Friday, July 11, 2014


Today Marks 9 months since Travis passed away.
These days, the 11th of every single month...
they cause me to stop and assess and think.
And also,
quite honestly,
eat chocolate.

July has been a tough months so far,
and it's only the 11th....

So today,
I've thought about why?
Why has my heart been so heavy and how in the world
will it ever feel light again?

I've learned this:
I have a pattern.
I do pretty good.
We are feeling semi-normal,
and then something happens,
and I take a few steps back before moving forward again.

I ran Ragnar with my friends at the very end of June.
We ran for Travis.
The race is a relay from Logan to Park City.
I hadn't been to Park City since Travis passed away and really,
I hadn't even thought about it.
After the race was over we went to eat at a restaraunt at the
Park City Ski resort.  
At the base of the mountain there is a section full of shops and eatery's
and random picnic tables and benches.
We piled out of the suburban,
all sore, me barely able to walk,
and my breath was taken away.

I had just flashes of the many times Trav and I were there together.
We ate at his favorite Mexican restaraunt and I remembered an Anniversary
where he and I ate there, before our life became hard.
And another time when we went there with my brother and his wife....
and we spent 2 hours playing Monopoly on one of the picnic tables in the center of the square.

Steps back.
Steps forward.

.I just have to take a deep breath and move past it.
but honestly part of me hates moving past those beautiful memories.
Sometimes finding the balance between remembering-and moving forward is awfully tough.

A week later came the 4th of July.
I didn't realize when Travis was alive how much we, as a couple, loved this Holiday.
But it was harder then any Holiday to date.

Every single year we would go to the same park.
I'd buy Travis chocolate licorice.
We'd picnic while the kids would get covered in sand from the nearby volleyball courts,
and when the fireworks would start, we'd be together.
We'd sit side by side and hold hands while being crawled on by the ladies.
This year.
It was pretty painful.
We went to the park,
and I was so grateful that my entire family came,
but I was still alone.
And I missed his sarcasm so painfully, and holding his hands.

Steps back.
Steps forward.

And then I found myself camping.
Those who know me,
know that this just isn't my thing....
but I packed up the car,
realizing that camping as a widow means packing the car
and doing the heavy lifting by myself.
(I may have cursed T a time or two).
As I drove to Bear Lake,
I was hit with memories.
Another first.
We haven't been there since he passed away,
and it's full of memories.

We drove past the lake and all 3 of us were flooded with ache.
The girls started talking about how 
"Daddy used to make sand castles" and rememember 
"eating shakes there with Dadddy"
I let the girls share every memory they could,
because I know that even though  it really hurts to remember,
I think it's gotta be worse to forget.

And then while the tears fell I shared a few memories with them.
I remembered our first time camping together.
I remembered playing games with Cody and Amy on the lawn by the lake.
I remembered when Travis invited me to his families cabin on the lake for a work party when
we were dating.  I called him when I got close so I wouldn't get lost, and he told me to look
for the giant Willow tree...and as I finally pulled up I found him 
standing there grinning from ear to ear.
He was healthy then.
And he was so excited to see me.

We pulled up to the campsite with heavy hearts and wet eyes.

Steps back.
Steps forward.

And then the other day I went to lunch with my girlfiriends to celebrate a Birthday.

I walked to the back to the patio,
and out of the corner of my eyes I saw Trav's entire office eating together.

These men took care of Travis and loved him while he fought,
and he spent almost as much time with them as he did with me....

but I couldn't bring myself to go say hello.
I had no idea the kind of pain it would bring me to see them all together.
Travis should've been there.
I should've been able to walk over,
smooch his cheeck and put my arms around his neck.
I left lunch just sick.
And I spent a good portion of the night just aching.

Steps back.
Steps forward.

I said I've been thinking about why?
Here's what I've got.

The firsts.
They are tough.
And creating new memories without Travis..
is tough.
And in the past few weeks my heart has been heavy because I've been checking
them off of my list in rapid sucession.

Next time I go to Park City,
I will remember Travis surely,
and will miss him definetly,
but I bet next time I also remember running under the stars in the middle of the night,
and the million laughs we shared that weekend.

Will the fireworks be hard next year...
But I will also remember the 3 different potty trips,
Sienna and Adyson head banging in the car on the way home,
and Amy's funny texts.

Bear Lake?
I will never forget Travis sitting on the beach playing with the girls,
and I pray,
real hard,
I never forget his smile when he saw me pull up to the Willow tree,
but next time I go I'll remember the first time I drove
a wave runner, Adyson throwing a golf ball at Dave's truck,
and Cody pouring cold water on Heather while she slept.

And next time I run into the men Travis worked with,
I hopefully will be able to say hi and remember that 
Travis was lucky to have people who took such great care of him 
where he worked...
I just wasn't ready.
And that's ok.

Steps back are ok.
They hurt, 
but they are ok.
Steps forward are good.
They too, kinda hurt,
but they are good.
Old memories I'm cherishing,
but am trying really hard to create new ones as well.

I think at some point,
all of these steps will bring us somewhere good.
Travis would be proud that at least we are moving our feet in any direction.