Sunday, August 30, 2009

Doctors and Getting Scrappy

Dark Note: I finally mustered up the courage to go to the yearly doctor's appointment that every woman has to go to. Who wants to do that? Of course, they sit me in the same exam room where we found out I had miscarried. Of course. I sat in the same chair where HeeJun sat when Dr. B told us the news. Of course. Dr. B came in and immediately gave me a real hug (when she told me I was pregnant years ago, I thought she was leaning in for a hug, but she was really trying to check my lymph nodes or whatever...awkward). She cried with me. Sweet doctor. Now I can check that off my list.

Night Light Note: Amory had the awesome idea for me to host a Scrapbook Party with my friends and have them help me with HeeJ's memory book. Incredible. I can not express to you how comforting and FUN it was to sit with these "life sustainers" and have them really caring and helping me make the book beautiful. They were way more creative that I could ever be and made some spectacular pages. It was very therapeutic to be able to answer "hey, what is going on in this picture, where were you in this, when did you go there" questions. Oh my goodness, the book is going to rock! They each signed their page! I am so grateful to have these amazing woman in my life.

Stay Tuned: There may be a new four legged friend in my future....

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Valium or Jesus

Funny story...

I was telling a friend about my experience on Valium during my MRI and he said," was that what you were on during the funeral?"

"No, why?"

"You kept saying, "it's not me" when people said you were being strong or holding it together."

"I wasn't on anything. That was Jesus."


WomanNShadows made a pillow out of my favorite shirt of HeeJun's and a sock friend out of his socks. HeeJun and I had our biggest arguments over those stupid socks. I would always leave mine laying around the house and use his, and he would never have any for work.

Since I have adding these items to my OCD sleeping habits, I have been dreaming about HeeJun every night. As mentioned before, I am a crazy sleeper. I sleep walk, sleep talk, and sometimes have difficulty remembering what was a dream and what was real. I haven't had dreams with HeeJ in them for a while, but now since I have his shirt with his scent on it, we've been having dream dates. I have read from most other widows that they either have dreams where a. their spouse is back and it never happened, b. their spouse is back, they know it happened, but it doesn't matter or c. their spouse is back, they know it happened and they are really confused.

In these dreams, I know what happened, but it doesn't matter. Like, yep, of course, you're back. I missed you lots and lots. I woke up the first time pretty confused. Was that real? Oh, I hope it was. Nope. Ah, man, try to go back to sleep. I have heard this can become a problem; widows wanting to sleep instead of engaging in real life, so they can meet their husbands again. I can see why.

Even though, I have been having these dreams, I still wasn't crying. I was still pushing those tears and pain away. I have become a master at being numb. But I really want to cry. Today in church, I was thinking it would be so great to cry. I was remembering the time I went to church the first time after the funeral and I could barely stand up. I wished for that kind of "losing it" again. I remembered the times I would fall down on the stairs just sobbing. I wished for that pain again. But still feared it. So when I feel the little waves coming, it has become easy to push them down again...until...

The worship leader started singing It Is Well and the story was up in the screen. Arms crossed. No tears. I was actually thinking, "well, his wife lived. I wonder if he would have written the words if his wife had died, too." Ok, cynical, crazy lady. A sweet friend came up and hugged me. "oh hi!". I had no idea what was going to happen next...the waterworks were unlocked, the dam was open, the tears came. I think I might have soaked her shirt with the tears. I think I might have scared the poor kid next to me with the little wails and sobs that came out. This girl, this sweet, wonderful friend prayed for me while holding me and pretty much rocking me like a child. She was the first girl I met at Rocky River and has become yet another "life sustainer" in my book of friends.

Man, that feels better.

Friday, August 21, 2009

I got a hair cut.

I bought new clothes.

I wore earrings to work.

I wore some makeup.

Apparently, this means I am better and ready to date.

HA! If they only knew... But they don't want to know. They would rather see me dressed up and looking as if I'm okay.

I'm lonely, but not that lonely.

I joke with people that for my birthday they can hire me an escort. Or just someone to kiss me, that's all. Only joking. If I joke, then people can't see the hurt.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I had an MRI this week for my stupid back. If only I could rewind time and not pick up that ridiculous yoga mat...well, if we are rewinding time here, I think I would go much farther back from that, but that's another post, another thought, another dream.

This post is about medication. Man alive, why didn't they prescibe me some of the stuff they gave me to calm me during the MRI before... when I was closing the casket on my husband's beautiful face or walking into a church for my husband's memorial, or picking out caskets and memorial stones?!! I mean, for real!! I was giggling and making jokes during the MRI (usually I faint). It was actually relaxing! Would have been nice, right?

PS. $$$ sucks

Apparently last year around this time, I stopped payment on a whole checkbook. So, now that I am using that checkbook all my checks are coming back. Lots of letters yelling at me and lots of calls to see what the heck is going on. Only after I was on the phone with the bank and credit card company for an hour, did we figure it out. Who knows what I was thinking. It just makes me so mad and sad and frustrated that I have to figure all this crap out now without him. I hate hate hate it.

Then I forgot two appointments at work. Two meetings.

Then a kid called me a bleepity-bleep heffer and refused to get out of the pool.

Then a kid tried to hit me. (key word; tried). I have some great teammates!

Then i cried and left.

ahhh, good times.

A haircut for Erica(t)

Still waiting for the crash and I guess it's not coming.

I went and visited my family and friends in Raleigh last weekend and chopped off my hair. I love it! I feel like a new woman! My hairstylist/friend is wonderful and said to me "the Bible commands us to take care of widows, and she wants to take care of me." And she does!!!! I love the red streak in the front, paying homage to my old red days. The sad part about getting a brand new do is walking into the house and wanting to see and hear HeeJun's reaction. I remember when I first dyed my hair bright red. He picked me up from the salon and drove right by me because he didn't even recognize me. He loved changing my hair color. He would email me pictures of hair colors that he thought would look good on me. Oh the dreaded platinum blond stage...all his idea.

While there, I visited the "spot". I thought this will be it. This will be when I lose it. Good. But all I could do was giggle. I think you might be able to see the spot from space. HeeJun would roll his eyes at all the flowers, and windchimes, and solar lights (yes, i said solar lights) and stones, and angels and candles that friends and family have brought there. So instead of tears, I was giggling. The stone I placed there a year ago is fading, and that disturbed me a bit, so I brought it home. It was a stone I found in Cape Breton shaped like a heart. I wrote "EJA "hearts" HJK" on it and Always on the other side. I gave it to him our junior year in high school. In the beginning, I felt like I never wanted to leave that spot. I only wanted to lay there forever. Now, it feels like it is not mine to lie on. I still own the property (weird to own a grave), but it is not mine anymore. Not in a bad way. It brings others comfort to be there. But my place, our place is somewhere else. For now, in our home where we shared life I find most comfort and memories of him. I also think there is something to the fact that in the beginning all I could think of was this was the end; I just wanted to be closer to him...but now, I hold onto to the Hope that he's going to be introducing me to Jesus one day. (far off in the future, mom, don't worry.)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Took the day off

My pattern is to stay busy and then crash when everything is over.
So I took today off of work and worked on the scrapbook. I found this:

His written words say," my desire is that we will have so many memories of each other when we are old and grey we will look back and say what a great ride it's been. i can't wait to live everyday and grow old with you. my wish for us is the front page of the card." Ouch, my heart.
I also painted a wall for the first time all by myself. What have I gotten myself into?

One year

Now what...?

this weekend I purposely planned to engage in life- the easy thing for me is to stay in bed. It's so easy to just close the blinds, turn off the phone and lay in bed all day wallowing. but i needed to get out and do things. Live. It's what HeeJ did. It took energy and alot of clenched teeth to hold back tears, but I went to the beach with my amazing sister and wonderful friends from my childhood. comfort and distractions.

God decided to distract me in many ways- I got my first speeding ticket. (yes, mom, I didn't tell you because you would worry). Speed trap! I started crying when I told the officer that of all days I would get a ticket on the anniversary of my husband's death. "sorry to hear that ma'am. Here's your ticket for $185."

I also was involved in a ocean rescue. Very Baywatch. If you don't know how to swim, don't plan your family reunion at the beach where no one in your family can save the drowning teenager! My lifeguard training came in handy only in that I yelled at the girl to put her feet down ("you can stand up!") and cried afterwards.

Those were the only tears I would shed that weekend. I don't know if it's because I am used to pushing the tears away, or fear of letting one slip leading to a river of tears. A friend said it might be because this is my "everyday", a year doesn't make it any harder or easier. Not crying kind of made me nervous. "what is wrong with me?!"this song has been stuck in my head...
i Know You Have A Little Life In You Yet
i Know You Have A Lot Of Strength Left
i Should Be Crying But I Just Can't Let It Show
i Should Be Hoping But I Can't Stop Thinking
all The Things I Should've Said That I Never Said
all The Things We Should Of Done That We Never Did
all The Things I Should've Given But I Didn't
oh Darling Make It Go
make It Go Away
give Me Them Back To Me
give That Little Kiss
give Me Your Hand

I watched old videos, worked on the scrapbook, journaled, wrote him a letter-barely any tears. Not the kind I was hoping for, the kind I have been missing. is it weird to want to lose it?

it almost feels like "ok it's been a year, now what?" In the back of my head maybe I thought he would come back or I would wake up now. i remember thinking that in the beginning; that i would wake up soon. i remember thinking there was no way I could make it another hour, another day, another week without HeeJun. Now i'm thinking, "crap, I have to go another year like this. crap. crap." I think i was starting to define myself and my life by the firsts this year. Just trying to make it to and through the next first. Now what? He's still gone. I still miss him. Still ache for him and my life back and our future. now what?

HeeJun told me now what last night. I was listening to the DVD that his biker buddy made for me with all his riding videos and pictures. HeeJ's favorite song "Move Along" came on. HeeJ used to blare this song all the time. I remember hearing him pull into the garage often with the music shaking the walls to the house.

Speak to me, when all you got to keep is strong
Move along, move along like I know you do
And even when your hope is gone
Move along, move along just to make it through
Move along Move along
When everything is wrong we move along
When everything is wrong, we move along

I never really listened to the words and I remember actually cringing from the thought of moving along in the beginning. It's like he was saying, "It's not move ON, it's keep moving. Keep living."

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Drowning Lifeguard

"Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in the miry depths where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters, the floods engulf me. I am worn out calling for help. My throat is parched. My eyes fail looking for my God."- Psalm 60

He answers the drowning lifeguard;
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. And when you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you." Isaiah 43.

He did not say I wouldn't have to go through the rivers. He promised He would be with me while I passed through them.

Let's pray that I can remember that this weekend. So far, my pattern is to stay busy and avoid, and then CRASH.

We'll see how it goes.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Kids and widows are funny

When I first went back to work most of the kids knew what had happened and why I was out for a while. Some were kind and compassionate (shocker if you know the kinds of kids I work with), some were scared that it would happen to them, and some said the cutest things; "did you find your husband, i heard you lost him? Do you need help finding your husband?"

The kids still "spread the rumor" to new students and every once in a while I get a child trying to ask me in a round-about way what happened. Last week and today the kids have been in rare form. They are probably hearing their staff talk about me or share that the year anniversary is this month. I have had 5 kids ask me "where's your husband, are you married, or is that a wedding ring?" Usually when one asks, i will say my husband is in Heaven. If they are younger I say that it is not something they need to worry about. If they are older they usually ask what happened and I use discernment if they can handle it or not. Usually there is a "know-it-all" kid around that will kindly jump in and tell them everything they know. It actually cracks me up to watch them try to figure out how to ask me and try to figure out what this means. My kids are hilarious. Fricking hilarious.

I am slowly figuring out that there are some things one just shouldn't say around people who "don't get it". I can freak people out pretty quickly.

Example 1; I printed out these Widow Cards and I pull them out whenever I am late or messy or acting weird. It freaks some people out.

Example 2; There is a video floating around You Tube of a wedding party dancing down the aisle. I told a couple people that if I ever do that again, i would dance down the aisle to "I wanna make love right now, now, yeah". Yep, kinda makes people uncomfortable.

But it makes me laugh and that's all that matters.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Deeper Still

This weekend I attended the Deeper Still Conference with Beth Moore, Kay Arthur, and Priscilla Shirer. My incredible friend/hair stylist was so generous and kind to hook me up with these tickets. It was so encouraging and comforting to see and hangout with my Crusade friends again.

I arrived at the conference with a very snobby heart. "look at all these little white woman, all looking the same in their perfect little haircuts and capris. What do they know about hurt?" I was so wrapped up in my circumstances, I could not see beyond that. It's so hard still to see beyond my pain, but God is slowly knocking down those walls.

During Kay Arthur"s talk, she reminded me that we can Fix Our Eyes on Jesus in horrible times, because He is the Author and Perfecter of our Faith. I can HOLD FAST to His Hope and promises. I have to remind myself of that daily, hourly. HeeJun had a shirt that said Cross Eyed on the front and on the back said "Fix your eyes on Jesus". He knew.

During the worship and music, I could barely breathe I was crying so hard. I was trying not to let the sobbing through, clenching my shivering jaw, because I was surrounded by people and my little squeaks and sobs are kind of embarrassing. But man, I was feeling it. The sadness, the loneliness, just missing HeeJun, but also grateful that I have a God who loves me, cares for me, and can give me strength. All kinds of crazy emotions.

Of course, they had a call to come to the front for prayer. As I was watching all the ladies walk to the front, I vividly had a memory of HeeJun. We were at church once and the pastor had an altar call. One of our friends went up because they were struggling with infertility. i remember being so sad for them, and HeeJun said "they'll be fine. Jesus is Faithful". I could almost hear him saying that again as those hundreds of thousands of ladies walked to the front of the stage. I could almost hear him saying that to me, as I sobbed in my chair.

This might be one of the reasons, it still feels like HeeJ is here. I hear him all the time. Like I just had a conversation with him. weirdo.

Pricilla Shirer blew my mind. If you ever get a chance, listen to her! She reminded me that I have a God who is ABLE to do immeasurable more than I can ever think or imagine. Beyond the beyond. When I am lonely, He is able. When I am sad, He is Able. When I am confused or scared or hurting, He is Able to do immeasurable more than I can even imagine.

As we were singing Holy Holy Holy (my snobbiness for contemporary Christian music was silently scoffing inside), I had this overwhelming sense, or just a thought, that was saying, "Erica, you are so consumed with your circumstances, you are forgetting that He is Holy. He has always been and will always be Holy, regardless of your circumstances." Umm..even my snobby attitude couldn't hold back the tears on that one.

During Beth's talk I felt a sadness and maybe even a pressure for my friends and family who do not know this Love that is deeper, higher, wider and stronger than anything. Yes, this God is the Author of where my life is now. It's a weird thing. I am struggling myself with the "why's" and the "does God love me" and the "how could He do this", but I still feel so much "ugh-ness" for people who don't know, don't really have this mysterious relationship with Jesus. Because for all my weakness, all my sadness, all my desperation, I would be 100 times more sad, lonely, confused and hurt if I didn't know Jesus.

Fo Shizzle.