Saturday, May 23, 2015


We are home. It was a long and slow drive from Amarillo today. There was torrential rain, tornado warnings, and overall suck for almost the entire day. It was harder coming home than I thought it would be. Everything in the house reminds me of Holly. Her touch is on everything and it rips me up inside whenever I have the smallest memory of her. How in the world am I suppose to get over this. Nothing will ever be the same. Nothing but sad memories and hard truths face me right now. Why did this happen?

Sophie has had her hardest day so far. She has repeatedly told me that she misses her mommy and it takes everything I have not to break down in tears when she says it. She is laying beside me watching Paw Patrol on her iPad. I don't even have the heart to make her go to sleep. I think I need her more than she needs me right now. What a burden for an almost 5 year old.

We picked up the dogs tonight from our good friend who was watching them. They have agreed to keep Lulu which is both a blessing and a heart ache. Lulu is the golden-doodle puppy that Holly got in February. While it makes me immeasurably sad to rehome her it is for the best. With everything that is going on it would be impossible to give a puppy the love and attention it needs. She will be happy with her new home where she has room to roam and a loving family to watch over her. I think Holly would be okay with it as well. It still hurts to lose a little piece of her.

We are fortunate to have good friends, good neighbors, and good family. Sophie's school even sent a beautiful arrangement of flowers. So much love yet I still feel so horribly far away from being the happy person I was before. I know we will get through it but it sure feels like a task beyond my ability.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Amarillo by Evening

We left the humidity of southeast Texas yesterday and made it just a little west of Fort Worth. Today there was rain of biblical proportions so we called it a short day. I have massive anxiety issues right now and I cannot take medication for them and drive at the same time. Alas we are slowly making our way back to Colorado.

Another bitter truth of being being a suddenly single daddy... bathrooms. Sophie is almost to the point of using the bathroom all by herself. Almost. She is told only to really take in the men's room and I cannot go in the women's room. I pray for the existence of the "Family Bathroom" wherever we go. Someplace I can take her and make sure she is okay. Whoever came up with the idea is a saint.

As we are all tucked in our room here in Amarillo I am filled with so much despair. Despair for myself. Despair for Holly's parents. Despair for my sweet darling Sophie who does not really understand the concept of death. I think about things like this year for Mother's Day her class made necklaces for their mothers. Holly never got to see it. What sort of questions will she go through this time every year. Will other girls be cruel or will they be delicate with her feelings?

She has a heart full of grace and kindness and I never want her to lose that.

I have been having terrible nightmares about performing CPR on my wife while waiting for the paramedics to arrive. I cannot get it out of my mind. I can't get the look of her face when I found her and rolled her onto her back. I know some of this is morbid. That is okay. I am writing it for me as a way to communicate my thoughts, anger, and emotions into the nether so I can face my daily life with more resolve and strength.

This entry is all over the place. Just like my brain right now. I have so much to do this next week. I have to go back to work. I have attorneys to meet with. I have banks and credit card companies to work with. I hate that life boils down to what is going to happen with your debt when you die. Not that Holly had a lot of it... but it still exists. Only 340 miles to go. Here comes the real world racing up to meet me whether I am ready or not.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Rest in Peace Sweet Wife

Yesterday I buried my best friend and wife. The pain in my heart is immeasurable. The only thing that keeps me from completely falling apart is my darling Sophie. How is it possible for an innocent and loving 4 year old to lose her mother suddenly with no way to prepare? I am so angry. I don't even know who I should be angry at. Am I angry at God for taking my wife at the age of 30? Yes. Am I angry at modern medicine for not having a better way to save my wife? Yes. Am I mad at Holly for somehow not stopping her death through shear force of will? Yes. I am. I feel like climbing to the top of the mast like Lieutenant Dan and screaming at God for allowing this to happen.

I am so tired of people telling me it will get easier. How? How exactly does it get easier for a 4 year old to no longer have a mother? How does it get easier for Sophie every Mother's Day for the rest of her life? How does it get easier for me knowing my wife died 30 feet from where I was working and I had no idea. Is it suppose to get easier when I ready the carpet shampoo machine to clean the blood and fluids from my bathroom floor where the paramedics battled to bring her back? It will never get better. I will never be whole again. Nothing will bring her back into the arms of her husband and daughter. Nothing.

Tomorrow we will take Sophie to Galveston to help get her mind off things. The problem is that every time I have been to Galveston I have been there with Holly. I know where she would want to eat. I know where she would want to stop and buy Sophie cheap plastic toys. I know just where she would point out where Jim Cantore fell over a railing during Hurricane Ike or Gustav. I know she would write Holly hearts Sean in the sand then laugh about how our old dog would always dig it up when she wrote it. I will soldier on tomorrow for the sake of Sophie. In my heart it will be nothing but sad memories and tears. I love you sweet wife.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Death in the South

Being raised in the northwest was a different experience when it came to death. Someone passed, a funeral is held, and that is the end of it. Down here in Texas it is an entirely different scenario. One day there is an immediate family viewing. The following day there is a public viewing for all friends and family. Finally, there is the actual funeral followed by an internment service at the graveside. The mourning process is drawn out. It is not a quick one time event but rather something that stretches on and on. At some level it is comforting. Having time to digest and accept the inevitable without feeling rushed.

In a few hours we will be holding the public viewing and I find myself in an emotionally drained place. I have cried so much but the tears always replenish themselves. I am feeling just so broken. I know life will move on. I know that at some point there will be a sense of normalcy that  kicks in. As of today that seems so far away that I cannot even envision it. Right now I just miss my wife so damn much.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

May 8, 2015

May 8th, 2015. The worst day in my life. It was the day I had to tell me beautiful and loving 4 year old daughter that her mother had gone to heaven. We always knew there was a risk with Holly. She has been born with a jumble of arteries in her brain. Over 9 years she had received 7 brain embolizations. Ultimately it was not enough as she had a brain bleed that ultimately cost her, her life. A 30 year old angel taken from her family far too soon.

The night I told Sophie was very hard. There is no fool-proof protocol for telling a 4 year old her mother has passed. As close as I could come was to use the analogy that mommy was in heaven with Shilo the dog and Teddy the hamster. At least this provided some frame of reference for her to work from. She knows who Jesus is and was happy to know that Jesus would be taking care of mommy.

We held the family visitation today and as I asked Sophie if she wanted to go she was adamant in her desire to not go. I was okay with this as the lasrt thing I would ever want to do is make her feel obligated to do something she does not want to do. I an conflicted as I really would like Sophie to be able to say goodbye to her mommy. My gut tells me this might be a hard sell to Sophie and might not be as simple as possible