Thursday, September 30, 2004

Happy First Anniversary Lesley and Billy!

I received this photo from Lesley, just in time for their first anniversary! Congratulations again, you two.

Lesley is Kathy's daughter, and Billy is.... Billy! :)

(photo taken September 30, 2003)

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Fair Button 2004

This is the latest in the button collection. Now there are 18 total in our collection.

As you all remember, the State Fair was one of Andy's all time favorite can't miss events...I think he would appreciate this year's memory token!!! :)

(Yes, Kathy... his CLAW!)

This years stars: Shelby, Me, Arthur, Victoria and John Henry.

I sent this photo to all our friends the night it was taken. I received the following sweet email from Pammy:

" ...How awesome is that?!?! Tradition holds it all together! What wonderful memories you are making for the kids! are my hero! "

I will admit... our family is a bit unconventional! :)

I have always hated the American tradition of being afraid to acknowledge our deceased loved ones. So, we talk about happy times with their dad, funny memories... and even sad times. Keeping up the fair button tradition was made a bit easier by the fact that we never had the same people in the buttons every year, so there was no feeling that Andy was being "replaced," or forgotten.

Interestingly, my kids now talk about Arthur's late wife Sue like she is a friend of theirs. I guess she is, just one they never met.


Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Then and Now


It was winter. We had been hit by a huge ice storm just a few days before Andy left us. The trees for miles around had their limbs broken and frozen.

That was me. Broken and frozen.


It is summer. The trees have mended, the leaves are abundant. But, under the greenery there are scars in the bark, and new bark over the broken limbs. The scars are forever there, but amazingly they have made the trees stronger.

That is me. With scars...

yet stronger.

Wednesday, September 8, 2004

When blending two households into one...

...there are so many things to consider! Then just when things begin to fall into place, more things crop up that I never would have dreamed of.

Financially we decided it was best for Arthur to move into what has been "my" house. Suddenly, "my" house has to be "our" house, or Arthur ends up being a second class citizen where he resides. We plan on selling this house and purchase an "our" house, but it will take a bit of time to get this place ready to go on the market.

So enter new issues that did not occur to me until we moved Arthur's things here. Such as... how will the kids react to him in what used to be Daddy's spots? Not to mention how would I react? We solved some of those problems by having me taking over the empty spot at the table, and Arthur taking my spot. We are redecorating and changing the bedroom, and I now have what used to be Andy's everything... side of the room, side of the closet, side of the bed, everything. (Brand new everything, by the time we are done, by the way...)

Then there are financial issues. Inheritance issues. Family boundary issues. And issues such as: what constitutes "junk," and what are "treasures?" What kind of treasures are appropriate to keep, anyway? Personal space issues. Unresolved issues in our past relationships. (Naturally, even both of our happy previous marriages had every day type problems.) On top of that, there are the normal issues that face all newly married couples.

There are ongoing grief issues. We both have them, and we understand, but it can bring additional pain to our hearts out of empathy. We might experience an occcasional mild stab of jealousy. Things that don't even make sense, like regretting we will never have each other's child, like we need more kids or something!!!!

It is hard work, but it is worth it. Oh it is so worth it! I am still one thousand percent sure that we made the right decision.