November 20, 2013

Dear Jen,

Today is your 42nd birthday.

We made brownies to celebrate but the day was strange and it didn’t happen.  Daydream went down for his nap and never woke up and now he is still sleeping and I’m sure I will see him at 4 AM like I did when this happened last week.  I have no idea what the fuck is going on with him.  He wakes up too early, refuses to go back to bed, is exhausted all the time, and is testing every ounce of my patience and limits.  It is driving me fucking crazy.  He’s a sweet little boy and I love him dearly but I do not like to be around him right now becasue he makes me so fucking mad and I cannot control my rage.  It is awful.  I know I need to chill and just let it go or ignore him but it is so hard.  I guess my own sleep deprivation isn’t helping.  We are caught in an ugly, vicious cycle here of being exhausted and quick to anger and it is a complete fucking mess.

Anyway, back to you.  Sunshine made a celebration from her little kitchen cupcakes and ice creams and we sang to you.  I gave her a little brownie square but I abstained because I’m trying to do another Whole30.  I’ve had such an awful day though, Jen.  I thought it would be ok, it’s your birthday, a day for more contemplation but really just another day.  And maybe at another time that would have or could have been true.  But all of the shit that I’m dealing with has made it impossible for me to have a good day and today was no exception.  Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.  I yelled too much and cried in the bathroom when Daydream stuffed a bunch of toilet paper down the toilet and overflowed it.  Sunshine came up behind me and touched my leg and said Are you crying Mommy?  as I stood in the bathroom with my face in my hands, sobbing.  Do you want a hug? she asked. I knelt down and gave her a hug and thanked her for making me feel better.  She said she understood, that sometime she felt that way when her toys break.  She’s such an amazing kid, Jen.  They were both really excited it was your birthday today, excited to sing and eat brownies.  I can’t remember how we celebrated your last birthday you were alive but I’m sure it involved cake.

My little Monkey is walking now and is so damn cute but shit, he is going through some awful stuff right now with his teeth and I am so stabby because of it.  After we sang to you, he clapped and smiled then played the drums on the table.  He’s a joy if I could just get his sleeping under control.  Of course, I have no control over that and that is what makes it so tough.  He ends up in my bed most night just so I can get some fucking sleep and not sleep sitting up in the rocker which is just awful.

So tonight I held out until after Mom and Dad left and all the kids were tucked in then I thought ugh, fuck it and ate half the pan of brownies.  Today is your birthday and you are dead and you know what?  Fuck the Whole30.  I’m going to fucking eat brownies and drown my sorrows in food today and satisfy the receptors in my brain that are crying for something to make it better.  Tomorrow is another day.

I miss you.  I talked to Ash today and she sounded good.  I miss her too.

I’ve been having an awful time lately and I wish so much that you were here.  I need to talk to you so badly.  I’m going through this all alone and I wish I had you to lean on.  I miss hearing your voice.

You are in my thoughts constantly.  Not just every day but so many times during the day.  My heart aches to have you back.  It is so lonely without you.  These days I feel like a ghost of myself.  I feel so joyless and defeated.

I love you and miss you each and every day, always and forever.

Love, me.


November 6, 2013

Dear Jen,

I’ve been thinking about you.  Just been so damn busy and tired.  Too tired at night to write all the things I mentally say to you during the day.

Tonight I was thinking about all the people we’ve lost in our family.  Mom’s mom and dad.  Uncle Michael.  Dad’s mom and dad.  I wonder who is with you, wherever you are.  I want to know although I understand it’s not for me to know, not my time yet.  The uncertainty of it all overwhelms me sometimes.  It is so difficult to try and explain to the kids the whats and whys of death.  They are so young and innocent, precious little beings with the whole world in front of them.

You were young too, the whole world in front of you.

I just…see, here we go.  I sit down to write to you and all I can stammer out is how much I fucking miss you and wish you were here, how lost I am without you and when is this going to get better?  I don’t feel like my body has been sliced open anymore but I do feel so lost without you.  STILL.  How many years before I don’t feel lost anymore?

I want to ask Dad about his dad but I’m afraid.  I’m scared to make him sad about losing his dad so young.  He was just a boy.  I’m so grateful to have Dad here, I can’t imagine having to navigate my life without him.  That is what he had to do when his dad died.  But I feel sad because I know so little about our grandad.  Maybe someday I can see him?  It’s all so confusing

A couple of weeks ago I was thisclose to burning my house down.  I turned on the oven and totally forgot about it.  I left the house for 2 hours after taking the kids to school and totally fucking forgot I had turned on the oven to cook the sweet potatoes inside it.  Fuck Jen, when I remembered I was only a few blocks from home and I ran as fast as I could, convinced that the house was going to be in flames and that my husband and dogs would be dead.  I flung the door open and knocked the dog down, literally, because she was standing there waiting for me to come inside after hearing the garage door open.  I don’t know why but the oven malfunctioned and had turned itself off, probably minutes after I had initially turned it on.  That happens occasionally and it is so annoying but this day it saved everything.

I went back out into the garage where I had left the baby in the stroller and leaned against my car, panting, my body slowly filling up with fear and I was overcome.  I didn’t cry but everything was cold and I all of the sudden felt there is a god.  Or a guardian angel.  Who really knows what saved my life by not incinerating half of the most precious part of my life.  It’s a mystery, one I can’t ignore.  Perhaps it’s time for a deeper look at the whole thing.

Not 3 days earlier I waited longer than usual to cross the street in the crosswalk after I had the light and that pause kept me and my kids from being run over by a car whose driver ran the red light because he was looking down at his cell phone.  He just blew right through the light after it had been red for at least 10-15 seconds.  I just stood there on the sidewalk, watching this happen, thinking that I should have been in that exact spot with my stroller and kids.

I feel eternally grateful to have you watching over me.  I wish you were here though.

I miss you each and every day and I love you always and forever.

Love, me.

Letter—6 Years

August 25, 2013

Dear Jen,

Well, today is here.  6 Years.

I just wrote a bunch of shit about how much the last week sucked because the kids and I are all sick but I accidentelay erased it.  Probably a sign to quit my bitching.  I’m going to try to be more positive overall.  I don’t know if I have always been a downer–I’m kind of serious and don’t laugh that much.  Whatever the case, I want to be sunnier.  I will do it, not only for me, but for you too.  Since you are not here to live your life, I try to do the things I know you would.

This 6th year without you is a weird one because I’m now your age when you died.  I can’t help but think, each and every day, about dying.  What if I was dying?  (This goes directly against being sunnier, I know.  This is all in my head though, so no one hears about it.)  How could I go through my days knowing they were coming to an end?  At the end you did know.  You said hospice but died a day and a half later.

Last night I counted the number of days between today and your birthday.  88 days.  Then I counted back from my birthday 88 days until I landed on the day I would die if I was exactly your age.  Morbid, I guess.  I don’t know.  I just felt like I NEEDED to know what day would be my last day on this earth to be exactly as old as you were when you died.  Because now, the day after that day, I will officially be older than you ever were.  And I will keep going up, up, up until the day I die.  You will always be my older sister and I will always be the younger sister but 88 days before my birthday I will eclipse you in this life.

That has been really hard for me to accept.

I don’t want to be older than you.  I don’t want to reach all the milestones you never got to.  I just want you back.

All my days take me away from you.  They take me away from everything and propel me into my future with my family.  It’s a great life but fuck fuck fuck I wish you were here to be a part of it.  No matter how amazing and happy and exquisite and joyous my days will be, your absence will always loom.  I’m not 100% anymore and I never will be.  I love what I have and miss what I have lost.

I love YOU too, each and every day, always and forever.

Love, me.

Letter—-June Gloom

June 21, 2013

Dear Jen,

It is still June.  Two letters in one month, wow.  I’m so tired and busy these days, only taking care of the bare minimum to get by each day.  I have no time or energy for all the extras like going through 4 months worth of pictures or 3 months of receipts.  Ugh.  The backlog is getting to be too much.  You know when it’s so much you don’t even want to start?  It’s overwhelming how much I have to do.  So I just leave it alone.

Anyway, your baby is here visiting and it is fun.  She spent the night the other night and we sat on the couch together watching some Disney show.  I want to ask her so many questions Jen.  Do you miss your mom?  (That one seems silly but who knows.)  Do you ever talk about her with your dad?  What do you remember about her?  But I think she’s too young right now.  I don’t want her to feel like it’s bad or wrong if her answers aren’t what I hope they would be.  And I certainly don’t want her to feel judged.  I’ll wait until she’s older.

She is good with my kids and I know she would have been a good big sister.  She is kind and patient (for the most part) and they love her.  She is also a neat freak and keeps cleaning my house.  I won’t complain, somebody’s gotta do it.  She has been a huge help though and I will be really sad to see her go.  Only one more week.

I’m feeling lost and overwhelmed lately.  I want to be better than this and I’m trying as hard as I can.  Some days I just don’t have it in me to try and I take the easy way out, then I get angry at myself for not being better.  One year into this three kid thing and I feel alternately awesome and unprepared.  Little Monkey is so damn cute.  I mean, just the cutest, sweetest little thing there is.  I count my lucky stars often for him.

My birthday is coming up.  This year I will turn the age you were when you died.  You were a few months away from your birthday when you died so I have a little ways to go before I eclipse you in that respect but it is coming up quick.  I was trying to figure out exactly when I will be as old as you were when you died.  I will have to count the days.  For some reason I need to know what day it will be when I that exact age.  Then the next day I will be one day older than you and so on and so forth until I die.  You will always be my older sister and I will always think of you as older than me but the sad truth is, I will be older than you soon.  I hate that.  I hate everything about that.

Do you come to me often?  I don’t know.  I’ve talked about it before, the funny smell that I have no idea what it is or where it comes from.  Is that you?  I like to believe that it is, it makes me feel a little better.  Otherwise, what could it be?  It is so mysterious.  Over a year and a half since I saw the medium and I still haven’t listened to the recording.  I’m alternately scared and confident in my memory of our conversation.  I’d be interested in going again to see what happens.  Someday.

I just…sometimes, like right now, I can’t get the words out.  They are stuck with the lump in my throat.  I miss you so much.  So fucking much.  It is awful.  I don’t even know what else to say.

I love you always and forever, each and every day.

Love, me.

Letter—It’s a Strange Kind of Feeling

June 6, 2013

Dear Jen,

June is upon us.  My big babies each had birthdays last month, turning 5 and 3.  My Sunshine asks for you often, saying she wishes she could have met you and how sad it is that you died before she got a chance to know you.  I know sweetie, I say.  I feel the same way.  It IS sad.  I’m not going to lie about that.  It’s very sad that you died.  I think about that every day.

This eye thing is so fucking annoying and I really need to vent about it so here I go.  I’m so fucking pissed about it.  I’ve been all over the place, seeing doctors, taking tests, only to receive a diagnosis whose treatment is forcing me to stop breastfeeding.  I found out Tuesday that tonight will be my last night.  I’m so angry and sad.  I’m also really scared.  I love that time with my little Monkey so much and I’m really unsure of how to recreate it.  It is all we have known for these 11 months.  (Side note:  11 months!)  But really, I just love sitting with him on my lap cuddling me.  He gazes up at me and puts his hand on my face and lately his feet too.  He plays with my moles and sometimes pulls my hair.  His two bottom teeth are starting to poke through and he has taken to biting me the past few days so I guess I won’t miss that.  I’m mostly mad about people saying, Oh, you’ve gone this far, you should be proud of that, look at the start you gave him, etc.  True.  I just don’t like having it ripped away from me so suddenly.  It’s about more than just the caloric intake from the breastmilk.  I want to fight it but I can’t.  The alternative would only hurt everyone in the long run and I don’t want to do that to our family.  The sadness is kind of overwhelming and I have to push it down or else I will burst into tears at any moment.

That being said, tomorrow I have to get a needle stuck in my eye and I’m not paying any attention to that part at all because I feel like if I do, I am going to freak out about it.  So I’m pretty much ignoring that and being all la la la, no big deal, needle in my eye, no problem, I got this, doctor says I need an eyeotomy.  Ha ha.  Kind of like when I was in the MRI machine and I opened my eyes and then almost had a panic attack.  I had to focus on my breathing and put myself in a happy place to make it through after that.  I’m just trying to breathe and focus on my happy place right now.  My beautiful almost 11 month old son is crawling–fast!– and he is amazing and adorable with such a sweet temperament.  Everyone who sees him or meets him always says what a happy baby he is and how good natured he seems and they are right.  I am so fortunate.

My Daydream’s hair is long now and so curly on top.  It is beautiful with his bright red color, I just love it.  He has such a cherubic face and sweet yet devilish way about him.  I love the way he kisses and hugs me.  I don’t love the way he throws toys at Sunshine and his temper flares.  Watch out when he gets angry, I’ll tell you what.  Yikes.

I’m feeling a little better now.  Thanks for listening.  If you were here, I know you’d listen to it all, so writing to you feels like an extension of that.

I love you and miss you every day, always and forever.

Love, me.

Letter—What Eye See

April 10, 2013

Dear Jen,

I have been feeling melancholy lately.  The weather is gorgeous, bright and sunny and breezy and spring is wonderful.  On the outside all is well but inside something is brewing.  I like to keep my sunglasses on so no one can see how blank my eyes look.

Speaking of my eyes.  A few weeks ago I stared noticing that my right eye was being crazy.  I literally thought I was going insane.  Everywhere I looked I saw what looked like a reflection of the ceiling fan–kind of like a sun spot after you stare into the sun.  It was making me twitchy.  I finally went to the eye doctor who said I’ve got some thing that is probably no big deal but she wants me to get a MRI so she can see behind the eye, just to be sure.  You know, to make sure there’s not a tumor back there or I didn’t have some kind of mini stroke or something that would be causing my optic nerve to be all wonky like this and disrupt my vision.

On the whole I am not that concerned.  I think it’s probably nothing and I am not one to get all worked up over things in advance.

But last night I was doing the dishes and thinking about what if it is something.  Something really bad.  Like, what if I die.

I was momentarily immobilized, my chest so tight I could barely breathe.  Thinking about leaving this world, leaving my babies…my sweet little babies.  They are my everything.  Especially my little Monkey who would be too young to remember me.  And my Sunshine who would be old enough to remember me and miss me.  My little Daydream, right in the middle, old enough to remember but would he remember enough?

I often wish to see you again.  I think about what I would do for that.  If I had to step forward and leave this all behind…I know my answer Jen.  I would step back.  I can’t leave.  Not yet.

You did have to leave all of this behind.  Now your baby is ten years old and has a step-mom and refers to them as her parents.  My Sunshine asked her during a recent phone conversation where her mom was–YOU–and she said She’s in Heaven.  Just like that.  You are gone.

I love you and miss you and would do just about anything to see you again.  I will have to wait because I cannot give this up.  I love them too damn much to walk away from them.

Not really comforting but good to know where I stand on all of this.

You are always with me.  I love you and miss you each and every day, always and forever.

Love, me.

Letter–Reading You

March 15, 2013

Dear Jen,

Today I did a thing, something I don’t ever do because it hurts too damn bad.  I went into the folder of my email with your name on it and read every single one.

There aren’t more and I think there should be.  I wonder to myself why.  I am a serial deleter, though.  Wish I’d saved more.

I read them for a long time while my little Monkey slept in my lap.  My heart was beating so fast and I was filled with so much sadness.

There are so many days when I wish I could turn to you; every single day I have the thought of needing to talk to you.  You are always the first person I think about reaching toward and my mind goes blank when I realize you are gone.  Who else do I reach for?  I turn back to myself.  There are so many things I want to share with you and you are gone.  Sharing them with others doesn’t feel the same.  Sometimes I feel like I’m on the edge of a black hole.  It is just me, no one else, empty and alone.  My thoughts are my own, they stay with me; without you, they remain a whisper on my lips.

I wonder if you are watching me.  When you are watching me.  Do you see my good moments?  Are you with me in my bad ones?  I want to be strong for you and show you that I can try and do this, that I can live without you, that my front is strong enough for everyone to see, my pain and sadness far enough away from the surface that they can’t.  If I let it up, I will surely crack.  This year will be six years, six tiny ripples in the rest of my life.  I have never missed anyone so much before, never wanted anything so badly as to have you back, here with me.  I haven’t wondered WHY lately but right at this moment, I do.  WHY.  Why you, my sweet, beautiful sister, keeper of my memories.

I read the emails and could hear your voice.

I love you and miss you each and every day, always and forever.

Love, me.


February 25, 2013

I should rename this blog “Letters to My Dead Sister” because that is what it has turned into.  I’m okay with that.



January 1, 2013

Dear Jen,

Ugggg.  I have such a heavy heart.  I wish I could talk to you so badly right now.

Today my Daydream wanted to wear a particular pair of socks but I told him that I could only find one.  No problem, he chose another pair.  In my mind I remembered how I had put various socks in the wash a month or so ago and about 4 of them did not come out.  4 pairs of socks missing a mate!  Craziness.  Our machine has eaten socks before and only been found when the repair man took apart the machine to fix it and found them inside.  So I knew that was where they were but figured we would probably never see them again.  Then, as I was taking out a load of the kids’ laundry tonight and sorting it between baskets, what did I find?  All 4 missing socks!

I can’t believe that is just a coincidence.  Instead, I choose to believe it was you.  Why you would choose to fish my children’s missing socks out of the depths of our machine is beyond me but I’m glad you did, so thank you.  I don’t think I believe in coincidences all the time anymore.  Maybe sometimes, but some crazy shit has happened that makes me think it something else.

How would the medium have know the thought that went through my head right before I walked out the door to go see him?  I didn’t say a word about it to anyone.  Yet he repeated it to me almost verbatim.  He said you were there with me in that moment and I believe him.  I choose to believe because it makes sense to me and it makes me feel less alone.

Please take my prayers to you and use them well.

I love you and miss you each and every day, always and forever.

Love, me.

Letter—New Years 2012

December 31, 2012

Dear Jen,

Tonight is December 31, 2012.  Another year without you is coming to a close.

I am sitting at the kitchen table, coloring pictures for the kids with their markers and thinking of you.  God I miss you.  Some days it gets easier and some days, not so much.  Today is one of those not so much days.

I don’t have a whole lot to say.  I just want you to know that I am thinking of you and that I miss you so very much.

All my love, always and forever.

Love, me.


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