Who are these kids and why are they calling me mom?

Sometimes you just have to put on your big girl panties and deal with it

What to do? March 10, 2010

Filed under: Family,Fire,Kids,Life — Steph @ 12:13 pm

The hockey season is winding down and that means I have nothing to do.  I am sad about it!  State tournament is this weekend (we’re hosting so if you live in Gillette come out and watch the kids!!).  I’m sure after this weekend I’ll need a stiff drink, but then we’re done until we go to Anaheim for the Jr. Ducks tournament which officially marks the end of our season and I will be horribly bored I’m afraid!

This hockey season was the most fun I’ve had in our 3 years of playing.  I am team mom for the East team which has been an absolute blast!!  Truly it’s the first time I’ve allowed myself to have fun since the fire.

I think more than being sad about hockey season being over I am concerned I’ll sink back in to my funk with nothing to do.

When you have kids and parents counting on you, you have to make yourself take a shower, get dressed, and get moving or you’ll let them all down.  Shoot, I even had a major surgery in the middle of the season and I still didn’t miss but two games all year.  A year ago I would have come up with a million excuses to skip the games, events, and meetings.  Who am I kidding?  I actually did do that a year ago.  I did the bare minimum amount of living a person can actually do.  I fed and clothed my kids and some days even that was too much energy expanded.  Writing this now and looking back I can honestly say I lost a year of my life.  I slogged my way through my daily duties as a wife and mother and really stopped living in any other capacity.

So now I find myself wondering if I am truly out of my depression and really ready to start living life again or if it was just having something to do that kept me motivated.  I actually think I’m afraid to find out.  My doctor thinks I am feeling better and doing so well because of the meds and things finally calming down.  I fervently disagree with him and asked him to start taking me off of all of the meds, I think I am better, I think I am ready.  Time will tell I guess if he’s right or if I am.  I am currently weaning off of the meds and still feeling good, so let’s hope it stays that way!  I haven’t had a single nightmare and I no longer smell burning flesh in my sleep.  That’s a big deal!

I feel more settled all around.  I really thought the insurance company FINALLY settling would make me feel better and truly end the nightmare that we’d been living.  It did to some extent.  It allowed us to sell what was left of the house which was a HUGE step in the healing process, and it allowed us to climb out from under the rubble our life had become after the fire.  But it didn’t take away the hurt.  It didn’t turn back the clock and bring us back to a time when we hadn’t lost so much and been so uprooted.

In the year and a half since the fire we’ve moved 3 times.  This is what happens when you are renting and the insurance company is footing the bill.  Things come up and you end up moving.  We considered buying both houses we rented but in the end it just wasn’t meant to be and that’s OK.  It all worked out in the end, probably the way it was supposed to happen all along.  It sure would be nice though if life came with a step by step manual. “Chapter 1 – you will be married and have two kids by ‘X’ date” “Chapter 2 – you will have one sickly child and one healthy child” etc… you get the idea.

I am now proud to announce we will NOT be moving again!  WOO HOO!!  We sold our “house” to a man who had a gorgeous home for sale and we basically traded houses, we were able to use our property as the down payment on this one so we are now homeowners again!  Selling the house was very emotional.  I didn’t expect it to be, but it was.  10 year of our lives were in that house.  10 years of photos, baby books, our wedding album, my wedding gown, etc…  It was all destroyed so we made the decision to make a clean break.  We left the house as/is and the man who bought it cleaned it out.  I hope we made the right decision there.  Sometimes I question it.  Would it have been therapeutic for us to close that chapter of our lives and discard the rubble ourselves?  Or would it have made it worse?  In the end we went with what seemed the least painful route and let someone else clear out the rubble and throw away our memories.  I am a little bummed he didn’t demolish the house though.  I REALLY wanted a swing with a sledgehammer.  I really think THAT would have been awesome therapy!  But instead he is gutting the house and re-building so he didn’t actually demolish the whole thing.  We’ll call it a missed opportunity and move on. 🙂  To answer the question before it’s asked…  I did not return to the other house, not in the entire year we battled the insurance company.  I was over there twice right after the fire and I never went back.  I didn’t even drive over that way.  It was just too painful and as it is I will NEVER get the smell out of my head or the images of the destruction out of my mind.  I had no strength to keep renewing the feelings it brought with it.

After the final move the kids started to show outward signs of the distress the entire process caused them I am really amazed it took that long, kids are resilient ya’ll.

Elizabeth went through a stage where she was afraid of bathtubs?! (not kidding) but she’s since gotten over that.  I think that was a 3 year old’s way of telling us she’d had enough.

Joey had A LOT of trouble in school the beginning of the year.  That’s another post entirely.  But the loss of several family members, his home, his pets, and everything he knew was just too much.  Thankfully he seems to be settling now, but he’s had SO much come at him, I think it will be a long healing process for him.  I have to remind myself of that constantly!!  If I can’t grasp it, if it all was too much for me, if it broke me, of course it broke my kids as well.

So now we move on.  For real this time, we move forward and learn to embrace our new lives.  I’ve got a lot of plans for the new house.  I’m hoping it will fill the void the ending hockey season is going to bring.  It has a yard but it’s a pitiful one.  I LOVE yard work, gardening, planting flowers and trees, etc… so I get to do all of that!  I am so excited for Summer and the challenge it will bring!  We have a large plot of land now and I have plans for every piece of it!  🙂

I’ve had fun actually decorating the house.  I have no knick knacks, no paintings, and very few pictures and we had no furniture.  We started all over which at first seemed daunting but was actually a lot of fun!  Elizabeth has a Tinkerbell/Disney Princess themed room.  Joey has a hockey themed room that was VERY fun to put together.  I have an actual bedroom set!  I’ve never had a matching bedroom set.  Our bedroom set was a hand me down set with no headboard or anything.  I splurged a little and bought a whole bedroom!  Every single piece!  Then I splurged a little and bought new sheets, a new comforter, etc… to make it all come together!  I even bought the little decorative pillows that went with the comforter!

We are also taking our first REAL vacation!  In the past we traveled for Elizabeth’s adoption which was the closest we came to a real vacation, and I traveled for hedgehog and chinchilla shows, to deliver animals, etc…  We traveled to see family, mostly when someone was ailing, because all of us traveling was just impossible with all of the animals.  That’s not the case anymore (well at least the part about the animals keeping us home).  I spent most of the Summer traveling because my grandma was ill and Joey had hockey camp, and then we went to New Mexico for the first time in YEARS to see Joe’s grandma who was ailing.  We did turn the trip to New Mexico in to a bit of a vacation and it was a lot of fun as it always is, but the fact it was our last visit with his grandmother kept it from being a true vacation.  In just over two week’s time we are taking our first official vacation.  We are going to Anaheim for a hockey tournament, but we booked an extra 3 days in Anaheim to actually vacation.  We’re doing Disneyland and California Adventures and the beach and the whole 9 yards!  I am praying the weather is nice while we’re there and we can actually go to the beach and enjoy that part of it!

Wow, this is getting long.  Sorry about that!  It’s much longer than I anticipated so I better wrap it up!

I guess I pretty much answered my own question.  Probably I should just trash this post but it took me a while to write so I won’t.  🙂  I think the answer will come in time.  It’s probably in that non-existent book I would love to get my hands on!  If you find a copy please send it my way because I don’t really like surprises!

In the meantime I would love some ideas to keep myself busy!  Keep in mind I’m the LEAST CRAFTY PERSON on the planet!  So crafty type things are out.  I can’t sew, quilt, crochet, etc… and I do have a 3 year old to entertain!  So anything the two of us can do to keep busy but that doesn’t require me tapping in to the crafty portion of the brain that I was unfortunately not blessed with!  Oh, and also keep in mind we live in no-where Wyoming, so it has to be something we can do here.  We have a public library and about 50 parks but that all gets old very quickly.  So we’re looking for ideas!

Whatever I do I am going to do it with a positive outlook and a skip in my step because things could have been worse (even if it didn’t seem like it at the time) and I do realize that and thank God every day that it wasn’t.  🙂

Update: I just got an e-mail asking me to be team mom for Joey’s baseball team!  WOOT!  I can add that to the list of things to do!  🙂


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