Friday, December 20, 2013

Rants That (Don't) Matter

A few weeks ago I posted a mini rant about a TV show I can't watch simply because of bad timing on my part. I thought, perhaps, I might explain a bit about why it became important enough to post.

I'm the type of person who loves to be obsessed with things - disposable things, you might say, things that I can absorb myself with for a few days, then let them go with a happy sigh easily and lovingly.

This particular show became my first happy obsession after Analin died. It became a bonding time for me and my boys as we absorbed ourselves in these characters. It was a story line I love any variation of. So when I couldn't track down just a few first episodes of a new season, I became very frustrated.

Thankfully, with this happy obsession, I am content to visit the episodes Netflix has for me. And I'm taking it as a blessing that I'm not able to watch, since I'm not sure how catching up in the series, then still having to wait week to week for an episode would settle with me. I'm guessing not very well. The idea isn't to be stressed out by having to wait, but to enjoy the story in my time.

My Mom doesn't mind waiting week to week, but she doesn't get into stories like I do. I'm the type of person who doesn't want to read a book unless I know I have time to read it cover to cover in 1-2 sittings, either. Of course, with two boys, three dogs and a husband I'm also obsessed with, that makes for little reading time, but I have no problem with the order of my priorities.

So what of you? Happy obsessions? (Not so) silly frustrations? Patient or controlling? ;)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Dear Analin

Kris and I have taken on a new project to help us remember our daughter and have others remember her, too. The website is Dear Analin, a place for us to put our letters to her, a place we can share her and keep her with us. We also hope that, by doing this, we help others better understand how we are grieving and perhaps provide a place for others who have lost their children to connect and share.

You're welcome to stop by, to share the site, and to take part in it.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

WWBH Prompt

Nicole is taking care of you this week. :-)


Is everyone ready for the holidays? I don't make too big of a deal during this time of year, but it's going to be wonderful to have a few days off to spend with family. I notice the blog hop is slowing down a bit, but I think everyone is just busy getting prepared for the holidays.

Here's the two stories we got from last week -

Untitled Story by Tena Carr
Market Day by Sally

A quick look at the guidelines:

1) Write a story using both photos.
2) Keep your word count to 500 words or less.
3) Submit your completed story to your blog hostess (Nicole, Carrie, Tena or Leanne) via the inLinkz linky below. (If you need a bit of help with this step, just leave a comment and we’ll get you linked up!)
4) You have the next week to post.
5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow!

Here are your photos -

Christmas presents under the tree

Weir area 1

And here's the link up when you're ready!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas Preparation

We put the Christmas tree up the day before Thanksgiving. We put up our stockings, including the one we bought for Analin. The idea is that we will all write her letters each Christmas and stuff her stocking with them. Once it's full, we can pull them out and be able to see how she's affected us each year.

I wasn't able to put up my snowflakes, though. I have 3 boxes of glittery snowflake decorations, and this year we bought a box of much bigger ones. I generally use them to make a design on our front picture window, throw a few on the other windows and hang remainder on the tree.

I just didn't feel like it this year. I didn't feel like going through the effort to plan a design, to arrange them on the windows at all - to be happy about putting them up.

On Analin's 2nd Monthday I decided it was time. It was a sad day anyway, and I had reached a point I wanted them up more than in their boxes. I free-handed a tree on the window, gave Analin her own snowflake and even hung up a pair between her and Chiaotzu, our 9 year old boxer dog who passed away in the late summer because of a bee sting.

I cried the whole time. Putting up the snowflakes was just so final. Christmas is really coming, really happening and I feel like we're missing a key member in the celebrations.

Kris says we still have Analin, just not in the way we wanted. I understand the thought, but have trouble agreeing with it. But I still have this driving need to include her - to give her a snowflake, to hang her stocking, to get her a personalized ornament along with the ones we buy for the boys every year. So yes, she is here with us, just not in the way we wanted. I hate the very thought, because let's be honest - this is not the way it was supposed to be.

The first year is the hardest, they say, because of all the firsts. I'm beginning to wonder if I might be able to hold my breath for the whole time, to let the pain build up until I can let it all go in one big relieving exhale. Of course, I'm pretty sure I don't have the Navy Seal training for that.

The holiday season is the worst, I think, for a lot of us who have lost loved ones. I hear so many stories now, and whether it's because no one talked about them before they knew I would understand, or now I understand and make the effort to pay attention. Or maybe I was always paying attention, but just didn't have the experience to be able to empathize.

Regardless, the stories are there, and with them some hope. Because I see there is still joy to be found in the holidays. I feel it myself while I'm planning what to do with the boys. I just wish grieving didn't have to be so hard because I'm beyond tired of it already.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

WWBH Prompt Post

Via Leanne!!


The chill of an icy morning is cozy from the inside, where sandalwood candles warm my space, and a cup of hot coffee warms my soul.

Winter has certainly blasted its way in hasn't it? Seems like everyday is a good day to curl up with a good book or settle into a cozy corner to write. Speaking of which, it is time for this week's blog hop photo reveal!

First, our winner for this month's featured blog hop author is Tony Roberts! Here's his button for you to display on your site. (Remember, this is a great way to support and build community with one another!):

We had two stories emerge from last week's prompt:

1) One Fine October Day by Tony Roberts
2) Hidden Treasures by Leanne Sype

And a brief word about how the blog hop works:

1) Write a story using both photos.
2) Keep your word count to 500 words or less.
3) Submit your completed story to your blog hostess (Nicole, Carrie, Tena or Leanne) via the inLinkz linky below. (If you need a bit of help with this step, just leave a comment and we’ll get you linked up!)
4) You have the next week to post.
5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow!

Here are your photos!



Have fun!

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Few Months Is Not Enough

We lost Analin on October 6, 2013.

Weeks ago. Hours ago. Months, even.

But I am not okay.

Surprised? Of course not. Not when I say it like that. It's funny, though, how easily others can forget.

On the Monthday of her passing, my mother emailed me to ask me to do some photo transfers for her.

Photo transfers. On Analin's Monthday.

I turned off my phone to stop the notifications, but guiltily turned it back on and did them a few hours later.

Six weeks after we lost her, I asked my husband to take the boys. I was supposed to take my niece and nephews to swim class, but I cancelled and told everyone I just wanted to be alone. Suddenly they were asking me if I was clinically depressed and suggested strongly I needed to go to counseling.

This may have been partly my fault due to my great desire to remember Analin with as much happiness as possible, to be strong for my boys and to live in the world as a successful, happy person.

But I am broken. Still breaking, in fact. And I am not okay.

For example, there I was on Thanksgiving, hurting so deeply I didn't know where to turn for relief. I began to blame everyone else as the source of my hurting until I realized it was all due to Analin's loss. I had a few apologies to hand out, though not as many as I could have, thankfully. I'm so grateful to a family who is understanding and loves me or the holiday could have gone so much worse.

All of this doesn't mean I am clinically depressed. It doesn't mean I need therapy, though I promise I will go if I need to. (I have started going to a support group once a month.) It just means I had a very painful experience, one that will take more than a lifetime to get over. I will have bad days. I will want to be left alone. I may lash out not knowing why and I will apologize after. I will say no, which I'm sure will come as a shock to many who haven't heard me say it often, if at all.

That last bit may prove beneficial in many ways.

This is going to take time and energy. Some days I'm going to be too tired to fight, to force a different way of thinking on myself. And that's okay. It doesn't mean I'm lost, or depressed-sad, or in danger of hurting myself or others. It just means I'm healing from a wound that reopens every minute, and today is a rough day.

So please, if you know someone else (or me), take all the days to notice how we are acting or feeling before jumping to the conclusion we need more than what we're giving ourselves. Most of the time, we're amazing at knowing what we need for ourselves. Trust us. Love us. Help us on those days we need you the most. And know we will be there for you, too, on the days you need us the most. Because we know this isn't over for you, either.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

WWBH Post - Bring on December.

What's your holiday this season? Do the lights and sparkles make you smile? They do for me, and we can definitely use more smiles.

I'm hoping this bit of news helps to bring on a few more.

Tony Roberts, you are our winner this month! I had thought you were a repeat winner and am surprised to find this is your first time. I (Carrie) would love to put a button together for you. Let me know if you have a photo or idea you would like to use by this weekend so I have time to work on it for next Wednesday. Oh, and congratulations!

Highlighting last week's submissions:

Don't Eat the Berries by Leanne Sype
Secrets by Scott Taylor
A Short Story by Sally Stackhouse

Be sure to check the rules as we've shifted the prompt a little and let us know if our inLink isn't working as it should.

Those rules are:

1) Write a story using both photos.
2) Keep your word count to 500 words or less.3) Submit your completed story to your blog hostess (NicoleCarrieTena or Leanne) via the inLinkz linky below. (If you need a bit of help with this step, just leave a comment and we'll get you linked up!)4) You have the next week to post.5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow! Remember: the blog hop is about creative writing and community, so feel free to invite a friend to join in!

The photos:

And your (hopefully) friendly inLinkz widget.