Seven Years…

Today marks seven years since the deadly fire that changed our lives forever. They say time heals all wounds, but really it doesn’t… especially when so many questions remain.

I still remember so many of the details like they are currently happening in the faded background of my life. I remember I had given Lucas and Christopher haircuts earlier that night. I remember Grace’s Hello Kitty clock blinking the time across the ceiling excessively as if power had gone out and came right back on. I remember Nicholas waking up and being eerily calm as if he sensed something horrible was in the process of happening. I remember everyone being outside and the police banging on the door and helping us out.

Then everything becomes a blur. So many memories dance around in my head. There order all mixed up. I know that day changed everything. I know on that day the states attorney lost their witness. The witness we needed to testify to keep us safe for another year. I know that day the house was deemed unsafe as it was and without being on the insurance I could not get it fixed.

As always though, I will not focus on the negatives. I know that day also brought our village together. I know that there were ten days between the fire and Lucas’s sixth birthday. I know in that time Mrs. Kathy managed to throw together a pretty awesome birthday party in a town 45 minutes from our home where we had only known her. I know that mommy #2 and her husband allowed us to go to her house even with our two pups (Rosco and Bailey). I know so many came together to pray for us and offer us love and support.

I know that day brought our community a lot of heartbreak and our family a lot of changes. The pain and the fear may always be there, but I try to look back and remember the love that came from it as well. I pray you all do too.

6 Years

Today makes 6 years since we’ve last hugged. My heart, it hurts. The last time we were all together Lucas begged not to have to go. I promised him I’d see him the next week.

If I had known then it would be the last time I was going to be able to hold him I would have refused to let go just as much as he did. I wouldn’t have made him stop clinging to my neck no matter how much your father or anyone else insisted. I would have let him hold on tight forever.

Live isn’t supposed to be this way. It would be so easy to give up, to do nothing, to use all this trauma as an excuse, but you all deserve a better role model than that. So today I got up, I helped people, and I did my small part to make a difference. Make no mistake though, the significance of the day weighed on me.

Christmas 2019

My sweet babies,

Another day is coming to a close. Another holiday has almost gone by. Another holiday where I have been shut off from your lives and you from mine.

As I went in and out of sleep last night I couldn’t help, but think about you all. I wondered if any of you still waited up for Santa with excitement. I wondered if Emily and Grace helped the younger ones to look forward to the coming of Christmas. I wondered if any of our traditions at all would be followed or even remembered.

As I started the day I started picturing what you each might have been doing at certain parts. I wondered what you each got for gifts and if it was all that you hoped for.

Mostly though I just prayed that you were all happy. As the night is coming to a close I pray that God allows you each to somehow feel my love.

Sweet dreams,

Mommy

9!!!

Happy ninth birthday Nicholas! I pray your day was absolutely amazing. I pray it was filled with laughter, love, and friendship. I also pray that at the end of the day you felt your mama’s presence. I pray you know that my heart was with you.

Tonight, I was ironically with a nine year old boy. He was funny and sweet. I couldn’t help put think of you. I wondered what you were like today.

From the moment you were born you were making noise. We used to call you “baby grumbles” because of all the adorable sounds you would make. As you grew you said the cutest things, always making me laugh.

I hope you always hold on to your sense of humor and who you are. I hope you treat everyone with kindness and strive to be a wonderful human.

I love you and I want you to enjoy your last year in the single digits. Enjoy being a child.

Good night my baby.

<3,

Mommy

Pride

Grace Marie,

My sweet, wonderful, daughter I want you to know how proud I am of you. You are an amazing student, friend, sibling… human.

Tonight you received an award to recognize you for just what a wonderful person you are. All you do was acknowledged by your town. Like me, they see you for the magnificent person that you are.

All that you have accomplished with all the things you have had thrown at you in your life is nothing short of a miracle. You never give up and you always do your best.

You are both who I strive to be a role model for and who I strive to emulate. I pray you always continue to be YOU.

Daughter, I love you and am so very proud of you.

💜,

Mommy

Bailey’s Halloween 2019

Hi Em,

Bailey is getting old. She has been showing signs of her age. She has also been very anxious lately when left at home, especially at night. So when I had to work an outside event last night I decided to bring her along.

She did fantastic and still has a majority of her professional trained skills remaining. She mostly just laid in the grass at my feet.

It being Halloween she of course was dressed up. She was dressed as an inmate. The local police department played along and took some pictures with her. One little boy dressed as a police officer did the same.

I want you to know that she is well loved and spoiled. I pray that you get to see her before she passes away, but if not I hope you have peace in knowing that she is taken care of.

<3,

Mom

Happy Birthday Grace!

Happy birthday my sweet girl. I can’t believe you are already 14! I still sometimes think of you as a little girl, but you’re not. You’re on the edge of adulthood.

I pray you enjoy these last years of childhood. I hope you take time to be silly and have fun. I want you to enjoy every moment of being a youth.

I saw your school pictures and marvel at just what a beautiful young lady you are. If I could hug the picture in my phone and the feeling would get back to you I would hug tight and not let go. I pray you know you are loved.

I also pray that your birthday was wonderful and filled with only good things. I hope you had tons of fun and many reasons to smile.

I love you now and always.

<3,

Mommy