Saturday, June 12, 2010

Memorial Day

I miss my old memorial day. I miss when it was about a day off to spend all together. A day to go to the beach or BBQ.   I miss spending memorial day with my best friend.

Now everyday is a memorial day for us. I do like when the rest of the country joins in.  Although days like this are always a little more emotional for me I do not want it to be a sad day. I want it to be a day that I will show how proud I am of my amazing, sweet husband. I enjoy feeling like people remember him a little more on that day. (along with every other soldier who has given his life for this country)

This year each of the girls got to pick out their own flower for Dad. (the little girls were so excited to go take these to daddy. Addie kept saying " I go cemetery to give daddy my flower" She is darling when she says it and it is not something that makes her sad; but it's so strange to hear those words come out of her sweet little mouth. That is a sentence no child should be saying.)  We set up flags Sunday evening around his headstone and took the flowers out on Monday. ( along with balloons with notes to daddy on them)   We each picked a beautiful plant in a pot that we brought home a few days later and planted around our new flagpole in the front yard.  That way we always get to see them.  I actually like to go to the cemetery. But I don't feel like I NEED to go all the time. I know I don't need to be there to talk to Brad. I'm pretty sure the only time he is there is when we are.

We had everyone over for a BBQ and played in the backyard on all the new stuff and roasted marshmallows. It was really fun and I'm so glad we did it.  It is good for me to do things like that on those days.  Being surrounded by family is always good.

I love you my boy. You are our Hero. Not just because you gave your life for our country, but more for the way you chose to LIVE your life everyday.  Thank you for doing heroic things everyday - even if it was just acting like you were thrilled to have spoonfuls of peanut butter for dinner because for whatever reason (sickness, up all night, etc) your wife hadn't gotten around to making dinner. - Thank you for lighting up every time you walked through the door, playing chase with Sophie; kissing me like you hadn't seen me in weeks and when asked how your day was replying - "much better now". Thank you for being "Brad, Brad the Wonder Dad.  Thank you for being you.

 We Miss you

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Missing You

Not much to say tonight except that it's hard to breathe without you today.

Some nights are really long.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tri Tri Tri

The St. George Triathlon was this past weekend.  We had a much smaller group this year, but it was still an amazing thing to be part of.   Brad was training for this in 2008. And he was having a blast doing it. He  would be so excited after a good workout and when he was seeing improvement. You can't use an ipod when you compete, so Brad chose to train with out one. I think it was therapeutic to him to go for a long run or ride and sort everything out inside while he did it.  He would always come home so happy - It was like it energized him and he would come home asking what he could do for me or if I needed anything done.  I think he felt a little guilty about the time involved in the training. It would always make me laugh when he would ask "can I go work out??"   Anyway, it was something he was really excited about. The accident happened 9 days before.  We were planning on leaving Wednesday for the Tri. Instead the kids and I flew out Wednesday to go to Utah for his services.  The day of the Tri ended up being the day of Brad's funeral.

Last year about 35 people competed in it in honor of Brad. We got to have our own memorial heat.  KSL did a story on it and they did an amazing job. It was so fun for me to see Brads smiling face on TV.  It is pretty difficult to sum up Brad in a few sound bites, but they did a good job.  It was a very good thing to be doing on an otherwise difficult day. I was so proud to be running it for Brad and to be a part of this amazing family.  I remember when they were interviewing me after the race (I came in dead last. Kind of embarrassing, but I did have a freshly broken toe so I have a good excuse.)  The reporter was asking how it felt to look around and see all this support. It was very overwhelming. I think about 100 people were there in blue t-shirts with "Swim Bike Run FLY" in memory of Brad Gyro Funk" on them.  It made me cry to look around and see everyone. I remember telling him that it was awesome. and most importantly, that this support was not a one day event. That we had felt it for the past year.  and it is something I know we will always have. I was hoping that would make it into the story but it didn't.

This year we had less people and no memorial heat, but it was still the same feeling for me. I did the relay this year and I was worried that it wouldn't feel the same because I didn't do the whole thing. But it turned out to be perfect. To me, the point is not to break my neck training, or to get the best time. Focusing on my sweet husband is why I do it. I know he's not too concerned about my time or place. I do think that finding a way to be more healthy is good, and I joke that one of the reasons he must have been doing this is now I am forced to work out for the rest of my life. He would say that is very good for me.

 Competing in memory of Brad is what make it meaningful. It makes me happy to think I am doing something that makes him happy. Spending time all together as a family is what made him happy. And competing with family and friends who love him and miss him is priceless and I think it helps us heal.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sweet Addie

Today I was holding Sophie and Addie on my lap on the couch. We were discussing the next days events. Sophie always likes to know what we have planned and she likes to know exactly (like if I am telling her what we are doing the next day and I forget to say that we are going to eat lunch, she lets me know and adds it in at the appropriate spot :)   Anyway, I was telling her that tomorrow they are going to go play at Clark and Lisa's and I was going to go to the temple.

Addie pipes up with " you getting ma-wied at the temple??" I said no, that I had already been married in the temple to Daddy." She said " ya, you marry daddy in the temple and daddy's in heaven now and he is my angel and he holds me." I thought she had said "and he hears me", so I replied, "and Daddy hears you?" She said adamantly "No, he HOLDS me"  Daddy holds me.

I told her that I was so glad and that that made me happy. She wanted to know why I was crying then.

I am so grateful for these little miracle moments. They really are miracles.  Sweet Addie doesn't have any idea how much they mean, or how much they help me.  She is just talking and sharing things with me.  She was 6 months old when Brad died.  She really did not get the opportunity to know him here on earth.  This has been a heartbreaking thing for me. There is nothing I would like more than to have each of my girls learn from their daddy and be like him.  I wanted them to be able to feel how much he loves them and feel how that love lifts you up and makes you feel like you can do anything in the world. I wanted them to be able to spend time with him and laugh with him and KNOW him. It makes me so sad to think of them going through the journeys of this life without him.  

And then I get to have these miracle moments that teach me. They teach me many things that I can't even put in to words. They teach me that  they DO get to know their daddy. That even though I may not get to see the interaction, he does influence them. They have been able to have the miracle of getting to know him even though he is beyond the veil.  It teaches me to have faith. Faith that they really won't be "gipped" in this life and that he can influence them and help them ; probably in many ways that I can not. Faith that when I can feel him near; and when It is so strong that I look around and try to see him - to just believe, even though I can not see.


and listen to what I feel and don't doubt it. Believe.

My sweet girls teach me to believe on a daily basis.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Today when I was laying Sophie down for her nap we were talking. She likes me to tell her what we are doing the rest of the day,  and the next day and so on. I think it is comforting for her to know ahead of time what the plan is.

Today when we were talking she said that she would like another little sister. This immediately made me cry. I said that I wouldn't be able to have any more babies. She asked why. This is still something that I feel like I am grieving. Especially as Addie grows up and is no longer a baby.  If Brad were here, I would probably have already had another baby, or at least be pregnant now.  I choose not to think about this much because it is still a tender subject for me. After the accident I took a pregnancy test every week for 6 weeks and prayed that I would miraculously be pregnant and that it would be a boy - so I could have a little Brad running around.  That was not in the cards. I feel like, along with grieving for my best friend and soul mate; I am grieving for all the children that we never got to have here. I'm not sure how to make this go away, so I haven't talked about it much.  

So, Sophie surprised me today.  I explained to her that it takes a mommy and a daddy to make a baby and that since Daddy was in heaven, there wouldn't be any other little sisters or brothers.  She listened and said, I would really like a little brother.  I told her I would too and hugged her tight so she wouldn't see my tears.

This is one subject that my only coping mechanism is to look at my beautiful, healthy daughter's and be greatful that they WERE in the cards.  They are one of my only true sources of JOY.  If I did not have my children who needed me to be strong and happy and there for them, I know I would be a mess.

They each have much of their daddy in them. Tyler (even though Brad was her step-dad officially) reminds me so much of Brad. She is driven like he was and has this darling, fun sense of humor like he did.  They bonded doing all these goofy things - playing video games, soccer singing show tunes at the top of their lungs and watching geek movies like star wars and LOTR and any other superhero movies in marathon. She still sometimes will pull out "their" movies and have a little marathon on her own and I know that she is missing him and really isn't "on her own"

Sophie was 2 1/2 when she lost her daddy. She was the ultimate daddy's girl. If he were home, she insisted that he do everything for her - feed her, bathe her, put her to bed. It was so cute and even after a long day at work when he just wanted to sit for one minute - she just had to say - "daddy do it" and he would jump up and be her knight in shining armor. She still talks about him and how much she loves him and how much she misses him. I think this is a miracle in it's own right - because she was so little, just starting to talk, when he died.

Addie is a spitting image of her daddy. I LOVE it. I am so glad I still get to see his smile. She is also a little spit-fire like he was  and is the family comedian and we all know just where she gets it from.

So I will be grateful instead of sad. Because I am so Blessed.


so I have never done a blog before and I don't really know what i'm doing, but I need a place to write about my life and what I'm dealing with and I don't even know if I will make this public or not. but I do want my girls to read this someday  - and on hard days it helps me to go back and  read my thoughts from when I was feeling a little stronger.

here goes.

Mark  Chapter 12: 42-44

42 And there came a certain apoor widow, and she threw in two bmites, which make a farthing.

43 And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this apoor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:

44 For all they did cast in of their aabundance; but she of her bwant did ccast in dall that she had, even all her living.

Obviously from the title I am a widow. I do not , however, consider myself to be mighty. For some reason that title spoke to me. I like the play on words.  I'll explain why.   The story of "The Widow's Mite" in the bible  is only a few short sentences.  I had always thought of it as a lesson on tithing.  It is   more than that to me now.  I would like to be like that widow. When I think of what she did - casting in all that she had - it is obvious to me that she had great faith.  She was putting herself in God's hands and trusting Him to bless her for giving and to take care of her every need.

Since my sweet husband was taken I have learned many things. I did not want to have to learn them in this way. But pain, I have found can be a great teacher.  When you have no earthly way of receiving comfort  you begin to learn to rely totally on your Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ.  I thought that I knew what faith was and I thought I did rely on them before the accident. When I lost my husband I found that I had much to learn. I am still learning everyday. Some days are hard days and some days are - amazingly - happy. I never thought that I would be happy again when I first lost Brad. Those happy days are more frequent now, but I will always view them as a miracle.  it seems, in my experience, that when you suffer a tragic, heartbreaking loss, whatever it might be, you are then, at that exact moment ready to be taught - that you are NOT alone. and that there is infinite power available to you. To lift you and carry you along.  I believe the widow in the story knew and had known for probably a long time where her true source of strength was. She had faith that as she cast in those two mites; she would be taken care of.    

I am working on having faith like her.  She knows that she is mighty. Not because of her own strength or power, but because of the strength and power of the one who carries her.    I have learned since losing Brad, many important things - one of the most important is that I know, without a doubt, that I am not doing this alone. Not for one second have I been left on my own. Sometimes, when people speak of "the burdens that we all carry" I imagine mine. It is a mount Everest sized mountain that got dropped on me on the morning of May first when they knocked on my door in their blues. I think it probably smashed me just about flat. But even then. Before I really consciously asked for help. While I was still numb from shock. I felt it being lifted. The thought of ME carrying it is laughable.   That fact that I am functioning is evidence that it is being carried for me.

So,  "One Widow's Might" is a reminder to myself that I don't have to be mighty. I just need to remember the source from which my power comes and have faith that He can carry my burdens and heal my broken heart - and then I will be able to "cast in all that I have" and know that everything will be alright.