When I got up this morning, every thing just seemed off. My head was hurting, my teeth were hurting, I just wasn’t myself. I knew what today was, how could I not? I knew the meaning of today and I dread it every year. How could I forget?

My phone started dinging around 6:30 a.m. with messages from Facebook and a few text messages trickled through. Rarely do we discuss it, we both know what the other is thinking. We try to act and feel like things are ok and normal, but they aren’t. Normalcy ended 7 years ago today.

Life as we knew it changed with one event, one moment, one second, one phone call, one accident.

7 years ago today, my mother in law was killed in a tragic car accident and forever our lives were and have been changed. So today, 7 years later, I sit in quiet and reflect on the day and what has changed. I wonder quietly how things would be different if that accident had not happened. But it did.

Regrets, yeah I have a few. Not spending more time. She not seeing my sons. And the hurt and pain are still there, even after 7 years.

Tomorrow, life returns to the normalcy that we have embraced. Tomorrow is a new day and the memories fade just a little bit more. Tomorrow will be one day closer to 8 years.

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It was bound to happen sooner or later, but tonight out of the blue the boys left my wife and I in tears. Literally we are crying like babies and it was over the most simple and innocent thing.  But the fact that it happened on Mother’s Day, might have made it a little easier and also harder at the same time.

Yesterday was Mother’s Day and the boys and I got my wife flowers, cards and a selfie stick and before any jokes are made about the selfie stick, it is am inside joke between my wife and myself. But after the boys and I grilled dinner last night and for the week, my wife was showing the boys a picture of her mom & for those of you that don’t know, read my post entitled 6 years.  My mother in law was killed in a car accident over 6 years ago and there is not a day that doesn’t go by that we don’t talk about or wish that she were still here.  My wife showed a photo of my wife and her mom together and it was a photo that they had never seen before. The photo was from Mother’s Day over 10 years ago, when my wife graduated from college. As soon as my Baby A quietly asked who it was with their mommy, my wife quietly explained that it was her mommy on Mother’s Day years before they were born. And just then it happened, Baby A asked the hard question, “Can Grandma come to my house and see me?” Silence, followed by tears.

My mother in law has been dead for close to 7 years and even though it has been 7 years, it hasn’t been easy. Holidays are hard. Mothers Day might be the hardest day of them all and tonight, as innocently as possible, they wanted to see their grandmother. My wife and I abruptly ended up in tears & I am still wiping them away now. Tears of sorrow. Tears of joy. Tears of frustration. Tears of heart break.

The boys do not know that their grandmother died 7 years ago, they just know that they have my parents and my wife’s dad and his girlfriend. At some point we will have to explain all of this to them, but last night on Mother’s Day, I think that a simple statement that caused so many tears to flow, brought peace and comfort. But as my wife and I talked about, one day, in a few years, we will have to have a very hard conversation with them and tell them about their grandmother and her dying. And then there will be a lot of people that will tell stories about what a wonderful person that she was and how many lives that she touched. And though, it will be harder on us than it will be on them, as they will not know any better, we will know what they are missing out on. We will know how loved they would have been by their Grandmother. We would have known that we would have had to beg her to not let them spend every weekend with her. So with those knowings, we will have to struggle and wipe away tears and talk about one of the most amazing women that I have ever known.

Over 1,200 people attended the visitation and as far away as 3 states. She touched the lives of many and she made a difference in the lives of a lot. Last night, with tears in our eyes, we said a simple prayer and thanked God for our time with my wife’s mom, but as we wiped away those tears and hug and kiss the boys goodnight, we are hurt and filled with sorrow.

Good night to my little Monkeys. Happy Mother’s Day to my wife, my mom, my sister, friends and family. And Mom’s, I know that you are smiling down on these little kids, I just wish that you could have gotten to experience them first hand.

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It was 6 years ago today that my mother in law was killed in a car accident and it seems just like yesterday. There are so many things about that day that I’ll never be able to forget.

  • Getting the call from my father in law after lunch.
  • Having to tell my wife of 3 months that her mom, her best friend was dead.
  • Calling my mom, because she and my mother in law were close. But because I also needed support.
  • Hearing from a close friend that is a psychologist, that life doesn’t return to “normal” for at least 5 years and he was right on that.
  • Knowing that one of the things we loved the most, snow, was the factor in her death.
  • Driving 40 miles in snow at a snails pace, just to get my wife to her dad.
  • The outpouring of friends and family at a time that when we needed them the most.

6 years later and the pain is still there. 6 years later and even though it hurts less than last year, it still hurts. It hurts knowing that she’ll never see my boys, play with them, and love them. It hurt like hell yesterday hearing Baby A call my father in law’s girlfriend Grandma for the first time. He doesn’t know and understand, he just knows that there should be a Grandma if there is a Grandpa.

Today, I remember the laughs, the smiles, the hugs. I remember the long talks about life and future plans and what our family will do and where we will go. I remember that I could always try out a new joke and would immediately know if it was a hit or not by how far she would spit the drink in your mouth. I remember her looking down at your watch as we walked into church late. I will remember that last lunch, how I wish we had spent more time with her that day.

6 years really seems like a long time.

I love and miss you Moms. I know that you are watching down on us and I know that you are smiling down at your grandsons. Oh how you would have loved spoiling them.

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There are things that happen in our lives that we can not explain. There are things that happen in our lives that will stay with us forever and today is that day for me. 5 years ago today, my mother in law was killed in a tragic car accident. There are things about that day that I can tell you about, but a lot of it is a blur, but here are some of the things that I do remember:

  • I remember that it was snowing and had started snowing earlier that morning.
  • I remember getting the phone call from my father in law while I was sitting at work after lunch..
  • I remember listening to Mark Schultz’s Remember Me when the phone rang.
  • I remember sitting back down, putting my head down and crying. Crying for the loss of an amazing person, but crying because I was going to have to go and tell my wife of 3 months that her mother and best friend had just died and it was going to break my wife’s heart. It was going to change her forever.It was going to change us.
  • I remember the 8 miles from my office to my wife’s seemed like 180 miles.
  • I remember calling my wife’s best friend and telling him, as he was a 2nd child to my wife’s parents.
  • I remember not being able to talk for 10 minutes and only being able to cry in front of my wife.
  • I remember my wife asking if we were getting a divorce, because I could not stop crying. That would have been easier I think.
  • I remember the drive from my wife’s office to her Dad’s house seemed like forever.
  • I remember her father coming outside when we got there to hug my wife and myself.
  • I remember a family friend that grabbed me and held me as tight as he could, and I finally got to grieve for a few minutes.
  • I remember the outpouring of people that came to the house that night.
  • I remember waking up after 15 minutes of sleep and having a feeling of calmness come over me.
  • I remember the silence in the house.

Here is the song by Mark Schultz, Remember Me, that I was listening to when I got the call, that Monday afternoon.

Sometimes things do not make sense, especially when death is involved. I can say that after a lot of struggles, my wife and I learned a lot of amazing lessons from this. My wife and I are closer. My wife and I have two amazing little boys. My wife my and I often talk about that day. We talk about what we were doing, we often cry and then  we talk about how much we miss her mom. We talk about how she would be with the boys and how much she would have loved them.

But tonight, I just think that we have to look for the Remembrance of God in the form of sunsets and people. We have to take each moment as it is our last. We have to over use the words “I Love You”, because you never know when it will be the last time that you will use them.

Remember me
When the color of the sunset fills the sky
Remember me
When you pray and the tears of joy
fall from your eyes

I remember and can not, nor will I ever forget. I just hope that when it is my time, that Jesus will Remember Me.  And I hope that one of the first people that I get to see when getting to Heaven, is my mother in law, so I can tell her all about her grandsons.

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There are days in our lives that we will never forget. The birth of our children. The death of a loved one. And for those that were alive, 9-11.

I remember walking into work that morning and the women in the office were huddled around the computer crying. And the moments later, the 2nd plane hit the World Trade Towers.
Our nation was forever changed that day.   We wept for those that died. We wept for those that lost loved ones. We wept for we knew that we were going to war.

Today, as my children play, I am grateful for those soldiers that have fought and continued to have fought for our freedom.  Today, I will hold them and say a little prayer, especially for the children whose parents were taken from them so very early on in their lives.

9-11 forever changed this country, but it did not define this country, it only made it stronger.


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