Where there is love, there is life

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Busy Days

I have to say that I am sorry for how long it has been since a REAL post. Thanks for all the support with the t-shirts and the Buddy Walk. We are really looking forward to it.

I think the reason that I have not posted so long is because I don't want people to think we are not coping. I only come here when I am super down and need a place to get it out. I think of it as my own little journal (that I share with everyone I know)! So it was feeling as though all of my posts were negative and that is not the life I am living, so I didn't want anyone to think it was. Hope that makes sense.

Life has decided it was going to keep moving and it was time for us to join in. We have had SO much going on this year so far and it has been mixed with a roller coaster of emotions. First of all, Dale and I decided it was time to quit smoking (yes, we smoked). We smoked our last cigarette on January 2nd and have been nicotine free since then! Let me just say that 2 days after the one year marking of your son's death might not be the best time to quit smoking!! It was pretty rough for the first couple months, but is doesn't seem to be as bad now. Not to mention that together we have saved over $2500 in 8 months! Crazy, right! And if that wasn't enough, we then decided to both go back to school! What in the hell were we thinking!?!? I finish 2 HARD classes on Saturday and have decided to take a break from school. I just want to be a mom for a while... And a full time speech assistant too:)

The kids are amazing! They are growing up so very fast, which is one thing that makes the sadness come. They are what ensures me that I am doing a good job of proceeding with life no matter how much I want to resist sometimes! We had a lot of fun this summer with 3 different camping trips to the lake with all the kids and family too! The kids make me feel real happiness, not just the front I try to put on all the time. It went by fast and then it was back to work for me and school for the kids. I think the first day of school was one of my super hard days. Colten would have started kindergarten! Can you believe it?! My BABY would have been in kindergarten! It made me realize just how many things I have ahead of me that will emphasize ALL that was taken!

Being married to my best friend makes coping easier though! Earl is such an amazing husband and I wonder what kind of padded room I would be in if I didn't have him by my side! He moved over to Chandler PD at the beginning of summer and has been back training again. And even though his plate is full with that he cooks dinner, does homework with the kids, cleans the house, AND will still take the time to hold me while I cry! Can anyone say Super husband! I am the luckiest girl around when it comes to husbands:)

I think one of the biggest challenges I have faced is that it is not getting easier. For some reason, I though that after the first year it would all hurt less. I thought that the pain would lessen and life would get easier to live. I have no idea why I thought this, but I did. It has just as hard, if not harder. I think the second year must be spent not waiting for the pain to ease, but learning to live with the full weight of the greif. Not an easy task, but there are not a lot of alternatives. That is what Earl and I are working on this year. Learning to have fun and laugh in spite of the heavy hearts and learning to cry when we need to cry. So much time has been focused on putting on a happy face that I think we forget sometimes to drop the front and just feel.

I know this will be a lifetime of greiving and a lifetime of learning to live with it. I am just grateful that I have an amazing husband, wonderful kids, and an incredible support system to help me through it!

All my love,

PS... Keep in mind that I do not re-read my posts, so please excuse any misspellings or sentences that just don't make sense. I know if I re-read it, I would end up deleting most of it. Thanks:)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Buddy Walk

This is going to be a short post with a promise that I will write a real 'update' soon:) I just wanted to take a minute to invite everyone to the Buddy Walk this year. I put all of the details on my caringbridge site so please go there for the details www.caringbridge.org/visit/coltencowell . I am working on a t-shirt design and am placing the order tomorrow. I have created a donate button ONLY as a place for people to pay for their shirts. Please let me know by tonight if you want a t-shirt for $10.oo and let me know via email or facebook if you put a payment in. I know this seems like a difficult way of doing it, hwever, meeting up with everyone to collect the money is way more time consuming:)
Love you all and call me if you have any questions about the walk!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Catching up....

I apologize for not posting in so long! As you can imagine, the last couple months have been crazy busy and emotionally draining. Let me start with our Christmas... We actually had an amazing day! No holiday will ever be the same, however, we still have 5 wonderful children who were super excited and deserved a great day. And that is what they got. I had expected the sadness to be overwhelming that day because of past experience throughout the year, but the happiness of my kiddos kept that from being possible! I am so lucky to have them!

As New Year's Eve approached, I started to fall apart. I was reliving the pain I experienced the previous year and it was not lessened in any way. When I woke up on the anniversary of that horrible day, the tears started flowing and I was sure that there was no way I would make it out of bed that day! I wasn't sure I even wanted to try. The sadness was so heavy in my heart it was weighing me down. I started to wonder if there was any way I could just hide in my bed until the day was over. As I was pondering all of this with the tears flowing, the doorbell rang. I was overcome by anger... Who would dare impose on the 'pity party' I was allowing myself to have! I crawled out of bed and made myself somewhat presentable to face this rotten person:) When I saw the love and kindness in her eyes I could no longer be mad. She said she just came to give me a hug, but didn't call because she knew I would say no. She sure knows me well:) Turns out all I needed was that hug to remind me of how many people care and to get me going for the day. The rest of the day was filled with support from my amazing family and loving friends! Thanks to every one of you for getting me through that horrible day! And I will plan to see you all again next year- same time- same place:)

Right after Christmas my mom went back to Michigan to help care for my Grandpa. He had been battling cancer for awhile and it was starting to take over. I talked to my mom every day while she was there and my heart hurt so bad for her. The worst thing a person could have to experience is watching a loved one die. There are no words to explain how hard it is emotionally. Any one who has gone through this understands and I hope the ones who don't, never have to find out. As my heart was breaking for my mom, I was spending my nights reliving my own experience. Needless to say, I was emotionally drained, my mom was emotionally drained, and life was expected to proceed as normal. My Papa Ed went to be with Grandma Cubby and Colten on January 10th. He was 89 years old and ready to reunite with the love of his life. The sadness we feel and the tears we cry are only for ourselves. For he is a lucky man to finally be where he had wanted to be.

It took me awhile to get back into the swing of things, and part of me is still trying. I think the first of every year will be hard. It starts off with the memory of losing him and then jumps right in to the memories of his fight. He was originally diagnosed on January 26th, 2009 and it marks the start of his courageous fight angainst and evil thing. He was the strongest person I will ever have the honor of knowing and I thank God every day that He chose me to share in his short life.

All my love,


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hard times.

I really wasn't expecting to have a hard time on Thanksgiving, after all it's only Thanksgiving:) That's what I kept telling myself anyway. Turns out I was wrong. It was a really hard day and just the kick off of hard times a coming. I started remembering last Thanksgiving and how Dr Graham let us come home for the day and surprise everyone. It was such an amazing day! It was the first time Colten had been home since his transplant. The kids were so excited to see him and boy, did he love being with them! They had so much fun that night! Looking back, I realize that it was our last really good, carefree day. Four days later (Exactly one year ago today) is when our entire world fell apart. One year ago today is when we found out that the cancer was back and it was bad. The way I felt the moment I heard that is still so very fresh in my mind. My heart still breaks when I think about that phone call and looking at my son and knowing that I was going to lose him! I was so angry and feeling so defeated. At that moment it was by far the WORST day of my life! Of course the worst day came a month later. This time of year is hard for anyone who has ever lost someone, but for me it feels 1000 times worse because this also starts the time of year that I had to watch my son fade from this world. Life is feeling so unfair to me and I have waves of emotions just knocking me on my butt. I completely lost it at my desk today. I started sobbing and couldn't stop. This has never happened to me at work before. I work so hard at keeping a strong face on that the tears shook me to my core. Today is the first time in a long time that I have wondered how I am ever going to get through this! The pain feels so fresh as though it was only yesterday that this all happened. I know that in time the pain will ease and in a way that scares me too. How can this ever get any easier?? He will never be any less gone.

Please be patient with me right now. If I don't answer my phone, please don't take it personally. Just know that I appreciate you all and am doing all I am capable of right now (which is not much) and may not be up to talking. I still need your support and am not trying to shut anyone out. Thanks for sticking by me all this time!

All my love,


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It has been too long....

I want to start off by apoligizing for taking so long to update my blog. I know there are people who follow it that I am not able to talk to very often and count on my updates (Dad). There have been so many times that I have sat down to start and I have been unable to get my emotions into words. I am not sure if I will be able to accomplish that now, but I will catch you all up on everything else:)

Work has been going very good. I am loving my job with the preschoolers and I am regularly brainstorming ways to get them home in my purse:) Ther is nothing better than seeing some of their faces light up when I walk in the room. It warms my heart and acts as a balm where it has been broken. However, it has been VERY hard for me to get back into the swing of this working thing though! I can't even understand why this is the case. I have been back for over 3 months and still pout at the end of every weekend. Good thing my hubby thinks I'm cute or I would probably drive him crazy. I keep waiting for this part to end but I think I am too much of a night person for that to happen anytime soon. One thing that I can say for sure is that I LOVE getting a paycheck every two weeks. That was definately something I have missed over the last four years!

The kids are all doing really good and loving school. I can't believe how well Tallia has taken to Jr High. Those days were so yucky for me, but she is loving it! They are all getting big way too fast!

I have been having a really hard time getting a grip on my emotions. One day back in August I remember sitting there and trying to remember the last time I had allowed myself to cry. I realized that it had been a long time and that I had completely shut down emotionally. I did many things to try and induce some tears and they just wouldn't come. Let me start by explaining why I think this is a bad thing.... To me, a good cry is like a cleansing for the soul. Without them everything just continues to build up and weigh you down. I had been spending so much time trying to put on a happy face and hide my emotions so that I could get through a day that I forgot how to actually feel a REAL emotion. One night I was so sad and the tears would not come. They were trying to get out and my body just wouldn't allow them to. It ended up feeling like someone was literally ripping my heart out because the grief was so deep and the tears wouldn't come to give me some relief. The next morning I called and made a counseling appointment. I know what you all are thinking... 'It's about time', but this was something I had to come into on my own. I spent my first session learning how to release these emotions when I needed to. Let me just say that I was a hot mess for the following week!! I snapped the lid firmly back in place and told my counselor that I knew this was important, however, I still needed to be able to function in life. We are now working on easing the lid off so I can do both. I knew that the greiving process would be long and hard, but I never imagined just how dreadfully painful it would be! Sometimes I wonder if I will ever resemble the person I once was. I am fine with the sadness and know that it will be a constant presence in my life but I would like to feel like a normal person again! I have managed to shut so many people out of my life when I need them the very most. I get angry when a long time passes and nobody asks me how I am holding up and they act like life is back to normal for me, but then I get angry when people worry and call every day to check on me. It is a lose/lose situation for all involved and for that I apologize. I can't imagine that I am an east person to be aroung these day and want to thank you all for sticking by me even with my craziness!

I guess what I am trying to say is that I am still having a really hard time and don't feel any more 'healed' than the day it happened. The holiday and the memories they hold literally scare the crap out of me!! And there are many days I wonder how I will survive this pain that bears down on me every day without becoming a basketcase. I got to have lunch with Sharla the other day and it was very helpful. Her daughter Bekah was Coltens neighbor in Tucson and we became dear friends. She lost Bekah last night after a long year of battling aplastic anemia. My heart is so broken for her because I know what she is facing in the months to come. We were able to sit and talk about things that no mother should ever have to talk about. While others talk about school, attitudes, and birthday parties, we talked about laying our babies to rest and funerals. As depressing as it was, it was also so relieving to know that all I have felt and am still feeling is normal. As horrible as the reason for our bond is, I am sure glad that I have her in my life!

Sorry if this sounded like rambling. It really is hard to put everything into words! Thanks again for sticking by me, and know that I love you all!


Friday, July 9, 2010

Busy Summer!

Sorry it has been so long since my last post but we have had a really busy summer! Having the kids home from school has been wonderful. Right after school got out we took them camping for a few days... It was SO nice to get away and relax! The kids had a blast playing in the creek and catching crawdads. The weather was beautiful and good times were had by all! We have been keeping them busy to try and keep the boredom at bay. We did a day at Sunsplash and I think I had as much fun as the kids! Those slides are just as fun now as they were when I was little. Of course I was feeling my age the next day when my neck hurt so bad that I could barely moce, but it was worth it!

My summer was pretty short because I started my new job this week. We are so excited to have a second income after all this time that we don't know what to do with ourselves:) But, I have to say that after over 4 years of sleeping in and playing with my kiddos all day this has been a HARD adjustment! I always knew I wasn't much of a morning person, now I know just how very true that is! Even having to wake up early everyday can't diminish my excitement of putting all that schooling to work. I know that I am going to love working in the speech field and can't wait to meet all those cute pre-schoolers. My supervisor told me that there will be two little ones on my case load and I asked her if she thought me stealing them would go over okay:) I do worry about how it will feel to work with kids that are the same age as Colten was... I have a feeling that I will have some hard days, but knowing that I am making a difference in their lives will pull me through!

Not a minute goes by that I don't miss my little Wee Man... I know that this will be my life now and Dale and I are adjusting to that. I have had a few nights where the anger, frustration, immense sadness, and broken heart have kept me up but I will just continue to pull through. There is no other option. I just thank God for the time I got to have with Colten even if I don't think it was long enough!

Thanks for all the love and support that has been giving to us through everything! Love you all with all my heart!


Monday, May 17, 2010

Sorry it's been awhile...

Sorry I haven't posted in a little while but it was a pretty emotional start to the month. The days leading up to Colten's birthday were SO hard on me! I cried so much that I think I ran out of tears by his actual birthday. The morning of his birthday Dale and I went to the cemetary to watch as they finalized setting his bench. It is so beautiful and I couldn't have asked for a better present for him and myself on that day. Jan (my aunt) worked extra hard and did some wheeling and dealing to make sure it was there on his birthday and I couldn't be more grateful to her. Just have to add that she is by far one of the most amazing women I have ever met and there is no way I could have made it through all this without her! I am so blessed to have her as my family! Anyways, not only did she manage to get the bench there and set, she also worked miracles and the picture tile was there as well! It made such a difference to the day. After the kids got out of school we went with the rest of the family to be there with him on that special day. Tiffany had given me the great idea to do a balloon release with birthday notes to Colten tied to them. Not only did the kids love it, but so did the adults. I will do that every year... Thanks Tiffany for that idea. I guess what it all comes down to is that not only did I make it through the day, but it turned out to be a good day!

On another note, I am totally done with my SLPA program!!! I can't believe I made it through. I know it is tacky to boast your own accomplishments too much but I am going to do just that! I went back to school in the fall of 2008. It had been 11 years since I had gone to school but I decided it was time. Colten got diagnosed with leukemia at the very start of my second semester. I spent many hours trying to decide if I was going to postpone my classes for awhile but decided against it. I lugged my computer back and forth to the hospital every time we went and spent Colten's sleeping hours doing classwork. I took summer classes and registered for the fall semester. Again, right before my FULL classload was about to start, we found out that he had relapsed. I wanted nothing more than to quit school then and there! Everyone encouraged me to do just that... I had so much on my plate already. I was just afraid that if I took the semester off, it would take another 11 years for me to go back. So instead I hauled my laptop off to Tucson determined to make it through. When we found out that Colten's cancer wasn't gone and we were planning for the end, I didn't know what to do. I ended up doing a few assignments on our make-a-wish trip even. This was the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life!! And I was doing it during the worst thing I will ever go through in my entire life!! I can't even begin to exp;ain to you all how proud I am of myself. It's not very often I can say that, but I think I rock right at this point. The day I finished the tears just starting rolling down my face (Just like they are writing this). I can't explain how it feels but I can say that it makes me very emotional. I have Colten to thank for this because he was the whole reason I wanted in this field and every time things got tough, I just thought of him and all he went through and knew I could do it! I will be forever grateful to my little boy for this new career and know that he will be smiling down on me everytime I come across a stubborn little Down syndrome kiddo who has no interest in speech:) Love you little man!

And, love to all of you who continue to read my craziness!