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Father's Day

First of all, look at the cute little picture thingy I put at the top of this blog. If you refresh the page, it puts up a new set of pictures!

Father's Day has come and gone again. Last year, the boys were at football camp, and Kate was spending the night with a friend, and I spent the day thinking about Doug, and NOT thinking about Dave. This year, I pretty much avoided the whole thing again. I'm pretty good at that, I guess. Somehow, I just can't go there. I can't let myself think about fathers and Dave and how much my children are truly missing. Whenever I get close, I have to shut it off. Most of those other holidays and special days I have confronted, letting myself feel.

On our anniversary, the kids and I watched our wedding video, and I felt such a range of emotion. I was so grateful to have been loved by Dave, so amazed to have been part of a truly fairy-tale romance, complete with my prince, so blessed by our children, so strengthened by life's trials and the experience of facing them together, and so empty, so lonely, so devastated to know that I was truly facing all of it alone now. I know that having been part of "together" makes being "alone" that much more painful; the contrast is so sharp.

But on Father's Day? I pull into my little shell and pretend it's not happening. I know my kids think it's freakish; it's so unlike my usual way of dealing with life. I suppose it will come. It always does. You know, there is no getting around, no escaping. Eventually, you must go through.

In some ways, I'm a little slower than most. A few weeks ago, I had the experience of truly being mad at Dave for the first time. There was a situation, and he SHOULD have been here to handle it. And I was furious. Mad at him for not being here. It was startling to me. I'd never felt that before. How after all, could I blame Dave in any way? He fought so hard to be here. I'd been angry at cancer, angry at God, angry at fate...but never at Dave. What's anger on the Kubler-Ross scale? The second or third stage? Well, I guess I'm getting there.

Thanks for the nudge,'s been a long time since I faced the computer. I sit down and try to muster up something to say. It's not that there's nothing happening...I'll post a few pictures...there's a LOT! And it's not that there's nothing happening inside me. There is. But somehow, it all seems to sound the same. In some ways, nothing has changed. Dave's still gone. That still sucks. I still hate it every day. Kids still grow. They say and do the most amazing things. And Dave's still gone. We find love and joy in every day. And Dave's still gone. The seasons roll by, faster and faster. Other people have their lives to live. And we have this. Not that it's all bad. Far from it. But it's still hollow.

A few pics of what we've been up to:

Zach's been playing baseball for the Cubs, a select traveling team. Looks like most of our summer travels will be baseball related again. Right now, he's the only catcher, so he's exhausted beyond belief. Plus football practice, too. Zach finished the year in fine style. His grades are good, he's having fun with sports and he's smiling a lot. Might have something to do with a girl named Presley. He's cooked dinner for her twice!

And Kate had her dance recital. They were flowers in a Hong Kong Garden. Their dance was absolutely beautiful. Very graceful and exotic. Every time she takes the stage, I am awe-struck. I remember that round little toddler with the curly red hair and the "I'm-all-that-and-a-bag-of-chips" attitude, and I can hardly believe how beautiful and graceful she is. Dancing makes her glow; it shows her light within. It truly transforms her from an ordinary girl into something transcendent.

Then, there's Duke. Gosh, we love that dog!

And Kenny...oh, Kenny! He's amazing. You should hear him talk. His vocabulary and language skills are simply astonishing. He's grown up so much. He's well over six feet tall now. He's playing football. He PASSED the writing portion of the WASL. I will have to upload more of his pottery pictures. He's really enjoying that...he made his Aunt Mindy a mug and made Garfield and Odie. He loves being with Caleb and Annalee and being the big guy. He's made such strides this year. The WaHi football team didn't have enough players to have a jv team or a freshman team go to camp this year, so Kenny is home with me, and kinda bummed. Z got to go with the varsity, and while Kenny is proud of his brother, I know he feels sad, too. Kenny participated in Special Olympics Track this year, running the 100, the 200, the 4x100 relay and the running long jump. In regionals in Spokane, he got 3 golds and a silver. At state in Tacoma, he got 1 gold, 1 silver and two ribbons. We're thinking he might run track for WaHi next year.

And through all of it, we're still remembering you, Dave. He's part of every moment. The missing him is part of every moment, too.

Oh...I almost forgot...the seniors at a local church here have a dinner each year. It's a time for the seniors to honor their most inspirational teacher. This year, Clinton Zahl chose to honor Dave. I can't tell you how much it meant to our family that Dave was remembered this way. Clinton told the story of the exploding briefcase, of Dave coming to school after chemo, and many other moments. He ended with this story. Clinton was sitting on the railing outside Dave's classroom. Dave came out and said, "Whatcha doing?" Clinton said, "Watching people." Dave asked, "What do you see?" Clinton said, "I see some people I know, some people I don't know and some people I wish I didn't know." Dave laughed. I can imagine his smile and the earnest look on his face as he put his hand on Clinton's shoulder and said, "No, what you see are children of God."

Clinton said it's a lesson he won't forget. Me, either. And I'll be remembering you, too Clinton. Congratulations on your graduation, and thank you for a priceless gift.

Artist: Steven Curtis Chapman
Song: Remembering You

I found You in the most unlikely way
But really it was You who found me
And I found myself in the gifts that You gave
You gave me so much and I
I wish You could stay
but I'll, I'll wait for the day

And I watch as the cold winter melts into spring
And I'll be remembering You
Oh and I'll smell the flowers and hear the birds sing
and I'll be remembering You, I'll be remembering You

From the first moment when I heard Your name
Something in my heart came alive
You showed me love and no words could explain
A love with the power to
Open the door
To a world I was made for

And I watch as the cold winter melts into spring
And I'll be remembering You
Oh and I'll smell the flowers and hear the birds sing
and I'll be remembering You, I'll be remembering You

The dark night, the hard fight
The long climb up the hill knowing the cost
The brave death, the last breath
The silence whispering all hope was lost
The thunder, the wonder
A power that brings the dead back to life

I wish You could stay
But I'll wait for the day
And though You've gone away
You come back and

And I watch as the cold winter melts into spring
And I'll be remembering You
Oh and I'll smell the flowers and hear the birds sing
and I'll be remembering You, I'll be remembering You

And I'll watch as the sun fills a sky that was dark
And I'll be remembering You
And I'll think of the way that You fill up my heart
And I'll be remembering You

I'll be remembering You
I'll be remembering You
I'll be remembering You

I'll be remembering You


  1. Oh Chelle, my friend, so much here, so much. So much that is good. So much that is sad. Too much. I'm sorry. I'm sorry for this, this life we are left with. Life without our loves. You're doing so good Chelle, those kids....wonderful, strong, amazing. Amazing kids. What would we do without them? Thank God for them. Love the pics. Love to see Dancing Kate shine so brightly. It's good Chelle, it's different, it is not full, it is hollow sometimes, but on the whole, it is still good, it is. Dave is guiding , ever so gently, nudging and guiding, smiling. Oh how I wish he were here for you , too. The lyrics say it all don't they.

    love you my friend,

  2. Chelle
    I always check for your thoughtful words and now especially since I don't see you almost daily. I was happy to see new ones tonight. The words they touched my heart, they warmed my face with tears and they made my heart happy to see the good things. Father's Day does suck and even though it ripped my heart out every time I saw a commercial, a ad or listened to the radio for weeks I held it together until I decorated my Dad's bag for "Relay to Life" and handed it to this strange lady I had never met. I broke down, I cried right there on the spot for several minutes before regaining my composure. Fortunantly she was a understanding woman. It isn't the same, it never will be but boy is Dave proud how the kids and you have marched on. We who never met Dave but have followed your words are blessed to get to meet him through your words. He was a prince and you were his princess. Much Love.

  3. What I wrote did not show up,,,, will try it again soon. Thank you Michelle for the update.

  4. Dear Michelle - Your ability to verbalize your feelings always amazes me. Your struggles are so heartfelt, as well your triumphs. We are so proud of you. You are doing a great job and we love you. Mom & Dad

  5. Michelle, So glad to see a post. I had checked from time to time. Was getting worried.
    Maybe you can't go to Fathers Day because Dave should be here. He should. You have the right to not go there yet. I can only imagine how difficult it is for you, now more than ever, and I pray that God will give you strength. God will give you strength. In our weakness he is strong.
    Kenny congrats on the WASL. I will never forget Kenny reading to me at the campsight at Primetime. It will always forever be a memory I will hold close to me. It seems like a lifetime ago.
    Hold your kiddos close as I know you do.
    Thinking of you as always.
    Cancer sucks.
    Love ya, Sherri

  6. It was great to hear from you again.

    I don't know how long it takes to get over the anger but it's been over 11 years now and I'm still mad about Kyra and Steven.

    But I know it's not fairness. It still hurts, and it still makes me mad, and I still recognize how lucky we are.

    And so are you. Those beautiful children, what a gift they are.

    I think of you often, life is, well, crazy for us now and I've been laying low, what I've written about is barely scratching the surface.

    It's always great to hear about your family. Praying for you.


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