the ladies and I are off on our first family vacation without Travis.
(Before I really get into this post, I want to say a ginormous thank you.
Before Travis died we were given a very generous gift.
Neighbors and friends, lots and lots and lots of them, gathered together money, -and
went as far as to secure a private plane, and lovely hotel on the ocean for us to stay in. We weren't able to go because the Lord had other plans, and Travis passed the week we were supposed to be gone. I think it's pretty beautiful that he passed knowing that we had people who loved us that much, do something so generous and kind for us. That's one of the last things he saw. With everything that happened, I lost the card with the names of all who donated or helped. I've felt guilty about it since, and it has weighed heavily on my heart. I'd hate for anyone to think that their kindness wasn't noticed...because the thought was so beautiful, the gift was so generous, and the love was beyond. Thank you to all involved. I am sitting her all teary just thinking of it. That money is being used for our vacation this week. Instead of a goodbye vacation, I'm calling it a healing vacation. I'm so grateful for all the support and love. Beyond words.)
When his cancer came back,
Travis made a goal.
Disneyland every year.
A trip where the girls could be little-and where they were the absolute focus.
And we did that for 5 years straight.
After he passed away,
the girls wondered if we would still go without him.
And this is what Travis wanted,
so we are going.
But I never imagined that it would be this hard.
I've missed him immensely while I've been planning.
I've missed him when I bought a cute shirt for the girls,
or when I booked a dinner reservation at his favorite restaurant there.
I missed him tonight,
when I was packing and found a stray t-shirt of his in my clothes.
I didn't know it was there,
and just to touch it made me ache.
I will miss him laughing when the girls get a little freaked out on a ride.
I will miss him holding my hand.
I will miss him eating his favorite soup.
I will miss him laying in bed next to me and complaining about his achy legs.
I will miss him leading the pack.
I will miss him being there, always knowing what I was thinking.
It's strange, and always hard, and it never gets easier.
Grief is something I've never really experienced.
Not up close and personal like this.
It does mean things to you.
It makes me angry when I see others really able to forget.
And heartbroken for my girls who are struggling through it,
each in their own way.
Really, it feels like it is one step forward, and two steps back.
Everything in our life has changed.
From our finances, to our relationships with each other,
to the way our home feels inside.
When I write,
I realize that we sound quite a mess...
and I'm censoring here...big time.
(I am angry about a lot of things,
sad about a lot of things,
having a heck of a hard time sleeping..
and a basket case most of the time),
I think that's how we should feel right now...
so I guess it's ok.
And we do have many happy, and good things happening every day.
And we still laugh a lot.
And we love each other.
Included in the good in our lives are the people
who haven't forgotten the battle we are facing every day.
I have friends who think of me first.
They make sure that if a Holiday is happening,
I'm taken care of.
Something that Travis is probably pretty grateful for.
They make sure that if I don't sound 100%,
that someone is here, Diet Coke in hand, ready to help.
They tell me I look really pretty...when clearly, It's not a "pretty day".
And more important than that,
they remember my kids.
They teach their kids kind things to say to support my kids.
They make sure to include my kids.
They write kind notes and give hugs and understand and forgive when
my kids aren't feeling happy, normal, or even nice.
They've been given the extra special treatment that they really deserve,
and that frankly, sometimes, I am too tired to give.
My mom has stocked her house full of crafts,
because I think she realizes that when they have too much down time,
they aren't happy.
She takes them for ice cream to give them a break from me...and me a break from them.:)
And she makes sure to ask what I need, even when I am grumpy
and don't have a kind reply.
We are surviving.
We are adjusting.
But it definitely doesn't happen overnight,
and we wouldn't be surviving without the people who have made sure to
remember us in every action and thought.
I'm so grateful.
We are surrounded by lovely people.
So with a heart half full of grief, and half full of excitement,
we are facing another first this week.
It is the "Happiest Place on Earth", so I think that means that my heart will fill
at least 3/4 full of happy.
I'll take it.
Thanks again for all our love and support.
We Kidman Ladies sure appreciate it.
Trav's cancer had been back 3 months.
Disneyland 2010-15 months, still fighting.
Disneyland 2011-27 months, still fighting.
Disneyland 2012-39 months, still fighting.
I'm 100% sure that this was the month Travis cancer started
really aggressively fighting back.
Disneyland 2013-51 months, still at it.
I treasure these memories!
This year is gonna look different.