Do It For Them

Do It For Them
Seven reasons worth fighting for-Ben, Hannah, Emma, Molly, Katie, Grace, and Jack

Husband, Father, Son, Our Superman

Husband, Father, Son, Our Superman

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Dada's shoes-Emma's Wordful Wednesday

Instinctively all little girls develop a passion for shoes. I've watched tickled as each one of my ladies have gone through the phase of clopping around in overgrown shoes. If they're lucky they get to wear some hip high heels from there aunt, or maybe it's a comfy day and a pair of Mommas crocs. But little Miss Emma, having been thrusted into a different toddlerhood than most has developed her love of Dada's shoes. His Nike's have become her stomping around in favorites, so I thought.
Until I decided to put some of Duane's shoes away in the closet. His shoes are not just a fun experience, not just her shoe obsession. They are her comfort, her little thing that keeps normalcy in check. And why shouldn't she cling onto something like that, I do! I've kept his coats in the same spot, razor, robe, just random thing he left before he passed away. So the afternoon she said angrily "Dada's shoes, momma, Dada's shoes!" I instantly knew that his church shoes, which were placed in the closet, were to be put back on the treadmill for my sweet 20 month old to sit next to, touch, even tromp around in. And there they will stay for Emma and I, finding comfort in a little thing like Dada's shoes.

Thanks Angie for hosting Wordful Wednesday at Seven Clown Circus.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Wordful Wednesday-Sweet 16

The day I became Mrs. Summers I could not have imagined loving my sweet husband any more than I did that day. March 6, 1993 Duane and I were married, I was 18 and he was 20. Babies, absolute babies! I wouldn't have changed a thing. We grew up together, blended together, gained strengths together. In our short 15 1/2 years of earthly marriage we crammed a lifetimes worth of love, laughter, tenderness, and devotion. Duane and I were inseparable, you rarely got one without the other. I even remember a few lunch dates I would have with my friend Jessie that he would crash. Never once did I think I was being smothered, never once did I think it was intrusive. He was my other half, it was natural.
Looking back now I am so thankful for the closeness that my love and I shared. In a way the same closeness has made for intense pain with our earthly separation, but what a massive amount of memories I now hold close to my heart. I was so wrong 16 years ago, the love I feel for Duane has grown to an amount I could not have dreamed as a young 18 year old. A true and deep love only grows with time, I am thankful for that love.

Read more Wordful Wednesdays with Angie at Seven Clown Circus.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wordful Wednesday- Keeping Sanity

We've had A LOT of birthdays to celebrate this past month and A LOT of tears, happiness, and much needed craziness! The first picture was the French Silk Oreo Cake we made to celebrate Duane's life. It was divine, and a needed chocolate boost. This was his all time favorite cake, so simple, but kicked up a notch to make it special. We celebrated his life and enjoyed our time remembering a pretty awesome Dad.
Katie was another birthday we celebrated, but it was her spontaneity and craziness that brought a bit of sanity to the roller coaster ride we've been on. After Duane's birthday it became just a tad low, well low may not describe it enough, how about crying at the drop of a hat. Dumbo, Daddy Daughter Dances, letters from first graders, even Mountain Dew made me cry. Katie Rose is my nut head, I never dreamed her ability to bust out in song, talk little crazy talk, and dancing a jig would bring peace to my heart.

Molly's was the final b-day celebrated, and possibly the hardest for me. I hope she had a wonderful day, I tried to create and atmosphere of love and happiness, but memories of my first born and the day I became a mom just crowded my brain. Duane and I were ecstatic to be blessed with Molly as our first born. She brought joy to us and created a bond between us no other child could have, that's the one special trait of your first born. But again to cut through the tears that I shed she brought flashes of "take me to your leader earthling" and "nanoo nanoo". I needed her goofiness, we all needed the goofiness.

I never dreamt that laughter and craziness would help in keeping sanity.

Join the fun at Seven Clown Circus, Wordful Wednesday.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wordful Wednesday- Happy Birthday Babe!

Tomorrow is Duane's 36th birthday and tomorrow we celebrate! Last year when this picture was taken we believed we would have years and years of birthdays to celebrate. Years of singing, chocolate french silk cake and years of chicken and dumplings.
We celebrated last year with a bang, a surprise party fitted for a king. Lots of friends, family, and fun. Warm wishes were given, games were played and yummy food was eaten. Duane was happy, filled with love, and just plain happy.
As I contemplated this birthday, I instantly knew that chicken and dumplings could never disappear from February 12, that warm wishes about Duane would always gush from our lips and that we would always celebrate the man that we loved dearly.
Happy Birthday my love!
Join the group at Seven Clown Circus for more Wordful Wednesday posts!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Three Simple Words

My dear Duane,

I have but three simple words for you, words that sum up my week. I Miss You!
Your Beautiful

Saturday, February 7, 2009

I'm a big kid now!

This morning apparently Copper aka fat dog some how knocked the shower door off its tracks. Nothing freaks me out more than a home repair, let alone one I hadn't seen Duane fix. My mom and I tried and tried, and no offense to mom but she was ready to throw in the towel, I on the other hand was DETERMINED to fix it myself! And I did! I can not tell you of the great satisfaction I felt, dare I say better than eating a fabulously made chocolate dessert.
Just yesterday I was explaining to my dear friend Brenda about how some things I was content to NOT grow in. Learning how to send a wire transfer, perfectly fine NOT knowing how! Learning how to fix a shower door, perfectly content NOT knowing how! But this morning I had to eat my words, it feels great knowing how. I feel like that little kid just learning a new task, "I'm a big kid now!", well I'm a Big Kid Now! But I will forever content NOT knowing how to set a mouse trap(way to go Jennifer P.!).
I did look up pointers and tips about shower doors jumping off the tracks, so FYI just in case it happens to you.

How to Keep a Sliding Shower Door in its Tracks

by eHow Home & Garden Editor
Is that sliding shower door giving you a workout? Jumping the track is a problem with some less-expensive or older doors. (I found this funny that fat clumsy dogs was not included in possible reasons for door jumping) Maybe one of these simple ideas will help smooth the action, keep things on track and leave the hard work for the gym.
Difficulty: Easy (?)

Step One
Check the rail (or track as some people or manufactures call it). The rail could be fouled with some kind of debris. (Some manufacturers provide a lubricant that is applied at installation.) This lubricant can collect grime over time, causing problems with door movement.

Step Two
Use a grease-cleaning product to fix this problem.

Step Three
Fixing corrosion may require replacement of the rail section or the entire door.

Step Four
Check the rollers themselves - sliding the door can also be hampered by problems with the rollers. Check to see whether the roller may need a drop of lubricant on its axle. Years of use can cause worn spots on the surface of the rollers, making the door difficult to move.

Step Five
See whether adjusting the track cover that comes with some models stops the problem.

Step Six
Consider replacing the entire unit - this may be the best option to get rid of an older or inferior product.

I wish it were as easy as the steps say, but it was physically challenging for me, maybe I'm a wimp, who knows.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Wordful Wednesday-Bravery

This week my Katie Rose turned 11, without her daddy. Honestly it was a wonderful day, the smile on her face was wide, the twinkle in her eyes were bright, the burden on her heart was lighter. She was a brave little soul, a strong little soul and I was so proud of her.

Katie struggled the most in the beginning with Duane's cancer. She would have dreams about one of us dieing and leaving her alone, it broke my heart. As Duane's time here on earth came to a close she puddled, again breaking my heart. Her pleading with Daddy to live forever, writing letters to encourage him, covering his chilled body an hour after he had passed away, all actions of a little girl not ready to let him go, none of us were really.

Letting go of a loved one hurts, especially when your 10 and it's your Daddy, but Katie has this incredible love inside of her. A love of Duane, a love of life, a love of her Father in Heaven, and a love for herself. All of these qualities of love has created a strong, brave 11 year old young lady. She has found a smile again, a giggle, a twinkle that I was so afraid would be dimmed. Love is the building block of her strength, she holds close to her heart memories of her Daddy, silly things, like how he used his spoon, how he used his tickle monster voice, how he tucked her in at night.

I'm sure that Katie never imagined that she carried such a powerful emotion inside of her. Her bravery strengthen by love and a special gift from our Father in Heaven will carry her through the lifetime worth of birthdays without her Daddy.
Thanks Seven Clown Circus for hosting Wordful Wednesday's!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wordful Wednesday- All the Little Things

It's wintry outside right now, I can't say snowy because it's not snow but sleet that looks like powder snow. It's cold and wet and icy and cold, did I mention that the kids are out of school the second day in a row.

These were Daddy days. The days that Duane would shine as a father, he loved snow. He loved pulling the kids on the sled, skating with them on the ice, just a big kid at heart when it came to snow. Me, I'm the Grinch. My heart is 3 sizes to small when it comes to the wet, cold wintry stuff.

It really got me thinking. All the little things that I miss about Duane being gone. All the things he did for us and did with us. Those little things that we all take for granted, at least I did with Duane. I miss the little things that my love did. Here is a list of a few things that I miss.

  1. building a fire in the fire place
  2. playing in the snow with the kids
  3. driving on the ice
  4. letting me put my cold feet under his behind to warm them up
  5. being excited for a snow day
  6. wanting a wiener roast in the fire place
  7. scraping ice off my wind shield
  8. not minding if I make soup every night for a week
  9. listening to me complain about the kids but understanding that I love them dearly
  10. flowers for when I've had a hard day
  11. getting me a diet coke with lemon from Sonic
  12. watching Lost with me and analyzing the episode
  13. replacing broken mini blinds without a hitch
  14. being a tax genius
  15. keeping me level headed
  16. going to the grocery store when I needed something to finish dinner
  17. saying "Hello Beautiful" at the beginning of every phone call
  18. hearing his spiritual ah-ha moments
  19. listening to him read Fablehaven to the kids
  20. watching that certain pg-13 movie that we both wanted to see but wouldn't want the kids to watch
  21. a shoulder to cry on

Such a small list really, but these are all things that have crossed my mind in the last 24 hours since the ice/sleet started to fall. I never knew how much he did for me. I miss him dearly.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Dear Duane.....HELP!!!

Hey Babe,

This week I made low fat brownies to help curve my chocolate craving while on weight watchers. They were pretty good, really and honestly. The chocolate was real and satisfying, but..... yes, you knew there would be a but, and it's a pretty dang huge but. But...they have seemed to have this side effect on the entire family, a rather stinky side effect. Can you smell us from Heaven? Oh sweetheart I hope not. I know you are aware of some daily family life, I feel you sometimes, when I'm sad or lonely, but, and here's another but......RUN!!!!

Ben is TOXIC! During prayer tonight he ripped one, babe! Were is my level headed husband when I need him. Hats off to Grace, she held it together quite well as she prayed, the closing was a bit rushed and a huge outburst came when she said amen, but she did remarkably well, you would be proud.

Help! What should I do? Make more black bean brownies trying to cut out some fat or torture all the olfactory senses in our home. Where's my heaven hot line when I need it, forget all the other pressing questions I have for you, is it OK to torture our noses with Ben's stink bombs?

Love ya lots, miss ya lots, can't wait to kiss you all over,


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wordful Wednesday- Captured Peace

My dear sweet friend Heidi captured this moment for me at Duane's graveside service. I decided to use this photo for my first Wordful Wednesday hosted by Seven Clown Circus, a weekly themed post I've wanted to do for a while but just kept procrastinating about participating.
Captured Peace. That's how I feel about this particular photo. What a whirlwind of a week we had surrounding Duane's death and funeral. The preparations alongside such intense grief and sorrow. How anyone survives these trying times is a pure miracle, seriously, a gift from our Father in Heaven.
For weeks after the funeral I felt almost a guilt about how peaceful I felt during his funeral service. Whenever I pictured this day I just knew I would be in mass hysterics, inconsolable. But I wasn't, I was the complete opposite, peaceful, full of love, a love for Duane and my Savior. Now don't get me wrong, I've cried, A LOT! Duane was my best friend, companion, (plug your ears) dfl-dang fine lover, my everything. But through my sorrow I was blessed with a peace that Duane didn't leave, not really. That even though I have a tremendous amount of learning I would make it through this seemingly impossible task of raising 7 children on my own.
So whenever I feel that the depths of hell will swallow me whole, that I can't take another moment without Duane's tender touch, I think of this picture and in a flash that captured peace rushes through me and I know, like I did at that graveside service, that "All is Well!"

Friday, January 2, 2009

Caution! A Lengthy Thank You List Follows

I have a pretty fabulous friend, Jessie, she would write a thank you note quicker than a chocoholic eating they're favorite peanut butter and chocolate ice cream on a hot summers day. Ooohh, how I envy her. Me on the other hand would almost rather eat a chocolate covered cockroach than sit down and write some well deserved thank yous.

This is my first attempt to somewhat begin to say the billion thank yous to the countless amount of family, friends, church family, school teachers, dance studios and complete strangers who have proven that as stated in 1 Corinthians chapter 13 Charity, a pure love, excels and exceeds almost all else, verse 13 And now abideth FAITH, HOPE, LOVE, these three; but the greatest of these is LOVE.

Love, the love of a ward family, so generously given of time, talent and money to provide countless and almost endless amounts of meals for my family. I finally had to graciously say no thank you, it would have kept on comin'! The love of home teachers, visiting teachers(who Hannah is convinced loves her and no one else), Bishop's(both wards), relief society presidencies, YW and YM leaders and my love, Primary. They have all wrapped their loving arms around each one of us during this hard trial.

Love, the love of friends, best friends, old friends, new friends, blog friends. I never have witnessed such selfless giving in my life. Staying up in the wee hours of the night to sit with Duane those last days, thank you Mary, Heidi, Vicki and Racquel, that meant the world to both of us. Jessie, I could never have made it through this ripping of my soul if it were not for my best friend, my goofball, who always makes me laugh. My children were safe, happy, and spoiled while in your care, I love you! My lunch bunch, Lisa, Lindsay, Jen, Sally, Joni, Kory, Nicole, dang, I know I'm missing someone! I love the therapy I always receive for FREE at McDonald's. My cheerleaders, sweet Heidi R. and Sally, wow ladies, what else can I say, thank you for all you put together. Thank you Elizabeth for being a set of ears and understanding all the crazy things I have said, and thank you for a renewal of friendship. I should just go down the ward list, seriously, my ward family just amazed me with the out pour of love.

Love, the love of teachers not just teaching ABC's but teaching the importance of safety and security. My children had absolutely no problems transitioning back into the routine of school after Duane's death. Let me first state that the schools my children attend are headed by wonderful Principal's, counselors, and staff, all of which have a firm foundation and love of God. Molly and Ben's principal even came to see them in the Nutcracker, that's how great and supportive they are. Mrs. Fell, not just Jack's teacher, but a great support for Grace, Katie, Molly and me! She is awesome, always an open door policy with her. What I need to thank the schools and teachers for is the incredible Christmas they gave the seven little monkeys! Just amazing, tearful, touching, how many adj. can I come up with. Every gift was adored and possibly even appreciated more than they would have in the past. I can't even begin to imagine how much work, money and effort went into our Christmas love. Words can never express the deep sincere thanks I feel towards Liberty and Centennial. Thank you!
Love, the pure love of dance, the teachers, students, parents and friends from the Dance Pointe. Our dance studio is much more than a place of instruction, it became a safe haven for Molly, a support for all the children, and a network of friends I hold dear to my heart. Pam, thank you for giving so graciously of your talent, your time, your studio. Duane was always truly happy backstage, a love he could never squelch. He sure the heck couldn't dance, but he loved being with his girls and helping to create an atmosphere where others could shine. If only everyone had a Miss Marry as Hannah puts it.

Love, the love of family near, far, immediate and distant.

Parents, both sets, who often put aside their own grief to console and care for me and the children. I want so much to be this independent woman, but, what if any other reason did our Father in Heaven bless us with parents for, this purpose, caring for and loving our children, grown and small.

Grandparents who sat at the funeral home all day long so Duane would not have a moment of being alone the day of the viewing, may seem silly to some, but a loving gesture to me.

Uncles who traveled so far, one that I have not seen for many years to comfort me in this time. Thank you Uncle Bob and Uncle Bill, I love you both so much. Uncle Bill thank you for the shoulder that I cried on. Uncle Bob, Lori, and Erin, how I wish we lived closer, I love you guys and was eternally grateful for the comfort and conversation we shared. And even though the rest of my Aunts and Uncles could not be here in body, they were here in spirit. I truly felt the love and concern of my Auntie Karen, once my auntie always my auntie. My Uncle John, Aunt Carolyn and Kim were so welcomed when they visited a few weeks after the funeral, it was a breath of fresh air to laugh with them.

Duane's side of the family, not just my in-law family, have embraced me with the love of blood relatives. That's what I love about his family, you didn't need to be of direct lineage to be loved and cared for. All of Duane's Uncles and his Aunt will always be MY Uncles and Aunts, thank you for the love. And Jerry and Patty, please lets have another summertime reunion again, I'll help!

When Darrell came down the few days before Duane died I will never forget the night spent in the hospital when we knew Duane was leaving us. It was tender, comforting, and needed. He was a supportive brother and uncle and I appreciated those moments.
Love, love given by complete strangers to a family they had never even met. I have been blown away by the generosity of my fellow okies, bloggers and those from around the country. Seriously, we've had contributions from California, Illinois, Georgia and many other places. I love Oklahoma! People here genuinely care, really they do. I was given the proceeds from auctions, yard sales, bracelet sales, and a perfect strangers giving gift certificates to grocery stores, upscale boutiques, etc.
This is just the tip of the ice burg! As Jodi, the sweet nurse from Duane's oncologist office put it, "When your cup runneth over, drink from the saucer". My cup has runneth over in more than one way. I am overwhelmed. Duane was my everything, no joking. But how kind of our Father in Heaven to send so many people to overflow my cup with kindness, love, and charity. All of you reading this, know that you are apart of my full and overflowing cup. I love you all dearly.