Mommy’s “List”

Written by Sol

After Monica passed, I looked for something she may have written during her struggle.  Maybe a note for Kai to give to him when he got older; maybe a note for me…  

One day I frantically searched for hours and even went through her purse to find this letter or note that didn’t exist.  I was crushed to not find anything, but I rationalized that it was due to her decisive outlook that she was going to keep fighting until she won the battle that she might have felt she didn’t need to “leave any thoughts or words” for us.

Last night I was organizing my closet in the new house and I came upon Monica’s purse.  It is mostly intact the way she left it, but I had gone through it already to get a few things like the check book.  For some reason, I decided to open a small side pocket and in it was nothing but a receipt.  Quintessential Monica; she always saved her receipts for a while “just in case”.  Normally I would have just tossed it, but for some reason I decided to open it to see what she bought.  Suddenly I realized there was writing on the back.  I didn’t recognize the writing as hers at first because it was a bit messy and hurried, but it was definitely hers.  She must have been in a hurry or standing up writing it or something…

The date on the receipt is 04/21/2009.  That is exactly 20 days before she passed.  I don’t know if she was starting to realize she was getting weaker or if she just had a moment of sadness, but what she wrote on the back of that receipt in a hurried (or upset) state was a list of events that she might miss in the future for Kai.  Here is the list in the order that she wrote it:

  • Potty training
  • Tying shoes
  • Kindergarten first day
  • Kinder graduation
  • Best friend
  • First crush
  • First time in trouble @ school
  • First girlfriend
  • Serious girlfriend
  • Wedding
  • Engagement
  • First kid
  • High school graduation
  • First big fight with Dadoo
  • License
  • First 100% on important test
  • First big win in sports/hobby
  • First defeat
  • First job interview
  • First apartment
  • College
  • Jesus in heart

Last night was the first really big emotional break down I’ve had in a while of trying to be strong.  This morning has been equally difficult.  It’s too bad the “note” she left behind is such a sad one…

Category tags: Journal, Kai---- Comments 5 Comments »

Moved In!

Written by Sol

It’s somewhat of a miracle, but we got completely moved this weekend! Thanks to everyone who helped:
my mom, the Jasper family, Kyle, the Hobsons, Ken and Sunshine, Megan, Keri and Claire, Shelly, Veronica, Vicky, Regina, Betty and the kids, Ryan, the Harts, Bill from Blue Collar Prophets, Dave and Alex Hofstetter, Chris and Robert form Top Gun, the Olbrantz’s… and probably a few more that I am forgetting due to all the hustle and bustle going on.

It really takes a load off to know that everything is moved, but the next challenge will be unpacking! Poor Kai: this morning he wanted yogurt, but I couldn’t find the spoons! Then he asked for peanut butter and sugar (since we use natural/unsweetened pb) but I couldn’t find the sugar! I spent 20 minutes looking for some hair gel and finally decided to get to work on time with a messy head. ;p

Other challenges include no toilet all weekend until last night, no showers/bath (hopefully they will be done tomorrow), and no hot water. The hot water is a mystery. The water heater is on and it feels warm, but the hot water never comes out of the faucets (even after waiting 15min). If anyone has plumbing skills, please let me know. The house is cold too. The thermostat was removed when we started painting and it hasn’t been put back yet, so I couldn’t turn the heater on last night. I bundled up Kai with a few layers and put a space heater in his room. Luckily it hasn’t been too cold.

Besides all that, the one thing that’s at the forefront for me right now is that I got sick this weekend. After going a long time without getting sick, this weekend finally took it’s toll on me. I’m sicker than I’ve been in a long time. I wanted to stay home and sleep today, but I knew the workers would be there working on the bathrooms. I probably wouldn’t have laid down anyways because there is so much work to do unpacking. Between the stress of moving, the cement dust from the bathroom crew, and the cold house, it looks like I’ll be fighting a cold while unpacking. I couldn’t wait to find the packed Puffs tissues and Nyquill, I went straight to the store to get a fresh box. Nothing beats Puffs with Lotion! 🙂

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Another Call for Help

Written by Sol

I know this weekend isn’t a great weekend because it’s Valentine’s Day on Sunday, but if anyone is available early Saturday morning, even for just an hour, I can use all the help I can get. So far only one person has offered to help (thank you very much by the way 🙂 ). I will also be packing Thursday and Friday evenings if those nights are any better.

It’s always hard asking for help. It was before Monica got sick and even more so since she’s been gone, but I have to swallow my pride now and just ask…


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House Update

Written by Sol

Things are going really well with the house. I know what you’re thinking… “Where are the pictures?” Ooops… I forgot about that. 🙂 I’ll try to take some this week. Mostly we’ve been fixing it up. I wish I had taken some “before” pictures so I could show a before/after comparison, but I’ve never been good about taking pictures -Monica always had that covered.

I have to give a special thanks to the guys in my Top Gun Men’s Bible study who have helped a ton, and to our friends Ken and Sunshine who have really come through in a major way. Ken’s grandpa even came to help. He owns a paint gun and painted the entire interior by himself!!! I’ve also had visitors from out of town come to help. This weekend Monica’s sister, Karen, came from Washington DC to help out and a couple of weeks a go an old friend from high school came out.

I plan to start actually moving this week, and hope to be moved this weekend. There is still a lot of work to be done though (mostly packing), and I could use any help I can get. This week in the evenings I will be packing. If anyone is available to watch Kai or to come help us pack, please let me know. I will also need help this weekend moving the bigger stuff. If anyone has a truck and/or can come out Saturday morning to lend a hand, it would be GREATLY appreciated.

We’re getting pretty excited about moving. Kai loves playing in his new back yard already, and I’m really looking forward to having back yard get-togethers and barbecues.

Thanks in advance for everybody’s help!

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Big News

Written by Sol

So it’s been at least 2 years that we’ve been looking, twenty or thirty offers, and easily over a hundreds homes we’ve seen, and this week it finally happens: we are getting a new house!

I hadn’t mentioned anything until now because several other offers/escrows fell through, so I was being cautious. This time it’s a done deal. Escrow closes on Thursday. There are so many mixed emotions. Monica would have loved it. It has everything she was looking for. It even has a bay window with a window bench. She always dreamed of that. Kai is pretty excited about the back yard too. He says he wants to build a playground back there! 🙂

The house is still in Whittier, so everything else remains consistent. I’ve already got some friends coming out this weekend (if the weather permits) to help me clean the place up a bit. I imagine I’ll be working on it every weekend, and most week days too. It’s a fixer, but it’s a good house. I’m going to take the whole month to move in slowly and fix it up before everything is actually moved.

Pray for sanity logistically and emotionally. These days, getting up out of bed is hard enough; moving our lives to a new house seems practically unachievable…

Category tags: News---- Comments 5 Comments »

I’m Like the Economy

Written by Sol

A friend of mine texted me today to ask how things have been and it occurred to me that I’m a bit like the economy. I guess I’ve crashed, and every time it looks like there’s an upswing, I crash again even harder…

I hadn’t even realized it until I got the text, but today makes it 8 months since Monica passed.

It is not getting easier.

Category tags: Journal---- Comments 2 Comments »

Nana’s Funeral

Written by Sol

This has been one tough year. My grandmother passed away a few days ago. I am getting ready to head out to Arizona for her funeral this weekend and I’m a bit nervous. I’ve been able to contain quite a bit, but I’m hoping this isn’t “the straw that broke the camel’s back”…..

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3 Poopy Accidents in 3 Days… Calgon Take Me Away

Written by Sol

Changer a diaper is one thing, but changing poopy underwear that has run out all over the floor and all over the kid is another…  I need another vacation!

Check these guys out who struggled with their diaper changing experiences:
Dads Changing Diapers

Category tags: Kai, misc---- Comments 2 Comments »

5 Reasons I’m a Great Dad (but not a Great Mom)

Written by Sol

I was reflecting on this a bit, and I thought it might make an interesting post:

1)I’m a great dad because I play and wrestle with Kai.  I’m not a great mom because I don’t have as much patience to sit and read to him as often.

2)I’m a great dad because I take Kai fun places like Disneyland and soccer games.  I’m not a great mom because when I go I typically forget something like his sippy cup or a jacket.

3)I’m a great dad because I let him wear whatever he wants.  I’m not a great mom because by the time I realize either of us is out of socks (or chonies) I have to scramble to do laundry.

4)I’m a great dad, because I lay down with him when he goes to sleep so that he is not scared.  I’m not a great mom because when he does wake up scared and cries out, “I want my mommy!” I just don’t suffice.

5)I’m a great dad because I encourage him to get up and keep going when he falls down and it makes him feel strong.  I’m not a great mom because when he does get an “ouchie”, my kissing it doesn’t make it feel better like when mommy kissed it.

Category tags: Kai, Reflection---- Comments 5 Comments »

Travel Adventures and the Secret to Twitter and Facebook

Written by Sol

It’s been a while since I updated.  There’s been a lot to do since I’ve been home, and I still feel like I’m catching up with things that were neglected; having been gone for almost a month.  It was worth it though.  In the meantime, I think I happened to discover the secret to the appeal of Twitter and Facebook: you only have to write a few lines and you’re done!  For some reason, writing a blog post seems to require writing something of real value and fore thought… and time. 😉

Anyways, traveling was great!  My friend Jason and I went to New York City, Washington DC, Portland, OR, and Chicago.  Each city really had a lot to offer, but I have to say that I really fell in love with New York.  Under different circumstances, I would move there tomorrow.  I don’t know that I would stay there forever, but to experience it for a while would be a thrill.   IMG_1844

DC and Chicago were also fantastic.  These cities have some of the most amazing sights, people, and food in the world.  I was also really impressed by their pride of ownership; the people seem to want to make their city great.

Of course we had many adventures along the way, but to go into detail here would take way too much time typing.  If you want to go out for coffee and some stimulating conversation, I’d be happy to tell you all about it sometime.

After asking about the trips, most people have been asking about Kai.  He’s almost 3 1/2 now!  He’s really developed a sense of humor.  It’s as if he understands comic nuances like timing and irony.  He’s actually really funny; not just for a three year old.  I think he’s discovered he can get more attention that way, and he might even be becoming somewhat of a class clown.  His pre-school friends get so excited when he shows up (usually late) to school. 

Guitar ShirtsHe’s having as much fun as any three year old might be having, but he’s also starting to become more aware of the fact that all his friends have mommies and he doesn’t.  He still asks for “Mommy” almost every day even though he knows she’s gone.  I don’t know where he comes up with some of the stuff he says, but he tries so hard to express his feelings.  For example, the other day he said, “Dadoo, my heart is gone.  It’s looking for my Mommy,” or “my heart hurts because it can’t find my Mommy.”  Sometimes he pretends that his stuffed animals are sad because their mommy died too.  It never ceases to break my heart over and over again.  The one positive aspect (so I’ve been told) is that at least he is able to talk about it…

As for me, I’m keeping busy.

P.S. Yesterday was 6 months…

Category tags: Fun, News---- Comments 2 Comments »

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