Sunday, August 17, 2014


Well, the day has finally arrived.  It is the eve of us bringing Halea up to Utah State to go to college.  A year ago when we went to Logan for the tour of the campus, this day seemed so far away.  How has it been a year since then?  So many changes since then.  It just doesn't seem fair that she is leaving just a little over a year after Tatum left.  That is too many chickens leaving the coop, if you ask me the mother hen!  It is just our nature, as moms,  to want to keep those little chicks under our wings, am I right?  I know that this is the day that we have been working towards, as parents, since she was brand new.  We want her to go out and learn and grow and succeed and explore and make a difference in the world.  It just seemed like that day was so far away, 18 years ago.

Halea was such a grumpy little baby and toddler, I wasn't sure how we would get along when she got older. I have been so lucky.  She has been a delight.  I remember when people would say that they loved their teenagers and I would remember myself as a teenager and I would think, "how?!".  Now I know.  She has been a great daughter, friend, big sister, lunch pal and example.

 Always the cons emit sister:

She has been by my side during one of the most difficult trials of my life.  She has been a pillar of strength during the past few years.  We have laughed and cried a million times together.  One of the things that I struggle with, is that I know that our relationship will never be quite the same.  I am sure in some ways it will get better.  It is just always sad to close a chapter in our lives.
Another struggle is that I know that bad things happen, despite your best efforts.  No one is exempt.  My mind wanders into the crazy thoughts of all of the bad things that could happen to her while she is away.  So I am trying to stop planning her funeral, cause that's just what you do when you know that kids die.
 I am so excited for her to go and make her mark on the world.  I am excited to see what she does with her life, I know it is going to be amazing.  I am trying not to be too dramatic because I know that I can still call her I can still visit her.  She can still be in family photos, which is not the case with my other two renegades!  I am grateful for those things.  It just comes down to, I am really going to miss her.  She is a really fun person to be around.
She finally got around to cleaning her room out YESTERDAY!  As she was, she found this "mission statement" that she had written when she was 13 years old.  It was so mature and amazing.  She has truly stuck to everything that she said.  It really amazed me.  I was so proud of who she knew she wanted to be when she was just 13, and the fact that she has really stayed true to that path.  It really says something for writing things down.
Exciting times are ahead for Halea.  I am excited to be a part of the ride.  Look out world!!

Last week I went to San Diego for my grandmas funeral.  My cousin and I decided that neither of us were going to bring our families, so we would share a hotel and car so it would be less expensive.  It really turned out to be such a fun weekend, even though it was centered around a funeral.  That sounds horrible.  I think that my grandma would have loved that my cousin and I were able to spend a lot of time together and get to strengthen our friendship and bond.  My grandma was 94 years old and she had fallen a few days before she died.  She was just rehabilitating for a few days before she was to go back to her assisted living room.  She was dancing and living it up in the rehab center.  One night she went to bed and just didn't wake up.  What a lucky duck.  I am grateful that she got to go out that way, no real suffering.

The first day in San Diego was our work day.  We went and cleaned out my grandmas assisted living room.  She was a complete minimalist so it was super easy.  It was neat to look through the things that meant something to her, the things that she had actually saved.

grandmas cute little room
Her desk, where she would take notes while we talked on the phone with her, so she could be sure to remember all of the things that we talked about.
My cousin accidentally showed up in a rental Camero!  Moms gone wild.
Day two:  I got a few days of running on the beach.  For some reason running on the beach is a lot funner than in the mountains at 5000 feet altitude.  Go figure?  Going to the beach and listening to the ocean, smelling the fresh air and enjoying the beauty all around truly saved my life while I was growing up.  When I was in High School I would go and just sit at the beach and contemplate life.  My soul still longs for that place.  It was a great recharge of my internal battery to be there and feel the peace that I feel when I am there.
Ice cream and boogie boarding (not pictured, you're welcome) at the beach.  Doesn't get any better than that...
Or does it.  That night we went to dinner at a restaurant directly on the beach.  The food was delicious.  The company was wonderful.  And the scenery, need I say more!
Day 3 involved a 6 dollar concert with my other cousin/step brother (long story) and his wife and my mom. Yep, doesn't get any better than a concert with your mom!  Counting Crows did not disappoint.
Sunday was nice and relaxing.  Monday was grandmas funeral.  It was a nice tribute to her and her life and legacy.  It will be strange to not see her or have our little conversations on the phone any more.  It is always, no matter how old, strange when someone you've known all your life is suddenly gone.  She had been around so long, I just never thought of her being gone. Rest in Peace grandma.

Tonight we took a Sunday drive to the hospital so I could pick up any shirt orders for our T-Time foundation hike on September 1st.  Several of the nurses bought shirts and some are coming to the hike. I hope that the weather is good and we can raise a lot of money to help families in need with funeral costs.  I drug everyone down because none of them had been down to see the "big" picture of Tatum that is now hanging on Labor and Delivery.  When we walked through the double doors Hilary looked up and said "Oh, Tatum".  It melted my heart.  She has stopped insisting that we pray for Tatum and Trevin to gain weight anymore.  She used to freak out if we didn't say it.  For the past month or so, if we forget, she doesn't say anything.  I say it anyway, but no one else usually does.  It makes me sad, but I have to let her do her grieving in her own way.  She has to be able to let go some of the hurt, and that's OK.  She is starting preschool in a few days, and I just had the thought that I had better tell the teachers about Tatum and Trevin so they don't think that she has imaginary friends or a strange understanding of death.
We went to Heidi's and Holden's back to school day a few days ago.  It is so hard to go places where some people know your story and others don't.  It's hard either way.  Some don't know what to say to you and others don't know what has happened to you.
I start school a week from Tuesday.  That will be another huge change.   I am not looking forward to some of the uncomfortable situations to come, but I have to be true to who I am.  Tatum and Trevin are a huge part of who I am, period. The reason I can go back to school right now is because Tatum is no longer here.  I hate that, but I have to honor that fact also.
I hope that there are no more big changes in our lives for awhile.  I am all about growth that comes from change, but I feel like I have grown all that I want to for now.  
Wish us luck for tomorrow.

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