Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Adjusting to our New Normal

Yesterday, in the effort to live up to the motto of "Life Must Go On", I dragged Hugh and the Man-Cub out to the pumpkin patch. While the excursion wasn't the same without The Teenager, we all managed to put on a brave face before diving into the search for this year's annual sacrifice to the carving gods. And, it turned out to be a lovely way to spend an absolutely gorgeous autumn afternoon (seriously, the weather has been crazy-gorgeous here, unseasonably warm and mellow).

We each found the perfect pumpkin, including one that we chose for the absent Teenager, and, once home; carved our masterpieces while watching Moonshiners and eagerly awaiting the first roasted pumpkin seed (they turned out pretty spectacular as well).

So, I accomplished the first traditional family holiday activity without The Teenager in the house, and, while weird, it did not break me.

I just might make it as a half-empty-nester after all.










Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Well, Staring At a Blank Screen Isn’t Going to Get Me Anywhere

I’ve attempted to write this post about fifteen times over the past week and, each time I think I have the words, I am proven completely wrong. So, I think it best to admit the truth; there are no words.
There are no words to express the depths of my sorrow. No words to bring comfort to my broken heart. No words powerful enough to erase the pain of the last week or adequate enough to describe the events that led to it.
And, that’s ok.
It’s ok to feel like I am being held under water, aware that life is going on around me but unable to distinctly hear the conversations or to clearly see. That will pass, of course it will.
It’s ok to grieve; I will.

I do.
But, my dad would be so disappointed if I allowed that grief to paralyze me. If I allow it to diminish my capacity to love life or give it a chance to steal my joy; I will dishonor every lesson that my dad ever taught me.

And, I can't have that.
So, instead, I will focus on the blessings that are so abundant in my life. I will make myself do the things that I know need to be done and I will do my very best to be joyful in the execution.
And, one day (soon, please let it be soon), the words will come.
And, it will be ok.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Writing the Unwritable

The world lost a beautiful man and a kind soul with the sudden passing of Ronnie Dean Elliott on October 19, 2014. On the bright side, Heaven’s football team gained an outstanding coach.

Ronnie was born in Amarillo, Texas on September 3, 1943 to Alfred Glen and Pauline Elliott.

His family moved to Monte Vista in 1958 where Ronnie attended Monte Vista High School and pursued the two greatest loves of his life: sports, and Dorothy Lehnerz; he was successful in both endeavors, playing football, basketball, and baseball, and, winning Dorothy’s heart. Ronnie and Dorothy were married on November 22, 1962, and spent almost 52 years together before his untimely passing.

Ronnie attended Adams State College, graduating with a BA in Business and a teaching degree. Ronnie made his living in education and as an administrator of the Colorado State Veteran’s Center, but, he lived his life for his family and for sports.
In his seventy-one years of life, Ronnie coached flag football teams, tackle football teams, youth basketball teams, and Babe Ruth baseball teams. He led by example, with grace and dignity. He believed in hard work, dedication, loyalty, and team spirit. He couldn’t abide a quitter and loved the underdog. He saw the potential in each individual he coached and he worked tirelessly to instill self-confidence and pride in his athletes. He was patient, brave, and compassionate; three skills which prepared him for his most challenging coaching assignment: raising three daughters. 

In addition to coaching, Ronnie spent twenty-eight seasons refereeing High School football and basketball games. He enjoyed the physical challenge, overlooked the hecklers, and, called ‘em like he saw ‘em. He was installed in the Colorado Football Association Hall of Fame in 2003, in honor of his contributions.
His love of sports continued to the day he died, with avid participation in Fantasy Football Leagues, where he was affectionately known as Puff.

Ronnie was an active member of the Ski-Hi Stampede Committee, volunteering his time and talent for over twenty years. He counted Committee members among his best friends, and, it was for them that he actually rode a horse. Once.
Privileged to have shared in his life, wife Dorothy, daughters, Kristy (Clay) Corzine, Michelle (Steve) Gottlieb, and Brandi Elliott, grandsons Bryce Corzine, Joshua Gottlieb and Brecken Reiser, granddaughters Samantha Corzine and Brooke Gottlieb.

In addition, he is survived by sister, Glenda Osborne, Step-sister Joan Messser, lifelong friends, Merv and Darla Self, friends and family too numerous to mention, and, by Roper, the dog his wife swore he would never have.
Ronnie was preceded in death by his parents and by his son, Richard Glen Elliott, and grandson, Mitchell Elliott Reiser, with whom he was no doubt reunited on a heavenly football field.

Practice started at 10:30 a.m. on the morning of October 19, 2014.

 
I love you, Daddy, and I miss you, already.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

“Hope” is the Thing With Feathers

 
“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.
 
-Emily Dickinson
 
 
 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

This Day Just Keeps Getting Better

The menfolk are off hunting.

My house is basically clean (couldn't stand it anymore, had to bust out the Hoover once I realized that the cat I kept seeing in my peripheral vision was actually a cat-sized hairball).

I have my scrapping supplies laid out and organized and ready to use.

I just made a date with Jana for dinner and a movie, later this evening.

There will be wine.

And, dessert.

Enough said.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Whatever Shall I Do?

Hugh and the Man-Cub have plans to get up early tomorrow morning to go hunting. They will probably be gone for the entire day, depending on whether or not they find Bambi, and that leaves me with an entire day to myself. Whatever will I do to fill my time?

I could clean the house....nah, it isn't completely disgusting yet.

I could rake and fertilize the garden for next Spring...or, I could let Hugh do that, since he's much better at it than I am.

I could sit on my ass on the couch, watching The Food Network and eating my weight in chocolate covered almonds...tempting...but, I can do that when Hugh and the Cub are home.

I think I will suck it up and force myself to work on the kids' scrapbooks. I am ridiculously far behind, I have a ton of cute supplies that I have purchased and that are going to waste, and, I have been invited to join a scrapping club by one of the Booster Club moms; I would like to be somewhat caught up and organized before I attend the first scrap party next month. So, ding, ding, ding! We have a winnah!

Scrapbooking for $100, Alex!

And, just to be fair and balanced, I'll tune the television in my craft room to The Food Network and I'll pour a small bowl of chocolate covered almonds for snacking; a girl has to keep her energy up, after all.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sending a Message in a Bottle

When I started blogging many, many years ago, I had two motives: one, to provide a means for my parents to connect with the daily lives of the grandchildren from whom they were separated, geographically, and, two, to create a time capsule of sorts; something that I could read back over to remind me of the fleeting time when the children were small.

Because I  was all too aware of the brief nature of childhood, I wanted a record; a written account of every lost tooth, scraped knee, Christmas morning, first day of school, and ballet recital. It wasn't enough for me to log those firsts in baby books, or to scrap them onto album pages; I needed a space for a more detailed account of our life, and, I found that in blogging.

This space has served my intended purposes quite well; my parents have maintained a close relationship with my children despite the distance that separates them and I have ample material to read back over when my memories inevitably become fuzzy around the edges. But it has had an unexpected benefit as well, it has provided The Teenager with a way to stay connected to the home and family that she desperately misses during this first (and most difficult) year of college.

I love that I have this platform to reach my baby. I love that she reads this and that, by doing so, she will know how much we miss her and how incomplete our home is without her in it. I love that she can watch her brother navigate the last three years of High School through the stories that I share in this space, and I hope that it goes a long way to make her feel included in her brother's life, because she misses him, she really does. And, I hope that, some day, the Cub will also seek out this space, to remind him of home when he is far away, to reconnect him to the sister he also misses terribly, or to reassure himself that he is, and always has been, loved.

I have always written about my children; it never occurred to me that I was writing for my children. But, that has now become my favorite reason for writing.

It is my dearest hope that they will read our story and that they will garner a fraction of how very loved and cherished they were (and are). Because, I could write a novel on the topic, but, I love them far beyond what mere words on a page can convey.