Feed your FAITH and your fears will starve .

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

"Familys Are Foever, Even with Step Familys"

Life as a remarried widow can be quite challenging.  Adjusting to life with a new man and four additional children sometimes takes the wind out of my sails.  It is hard!  Much harder than I ever expected.  We are learning how our family dynamic works and little by little we are making progress with a setback or two, or FIVE, along the way.  Being married to Brad doesn't make my sadness over losing Trent any less.  It doesn't dry up the tears and suddenly make my life peachy.  The things that were easy with Trent are not easy with Brad.  Sometimes that makes me miss Trent even that much more.  But Brad and I have chosen to walk this path together, for better or worse.  Sometimes the "worse" moments unexpectedly turn into the "better" moments...

A few nights ago Brad was putting Charlie to bed.  It was taking him quite a long time but it didn't phase me because he will often lay with her in the dark and cuddle.  I know those are his quiet moments to love on Charlie and miss Linda.  And that is okay.  I was reading to the little boys on the couch when Ryen came running to me trying not to cry.  She said, "Holly, I think you need to go comfort my dad.  He is on Charlie's bed crying."  Right then, Carter, Mallory, and Charlie came running down the hall looking a little scared.

Ryen was really trying to hold back her tears and I asked her if she was okay.  She insisted she was and that I needed to go help her dad.  I stood up and hugged her.  Of course she stiffened up like a two by four because she can't handle any type of physical touch from most everyone.  I hugged her anyway and told her it was okay to cry if she needed to.

I quietly crept into Charlie's bedroom and laid down beside Brad.  He immediately reached for me and continued to cry and cry and cry.  I was glad to be there for him and wished that it didn't have to hurt so badly.  That is one benefit to marrying a widower, we go through the same things and there are no feelings of jealousy for one another's spouses.  Sometimes triggers hit us at unexpected moments and there is not a darn thing you can do about it.  That night's trigger was the quilt on Charlie's bed.  It is made out of Linda's clothing.  She has had it on her bed for a few weeks now and Brad has seen it dozens of times but something caught him off guard and released the flood gates.  After Brad was mostly done crying we laid on the quilt while he pointed out Linda's favorite shirts, capris, etc.

When we finally emerged from the pool of tears Mallory (age nine) slipped up next to Brad, put her arm around his waist, and gave him a card she made for him.

The card reads as follows,
Dear Brad,
I know it is hard to lose someone you love with all your heart.  I am so sorry.  I know how you feel.  It is hard when you lose pepole.  It breaks your hearts when pepole pass on.  It will never be the same without them.  This song I made because of you when you were sad.  I made a song because Kaleb was sad because Jayden, he sits on the bus with, made him sit with me and Maddie.  So I made a song that is..."It is time to be happy, it is time to have freinds."  Then when you were crying I made a song that is..."Dreams will come true, hearts will be successful.  I will wait for you in the glory sky."  Brad thank you for helping me. You really are supper man.  Oh step familys aren't as bad as I thought.  You rock oh and good luck.

Love, Mallory

The little thumbs up sticker says, "P.S. Familys are foever, even with step familys"

The picture has all of the Rowbury family on the left and all of the Rasmussen family on the right.  It was so cute.  Brad and I were both choking back tears.  She sang the little songs for us and gave him a big hug.  I was so thrilled with the change we have seen in Mallory.  She really struggled with the whole situation when we got married.  She was by far my biggest obstacle.  She has done a complete turnabout and is now one of the easiest kids to work with.  She is such a tender little heart.

Monday, January 6, 2014

And....The Crash Finally Happened

The holidays are done.  We survived.  Barely.

A few weeks ago Brad and I spent some time in SLC with Marc and Aly so we could do some Christmas shopping.  While we were there we ran into my friend and fellow widow, Stephanie.  I was so shocked and thrilled to see her.  She is also remarried and is doing amazing.  She is a super positive and real person and I have learned a lot from her.  
Aly, Me, and Stephanie
Because Brad and I are very different in how we do Christmas I was really nervous for the holidays.  But despite that it was really nice to shop with someone this year.  Last year was almost more than I could handle, watching all the couples shopping hand in hand, smelling perfumes, picking gifts.  Ugh.  Yuck.  That was hard.  Thankfully I was one of the lucky people this year and it was so comforting to have my hand in Brad's while we shopped.
 Marc, Brad, Aly, and I got to attend the Christmas program of "Music and the Spoken Word" at the Conference Center in Salt Lake.  It was an amazing show.  The music was outstanding!  I have never been so in awe of one's musical talents as I was when I watched the organ soloist.  He was phenomenal!  We had a great weekend, as always.  Every time we are with Marc and Aly we laugh our heads off.  It feels so good to be able to laugh so hard you cry.
Marc, Aly, Me, Brad
 A few days later Megan asked me out to dinner, which I paid for. ;)  That works out well for her.  We went to Noodles and Company and laughed throughout the entire meal.  We decided she is going to get a job just long enough to learn how to  make the Tomato Basil Bisque.  It is so good!  After we stuffed ourselves with soup and noodles we headed over to Sweetly Divine for more deliciousness.  Yumm!

Me and my Megan-love her so much!
The closer Christmas got the more nervous I became.  I handled everything well outwardly but inside I was anxious and missing Trent immensely.  I was excited to share a Christmas with Brad and his kids but I was really torn between that and missing Trent and our life before cancer.  Our families have different traditions and because we all wanted to do the things we did with our spouses/parents it was hard to decide what to do.  It really became an issue at times, with kids fighting about how Christmas morning was going to go.  We tried our best to give everyone the best memory we could.  I am not sure how successful we were but we had a few kids come tell us that this was the "best Christmas ever".  We may change things up a little next year and do things a little differently though.  
Christmas Jammies!!!!
Megan, Zach, Jarom, Carter, Jack, Jonny, Mallory, Ryen, and Charlie

Christmas Eve was tough for me.  I had to slip away several times to hide my emotion.  I know Brad was doing the same thing.  There were so many memories flooding through my mind and all I could think about was how much Trent loved Christmas and how my kids deserved to celebrate that with their dad.  For traditions' sake, on Christmas day Brad took his kids and went to Idaho and I took mine and went to Brigham.  I am still not sure that was the best thing to do but it was what was decided. 

On the way down to Brigham I was asking the kids what was their favorite gift they gave, what was the favorite gift they got, what was their favorite part of Christmas, etc.  It was a nice conversation and I thought about how happy Trent must be.  I didn't feel him, but I am pretty sure he was with us, enjoying it every bit as much as we did.

For Christmas Jonny got his first fishing pole, and Spiderman mask, ahem.  We went ice fishing on Mantua Reservoir with my family.  I was on my way there and missed all the excitement but Court, my brother-in-law was with Jonny and told me this story: Jonny was sitting with his line in a hole and started screaming that he caught a fish.  Court's reaction was a little slow because he has heard that scream from his own kids a million times and rarely do they have a fish on the line.  But when he looked up Jonny's pole was bouncing like crazy.  He hurried over to help him but by the time he got there Jonny had already reeled in the fish and had it out on the ice.  Court said, "Jonny your dad would be so proud of you! That is amazing!"  Jonny quickly replied, "My dad was standing right next to me the whole time!"  I really hope he was.
Besides all the holidays we also got to celebrate a birthday.  Brad had his birthday the other day and it was really fun!  All day long I had a smile on my face while I prepared things for his big day.  The little kids got to help and they were all excited.  I really enjoy making a special day for birthdays and it was fun to shop for Brad this year.  I surprised him with a dinner our with our besties, Marc and Aly.  Part of the night was supposed to include ice skating but the rental shack was absolutely packed so we opted for a very foggy picture and then played card games until the wee hours of the morning.  What a fun birthday!

With all the busy-ness of the holidays, and a few ordering mishaps, we didn't get our Christmas cards sent out.  Instead, on New Years Eve I set up a tripod and crossed my fingers.  Luckily we were able to get a decent family photo on our front steps.  It was a hard thing to do logistically and emotionally but I think it turned out well.
With the kids back to school I thought I had conquered the holidays and come out fairly unscathed.  That is what I get for thinking!  This morning I was pretty emotional and in disbelief again that this is the life that God had in store for me.  So I tackled a bunch of things on my to-do list and kept myself busy all day.  It wasn't until I took Zach to counseling tonight that the bomb went off.  Instead of Zach meeting with the counselor first, he asked if I would meet with him.  It was not a particularly emotional discussion we had but during the course of the conversation he told me that at the last meeting he had asked Zach what he would tell his dad if he were here and what he thought his dad would tell him.  That hit me hard.  Zach's dad is not here and it is so unfair! I would give anything to change that for him.  It kills me that my children's father cannot physically be here with them to see them grow and be their dad.  No one can do that for him.  Brad is wonderful and does as much as they will allow him to but he does not try to be their dad and I don't want him to.

The whole thing sent me into a downward spiral and I ended up bawling my eyes out on my bed while Brad tried to figure out what to do with me.  During the worst of the crying I got a call from Marc.  He is so good at following promptings and I wondered if he was prompted to call me at that moment.  We talked for a few moments and he helped me get out a few more tears.  While we were talking he reminded me how much Trent loves me and would do anything to help me be happy.  I know that is true and it was so nice to hear it. Thanks Markle!

I truly am blessed to have such amazing people in my life.  No matter how far or how hard the fall, they are there to pick me up.  As I type this, Brad is rubbing my feet with lotion in an attempt to calm me and hopefully help the tears subside.  It has been a pretty constant flow for several hours now.  But I know this will pass.  I will be okay.  And I will carry on, the best way I know how, surrounded by all the love and tender care that Trent can send my way.