Tuesday, October 22, 2013

How are we doing?

I get this question a lot.

The answer is always the same....
"it depends on the second."

And that's the truth.
 This house is full of girls who ALL
grieve differently.
 I feel like I'm running an obstacle course each day
trying to figure out who needs what and how to help.

And because I'm SO incredibly busy,
(my to-do lists grow longer every day....I never knew how much crap 
there was to deal with after someone passes away.  But that is a different post!)
I forget that I'm sad....
until I'm not busy and then it slaps me in the face a bit.

The other day I finally had a minute to myself and went
to call my sister,
and my fingers just automatically called Trav's work number.


Or the other day when Adyson said,
"Mom, during the funeral, as I was up singing,
I saw Grandpa hug Grandma, and Cody (my brother)-hugging Amy, 
and Jody hugging Heather (My sister)-
and no one was hugging you.  Who is gonna hug you now?"

Slap. Slap.

And honestly,
and oddly,
and kinda funnily...
is that the worst is when I find a new recipe I can't wait 
to cook and think-
'I wonder if T will like this?'
Or today when I read an article on an ex Aggie player
and I thought
'Trav is gonna love this!'

Slap. Slap.

The very worst of it was yesterday when I 
charged Trav's cell phone so I could make sure to get all
of his pictures and videos off of it.
It beeped with text messages from Sienna that simply said,
"I love you."
They were sent just hours before I charged it.


That one hurt.

 These moments happen quite often.
I miss his sarcasm and wit.
I miss ESPN being on in the background.
(Never thought that could happen, but I do miss it.)
I miss his voice.
Even when I felt horrible and worried in the past,
as soon as I heard his voice I felt ok.
I loved his voice.
But the very worst part of all of this,
is seeing my girls miss him and ache too.

I really want them to remember every amazing detail about him.
I will not pretend Trav was perfect,
but he was pretty darn close.
Travis is patient, caring, loving, and supportive.
That man didn't miss a game/dance recital/ or special event.
And he really loves me and they got to see that in his actions.
I want them to remember that example.
 I just wish that we wouldn't have so much 
forgetting time before we see him again.

 Today I had a few meetings and I made my parents tag along.
During one of them my dad made the comment about me being 
a 'single lady.'

First, I'm immature enough that I instantly laughed and heard Beyonce in my head.

But really.
 (Your singing it now too, right?)

But I still can't believe that this is my life.
I am a widow.
A single lady.
And my sweet kids lives are 'one parent' kids.

That being said,
I do know that the face slaps will become less,
and that we can get through this as a little family.
Were doing it day by day and second by second.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

May 2, 1975-October 11, 2013

“The time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” 
(2 Tim. 4:6–7.) 

Friday October 11th, I lost my best friend.

I still feel really can't believe that he's gone.
And that I am a widow.
A widow?

On October 2nd
I wrote my last post about how time wasn't really on our side.
I thought we had a few weeks.
I never would have guessed 9 days later Travis would be gone.
Words can't express the emotions that I am going through.
That my amazing, incredible, courageous girls are going through.
That our entire family is going through.
 Now, more then ever,
I'm in awe of Trav's strength.
He fought, and fought.
Even when his mind was ready to go,
his body didn't know how to quit.
This past few weeks my home has been full of people who
love Travis.
 It became a boarding house for family members to come
and care for him.
And to say goodbye.
At all hours of the night you could find 
members of the Johnson family and The Kidman family
sitting around the table doing a puzzle, 
sharing memories,
or sitting by Travis holding his hand to comfort him,
and telling him it's okay to go.
 We laughed a lot.
We cried a lot.
And I feel as though we have bonded so closely,
a last gift from Travis.

I love him.
I miss him so much that I just ache inside.
But I also feel a sense of relief.
I feel as though I've mourned pieces of Travis over the past 2 years.
I mourned when his rib hurt so bad he had to stop golfing.
I mourned when he was finally to weak to pick up the girls.
I mourned when food stopped tasting good and he stopped enjoying eating.
I mourned every time his bedtime became earlier and his alarm went off later.
I mourned each night when I'd wake up to give him pain meds.
And I mourned every time he had to go to the Dr.
I've had a head start in this process.
My Travis has been lost piece by piece.
He has just been so sick.
I am grateful that he is free of pain.
That the next time I see him-he will be complete again.
And then,
well then we are gonna enjoy every second of our new life together.
I'm gonna squeeze him so tight and not worry about hurting him.
And those girls are gonna do the same.
I wish the time would fly by till then.

I am ready for us to heal.

It is no secret that our family has been loved in the past few years.
And in the past few weeks we have been blessed beyond measure.
We've had an abundance of food brought our way.
Beautiful flowers, words of love.
The day he passed our entire neighborhood, 
for blocks and blocks, 
was covered in orange.
Orange balloons and bows everywhere.
 Beautiful gifts for the girls left on the doorstep.
I've received so many texts and messages by email and facebook
that I will never be able to respond to them all.
The viewing was held Tuesday night.
I was most scared for this.
I hated having to bring the ladies to see there father this way.
it was a healing night for us.
And such a reminder that the body, and the Spirit are two
completely different things.
I have no doubt that Trav's spirit is resting,
learning, playing, and watching over us.
I loved this scripture shared at his funeral from Enos 1:27
 “And I soon go to the place of my rest, which is with my redeemer; for I know that in him I shall rest. And I rejoice in the day when my mortal shall put on immortality and shall stand before him; then shall I see his face with pleasure, and he will say unto me: Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father.”
As I drove home in a state of exhaustion that night,
I was moved to tears and I found lanterns lighting up my
entire home.
It was a beautiful thoughtful gesture and it warmed my heart immensely.
 I was touched by how many people came to support our family.
Every single person who came reminded me that we will be ok,
because we are loved.
The funeral was held Wednesday (yesterday) morning.
I don't know how to describe my emotions adequately.
It was beautiful, peaceful, heartwarming, sad, and perfect all in one.
Everyone wore orange.
Orange ties must be sold out in our town.
The church was full of loved ones.
The music was breathtaking.
(My kids sang. I have never been so proud).
The speakers,
Two of Trav's dearest friends,
spoke the words we all needed to hear.
We laughed,
and then cried,
and then laughed again.
Travis would have loved it.
I had so much help with the viewing and the funeral that
I would think of something and it would literally already be done.

I am so grateful.
I really wish I could express just how deep my gratitude goes.
I feel like I have an army of people wanting to help.
I hope I am always reminded of this time,
and will remember to be better in the future.
So here we are,
trying to find our new normal.
I'm not gonna lie,
I'm scared.
Can I be the mom they need?
And how can I do this without my T?
 And how can I get my kids through this?

But I guess we will see..
because we have no choice.
Thank you all for the support you 've shown
as Trav fought his fight.
He loved you all.
He loved all the support we had,
and I think he knew we'd be ok once he moved 
on because that support wont end.
He wasn't a man of many words,
but he told me many, many times how thankful he was.
We have angels surrounding us,
and an army of angels in heaven guiding us,
and I know Trav is leading the charge.

Thanks again to everyone for your love and support.
We love our TRAVSTRONG family.


The tree that never had to fight 
 For sun and sky and air and light,  
But stood out in the open plain  
And always got its share of rain,  
Never became a forest king  
But lived and died a scrubby thing. 
The man who never had to toil  
To gain and farm his patch of soil,  
Who never had to win his share  
Of sun and sky and light and air,  
Never became a manly man  
But lived and died as he began. 
Good timber does not grow with ease:  
The stronger wind, the stronger trees; 
 The further sky, the greater length;  
The more the storm, the more the strength.  
By sun and cold, by rain and snow, 
 In trees and men good timbers grow. 
Where thickest lies the forest growth, 
 We find the patriarchs of both.  
And they hold counsel with the stars  
Whose broken branches show the scars 
 Of many winds and much of strife. 
 This is the common law of life. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


I've been sitting here trying to write this post for a while....
the words aren't coming.

Trav is rapidly getting sicker.
We really thought we'd have a little more time,
but the Lord has other plans.

We met with hospice yesterday and know our time is short.

This is rough.
Our sweet girls understand what is happening as much as they can.
We have always been very honest with them,
but these conversations are incredibly hard....
and there isn't a way to make them easier.

I'm trying to find the balance between being strong for them,
and letting them see that I'm aching as they are.

I wish, so much, that things were different and that we weren't facing
all this ugliness...
but then I'm reminded that we've been facing it for years now.
I'm so tired of watching Travis ache.
We've sugar coated a lot of the past few years,
but they've been extremely hard.
I'm tired of horrible side effects and bad news, and watching him waste away.
So we are accepting this knowing that he is going somewhere
where he will be himself again.
Where he wont hurt.
 That is an extreme comfort to me, and to the ladies.

A few years ago Travis and I were able to go to Spain,
where he served his LDS mission.
He was undergoing treatments, but doing incredibly well
at the time and felt good-and looked healthy.
 We took a bus to a city he spent a lot of his time in,
He loved this city and couldn't wait to show me around.

I will never, ever forget him jumping off the bus,
holding onto the backpack,
and walking so fast I had to beg his long legs to slow down so my short ones will keep up.
He looked like a 19 year old missionary to me then.
I remember snapping this quick picture because I thought
he looked so handsome, healthy, and so full of excitement and life. 
I wish you could see the look of joy on his face.
 This picture has brought me a lot of peace the past few
I know, without a doubt, that this youthful, healthy Travis will
welcome me and my girls into heaven.
He will probably give me a big smooch and squeeze and he will 
swing those little ladies around in the air.

I can't wait for that day.

All these days in between...those are the hard days.
I'm full of anxiety and dread over the next few weeks and the things 
that we will have to face.
I hate to think of some of the hard things the girls will have to handle.
 I wonder if I can be the parent they need.
But we will take it one day at a time.

We are so grateful to those of you who continue to support our family.
We are blessed in every aspect of our lives,
from his care, work, to our neighborhood and family.
Thank you all for getting us through this hard time.