Nitty Gritty Dirty Grief

“Hope is the dream of a soul awake.”

The quote above is a French proverb…..isn’t it wonderful? To be awake…to have hope.


33 miners were rescued today from half a mile in the earth.

Half a mile is a long way…..a very, very long way.

Did you see them as they came up? They looked good; full of life, full of energy, full of hope. When the mine collapsed 70 days ago I thought how can a person live in those conditions for two months? Away from the light? In the middle of the earth?

Maybe because they knew the whole world was trying to save them, maybe because they had hope.

How very important is hope?

I went to a breakfast today for the Mental Health Center of Denver. My dad sits on the board as the treasurer and I was very proud to be there today. The MHCD believes that people can recover from mental illness given the right tools. They believe people with this illness can go on to live healthy, productive lives with healthy productive relationships.

Do you know what they do?

They give people hope.

They tell people they can recover.

Dad got up to the podium after breakfast as the treasurer and asked for donations. I cried through his whole speech……his speech was about giving to the gift of hope.

Even Dad got a little verklempt which made me cry even harder…..on the verge of ugly cry into my breakfast burrito…..I hid my head under a napkin.

Because like the miners, like the people who Dad represented today….I need hope.

I want hope.

Hope that life does go on.

Hope that I can see the light half a mile down.

Hope that I can believe in hope……

And I do……I have that hope for me (most of the time)

I have that hope for Hubby……

I have that hope for us….

What makes me sad is that I wanted that hope for Samantha…..I clung to that hope for her…..like a crazy spider monkey on the vine, I clung to that…..it’s hard to know what hope to cling to now.

Because now she is the soul, she is the dream, she is the light half mile down in the darkness…a tiny beacon for what we can do, what we should do, if we only embrace the hope.

My hope is that I will embrace the hope.
Nitty Gritty Dirty Grief

What I had to say isn’t as important

I had my blog post all figured out tonight.


And then I read an email from my friend Rebecca…..posted in regards to yesterday’s story….

Yesterday Caroline looked at her daddy right before our dinner prayer and said, “please ask God how Samantha is doing.” I asked her how she thought Sam was doing. Her answer – “oh, she is great, she is dancing and singing in heaven.” Max looked over and with a firm voice added “Samantha is talking now.” He can say her name perfectly now, I miss the way he used to say Antha.


It was an unexpected conversation, but not uncommon. She is never far from their thoughts, or mine.

I am glad the little bird came to the wedding, she must have arrived after taking a break from all the dancing.


Well, no matter what is going on in my life, this is far more important and far more touching, and far more wonderful and far more magical.

Thank you my very intelligent, my very thoughtful, small friends……




Nitty Gritty Dirty Grief

Love, love, love

Hubby and I went to a wedding today….it is October 10, 2010 and the wedding was at 10:00….10, 10, 10 at 10.


At ten this morning it was a little chilly, especially on the top of Flagstaff mountain in Boulder; but it was fabulous and the love in the air was palpable.

We pulled into the parking lot and was greeted by 5 year Izzy who jumped into my arms. She looked right at me…..Where is Samantha? She asked.

The way she asked it wasn’t where is Samantha today but where is she….if she’s not here with us, where could she be? She looked directly into my eyes. Izzy wanted answers.

“Oh Sweetie,” I said, “she’s in heaven, she’s up in the sky but she comes around. Maybe today we’ll find her in the clouds or in a bird or a flower.”

“I’ll look for her,” she said and then jumped out of my arms, content with my answer.

As we walked down to the amphitheater, I looked for a bird but the skies were empty.

The service was wonderful….simple, loving. Seneca and Greg got married a little older and you can feel how very happy to have found the other. They are giddy, looking at each like precious treasures they had the amazing fortune to stumble upon.

I adore weddings. I love that Hubby and I hold hands, squeeze each others fingers and remember to fall in love again.

During the ceremony, I found my little bird. Actually I heard her before I saw her…..her sweet little tweet through the trees. She finally flew down to a lower branch to watch the ceremony with us. I thanked her for coming.

It was the only bird I saw that day……maybe because I was looking for her.

At a tasty brunch afterwards, I had Izzy and her sister Nora on my lap. Nora went through the homemade cloth napkins the bride gave as wedding presents.

“This one is for you,” she said holding a blue flowered napkin. She then assigned Hubby a blue one with small polka dots.

“This is Samantha’s,” she said holding up a yellow flowered pattern. “And this is for your little boy.” She handed me a napkin with big blue polka dots. Our little family captured in homemade napkins by a seven year old…..I may never use those napkins. I would be too afraid to spoil them with a spot of grease or tomato sauce.

I love that to these girls, our kids are not gone…..just because we can’t see them, doesn’t mean they aren’t around.

These these little people ask openly about what’s going on. They celebrate where she could be…..I’m trying to take lessons in 5-year old thought.

It was an enchanting day.

AND it finally, finally rained and felt like a cool October morning. My change has come.

I would wish my friends the best of luck in their new marriage but they really don’t need it. The way they look at each other….they are solid……solid as the earth.

And a little bird blessed their wedding.
Nitty Gritty Dirty Grief

Hi Ho Hi Ho

I have almost been working two full weeks. Well, really I was always working but now I have an office. I am required to change out of my sweats, take a shower and report to a client older than four.


Alas, the changes in life.

It has been a funny two weeks. I have realized something……

I’m tired. I collapse into bed and sleep until the dreaded alarm sounds in the morning. I find this ironic because there were many, many nights when I didn’t sleep with Samantha and even when I could sleep, sleep did not come easily.

Perhaps this exhaustion is four years of sleep deprivation, perhaps it’s because I can no longer sneak in a snooze until 8 or partake in an afternoon nap. Perhaps it is having to be ‘on’ all day….

perhaps, perhaps, perhaps…..

It doesn’t matter the reason, I’m tired.

And I now have no time to Facebook….I am cut of from the world.

Pre-work, people would say to me I can’t facebook, I’m too busy.

And I would think who is too busy to facebook????

Me, right now….so very tragic….

But never fear because my job requires that I get a Smartphone. So I will be able to facebook from my smartphone.

There’s a funny statement for you……facebook from my smartphone….I wonder if you could smartbook from your facephone? I don’t think I want a facephone.

I’m not quite sure about this smartphone thing. How do we know they are smartphones? Did they take a test? Study? I would have been the doesn’t exceed to her full potential phone.

What happens to the smartphones who don’t pass?

My new (old) company is also a green company…which is fabulous but kind of cracks me up. On the first day I got a coffee mug and a plastic cup. If you go downstairs for lunch and forget your cup, you’re outta luck…..

Because they got rid of all the disposable cups…..all of them. Adios Styrofoam… now how cool is that?

My welcome cup is blue. I forgot to bring it to lunch one day. I won’t forget it again. I was too lazy to walk upstairs and get it so I had lunch without a nice, refreshing beverage……I got very thirsty and I’ll tell ya, had a Styrofoam cup been there I would have used it. Thank goodness for quitting cold turkey.

Its been nice to be back. I am happy to report that these ten days have passed without strife…a little sadness but no strife.

Someone did steal my stapler today. I found it in a neighboring cubicle and stole it back….I was then told I need to work on my sharing skills…..remember my blue cup and work on my sharing skills????

I need a smartphone.

Nitty Gritty Dirty Grief

What I would say…..

In September five gay teenagers took their lives……it is making headline news and it should.


Today I meant to post about my new life at work, but I can’t.

This subject is taking too much frontal lobe space and I must purge…..

Suicide is a tough topic for me because we fought tooth and nail for Samantha’s life.

But I get it. I do understand that sometimes you can’t see past the darkness. It makes me incredibly sad that these children felt they had no where to turn…..this is what I would say to these five kids…..

We have failed you and I’m sorry.

Life can be hard. Life can be so hard you feel like your heart is ripping out of your chest.

But it’s not. Despite everything you are going through, the bullying, the hateful comments…..that heart of yours keeps beating, your lungs keep taking in air even though the wind has been knocked out of you….almost as though your body is mocking your pain.

My heart is breaking but it still keeps beating…..how horrible is that? I am holding my breath but still I breathe.

It’s horrible. Sadly, there will be more times when the heart is breaking but still beating.

There will still be times when you feel isolated, alone, afraid and hopeless….but that can’t be the end. There are times when life is fabulous, happy and you’re on cloud 9 but that can’t be the end either.

And really…..how boring would it be it life were fabulous every, single day?

Life is good, life is sad, life is gain, life is loss, life is many, many things…..80 (something) years is a long, long time

And if you leave now, when it’s bad, it will always be bad….it will always be full of strife, hate and pain. But if you stay, if you can fight for who you are, if you can search and find the beauty in life….you will find it and it will find you.

No matter how different you feel.

I have always, always felt different from ‘the norm’. It wasn’t until my daughter came along that I embraced that difference. I had a 4 year old who couldn’t walk, talk or eat…..different became the norm in our life….it still is.

And life has been much smoother since I embrace that difference.

It will get better. It will.

The world is full of people who could have left but decided to stay…..decided to fight and make some sort of change.

And they did.

As I type this my 75 year old neighbor is outside dancing to Grease with her granddaughters in her bathrobe. Seriously, it’s 9:15 at night in our little HOA controlled neighborhood and I can hear her through our bedroom window…..Look at me I’m Sandra Dee just came on.

Random….completely random…….but life….

The world is full of people who love you, love you, love you…embrace that, relish in that. Hold that white flag up….send out the emergency flares and scream I need help! and let them help you because they will, they will come in droves to help and insure you are not alone.

Trust me…..from one survivor to another