Monday, August 29, 2005

Reconnaissant

Hi, another post from Ria, filling in for Shelly for the moment. Please continue praying for Shelly, Ben and Sophie. Your prayers and concerns are greatly appreciated. At the moment, Shelly wanted me to let you know that she will be posting as soon as time allows. There have been a few obstacles including storms that cut of the internet connection, that keep her from posting. As soon as things get sorted out she will be back. She realized that many of you would be concerned of her whereabouts, that is why she left me in charge of letting you know that she will be back.
Thank you from the bottom of my own heart (and I am sure I speak for the rest of the family as well) for your prayers and best wishes.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Proxy

This is just a short note to let you all know that Shelly will be posting as soon as she can. She asked me to leave a post letting you know that things are alright. Please keep her and the rest of the family in your thoughts and prayers. Another post is coming soon.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Borrowed

And the hits continue . . . day #? in what closely resembles hell.

Today’s subject other than the ever flowing tears? Today we are going to learn about trust and faith. Stay with me. I’m onto something. This week I have been given a huge lesson in both. A large many of you are aware that my reserve is nearly empty of both trust and faith.

I have learned this week that is okay to trust in the unknown, the untouched, and the unseen. It is okay to not know where to turn or what to do, but it is okay to trust in something you feel, but cannot see. Realizing of course that not all unseen things are real, I have learned to take the giant leap and open what remains of my heart and trust the untouched.

Faith? Faith is hard to come especially right now. However, I have been blessed enough to have someone love me enough to hold onto me when my faith is gone. They have faith for me, have instructed me on blind faith. (I thought long and hard about that phrase . . . blind faith. Isn’t all faith blind? No. I have learned this the hard way.) I am holding onto faith right now, blindly, but still holding on.

For more than 24 hours, I have been camping out on the sofa in the den, unable to sit up straight because my headache is ever present and a powerful one, to say the least. I’ve had a lot of time to think about this. I’ve also had some time to just be quiet and still and to listen to my heart. Throw in a few times that I craved noise and attempted to listen to music before the throbbing started . . . well, you can see I’ve had time.

I heard a song today regarding borrowing faith. That is what I have done to those who surround me right now. I have borrowed faith from them. I don’t have enough of my own right now. I have learned to accept help this week, or at least try to accept it. I am at the lowest point I have ever been in my life. Losing my sister was hard. Losing my Mom was hell. Losing Kay was horrendous. With that said, this is still the lowest point I have ever been in my life and I’m scared. I am reaching out and grabbing onto borrowed faith, so thank you for offering. I don’t have any other choice than to accept because at this point the only place I know to turn is death, my own. With that said, I accept.

I’m only hanging onto one thread of borrowed faith.

Please don’t let me go.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Vendetta

Sanity didn't remain intact. Life is crumbling. Drugged myself enough to be numb, just not enough to forget. More posting later tomorrow.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Minuscule

Sophie and I made it back home this evening. I am so tired I can’t think, much less post anything responsible and rational. I received a number of e-mails during the course of today asking if I am safe. Safe? Yeah, I guess so. Safe from myself? I guess so. Safe from the world?
No.

A better update tomorrow evening if my sanity remains intact.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Respite

If I could show you how broken my heart is at this very moment, you would run in fear. If I could show you the thoughts that have run across my mind recently, you would have me committed to the local psychiatric ward. I can’t show you these things, nor can I share them with you. Instead, let me tell you how we are doing here.

Sophie is struggling, but hanging onto everything she can. The day after we lost Kay, we had another bomb for our family to deal with and we are still reeling from it, Sophie most of all. If I were to tell you that it is harder to deal with than Kay’s death, it would be the truth. We have lost someone dear to our family, but not by death, rather by personal choice. We are left with a thousand and one questions that most likely will never be answered. Kay’s death was expected, losing this person was not.

My Dad is doing his very best to console everyone and handle everything. He is taking some time each evening to be with Andy and just enjoy what he can right now. Like Sophie and I, he is also struggling with the actions taken against this family in the past few weeks. He doesn’t understand anything more than we do and it is hard to realize that due to the hatefulness we have been shown, we may never have those answers.

They say what goes around comes around. I’m sure you are thinking that I might hope this person has the same heartbreak we have had. I don’t. I don’t want anyone, including my worst enemy to deal with this pain.

We are so very thankful for all of you. Your e-mails, phone calls, cards, letters, late night instant messaging, we love each of you for helping us thru this. We know that we are surrounded by love and yet, still feel horribly alone. Hearing that you are out there, for us, anytime . . . it does help. In a recent conversation, someone told me how inadequate she felt because she didn’t know how to help us. She told me this as she cried along with me. It helped, somehow. To know that we aren’t alone, helps.

Tomorrow I am taking Sophie to Tulsa for her monthly treatment and checkup. Another posting will follow tomorrow evening and again on Friday. I don’t know what the rest of this week will hold, for any of us. I do know that not one of us can hold on any longer, for any other blows.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Homesick


Saturday, August 13, 2005

Courage

After a very long, painful, and emotional week, we have returned to Missouri. I would love to be able to tell you that we are coping, but the truth is, we aren’t. We are simply trying to exist right now, and coping is too much to ask of us. We drove straight thru and arrived home yesterday evening. To say that we are tired would be a laugh. We are exhausted and have taken today to just be. Simply just be here.

Kay’s burial . . . I can’t find the words needed right now. Let’s just say I don’t want to ever do this ever again. Being back at the family home in Boston was very hard, it felt like my Mom was everywhere, no matter where I looked I could see her, feel her, hear her. This was not as comforting as it sounds and haunts my heart as I think about it now.

I have so much to say, and I’m too tired to say any of them right now. However, I’ve had so many e-mails wanting to know how we are doing, I thought it would be best if I just updated so everyone knows where we are. I will be updating several times in the next three days, I have so much to say and I’m sure it will be jumbled, but needs to be said.

I don’t have any song lyrics tonight, nor any photos to express what is going on here, but I would like to leave you with something that was said to me this week and I am trying to cling to it as I fight to find a reason to wake up again.

"Often the real test of courage is not to die, but to live."
- Conte Vittorio Alfieri

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Solar

In a few hours, the majority of my family will load into three vehicles and set out on a 1500 mile journey that will be complete only after Sophie and I join them on Monday evening. Kay will be flown separately tomorrow afternoon. Sophie and I will have (hopefully) arrived in time to meet her incoming flight and will join the rest of the family at my parent’s home in East Boston. To those of you who were unable to make it to the funeral, but instead have voiced the urge to join us at the burial on Tuesday, we welcome you with open arms.

We have made it thru a very emotional four-hour visitation service, several thousand hugs, and countless tears. We made it thru a very touching service yesterday morning, an eventful reception, and a night of catching up with distant friends who have flown from all across the land to express their sympathies. Our hardest times still lay ahead however, beginning with the burial of my Aunt Kay and ending with our journey as we figure out how to go on, yet again. (Side note: If one more person tells me that Kay is in a better place, I’m going to start throwing punches. Yes, she is in a better place, but our place just got a hell of a lot worse. I have nothing else to say on that line of thinking. I may sound rational at the moment, but I’m falling apart and I’m angry, so please don’t tell me how she is in a better place, just save us both pain, okay?)

This week has been one of the hardest times of my life. I have been knocked breathless, kicked in the stomach, and have fallen to my knees at the events that have occurred this week. Certain actions have taken place this week that should have never been voiced, much less acted on. Out of the respect for my Aunt Sophie and for the sake of my Dad’s sanity, I have respected their wishes that I not take the matter into my own hands. However, alongside of Kay’s death, I have just now, this late in my life, learned that you can lose someone who hasn’t died and it is very close to the same heartbreak of losing someone to death. I have lost respect for people this week and been sadly let down by actions taken against my family. My Mom and Dad raised me to stand before what I truly loved and not allow further harm to come to anyone involved. This week, harm has come and I will not stand for it. I don’t know exactly how to handle it and right now, am not in the rational state of mind to take care of it, but I promise you, no one will hurt my family like this ever again. I just won’t let it happen. None of us are strong enough to go thru any of this again.

I’ve tried to write this in my head several times throughout the course of yesterday evening and this morning and I wanted to write it just as sounds in my head, but I don’t know if I can. It is clear to me now, just how very much our Kay was and always will be loved. Her funeral was simply breathtaking. Every word that was spoken was from the heart from those that love her very much. Each song that was played or vocalized was a pure tribute to Kay and impact she had (and always will have) on our lives. At some point, I will be posting the songs that were played and the words that were spoken, but for now, I would like to just share the words to one that speaks volumes and was exactly how Kay felt as she faced her final days with us.

Ready to Fly-FFH
I've been here grounded far too long
I'm ready to see the open wide
Ready to sing a different song
I've seen my troubles 'long the way
I want to sail towards the sun
I want to turn another page
I'm on my way


I'm ready to fly,
I'm ready to soar
I'm ready to leave this world behind.
I'm ready to open up the door
I'm ready to fly,
I'm ready to spread my wings across the sky
I think it's time
I'm ready to go
I'm ready to fly.


You've told me I could rise above
Like an eagle on the wind
I can glide upon Your love
But I feel the pull of gravity
And it's a weight upon my shoulders
I can't stay here any longer
I've gotta be free


I'm ready to fly,
I'm ready to soar
I'm ready to leave this world behind.
I'm ready to open up the door
I'm ready to fly,
I'm ready to spread my wings across the sky
I think it's time
I'm ready to go
I'm ready to fly.


And it's been so long
Since I’ve seen the bright morning sun
Through the early morning horizon
And it's been so long
Since I’ve felt the air under my wings
And seen all of these things from above


I'm ready to fly,
I'm ready to soar
I'm ready to leave this world behind.
I'm ready to open up the door I'm ready to fly,
I'm ready to spread my wings across the sky
I think it's time
I'm ready to go
I'm ready to fly.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Needs

The days seem to last forever and blend together, all at once. This week has been one of the longest weeks of my life and yet, it seems everything is happening much too quickly. This afternoon we will be greeting guests who have flown halfway across the world to be with us at this time, to say goodbye to their beloved Kay, just as we are trying to do.

Yesterday, we were able to see Kay for the first time since they took her from us on Monday evening. I am sure everyone expects me to say how horrible it was to see her in the casket, but it truly wasn’t horrible. It was heartbreaking to know that she is really gone, but she looked so beautiful, so peaceful. For months, I have seen her in pain, this was one of the very few times I can honestly say she looked free from pain. Before she passed away, she made a request that a quilt be purchased and draped over her casket. At the close of the service, she requested a piece be cut from the quilt, placed with her, and the remainder of the quilt be with Sophie. Last night, we were able to drape the quilt over, just as Kay asked us to do.

The next few days will be very hard to cope with, for all of us, but especially for my Aunt Sophie. Not only has she lost her wife, but she is grieving another type of loss, a loss so complicated and heartbreaking that I can’t even write about it here. To say that she has had too much heartbreak this week would be an understatement. Please keep her in your prayers. Things are rough right now.

This evening we will be at Kay’s visitation. We made an impromptu decision to have some very special music playing tonight. Kay, just as my Mom did, enjoyed music greatly and it became a necessity during her final weeks. We had several cd’s playing thru the final week of her life, many of which my Mom also listened to. Tonight, during the calling hours, that same music will be playing. While this may not make sense to some of you, this is our way of bringing a part of Kay to all those who love her as much as we do.

I will write more later tonight, I have too much to say to hold it all in, but for now, I need to embrace the person who needs me. She needs to feel that she isn’t alone, just as I do. She needs me. I won’t let her down.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Sunsets

I have been sitting here trying to figure out what to title this post. I decided on Sunsets because it sounded much better than my other ideas: Should’ve’s, Could’ve’s, Change, or my personal favorite, Things I want to yell violently, but will refrain from doing so for the sake of what is left of my sanity. Sunset is a perfect way to describe what is happening in our lives today. The sun has set on yet another of our loved ones and we are trying very hard to figure out how to face the next day without her. This is much harder than I thought it would be. No matter how ready any of us thought we were, we weren’t.

I could tell you how hard it was to watch them take Kay away Monday night. I could tell you how my Dad had to physically hold Sophie back or she would have held onto Kay forever. I could tell you how hard it was to sleep without her here. I could tell you how I rushed around frantically last night washing blankets and towels so that Sophie didn’t have to see any traces of Kay’s blood. I could tell you how much it broke my heart to be at the funeral home both yesterday and today. I could tell you about writing Kay’s obituary today. I could tell you about how this evening I will be taking time to pick out music to play at her services. I could, but I can’t.

I should tell you about the beautiful and very touching candlelight prayer service we attended this evening at F.P.B.C and how grateful we are for the congregation that held us in their arms tonight. I should tell you about the generous outpouring of love we have been witnesses to in the past few days. I should tell you about the immense feeling of gratitude that I have for the friends that have surrounded us throughout this journey. I should tell you about how I know for certain that Kay arrived safely to Heaven. I should tell you about how many people have come to us and shared their love for Kay with us. I should tell about how I seriously doubt that Kay knew she was this loved before she passed. I should, but I can’t.

Change happens. Hope changes, my Mom said. Time heals all wounds, they say. Life moves on. Change happens. Change is good, they say. It inspires us to try new things, find new pathways in life. Change happens. Change is a constant, you cannot stop it. No matter how much you rebel against it, you cannot prevent it. Change happens. I should be able to stop change, but I can't.

Things I want to yell violently, but will refrain from doing so for the sake of what is left of my sanity: I want to yell at you. Yes, you. Which you? Anyone who will listen, I suppose. I want to yell about how it felt to watch my Aunt Sophie come sobbing to me while waving an e-mail in my face. I want to yell what it felt like as I watched her physically collapse as the tears consumed her while I read the letter she was holding this morning. I want to yell what it felt like to know that my Aunt Sophie has been hit with a horrific blow and they just keep coming. I want to yell at you for leaving us when you were needed most, for not holding on for just a few more days. I want to yell at you for being so cowardly to not even say goodbye in person. I want to yell at you for taking away my hope, because now it is officially gone. I have no more hope. I want to yell at you, to tell you that I honestly don’t feel like going on anymore, that I don’t have the strength to keep doing this, that I don’t really want to be part of a life that is this hard to hold onto. I want to yell at you, but I can’t.

I can’t because I don’t have the strength to do. I can’t because I have cried until I honestly believed I could cry no more and yet, the tears keep falling. I can’t because I’m so angry, I’m not sure I could control my words. I can’t because I am so overwhelmed by simple grief that I can’t function. I can’t because . . . I can’t.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Eternity

I have sat here for the past two hours trying to figure out how to word this and everything I type comes out all wrong. I’ve typed the same sentence forty times over and it still isn’t right. I don’t how else to say this, so I will just say it.

This evening, the Angels were joined by my Aunt Kay. It was as peaceful as she wanted. Everything was just as she wanted.

"Dear Family & Friends,

There is no easy way, or words that could possibly tell express the sadness and abundance of tears as we regretfully tell you that Kay passed away this evening at 5:20pm. She took her last breath surrounded by her family, fulfilling another wish of hers, that she not be alone. Her passing was peaceful. She felt no pain.

Kay’s part in this journey has ended, she is at peace. For that, we are grateful. We thank you for all the thoughts and prayers. If it is not too much to ask, we would like to request that you please continue them for her family/friends, for strength, guidance, and whatever else you think will help us. We know too well, the difficult path that we are now facing, having been less than 9 months since we lost Shar.

Kay was 4 weeks overdue when she came into this world. Her mom told us of stories about how she would talk to Kay, encouraging her to come out into the world. She came into this world in her own way, she lived her life with that same unyielding manner, and she died in the manner she wanted. To say that she will be missed does not come close to what we are and will be feeling.

Kay died 18 years from the day that she and I (Sophie) met. As a close family member said "She wanted to write the perfect ending to her book of life, this was her way of closing out the last chapter on a high".

We apologize if you are hearing this for the first time, if this is the case, we were unable to contact you via phone. All efforts have been made to do so.

We will notify you as soon as arrangements have been made for her services. Again, many, many thanks to all of you.

With Love and Sorrow,
Sophie, Ben, Shelly"

I didn’t think life could break me any more than I am already broken. Yet again, I was wrong in my thinking. I will post more tomorrow.