He will have no fear of bad news, his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Psalm 112:7

Monday, April 9, 2012

The new blog address


I did decide to start a new blog. The Merimee Journey will remain open and I am making it into a book for the girls but it is time to start a new chapter. As soon as I posted the last post I knew that I need a clean slate no matter how hard it was going to be.

As soon as I figure out how to condense the video that we made for the visitation I will add that to the blog but that will be the last post on the Merimee Journey blog.

Our new blog address is listed above.


Here is the Easter sermon from this past weekend. It was an incredible message and a wonderful tribute to Craig.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Easter Sunday service at SECC

Kyle Idleman (associate pastor at Southeast, the one who did Craig's funeral service) emailed me this morning and asked for my blessing that our cancer journey be apart of his sermon this weekend for Easter!! I of course said ABSOLUTELY! As I read the email, I reached for the phone to call Craig. ugh and remembered he wasn't there to share the moment of joy that we had been honored in being a part of a service that could potentially touch thousands. tears. tears. tears.
I am still overcome with JOY that God continues to work through this situation. Amazing. Amazing.

So how's it going:
I have been doing pretty good. So many tears have been shed over 17 months time that I am still rejoicing that Craig is cancer-free right now. I miss him like a crazy-woman and I read through text messages and email so I can "hear" his voice but I am still so relieved that he is not suffering any longer. There are many people that walked the walked with us but until you have lived it 24/7 for almost a year and a half you can't understand the suffering that man endured with that nasty disease. It may wear off one day but for right now I am excited he is a whole person. The afternoon that he died I walked outside to see if I had missed the mail and an overwhelming sense that he was happy came over me. You know when you walk into a room and you can feel a person's mood? That is what I felt for Craig. He is healed and whole and so very happy. So I am excited for him. There are times that I am sad and I sit on my couch and just sob for what "should have been" but for the most part right now I am relieved for him and so happy that he made it Home.

My intentions were to close this blog and start another. I have start another one but I can tell you it is really really really overwhelming to start fresh. There doesn't seem to be much to it yet and it feel like I am writing on a blank canvas with no history just shots in the dark. I thought about just continuing on this blog since it looks like with Kyle sermon this weekend that God is not done with the work that He has done here. But then again start a new blog is like starting a new chapter and that is where we are. The chapter doesn't ignore the last one but it builds onto it. I am really torn on what to do. Any thoughts?

So here is the link to the service times for Easter at Southeast. Me and the girls plan to attend Blankenbaker at 11:15 on Easter Sunday. If you plan to join us and want to sit together, email me at michelle.t.merimee@gmail.com and we will make a meeting spot before the service begins. I thought about going to the Oldham campus that has become home but that little place is going to be a mad-house at 10:30 and with the Easter bunny still coming here in the morning I don't think OC campus is going to work. It is really hard to figure this stuff out by yourself. Craig and I use to weigh the pros and cons and make plans. Sometimes I find myself talking to myself to try to figure some thing out. Yes, I may have lost my mind... it is here somewhere... I'll find it... :)

http://themerimeegirls.blogspot.com/ Here is the new blog address that I have created. Again there is not much on there. I am still torn on whether to go to the new blog or just continue with this journey. I'm just not sure of the answer here. My gut tells me to start new, make this one into a book and start fresh but that is pretty scary on so many levels... I guess that is what the blog could be about...
I do love my blog so we are continuing in some way. I have received 4+ email today that people miss the blog. One even said it was like a reality TV show that was cancelled and you never knew what the ending was, Ha that is funny. The good part is there isn't an ending, that is how God works. This blog started as just a way for people to stop texting me a 100 times a day the first week we were in the hospital and it has of course grown into so much more for us and for some of our readers. So what is God plan for the next blog?

If you want a window into my world, fine by me but the same rules applies, if you don't like it, then don't read it. :) I'm a gal who is who she is, and you can take it or leave.

I yearned for this weekend's celebration when Craig was so sick those last couple weeks. I am rejoicing in the fact that he is living the life that God intented for all who follow Him. God saw His own son suffer and die on a cross for our sins, but He wasn't done yet. What a gift to conquer the grave so that we could celebrate Easter.
So when I say Happy Easter... no really Happy Easter!!!!!
Hope to see you at church this weekend. (ohhh wouldn't it be awesome if we all wore purple to honor Craig... oh this could be so good...)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Service for Craig Merimee

Amazing Grace (My chains are Gone)

I can Only Image

Ecc. 3
II Timothy 4:7

I Believe

Jason Briet rememberance of a dear friend.

Matthew (5:3-10)
Blessed are the Poor and Spirit: for theirs is the Kingdom of God
Blessed are the Meek: for they shall possess the land
Blessed are they who Mourn: for they shall be comforted
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have        
            their fill
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy
Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God
Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake: for theirs is the   
             Kingdom of Heaven

 My name is Jason Breit. I first met Craig in 1996 when I joined Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity at UK. We became close friends through the years. We were in each other’s weddings and watched each others Families grow.

The Beatitudes show a perfect reflection on Craig’s spirit.  Even though this horrific disease cut his time hear on Earth short, he always felt blessed for the time he did have.    

I’m sure that through Family, Friendships, co-workers, etc.  we each have encountered our own Craig. Even if you don’t have your own personal Craig story; following “The Merimee’s Journey” allowed you to share in his life.

So here is my Craig:

the Craig who certainly loved his family more than anything

the Craig whose passion for his sports teams was second to none. Although he and I never really agreed on any of our J teams. Especially that Other High School!!

 I can remember how furious Craig would get over a loss by UofL.

 The scene at a bar from a comment made by an Eagles Fan, about his beloved Bears. No. Craig didn’t hold much back when it came to his teams. By The Way that Eagles Fan was a lady too. He was always willing to put up a good argument even if he knew he was wrong.
the Craig whose love of Music was obvious to all. As everyone was able to see on

the Blog the pictures from Jimmy Buffet here just a couple of weeks ago

the Craig whose love for food would lead him to skipping class at UK occasionally to be first in line for the Buffet at the Oak Room in Donovan Hall

the Craig whose One Liners quoted from some of the funniest movies that would have you laughing so hard.  Craig definitely had his Sense of HumorJ

then there was the Craig who could definitely draw out that stern look from Michelle. Especially when he would pull out his famous Harry Carey impersonations. Hey! Sorry Michelle. I was never a help in that department.

And of course one of his famous lines from Christmas Vacation to Michelle when he didn’t have the answer for her, “I Don’t Know Margo!”J

the Craig whose most pitiful look came to me at the Derby one year, when I came back from a Mint Julep run, to learn that the Derby had run out of Mint Juleps! He couldn’t understand! J

the Craig who walked the maze of hallways at the Vanderbilt Cancer Center. Head up with pure determination to beat the odds.

That’s my Craig and he will be sorely missed but certainly not forgotten.

God Bless Craig
My rememberance:

Scriptures read by Emily Merimee (age 6)

After 17 months of praying for God’s hand to heal Craig we are here to celebrate the Almighty healing of Craig. Our prayers have been answered and he returned home Sunday afternoon. The week after Craig was diagnosed I asked God why this impossible cancer and he replied to my heart, “Without a shadow of a doubt, it will be my healing.” We were blessed with a great summer of a healed body but we rejoice today in a complete healing for Craig.
 “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
Second Corinthians 4: 16-18
Craig grew up in J-town, went to St. Edward for grade school and started his soccer career there. He was the kid that everyone was friends with and was known as the cute soccer player and the nice guy.
After St. Edward he went to him beloved St. X to continue the Merimee tradition. His reputation as a great kid continued in the classrooms and hall of St. X and on the soccer field. Although his good boy status would be set aside in the lunch room, camping trips to “the farm”, Jimmy Buffet concerts, and spring break trips. He was a faithful friend and “the nice guy” every where he went.
After winning the state title in soccer and graduating from St. X he decided to go to UK which could only be described as a “God-thing” since his love was for the red team.  And so his story continues through the UK campus, to the Lambda Chi house, to K-Lair, Blanding Tower, to the 8man house. There are so many memories at UK, tailgates, house parties, date parties, spring break trips, watermelon bust, and formals. He thrived in business school after a rocky first semester and became an incredible leader in the fraternity, taking the offices of VP finance as well as president. We met freshman year in the fall semester. What we can remember we hit it off and had a great time. We dated on and off for four years, walked to class and went to most events together. He graduated from UK with two business degrees in management and finance, many memories, tons of friends, and a bright future.
After graduating in summer 2000 he landed a great job at Bank of Louisville in their management training program. We married in 2002 at Immaculate Conception Chapel in April on a rainy day.
He excelled at Bank of Louisville and ended up at the Springhurst branch about 7 miles from our first house. Craig earned a sterling performance award for his loan sale performance in 2003 and we traveled to Cambridge, Maryland in April of 2004.
In our pre-marital counseling we discovered communication was not our strong suit since our personalities were so different and by different I mean polar opposite. The good news to that struggle was we would be able to identify with whatever personalities God sent us in the form of children. Our difference made a great balance for parenthood. In December 2005 Emily Michelle was born. She was a Merimee from the get-go. The most laid back baby on the planet. We were so in love we would fight over who got to bath her, changed the diapers, feed her, and cuddled her. God saw this sweet conflict and quickly sent us a second little lady. But this one was much louder for the first couple months. Morgan Elizabeth was born in February 2007 after six weeks of bed-rest and two family members in the hospital it was a hectic time in our family and Craig rose to that occasion never getting frazzled and leading our family God’s way as he learned to trust Him in the tough times. We continued to go to SECC and our purpose together made more and more sense as we trusted God through the rough patches. A high note of the year was a very quick trip to Jacksonville, FL for his second BB&T Sterling Performance award. So that year was not without its valleys but Craig was strengthened in his faith and during the “not a fan” series he was baptized and made a commitment to surrender his life to Christ. He was a committed follower of Jesus Christ and not be just a fan.
“Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come to me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for man to gain the whole world and yet lose t his very self?” Luke 9:23
God lead us to add another blessing to the family and Hannah Jane was born in June 2010. Craig was promoted to a regional VP position and moved to the LaGrange BB&T branch. We were excited about where our family was headed; everything seemed to be falling into place in the great plan of a blessed suburban life.
After being fatigued for a couple weeks with additional stomach issues and we passed it off as having a newborn and a new stress at the bank I noticed Craig was a shade of yellow on the soccer field while he was coaching Morgan’s 3 year old league on October 3rd. He agreed to visit the doctor’s office and I was excited for him to be able to take whatever quick fix they had and be able to enjoy the life we had created. I told him on October 3rd, I don’t think I have ever been this happy in my entire life and I wanted him to be able to say the same thing.
On October 4th after instructions from his general practitioner he went to the ER for testing and a CT scan. Within minutes he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He was given 6 months to live. In room 313 we were given the news and he rose to the occasion. He stated with tears flowing that he had given it over to God and whatever he thought fit. He followed through on his promise of being a faithful follower of Jesus Christ and said His will be done.  
The 17 months that followed you have read on the blog. To say that Craig fought the good fight is a ridiculous understatement. He endured 6 months of intense chemo to get a break that most Pancreatic Cancer patience do not get. We traveled a lot last summer with the girls in tow, he returned to the branch in LaGrange and tried to live as normal as possible.
In September his scan showed growth of the cancer and we were back in treatment with less hope than a year prior. After a try on the same treatment as before, a clinical trial at Vanderbilt and a round of the standard of care he unselfishly chose quality rather than quantity and stopped chemo shortly after Thanksgiving.
In December if you can recall a blog post that he couldn’t quite finish. He was attempting to compare his life battle with that of Christ and the pain meds got the best of him and he couldn’t quite get it together. He asked over and over what the bible said about how Jesus felt the night before he died. He kept saying doesn’t it say that he was honored to be able to save the world from their sins? Wasn’t it a “no-brainer” to make that scarifies? I couldn’t figure out what he was getting to help him finish his thought so I just told him to close it up and work on it again later. The next morning I still was trying to figure out what he was saying and just couldn’t understand.
So I read the scripture where is describes Jesus’ thoughts the night before he knew he was going to be killed.
LUKE 22: 39-46
Jesus prays on the Mount of Olives:
“Father if you are willing, take this cup from me, yet not my will but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”
Because of Craig’s laid-back, great guy personality he was to take what was the hardest news to hear  and make into a purposed filled journey. Many times we asked to take this cup away but each and everyday as he fought His fight God’s will was being done. And b/c so many people have said that this journey has changed their prayer lives, brought them closer to God, made them think about what is truly important, it  was his honor and a no brainer to fulfill that purpose and fight the good fight. He has also helped start a PanCan chapter here in Louisville to help raise awareness of this horrible disease.
We are currently studying The Story here at Southeast which is the narrative version of the bible. We’ve learned that God picks the most under qualified people to fulfill His purpose. God chose a “nice guy”, a Buffet fan, and a quiet sweet man to show how to take life in stride, always be thankful and remember who is in control even in the toughest situations. Although we did not receive the gift of an earthly healing, there are many miracles we have witnessed throughout this journey b/c God has been there and working through Craig each step of the way.
He took each step of the treatment process in stride leaning on his faith for the big picture answers. B/c of his faith he knew where home was. He couldn’t image heaven being better than a UofL game, Cub’s game or a Bears game. He couldn’t imagine that heaven would be any better than witnessing Emily reading, writing and catching on to skills at lighting pace. He couldn’t have imagined it being better than witnesses Morgan creating beautiful art projects, working hard at a job, or running around burning some energy. He could not image that it was better than Hannah’s giggles, pigtails or continuing to watch her grow. But he knew where home was and he now knows there isn’t anything better.
A life with no cancer in his body and he can walk without assistance, he doesn’t have a port, he doesn’t have to make the next treatment decision or make sure affairs are in order. Heaven is not a consolation prize. It is not a retirement plan that we go to when we have accomplished our bucket list here on earth. It is home. Heaven is nothing that we can earn but with a relationship with Jesus Christ we are welcomed home with open arms by our loved ones. Craig was welcomed home by his dad, Mammaw Merimee, Calvin and many more family members who have had similar faith journeys.
He was a faithful follower of Jesus His purpose of showing how to stay faithful through life’s storms became clear on October 4th and ended March 18th.
Craig was a great an incredible husband, father, friend, brother, son, nephew etc etc. b/c he humbled himself enough to be a nice guy and his life showed it. He is a survivor not b/c the chemo worked or he conquered cancer, he is a survivor b/c of his relationship with Jesus Christ allowed him to hear those words that we all long to hear one day. “Welcome Home, Good and Faithful Servant.” He is at Home and the healing that we have prayed for has begun.
John 3:16
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

The Reason for this World
This is not Where I Belong
Message: Kyle Idleman (associates pastor Southeast Christain Church)
John 14
This Great I Am
Closing Prayer and Revelation 21
Recessional : The Healing Has Begun

Thank you for all the prayers, support, and love over the last 17 months. God has worked through so many to get us through this cancer journey. We celebrate Craig life here on earth and his life in heaven. He wa truly a blessing that we simply did not get to keep long enough.

Oldham Era article from last week:
Craig, if you get to read blogs in heaven, I love you, I miss you and I will see you...

Monday, March 19, 2012


Funeral Home Visitation:
Arch L. Heady on Westport Rd in front of the Village,
Wednesday, March 21st 4:00-7:00p

Church Visitation:
Southeast Christian Church BLANKENBAKER CAMPUS,
Thursday, March 22nd 9:00-11:00a in the fireside room

Funeral service:
11:00a Southeast Christian Church Blankenbaker Campus in the Chapel

After service at Louisville Memorial Garden East

After burial service at Southeast Christian Church Blankenbaker Campus (room TBD)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Craig Merimee

The greatest man I ever met, went on to his Home this afternoon around 1:15. Doors away from the room he was diagnosed in, he passed away surrounded by family. It was truly an alpha and omega moment as the same nurses and staff that took care of him in October 2010 helped keep him comfortable in his last moments of this journey. We can't thank the nurses at Norton Brownsboro enough.

Overwhelming feelings of relief, happiness, sadness and disbelief are on our hearts today.

Please pray for a restful night it has already been a long day.
Arrangements to follow.

We are admitted

We are admitted and Craig is remaining comfortable right now. He has repeated he is ready to go.
He will remain here until he takes residence next to his dad in heaven.

It was difficult watching EMS wheeling him out of our house knowing he would never be there again.

Emily and Morgan came up for a bit this morning but it was too much for them.

Please pray for us.

God, when ever your ready...

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the presents nor the future, nor any power, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separation us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

We are in the hospital

After a horrible night and into the morning we are at norton waiting to hopefully be admitted. The downtown hospice floor is full so we are hoping they can finish up his care on earth here.

Please pray the agony of this journey is over soon. Pray for the angel to come get him.

God if you are listening, it's time!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Craig's condition

Craig continues to decline. Even in the last 24-48 hours he has change drastically. He is so very thin and at times very confused. We are keeping up with pain meds around the clock. Hospice was here yesterday and said we were down to days. It could be seven or it could be just two or three. He is still eating a little each mealtime but is so extremely tired. His legs and arms have zero muscle tone and it makes it difficult to walk without assistance or even lift a water bottle to his mouth to take the pills.
We are talking about accessing his port to administer the pain meds so that we don't have to be up around the clock. At first he didn't seem pleased with this option but I think as time goes on the idea of not being woken up every two hours is appealing. I told him it would give him more freedom to be awake when he wants (which isn't often) and be asleep when he wants, he seemed to agree so we will probably make that change tomorrow.

We have short conversation through the day but most don't make a lot of sense. The only conversations that make sense are about basketball and he was worried about making sure some financially things were taken care of (which are). He tried to talk with the girls two days ago while he was outside for a couple minutes as well. How thin he is really startled Morgan. She just stopped in her tracks walking up the driveway. It was so sad. It is really hard for them to see their dad this way. The sunshine has been a HUGE blessing b/c they can get outside and play and wear themselves down and fall asleep quickly at night. I took Emily and Morgan to see Mary Poppins at the KY Center Tuesday night. It was good for them to have something to look forward to and they loved the show. Actually they just loved the first half of it since we went home at intermission - it was 3 hours and started at 7:30 on a school night! yikes.

If you are texting him, he reads them but cannot reply to them.

So we are "hanging in there" as they say. We feel the prayers that are being said and we know that Craig will be a whole person again soon. We find great comfort in that alone.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Pray for peace in this house

This weekend Craig seemed restless and uncomfortable. We had a hospice nurse come out yesterday afternoon to give some good advice and guidance. We have increased his pain meds to every two hours rather than every three hours and added in an anti-nausea med to the day. Sometimes he seems confused and can sometimes describe what he is confused about and other times he is clear in thinking and can talk about March Madness and the details of the tournament. I guess that is basketball in the Bluegrass for ya.

So as of Saturday night I am tracking his pain meds etc. We will see what the future holds as far as him being able to stay home. The plan is/was to be able to keep him here as long as we could for the sake of the logistics for the girls in the end. I am not sure those logistics are worth them witnesses the complete deterioration of their dad. I have been anxious about these types of decisions for over a year and now that we are closer I am not anxious about it. I know the Lord will lead and let us know the right timing and place for all this to occur. He has in the past and why I thought He would stop at the end and I would have to make those kinds of decision without His guidance seems silly now that we are a couple weeks away from that.

So we need prayers for clarity in decision making over the next couple weeks. We need prayers for a peaceful home regardless the circumstances. God will provide that peace. Peace is the ultimate goal each and everyday. There are a lot of people that want to help and if I tell you no you can't stop by at that moment, please don't take it personally. The more people that come in and out of here the more confusing it gets and the harder it is on Craig, the girls and me. Craig seems to still want to take care of his household and his energy level is in the negatives so it is hard on him to worry about who is here etc. I need down time, I need mindless TV time while I fold laundry (most nights). There are times I need someone to talk to but there are also times I just need a quiet house. And there are times that I need help. I can promise you this, I know what I need and when I need it. So really the best thing you can do to help us is pray for peace and I will let you know if we need anything else.

We are studying The Story throughout the year at SECC since it is the 50th Anniversary for the church. So we started in the beginning in February with Adam and Eve and we are to the ten commandments. The old testament is tough and dry, it makes me yearn for Easter so badly. Locust, and floods, gold pigs, and laws that are impossible to follow and the wrath of God, and suffering, walking around in the desert....Oh my Gosh... come on EASTER already. The timing of the story seems to be a direct correlation of what is going on here. You read passages about plagues of frogs and locust etc. and you think HOW bizarre! What in the world is God thinking about? I have said that about so many things on this journey and some of the things that happen when a person is down to last weeks, how bizarre! It feels like we are wandering in the desert right now but we know the end is full of redemption and restoration. A perfect plan so the study right now makes me thirsty for the "happily ever after" ending that Easter gives us as well as the "happily ever after" ending that Easter gives Craig. I yearn for him to have a body that doesn't take pain meds around the clock. I yearn for him to have a mind that is not foggy. I yearn for a better life for him. And b/c of what Jesus did on the cross he will soon enough... we just have to be patient and get there with the bizarre stuff that gets us there and pray for peace through this time that feels like a journey through the desert.

PS. I am going to post some pictures of last year's trip to TX, can you believe that was a year ago?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Jimmy Buffet pictures

Holy cow, I bet you thought this day would never come. Can I be honest? I couldn't find the cord thingy that you have to plug into the computer to download the pictures. so sorry.

There ya have it.
Glad we got to go.

Monday, March 5, 2012

A long post... from a wordy wife

Written Friday 3/2/12:
The end of last week I was MAD at God for making us witness such deterioration. Craig was 180+ pounds when I married him. To see him shrink and suffer from this cancer is awful. I felt like we had been pretty accepting of the diagnosis and even the prognosis but to make us sit and watch Craig go seemed like torture. I still went to church this past weekend and what an awesome message!!!! In the beginning of the sermon Kyle said something about not only do we try to "help God along" in His plan for us rather than being patient but there are times when we want to skip chapters in our story. YES! That is exactly what I was mad about. I wanted to skip the chapter that was filled with watching someone suffer. I feel like we know the ending and parts of it are joyful and part are sad but can't we just skip to the end and skip the chapter on my husband suffering? The overall message was you can't skip chapters you don't desire to be apart of your story. In those chapters SEEK God. I got the message loud and clear. Here is the link to the sermon. You might listen to it and think...no that is not the message at all but that is what i got out of it and it eased some of my anger so that must have been what He wanted me to get out of it.

B/c I let that message sink in I was able to move into this week and truly have moments of such sadness and disbelief. Even though we have tried to work through each day and its emotions it seems so surreal. In the past I couldn't remember what our "normal" life even looked or felt like. I couldn't think of the past or what our life would have been like, I simple thought about today and only today. The past couple days memories and what could have been have flooded my head. Some mornings this week I got up and thought wouldn't it be great if Craig and I were doing the "our bathroom is too small" dance trying to both get ready for work? Wouldn't it be great if he was putting on a purple shirt and tie and telling Morgan he is wearing her favorite color (or Emmy and pink) and they would get this great big grin on their face b/c they knew their daddy loved them. They would turn bright red and just adore that he wore their favorite color to work.

A simple memory that keeps popping into my head is a Friday afternoon about 3 years ago. I had Friday off of work to spend the day with Emily and Morgan. I am not sure that we did anything really spectacular that day other than running errands but towards the end of the day we were drawing on the sidewalk with chalk. The day was sunny and beautiful and we had had a really good day, I was pouring into them and hung right there with them the whole day rather than getting laundry done etc.  I was enjoying time with the girls but felt the need for a break when Craig pulled in the driveway in the black Highlander. He had the radio turned up really loud and the window and sunroof open. He was tan so it must have been in the summer some time, he had is sunglasses on and his shirt sleeves rolled up. It was a moment of "ahhhh life is so simple and so good." My husband is an awesome provider and our little family is so wonderful. It was a moment of I truly have all that I ever dreamed of. Very simple day and a very simple memory but it was an "all is right with my world" moment.

This week has been covered in sadness. There are things that died with the diagnosis and I have grieved some of those things throughout the last year but this week a lot of Craig has gone. Although he is physically still here his desire to be here is gone and it is so sad. He has always been a hopeful person and loved an under-dog win but I think most of that is gone. To see someone struggle like he does is really hard. His earthly goals mean very little at this point and seem like a distance memory. The only comfort is knowing that he will come up with heavenly goals when he feels good in his new body and has the strength to achieve anything in his new life. I have found myself this week trying to remember him before cancer.

People ask me how I am doing and I am really "fine". Even know all this is going on I still can't picture my life without him. Don't get me wrong I am not in denial but when I think "how are we going to do this.... without him" and try to picture how we will do it without him and my brain just doesn't remove him from the picture. I try to correct the image in my mind and he is still there. In the beginning I had A LOT of dreams about Craig's visitation (really uplifting - sorry) and he would be in the coffin but then I would turn and he would be right next to me. I would say something like "let's get out of here these people are making depressed. Let's just tell em we have to pick up a kid early." Normal conversation a couple would have trying to bust out of an uncomfortable situation. Even when I dreamt about the funeral he was still there. Even though I have grieved this whole year (+) over the loss of the life we had built together, I wonder how long I will still look for him to pull into the driveway at 5:30ish. I wonder how long I will want to yell for him to help with baths or homework etc. Even though he hasn't been able to be an active participate in this house, I still think for a long time I will still be looking for him. As I plan the funeral etc. I still picture him being in the front row sitting with me. This might be really strange but that is where he has been since I was 18! It will be hard to shake that. This is what I worry about.

I know and trust that God's plan is the best plan for us. Even though this is a really tough road I am still excited to see what He has in store for my future. Although I am working on the trust part of this daily. The storms this afternoon really flipped me out. Although I know that God will provide all my needs I fear that He will allow a storm to take away my wants. I see first hand that He doesn't answer every pray exactly the way we like it. I prayed today, please please don't let that tornado take my house. I really have enough of a loss on my plate right now PLEASE let me keep my house. I know that He will redeem on His promise of a great future but I fear the heart-ache that it sometimes take to get there. I'm not sure this is making sense. I guess I am saying I am not naive enough to think that simply praying gets you everything you want the way that you want it. I know that every prayer strengthens the relationship with Him regardless of the physical outcome and that is better than any house I could live in. But to be really honest I am craving the simple life. I am craving simple pleasures and less heart-ache and I do fear that He will not protect me in the way that I desire.

So it is really tough right now. We are functioning, eating, drinking, sleeping (kinda), getting to school, getting some work done, making some plans... but I am really saddened all over again that my simple little life has been shattered.

Update today: Craig did decide to go to the Jimmy Buffet concert Saturday. It was awesome that he mustered up the desire to attend this event even though it has completely wiped him out. Pictures to come.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My End of the Road

It's been awhile but rightfully so.  The last few of weeks have been different but not for better reason.  Each night I go bed, I come to the reality that today was not better than yesterday.  My energy level is becoming more and more decreased.  I got my daily shower today at about 5 this evening.  It's good that I got a shower but I really struggled with getting motivated to do that.  I'm often catching myself each day watching how I walk.  My legs are giving me a fight sometimes now where they don't have the strength to carry me through the house.  I'll have to stop and grab a stool to sit on for a second or I'll find a ledge to hang myself on temporarily while I plan my next course of step.  I don't always feel like this but it's happening a few times each day.  It's become depressing to watch myself and I know it's becoming depressing for Michelle to watch.  She's noticed and we talk it about it.   I don't try and do too much around the girls just so I'm not put in a bad situation that will make me look bad.  They are now fully accustomed to having me rest in my room in the back of the house with the door closed.  They don't see me too often.  Just looking at myself in the mirror, I can tell my downward spiral has begun.  I'm at my all time low of about 118 pounds.  I have an awkward time shaving my face because it is pure bone and I feel like I'm having to shave to every bony conture my face has.  My yellow eyes constantly remind my jaundice is settling back in.  This pretty much means things are going to eventually start shutting down.  There's nothing out there that makes sense for me to do to treat this that we haven't already looked at yet.  The approach is to treat all other sypmtoms like pain the best we can.  My other tell tale is that little bird that sits on your shoulder.  I have always been positive and remain positive with what is best for me, the little bird tells me it's that time and I'm not arguing with it.  The ugliness of the situation outweighs the needed fight.  I'm not really even really pleasant company right now with those that want to see me.  Chances are I'm sleeping or I'm just too tired to make it look like I want to carry a decent conversation.

The truth is my desired outcome from this situation is so very awesome.  The encouragement I have that my eternal life will be in Heaven and that I will be cancer free soon puts a smile on my face.  This has always been there, I've just fought the perceived need that I need to see my family as much as possible and do as much as I can for them.  My family does not need to see me anymore in the shape I'm in.  They need to see me at peace.  I have a million things to say here now but am overwhelmed with what I want to say so I think I'm going to have to come back with you in bits maybe from here.  I am very motivated about that the future has to offer me that there is a lot of reason to be excited.

I do know Michelle is keeping her chin high right now and it amazes me that she does what she is doing.  She's holding the family together all while watching me go through this.  The girls are awesome but they are still little girls which means there is a lot parenting needed.  They still need to be encouraged to eat dinner and help clean the table and do all the things that little ones don't love to do.  Watching her really tires me because she does it positively and she is still strong.  She's meanwhile putting a lot of finishing touches on funeral service that is needed like songs and scriptures.  You'd think this large "chore" would be overwhelming but it is so cool for me to watch her love being engaged in praise and music and scripture.  It definitely confirms I picked the right one.  She impresses me more and more each day with her godliness.  She is an awesome woman and I'm so lucky to have her.  Please continue to pray for her strength!!!!!!!!!! 

Thanks for all your support and I very much hope to share my thoughts going forward.  God is good!!!!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Life can be hard, sometimes

Emily came home one day late last week and told me the sweetest story.
She has been down about Craig some at school and we are working through those sad moments one at a time. She said that she was sad outside in the bus line one afternoon sitting on the curb with her head laying down on her knees. Ben, one of her classmates, came up and squadding down in front of her and said
 "Life can be hard, sometimes"
Ben is a sweet little man with down syndrome. He is in her Kindergarten class. I would guess Ben knows how hard life can be but also knows how big of a blessing a little encouragement can be.
Emily told someone that story and they asked what she said back to Ben, she said it just made her smile.

Yep, I smiled too when she told me.
God works through the littlest people in the biggest ways.

Morgan's Birthday Pictures

Morgan's Pool Party with my Family last weekend.

Morgan and Hannah eating pizza

Party Animal
Emily and Claire
Sisters celebrating

Opening gifts

Birthday Dinner after going to see Beauty and the Beast (again)
Happy Birthday to you, Morgan!

Barbie for a 5 year old!
Hannah is excited.