Friday, February 04, 2011
Hi Scott... it's going to be Super Bowl Sunday again. I can't believe it will be three years since I last saw you! I remember every minute of that day: you BBQing platters of meat on your patio, the delicious potluck spread, and dozens of friends gathered in your living room watching the game on your brand-new HD TV.
Remember when you asked who everyone was cheering for, and every single one of us said "The Giants!"? Then you asked, "Are you actually rooting FOR the Giants, or is it more 'anyone is better than the Patriots'?" I still laugh telling this story: every one of us shouted... NOT the Patriots! You were in your element as host.
Most of all, I remember deciding to leave at half-time, because DH had to go to work at 4am, and we faced a long drive home. Plus, it was crowded; we'd give up our chairs, so more of your friends could sit down. I went to tell you, and you tucked me under your arm and pulled me against your chest, hugging me tight.
I still remember how that felt... and how we stood together hugging, talking, saying "see you soon." You said you'd come up and spend a whole Saturday with me as soon as you could, probably in a couple of weeks. I remember hugging you much longer than usual, feeling SO blessed and grateful to be your Mom!
We ended our conversation as we always did. I don't know if you said it first and I answered, or I said it first and you answered, and it doesn't matter. We'd say it either way, whatever came naturally... so "I love you" were our final words to each other that day. We hugged again, laughed and kissed, and I went home.
I don't know WHY thinking about and trying to plan for this year's Super Bowl is SO much harder than the last two years! Something is drawing these sad emotions out of me - I don't even feel motivated to try faking a party mood. I'm definitely going to watch the game, though - and think of you, Scott, with a smile!
So who are YOU rooting for this year, kiddo?! I'm thinking you'd choose the Packers, the rookie underdogs, over the know-it-all Steelers (I'll be cheering for Green Bay). Maybe you could swing by and give me a sign, a nudge, a bit of understanding about what's going on in my head this year?!
I MISS YOU, Scott!!!
Love always, Mom ~
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
This is my countdown week to me going away from home for a week alone: I rented a small studio-size condo in a Palm Springs resort complex with a huge pool/spa area, and will take time for a "personal retreat." Although I'll miss DH and Kaile, of course, I'm also looking forward to it.
I wanted to go away two years ago, after Scott died, and lucked into a stay at this isolated, small resort... it was the only one available with short-notice reservations. Then, it turned out to be perfect for what I needed! I hadn't thought I'd go again, but the opportunity arose and I grabbed it.
Hopefully I'll get DD's old laptop via UPS in time, and there will be reliable wi-fi as advertised, so I can spend time daily on Spark while I'm away. I have so much I'd like to do on my teams, but always seem pressed for time, or get distracted and spend too much time on long posts, et al.
My main task this week is preparing to go: finish up what needs to be done here; laundry for needed clothes, and all the other items packed; plus, menu-planning and grocery shopping to fill out my planned meals. DH is dropping me off and picking me up, so no access to the stores.
That's actually a fun part of the trip! As a person who has dealt with extreme food anxieties since childhood, facing a time without free access to food is usually very upsetting. Even a stay in a nice hotel - unless we have a fridge and groceries in the room - is difficult for me emotionally.
However, two years ago, with what I'd learned since I joined Spark, I was determined to use the trip as practice to deal with food in a healthier way. That part of the trip was VERY successful! (Other than spending the first two days and nights in bed crying, the rest of the trip was good too.)
I am SO grateful for having SparkPeople in my life! This website - my teams and the message boards, as well as the resources and tools - have helped me make real changes in my life. I feel like I have a real chance for a healthy and happy future, a longer more able life, and far greater peace of mind too.
Monday, July 26, 2010
I wrote the following in my journal yesterday morning, figuring it out in my head as I typed. Because my feelings were so intense, I wanted to do more with it; perhaps post an edited-down version on some of my teams' threads. I decided to "Blog" it (it'll make more sense keeping the time frame in mind).
I've wanted to blog several times, many many times, about a whole assortment of topics, but I always changed my mind. I finally realized, if I post more Blogs, the ones I wrote about my son Scott will be bumped, and won't show up under "Recent Blogs" on my Sparkpage: I didn't want to erase him!
Those feelings are all wrapped up in what this blog is about... Well, here it is! I hope it translates well from my journal... and I hope if this applies to you as well, that my experience can be helpful to you too.
Take care, Elizabeth ~
July 25th - Oh my, I crashed and burned last night... I was reading and writing emails, and crashed and burned. I binged like I haven't binged in so long - AFTER a GOOD day physically and food-wise. It wasn't mindless either, which was worse; I knew what I was doing - AND LOSING - and made excuses all the way through.
Now, after trying not to throw up all night, I am working on being accountable to myself and others - AND to understand exactly why and how I went off the rails. I mean, I KNOW, but... I started to flounder, and tried posting on my LTTA team; but my feelings started to churn, and I got off Spark. THAT was my 1ST mistake.
To push the emotions away, I switched my planned snack of fresh fruit salad (peaches, banana, cantaloupe) to ice cream and peanut butter - my current "go-to" comfort food. HOWEVER, instead of dishing out my usual (1C&2T), I started eating from the containers; and then, just kept on eating. THAT was my 2ND mistake.
I'm all mixed up about stuff I thought I had already figured out.
A young man my daughter dated in high school, now 24 years old, died recently. There are few details - actually none - being revealed publicly about the what and how; however, the "buzz" says he was using different cleansers at his parents' home (they were gone on vacation), and the mixture created a toxic gas that killed him.
Whenever I think of it, I'm still surprised - How could it happen? Someone SO young killed in such a mind-bending way... I think of his parents and older sister, who I knew through DD Aubrey, and I say to myself, I can't imagine... I just can't imagine... and then I remember:
YES, I CAN - I JUST DON'T WANT TO.
Last night, this realization was too difficult for me to - I don't know - acknowledge? examine? contemplate? scrutinize? think about, deal with, work out... I'm struggling right now, trying to find the right words – ones “large enough” to match my feelings… BUT, I'm NOT headed into the kitchen to eat again. What else did I do "right"?
I stopped eating. I went to bed AND I fell asleep. I kept the Tums on my nightstand. I drank water whenever I woke up. I stayed in bed all night. I kept telling myself I’d be okay, just take a moment and - ??? Stop? When I woke up this morning, I had a good cry, and got on Spark to "talk" it out for myself… That takes me to now.
Am I going to say, “I still can’t deal with it?” That’s what I started to write, but I don’t WANT that! Let’s see…Last night, realizing “yes, I can imagine; I just don’t want to,” was too difficult because I’d have to REMEMBER, and then I’d have to FEEL “it” again… this grief over Scott seems just as heavy today as it ever was.
Well, I am going to put my should-have-been-last-night fruit salad together with sugar-free Jello and light Cool Whip, and get something solid in my stomach. Then I’m going to decide what to do with all of THIS – right now it’s in my journal. Then, I had – I HAVE – a busy, fun day planned, and I’m going to get to it!
I’ll always love you Scott ~ Forever, Mom ~
Monday, March 01, 2010
I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to write today, but I know I want to acknowledge the second anniversary of my son's death. First of all, to my many Spark friends & teammates, thank you for your caring & support!
When Scott was killed two years ago, my life changed in such a way that I will never be the same. I still go to grief counseling with a private therapist two or three times a month. Having "Dr Jenn's" ear, and her support, has been a Godsend. I can say all the selfish, angry, bitter thoughts that sometimes fill my mind, and be honest about the dark feelings that can still overwhelm me at any moment (like hearing a fragment of a song).
However, what struck me this past week, leading up to this heart-breaking "anniversary," is the difference between last year and this; both in how I feel, and how my precious daughter feels, and in the plans we made together.
Last year, DD Aubrey & SIL Mike left town, unable to be present near where Scott died or with others grieving him too. They spent that anniversary week hiking and climbing in the Santa Barbara mountains; on February 27th, they spread some of Scott's ashes at his favorite spot there (more details & a photo in my blog from that time). This year, while the pressure was still great, there was no plan to or talk of going away again.
Last year, me going with DD & SIL wasn't an issue; my disabilities keep me from doing most physical activities, let alone the kind of walking needed to get up in those mountains. Besides, I wanted to be with Scott's neighbors, on his street, near his home, near where he fell to his death. This desire of wanting to be connected also led me to initiate a most healing encounter with the owners of the kitten Scott climbed to rescue.
This year, without us specifically planning to do so, was a time of being together, enjoying each other's company, and going out and doing... LIVING. My thoughts throughout Saturday, February 27th, often went to Scott.
I'd raise my eyes up towards Heaven, and think: "This is for YOU, Scott! I'm out of the house, with other people, doing the activities I used to enjoy. I'm living my life again, and in doing so, I am celebrating YOUR life." (His love & caring & enthusiasm & kindness & laughter & joy & sacrifice & leadership - how Blessed I am to have had him in my life for 28 years!) I said, "Scott, you don't have to worry about me anymore."
I honestly don't know what difference there will be between the 1-year-&-364-days and the 2-years-&-1-day time frames. I wondered all last week, in the dreadful anticipation of the 27th, what can change with just that 48 hours difference. This time, however, when I made my shopping lists, it was ME who went to the store to food shop and run other errands, not my DH (who has stepped in and helped immensely).
I had also called DD and invited her to go with me on Saturday to a local community theater's musical comedy revue. The actually-going-part was, as usual, a HUGE challenge - but WE did it. She nudged me and I buoyed her, and we had a wonderful time. As former Theatre majors in college, she and I share a love of the production; with this adventure, we reconnected in a way - filled with joy - that we haven't in quite some time.
SO, my dearest Scott, I treasure every moment I had with you, and I still feel your love. I see you in many aspects of my current life, and I miss you every single day. I will remember you always, and look forward to seeing you again.
Love from your Mom, Elizabeth~
Monday, January 11, 2010
I haven’t posted a blog in a long time – it’s not really my thing – but I feel compelled to write, and I want to share what has happened.
I am overwhelmed by my emotions. I’m stunned, angry, devastated, and confused. It's been a few days, but these feelings continue to build, so I figured I’d better write about it. I decided to put this in blog form to better share it. So here I am, trying to work it out in my mind.
Another senseless death and I can't find any reason in it. I know many of you will want to comment below about taking comfort in God’s Plan, and having faith, and we’ll meet again in Heaven, and so forth, but I know all that! Honestly, I don’t need to be reminded.
I hope you can hang with me through this long explanation!
My son died saving a half-grown kitten that belonged to a neighbor of his, a 16-year-old girl he had befriended along with most of the kids and families on his street. The girl's parents – who are known as standoffish, emotionally volatile, and basically "weird" – had not helped the stranded kitty, and admitted preventing their daughter from acting as well.
That's why it was thought the kitten was a stray, and why – after two days – several of the neighbors took action themselves, which is how Scott got involved. If Scott had known it was Corban's kitten, I’m sure he would have done exactly the same as he did, so it wouldn't have made a difference in HIS outcome - I know that for sure.
However, learning after the fact how irresponsibly HER parents had acted... That's been hard. Oh, they had their reasons, why they were too busy… Corban’s mother wrote me a letter the day after Scott fell to his death, "explaining" their side, but she never accepted any responsibility, or even apologized.
On the first anniversary of Scott’s death – see my last blog – I went to Scott's to be with the neighbors to whom he was closest. When I arrived, I impulsively went across the street to see THEM. I wanted to see the cat, and meet the girl; I wanted to face my anger towards her parents. It was actually a positive and healing experience, but not important here.
I was on the porch, talking to her parents and cuddling the now-grown cat, when Corban finished getting ready, and came outside in a rush to leave. When I was introduced, I thought she was going to turn and run away... she froze, and then lowered her head and said, crying, "I'm sorry" over and over again. She said, "Please forgive me."
I put my arms around her and said, "There's nothing to forgive, you didn't do anything wrong. I NEVER blamed you, and Scott wouldn't blame you either." She completely broke down in my arms and sobbed for a long time. I left hoping she would feel the relief-from-guilt she so obviously needed, and rightly deserved.
If you had asked me beforehand what I planned to say when I went over there, I couldn't have told you... but I was SO glad I talked to Corban that day! I didn't spend more time with her, but at Christmas I gave her the last DVD I had of Scott's memorial video, and I always sent my regards through Scott’s upstairs neighbors.
This was the tree outside Corban's house when Scott died:
And now I'm finally getting to the purpose of this post:
Corban was killed by a drunk driver.
WHY? WHY?? WHY??? She was just getting started... Finally free from her parents' craziness – they gave her moving boxes for her 18th birthday – she was living with her boyfriend's grandma and felt like part of a REAL family for the first time in her life.
Didn't Scott already die, to help her? Why did SHE have to die too? I can’t make any sense of it! Waiting at a red light after a fun night out with her sweetheart, and in a split second, a drunk driver changes everything… I'm SO angry!!! I'm so angry.
For those who pray, please keep Corban’s boyfriend – who walked away with minor injuries – in your prayers as he faces this tremendous loss; and for his family, who took her in as their own. Also, please think of Corban’s many friends, most of whom recently graduated from high school.
I'm also praying for the many people who received Corban's organs and tissues, who will have healthy - and longer - lives because of her death.
I’m especially praying for, and asking prayers for, Scott’s upstairs neighbors, to whom he was so close, and who are now my dear friends as well.
The daughter, who witnessed Scott’s death, was best friends with Corban since they were five; the mother has been a surrogate “Mom” to Corban for the past thirteen years. This is their third unexpected death in less then two years, as several months after Scott died, so did their father/grandfather.
And so my ramblings come to an end…
Did you make it all the way through my tome?
Thank you ~ Thank you so much.
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