Monday, July 17, 2017

My Abyss

A few days ago our family headed up to the lake that is less than 40 minutes from our house. It has been a while since I have made the trip. The lake has been low, the boat doesn't ever seem to want to run when I am there, but the biggest reason I don't go is the road up there,


It is in my words treacherous. Harlen says I am over-exaggerating. I would say that I am being awful kind. The road at times is an easy 300 ft dropoff with no guards. It is slim, and there are always boats coming back down as you go up. It even brags of a one way tunnel that you cannot see the other end. I do not look out my window. I cannot. I breathe in and I really do not remember exhaling until we are at the top. We made it though.

It was everyone, everyone in the family was in the boat. Cyrus and McKayla received a big floatee for a wedding gift from True.  We put it by the rock side and Harlen took th boat for people to ski and knee board.


I was in the boat with Harlen. I had this overwhelming desire to swim to the float. It was about 3/4 of a mile. I haven't swam in years. I am 47 yrs old. Harlen informed me I was no spring chickee, but I just wanted to be alone in the water. I dove in without a life jacket. I started to swim freestyle. I swam hard for a while. It felt so good. About half way to the side I just stopped. I laid on my back and closed my eyes and just floated. I couldn't hear anything. I couldn't see anything. It was my own private abyss. I loved it. I could have stayed forever. It was so peaceful. It was the first solace I had felt in 8 years. I had peace in my soul. I want to go again. I want to feel nothing. The road was worth the tranquility.

This is a beautiful Place.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Cyrus is married

On June 24th Cyrus tied the knot with a long time friend and now the love of his life McKayla Packwood. It was a beautiful night. At points it was hectic. You don't put a nervous 47 year old mom in control of the sound system. ( that was me) but besides that everything went off without a hitch. I am ecstatic for the two of them. I hope life brings him much happiness. I love Cyrus more than life itself.

Their 1st dance on the dance floor Harlen, True, Giles and Andrew assembled just for this day

Mr. & Mrs. Cyrus Garner's First Dance

My heart is full <3 p="">

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Drowned Yearbooks. The insanity of it all........

I am cleaning for the upcoming wedding. I found a yearbook from 2009 that belonged to Cyrus. It was in the basement flood and you couldn't open very many of the pages. I, like the curious cat, had to open the book. I read a few of the comments from his friends. This is the Spring after Loughlin's death. The comments read like this, "what a great year Cyrus" or "Hope next year is as good as this one" and I thought for a while. Was I aware of how this must of felt for my son. How could everyone around him be so oblivious to what he was going through. He had spent half the year in a wheelchair because of his legs. It made my heart hurt and my stomach sick to be reminded of what this brave kid went through. He is amazing.
I am thinking about Cyrus often right now. His upcoming nuptials are exciting, but they are also scary. We have a good relationship. I don't want that to go away. I know it will change as it has through the years, but I love our conversations on movies, literature and music, politics when it gets in the way. I love this man he has become against all odds.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

They Have it Worse

They Have it Worse

You think you got it bad there is someone who always has it worse.
They took your pride but they left your purse.
Is that supposed to make me feel better?
I could sit down and detail it in a letter.
You have no idea what I’ve been through.
Your eyes would cry a tear if you knew,
Or maybe you would talk the same way.
Judge me, then invite me to pray.
You think you know what it is like to walk in my shoes,
Do you know what it’s like to feel so blue?
To sit and wonder what your child would have been?
To question every moment, if not then?
Then times that by two and add abuse and a rape.
Are you astonished? Is that a gape?
Some have it worse, but some have it milder.
Some like it nice and some like it wilder.
Some think I’m a bitch, and some think I am kind.
I invite you to come inside my shady mind.
Then you’ll see the darkest, deepest corners,
Where they scream and claw at this greatest mourner.
I see my baby in my dreams.
She is perfect, life is what it seems.
But that dream fades and in comes the fear.
The reapers are all around. Their breath is near.
They take her away and leave me pleading.
She is fresh and I am still bleeding.
Then tease me with a greater life.
Hit me once, now hit me twice.
He was the flawless son.
His potential had just begun...
The harvester couldn’t take this one in the dark.
This time the jaws were as mean as a shark.
He left a scar that no one could hide.
He pilfered what was left inside.
The grim he took the future and left me blind.
Now who has it worst? Who can you find?
You know nothing about them, just as you know nothing about me.
Open your eyes and get off your worn knees.
God never made you judge over anyone.
You say he sent his Only Begotten Son?
That is for your mind not for mine.
Being on your knees weakens the spine.
So, tell me again how Some have it worse.
Because my life feels like it has been cursed.
I am not looking for your pity.
Asking you to get down and gritty.
I am not asking for anything at all.
You’re the reason I built a large wall.
To keep the Pharisees out and let no one else in.
Your words will not penetrate the skin.
Leave me alone and take your own course.
Empathy is one thing no one can force.

You can choose to be happy

As you know reading this blog I have chose not to have religion or god in my life. The pain and guilt attached to the two is more that I can handle. I choose not to believe in a God that closes his eyes and ignores the suffering of his creations on Earth. I am constantly looking for something that will ease this pain and longing of losing two children.

Today is the day Rhiannon died. 29 years ago she left me. She was laying next to me in bed. I woke up to find her cold and blue with blood coming from her nose. The images never leave my mind. So the day after Memorial day I am grieving like it was yesterday, but I have been grieving for what seems an eternity. One of Maya's friends is pregnant. She brings back so many memories for me. She sang in her last choir concert. She graduated. She stands proud. I want to put my arms around her and tell her to take everyday as a gift, to love that little girl, to take picture after picture. Not to be like me and take life for granted, to not take pictures, and to hold her every minute of every day.

The person who should be my biggest supporter has grown tired of my sadness and depression. He yelled at me and told me it has been long enough. He said 9 years is time enough to get over the death of my son. I said that I still haven't done it in 29 years. I cannot choose to be happy. There are days I am happy. I am coaching Lea's softball team again this year. I love it. I am happy some of the time, but some times I am paralyzed with the panic, anxiety and sadness. Some days I have a hard time getting out of bed. It makes me feel worthless. It makes me feel like I will never be normal again. Do you think I choose to be debilitated? He has diabetes. I told him he should choose not to have diabetes. I don't see a difference. I do not choose to have PTSD. I do not choose to be paralyzed when sirens go off. I do not choose to have uncontrolled shaking when a cop is behind me. I do not choose to have tremors so bad I can't write the roster for my softball team. I do not choose any of them. I do not chose to be miserable, but some days I am.

I did not choose to be sexually abused.

 I did not choose to lose my virginity to a 30 year old man who raped me when I was passed out drunk at 16.

 I did not choose to lose my baby girl when I was alone at the age of 18 and I did not choose to drive into a parked farm truck killing my handsome son, injuring 3 of my other children. I did not choose it. I am doing the best I can. 

Please don't place more guilt on me. Please don't knock me down further. Don't hold my head deeper under the water. I am losing consciousness. I am drowning. It doesn't matter the amount of time that passes, 9 years, 29 years, 31 years, or 38 years. I am doing the best I can. It may not be what you think is the best I can, but I am trying everyday I get out of bed. Everyday I love my babies. Everyday I do what I can to help them in their lives. If they call I am there for them. I am happy for Cyrus and his upcoming nuptials. I have the invitations done.

So there it is. Whatever you hear in church or on your radio Christian shows it is not true. I am not able to CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY.  These people , these church leaders and speakers think they know. I hope one day that diseases of the mind will be treated with the same attitude as diseases of the any other part of the body. PTSD cannot be prayed away. It cannot be wished away. There is no magic  cure, no blessing that will miraculously fix it. It is a difficult and excruciating process to be able to function in this world. I take my medicine. I see my counselor. I am trying.

I just wish the world could understand. I wish my loved ones could too. But just like CHOOSING to be happy it isn't that easy. If only I could choose I would.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Can I handle the seasons of my life?

Skip ahead to Landslide on the Playlist at the top of the page.

"I took my love, I took it down
Climbed a mountain and I turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
'Til the landslide brought it down
Oh, mirror in the sky
What is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changin' ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?
Well, I've been afraid of changin'
'Cause I've built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I'm getting older, too"
Fleetwood Mac Landslide

I was walking in a retail store yesterday looking for a black dress for Lea and Maya for an upcoming occasion. When I passed the children section I became dark. At first I thought I am so glad that I am passed this time in my life, but then I got a bit uglier. I don't even want grandkids. I don't want to worry anymore. I don't want the chance of a loss again. It is better not to ever love than to love and lost. 
I am not handling the seasons of my life. I think I have reverted to the anger stage once again in this ongoing grief. Cyrus is getting married in 90 days. WOW! Maybe this "changin' ocean tide" is taking me under. Not that I am not ecstatic for him, I am. I am happy for him. He is happier than I have seen him in 9 years. She does that for him. 

It just sucks Loughlin won't be here to watch his lil brother tie the knot, or better yet tie the knot himself.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

You should just get past it.

Someone very close to me gave the whole spill about how I should get over losing two kids, I should get past it, sure it was hard, but it was a long time . I don't like hearing this from people who aren't close to me, but coming from someone who is supposed to be on your side. your encourager, your no matter what, it bothered me. 

I am not sleeping again. My anxiety and panic is through the ceiling. I am exhausted. I am sad. 

Can I just sleep?

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Are you sitting on Loughlin's grave?

We finally buried Harlen's mom yesterday. The weather did not permit for the burial earlier. When we arrived at the cemetery I walked towards the grave which was one over from Loughlin's. Harlen's dad was in between. I looked at Loughlin's headstone and the metal pheasant that sat on the edge was on the ground, the tail feathers broke off. I picked it up and fixed it, put it back where it belongs. The chairs were almost touching the headstone. It made me sick. Harlen's siblings went over and sat in the chairs, more sick. Harlen dedicated the grave, even more sick. All I can think is get off my son. Why would they think this is ok?  It isn't . I am angry about it. Get off my son. Even today I am still angry.

I am sure there is so much more to my anger, than the chairs and the broken pheasant. I feel like I have for 25 years, not the most important women in my husbands life. His mom never liked me. She never thought I was good enough for her son, and now as we bury her everyone tramples my son. I hope I am never like her. I hope that I can always remember that my children's happiness is more important than my petty judgement. The anger isn't going away anytime soon.

"Life is a Struggle"

Thursday, March 9, 2017

So many kinds of floods

Yesterday a pipe broke in our basement and we ended up with about 8 inches of water throughout. Water in a basement engulfs everything, every corner, every crevice. If there are dead little creatures lurking behind the water heater or in a bag you haven't opened in 8 years the emerge. It is very revealing.
This flood showed me so many things. It showed me that I haven't been in the basement physically, mentally, but most of all emotionally. A Brachiosaurus was floating in the middle of Giles's room. Who knows where he came from. He once was Loughlin's, then Cyrus's, then True's. Where has he been? Where has all these left over clothes been? 8 years, My God, Where have I been? Where has my life been? Where has Loughlin been? Where are my kids? Where did they go, not physically, but where did my other 5 kids go?

Maya came home from school so upset. The baseball coach is not going to let her take stats this year. I learned she is a girl, and a boy would be better. WTF I guess everything I taught her about having the same rights her whole life was bullshit. I am pissed. Can you tell? She has very few things in her life she loves, baseball is one of them. She can't play it anymore because of her TBI, but at least she could be a part of this team. Did I say I am pissed? Give her a break. She deserves it, for once.

Now the floodgates are open. The tears are falling once again. I am so exhausted. Surgery to the Sale to the Funeral to the Delivering Bulls to a Flooded Basement.

Is this a normal life? I don't remember having chose this life. The sadness is here again. Relief is what I want.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The three of us set off on a long Winter's trip.......

On Friday morning we were supposed to leave for a 3 day trip to California to deliver bulls. The trailer was late by 2 hours and then we got a flat on the pickup tire right before we headed down the road, so off to Les Schwab for another 45 minutes to put new tires on all four wheels.

Weed, CA so inspirational and safe.
Our 1st stop was going to be Roseburg, Oregon. We were supposed to have arrived at 3pm. We arrived at 8pm. We encountered snow and rain. The roads were winding, not like the Beatles song.  We were exhausted, pulling a 30 ft trailer, much longer than our usual 24 ft. We met with the buyer and dropped the bulls off and then we ventured on. At 1am we were in Weed, CA. Lea was intrigued. She thought all the signs were for marijuana and couldn't believe there was actually a town with such a name. We made it to Shasta Livestock in Anderson California and dropped the remaining 10 bulls off so they could rest for the night and get some food and water. We went off to find a hotel, and that we did. The first sight was a roach on top of the toilet. I am careful about my hotels. This was a Best Western. we should have been safe. I was so tired I really didn't care. Lea and I shared a bed and Harlen in the other. I dreamed of roaches on my feet all night long. I got up as exhausted as I went to bed.
Storing Ranch
75 years of quality bulls

Red Bluff so beautiful
The tower

We loaded up the bulls and headed off to the next destination, but first our second flat tire. 1hr later we would leave Red Bluff, California for Fortuna. California through a worse winding road. The roads were covered in snow at times and the rain would not stop during the rest.
Can't seem to escape the snow

When we arrived in Fortuna we were in a hurry to get down the road but Harlen insisted to my glee to show Lea Ferndale, California. I love this town. It ranks in my top 10 towns in the nation. After Ferndale we tried to get as far as we could and ended up at a much better hotel in Ukiah, California.

Save you from hell

Downtown Ferndale. <3 td="">

The car and the house fit so well

Ferndale's best, The Gingerbread house

SF Bay
San Raphael Bridge

Day 3, on our way to Galt, California. The trip was uneventful except for the fact the GPS took us way out of the way and made the trip longer. We ended up at the buyer's home where he showed us his incredible car collection after taking us to a wonderful Italian restaurant with ambiance to spare.
The car collection was spectacular and certainly worth the wait.
Corvette of my dreams

The Bentley, my favorite

My Harley

We headed home late and they had closed Donner pass for the day, but we got through going 15mph with c hains on our pickup and trailer. We only made it as far as Fernley before we were ready for some more rest. No roaches but creepy people were here.

The next morning we finally headed for home. Not a lot of pictures of Nevada. What is there to show? :)
Beautiful Winnemucca Nevada flooded

We got home to a broken pipe in the basement because there is never a dull moment in our household. 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Our 50th Anniversary Sale

Right within the sorrow of losing Harlen's mom we had to pull off the biggest sale of our lives.

To our surprise and delight. We had an incredible sale. WE averaged just short of last years barn burning sale. We accomplished this even though cattle are down in price and the weather has created havoc for our customers everywhere. We feel so blessed. We appreciate every buyer and consider them our friends. 

4 days later we had Deanie's funeral. It was beautiful with so much music that touched your heart and a fun life sketch. 

I am exhausted. I want to sleep for a week, but "aint no rest for the wicked, money don't grow on trees."

Death is so hard

Harlen's mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer on January 21st, 2017. They gave her 3 months to live. She flew home to Boise from Arizona (snowbirds) . She was weak but she could walk to the pick-up and then walk into the house when we got her and Fred home. 2 days later she couldn't walk to the bathroom. Her dementia and sundowners was getting a lot worse. It was hard to watch a women with so much life fail so quickly. She took such great care of herself. She always ate right and exercised daily. I thought she would live to be a hundred. She is going to be missed so much.

My mother was my stone.
One of the few I called my own.
She was understanding and kind.
Loved me heart, soul and mind.
She never left me yearning.
Every moment I was learning,
How to live my life with bliss,
Never ever wanting to miss,
A single moment with the ones I love.
Still sending blessings from above.
She will be forever in my heart,
Closer and yet now apart.

I love you Mom.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Another Year Older..........

I turned 47 today. 47. Wow I think the last time I was coherent of a birthday I was 37. Then the world turned upside down and everything changed. I have a great family and great friends that treat me incredible. Harlen got me a Amazon Alexa for my present. I am so excited to try it out but I have too many devises registered to my account and it is taking forever to de-register them. It is going to be my companion when I am home alone. I can ask her anything. I might become wise again. I might play music all day long. I might listen to audio books. The prospects are endless

Christmas was a little strange this year. It was the first time all of the kids weren't home in the morning. Cyrus was at his girlfriends the night before with her family. Christmas Eve is big for them. He slept the night because of bad roads. True is living about a 1/2 mile from our house. We waited until 9 am to open presents, until everyone got home. We had our traditional Pigs 'n a blanket for a late breakfast. Then everyone split, We also have an extra at our house, Cyrus' friend from high school who is trying to get clean. He is a very nice kid and I feel lucky to help him. Cyrus got a PS4 VR. We had a great time playing it as a family. It is so real, I almost peed my pants when some freaky girls jumped out in front of me. I screamed and everyone laughed. I would encourage the purchase of this VR it is 360 degrees.

My surgery went well. I thought I would have a faster recovery than I am having though. I didn't understand my Doc. At my follow up he told me it was a 4-6 week recovery. I still have quite a lot of pain under my left rib. When I sneeze or cough I am in agony. I guess that is normal. I can only sleep on my right side. But gigantic is that I have no Acid Reflux anymore. I can't eat normally yet but it is coming.

On the 27th of December Harlen and I celebrated our 25th Anniversary. Can you believe we have made it this long? We have been to Purgatory and somehow we have made it back. It is still stressful at times and we disagree on so much, but we are willing to do whatever we have to to make this marriage work.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

My parents are getting old. I am not ready for life without them. :(

This week has been so stressful. Our insurance cancelled us again because they said our payment was 4 days late. so much confusion this year with this company. Nightmare is generous. They sent us a refund because we paid too much then cancelled for non-payment. My surgery was in 10 days. Stress.

Friday my mom was admitted to the hospital with a BP of 60/52, pneumonia and strep. She was on her death bed. They said if she wouldn't have come in she would have died in her sleep. They gave her fluids, antibiotics through the IV. Sunday night she was doing better. They let her go home Monday.

This morning my dad couldn't get up. My brother couldn't help him up. The ambulance came and took him to the hospital. He has a blood infection, a blood clot from his groin to his knee. His Blood Pressure fell so much that they had to put adrenaline in his heart. He is in the ICU today.

My mom is important in my life. My dad talks to me every morning before Rush starts. I call at 9:45 and we talk until the radio program starts. He is my lifeline sometimes, a lot of times. My mom has been sick a lot this year.  It's hard to see them get old, struggle. My dad was the strongest man I knew. Is he still?

The insurance re-instated us this morning. My surgery is Thursday at 11:30 am. I will be on liquids for 2 weeks. I will be having Christmas dinner in a blender. How fun and exciting :)

I didn't get my house clean before, the tree is kind of decorated, and the Christmas cards are printed without a poem or without being labeled. It could be interesting.

I need a lot of luck!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

"If you have done it unto the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me."

Matthew 25:40 is on Loughlin's headstone...........

I know I am not religious, but I do try to find influence to better my life. I feel the need to help the most downtrodden. Everyone calls me crazy. My son's friend is homeless and in trouble. He needs help. Who am I not to offer my home, my family, my food, my love? I am just a peasant, whom without the help of others would have perished long ago. I have a loving family. I had a grandma who took me in when I was lost, never to be found. She loved me and taught me that there should be no judgement, only love. 

I am not in a great place right now myself, but lending a hand to someone else makes me feel good, makes me realize that there is pain all around us. It makes me understand that all we have to do is open our eyes a little bit and the opportunities to help, save, love is everywhere. 

I go in for LAPAROSCOPIC NISSEN FUNDOPLICATION on December 15th. I will be sore for sometime. I will be on a liquid diet for 2 weeks. It will be a miserable Christmas for me. I am trying to get on top of things before that time. I usually start Christmas cards, shopping, decorating at about the 15th so I am struggling. I am so far behind that I have not done True's thank you cards from graduation, or the kids' steer thank you cards from September. So I am working on all three at the same time. The shopping will be done online. The presents will be wrapped by my beautiful daughters. I hope to have the Christmas tree up on Sunday. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Thanksgiving and things I am thankful for......

We went to the Oregon Coast for our Thanksgiving this year. There are so many memories I love from the coast when our family was almost whole. We love it there.

The ocean is hypnotic.

The waves in the winter are so incredible, so beautiful, so mesmerizing. It really is my favorite place on Earth. I feel so close to Loughlin there.

We had a few extras, True's friend, Kevin, Cyrus' girlfriend McKayla and Cyrus' friend Nate. It was so much fun.

The sound of the waves crashing on the shore is so relaxing for me.

The new rental house is fun and we even had friends of Harlen and I show up for dinner Friday night where I cooked my famous clam chowder and tried my first Ciopinno. We played board games and belly laughed for hours.

It was a great weekend, but of course the emptiness returns. I miss my son so much. Coming home is just a huge reminder of how it should be, how it could be if I would have just seen that truck.

So my Thanksgiving doesn't last long because the blues and the sadness always seem to creep in and ruin all of the fun.

I miss you Loughlin, You loved the ocean and fishing and kite flying and the fun houses and the Oregon Aquarium and pretty much everything that has to do with the Coast. I miss you Rhiannon because you never even got the chance to love this place, to share it with us.