 minutes and by the time we hung up I felt so much better! I hope he did too.
The next day we all met up to exchange gifts and later do a little shopping and get some lunch. After we ate I let Jonathan play in the play area and within a few minutes he came back to me with a bloody nose after bumping into another kid. He was kind of done at that point so we decided to head back to the hotel and let him rest. Thank goodness we did because as soon as we got there I was deathly ill. I spent the entire day and night sicker than a dog. I laid there thinking about Trent and how it must have been to feel that way 24/7 for two and half years! That only made me feel worse. It makes me mad all over again that he had to suffer so much! Later, Zach told me he knew that Dad was with me and taking care of me the whole time I was sick. That kid always knows just what to say. :) My brother-in-law gave me a bunch of really good meds that completely knocked me out. I really have no idea what my kids did all day. I know that Zach was pretty concerned and he stayed with me almost the entire time so he could watch Jonathan. When I woke up the next morning I took the second dose of a couple of meds and became so dizzy I could hardly even stand up. Unfortunately I was supposed to take family pictures for everyone in a couple of hours. My brothers-in-law were very helpful and got everything loaded into the burb for us. I never could have done that myself. I was very loopy!
Thankfully everyone was very cooperative for pictures, including all the little ones. Again, I just couldn't stand the thought of not having Trent in our picture so I brought him along. :) I would have preferred to do the photos outside but with little kids...what a nightmare! There will of course be some editing on these photos but I think they turned out okay, minus the hideous carpet!
|The entire Rasmussen Family-except Jorden|
|Jonny wanted his picture taken with Daddy. :'(|
|Our gift from Doug...I am so glad he put Trent's name on it too.|
I am glad the weekend is over. I know the kids had a great time and I could have had a better time if I was not so sick. But, the love and concern we felt from all the family was comforting, although very difficult to endure. It just felt so empty without Trent.
I was looking back at our goals for 2012. Trent's goals were to get rid of cancer and make his body healthy. Well, I think he did that...just not how I wanted him to do it. Our goals for 2013 will be different than we have done in the past. I am sure there will be the usual, be healthy, exercise, achieve ranks in scouts and advancements in YW/YM, etc. But I think we are going to have to scale it back a bit too, back to the basics. Be happy, have purpose, truly feel, and serve. Some of the basic things in life are the hardest to achieve right now. Each year our wish is that the coming year will be our best. 2012 did not really live up to that for our family but we have no where to go but up! I know that 2013 won't be our best year because Trent won't be with us...but we can certainly try to make it better than the last. Happy New Year everyone!