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5 years ago today I laid my husband to rest.  At the age of 32 I had to plan a funeral.  I had to pick out clothes for him to wear.  I had to pick out a casket.  Who would perform the ceremony.  Flower, no flowers.  Constantly asking myself, what would he want?

I thought my world was over.  The day Patrick died, I had had my heart ripped out of my chest, and I didn’t think I would ever be able to feel anything but pain again.

Everything made me cry.  The radio.  TV.  Smells.  Buildings.  I hated leaving my house because I knew that no matter how quick of a trip it was, I was going to end up sobbing at some point.

I had to focus on helping my kids through their grief.  I knew how to help them, I’d lost my father when I was 14, just a year older than my son was.  I knew what they needed.

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5 years ago my husband and my best friend took his last breath.

5 years but I can still remember everything about that day.  The week after that is a blur, but that day will forever be etched into my memory.

This last month has been insane.  On Feb 19 I rushed Billy to the ER because he was having chest pains.  They admitted him to do a heart cath.  This showed blockages but also damage to his heart.  On Feb 22, they did a quintuple heart bypass.  Yes 5!!

The doctor came out to tell us that surgery went well and that his heart was already beating so much better than before surgery.  Later that evening Jazzy and I got to go in to see him.  He was joking with her and trying to talk me into taking him home.

The day after surgery he was doing good.  He was sitting up, talking, and told me the doctors told him he’d be home before his birthday (March 1st).

That afternoon he was in quite a bit of pain so they gave him some morphine.  Sometime between the and Friday night (approximately a 24 hour period) his heart threw off a blood clot.  This blood clot then broke up into smaller pieces and they all went straight to his brain.

On Saturday 2/25 they did an MRI that showed he had around 30 small strokes.  By themselves they wouldn’t have done much, but as many as he had, they did a lot of damage to his brain.

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ds01029_ ds00519_im04140_mcdc7_dilatedcardiomyopathythu_jpgWhere to begin.  I haven’t talked much about the guy I am dating.  The guy I’m planning on marrying.


Last week we were excitedly planning our camping trip in May.  5 days of camping, fishing, and spending time with a lot of my family.


Then Sunday, all that changed.  Billy was cooking breakfast for Jazzy and me.  One minute he was fine and the next minute he couldn’t figure out how he got into the kitchen.  Then when he went to pick up the ketchup bottle, he didn’t have control over his arm to do anything but let it swing.  Then as he was walking into the living room, he was walking like he was drunk and stumbling.

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Lexington, Kentucky
13626591_10206852963346525_8797700057161787986_nRobbie had his orientation at the University of Kentucky July 11th and 12th.  While he was at orientation it gave us a chance to explore where he will be living for the next 4 years.

The UK college campus is beautiful!  Unfortunately I was dodging college students so I didn’t get any pictures, but I plan on changing that next visit.

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The 2nd day of orientation, the parents were treated to a VIP breakfast in the VIP lounge at the stadium.



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wildcat statue

Robbie with the Wildcat statue at UK

In 10 days we will be headed back up to the University of Kentucky to move Robbie into his dorm.

10 short days.

I have already warned him that I will be crying.  A lot.


Yesterday 2 of his 3 textbooks came.  He’s a little bummed that his calculus II book is on back order.  Today he the extra dorm things he needed were delivered.

Its all starting to sink in that my boy will be leaving me.  This summer went by way to fast!!!

The kids’ grandma and uncle came out for graduation.

While they were here we went site seeing.  One of the places we’ve really wanted to check out is Lake Lure, NC.  My mom has talked about it, but we’ve never had the time to make the 2 hour trip.


SO we set a day aside to drive up and check things out.  Its so pretty and so peaceful!


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On June 2nd my sweet little boy graduated from high school. With honors!

It was such an emotional day, and I cried. A LOT.

In July we are headed up to the University of Kentucky for orientation.

I’m not ready for this!!!!


Robbie with his dad, Patrick, and his sister, Jazzy, in September 2011

My son, Robbie (17) wrote this.  It breaks my heart reading it, but I’m so thankful that he’s able to express his emotions.


Have you ever been so sad that you can’t pinpoint your exact emotions?  You’re so sad and depressed, but you can’t put it into words?  The last couple of months have been hard and I wish I knew how to put it into words.

Graduation is coming up in less than 2 weeks away and it sucks.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s exciting and something I have been working towards for the last 13 years, but it’s taking a huge toll on my emotions.

Graduation is supposed to be about moving into adulthood.  Saying goodbye to our school years and moving on to either college or into the work force.  The moment I walk off that stage with my diploma in my hand, I will be considered an adult.

This is one of the biggest milestones in our lives, one that should be celebrated.  Yes I will be celebrating with friends and family, but one important person will be missing.  My dad.

My dad died 4 years ago when I was only 13.  It’s been 4 years later and my dad still isn’t here.  4 years of missing him.  4 years of wishing he was there for everything he has missed.  Teaching me to drive.  Being excited when I received my college acceptance letters.  Being there for birthdays.  Christmases.  All the New Year’s Eves he’s missed.  Each and every one of my lacrosse games.  Having to dedicate the senior appreciation game to him instead of him walking on the field with me.  Each one of those hurts in their own way, but knowing he won’t be there for graduation hurts the most of all.

Four years have gone in the blink of an eye.  It seems like I was graduating from 8th grade just a few weeks ago.  That graduation was just a month and a half after he died.   I was still numb and not feeling much of anything then.  I knew I missed him, and I knew I hated that he wasn’t there, but it didn’t hurt anything like it does this time.

When I look through the audience, if I am lucky, I’ll spot my family.  My grandparents, and my uncle.  But no matter how much I look around my eyes will never land on my dad.  I’ll see all the other smiling dads.  Their cameras and phones ready to capture their son or daughter walking across the stage.  Which will be even more of a reminder that he’s not there.

Of course there are those that will tell me he’s proud of me and he’s always with me.  It’s not the same.  It will never be the same.  He’s not here to hug me.  He’s not here to tell me he’s proud of me.  He’s not here to smile in the pictures.  How anyone can think I would want anything else is beyond me.

It doesn’t just stop at graduation.  In July I will be headed to the University of Kentucky for orientation.  Then in August I will be a freshman in college.  That brings up so many more emotions.

During the day I struggle to keep it together.  At night it all falls apart.  My mom taught me that its ok to cry, its ok to be sad, and its ok to not be strong.  I am very thankful for that because there are days where I don’t feel strong.  I feel weak and emotional.

As much as I am looking forward to graduation and starting the next chapter of my life, I am dreading it at the same time.  I know there will be a lot of crying involved, and this time it’s not just going to be my mom.

Needless to say, I’m going to have to stock up on personal packs of tissues.



I'm a widowed mom of 2 amazing kids. Engaged to the man that made me realize I could love again. I love photography, gardening, and reading. Caregiver, taxi driver extraordinaire, chef, maid, and everything in between.

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