The days leading up to the one year anniversary were a little sketchy for me. Most of the sadness would hit at night and leave me with a tear soaked pillow. Monday morning I woke up feeling kind of crappy about life so I decided to get my tootie in gear and serve someone. I figured I am the only one who has control over my mood and I had the power to change it. I got a little help from Megan and Jonny though. When Jonny came upstairs for breakfast he was sporting this new look...
Megan had drawn facial hair on his face with a Sharpie marker. He proudly announced that now he had a "nustache and a boatee like daddy". At first I was slightly irritated that he had permanent marker all over his face and that my 16 year old had done it. But he was so excited about it I let him keep it on. He even wore it when we went to the nursing home that afternoon. I needed to do something for someone else and music helps my soul so much. So I took Megan, Jonny, and Ryen (Brad's daughter) to the nursing home so I could play the piano for them. It was not a big deal, only a few people came to listen. We had a lot of fun though. Megan and I sang some hymns, and Megan and Ryen sang some primary songs and a few show tunes too. I played some old Broadway tunes, some arrangements of hymns, and a little Root Beer Rag. Yeah, we love that song at our house. Jonny danced like a crazy man the whole time. I was giggling too much to pay much attention to what I was playing so don't listen to the wrong notes!
|Jonny and his "nustache and boatee"|
After Jonny finished dancing he offered a piece of gum to this sweet little lady. She politely declined saying she didn't have enough teeth to chew it. Jonny sat down beside her and held her hand while I played. He told Megan that he was going to marry her. Later as we were leaving Jonny said, "I think I will find someone else to marry, her lip looks brown and poisonous!" What a goofball! She was the cutest little lady and we had fun talking to her. As we were leaving she made us promise to come back and bring a whole program with us next time.
|Jonny and his girlfriend|
I knew the one year anniversary had potential for complete disaster and I did not want that to happen, especially the day before school started. I wanted the kids to have a fun day so they could start the school year off with a happy heart. I had hoped to go fishing and have a picnic lunch with Trent's family yesterday but I wasn't able to pull it all together in time. So we moved on to plan B. I took the kids to Walmart and got a whole bunch of bags of Lifesavers. Trent always sucked on Lifesavers while he got chemo to take away some of the awful taste that chemo gives you. We put stickers on each bag that said, "In loving memory of the best daddy in the world. Trent Rasmussen 3/20/73-8/21/12." We then went to the local Huntsman Cancer Treatment Center. I knew I was not ready to go to the one in Salt Lake. I love all the nurses and doctors there but I did not think my heart could take seeing them on that specific day.
The kids were great. They marched right in a started handing out candy and talking to the patients. We wished them all good luck in their fight and left before I lost control of my emotions. We ran into one more patient in the parking lot. He was receiving his infusion outside so he could smoke. His IV bag was covered with a cereal box and I knew instantly that it was because he was receiving the "Red Devil". That drug is sensitive to sunlight and has to remain covered. I walked up to him and offered him a bag of candy. I had done really well talking to everyone else but for some reason I lost it with him. I explained that my husband had passed away from cancer one year prior and we were just trying to pass on the love. He thanked me over and over and I excused myself quickly. I was hovering on the edge of completely losing it so I quickly took one more picture and loaded the kids into the burb. Before we drove away I told the kids how proud I knew that Trent was of them. I asked them how they felt and they all said they felt really good and wanted to things like that more often. I am so lucky to have the greatest kids in the world!
After that we stopped for lunch at the Olive Garden, one of Trent's favorite places to eat. The manager there just happens to be our new neighbor and he treated us to dessert. He was super sweet and made sure our waitress was very attentive to us.
When Jonny ordered he asked for "broccoli and lemons". Ummm, weird. We all laughed off the lemons thing but he was insistent. So the waitress brought out a plate of lemons for him. This was his face with the first bite...
After that he decided it was better to pull out all the seeds so he could take them home to plant a lemon tree. I guess that is like making lemonade out of lemons, right?!
After lunch we went bowling and had so much fun! None of us are very good...in fact Zach and I tied for the high score of 86. Dismal, I know. But we had a lot of fun dancing around and just being nerdy since we were the only ones there for most of the time. Trent was a fabulous bowler because he could throw that ball so hard! It was fun remembering the many times we had bowled together and hearing in my mind Trent's laughter as he would bowl strike after strike after strike. Sweet memories. :)
After bowling we suited up for some lazer tag. The attendant put all of us on a team against another little family of three. They didn't stand a chance against us---mostly because of our numbers! I am not sure how she thought that was going to be fair but we went along with it. A few times I heard the little boy say, "Stop shooting me! I am already out!" Oh well, we had fun anyway.
After lazer tag we drove around for a bit while we shared memories of Trent and I showed the kids some of the places he always went. It was nice to share those moments with the kids and hear the things they remembered about their daddy. On the way home we stopped to pick a bunch of sunflowers in Trent's honor. As Megan was cutting them I looked around the suburban and almost everyone had fallen asleep. It takes a lot of energy to have as much fun as we did!
When we got home I got a phone call from Trent's brother, Troy, saying he was about a half an hour away and he was coming to visit. I was so glad! I really needed to connect with someone in Trent's family that day and Troy and I have always gotten along very well. Trent and Troy are not much alike but they certainly shared a love of politics. Although I don't follow things as much as Trent did, it was nice to talk shop with Troy for a bit. It made me smile thinking about how passionate Trent was about politics. It also made me think the Second Coming has to be right around the corner with how bad our government is. hehehe
Troy treated our family to dinner at Chuck-O-Rama. We stuffed our faces then rolled home to get ready for the first day of school.
There is a song by Chris August called "He Will Restore" that I love. In the chorus it says:
I know you're feeling like it's falling apart and it can't go on anymore
But God is a God who knows how to heal so just give it up to the Lord
And He will restore
Like it was before
You may have strayed off course
But He will restore
I really like this song but have always been just a little miffed because I don't get my old life restored to me in this lifetime. A big part of me still wants everything the way it was before. Before Trent had cancer and our lives were turned upside down. But as I listened to that song as I was getting ready yesterday it dawned on me that I am receiving that restoration already. As hard as the past year has been without the love of my life, I can see that God has given me the ability to heal. He has restored my capacity to love and be loved. He has restored my ability to have joy and find happiness in daily life. And for that, I am so grateful. One year closer, My Love.