This is Hilary and Tatum at the zoo, with Hilary in her little spot.
I must say that every time I see a double stroller, I think of how my life should be, and I miss our sweet little person that should be sitting in that second seat.
One of the other things that I have an emotional attachment to , that I didn't realize until just a little bit ago, is our big white van. Stop laughing! Never in my wildest dreams (or nightmares) would I have ever thought that I would be driving a 12 passenger van. I am the one who got a van, and then spent the next several years looking for something to replace it. I really didn't like having a van. I liked the convenience of it, but I hated that everyone had one and I didn't like the way it drove. I wanted something more "tough" like an SUV, so i spent several years convincing Lance that we needed to switch. We got our Navigator when Heidi was just a baby. I have always loved it. It wasn't as convenient with the babies, but I always felt safe and I liked the way it drove and felt. All was fine until Tatum was born. You have never heard such whining until you have had teenagers that have to climb into the very back seat of an SUV. I needed to keep the two little girls in the center seats so that I wasn't having to climb to the back seat to unbuckle car seats. No brainer. If Lance was with us one of the teenagers (Halea or Hayden) had to climb into the very back seat. Hayden ALWAYS loved to choose Sunday to try and prove his point and make Halea move to the back seat. Well she was in her dress, cute boy. We had the same conversation over and over with him. It really got to be such an issue. I know, what a ridiculous problem, right? I found out that our neighbor that had just purchased a 12 passenger van had purchased it through his mother, and that she worked for the church fleet system and could get us a pretty good deal. It took a lot of convincing for Lance to finally agree to telling her to look for one for us. Within about a week or two she found one in northern California. It was a small miracle that our grandma and grandpa just happened to be traveling within a hundred miles of where she found the van for us. It all worked out and Grandma Louise agreed to drive the van back for us. It truly was a miracle. The van has been great for a lot of reasons. It solved the climbing over the seats problem, there is always plenty of space now. Everyone can have their own row. It fits our stroller so I can always bring it with us. The navigator has a ridiculous trunk and so if I wanted to bring the stroller with us I had to put down a seat for it to fit. Ridiculous. During the winter Halea was able to drive the navigator because it is better in the snow than her 1958 Chevy Biscane. We can fit just about anything in the van. It is great to bring the youth places. It is great for ladies lunches. We can all pile in together. I really have sort of a soft spot for it. The other day Lance mentioned selling it and I thought I was going to come uncorked. How dare he? I didn't realize until then, that I might be a little emotionally attached. We had to get the van because of Tatum. How can I get rid of it? Now I drive it around town, all by myself sometimes. I am sure that people look at me and think I am crazy, all alone in that big white van. I kind of love it.
I also might be emotionally obsessed with Tatum's chap stick. There is a special chap stick that the hospital gave us to put on her lips. Since she wasn't drinking or eating anything orally, I would swab her mouth several times a day and then put on this yummy chap stick. It has a citrusie orangie smell to it. Whenever I would put it on her I would kiss her lips and I just loved it. It is one of her smells that I long for. After she died I started panicking because I only had two tubes of it. I found it on Amazon (they have everything, right down to medical chap stick!) so I bought a case of it so I could always have it. I have several in my purse and my other bags so I can slather my lips several times a day and think of her and her luscious lips. It makes me feel happy inside.
These last couple of days have been pretty hard. I don't know exactly why, they just have been. I am so grieving the change in my family, and I just miss her so much. I can't explain how hard it has been to have her gone. It was so hard to watch her get sicker and sicker, but that was a cake walk compared to the heartache that her absence is. I am trying really hard to just live normally because I know that is what I am supposed to do and what will help me continue to live the life that I have been given. It is just so hard, every day. I want to feel that zest for life again. I want to feel pure joy again. I just don't know if or when I will. It is hard to think about feeling that joy again. Which is ironic because I have a sign up in my living room that says JOY on it. I used to put it up for Christmas. A few years ago I left it up, because I thought it was such a great reminder to always feel that pure Christ like love and joy. Ahh the irony. Now I am having to struggle to find that feeling. Sometimes when I am alone I feel like I can physically feel the gaping wound in my heart. Sometimes the emotions are so huge and full in my body that it feels hard to swallow because the lump in my throat is too big. Sometimes knowing that my kids are safe and happy and healthy, doesn't help. It doesn't mean that I don't have faith. I just miss them both so much. Losing Tatum has brought missing Trevin to the forefront of my emotions. I think of who and where he would be at 20 years old. He would be a young man, serving a mission, getting ready to come home and go to school, start a career, get married, start a family. I could be a grandma in a few years. I look around at all of the one year olds around me and think of what sweet Tatum would be doing. She could be walking and starting to talk. Playing with Hilary. Making messes. Giving hugs and kisses. Eating big kid food. All of the fun things that one year olds do.
I am OK with the emotional attachments that I have formed. They remind me of my previous life and I am grateful for that because I love that part of my life and I don't ever want to forget. I am also grateful, moving forward, for the changes that have taken part in my soul. My inner soul has been forever changed. Change hurts, but it is part of our life here. It is the refiners fire. I have hardly watched TV since Tatum died. I will occasionally watch Wheel of Fortune or a little news here and there. Not that I watched a lot of TV, but probably more than I needed to. Can I say that I don't miss it. I have no desire for it. The music I listen to has changed. I am so happy when I get to listen to soft, classical or church music. Even when I run I want to listen to softer music. I blame my embarrassingly slow running on the music! My soul just craves the feeling that good music brings. I feel calmer, for the most part. I am more inclined to be patient with Hilary and the other kids (usually). I have to qualify everything with "usually" because I am still human, right? I have more of a desire to do good, to focus on the "important" things in life and to serve people. I want to be a better friend and be more aware of those around me. I don't always have the energy that matches those desires, but that is coming. Halea said the other day that she wants to "make a difference". That desire is in me, also. I want to make sure that I am becoming who I am supposed to become. As I have been thinking about this foundation and all of the events and time and circumstances that have had to take place to get me to this place, it is mind boggling. I just want to be going in the direction that our Father in Heaven wants me to go. My soul and my heart have definitely improved in this grieving process. I think that my duty now is to stay true to these changes, and make them permanent within myself. That is my goal.