Another Missed Wedding Anniversary

In reading book upon book relating to grieving and the widowhood process, the general conclusion is for most of those with this pain and heartache, year 2 is far harder than year one with the absence of their spouse.  I can say undeniably that is the truth in my case.  It really hits home that he isn’t coming back.  Each holiday or birthday or anniversary that rolls around for the 2nd time is like a punch to the stomach.  Sounds dramatic, buts its the truth.  People seem to think that the widow is doing so well by year 2, because she is living and keeping the family they created together and functioning.  What really happens is those around us move on with their lives (as they need to do) and yet time seems to stand still for us with the gaping hole in our family.  So this year the boys’ 2nd Fathers Day without Doug here and the 2nd time our wedding anniversary came and went without Doug to celebrate with seemed extra gut wrenching.  June 21 is what would have been our 13th wedding anniversary.  I never dreamed that this would be what our anniversaries would consist of…Doug in Heaven, me here, looking through our wedding photo albums with tears of sadness. But that’s exactly how June 21 was this year.  2 days prior on June 19 was the boys 2nd fathers day without Doug.  So we visited and decorated Doug’s graves for these events.  The boys painted & weatherproofed their crosses for Daddy’s graveside for Fathers Day. I added the emoji balloon because they love emojis and also for our wedding anniversary.  I also added the You and Me sign which means so many things, the least of which is a favorite Dave Matthews Band song of Doug’s, that he would sing to me. And also added a new Auburn floral arrangement. We followed a UPS truck all the way to the cemetery entrance. 


Painting their graveside crosses, the UPS truck we followed to the cemetery, etc.


Happy Father’s Day Doug



PicMonkey Collage1

Thanks to a dear friend for editing these 2 wedding pictures. 

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1 More beach trip

I know I don’t blog as much as I should, but that is because I am putting my writing to better use for the present time.  I will discuss that in detail in a later post.  But as mentioned in my previous post, the boys love the beach.  They begged for another trip this summer so I quickly made last minute reservations so they could have their 2nd visit to the beach this summer before school started back.  I figured they deserved it, even if beach trips can be exhausting both physically and mentally for me.  There is still that part of me that dreams of moving to the beach.  Then vacations would not be as exhausting.  Because we would be living in paradise.  But again, the boys have already been through so much change in their short little lives.   So this time I booked us at the last place we stayed as a family of 4 with Doug (nowhere fancy, but we were at the beach so that’s what mattered), and we visited some of the exact same places and restaurants we did in that last family beach trip just 2 months before Doug’s murder.  More salt in the wounds of losing Doug.  So I know this is a short post but here are some pics from trip 2:



goofballs just like their Daddy



with their buddy Crinson


Hello rainbow



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Another Family Vacation…minus 1

We just recently returned from our 2nd ever beach trip without Doug.  It was equally as an emotional trip as the 1st, that happened last year.  I have said before, the beach holds so many memories, from vacations Doug would take with my family as teenagers, to senior week in high school together with friends, to many visits after, to our actual wedding, and then the visits as a family of 4 with the boys.  And facing facts, the beach is family oriented, especially where we stay.  So its like rubbing salt in the ever-present wound to go, but the boys love the beach, and I do in a bittersweet way, so we go.  And in that widow mindset where your life has ben flipped upside down and turned inside out, I almost dream of us living at the beach to have a new beginning.  The 1 major stipulation, our support system is 5 hours north.  And what a support system it has been over the past year and a half.  There are some who have stepped up and even put their own families 2nd to help myself and the boys and just typing that brings tears to my eyes.  And the boys have already been through so much change but the thought of virtually running away just myself and the boys is something that occasionally occurs, if I’m being truthful.  Not that it would ever actually happen, but still a thought.  So this post is just a quick one to say we survived.  When the boys wanted to go deep into the ocean, it is now I that goes with them, not Doug, their original beach playmate.  I videoed Braddock talking about boogey boarding without Doug and since Doug wasn’t there to help him he would have to paddle himself.  We are still surviving day by day, as that is all that we can do.


My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.  Psalm 73:26

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That Missing Piece

I know so much of what I write about is in regards to the boys and sports, but it keeps us busy and busy is welcome in our lives.  We are now finishing up our Spring season of baseball with an awesome team and awesome coach.  The Moody Pirates are at the top of the leader board with another team in our age bracket, and I am so proud.  This is why I am proud:

Braddock and Sawyer have no male figure working with them at home with baseball.  I’ll go outside and we will casually play but nothing like practicing for real (I can’t pitch to save my soul and I purchased a pitching machine that pitches too fast).  They also take no paid classes at any local baseball academy.  And not that I am knocking those who do. And not that I am saying that we won’t do that at some point.  But the fact the only practice they get is with their coach and team and how far they have come amazes me.  They both hit well with the occasional strike out.  In the batting line-up Braddock hits 1st and Sawyer hits 4th, clean-up.  They both do well with infield positions (again some mistakes, but they are just 6 years old).  1 game Sawyer hit 2 home runs in a row and brought in 6 runs.  Another game Sawyer made a double play defensively and offensively had the game ending hit (we won).  There are plenty of other stats to report, but I’m too busy being their cheerleader on the sidelines to keep up with it all.  I always say the have an angel in the outfield.  I know Doug is smiling at their improvement (again, they aren’t perfect, but we aren’t playing in the MLB either).  I can only imagine how they would have improved if Doug were still here to work with them at home.  They loved any time they could get with him, and they love being outdoors, as he did too.

And this brings me back to seeing all the dads at the ballpark with their sons.  That is still such a raw thing to watch at times.  A teammate asked Braddock just last night if my brother was Braddock’s dad, to which Braddock said in his sweet little voice “no, my daddy died and is in Heaven”.  I know its because their teammates are used to seeing myself and my mom and when there was finally a male figure at a game with them, it must be their dad.  But sadly, that piece is permanently missing from our lives.   Mother’s Day is a few short days away.  And the man who helped make me a mom is not here to celebrate.  I’ve said before that we weren’t big gift givers, but I know what Doug would do if he were here.  He would have them sign their cards to me, then take them to somewhere like Dollar General and let them each pick out something for me.  In years past I just took advantage of knowing what was coming my way,  and this will be my 2nd Mother’s Day where nothing will be coming because Doug isn’t here to help the boys.

This will never get “easier”.  It is just our life now.  Things like a lady backing her car into mine yesterday while I was pumping gas, and the 1st person I would pick up the phone and call would have been Doug, of course.  But that support is gone forever.

So, on a lighter note, here are some pictures from the boys baseball season (maybe some action shots in another blog post):




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Life update

Braddock and Sawyer finished up their 2nd season of playing basketball and went directly into their 8th season of baseball (If my math is right, though they are 6, I’m counting spring and fall seasons and all-stars).  It does not get any easier without Doug at their games, on the field coaching.  I still think of how happy he is in Heaven knowing how they’ve both improved in both sports.  Still plenty of room for improvement but I’m so very proud and wish I could share these moments with Doug.  I still have those thoughts that though he is in Heaven with our Savior, I wonder if he gets sad knowing how much he is missing being on Earth.  When I think about the future and everything he will be missing it is overwhelming.  And still unbelieving.  I still will walk into a room and randomly smell him and break down.  Knowing he is never coming home.

The boys know more about Doug’s murder than I had originally thought.  They asked questions the other night that I could not deflect and I chose not to lie to them.  They couldn’t understand why the bad guy wouldn’t just die alone and leave Daddy and Mr. Brian alone.  All tough things to talk about with 6 year olds.  I told them their Daddy was a hero and they will learn more about that as they get older.  I hope it softens some of the anger I already see brewing when they hear the story of that day.

They deserve to have their Daddy in their lives to be their male figure to look up to.  They asked me the other day if we could fish in the back yard.  Fishing was Doug’s love.  I don’t know anything about rigging a rod and reel with wire and hooks and bait.  But I guess if it comes down to it I will refer to my guide to doing manly things that Doug used to do, like unstopping drains in the shower, good old You Tube.

The boys also went to the eye dr for the 1st time where they were both told glasses were needed, which they were thrilled about!  They had been coming home from school with frequent debilitating headaches and their glasses are to help when doing classwork, computer work, etc.

I also recently sold my Jeep.  The jeep Doug and I bought when I was pregnant with the boys.  My 4 Runner was great but Doug insisted I have something new with no miles to drive our new family around in.  Thankfully it went to a family that I know and I feel better about it no longer being in my driveway.  Doug’s friend Jason helped me in the selling process as that’s normally something Doug would handle.

So now we are about to get full swing into baseball season with our ballpark family.  Planning another vacation to the beach, without Doug.  I don’t see that getting any easier either.   The boys have a school field trip coming up that I know Doug would have loved to be there for.  HE was a big kid at heart.  In a couple of months the boys will graduate from kindergarten and be moving on to 1st grade.  Yes, life keeps moving. And I’m thankful that I am here to see it all.  I’m just missing the other half that’s supposed to be standing by my side through it all.

at the boys fun run at school:



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I wish I had written this

And its perfect (I took a few things our that don’t relate to me but otherwise I could not have written a more accurate description of life now):

“My days consist of waking at 5.30am to my 2 year old daughter wanting to play. I get out of bed for her, feed her, cloth her, entertain her with cartoons for 30min while I take time to sort out my head for the day. Is this really happening? What can I do today to feel close to you again? How can I keep you alive? Then I force us out of the house to do something fun, cause what I’ve learned from loosing the love of my life so fast is that yes life is way to short and nothing should be taken for granted.

Most days that I’m not at work we go to the beach, or search for fairies and giants in the enchanted forest. We have adventures. I visit close friends that knew my partner well so I can share in stories with them. I love talking about him. I have found since his death I am no longer as close to my friends but more his friends cause they knew him better and I feel like I can talk about him more. I no longer have the care or energy to listen to friends whine about their minor life issues, insignificant problems really when you look at the big picture. Its true that you have no idea what someone is going through unless you have gone through it yourself and in our case I wouldn’t wish this grief and loss on any innocent soul. No one understands unless they have lived it themselves. Don’t talk to me about your problems unless they are real cause I no longer have the strength to care about anything other than just getting through the day.

… I love talking about him, don’t feel awkward, it helps me in keeping his memory alive. Its very important to me. I still think of him every second of everyday… People don’t like depressed people. Its a sad fact and so eventually when you think its been long enough and I should “get over it” or “move on” but I haven’t you will get over the friendship. Ill tell you this now, I will NEVER get over this loss, no matter what you think, do or say the pain will never end and the longing will never go away. I will learn to live with it and carry it for the rest of my life but I will never get over it.

Let me try to explain this loss, its almost impossible. Lets begin at the start of the day, you wake alone in the bed you shared with your love, you cannot reach over to hold them or kiss them good morning or just watch them while they are sleeping. They are no longer there and never will be again. You do not get a good morning smile, touch or gesture of any kind you wake up alone when previously you woke everyday with the love of your life. Then you get up to shower, there are no more flirtatious perverted comments from your partner as you walk naked to the shower. You can no longer feel them watching you with want or lust. There are no more cheeky glances or watching them brush their teeth while you wash your hair. No more fighting over hot water or sharing the shower together. No more intimate moments in the bath room, no one to hand you a fresh towel if you forget to grab one. You are all alone, you still use the same body wash they used just so you can have their smell for a moment. There is no more brushing your hair in the mirror and your love grabbing you from behind and kissing your neck. There is no more yelling out “hurry up babe we are going to be late” or hearing “you look so beautiful when you first wake up”.

Then you get dressed alone with no one there to give you an honest opinion on how your outfit looks. Not that you care anymore as there is no one worth dressing up for, just yourself, his clothes still hang in the wardrobe and you look at them and wonder what he would be wearing today if he was here. You take a shirt in your hand and lean in wishing for his smell to still be there. Some times it is and your so grateful, other times you cant find it and you miss him even more. You put your make up on for no one but yourself. So you can hide your tired eyes and let your friends think your doing well “oh your so strong” they tell you, you agree with them but want to scream “No im not”. You make a coffee for yourself in the last coffee cup that your love used, you now use that same cup every morning. You can remember vividly the last morning you had with your love. You wish for them to come back for the 6th time since you woke. You ache for them to come back.

You don’t bother with breakfast because you have lost your appetite since they’ve been gone and your lucky if the fridge has anything in it but food for the kids. You don’t bother feeding yourself anymore unless you feel like your going to pass out. You look at the cereal brand your love ate and think of the last time you went grocery shopping with them. You remember them placing the cereal box in the trolley. You miss making them breakfast, you miss them leaving a bowl full of milk on the bench for you to clean up. You miss watching them play with the kids before work. You miss the house being full of noise, joy and laughter at 7am. You feel guilty that you are not the same fun energetic mum you were before. You make promises to yourself you will play more with the kids but then you cant think of anything but your love and your overwhelmed with sadness.

You get the kids in the car ready for day care or school and you drive to drop them off. In the car a song might come on that makes you cry or you might turn the radio off cause its to hard to listen that day. You drive past places you went to all the time with your partner. The service station, McDonald’s… etc, they all jog memories, you wish again that your love would come back. You wish they were in the car with you, just how they had been when they were here. There are no more conversations about work or chores around the house. No more talking about the future or plans for the weekend ahead. You put on a front for the kids and interact with them in the car while your in a constant daze with thoughts of your partner running through your head. You look to the empty passenger seat beside you and picture the last time that they were in the car with you, you miss them. You hope that they are sitting next to you in spirit and you talk to them. You hope the next song that comes on the radio is a sign from them. You see people as you drive that look similar or are dressed similar to the way your partner dressed and for a second you think its them. You drop off the kids and wish they were there to say good bye to them. Now your alone in the car alone with your thoughts and you cry. You talk to your loved one and ask them why this has happened. You never stop thinking of them for a single minute.

You go about your day with them on your mind constantly, sometimes still checking your phone for messages or missed calls from them. You wish you could call them but you cant. You look through photos and watch videos of them when your alone and try to escape this new reality. You wish it was a nightmare. You go to places searching for them, but they are not to be found. You are consumed with grief everyday. You call a friend to visit so you  can have some distraction from your thoughts and end up talking to them about your love for hours trying to keep their memory alive, trying to feel close to them again. Everything you do is a reminder of time shared with them. Just walking through the grocery store or getting a coffee from a familiar place. You hold back tears because your in public. Sometimes though its to hard and so you put your sunglasses on. You try to smile, try to live cause you know that’s what they want. Its not always a fake smiles and fake happiness but they are never not on your mind. Sometimes you find peace remembering fun times with them and sharing those stories with others. Those are the good days.

The difficult days are the ones that you don’t remember them and don’t get to share those memories with anyone. You know your all alone now and its scary. No one understands what your going through but your thankful to those who try and to those that don’t try to make little of your loss. You try to do things that you did together or as a family but there is something missing, its not the same and never will be again. The void will never be filled. You do new things that you haven’t done before and find yourself sad because they are not around to share in the moment with you. You wonder if they would be happy, sad or angry by the choices you have made since they have been gone. You try to explain yourself to them and hope they can hear you and understand. You wish you could hear their voice.

In the weeks after your soul mate dies you realize that everyone else has their own lives, their own families and they move on. You meanwhile are stuck, with all your future plans that are no longer possible. You know you must let go of those hopes and dreams but its a never ending battle. You wish you could turn back time. You wish this wasn’t the end, you don’t understand why or how this could happen to you. You cant fix it but you wish someone could. There is nothing anyone can do or say to ease the pain.

At night you dread going to sleep because you don’t want to go with out them…When I do go to bed, usually very late I hope that I may dream of him that I may see him, talk to him and touch him… You’re exhausted and you lay in an empty bed holding his shirt… You make deals with god to see them again you talk to them and beg them to come back. You tell them you don’t want to do this without them. You ask them for a sign they are near. You tell them they cant leave you, but there is no coming back in the physical sense and it just hurts. You long to feel their touch and have their arms wrapped around you once again. You think of the way they use to kiss you and brush your hair as you fell asleep and kiss your forehead. You say “I love you” you cry for them, you cry yourself to sleep. You wake during the night several times and search for their shirt, its become like a child’s comforter to you and you can not sleep with out it. You look around the room for them or listen for footsteps but there’s nothing. You wake after just a few hours to do it all over again.

You exist to exist. Take one day at a time as they roll so quickly into each other. You have trouble making future plans because they are not here to share in it. Holidays and birthdays are hard cause you want to celebrate with the person you love the most. Its been many days since I last laughed with him, kissed him, heard his voice, smiled at his smile, felt his heart beat, tasted his breath, felt at home in his arms and stared into his beautiful eyes.

We, the ones left behind live day to day holding strong in the face of others for our children, family and friends. Know that we will never get over it or move on, don’t push us to do so cause you will only push us away. We will never forget the love we shared with our partners or the future that we had planned. We will forever keep them alive in our hearts and each breath we take we are taking one for them.

With a heavy heart, love and sympathy. Thank you for reading, Love Kaiti”


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V-Day. sounds so similar to D-Day.  It is a day that I dread.  A day that is celebrated with spouses and date nights and small tokens to show love to one another.  It is my 2nd V-Day without Doug.  Before the boys were born Doug and I would rent a cabin in Gatlinburg and spend Valentine’s Day in the Smokey Mountains (we did this for about 5 years).  We didn’t always go out and buy big gifts in our 17 years of V-Days, but its been said that in a relationship every day should be celebrated as such.  To show each other your love on a daily basis.  Then the boys were born and my Valentine’s grew from 1 to 3.  And now that number had dwindled to 2.  And I am forever thankful for those 2.  But would do anything to have Doug back to celebrate with.  So instead of a low key Valentine’s Sunday this year at home with all 3 of my loves, I will celebrate with a hole in my heart.  I have ordered my own chocolates since Doug isn’t here to bring me something.  I will visit his grave this week and have a date with him there.  I miss every single thing about him.  The good and the sort-of bad.  The comedy and the long hours at work.  The love and pride he had for his family.  I still hear stories of him doting on his family daily to others.  Pulling up pictures on his cell phone to show the latest pics of the boys or a silly video he recorded of them.  Good gracious I still miss his silly texts throughout the day, a common one being 143, short for I love you.  So 143 Doug.  143 Forever.

1 Corinthians 13:7  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

This was us in Gatlinburg Valentines 2009, our last visit before the boys were born:1931404_53228316181_5243_n

These 2 pics were from a Valentine photoshoot of the boys (the pic with Doug was a behind the scenes shot):

This past Friday was the Mother/Son Valentines Dance at the boys school, and here are a few pics from it.  :


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