C’mon feel the noise

Noise. It’s something that might drive you crazy until you have a child pass on. Sometimes the noise would be so loud that I couldn’t stand it. What I would give now to have YouTube playing on Zachary’s cell phone in the kitchen. It used to drive me insane. Now, I just miss it.

Sarah has taken over the YouTube noise however; it gets played on the television. Somehow a 14yr old Okie girl talks like a New Yorker from watching #jennamarbles so much. I’ll give it to her though, she is hysterical.

Sarah’s friend Aidan spent the last two nights with us. Aidan is musically inclined. It has been so great to hear the ukulele being played and singing coming from upstairs. It’s been delightful to hear the sound of Sarah singing and dancing to her new vinyls she received for Christmas.

Noise. You miss it as a loss parent. It seems like such a small thing but the constant background noise from having two kids in the house is one of the best sounds. We love it when she has friends over or the neighbor boys just for their sound.

Parents, I have a word of advice in the words of #QuietRiot, “C’mon feel the noise.” Enjoy it, embrace it, be a part of it. One day, it will be gone. Ours just disappeared quicker than expected.

Zachary and marshmallows only because, “nobody likes me brown bits.”

#suddencardiacarrest #cardiacarrhythmia #suddendeath #grief #grieving #mourn #mourning #childloss #lossofchild #mamabear #compassionatefriends #imwithyoumommy #lgbt #RSU #RogersStateUniversity #ForeverAHillcat #OKEQ #wemissyouZach #harrystyles #onedirection #niallhoran

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Christmas 2018

We managed to cram all of Christmas into one weekend with all of our family. We went down Friday night to spend the night at my parents. I took Zachary’s T-shirt blanket with us so I felt a part of him was with us. Friday night went fine. I cried a little hugging my Mom which is kind of why I wanted to spend the night the night before.

Saturday. I woke up early as I like to have coffee with my parents just me and them. It’s a special time when no one else is awake, no other siblings are there, and it’s just us. After getting ready, we went to eat at my Father-In-Law and Donnie’s house. Lunch went great. I got a little teary eyed on our way there but thanks to my awesome husband, I was able to pull it back in and enjoy our visit with them.

We went back to my parents house and by the time I was finishing up our “Frosty the Cheesy Snowman” family started to arrive. It was an awesome night with lots of food, fun, laughter, etc there were just a few things missing. Zachary, Tyler (who stopped by earlier) Griffin and Val. It was just the four youngest this year as Zachary has moved to Heaven and the others are busy. There was a hole in the night where the others should have been. That is one thing I am learning, everyone’s life moves on no matter how bad you don’t want it too, including your own.


The girls all had fun with their gift exchange and playing Tenzies and Quelfing. “Women be Quelfing on Christmas Eve” was sang more than once at the table. Giggles were had and it made the trip down so worth it.

Then, I fell apart in the car on the way home. It never fails that something is said or something happens that sets me back a little. I won’t go into details but, ending the second Christmas without Zachary would have been enough to cause tears.

We got home Christmas Eve and had Taco Bueno. I usually cook dinner but we are totally going by the seat of our pants anymore. Jonathan and Sarah ended up watching WW2 movies while I wrapped gifts. We opened Aunt JeanAnne and Uncle Jack gifts and Sarah got to open one gift before Christmas. This has always been a tradition.


Christmas morning came and went in a flash. Sarah had an amazing morning. She received lots of concert T-shirt’s and vinyl records with a player. She also received tickets to see her favorite boy singer in Dallas, TX in June. We knew if Zachary were still alive he would have petitioned for her to be allowed to go see #HarryStyles . That was his style. Anything for his little sister.

Cedrick and Melissa came over and hung out. It’s always good to have them over and catch up. We haven’t gotten to see Ced lately as he has been busy with college and working. That’s what Zachary would be doing if he were still around. We finished the evening with dinner and more movies and then I came down after the night was over again.

The main take away is that we did it. I know we don’t have a choice but we did it. We made it through another year. Although tears were shed, it is okay to shed those tears. One we love dearly is missing and I will cry every year the rest of my life on holidays, birthdays, and days in between. I’m allowing myself to feel them more than ever before and it’s helping.

Over the past three months, we have really developed a neat family unit with the three of us and are learning to really depend on each other. Sarah has started opening up and we are all still leaning in.

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and enjoyed your time with family.

Love to you all,


#suddencardiacarrest #cardiacarrhythmia #suddendeath #grief #grieving #mourn #mourning #childloss #lossofchild #mamabear #compassionatefriends #imwithyoumommy #lgbt #RSU #RogersStateUniversity #ForeverAHillcat #OKEQ #Christmas #wemissyouZach

Vintage stuff received:

#nirvana #davegrohl #greenday #niallhoran #ACDC #johnnycash #journey

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Shop a little. Cry a little. Repeat.

This weekend was a great weekend. Even though I had a complete and utter breakdown Saturday night starting in a GameStop, and ending at home even after stopping at McDonalds to pick up dinner, it was great. I’ve learned to accept that breakdowns are going to happen. Sometimes I can rein them back in and sometimes you can’t. It’s fine and life moves on.

Friday night Sarah babysat for the neighbors so Jonathan and I actually went Christmas shopping. That was the first time we had done so in years. We usually take advantage of Amazon to avoid the crowds but, we are trying different things this year. Halfway through our trip, I got a little teary eyed. I know exactly what I think set it off. I saw a stuffed Spider-Man pillow in the home section and they started. Jonathan is always great about helping me get back and I was able to that night. It’s the next day that was sooooooo awful.

Saturday we went to Vintage Stock and GameStop, two of Zachary’s favorite stores. I did okay in Vintage Stock. My body tried to tear up but I controlled it. We finished there and went to GameStop. This is where all rational thinking went to heck in a hand basket however; it was a very normal reaction to the setting we were in. It’s a big step to accept that these will happen and there is nothing wrong or to be embarrassed about. If our cultural was more empathetic, maybe someone would learn to ask if they are okay. In one year, it’s happened three times! That’s it.

While we started to shop, my body realized we had not been back to that GameStop since the weekend before Zachary passed away. We had a great weekend and he and Jonathan bought some games. We hadn’t been back in there since that weekend. My brain realized this and all straight thinking went out the window. The tears started, I went and stared in a corner to let them out. I got myself together and helped JJ finish shopping with a few tears coming here and there. As soon as we hit the car, all bets were off. On came the sobbing, shutting down, hands over your ears and face, ugly crying, bent over at the waist. Any grieving Mother knows exactly what I’m talking about. This lasted the entire car ride to McDonalds, in the drive through lane and on the way home.

Sarah was home getting ready to go to a friend’s house to spend the night so I had to bring it in so I could drive here there and not have her worry about her Mommy all night while at her friends. After dropping her off, I came home and proceeded to fall asleep in my chair as grieving is hard work and freaking exhausting.

Sunday we were going to see a movie but, decided to go down and see Sarah’s Uncle GumGum instead. He was in town from South Carolina. One thing we have learned, is family is most important and it was so great to visit. It got us more in the holiday spirit to see the rest of my family that lives in town Saturday. I made it through the day without crying.

Grief is hard. You shop a little then, you cry a little. It is especially hard during the holidays. So, if you see a woman or man in the middle of a grocery store, mall, anywhere crying, just ask if they need anything. If they say no, ask again. It usually takes twice to get an honest opinion. Also, if you see a woman crying, don’t assume her husband made her cry. That is always Jonathan’s fear is that someone is going to think he made me cry when in all reality, it’s just my body and sometimes it can’t be controlled.

Love to you whoever reads this!

#suddencardiacarrest #cardiacarrhythmia #suddendeath #grief #grieving #mourn #mourning #childloss #lossofchild #mamabear #compassionatefriends #imwithyoumommy #lgbt #RSU #RogersStateUniversity #ForeverAHillcat #OKEQ #RSU

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Zachary loved #tron from when he was little. One of my fav memories is seeing the new Tron movie in the George Lucas Theater at Disney World. Sarah fell asleep. Zach was on the edge of his seat.

It all started with a shirt.

So, today I took a big step in my grief journey. When Zachary passed away, I made Jonathan bring his hamper home from his dorm room and it has been sitting in his closet with his dirty clothes still in it. Just sitting there. It has been sitting there for over a year now. I go in occasionally and smell them. I know, gross right? If you’ve lost a child, you know how fantastic the smell of your lost child is. You know what you would give to have that dirty, sunshine smell hair and skin come walking in the door from skateboarding and just inhale it and never let it go.

Today, I let some of it go. It all started with a shirt. This shirt in particular.


Sarah’s style has evolved and she asked if she could have her brother’s Fun concert T-shirt’s. This is a really big deal for me. Fun. was the first and only concert Zachary had ever been to. We went in the summer with my sister and her family and my brother-in-laws side of the family who I have known since I was I think 18. It was such a fun night and Zachary was so excited we were able to get T-shirt’s. He almost wore his out so he asked if he could have mine and wore it so much it is the perfect softness. He wore that shirt at least once a week from his Freshman year until he graduated high school. It didn’t make the trip to college with him but mine did. It was in that dirty hamper.

I went through that dirty clothes hamper today. I got every shirt I thought Sarah may have a chance of wanting and washed the boy out of the shirts. This is a huge huge huge step. I did have to save one shirt and put it in a ziplock bag. You see, when I picked this shirt up in the hamper, it literally smelled like Zachary was giving me a hug. I couldn’t let this one go.


This was another one of his favorite shirts that was worn on repeat for several years and it made the trip to college. It had gotten a little too small and almost too short but he still wore it and loved it. Maybe one day I will be able to wash this one but I doubt it. It went into the ziplock with Zachary’s Rogers State University T-shirt. There are some things a Mommy just can’t let go of. I did manage to get quite a stack for Sarah that she got to pick through. The rest of the now clean T-shirt’s will go in his dresser drawers till I decide what I am ready to do with them.

I know it seems like such a silly thing. That clothing would hold so much value that you wouldn’t wash it. I know it probably makes me gross because I go in and smell it but, I miss it. I miss what I always called “sunshine” on our kids because I never wanted to tell them they stank. But today, I did it. I let go a little. It’s baby steps. There were tears and I let them come and accepted them for what they were. They weren’t sad tears. They were tears from remembering a beautiful boy and the wonderful short life he lived. He is missed so much.

#suddencardiacarrest #cardiacarrhythmia #suddendeath #grief #grieving #mourn #mourning #childloss #lossofchild #mamabear #compassionatefriends #imwithyoumommy #lgbt #RSU #RogersStateUniversity #ForeverAHillcat #OKEQ #fun #treeandleaf #RSU

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