Friday, October 31, 2008

a first of many firsts for us.

our first halloween without james, without their daddy. a first of many firsts to come our way.

ethan was, of course, pikachu. and alexander was ash ketchem. what. not every household lives and breathes pokemon?? if you lived here, and had my kids you would.

i am trying. trying to make the boys lives full of life. and trust me, at this point in time it is hard. it is a struggle for me to even get up. sometimes i am so overcome with emptiness it takes my breath away. so it was with mixed feelings that the boys and i carved pumpkins this morning (it's nevada day here so E didn't have to go to school). pumpkin carving has, always in the past, been something james was in charge of. but not today. i think it went well. E was excited, alexander was happy. they have moments where life seems normal. and while i want that for them, life does not seem normal to me. ever. i missed james today. so much. i miss james every single second of every day. but today is a holiday for daddies and their kids. for families. but we did it. carved our pumpkins. roasted our pumpkin seeds. went trick-or-treating. and i made myself get out the camera and take photos. i did not want to record the new version of us, three, instead of four. but i want the boys to have photos and memories of their lives. and this is our new life. so here we are just after having carved our pumpkins. i think james would have been proud of me today. that we did these things, even though i did not want to. he would not want to the boys to be sad, or miss out on the happiness and joy that halloween brings to little kids. so i did it for james. and for the boys.

it is hard for me to feel the emotions i feel because most often, i am with the boys. if i let them know how i really feel i am pretty sure i would scare them. and i don't want to do that. they know i am sad. in fact, i told E today that i miss daddy. but the only time i can really let go and not have to reign in my emotions is after the boys are in bed. but i feel such waves of strong emotion all day long. but it's only at night when i can actually deal with it. address it. during the day i am too busy dealing with and addressing the boys' needs.

to anybody still coming back here to check on us, i thank you. i know it is not an easy thing to do because my posts are, well....pretty damn sad. and it's hard to read. hard to purposely seek out. one day i hope my posts will change. i'm just not ready for that yet.

one day i hope to paint again. i am an artist. i need to paint. yet i can't make myself go up to the loft and do it. one day maybe i will scrap again. and art journal. but not yet. i want to. art journaling has been how i have survived in the past when bad things have happened. but right now i just feel too empty. i know james would understand. and i also know he would want me to get my ass upstairs and paint. he wouldn't want to be responsible for me not painting. but i'm just not ready. it's so strange to want to paint but not be able to.

everything has changed. everything. and i'm trying to figure it all out.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

it's hitting home.

i have never felt so sad and empty in my life. i just left alexander's room. i knew something was up all day today. and yesterday. alexander has been very quick to cry. and that's not how he is. he is mellow. but yesterday, and today....something was different.
tonight, when i tucked the boys in, alexander played in his room (like he normally does, instead of going right to sleep). i'm fine with that, as long as he stays in his bed, is fairly quiet....eventually he goes to sleep. but tonight, tonight was different.
alexander called out to me from his doorway after having been in 'bed' for about 30 minutes. he said something was scaring him. i went up to his room, climbed into his bed and we talked. a couple minutes later, alexander was crying. and telling me he misses daddy. he gets it. he understands daddy is never coming home. and oh my god i felt so inadequate. there was nothing i could do or say, to make him feel better. we cried together. we talked and talked. i told him it's okay to be sad. to cry. that we can be sad together. and cry together. that we will get through this together. that i love him. that daddy loves him. and it was one of the hardest things i have ever done. just watching him, so sad, so lost. and there really was nothing i could do. i did my best to comfort him, but i can never bring his daddy back and it breaks my heart.
i never thought a person could ever feel this way. i just kept saying inside my head, oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, i don't think i can take this. this hurts too much. and it's not fair. to james. to alexander. to ethan. and again, my stomach hurts. and i hurt. so much. how am i going to get the boys through this. i can't even make sense of it myself. how am i supposed to make sense of it to them?
i know i need to get up in the morning. and do it all over again. but god how i don't want to. i just don't want to face another day. but i will. because i have no choice. i have to do this for the boys. and for james. i told him i would.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

the last photo of us.

this was taken at my brother's house when james and i went to celebrate my brother's oldest son's 11th birthday in september. there will be no more photos of the two of us. and i'm really still sort of stunned. i can't believe this is our life now. i am very glad i have this photograph.

the boys and i are, well....we're doing it. getting up in the morning. getting through our days. trying, trying really hard to adjust to our new reality. E had some trouble at school on monday. his teacher called me and i went up to the school (took alexander with me) and spent about an hour up there. E has so many emotions going on inside he doesn't know how to process them. he doesn't understand everything he is feeling. and it just all came out. at once. and it was so sad. it breaks my heart to watch him in so much pain. i want to take it all away, make eveything better, the way it used to be. but i can't. and it makes my stomach hurt.

i am so sad. i miss james. every second i am awake. i'm barely sleeping. i wake up sweating. then i'm cold. my god. how can this have happened? i just really don't know. i don't understand it. to the best person i have ever met? and i mean that. james was the best thing that ever happened to me. i am doing my best to help the boys. giving them all the love i have. trying to make them feel secure again. E is having trouble sleeping. he is scared at night. alexander handles his sadness in a slightly different way. he told me this morning he doesn't want to have a dead daddy. i told him i didn't want him to have a dead daddy either. and it took everything i had not to break down in tears. i know it's okay for the boys to see me sad, and cry, but the sadness in alexander's voice, the look on his face, i would have more than just cried. i woudln't have been able to stop.

one minurte i am fine, and getting through the day. the next? i never thought i could feel so empty. ever. it's like a desperation so deep inside i'm afraid it will swallow me up. that if i start screaming i will never stop. my body shakes and i'm cold. then five minutes later i'm hot and feel like i'm going to throw up. i have no appetite. i eat dinner with the boys because i know i have to. but it's hard. everything is hard right now.

i just miss james. and the boys miss their daddy. so many people i have never even met have left messages here, and for that, i thank you. wonderful words of support. and to every single person who donated money on our behalf, there are no words. thank you is just not enough.

today is the day i was supposed to leave for my trip to thailand with emily and tara. emily and tara, who have done so much for me. for us. to them i am eternally grateful and forever in their debt. to ali edwards, thank you as well. and cathy zielske. i thank you too. to every single person who left a comment of some kind, or donated money, you have shown us kindness in the most horrible time in our lives. and that is beautiful. and amazing. and i thank you. every single one of you. please know you have touched our lives. and there just really are no words to express how much i appreciate all of you.

to the thailand girls (all of you.....i hope you are having the most amazing trip ever). i am thinking about all of you and can't wait to see some of your amazing photographs and to hear about your adventures.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

this is one of my favorite photos of james.

i never ever ever imagined an end to our story. i thought we would be together always. forever. the last ten days have been the worst of my life. it feels like a lifetime. how are my boys going to grow up without their father? james is the best thing that ever happened to me. he is the most loving, caring, giving most wonderful person on this entire planet. of that i am sure. so why did this happen? why to him. and why to our boys?
i can't stop shaking. i feel sick to my stomach. and i have never been so cold in my life. how can it be that this is how our story ends?
i've been sitting here, at the computer, going through 17 years of photographs to put something together for the 'celebration of james' which i think is going to happen on friday. this is one of my favorite photos of james. he was in his element. he was climbing. the look on his face, omg....he is so beautiful here. i can say that about him, right? that he's beautiful? even though he's a man?? he just looks so coy. and so freaking adorable. and so james.
i can't even begin to tell you what these last 10 days have been like. rushing to the ER. at least getting to talk to him, though briefly. watching him seize. watching him crash. omg. the sounds he made. the stiffness in his body. horrifying. absolutly horrifying. i will never ever ever ever forget that. but i wish i could.
watching him in the hospital. staying with him every second i could. only leaving to be with the boys. then going right back. looking at him, watching him on the ventilator. watching his body fight for life. feeling so helpless. wanting him back so much. like an ache. just wanting him to wake up. to come back to us. to me. to the boys. we need him. we love him.
watching him die. omg i just want to throw up right now. i will never ever get that image out of my mind. i can't even tell you how horrifying that was. i feel so empty. i feel like my soul hurts. there is nothing in my life without james. except for our boys. how are they going to grow up without him?
telling them that daddy was not feeling well and i had to go find out what was wrong. telling them the next day that daddy wouldn't wake up. then the next day that daddy still wouldn't wake up. and the next day that daddy might not wake up. and the next day that daddy still wasn't waking up. and the next day that daddy had died. that the owie on daddy's heart got bigger. that he also had an owie on his brain. how do you do that to children? it still makes me sick to my stomach and so so sad.
how am i going to raise these boys by myself? how am i going to live my life without james? how do people do this. because i'm not sure i can. yet i know i have to. i told james we would be okay. that i was okay. that i would make sure the boys were okay. so i have to. i just don't know how to get through each second. it just hurts too much. and makes me too sad for what the boys have lost.
i figured james would have to have a heart transplant. and that we would get through it. that it would be horrible and hard, but that we would do it. i never ever. and i mean ever imagined this is how it would end. at 38? how can this be fair? to him. to our boys. i can't even breathe. and now must go read story to the boys and put them to bed.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Kerg Brooks Key Nov 3, 1933-Oct 2, 2008

brooks, christmas 2007
mom and brooks, christmas 2007
brooks, christmas 2006
scampi and alexander, christmas 2006
scampi and ethan, christmas 2006
if only i knew where our fucking wedding photos were i would scan and post my favorite photo of brooks and me dancing at my wedding. he danced the father/daughter dance with me when my own father would not.
i am sad to report that my stepdad died this morning a little before 4am. i am so incredibly sad for my mother. my mom and brooks have been together for many many years. when i graduated high school, and didn't know what i wanted to do or where i wanted to go, brooks gave me free reign on one of his credit cards and told me to go. go figure out where i wanted to be and what i wanted to do.
for so many years brooks battled diabetes. it attacked his body with such ferociousness. through it all he never let on as to how much pain he was in, how seriously his health was failing (though i knew...i could tell)....but he didn't want to let on how bad things were. my mom told me. we talked many a night about him.
the last five days have been surreal for my mom. knowing something was wrong. loading brooks into the car, but not being able to make it. calling 911. him losing consciousness and his heart stopping. the paramedics re-starting his heart but too much damage had occurred. he never regained consciousness and after scans of his brain, the doctors told my mother he was brain dead. on monday night she had him taken off the ventilator. she stayed with him. never left his side. she made sure he was comfortable. she just stayed with him. three days later he quietly took his last breath. and then my mom called me.
we have been in constant contact since sunday. me checking on her. checking on him. checking on her again. just talking to her. doing what i could from this distance. my mom was adamant that i not come. and though it went against everything inside me, i honored her wish. i wanted to be there for her. to make phone calls. arrangements. to hug her. just to be there. but she said no. so i did what i could from my cell phone. seems rather empty.
my mom is in shock i think. yes, she knew he was not doing well. but it's never easy to let go and say goodbye. it is better that he is no longer in pain or suffering. but god. how absolutely horrifying for my mom. to sit there, watching him. watching his involuntary twitches, listening to his labored breathing. i cannot even imagine.
i will very much miss the tea drinking, sports loving, gentle man who treated me like a daughter. my boys will miss their scampi. when E was very little he couldn't pronounce grampy. it came out scampi and just stuck. i wish i could make things easier for my mom. this is just such a sad day. and, seriously, if i knew where the fuck my wedding photos were i would scan and post the photo of the two of us. it has always been one of my favorite photos. i will HAVE to find it.