Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A Little Bit Sentimental

Ok, a LOT sentimental.

My father-in-law made this shelf for my 9yo daughter. Why? Because she asked.  She wanted/needed a shelf to put her Equestria Girls High School on with shelves underneath to hold the dolls and ponies and other toys she might want to play with.

She decided how tall and wide she wanted it, helped measure, wrote down all the numbers, and then helped text the information to grandpa.

Grandpa used leftover and reclaimed wood to make this for her:

Look at that. This wasn't some super-fast thrown together shelf. No, he cared about the materials he chose. He used the best parts of the reclaimed wood, stripped it down to the beauty under the old ugly veneer, and put together this incredible piece of furniture for a nine year-old. For her toys.

Because she asked and because he loves her.

Not only was he happy to build it for her, but he took the time to show both her and myself how he was building it, what tools he was using, and how he was putting it all together.

This dad knows how to be a dad. This grandpa knows how to be a grandpa.

When I do wood projects, he shows me how to use the proper tools and lets me have at it. I now know how to use a drill press, select proper routing bits, use a hand router as well as a routing table, use a dremel and its various bits, as well as circular saws, jigsaws, and other machinery that I can't remember the names of. I love it so much that I started receiving power tools for Christmas.

I will never claim to be a master craftsman or carpenter, but I feel comfortable with the big kid toys and have absolute confidence that if I go to him with a question, he will be more than happy to answer it and show me how to do it.

Dad. Father-in-law. Grandpa.

These are things most people take for granted, but it means the world to me that he shows up to my children's weddings, blessings, baptisms, etc. When they tell him they're in a play or have a rugby game, he tries to be there. He's excited for his grandkids' achievements, endeavors, and lives. He's INTERESTED in them.

He doesn't just claim to be interested, he actively cares. For Christmas, he called and asked what the kids might want that he could build, and then had the items built and ready for Christmas. He follows through.

He builds special race cars, vintage cars, and trucks for his grandsons. -- don't get all feminist on me, because I guarantee that if one of his granddaughters wanted a car, he'd build one for them, too.

When my daughter's son was born, he had a handmade vehicle from Great-Grandpa V waiting for him.

He doesn't wait for us to contact him, he asks about things, calls or texts, and remembers birthdays. He initiates contact if we forget or overlook things.

He was there when I miscarried twins, holding me as I sobbed on his shoulder. He then went across the street to his friends who run an alternative funeral home and asked the wife to come over. She took the little 14 week old babies and cremated them, bringing me the ashes in a beautiful little porcelain Angel nick-nack so that I could have closure.

He CARES; he's made me feel like one of his own daughters.

Now, please don't think my mother-in-law isn't active in my kids' lives. She definitely is. Perhaps I take that for granted because I've seen/had that example from my own mother. She cares and loves her grandkids as fiercely as she loves her kids.

But the dad thing-- You have no idea how much that means. I can't explain. Well... I could, but it's not right to put all that out here. Just know that for me, having a dad show up, to be there, to be involved. To WANT to include me and teach me the hands on things, not caring that I'm a girl, well, it's a very big deal to me.

This Grandpa came to my oldest daughter's wedding (the oldest grandchild, just FYI.) He was early and ready for my son's blessing (my ONLY son, so it was a very big deal to me that I'd finally had a boy after five girls.)  Ok, so Grandpa V was excited because his only son had finally a son to carry on the name. But still, he was there and he was just as excited and happy as we were.

He was there. He came. And it means the world to me that he's come to everything important to us or to his grandkids - even things that I didn't think were a big deal.

I will forever be grateful that I married into such incredible parents.

Friday, April 1, 2016

It's Been A Year

Exactly one year ago, I left home and headed west. By this time (1:26 pm) I had made it to the entrance gate that leads to Antelope Island. 

I stopped there at the picnic table, put my feet up on the bench and slept for a bit. It would be the last time I felt the sun on my face, the last time I felt the wind in my hair, the last everything.

The cement was cool under my back, but that was ok. I would need my body temperature to be low so the shock of the water temperature wouldn't be unbearable. When I reached the water...

Instead of heading to the entrance gate and starting out along the causeway, I headed off into the lake bed. 

For the Great Salt Lake supposedly being this big lake, it was incredibly hard to find the water...

That's a good thing.

It's been a year. I recognize the trauma that my death -- a self-caused death -- would have caused my family and children. I have continued to fight my demons.

Yes, there are times when I still don't want to be here. There have been a couple of days I've wanted to take that long walk again. However, instead of acting on it, I call my psychiatrist, I call my friend who is a therapist. I let people know that I'm in a bad place. 

Communicating is one of the reasons I'm still here.

I have the best friends. I have a great support system in place. Even the people I work with are awesome. Ok, only one knows that I actually attempted to kill myself, but still. I love them.

Earlier this week I was determined to throw a party and celebrate that I've been alive and here and more "with it" than I have been previously. 

Today I woke up and it just isn't one of my better days. On top of that, I'd spent a lot of last night scrubbing down my kitchen. When I woke up, my kids had decided it was a great day to cook corn bread muffins. Crumbs everywhere, the sink full of dishes, and a very grumpy 9yo yelling and crying because her sister is always giving her the muffins with cracks or that crumble.

It's cornbread. There isn't a piece of cornbread anywhere that doesn't crumble. But she refuses to believe that they aren't like muffins.

In spite of the family drama, I am determined to at least make cookies and have something yummy to celebrate the good things. I have kids that I love. I have a house that I love. There is a perfect blue sky, snow on the mountains, and a clean scent in the air.

My daughter who is getting married in October has learned a new song on her Ukelelee (sp?) and it is adorable. 

My daughter who worked so hard to bring a new life into the world has given me the most precious little grandson in the world! 

I have these amazing children with their struggles and their triumphs. I love them so much. 

I truly have been blessed with good things. While there are times that I can't see that, when I honestly feel like I am a detriment to their lives instead of a good thing, today I can see the truth. I do matter to my children, and they do want me to participate in their lives, no matter what stage they are at.

I am a lucky person. I am grateful for the people who have helped me so much. I'm grateful that I've made it through this last year. Here's looking forward to surviving another. :)