May 31

I often play this song when I’m having a bad day…and I belt it out at the top of my lungs…much to Howard’s displeasure (or pleasure…depending on if I’m really trying to sound good. hee!).

Today I want to send the link to the video to another best friend.  I think of you, Heather, more than you know.  I love you and pray for you but I KNOW you’ll come through everything okay.  This song got me through the last few months.  Hang in there.

 

 

May 30

My dearest Dustin,

Where do I begin on this birthday of yours?

It’s been one hell of a year, that’s for sure; and I know I couldn’t have maintained what little sanity I have left without you.

You have held my hand through every bad moment, blow after devastating blow, and exuded a calm and peace I don’t think I’ve seen in any other.

All this while going through the biggest loss of your life.  Elaine would be and is so proud of you.

I love that on Mother’s Day weekend, knowing what a difficult holiday that is for me and the fact that I was spending it alone, you kept me distracted and occupied.

Let’s take the dogs for a walk..”

My parents are having a Barbeque and you’re coming over at 6.

Are you awake? (via phone call) Let’s go to church today.”

And right before church you handed me a Mother’s Day card and during the service, you piped up and made sure I got a candle too because you really do consider me a mother even without live healthy children.  I choked back tears in that moment, did you know that?

You always seem to know when I need a distraction, even if we don’t talk about the issue.

Let’s go kayaking tonight…”

Wanna run to the store with me?”

Everything.  You are a shoulder to cry on but aren’t afraid to get my ass into gear.  I love that.  You call me when I’m out of town to check on me and tell me you “miss me.”

You’ve fought for me, you’ve been my advocate, you’ve been my voice at times, and most importantly, you’ve been my best friend.  You are one of the most selfless people I know.  You are consistently putting others’ needs before your own.

You have also overcome so much in your life.   Your chaotic childhood mirrors mine in so many ways, I often wonder why you turned out so strong and so together and I turned out a train wreck.  Especially when you face the same amount of challenges I continue to face every single day and in reality, your challenges far outnumber mine.  We’ll never know the answer but I do this:  You are Amazing.

I often say that God brought you into my life but how coincidental is it that your birthday marks a very significant anniversary of my own?  Honestly?  I don’t think it’s a coincidence at all.  I think he brought you to me knowing that I needed something to celebrate rather than mourn on this day.  And that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

I celebrate you as a person, as a friend, as the brother I never had.

I’m so thankful you were born, Dustin Trevor.  Let’s get out and enjoy this day!

I love you.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

-Christina (and lil Howie too)

May 28

It’s no secret that the amount of posts has decreased dramatically over the past few months.  I KNOW I ironically declared that 2009 would be a year of posting more!  Posting more Alaska stories even!

But the truth is, though I’ve PLENTY of fodder, I just haven’t felt like sharing it in this public forum.

That isn’t to say I’m not writing at all but right now, at this point in my life, it feels better to put pen to paper.  Amy sent me a beautiful journal for Christmas and it’s almost full now.  I, in fact, need to buy a new one.

 

I journaled a lot when I was younger.  I have stacks of them in storage.  My first therapist told me it would be a wonderful conduit to mental wellness and it absolutely has been.

I would like to say that “it isn’t that I don’t want to share it with you…” but that’s really not true.  I know that you all understand.

Whatever I choose to share is public information for you to interpret any way you see fit and though it seems I do share a lot, this blog only represents a very small glimpse into my life.

I try very carefully to pick the right ones to share.

And at the moment…I haven’t found any “right ones.”

Don’t fret though because I’m CERTAIN that something will happen that I’ll need to broadcast (come on, I’m a drama queen by nature!). 

I’m not going anywhere but I’m no longer making promises of posts that I simply cannot keep.

But keep checking back, I remain as unpredictable as ever.

 

May 12

I read Amanda’s latest post tonight and I feel terrible for her.

A year ago, Howard and I were going through the same thing.  I remember the phone call he made to me at work.

“C just called and told us that the campus is shutting down and everyone’s contract will expire at the end of May…I’m out of a job.”

My stomach did a somersault in my belly as a I mentally thumbed through every bill we owed.  We maintained two homes, we were losing half of our combined income, not to mention, his health insurance.  I will also admit that I did not handle it well.

 

You would have thought it was ME that got the pink slip.  Selfishly enough.

I know that feeling of dread and seeing your goals that were once in sharp focus, go blurry once again.  The panic of “what the HELL are we going to do?” overwhelmed me.

To add insult to injury, I had to add him to my health insurance which raised my premium from $65 dollars to a whopping $400 per month.  Not only were we losing Howard’s income but we were going to hemorrhage a significant chunk of mine as well.

I will say that I am proud that we followed the “8 month rule.”  We had savings that would carry us for exactly that long.  After sleeping on it, I began to feel a little better about things and tried to focus on being a comfort to Howard.

Living in a small village of 300 that is NOT connected to a road system means finding work is twice as difficult as those who can commute to nearby cities.  Howard’s been working every part time job he can find in the search for any full time job available. 

Two weeks ago, he finally got a break and was offered a full time job with the company I work for.  I am also proud to say he got this job based solely on his merit and not because I had any influence.  He was simply the best suited for the position.

This came in the nick of time.  Come June, we would be 30 days late on our mortgage and our savings would be completely gone.  He was going to move to our Wasilla house (on the road system where he would be more likely to find full time work) until I could join him in December (when I’ve fulfilled my 4000 hour pre-requisite for PA school).  I was NOT looking forward to living separately from my husband.

It took us a year but we were among the lucky.  We had enough income to carry us through and he is going back to work.  It’s hard not to feel guilty when people are losing their jobs and their homes.  Especially when some of those people are your best friends.

But we can say this:  From this experience, you will appreciate what you do have, you will learn resilience and tenacity.  And when you come out of it (and you will!), you’ll be all the more humble and grateful for the experience.

You’ll realize just how lucky you are.  Hang in there.

May 7

Today marks a very special day in my life.  More importantly, in my friend Julie’s.  Today, she begins a new and better life as a Divorced woman.

Sad as it should seem, I can’t help but feeling downright giddy.

And ultimately, overwhelmed with joy for her.

Until you have watched your best friend become a mere shell of herself, struggling to hold her life together for the sake of everyone else but herself, then you cannot possibly understand why I feel so completely happy.

I understand why she stayed so long and I commend her.  She really did love her now ex-husband, they had a gorgeous son together.  Julie is the type of person who gives 200% to everything.  She needed to know that if her marriage was going to end, it wasn’t going to be because she didn’t give it her all.  It was tough watching her efforts fail, time and time again, in spite of her best ones.

 

It infuriated me to watch him take her efforts for granted.  I will never forget the first time I really cried about it.  Howard was even taken aback.  I couldn’t even tell him what was going on without bursting into tears.  Here I was, her very best friend, and I could do nothing.  But Julie did say something that resonated with me:  “Chris, I will know when I’ve had enough.”

Sometimes, in a marriage, it’s a lot harder to stay and I respect her for taking the rougher road. 

Ultimately though, her statement proved true.  She’d had enough.  She was done.

She took her son and made a new life for both of them and it’s only gotten better since.

I’m incredibly proud of her. 

Julie, you’ve taught me that some relationships just aren’t worth holding on to.  You’ve finally given me the “wisdom to know the difference” myself.

I love you honey.  Here’s some eye candy for you, my friend.  With a very important message.

Here’s to an incredible new life for you and Aaron.

Thank YOU for teaching me some very important lessons in my own life.

 

 

 

May 3

This song “says” so much.  What a year it’s been.  We’re finally getting over the mountain but still have a long journey ahead.

Thank you so much for everyone who has remained by my side through everything.  Those of you who just sat and listened, who got frustrated with me but still said “Hey, I’m not going anywhere.” 

Thank you to those who could look past your frustration and anger and recognized that no friendship is ever perfect and for your patience to remain here still.  You know who you are.

For those of you who allowed me to “Say what I needed to say.”

Should the opportunity arise for me to reciprocate, you can feel secure in the knowledge that I will always allow the same.

 

You mean everything.  This song is for you!