I Can Imagine

Brother with my baby

Have you ever heard someone say, I can’t imagine what I would do if I lost my child, my parent, my sibling?

Many people can’t imagine or what they imagine is painful. But it actually happening to you is much more painful.

I can imagine because I have lived through something just as awful. It is the blackest hole you will ever be in when you lose someone very close to you.

When my co-worker says “I can’t imagine,” when I tell her my relief that my son was incredibly lucky to not be working out with the weights when a drunk driver plowed into a building he was in. I can imagine exactly what I would do.

I would fall to the ground in disbelief.

I would be driven to the hospital in a utter state of shock. The 5 mile drive would feel like a 5000 mile drive.

I wouldn’t be able to sleep for months.

I wouldn’t be able to drive without bawling my eyes out for months.

I wouldn’t be able to shower without bawling my eyes out for months.

I wouldn’t be able to be alone with my thoughts for more than a few seconds without thinking of him and bawling my eyes out for years.

I would wish for just 5 more minutes to tell him how much I he meant to me.

I have witnessed the incredible pain that parents suffer when they lose a child. While your life eventually goes back to a resemblance of normalcy, that pain is always there, just below the surface, waiting to reignite at the slightest mention of him.

I want you to only have to keep imagining because what it actually feels like is so much worse than what you can ever imagine.


Why I Feel Lucky

Guardian Angel Cartoon

My family  has been incredibly lucky over the past year. I know it is hard to believe that I would say something like that after losing my brother, my grandpa, my uncle, the unexpected death of my grandma’s sister, and the four year old son of a cousin in the past six years. Honestly, it seems like it has been much longer than six years when all of this tragedy started…

I can still hear the swish of my uncle’s wind pants coming down the hallway at work, my brother’s boisterous and infection laugh, and the my grandpa barreling down the hallways at work not caring if we are in an important meeting or on a phone call.  At the time, these little interruptions would sometimes irritate me as it meant a break in my work but now I miss these interruptions tremendously.

My first brush with death was when I was pregnant with my daughter when I was 18 years old. My grandpa who had suffered through years of heart conditions, lung issues, eventually died of cancer of the lungs that was detected when they did his autopsy. He was too young, just 61 years old. He was sick for so long but he held on as long as he could. My daughter was born just a day before he would have turned 62 about 10 days after he passed.

So why do I feel lucky? 

I have so many guardian angels watching over my family, which has been apparent in the past year as we have narrowly escaped numerous additional tragedies. I like to think that one of all of my passed on loved ones are watching over our family.

Recently a drunk driver plowed into the building my son was in. They normally are in the exact spot in the back of the building doing workouts where the drunk driver completely immersed his entire car into the building. The exact spot. There was eleven teenage boys in that building that day that would have been there had not one of the kids had a jammed finger. Instead, the instructor decided to adjust their workout so he could participate, which meant no weights at that time.

My oldest daughter, just having her license for a few months, was involved in an accident where she was hit on her driver’s side. She walked away with no visible injuries.

Another child was a witness to a crime last summer, which for legal reasons, I can’t divulge at this time. Let’s just say, thank God, she was just a witness and not the actual victim of the crime. Sometimes made her run away before she could be victimized.

When I think about how many times that we could have lost my brother before his untimely death, I believe we are incredibly lucky he survived as long as he did. The umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck at birth.  When he was about four, he almost drown in my grandparent’s pool, riding his trike into the pool and being submerged during a family gathering. He rolled and totaled a van the very first day he received his driver’s license, escaping complete injury for him and his unbuckled passenger. Then there was the time that he was trying to outrun the police and instead of shooting him dead, an older officer had a feeling that something possibly wasn’t mentally right with him and urged the trigger happy younger officers to use non-lethal force. He escaped death that day by just being tased and pepper sprayed. On a side note, he always told us being tasered was much more preferable to the pepper spray.

When you think about all he went through and those are the just the incidents that I actually know about, there are possibly others, I feel incredibly lucky that he made it to 28 years old.

Maybe, just maybe, one of my passed on loved ones is watching over my children, which is not just luck, it is being cared for and watched over…I like to think that though…and if so, my family is definitely giving them a full workout.

Grandpa Tom

grandpa tom and billie

If you knew this guy (Tom Turkey, Uncle Tom, Tommy, Tommy T, Get ‘er done Tom, perhaps a few that we won’t name, and to me – Grandpa Tom)…you would know how great of a guy he was! Always the entertainer, willing to help anyone out who needed it without asking for anything in return, he was a friend to those who had no friends, he was a hard worker, and all around cool guy to hang out. As young kids, Tabitha, Billie, and I spent a lot of time as the oldest grandchildren at grandpa and grandma’s house. We lived close enough that we could ride our bikes over there as we got older.

These are some of the best childhood memories.

I’m actually surprised we survived some of the things we were allowed to do! “Oh, Nan, let them have their fun,” he would say! Even if it meant jumping off the roof into the pool or working on some kind of mechanical thing that we were clearly not qualified to operate or whatever the case may be (though, I’m not sure I ever really did that one!)

Some of our fun activities: Spray painting, mowing (while he supervised the activity the entire time!), driving the duster down the runway way before we had driver’s licenses, playing in the camper, creating our own garden in the greenhouse, playing in the shop, cleaning the shop, cleaning the duster, looking at his airplane, discussing all the conspiracy theories, and so many many more!

So many Grandpa Tom stories where he helped someone out or said something that made you laugh….as I have received so many of them in my inbox, Facebook, and via text. He was one of those unique characters that comes around once in a lifetime. Anyone who met him, always remembered him. He loved entertaining us, even during these past final days.

Our family is not the most expressive family about our feelings as often you would go in for a hug and either get a handshake or a pat on the head but we knew that grandpa loved us and cared about us because he wanted to spend time with us and teach us how to do things (right). He used to always call me on my birthday…he called me using my extension at work several times to talk to me about things all on his own – which completely surprised me, and was a regular visitor at the office – though, he didn’t mind if you were in the middle of a business meeting or a phone call! 🙂 He was often the winner of the JA award (those of you in the family know what that stands for!) but he always kept life interesting for those around him.

After all the years of helping everyone else without asking for anything in return, we were finally able to help him the final weeks of his life.  He was very appreciative of the all help and allowed us to help him when he was unable…and really we all felt so helpless.(A tommism – We? What do you mean we. You got a mouse in your pocket!) When I think back on that time and the past few years in general, it has  shown me how important family is and I’m lucky to be part of such a close, loving, and fun family.

I will miss him dearly and things do not seem quite right without him telling us how to do something the “right” way! A few more Tommyisms:

So what do you think, Bri?

Get ‘er done.

Watch, watch. We?

You got a mouse in your pocket.

We’ll get ‘er.

<insert anything> DOT COM

Ah, we will finish it tomorrow.



Sofia Cheer

I wasn’t for Cheerleading.

But little girl hadn’t “played” any sports since baseball. She was feeling left out.

The cheer schedule was easy. Most practices were during Club hours. The games were every Saturday at 10:45 a.m. Easy!

She had so much fun and was the loudest of all the cheerleaders!

From the Mouths of Babes: What Does Death Feel Like?

Most days I’m able to “fake” it through the day.

I stil have those days where I just want to curl up in a ball an die.

Am I suppose to pretend to be happy?

It was just a few months ago that the one person I grew up with DIED. Am I am just suppose to pretend to that it never happen? that he never existed? that i wasn’t some how part of what happened to him.

I miss him every day.

some days it is easier than others to pretend. but it is a struggle every single. day.

especially on days where my youngest child asks me…

“i wonder what being dead feels like.”

“Dont you mommy?”

“No I don’t.”

“I don’t know want to know”

well, sometimes I do wonder.

what does being dead feel like.

Indianapolis Indians Game in July

I’m amazed how quickly this summer is passing us by. Most of the spring and summer was consumed with what sometimes seemed to be endless evenings of baseball. While fun, it did make the time fly by.

Since we obviously didn’t get enough Pee Wee or Travel Baseball this season, we took the boys to a Indianapolis Indians game with FREE tickets Bryan won at a golf tourney.

It was hot. I mean hot. Did I say hot?

Like feels like 104 hot.

We did have a slight breeze.

The team gave us a good show. The game was tied 4-4 at the end of the ninth inning. It was fun but not so much fun that we were going to stay all night.

I’m not even sure how the game ended up. It doesn’t matter. What matters is we had fun family time with the boys!

But I must conclude with this funny story.

As we were walking back to our car, we passed the White River Gardens concert. OAR, whoever they are, had performed for the evening. We witnessed a very overly intoxicated woman being pushed in a wheel chair to her car while her husband had a talk with the police. Apparently, it was the talk of the concert.

How embarrassing for her.

Grave Site Flowers?

After dropping my kids off at golf camp this past week, I decided to take advantage of my quiet time and go for a quick walk. The city park is just a few minute walk from the golf course so I decided to go that route. Which, I forgot winds right around the cemetery.

Of course, I teared up as I walked by because it made me think of my brother, who I miss every day. However, it made me think about the flowers and other objects people put on graves. I’ve never been one to take part in this ritual, even after my grandpa, uncle, and cousin’s son died. I’ve never felt a connection to a grave site.

In the past, I thought maybe there was something wrong with me that I didn’t feel a need to do this. Or maybe I didn’t feel enough of a connection with those family members I’ve lost in the past to feel the need to do this. I’m still not feeling it even though I’ve lost one of the closest people to me.

I still do not get the action of putting flowers and other objects on a gravestone. If it makes people feel better or feel they have a connection, then so be it. I just don’t want to be judged because I don’t feel it.

I just don’t feel that connection to this place. The place where he is in my heart and my thoughts. Every single day, I still think of my brother in some way. It doesn’t make me a cold person to not feel a connection with his final “resting” spot, right?

WWBD? (What Would Billie Do?) Well, Billie used to drive by Grandpa Bill’s grave site and honk and wave.


So What, I Cry Everday.

At some point everyday, I cry.

Don’t ask me what’s wrong. Just assume it is from the loss of my brother.

Because when you ask me what’s wrong that makes me cry even more.

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