This has been one of those weeks. One of those weeks that is pivotal in one's life. One of those weeks that changes EVERYTHING.
The last seven days have brought emotions that range from happiness and laughter to heartbreak and mourning. I am drained, exhausted, and emotionally spent.
On Saturday, February 12, 2011, my Pawpaw passed away. One of the greatest men I know was called home to our Heavenly Father. Although I know that he is in a better place, my heart still breaks at the fact that I won't see him again this side of Heaven and that my children will not know him the way I knew him.
This crushing event began the domino-effect of emotions and events that take place the next several days.
The following Monday, February 14, we gave the girls their Valentine's gifts, hoping that it would provide them with a little happiness on this difficult day. Then we traveled the 2 hours back to my hometown to prepare for the visitation for my Pawpaw. So many tears were shed and hugs received. Late that night we all finally crashed in the bed red-eyed and exhausted.
The next morning, Tuesday, February 15 was such a mixture of emotions. It was supposed to be one of the happiest days of the year. Our sweet Addison was celebrating her 1st birthday. As a mommy, I'd been having a difficult time with my baby turning 1. The year has flown by and I was just trying to get adjusted to the fact that time was slipping by so quickly. But on this particular day, I tried to be excited for our sweet girl. We actually had "birthday muffins" (a family tradition) that morning complete with a candle and the "Birthday" song. And I smiled...as I cried. I cried because my baby was growing up. I cried because I miss those sweet newborn days. I cried because I long for those nights of rocking her to sleep on my chest. And I cried because, in just a few hours, I would be burying my Pawpaw- on my baby's 1st birthday. I was an emotional wreck!
My brother celebrated his birthday the following day, February 16. I'm not sure how "Happy" the day was. We were all still walking in a daze. Missing one of the most important men in our life. We were all there for each other, and knew we had to find our new "normal". But where were we to begin?
Thankfully, I had things to keep me busy the next couple of days. Audrey went back to preschool, and errands and grocery shopping had to resume.
Then Friday, February 18, my mom came up to help with the girls while I prepared for Addison's birthday party that was to take place the next day. I'm so glad she was there because the night before, Addison began running a fever which continued in full force all day. She was clingy, whiny and needy. If mom hadn't been there as an extra set of arms to love on Addison, I wouldn't have gotten anything accomplished. I think loving on the girls was good medicine for Mom as she was dealing with the loss of Pawpaw as well.
Saturday morning, February 19, we woke to a beautiful, warm, sunny day. Such a perfect day for a party. But poor Addison was still running a fever and feeling just pitiful. Tylenol nor Advil would touch that stinkin' fever.
We still celebrated. Friends and family came from all over to watch Addison blow out her first candle, dig into her first cake, and open her birthday gifts. She tolerated the festivities, but I could tell she didn't feel good at all. We quickly did the cake and gift thing, then I put her to bed while the older children enjoyed some playtime outside. The adults had a good time visiting with one another.
Although there was laughter and smiles, there was still an empty feeling without Pawpaw being there. It was good for the family, however, to be together for a day of happy celebration.
So, this week was one that changes everything. It included celebration and sadness, laughter and grief. Because of the events of this past week, my life will not be the same. And as long as I live, it is one I will never forget.