What is this?

What is this? I don't really know, other then a continuation of my updates and writings that I was sharing previously on Caringbridge of this journey through cancer and now widowhood and single parenting.

Maybe it won't end up being anything at all, or maybe it will be a glimpse into my heart, my life, my current situation, my testimony.

Whatever it becomes, I am touched that you are interested.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

That time of year...again

It's that time of year again. 

Everyone burdened by grief has certain trigger dates and seasons. For me it's the end of June thru the end of September, kicked off by Father's Day. 

This 2nd Father's Day was much different then the first. Last year Aria and I had a breakfast picnic at Mount Lindo (where Brandon is buried) and painted bird houses. I spent much of the day deep in grief and broken dreams.

This year Aria spent the morning with her Grandad Hayslip and when I picked her up had I planned to have our typical breakfast burrito picnic, but it already being in the 90's early in the day I put it off till later in the afternoon, but by the time it cooled down Mount Lindo was about to close for the evening. 

I felt awful for not making it to his grave on Father's Day and started coming down hard on myself.  But then I remembered the discussion Brandon and I had when we knew we needed to have "that talk". When I had to ask him the awful question of where he wanted his body to rest. His response:  "I don't care, I won't be there."

As I remember the moment tears come to my eyes. His sights were already on Heaven, he knew his body was simply that - a body, a vessel. He would not die with his body.

So as I let the guilt slip away I took comfort in the fact that Aria and I could walk to "our park", where I have memories with Brandon, and I can clearly see the cross of Mount Lindo.  There I'm reminded more of his life, not his death.

I tried to get Aria to sit  with me on "our bench" so we could have a precious moment together talking about daddy. But, of course she's a toddler and refused to sit still.

However while swinging we did have a sweet little chat.  I asked her if she knew where daddy was, and she responded; "Daddy's in Heaven."  I nodded and told her that he loves her just as much from Heaven, as tears slid down my cheeks.

"Mama sad?"
"Yes, mama's sad" I said with a small smile to let her know it's ok to be sad.
"Daddy sad?"  
"No baby, Daddy's not sad."
"Aria kiss it better?"
"Yes, that would be very nice." and I leaned over and let my (sometimes) sweet 2 year old kiss my tears.
"Mama all better?"
"Yes Aria, thank you."
"Daddy all better?"
"Yes, baby, Daddy is all better." I agreed, taking a moment to be thankful for his Heavenly healing.
"Mama happy?!  Mama swing?!"  And we laughed and swung away in the oddly empty park.

Later we enjoyed a delicious steak dinner with my boyfriend Karl and his daughter, honoring the amazing father that he is.

I never could have imagined this is how it all would have turned out, especially from last year to this year.  This whole 2nd year has been much different then the first.

I have returned to the land of the living, I exist in the present again-not the past, and I actually look towards the future without dread. I am lucky that I can even experience happiness and love again, all coexisting with my loss.

Time may have changed how I cope with that loss, but that pain is still there and I think it always will be because love does not die.  Yes, it hurt differently this year.  And I expect it to be different next year, and the years after that as life goes on and my grief transforms.  But I am ok with that, I'll just continue to try to "not cry because it's over, but smile because it happened".


  1. Hi Christina,

    I belong to a group online of fathers who have lost their child. My son Kevin, 21, was killed by a drunk driver last September.

    Your father in law shared your blog address and I just read the whole thing. I found many similarities in what i've gone through (believe it or not) and learned a lot from you about how others in my family are dealing with this horrible ride.

    Please keep sharing.


    1. My husband and I lost our son last August when a tree fell on him while he was fighting a wildfire. What online group do you belong to for grieving dads? It might help my husband. Thanks you can find me in Facebook under Toni Hallenbeck

  2. And Michelle is my wife - not sure why her name is showing above my post.

  3. Thank you thank you for sharing...

  4. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. I'm thankful you are looking ahead now.

  5. Aria is gorgeous.. Each day getting more beautiful.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!