*This is a piece I wrote quite a while ago, in January or February.  In the few months since then I’ve cycled through this exhaustion a few times in different ways.*

I’ve grappled for the words that truly describe how I feel. Day in and day out. Sometimes it’s sad. Sometimes angry. Sometimes ….. Today the word that came to me is exhaustion.

As I was walking in the park, I was watching the creek flowing, swollen with the recent rains. Spilling over its banks, rushing downstream. And I was taken by this branch in this video. The one in the distance that is being overcome by the rushing water, over and over. It seems it is constantly fighting to stay afloat, to keep above the rising water.

That is how I feel. Like my grief and sorrow just continually overwhelm me. Constantly trying to pull me under. And it is a constant fight to stay above water. Constant. And it is exhausting.

At the next bridge crossing this morning, I came across this branch. It bobs up and down. It is continuously pulled under and then bounces back out. Only to be pulled under again. Sometimes it is pulled under a little deeper and held a little longer. Sometimes it bounces back a little higher and seems to be able to stay above the water just a bit longer. There is somewhat of a rhythm, but not totally. And again, it is constant. With no real end in sight.

This is what life feels like right now. A constant struggle to stay above. To fight past the grief. To make the choice to see the happy, choose joy, remember the good memories, just keep going. And I’m just tired. No, I am exhausted.

I guess that the creek will not stay at this stage. The waters will recede and the branches will dry out. No longer overcome by the high waters. But who can truly predict the coming storms? And you can’t stop Mother Nature.

What happens when exhaustion overtakes you?


Ready for Play Offs

A year ago today I thought Wyatt had gotten a good night sleep after a long week of baseball and school and fun.  We got up and got dressed.  And we headed out to Eastside where I dropped him off for some batting practice before the first play off game.  

That night Wyatt woke up vomiting.  We had heard there was a stomach bug going around.  We hoped it would be quick, so he would be better by Monday.  We had no idea what we were in for. This would not be the short lived stomach flu we thought we were up against.

Surviving Mother’s Day

I never imagined I would have to navigate this. Never imagined I would have to figure out how to move through life without one of my children. Yet here I am. And so with Mother’s Day here, I find myself wondering how does one survive this?

You brace yourself. You get ready as best you can. Maybe you plan a busy day to avoid the downtime that is sure to be filled with anguish. Maybe you plan nothing and ignore the day. Maybe you plan something special in honor of your child. Or maybe you just don’t know what to plan.

You buffer yourself from all the reminders. The commercials, the signs in the stores, the cards on display. You avoid the questions about what you will do on Mother’s Day. You build the wall to protect your heart while everyone else makes their happy plans.

You prepare your soft landing. Where will you land? And who will be there? Who can catch you? Maybe it’s your husband, your surviving children, a friend. Maybe it’s a quiet place to be alone.

You work hard to smile when they say, “Happy Mother’s Day”. You choke back the tears while you listen to plans that others are making.  
You miss the voice that says, “Happy Mother’s Day, Mom” to you. You yearn for the card you won’t receive. The project brought home from school with fingerprints, or handprints, or a picture. You ache for the hug and kiss that isn’t here this year. You ache for what should have been this year.

How do you survive? You hold on. Anyway you can. You have survived to this day. And you will survive through this day. You just do. 

My Sweet Sleeping Boy

This picture was the start. A year ago today on a Friday afternoon Wyatt came home from school and he was exhausted. I didn’t think too much of it because little league had been in full swing, he was practicing during the week, and school was exciting with all the spring events. I thought this was just my exhausted little boy showing signs of a very busy and hectic, but fun life.

Looking back now I realize how wrong I was. He wasn’t exhausted, his body was fighting a monster.

I look back now and think about what I thought was a sweet picture of a tired little boy and I can’t believe what the meaning of this picture really is. It’s really the beginning of the end. Wyatt fell asleep on the couch that night really early. I can’t recall if he ate dinner or not. I remember shuffling him to bed thinking he just really needed a really good night’s sleep. The next morning we got up and got ready for practice at Eastside. I was relieved to see that he felt better in the morning and he was his usual chipper self. He couldn’t wait to get to practice, couldn’t wait to get into the batting cages.

Later that night is when I thought the stomach flu had hit him.

Over the years, I took a lot of pictures of Wyatt sleeping. From the time he was teeny tiny all the way up until this last picture of him sleeping. He always looked so sweet sleeping. And I always just wanted to crawl up next to him and cuddle him and love on him. What I wouldn’t give for one more cuddle with my sleeping boy.

Sleeping in my bed next to me… a common occurrence on a Saturday morning after Brooks and Shane were already up.

Out cold in Trinidad after a full day of serious fishing and tide pool exploring.

Asleep on my mom’s couch after a full day of visiting and fun in Philadelphia.

Sweet Memories to Chase the Pain

These photos popped up in my Facebook memories today. They are sweet memories of a baseball season 3 years ago. My sweet and talented friend, Melanie, took most of these photos. And I am ever grateful. They are by far some of my favorites.  

With all the years of baseball we’ve played, spring, summer, fall, little league, travel, and now high school, I can honestly say I have enjoyed all of the boys’ baseball seasons. But this one seemed to be a little extra fun. Brooks coached and was affectionately dubbed “Buttermaker”.  

Shane helped with the coaching and herding the little players.  And always had a bit of advice for his brother.  

I spent a lot of time herding in the dugout and cheering from the sidelines.  

This team was made up of sweet friends for both the kids and the parents. Lots of fun and lots of laughter.  And some serious baseball.

On Little League Day at the Chico State Stadium, Brooks got to take this team out on the field for the pledge of allegiance. And Brooks got to throw out the first pitch.  

Wyatt, of course, got to hang out with his favorite player.

It was a good time had by all.

I have such fond memories of this team and this season.  

Things are getting harder at the moment. Today marks 11 months without Wyatt. And the year mark is coming. I’m trying to brace myself, but not really sure just how to do that.  

The waves are getting higher and rougher. The undertow is strong.  I feel like I’ve been thrown into a countdown I didn’t know was happening at this time last year, only now it’s real and I’m very aware.

It is getting harder to hang onto the shiny memories. The hard hurtful memories of Wyatt’s last days are lodging themselves in my brain. They’re pretty hard to shake right now, sneaking up on me when I’m really not ready. Memories like these photos and this baseball season are what I’m trying to cling to to chase the painful memories away. 

Reflecting on Love & Kindness

I’ve been thinking and reflecting a lot on the love and kindness that we have been shown. When Wyatt died, the army emerged. Friends, family, acquaintances, total strangers came out and showed up to love us, support us, and lift us. We were shown so much love. And we needed it.

And that love and kindness has continued. People in our lives, both those who we have known for a lifetime and those who have become new friends, have continued to stand by us. Thoughtful texts, a random hug, a sweet note in the mail, an invitation to get out and do something fun. The ear to just listen, the comfortable silence to just sit in. It hasn’t stopped. And I am so grateful. I am so grateful for the aid it has given me as well as Brooks and Shane. It has helped me hold them, even when I felt like I couldn’t.  

I am so grateful that the love and kindness are still there. The waters are rising again. The tide is swelling. We just passed ten months since Wyatt left us. And the year mark is looming. We’ve moved into a season where we are being constantly reminded of many “lasts” that we had with Wyatt. And it hurts. Some of the wounds have been reopened. The scars are aching.


Yet, the soldiers are rising up and the troops are rallying. I can feel it already. And I am ever grateful. 


Just missing my sweet Wyatt today.  I’ve been doing a bit of writing, just not posting.  I have things I’ve written both recently and over the past few months that I want to post.  I’ll get there.

But today I just miss him.  Yesterday was ten months.  Double digits.  I wanted to celebrate double digits in his birthday this year.  Damn it…. 

Missing this sweet face.  

A Sweet Friend Gone Too Soon

I am heartbroken. This sweet momma, dear friend, beloved wife passed away early Friday morning. I can’t begin to express how I feel.  

To say that it is unfair doesn’t even begin to do it justice.

Sweet Jonna and her sweet family lived down the street from us. Wyatt and her son, Carlo were the same age, just months apart. The boys became fast friends, as did Jonna and I. I recall days of the boys running between houses. The boys playing in the sprinkler. Popsicles on the porches. Bike rides to the park. Jonna brought Wyatt a flag for his bike, just like Carlo’s. So sweet watching them ride around in the street with their matching flags.

Wyatt and Carlo are both big boys. The tallest in their classes at school. I think they’ve always thought that was kind of neat. They were buddies on the playground. Played on the same baseball team for a season. It was heartbreaking when Wyatt died and left Carlo behind. 

When Wyatt was in the hospital, Jonna called me. She had some advice as she was battling cancer herself. Regardless of her own battle, she supported me and stood by my side after we lost Wyatt. We rode bikes in the park, sharing our tales. Sharing sorrow. Sharing love.  

And now Jonna is gone. She lost her battle with cancer. I can’t begin to express my hatred for that disease. It has taken too many. It has left behind too many. I miss her. I grieve her loss. I feel the loss for her sweet husband and two young boys.  

There are no answers. There is no sense to be made of this. It adds to my sadness, to my anger.  

But I promise to look for the bright spots. Jonna was a fighter and believed in the power of love. The power of love was one of the last things we talked about only a few days ago.  

For Jonna I will continue to enjoy our park, nature, and the outdoors. I will soak in the blue sky and the sunshine. I will sit by the creek and think of her. I will ride my bike and remember. I will honor her beautiful soul. And most of all, I will continue to believe in the power of love. I will echo her mantra… “love lifts me”.

Love and miss you, sweet Jonna. ❤

A Cherished Outing

I went to Morning Thunder for lunch yesterday.  As I pulled into the parking space, it hit me that the last time I was here was a morning outing with you.  It was Spring Break last year.  We had just dropped Shane off for baseball practice and decided we would go to Morning Thunder for breakfast.  

We sat at a little table off to the side.  You ordered hot chocolate with whipped cream and I remember being impressed with how “big” you were getting.  You ordered for yourself confidently.  Then you chose pancakes and ordered those yourself.  

It was a perfect little morning outing with you.  We talked about school and baseball coming up for you.  I took this picture that morning.  

This picture became the picture that was probably shared the most after you died.  And every time I looked at it, I was reminded of our breakfast outing.  And it still reminds me of it.  Your eyes in this picture burn through to my soul.  Through them I can see your kindness, your sweet and loving ways, your sweet soul.  How I cherish that morning and these memories.