Thursday, December 31, 2009

For Troy (reposted)

Troy Harold Herrick 7/13/65-12/31/2007.

I love and miss you forever. You were the best big brother I could ever want. Thanks for teaching me to drive a car and for giving me great life advice (like "don't drink,cuz throwing not that much fun!") Thank you for giving me a beautiful niece and the coolest nephew ever who I will love fiercely with all my heart (especially the part you live in) for the rest of my life. Thank you for all the laughs we shared- and there were so so many. Thanks for your art- I don't think I ever told you how much I loved that you were an artist and how proud of you I was for that. Thanks for taking up archery and giving the animals a fighting chance when you went hunting. Thanks for all the torture you and Toni put me through- you were very mean but I have to admit you probably did teach me how to be tough for later in life when I'd need it.

Thanks for being part of our book club- I always was proud that a love of reading was something we all shared. Thanks for your random phone calls. As few and far between they may have been, I will treasure each one cuz I was so happy to get them and know you were thinking of me.Thank you for coming to AZ to see me- those are great memories and they bring you to my life here so I don't feel so bad not being back home in Iowa cuz you are here with me too. I am so proud of you for becoming a firefighter. I wonder if you ever even knew how that made you a hero- thanks for being my hero.

Thank you for letting me grow up in your eyes and not just be your little sister but to see me as an adult. Thanks for being my friend as an adult and for loving me as your sister and I know you did.I will never be ok with loosing you just when it felt like we were making progress. You tried so hard to open up and reach out and you did really well and you have to know I am so proud of you and I know it wasn't easy and you were hurting so much. It was a bad choice and you were wrong but I understand why and all I can do is hope your mind and heart and quiet and at peace. You deserve peace.

Someone asked me if I feel you with me and I don't (I hope I do someday soon) but I know you are with your kids and I will never be far away from them. I swear that. They will always have me in their lives so don't worry about them too much. I can't replace you but I'll love them twice as much in your honor. I'll take care of Toni too, you know she is missing you too. I'll be sister enough for both of us to her and Cory.I hope you knew most of this before. I think you did.

My last words to you in life were love you bye and I guess I need to say that again now. I love you so much, I miss you so much. Goodbye Troy...

From The Little Prince:

"All men have the stars but they are not the same things for different people. For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides. For others they are no more than little lights in the sky. For others, who are scholars, they are problems. For my businessman they were wealth. But all these stars are silent. You–you alone–will have the stars as no one else has them–"

"In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night… You–only you–will have stars that can laugh!""And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me. You will always be my friend. You will want to laugh with me. And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure… And your friends will be properly astonished to see you laughing as you look up at the sky! Then you will say to them, 'Yes, the stars always make me laugh!'"

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy Calendar Flipping

So it's here- the time of year I hate. The day on the calendar that is like pouring acid into a not yet healed wound. The day I wish the whole world would ignore not have a global party on. Why can't it just be the day we flip the calendar? Must we draw so much attention to it? New Years Eve/Day was never my favorite Holiday in the best of times but now it is just a reminder of how long ago it is that I lost my brother.

Last year I embraced the horror and I spent the whole Holiday period reliving each painful moment of the year before (feel free to review the archives). It was cathartic and I needed to get out all that pain. I still have the visual of letting my memories roam about a soft, warm, protected pasture where they can be at peace. But that is not to say that there are not still scars. I still feel that pain. My eye still sting with tears at the most random moments thinking about him. I broke down just the other day as I was playing with art- I wondered if he would mock me (probably) but secretly be proud of me for being creative. I'll never know.

And there are additional losses this year like losing my Grandma to add to the burden of losing Troy. I don't want that, I don't want my memories of those I have loved and lost to be burdens. I keep hoping that I will find peace, that any second now the sharp edges of those memories will soften and I can hold them close again without shredding myself raw. That time has not come yet.

So this year we are going with denial. I am going to do my best to not think of the pink elephant in the room and just going on living. I hope that while I am busy doing that some of the edges might get ground down.

So :::shaking it off, throwing my shoulders back:::

I am doing my usual re-set to see where I am and where I want to go in 2010. I kick started this by getting a haircut and chopping 8 inches off my hair. New year, new look. I also started to Acai Berry cleanse. There is a 14 day weight flushing (and they do mean flushing) and then there is a 14 day fat burning cleanse. I am hoping this clears out the crud and helps get me revved up and on track for my new weight loss goals. My goal is to hit 175. I haven't locked down a timeline yet but I am thinking by summer for sure. I am just going to be gentle about it and aim for getting back into good eating habits and consistent workouts. I am super excited to have Chris help me and exercise with me as well.

I also want to bring Chris back to Iowa sometime in the spring to meet my whole Iowa tribe. WE are so lucky to have each other and I am so thrilled to have him and can't wait to get our life together started. With that comes a whole chain of goals and decisions to be made that we are working on together. Stay tuned for updates.

I am just doing my best to stay humble and grateful and be glad for the family I do have, my friends, my job and most of all for my love Chris. With all that good stuff going how can 2010 not be the best year ever? And hopefully next year the edges will have softened a bit more.

All my love to you my friends....

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Have Yourself...

So I am sitting here at work waiting for the last few sands in the work hourglass to run out and then I start my Christmas vacation. I am soooo looking forward to just a few days to unplug and unwind. There has been so much chaos and pressure the past few weeks, hell the past year for that matter that a deep, deep breathe is in order.

So much has changed these past months. I have lost so much yet gained the love of my life. Now that I have Chris in my life I can't imagine taking a single step forward without him by my side. Damn if it wasn't true what "they" all said- that when you find "the one" you will know instantly. I might not have known on our first date Chris was the one but I had that locked down by the third date and by the time we were a month in I was a goner. I was head over heels in real love for the first time in my life and I know he is my soul mate and my forever love.

I am sorry to not be with my family this year but at the same time its just not where I need to be. I need to be here and make that fresh start. What I am looking forward to most with the Holidays is frankly just being alive during them. Last year I was a zombie and as most of you know I spent them reliving the horror of losing Troy and went through it all step by step. I am ready to start putting the loss I have experienced behind me (adding in losing my grandma and other loses this year) and honor those who have passed by living. And not just living but thriving and experiencing joy and making the most out of MY time here. That is my gift to myself and all the people who love me.

It doesn't mean I miss Troy or my Grandma any less or that I am healed from all the scars I have BUT I -can- move on. I have such a bright future ahead of me in 2010 with the love of my life holding my hand and helping me get through everyday. That is more of a gift than I ever dreamt that I would have in my life.

And so to all of you who I love and thank you so much for your endless love and encouragement. I know you have laughed and cried this year right along with me and for that I thank you and I look forward to the next chapter- can't wait to see what happens next!!

Have a wonderful Holiday and please give someone you love an extra tight hug- the hug you get back will be from me!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


So I was gonna spending this afternoon taking my online defensive driving class that I MUST take because of a red light ticket BUT it expired from the date I registered (I thought I had until the end of the year- damn fine print). So I find myself with some time on my hands so I guess it's a good time to blog.

I guess I haven't done an overall update on what's going on in my life lately so here we go. Overall I am pretty happy with life. I know, shocking isn't it? That isn't to say there isn't day to day drama- there is. And that I don't have up and down days- I do. But big picture I am in a good place.

I guess this is the time of year you can't help but looking back and reviewing where you have been and what has happened this year and for me that is- alot. I hit a big goal and a personal milestone (under 200lbs) and while I am struggling with the day to day and moving to my next goal of hitting 160ish next year I am ok with where I am for this moment and look forward to hitting my next goal. And now I know I can do it! :)

The biggest change is of course falling head over heels with the man of my dreams. I think its fun that you were all along for the ride as well. You have been in the backseat of our relationship all along and have laughed and cried right along with us. Chris is been such a life changer. To have the unconditional love and support he gives me has filled up holes in me that I didn't even know I had. He is the perfect man for me and I know he has been my destiny all along. It's hard to explain to him just how much he has brought to me and how he has enhanced my life. I guess it's like putting on glasses for the first time. You are able to see without them but the way the world looks so much brighter and sharper and more clear with them- makes all the difference in the world.

He will never know all the little things he does for me, and big ones too. You all know he has been getting his art projects off the ground and we have had a lot of fun with the art shows but what he didn't realize is getting more involved in art has been on my bucket list for 4 years now and I have never done anything about it- until he opened that door for me, I am now working on my own stuff and have a whole new way to be creative and express myself.

Employment wise life has thrown me a few curve balls but I have to say I am really glad to have landed where I did and love being in the software space. It is interesting and challenging and it's great to be with such a solid company and work with such a good team. I am still pleased that this is a position I found solely through the power of my network which I invested a bunch of time building. It's good to know that was a good investment and now it's paying off for Chris too with a bunch of new options on the horizon for him.

It's been a challenging year for my family. I am excited to be a Great Aunt and can't wait to meet my grand-nephew in the spring. I wish the news was as positive for everyone. I just want it to be better for everyone and still struggle with what I can do to make it better for my family while I am so far away.

I am starting to start thinking about 2010 goals for me and for Chris and I as a couple and I am so excited to flip the calendar and start a whole new year and a whole new decade. I know without a doubt that 2010 will be the best year of my life and can't wait to share it all with you. As always I have to thank you all for your love and support.

Please do me a HUGE favor and leave me a comment with what you like/don't like/what gotten out of this blog. I would love to hear from you!!

Love and peace to you all....


Monday, December 14, 2009

The Ghost of Christmas Spirit

The theme for the month is- I am trying.

Now this will make any of my fellow Rapport Master Grads crazy as "try" is a powerless word. Think Yoda- "there is no try, only do"and to a large extent I agree. Powerless words are just that-powerless. That doesn't make them any less true though and honestly I have been feeling pretty powerless recently.

I feel empty. I spent the better part of the weekend in a total zombie state. The waves of depression and cresting and I feel the dark tug of the undercurrent wanting to drag me down down down. I don't remember anything this weekend but sitting on my couch and tasting the salt of my tears which I couldn't even be bothered to wipe away. I'd probably still be sitting there if not for Chris coming over to pull me up and letting me rest on his strong shoulders. His love is literally the only thing holding me together right now.

It's the Santa hats.

I was looking through family pics and since I mainly was home only for the Holidays the past decade most of my pics are of Christmas. And in each pic my brother is there wearing yet another Santa hat. It was his thing and I never even really noticed. I have to say his last Santa hat was a doozy- it had a very odd looking beard attached and was suitable for scaring small children- which he did. Along with embarassing his own kids. So all of the sudden I see Santa hats everywhere and they all remind me of Troy.

I know several people who have recently lost someone they love and I think it is a special kind of hellish pain when you lose someone around the Holidays. I have to say all the joy has been sucked out of the season for me. I don't feel any Holiday spirit and frankly just wish they were all over and done with. And it's not just Christmas for me because as most of you know we lost my brother on New Years Eve and I flew home on New Year's day. So once again I will mentally relive that horror. I can't help it. You'd have better luck stopping the tide than turning my mind away from that horrific timeline. I'd love to look forward to this New Years and for the first time in my life being with the person I am sharing my future with as we kiss in the New Year but I don't see that day ever holding any joy for me.

And now this year I have the first year without my Grandma to look forward to. She is the heart of my family and without her I fear we are all a bit adrift. Everyone put forth an effort to make her happy and without her? I don't know....I hope traditions continue but I don't have much to say about it since I alone have chosen to move away. Not that I regret it and as awful as it sounds I am glad to not be home this year. Not that I don't love my family- they know I do. I would just rather have my own special time with each of them (preferably them coming to AZ) than make with the fake frivolity just because its Christmas.

Christmas is dead for me. It died with Troy and it died a bit more with my Grandma. It died with the erosion of my relationship with my mother and as much as I want to fix it all I can't. It is beyond my powers. I just want to crawl into a hole and hang a sign "closed for the season". I want to seal myself in a cave and only let my love come in and hold me and do his best to nurture my broken soul through this hideous time of year.

I want to believe, don't think I don't. I used to believe in the magic. I used to marvel at the wonderment and delight at all the merriments but the curtain has been ripped down and I see the illusion for what it is. I hope the magic comes back. I hope I can be lit up again and dream those dreams.....I'm trying. Really I am.