Feed your FAITH and your fears will starve .

Friday, January 25, 2013

Getting Ready to Relay!

I am having mixed emotions about this one.  Relay for Life is coming up and Team Trent is making a comeback.  We started Team Trent two years ago but last year we had to team up with another team because Trent was just too sick and I didn't have the time, energy, or capacity to pull it together for Relay for Life.  We always knew that fighting cancer would be a lifetime battle for us, but I really expected that Trent would be here with me.  We figured he would get better and then we would spend our efforts helping other people do the same.  It is bittersweet to continue the fight without him.  When I say bittersweet...it is about 90% bitter and only 10% sweet so far.  

Last night a spaghetti dinner was held to jump start fundraising for Relay for Life.  Megan and Mallory were home sick so I took just my boys.  Jonathan must have had a pound or two of sugar before we left because he was bouncing off the walls!  We got our dinner and sat at a table with four other people we didn't know.  I recognized one man from a previous Relay.  Jonathan set right to work making sure they were all introduced.  He marched right up to one elderly woman and said, "I haven't met you before. What is your name?"  I was thinking that was pretty funny until she told him her name and he replied, "Oh, that's weird!"

As it goes with spaghetti dinners...they are never really fantastic, always a lot more noodles than sauce and the sauce is usually pretty bland without a lot of meat.  Last night's dinner was no different.  So Richard, one of our new friends, offered each of the boys a dollar if they ate their meal.  When he paid up Jonathan took his dollar and said, "Hey! There is no five on this!"  Ugh!  What am I going to do with this kid?

Jonny and his new friend, Richard
We watched a promotional video from last year's Relay and I was surprised at the song they chose as the background music.  I had to sit and listen to Kelly Clarkson's "What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger".  Are you kidding me?  That was just a little harsh for me.  They couldn't have chosen a more appropriate song for such a sensitive circumstance?  I really felt like wringing somebody's neck!  But I tried to act as normal as I could while completely tuning out my surroundings.

There was also a live band, the Greg Simpson Band.  They were really good and played songs that I knew.
Greg Simpson Band
Jonathan jumped up and got his bootie shakin'!  He was really having a great time dancing to the music.  Jarom really wanted to dance too but was just a little too shy to do it.

Jonny even got Richard to get up and dance with him.

Me, Zach, and Jarom--the non-dancers!
We left just before it ended and as we left the lead singer of the band, yes Greg Simpson himself,  called out to me over the microphone.  He wanted to know if he had offended me then wished me goodnight.  Uh...embarrassing!  Thanks for calling me out in front of everyone!  Next time I am sitting in the back!

The whole evening went pretty well.  I was expecting it to be a little harder than it was.  It will probably be different at the actual Relay.  I am going to really have to gear up for that one.

When we got home Zach was messing with his camera.  He figured out that he could make a slideshow with music right on his camera.  Most of his pictures were of Trent.  Of course I was instantly bawling.  It all seems like yesterday and at the same time it feels like forever.  I am grateful though, that the good days are becoming more frequent.  We are going to survive.  We are growing from our experiences.  We miss Trent terribly and can't wait until he is with us again.  But in the meantime, we are making every moment count.

Friday, January 18, 2013


Yesterday I took the kids to a fundraiser for Paul, a friend who is battling stomach cancer.  We went down a little early and had dinner with Greg and Erin then they went to the fundraiser with us.  We met up with Cindy, a friend from Nebraska who now lives in Utah who was a mission companion to Sandra, Paul's wife. Small world, I know.  I am amazed how interconnected we all are.

Anyway, Peter Breinholt, Ryan Shupe, and Nancy Hansen all donated their time and talents to provide the evening's entertainment.  They were so amazing!  After we had listened to several songs Mallory came up to me and whispered in my ear, "Mom, when are we going to get to the play part, you know where the kids get to play games?"  I told her there wasn't any of that and that she should sit down and listen to them sing.  Her response cracked me up!  She got this really awful look on her face and said, "This is the lamest fun zone ever!  I never want to go to a "fun raiser" again!"  Apparently my 'd' was silent when I told her we were going to a fundraiser!

Not long after that Ryan Shupe sang Dream Big, one of Trent's favorite songs.  It is also the background music to one of our family videos.  Of course I started bawling.  Why does there have to be so darn many 'triggers'?

After the singing ended I was approached by a woman I do not know.  She asked if I was Holly.  She and her husband have read our blog faithfully and recognized me.  I was so touched and grateful that they introduced themselves.  When I write this blog I don't really think about people reading it...it really is a way for me to get my feelings out and process them so I don't have to revisit them unless I want to reread a post. I almost never do that.  It hurts too much.  But, if it helps someone else then that is good for me too.

Jarom requested that Ryan Shupe sing Corndog.  He thought he was pretty cool!
Nancy Hansen was so amazing and funny too!

Erin and Jonny

Ryan Shupe is phenomenal on his instruments.  I was so impressed.  He has written some pretty funny songs too. The kids have all been singing Baldy.

Peter Breinholt was so fun to listen to.  I am in awe at the way they all  meshed with their talents.

Me, Zach, and Megan (and some random kid in the back )

Megan, Mally, and Greg--Peace out!

The fundraiser was a success and we enjoyed the music so much!  All the kids were laughing and having a good time.  Unfortunately Paul was too ill to attend and we were sad we didn't get to see their family.  We are still praying like crazy for their miracle though!

Monday, January 14, 2013


After having a pretty good week I should have known I would stumble.  I still cry every day at least once or twice but can usually pick myself up and carry on. However, that doesn't always happen.

Yesterday was the anniversary of my first kiss from Trent, eighteen years ago.  I always reminded him of all these special dates and he almost always remembered on his own.  As I was getting ready for church I was strolling down memory lane, reliving those moments that I had with Trent as we were just getting to know each other.  I wasn't especially sad, but was really missing Trent.  I went to church and sat on the second to last row with my kids.  We always sit at the back because Trent needed to be close to the exit in case he needed to leave.  A woman in our ward came in behind me using a cane.  I didn't even look at her, I knew from the familiar and rhythmic crunch of the metal and rubber what it was.  Tears were instantly flowing and my breath caught in my throat.  I didn't expect that to trigger me, but it did.  I managed to sit through and enjoy the rest of the meeting, minus the refereeing of five kids.  After the meeting a man in our ward asked me how I was doing and I told him I was alright.  He asked me again how I was really doing.  This time I kinda gave him a teary smile and told him I was okay.  He said he didn't mean to make me cry then he stepped behind the pew like he was going to leave but stopped.  After a few seconds of me trying to compose myself, he said, "I just feel like Trent wants me to tell you that he loves you."  That did it.  I was a lost cause after that.  I went home and bawled like a baby for about an hour.  I made it back for Relief Society but struggled the rest of the day.  I still can't believe that Trent is not here.  It all seems like a horrible dream and that someday I will wake up and life will return to normal.  Sigh...

Last night I was really feeling glum.  As I was getting ready for bed I heard Zach crying in his room.  He was having a meltdown of his own, probably triggered by me.  He had been especially aware of my mood all day and kept asking if I was okay.  He knew I was struggling and was doing everything he could to help me.  He reminded me at least three times yesterday that Trent loves me and that the Second Coming is soon.  When I saw him crying my heart broke all over again.  I can't imagine what life will be like for him without his Dad.  He is a strong kid but oh, so tender.  I got in bed with him and we just cried.  I am not sure I was any help to him at all.  He said he was remembering all the fun we had in Disneyland before Trent passed away.  He told me the good memories are the hardest ones.  I completely agree with him!  The good memories are the ones that hurt the most.  It is easy to remember how sick Trent was and understand that he needed to die to be free from all the pain and suffering.  But remembering the good times makes me miss him so much!

The other night Mallory was really having a hard time staying in bed.  She kept coming into my room to ask questions.  Most of them were inconsequential but then she got really serious and asked how many people it took to carry Trent's body out of his room.  She wanted to know what he was wearing when they took him. She asked me why she didn't get to come and help dress him for the funeral.  I was totally surprised by all of these questions.  She wasn't upset, just wanted some answers.  We talked for a little bit and she seemed to be satisfied by the answers I gave her.  I was surprised that her questions didn't upset me though.  It makes me wonder what else is going through that little mind of hers.

I had the chance this week to speak with several different people whose hearts are breaking because of circumstances in their own lives.  I am grateful for the capacity I have been given to empathize with their pain. Of course that came because of my own tragedy but I am thankful for it nonetheless.  For me, healing is coming by reaching out to others.  Maybe I am choosing to help others instead of face my own reality...I don't know.  Maybe someday that will come back and bite me in the backside.  Only time will tell...

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Making Progress

The New Year's holiday was a little glum for me. It is hard to be excited about starting a new year without Trent.  It feels like time is marching on without him and I don't like it one bit.  Okay,  maybe I like it one bit...but only the bit that gets me closer to being with him each day.

To celebrate the holiday Jarom and I went to the store and bought all the treats that Trent would have gotten. We also got some pizzas to bake at home.  Then we stopped at Redbox and picked up a couple of movies to watch.  Trent was always very skeptical of movies that we hadn't heard about but we took a chance on one anyway and it turned out to be pretty good.  We had a fun time just hanging out, stuffing our faces, and watching movies.  I still have a hard time watching any movies or TV so I put up a card table in the living room and did a puzzle instead.  I know, what a rockin' party, right?!

On New Year's day I took Zach to see "The Hobbit".  Trent and Zach had been planning to see that one together.  It isn't my type of movie at all but Zach really wanted to see it.  The last movie I saw with Zach, in place of Trent, did not go over too well and I bawled the whole way through it.  This time I was only gulping back the tears once or twice.  I felt like that was a success!  I am really not looking forward to having to see the next two movies in the trilogy though.  Zach kept asking me if I was okay and if I was having a good time.  He even made sure to open the door for me the whole night.  What a great kid I have!  Zach is a great date but next time I am picking the movie!

The kids went back to school on Wednesday and I think they were all really ready for a routine again.  Isn't that what moms say when really they are the ones who are ready for the routine? :)  As soon as all the kids were gone, Mom, Jonorias, and I jumped in the car and headed to Logan for some shopping.  While we were there I ran into a woman from my ward in Providence.  She didn't know that Trent had passed away and I gave her the condensed version of our story through my tears.  Ouch.  I still can't believe it is real sometimes.  Then a couple of days later while I was shopping in Logan again, ( I know it sounds like I shop all the time but I really don't.) I ran into another friend from our Providence ward.  This conversation was very different than the last one.  I was surprised to realize I had a very genuine smile on my face while I talked with her.  She asked how we were doing and I told her that we were going to survive.  Then came the shocker...I realized that I was happy that I was going to survive.  I have given that answer many times before but usually with a fair amount of disappointment that I was not dead too.  It has been so hard to look forward to happy milestones in my children's lives with any amount of joy.  I just didn't want them to happen at all, unless Trent would be with us.  But I am beginning to overcome those feelings.  I am starting to see that life can be happy again, not 100% happy, like I am with Trent, but happy still.

Although I have been forever changed by this experience, I am starting to have some glimpses of the old Holly.  It is almost as if there is a "Before Holly" and an "After Holly".  Little by little I am picking up the pieces of my broken heart and trying to carry on.   I know that whatever progress I am making can be stripped away from me very easily by a nasty "trigger" but I hope I have come far enough to make up any lost ground without too much trouble.  We'll see...

Our focus is still on the Second Coming and our prayers will never stop until the triumphant return of our Lord and Savior, and our reunion with Trent.  Yesterday Mallory made her bed and set out this note, along with her stuffed animals.  It says, "We believe the 2 Coming is coming fast, ya. The second coming is the best. Love, Mall Mall".  She took the picture with her new camera.  She is such a sweetheart!  I have included a little sampling of the pictures I found on her sd card.  Looks like we have another budding photographer in the family! :)

Megan and Me


Charlotte and Lyndsi





Claire and Olivia

Mallory's babies