Tuesday, October 25, 2016

October 25th...

This date on the calendar since 2007 is always a struggle for me.

Let me explain the best I can.  I don't talk about this ever so my thoughts will probably be jumbled at times.  On October 25, 2007, I was finishing up my long stretch of work at both of my jobs.  At the time I worked two jobs, one in clothing retail and one at a law office in downtown Minneapolis. 

Once I finished working for the day, I was going to join some friends from seminary to hang out for a bit and then head back to my apartment to pack for my long weekend off of work for a friend from seminary's wedding that Saturday.

Unbeknownst to me, that same day, my new friend since the 4th of July, Katherine Olson had been lured to a crazy person's house under the pretense of a nanny job from Craigslist.  She was found the next morning having been shot in the back, shoved in the trunk of her car, bled out in an empty parking lot.

I did not find out about any of this until a few days later.

I was getting ready to drive to a meeting for the trip to the Holy Land I was going on through Luther Seminary in January 2008.  I was to pick up my friend Veronica on the way so I called her to figure out what time she wanted me to pick her up.

That is when I found out.  I mostly remember thinking "this can't be happening".  But it didn't take me long to understand what she was saying to me.  I sat in my car numb for a while and once I could convince myself to move again, I went inside my parent's house and said in monotone what Veronica told me about what happened to our friend Katherine.

My dad showed me the paper and there she was.  My friend smiling back at me.  But she was gone.  It took a while for it to compute.  When it finally all hit me, I was at the Fireside Apple Orchard just outside of my hometown with my mom and I completely fell apart.

The next few days were a blur, completely numb.  I know I cried a lot.  I went to work at the law office but called in at the clothes store and got off until Thursday.  But mostly it was like watching myself go through the motions but feeling nothing.  I stared at nothing a lot and tried not to cry at work, especially the Monday after when it was the hot topic of the office.

I wanted to scream and cry, but I also needed to hold it together.  It was for a long time one of the worst weeks of my life.

I spent a lot of time with people who were also grieving Katherine's loss because they were going through it with me and I with them.

How do you talk to someone about something so horrific, the murder of a friend, family member someone you know, who hasn't gone through it themselves?  So for the most part, I don't talk about it.

I don't talk about the misery and pain of October 25th - October 31st.  It doesn't help to talk about the horror of it, the evil way many of us lost our friend Katherine.

Instead, I think about the day I met Katherine, on the 4th of July a few months before her death.  She was asking me if I was dating anyone and I answered that I wasn't.  I said I had no interest in dating someone from seminary, especially someone who was going to be a pastor.

She laughed and said I bet you will end up marrying a pastor and having kids.  I said back, yeah right, never going to happen.

It's funny to look back now at how prophetic this conversation was.  I am married, to someone who is a pastor and we have two amazing boys.  These are the things I like to remember about Katherine.  Her little Facebook private and public messages of encouragement when I posted that I was having a rough day.  Those things are what I choose to remember about my friend most of the year.  Only during this week does the horror show it's ugly face and I am taken back to those dark days.  When it gets really bad, I make myself remember our 4th of July conversation and give my husband and boys extra hugs.

One other thing I think about is how people can form strong bonds when faced with such tragedy.  Not long after Katherine's death, I joined a small group of women to do a book study on the book Velvet Elvis.  Most of the ladies participating were acquaintances or friends of Katherine.  These women will forever be an important part of my life.  I love them like family even though we don't see each other anymore either do to distance, schedules or other reasons.  But the ladies in that group helped me heal and I will always be grateful for them.

And so today I quietly mourn the loss of my friend Katherine after 9 years of her being gone.  I know we will meet again, but until then I will carry on and live life to the fullest as I know she would be doing if she were still with us.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Sleep Deprivation and Sesame Street

Last night my oldest son slept like crap.  So today is another sleep deprived day.

He is emotional about everything.  He is set off by the smallest noise or action he deems threatening to his control.

He spent over 30 minutes in hysterics because his younger brother was scooting around the dining room in his walker and then rolling around on the floor.  This is nothing new but as parents my husband and I have decided to let our oldest freak out so that our youngest can get some good exercise daily and learn to get around on his own.

My oldest has control issues stemming from his speech issues and years of health issues.  He had RSV when he was 6 months old and since then a variety of health problems have appeared and made his life hard.  One of the biggest was delay of verbal communication.  Another one is constipation and he just recently in the past month had his tonsils and adenoids removed.

With all of his health issues, he has developed control issues on certain things, mostly these days dealing with his brother being mobile.  But unfortunately for our oldest son, he is going to have a hard time for a while as we allow our youngest to move around more.

We are hoping that as he sees his younger brother being mobile throughout the day, he'll just stop caring and it will just be part of normal daily life.  Hopefully this happens sooner rather than later.

After being in hysterics for almost an hour before lunch and throughout most of lunch, our oldest has finally calmed down.  Our youngest is napping and the oldest is watching Sesame Street calmly.

There is nothing like a little Sesame Street "Learning About Numbers" to relax a sleep deprived kid and momma after having a rough morning.

I pray daily that our oldest son is one day healthy and happy like the other kids he spends time with.  He is better than before he had his tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy, but there is still a long way to go before he can be considered in the average health range. 

For now this sleep deprived momma and our oldest son are going to watch Sesame Street some more and maybe I will sneak in a quick nap while my kiddo is distracted.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Random jumble of thoughts...

Ever since I decided to try being a blogger again, I have had a lot of random jumbles of thoughts on what to blog about.

In my I'm back post, I wrote that I was going to blog about whatever was on my mind that day or at the time I sat down to type.

Since then, I have been musing about possible themes to blog on.

On idea I came up with is to blog about the scripture passage in my daily devotional.

Another idea was that I start another year long blog that I update once a week to show my progress.

I started doing a weekly gratitude challenge, but had to stop because I was in a really low place and couldn't fake feeling gratitude at that time.

Or I can just stick to my original plan and blog about whatever comes to mind when I feel the urge to post a blog update.

So many options to choose from.  I haven't fully settled on what I am going to do yet for the rest of 2016, but have some great ideas that I will share in my next post for 2017. 

I mostly just blog for myself anyway, but if I do have any followers out there, stay tuned for more updates as I figure out this whole blogging sphere all over again.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Transition is Not Easy...

Transition is never easy.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is foolish and lying through their teeth.

Transition with kids is even harder.

Almost two months ago my family packed up our stuff and moved from Fairfield, MT in north central Montana to Montgomery, Minnesota in southeast Minnesota.  We took four days to travel and during that time both of our kids got very sick.  A mix of stress and allergies to dust and pollen.

The one who took the move the hardest was our oldest son.  He is 4 years old and it was a very traumatic experience for him.  When he gets extremely upset he still says he wants to go home and I know he means our house in Fairfield.

He is getting better with the move though and is getting into a good routine here, especially now that he has started speech therapy again at the local elementary school.

Our youngest is handling the move well.  He will be 11 months old on October 30th. 
My husband and I are still working on getting settled.  So much has happened in the last two months that we haven't truly been able to get our bearings.  Well at least I haven't yet.  I can't speak for my husband.  The craziness of the last two months is a post for another time.

The emotional, mental, and physical stress of moving across country and then jumping right into a new work and life schedule with no real time to get our bearings was probably not the smartest thing my husband and I have ever done, but we are getting better at going with the flow in our new setting.

Our new church and overall community has been very supportive and welcoming to all of us.  I do miss many things about our former home, mostly the people. 

That is what makes transition so hard.  You miss some things about where you were but there are great things to come in your new situation.

And the nice thing about living in our time is that we can keep in touch with the people we had to leave easier and cheaper than ever before.  A text, a Facebook message, a Snapchat or even an email.  For those who still enjoy old fashion pursuits, a handwritten letter or post card every once in a while us the way to go.

Transition is never easy, but it leads us on new adventures in life, sometime wonderful, sometime bad, most of the time somewhere in between.

I personally am looking forward to feeling less like I am in transition and more comfortable in my new home, town and church in the days, weeks, months and years to come.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

I'm Back.......

After a long hiatus from blogging, I have decided to try it again.

I have found that I use it as more of an ideas, thoughts, journal rather than what most bloggers do, which is to pick a topic and stick with that topic.  They become an expert on that topic and share their knowledge with their blog followers.

I am more of a blog what is on my mind at the moment or blog about something that I have been musing about kind of blogger. 

At one point, I thought about trying to make money by blogging.  It didn't work out so well.  But nevertheless, I continued to blog my thoughts and even spent a year blogging about living healthier.  That was fun to do and it kept me on track towards my healthier living goals.  I am working on doing it again for 2017.

There are so many blogs on the internet.  What would set mine apart from anyone else's anyway?  At this point in my life, not a whole lot.

I could blog about my parenting adventures, or life as a clergy spouse, or politics or history topics I am knowledgeable in that I would like to share with others.

But I think I will stick with my wandering thoughts, ideas and knowledge on various aspects of my life and if someone who reads my blog gets something out of it, I call that a win.

Blogging is harder than I ever thought it would be.  It is hard deciding how much I am willing to share about myself, my inmost thoughts.  It is scary and freeing at the same time. 

I have been inspired to blog again by reading several friends' blogs. 

I have no set agenda, no topics picked out before hand.  I will blog whenever I feel like it and about what is on my mind at the time.  It will be random and wandering and reflect my true thoughts. 

Needless to say, I'm back folks!

Now I better go see what my very quiet 4 year old son is up to.