Monday, April 29, 2013

I Am Not Trying to Depress Anyone.

I am currently stuffing my face with trail mix, feeling completely drained from the breakdown I just had.  The second big breakdown in the last 4 days.  Crying for an hour straight makes you hungry.

I am hesitant to write all of this out for some reason.  For some reason I am not wanting to show everyone the ugly tonight, which makes no sense because I've done it plenty of times before since Richard died.  But if I am to be honest with myself, and with all you beautiful people that have so graciously taken this journey with me, I need to admit the ugly.

I feel like this whole grief thing is just getting worse.  Lately I have been finding myself a lot sadder more frequently.  Maybe because the further out we get, the most I miss him because more time continues to pass.  I feel like I am boring people by talking about it.  I feel tired of talking about it, but it's all I want to talk about.  When I told my mom that tonight she gently said, "you may be talking about it a lot because you want to keep it alive."  We both agreed I can't continue to keep him and our relationship alive.  But when will that desire to constantly talk about it fade away? 

I have been facing a lot of anxiety, also.  Being anxious is not a normal characteristic for me.  And in recognizing this anxiety and remembering that this not normal behavior, I find myself becoming frustrated that is even occurring.  So now I am facing new insecurities, on top of the others that already existed in my life. 

To put a long story short...I'm just kind of feeling like a big ol' mess. 

Not to mention I am simply missing my friend.  I miss that person that, no may not have understood me all the time, or may not have known what I was trying to say or what I was feeling 100% of the time, but that person that wanted to understand me and tried so hard to relate to what I was feeling.  And then as I get sad and start to cry I think about all of his other friends that miss him.  And then, of course, I think of how his family is feeling also.  If I can miss this boy that I knew for 8 months, so much, I can't imagine what it is like for others that knew him longer; for his family.  It's kind of an emotional suicide, if you will.

Anyway, I will wrap this up.  I am not trying to depress anyone or make anyone take pity on me.  I am just trying to keep my heart on display and show that even though this deep sadness has hit it, I know that my God is with me and He will never forsake me.  I am trying to be honest in my grieving process and to be open about it.  If I didn't share my sadness with you all, this would be fake grief. 

The Lord blessed me with the desire to be an open book, and I will try my best to use that desire and ability for His glory.  For the strength and peace that I have found through this traumatic situation have not come from myself, but from my God only.  I know He sits beside me as I weep, and He will comfort me.  I can do nothing without him.  I certainly try to, but He sits and waits patiently for me to return to Him. 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

He was my love. He rescued me.

I need to get something out in the open, here.

I am a freak with dates.  And no, before you start jumping to conclusions, I am not talking about the action of boys and girls eating dinner together - though that phrase may qualify regarding those kinds as well...- I mean dates as in the particular month, day and year that something happened.  Dates have always been important to me, specific pieces of time that mark my life.  Probably because I am such a planner and love living by a calendar.

To many people in the state of Alabama, today's date is one that they will forever reflect on because of the 62 tornados that ripped through and ravaged our communities two years ago.  I happened to be in Tuscaloosa facing a brokenhearted community while my family and childhood friends were facing the despair of our hometown in North AL.  Double whammy.  Thank the Lord that I did not lose any loved ones that day.  So many others were not as lucky.

Now this date holds even more significance.  This day, one year ago, I walked into Bender's Gym in Madison and met an adorable, intriguing boy that I would thankfully have the opportunity to get to know and to get to love.  And to be loved by.  I so needed to meet Richard when I did.  I was at the very bottom of my heart, 100% broken and, I would venture to say, depressed.  Depressed over someone that I had been trying to make myself get over for years.  I don't know about you, but I am a firm believer that we never really get over someone until someone else comes along.  Not a rebound, mind you.  Richard was not even the closest resemblance to a rebound.  He was my love.  He rescued me.

I remember leaving my interview with him, feeling light and airy, hoping that I didn't inappropriately flirt.  I will never forget that I got in my car, shut the car door, looked up toward the heavens and said thank you!  I was so thankful that I had the opportunity to interact with a nice, attractive guy.  On the day that I was rock bottom from heartache, God brought me to Richard.  I left Bender's and drove to pick up lots and lots of sushi to take home to satisfy my hunger that had grown over the last few days from not eating as much I should have been.  As I sat and waited on my to-go order, I totally pulled up facebook and started stalking Richard.  (And don't even judge me and act like all y'all don't do the same thing when you meet a cutie.)  At that point I could have never known the integral role he would play in my life and in my faith.  But God did.  He brought us into one another's lives for so many reasons.  I am eternally grateful for it all.  I miss that boy so much.  I am sure that I will never stop missing him, but I am hopeful that the sadness will subside and I will only be left with the good, the love and the lessons I learned from him.  He was a whirlwind in my life for the short time he was there, but I wouldn't change a thing.  April 27th will forever be a day that has forever changed me.

PS - according to the shelter I adopted George from, April 27th is also George's birthday!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY GEORGE!!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

You Just Want to Bash Your Head Against The Wall

Today I am spending my day recouping from a fantastic trip to NYC that I got to take with my mom, cousin and aunt.  It was perfect.  We frolicked through Central Park, ate dessert at the same cafe that Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks meet at in the movie You've Got Mail, SAW TOM HANKS IN A BROADWAY PLAY, got lost, had some intense taxi rides, took part in 92 cent cocktails at brunch while listening to a speakeasy band, took a three-hour walking tour with a precious little tour guide, stayed in an extremely interesting apartment (where the renter of said apartment had countless pictures of her and a blow-up doll framed and on the walls...but more on that later), saw Diane Sawyer, in-person, reporting live on the news about the Boston Bombers and entertained two Jesuit Catholic Priests over wine.  So, yea.  Perfect.

I finally got home last night around 9:30 and am so glad I had decided to take today off from work (so thankful for a job that provides a lot of vacation time).  People always say that you need a vacation after your vacation and that is such the truth.  I need a day to get my life back in order before I dive back into reality.

Last night, after my dad picked my mom and I up from the airport and I left their house, where my car had been parked, to drive back to my own, I had a mini breakdown.  I know what you are thinking.  WHY DID YOU HAVE A BREAKDOWN AFTER YOU GOT HOME FROM SUCH A GREAT TRIP.  Well, I will answer you.  I've realized that whenever I get the opportunity to do something fun and exciting that removes me from reality for awhile, I get on a social/emotional high.  I am able to distract myself fully. Even while constantly thinking of Richard, I am still able to remove myself from the feelings I have.  It's healthy, I think, to be able to go out and do these things and have a blast and just let it all go for awhile.  But inevitably I must come back to it.  And I want to come back to it.  I really do.  I love thinking about Richard and processing what has happened in the past 3 months.  And the moment I get 100% alone, just me, myself and I - that is when it all hits.

Not to mention that I had just finished (and by just finished, I mean JUST finished on the plane ride home) reading a fantastic book that, honestly, had more similarities to my recent situation than I'd like to admit.  The author is lucky that I love his writing and decided not to throw the book at someone's head as I faced some of these commonalities.  I am not going to give away the name of the book, just in case you have plans to read it and I don't want to ruin it for you...but anyway, when you read a book that talks a whole lot about death, the main character losing someone they love, the character losing that person that they love on January 11th (really?...really?  Seriously - what are the odds), and the mention of The University of Central Florida is there, too (where Richard went to school), you just want to bash your head against the wall.  And of course, all of these things are mentioned and unfold near the end of the book, all right there together.

This is one of those times that I kind of roll my eyes at God knew this was going to happen didn't you.  Are you trying to send me into a frenzy?  If I believed in coincidences I would say, HA - what a STUPID coincidence that I had to read this book now.  But I don't believe in them.  I believe it was just a cool, little Godwink that He sent to me so that I would have more tangible evidence that I am not alone in my feelings, thoughts and emotions facing the death of a young loved one.

He takes care of everything, big and small.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

You Never Know How Much Time You Will Need.

It is funny how memories come and go in our minds.  Here we are 3 months out and I am still recalling random moments and thoughts and things that were said, things I hadn't thought about in months and months.  One moment that I have thought about a lot was from Christmas Eve day.  Richard and I spent most of the day together, running errands and just being together.  We had to go pick something up from his mom at her work.  She was working on Christmas Eve even when she did not have to (those Gaiser women are warriors). 

Rich looked at his mom and said something to the effect of, "you're like the only person here on Christmas work too much."  His mom looked at him and said, "Hey - remember when you were in that really severe car accident (from his senior year of high school)?  You never know how much sick time you will need built up." 

Three days later Richard went into the hospital.  Two and a half weeks later Richard died.  His mom did, indeed, need that time.  I think back on that moment a lot.  Wow.  If that was not God speaking to us I don't know what else it could have been. 

I believe that the Lord is constantly, constantly, CONSTANTLY trying to get our attention.  Instead we run around with our to-do lists and complaints and worries and fears, a lot of times completely ignoring Him.  I think if we all take more time to slow down and meditate on thoughts and pray through situations, we will see Him working within us and through what He has set before us.  He is talking to us.  Do we ever sit down to listen?  To see the signs and see His warnings?

This is just another incident from my relationship with Richard that is still teaching me even though he is gone.  I would not trade our time for anything in the world.  The trials, the arguments, the goofiness and the romance.  None of it.  I want to keep it all, tucked away in my heart.  Errr, and in this blog for all of you beautiful people... :)

Tomorrow marks three months since Richard was taken from us. I expect it to be a quiet, reflective day, as most of my past 11ths have been.  I miss him every day, but peace always sets in and casts out sadness.  He is home with our God.  Sincerely living the life, footloose and fancy free. 

Makes me jealous.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Shake It Until We Can Shake It No More.

I am lying in my bed, thankful for a good, long, busy day, and super sore from the Zumba class I taught tonight.  Have I ever told y'all how grateful I am for Zumba?

Now, I know that I talk about it all the time, and joke about the fun I have teaching and love to tell funny stories about classes, etc, etc.  But, man - I am literally so thankful that God blessed me with the ability to teach it.  I never could have imagined how much of a positive impact fun, crazy, sometimes bizarre Zumba would have on my life.

But it is literally the one hour, that I can walk in a room and shed all thoughts of anything that has happened lately.  I get to see sweet participants that are excited to be in class and happy to see me (which is so rewarding and humbling...seriously).  It immediately helps my mood, no matter what it might be at that time.  And for one hour, we all get to just let loose and shake it until we can SHAKE IT NO MORE.  It's so fun.  Such a good workout.  A sweet time to get to know the people I have the privilege to teach.

And of course, we cannot forget the precious ties it has to Richard.  Don't remember that story?  See it again here.  I find it so encouraging to think about all of the ways Richard is still (and always will) touching my heart and teaching me new things.  His body is gone but his legacy lives on.

Thursday will be three months since that great guy went home to be with our God.  I wish I could explain to you how much longer it really feels.  Let me go ahead and ask that you start praying for his friends and family, if you do not mind, for a smooth and easy day.  Let me also let you know that all you beautiful people that have been praying so fervently are so wonderfully, magnificently appreciated.  I know that there is no way I could continue to move forward with a peace without the Lord working in my life.  Oh how He is using you!  If you ever, EVER feel inclined to let me know how I can pray for YOU, please let me know.  It would be an honor.

AND NOW.  Let me leave with you with one of my favorite songs and dances to do in class (and no, this is not a video of me...just want of my favorite gals to steal Zumba routines from).  Feel free to just dance around your room in your undies.  It is TOTALLY worth it.

Monday, April 8, 2013


A few weeks ago I got rid of my cable.  This is an attempt to save money and to save time and to spend both of these on more productive things, so don't you come knocking on my door to watch anything...except for Gilmore Girls on DVD (obviously).

Oh, but I have Netflix.  So really, while this has led to me reading more, it has also caused me to mull over which TV series I will start next.  Since subscribing to Netflix, I have watched seven seasons of How I Met Your Mother, and three of Parenthood.  When I run out I'm like oh my gosh what do I watch next?! 

Well let me tell you.  I recently had the GRAND idea to start watching Grey's Anatomy (I am in the minority here, I know, but I was never a big fan).  I do agree it is a good show; just kind of graphic.  But I watched the first three episodes and did not cry and did laugh.  But then all of the sudden - it hit me.  AM I TRYING TO COMMIT EMOTIONAL SUICIDE?!  Why would I do this to myself?  Why would I watch a TV show whose plot is primarily a hospital, when I am trying to ease myself away from so many painful hospital memories from recent times.  STUPID. 

So anyway.  Everyone just take a deep breath and relax and know that I am no longer committing emotional suicide.  After I came to my senses, I promptly switched to The Office and giggled myself to sleep. 

This is my life, friends.  This is currently my life.  But I am so blessed by my God.  He continues to show me His sweet plan for my life, even through times of tribulation.  Even when I get upset with Him and have a hard time trusting.  He never lets me go and He is patient with my silly stubbornness.

I hope you all had a great day.  Let us continue and go forth.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Help Us Stop Cancer.

Hi friends.  Not much going on here.  Have had a week of ups and downs...but mostly ups.  The downs come, it seems, because when I get sad about one thing, I get sad about everything that there is to be sad about.  It's normal, I suppose.

Many of you know that we have put together a Relay for Life team, called "Remembering Richard."  Thanks to my sweet friend, Stephanie for putting it all together.  Our event is quickly approaching (Madison Relay for Life, May 10th) and we are nearing our goal.  A goal that started out at $2,000 and has since moved to $3,000 since Steph realized this goal was actually attainable because so many beautiful people have donated; we only have a little left to raise! 

We would love to have your support, either by donations or joining our team (no commitment to walk all night from you...promise!).  Please see the link below if you're interested.

We also have two other outlets for you to help with our team and these involve shopping!  My wonderful high school cheerleading sponsor is now a fabulously, successful Thirty-One representative in our area and will be hosting an event at my parents' home.  Check out her website and event information at the second link below (click on her "My Parties" tab to shop specifically for our team).  Proceeds from the items you buy will be donated to us.

Another sweet member of my home community has teamed up with Steph and will be hosting a Stella and Dot event as well.  Her event information is listed at the third link.  Choose Stephanie Mitchell as the hostess.  This is an invite only event, but you can shop online! :)

Thank you all for your support, encouragement, prayers and donations thus far.  You are helping us raise money to fund research for cancer to help save more lives and birthdays. 

It is more appreciated than you can ever, ever imagine.

Relay For Life Team

Thirty-One Event

Stella & Dot Event