Thursday, June 30, 2011

Through the eyes of a 3 year old

This morning as I was driving to work, Kaitlyn's sweet little voice broke the silence. "Mama, how did Woody get to Heaven." She caught me off guard and at first, I didn't really understand the question. I asked her what she meant. She repeated her question. I explained to her that Jesus is very powerful and was able to get Woody to Heaven. She couldn't quite wrap her 3 year old mind around it. I couldn't quite wrap my 30 year old mind around it for that matter. She then asked me, "Mama, how did Bubba get to Heaven." Wow! Deep! I told her that Jesus took care of Erik after he got hurt on his 4 wheeler and that when Jesus said it was time, Bubba reached up and grabbed onto Jesus' neck and Jesus carried him into Heaven. I realized that I probably had her all confused, but I really didn't know another way to explain such a thing to a 3 year old.

I remember the morning I found Woody. Kaitlyn wanted to see Woody. I told her that she couldn't because Woody was in Heaven. Now imagine being a 3 year old - she could clearly see Woody's body laying in the garage. She had this look of pure confusion on her face, but since she didn't say anything else, neither did I.

Kaitlyn continued to ask me how different animals got into Heaven. She wanted to know if Jesus took dead "fishy's" to Heaven. I answered yes and then she wanted to know how. I just told her that Jesus was that strong and powerful that he took care of all the people and animals that had died.

What she said next almost made me stop the car, get out and scream at God. In her most serious voice, Kaitlyn tells me, "Mama, I want Jesus to come get me so I can see Erik."

My precious 3 year old daughters should NOT know what it's like to lose their brother and have to question how people and animals get to heaven. They are too innocent and should NOT have to worry about things that are so deep. Conversations like this with them make me so mad that Erik is gone. It's just not fair. It breaks my heart to see them yearn so deeply for their brother and I can't do a damn thing about it. They have no memory of Erik being here with them. All of their memories come from pictures and videos and the things we tell them about him. THAT IS NOT FAIR!!!!!

This new life that I have to live is NOT fair. I want my old life back!!!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hey! It's ok Thursday!

Got this idea from a fellow blogger who got her idea from Glamour. They have a section called Hey, It’s Okay and will list a bunch of things to be okay about...... Enjoy!

- It's ok to only like Robert Pattinson as Edward and not himself.

- It's ok to let my girls have chips and only chips for dinner. I know it's not healthy, but hey, it's ok!

- It's ok to be slightly addicted to my smartphone. It could be worse.

- It's ok to indulge in Moose Tracks ice cream almost every night.

- It's ok to to be happy that the Gamecocks won the College World Series. Even though I am a Tiger fan!

Wordless Wednesdays


2 weeks ago, I heard on WSSL (our local country station) that they were giving away tickets to have a Meet & Greet with Brantley Gilbert. I waited for the time to call and crossed my fingers that I'd actually get through. I've called this station a million times in hopes of winning something and have never even gotten through. Well, the stars must've been aligned just right because I got through. But that's not all - I was also the correct caller!!! I couldn't believe it! Brantley Gilbert was in town for Willie Nelson's Country Throwdown and was making a stop at the WSSL studios beforehand to do an acoustic concert for 12 people. Kyle and I were so excited to be included in that 12! We got to the studio and waited for BG to get there. He sang 4 songs, signed pictures and took pictures with each person there. BG is so laid back and country! He's from GA so it was nice to meet a "hometown" famous person.

Anyway - here's the 2 of us with BG. We're cracking up laughing because he was standing on his tiptoes to be as tall as I am. Actually he and Kyle both are!

We went and did the meet and greet with BG and then it was time for the Throwdown with Willie. Me, Kyle, Shannon, Jess, Whitney & Mo had a blast. Although I'm pretty sure that Whitney & Mo probably think that I'm a little crazy! What can I say - a little too much to drink and I get a little sideways!! LOL

Here's the group after the concert was over. I sure wish I remembered having this picture taken!!!

Now - onto today. I had heard on the radio that they were doing a contest for Zac Brown Band tickets for this weekend's concert. I decided I would make sure to listen this morning and give it another shot at winning. Once again, I got through and was the correct caller! I was ecstatic. I didn't care what I had to do, I was going to win those ZBB tickets! The name of the game was Brain Freeze. Me and another caller had to go back and forth until one of us couldn't come up with an answer. The topic was "things you find at a baseball game". Since the other caller was a guy, I kinda felt my heart sink because I felt sure he would know more things than me. WRONG!!!! I whooped his tail and won me those 2 tickets to see ZBB!!!!! So, come Sunday afternoon, Kyle and I will be making the drive to Charlotte to enjoy a free concert! I can't wait!!!!

Oh and BTW - I will be playing the lottery tonight. I've never played, but with the luck I've had in the last 2 weeks, I've gotta give it a shot! Who knows, maybe my next blog post will be "I won the Powerball!!!" Pfft - one can dream right?!

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Woody is our 7 year old chocolate lab with the crazy ear. I bought him for Kyle when we first started dating. Kyle had just lost his other dog, Jake, and made a comment about always wanting a chocolate lab. I found a breeder and not long after that, we went and picked out one. That trip was just supposed to be a look and see, but we ended up bringing the cutest brown dog home. We bathed him and just loved him up. He slept in the bed with us that night and I knew that Kyle was in love with him.

Who knew that labs grew so much so fast! It wasn't long before this 15 lb. puppy became a 50 lb. dog. He was the clumsiest pup I had ever seen. He continued to grow at a rapid pace and it wasn't long before he looked more like a brown bear than a chocolate lab. He was Kyle's shadow. It didn't matter who was around, if Kyle was there, you could forget it - Woody was stuck to him like glue. He obeyed Kyle and was a damn good dog.

After Kyle and I started having 2 legged babies, our 4 legged babies got pushed to the back burner - as most animals do when babies arrive. We lived in an apt. and there was no way to have 2 dogs and a brand new baby in a 2 bdrm. apt so Woody went to live with Kyle's brother so he could have his space. We finally found a house with a yard and Woody couldn't have been happier to be back with us. The next 2 moves were to places where Woody wouldn't fit in, so when we moved this last time, Kyle made it known that Woody was coming to. I agreed, although worried about not having a fenced in yard. We've lived in our current house for over a year and there hasn't been the first time that Woody even got remotely close to the road. He's just that smart. Woody sits patiently every day waiting for Kyle to pull up. I swear this dog has the best hearing. He can hear Kyle's truck from over a mile away. You'll know when he hears him because he sits on his hind legs at full attention and has this look in his eyes that is hilarious. He gets so excited when Kyle gets home.

I can remember Kyle taking Woody for rides in the truck. It didn't matter how many times Kyle went in a store, Woody would always sit patiently and wait for Kyle to come back out. He never tried to jump out and he never went crazy when Kyle left his sight. (Annie on the other hand - well, she's a completely different story!) I remember Woody LOVING to ride in the boat. He loved it! One trip in particular stands out to me - We were taking Erik for his first boat ride, which also happened to be July 4. We went to Lake Secession and watched the fireworks. Kyle decided to take Woody. I thought it was a bad idea, but in the truck he went. We got to the lake and Woody enjoyed every minute. He laid at our feet and didn't bother us the first time. The fireworks were going off like crazy and were quite loud, but Woody could've cared less. He was just happy to be on the lake with his Daddy.


On to present day. Woody has been sick for a while. We initially thought that he was severely overweight, but after cutting back on his feedings and the amount of food he got, we noticed that his belly was still huge. We noticed weight coming off, but his belly never seemed to shrink. He started having a really hard time getting around and had began hacking and having a hard time breathing. We knew that we needed to get him to the vet, but because we knew it would be expensive, we pushed that to the back burner and just played a waiting game. Over the last 3 weeks, Woody has moved around less and less. He got to where he wouldn't even bat an eye when Kyle got home. He just remained under the bushes at the porch when anybody came over.

The last week has been especially rough on Woody. We've been having some pretty rough storms and since Woody isn't the bravest dog of the bunch, he'd always take off for the garage at the slightest sound of a storm coming thru. I knew Monday night when he was no where to be found during a pretty brutal storm that he was nearing his last days with us. I had talked to Kyle about taking him on to the vet regardless of how much it costs just to see what our options were. He didn't have time to make the appointment. Last night as I was outside with the girls, Woody came walking up and just looked awful. His eyes were sunken in, his breathing had gotten worse and the skin on his back and neck was just hanging. I couldn't tell that he hadn't eaten in days. The girls noticed flies were swarming around him and when I went to inspect, I found that he had pooped all over himself. I knew in that instant that he wouldn't be with us much longer. I gave him some love and just rubbed his head until he decided he had enough and went to lay in the garage where the cool cement floor would cool him off.

I continued to check on him the whole time we were outside and when Kyle got home, I told him that Woody wasn't doing good. He went in the garage to check on him and Woody wouldn't even raise his head up. Kyle immediately broke out in tears. My mom and nephews came over and they told Woody goodbye. The girls kept wanting to check on Woody as well and Kaitlyn kept telling me that she loved Woody and wanted to know why Bubba needed Woody in heaven. Total heartbreaker! Another storm came up and just before I went inside, I went over to check on Woody again - his breathing had slowed down, but I assumed it was because it had cooled off since the weather had cooled down. I patted him one last time and then went inside.

As I was leaving for work this morning, I went in the garage to check on Woody - something I've done for the last 2 - 3 weeks. I noticed immediately that he wasn't breathing. The closer I got, the stronger the smell of death got. I reached down in hopes that my eyes and nose were deceiving me and patted Woody on his head. Sure enough, he had passed away. He was already starting to get stiff and the smell was awful. It was semi-dark in the garage and I couldn't tell if he had been foaming at the mouth or if he was bleeding, but there were some dark marks around his head. It broke my heart to walk back to my car and tell the girls that Woody was in heaven with Erik. They had a million questions, but it didn't really sink in until I told them that Woody wouldn't be home when we got there this afternoon. Sienna instantly said "Bubba and Woody are having a fun time in heaven." That's when I lost it. My girls have experienced more death in their 3 short years than most adults do in a lifetime.

I called Kyle and told him about his first "son" and he said he would come home shortly and take him to be buried. I can't imagine how hard that must've been on him. I asked him if he needed me to come home and help, but he said no. I figured he would need some alone time.

I'm so thankful that Woody is no longer in pain, but it sure is gonna be weird without him at home. He was a good ole' dog and will be missed greatly.

RIP Wood-dog 7/17/03 - 6/23/11

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Tomorrow a wonderful man will be celebrating his 83rd birthday. Tomorrow will be the 2nd birthday he's spent with Jesus instead of here with his family. Tomorrow my husband will put on his usual happy face and go about his business because that's what men are supposed to do. Tomorrow I will console my husband because I know he's a broken man and misses the only daddy that he's ever known.

He didn't get to tell his Daddy "Happy Father's Day" and now, less than 3 days later, he'll have to say a quiet "Happy Birthday" as he looks up to Heaven.

Papa - I hope you have the best birthday ever tomorrow. Oh and if Erik asks to blow out your candles, let him. He only had 5 earthly birthday's and I know how much it would mean for him to help you celebrate. We love you and miss you so very much!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Forgetful....sort of

Geez, I get so caught up in reading all of the blogs that I follow that I always seem to forget that I have my own blog. I'm always thinking of things that I'd like to write about, but when I get in front of the computer, I'm pulled to reading other blogs instead of writing and keeping everyone up to date on my own blog. Oops - oh well. My life isn't that exciting anyway!

Yesterday marked 19 months without my sweet Erik. As usual, I've been trying to keep myself busy so that I can't dwell on what will never be, but there are some days where that is ALL I can think about. It breaks my heart knowing that I'll never make a new memory with Erik.

On Monday, I went over to my mom's to gather up the remainder of Erik's things to bring to our house. I've got a chest full of stuff that I'll keep forever and don't want anyone messing with. I also have a box full of stuff that the girls can wear if they choose to when they get older. I brought all of his "cool" shirts and hung them in his closet for them to wear when they got bigger. But as I was getting their clothes out yesterday morning, they spotted all of their Bubba's shirts and had a fit wanting to wear them. I didn't give in yesterday because I wasn't ready to see anybody wearing his clothes just yet. They asked again this morning and I just couldn't turn them down when I seen how excited they were about wearing some of his clothes. Sienna picked out a shirt with balls on it and Kaitlyn picked out a shirt with a helicopter on it. Erik loved wearing those shirts and it made me so happy to see them on someone instead of just hanging in the closet.

The girls have been full of questions about Erik lately and I LOVE answering all of their questions about him. It makes me so happy that I'm getting to basically tell his story. Since the girls were just over 18 months old when he died, they don't remember much about him. All their memories come from the thousands and thousands of pictures I've shown them of Erik. They don't remember him being here physically playing with them and that breaks my heart. Yesterday as we were driving to school, Sienna got on the subject of clothes. She said that she wanted to put long pants on when we got home. My mind immediately went back to August of 2009 when Erik would tell me the EXACT same thing while I was taking him to school! He HATED wearing shorts because he knew that meant that he couldn't wear his cowboy boots. That boy and those cowboy boots!!! Anyway, I told Sienna that she sounded just like her brother and she wanted to know why. I proceeded to tell her that Erik did the same thing and always wanted to wear "work" clothes. She thought it was hilarious and they both continued to ask me about other things that Erik loved to do. They couldn't figure out why Erik use to use our dog's dog house as his bull. They thought that was a funny story! Of course, I still laugh when I think about him doing that too! What 5 year old child would think to use a plastic dog house as a bull?!?! Only Erik of course! That's just like the time he used a piece of plastic pipe as a weed eater and would walk around with it saying "weed weed weed". He definitely wins the award for the best imagination!!!

Anyway - I am still finding it hard to believe that Erik is gone. It doesn't seem like it's been 19 months, but at the same time, I feel like he's been gone a whole lot longer. I find myself remembering stuff and having to write it down because I'm so very scared of forgetting even the tiniest detail about him. I'm constantly having to look at his pictures because I feel like I'm forgetting what he looked like.

His birthday is coming up in September and I've started making plans for how we'll celebrate it this year. Last year, we had everyone bring 6 balloons and 6 memories of Erik. This year, my SIL suggested we do 7 of his favorite things. I loved the idea and I'm trying to decide which 7 things would make Erik happiest. I dreaded his birthday last year and this year, I'm actually looking forward to it. I've accepted that he's not coming back, but I'm still determined to give him the best birthday's ever!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


I had every intention of writing a blog, but as I sit here and look at the blank screen, I can't get the words to come out. Today is June 1st. Kaitlyn and Sienna are another month older. I'm one month closer to celebrating a birthday for my son who isn't even here to blow out candles. Erik would've been 7 in just a few short months. I've been thinking about what kind of celebration we'll have for him this year. I've got some ideas and I know it's going to be great, but I would really like to have him here. With me. Celebrating. And yes, it's been 18.5 months since I said goodbye and it still doesn't seem real. I'm waiting for him to jump out of my closet and say "surprise". If only.

I've been trying to stay super busy when I'm not working. It seems that being occupied physically keeps my mind from wandering to far off places and questioning life as I know it. Memorial Day on Monday marked the unofficial start to summer - Erik's favorite time of the year. Of course, he would've been swimming since April probably. Cold water doesn't bother kids like it does adults. I can imagine Erik at the lake with us. Riding on the boat. Fishing with Kyle. Swimming in the lake. I know that he would've loved it. He lived in the water during the summer. He went from being terrified of the water at the beginning of the summer to barely coming up for a breath by the time summer ended. He never took the first swimming lesson and was a damn good swimmer. I'm proud of myself for teaching the how-to's when it came to swimming.

Memorial Day weekend is also Catfish Feastival time in Ware Shoals. Another thing that Erik loved. He looked forward to it every year. He loved hanging out with his cousins and riding the rides until he couldn't ride anymore. He especially loved the race car ride. He made a b-line for the 48 every single year. He didn't like riding in any other car because he was a die hard J.Johnson fan just like his Daddy (GAG!) I thought it was ironic this year that the 48 sat empty the first few times the ride was operating. Well, I take that back. It might have been physically empty, but I know a certain brown - eyed boy who was loving every second of his favorite ride.

Anyway - I'm just in a blah mood. Work is slow and it leaves me with entirely too much time to think. Thinking is bad for a person like me.