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Kenny is 17!

Okay, so much has happened in the last few weeks. So much I can't even get to a computer, let alone update.

First, Kenny turned 17 yesterday. SEVENTEEN! How did that happen? I am so proud of him. His vocabulary is amazing. "Staggering" to use a word he used the other day. He's doing well at school, he's happy and excited about everything.

Yesterday was tough for him, though. I think it's a double, because his birthday is during football season. And Dave should be here. He should. He'd be so proud of Kenny. I can't stand to think about it, because it brings up so sharply what we are missing. Dave's pride and his exuberance, his spirit and his strength.

Zach played in the varsity game last week and got his first varsity touchdown. I screamed and cheered...and cried, too. Dave would have been jumping out of his shoes. Sigh. You should have seen the look on Zach's face as he came out of the locker room and found me for a hug and kiss. I can't explain it. I can't even try. But it's a picture I'll carry in my heart forever.

Kate had her first volleyball game. She had a blast and her team won handily. She's not dancing this quarter, which absolutely floors me, but she seems okay with it. It was tough not to make her go, because I love so to watch her, but I guess it's not about me. She's learning the clarinet and after a few weeks of squeaking and squawking, now beautiful tones float down the hallway in the evening.

Our elegant cat, Two-Face died in Kate's closet. It was hard for all of us, especially Kenny. Two-Face was his kitty. He was the one that got all crooked and looked drunk after being gone for 4 days, but he had recovered beyond all their expectations...then suddenly he was sick again. It was awful. And I couldn't touch him. I had to make Zach do it. I was surprised by how freaked out I was. Began to wonder if I was becoming a wimpy-girly-girl. But then Koda brought in a dead pheasant and I was able to get it out of the house and into the garbage without any problem. Probably because Zach wasn't home.

Oh...and then...get this...Kate has an assignment to find 5 things in our garbage and write a paragraph about what it says about the family. Sheesh. Okay...her items: 1 torn up comforter, 1 bouquet of dead flowers, 1 dead pheasant, 1 plastic x-box game wrapper and I forgot the last one...oh, yeah! 1 empty can of spray paint, WaHi blue. She asked me if I wanted to read her paragraph. I said no, thanks.

Thanks, Mr. Language Arts Teacher. Speaking of is it that I can e-mail a hello-let-me-introduce-myself-here's-how-to-contact-me-have-a-great-year letter to 18 teachers and get ONE response???? I'm just sayin.... By the way, thanks, Mr. Senter, you're a gem.

Homecoming is just around the corner. Both boys have dates. That ought to make for some great photo ops.

Koda is growing by the minute. Almost as big as Duke and she's really become part of the family. She's gotten to be a real sweetie. I wasn't sure when she first came...she was such a, well, a DOG. Duke is more like a furry little people.

And I almost forgot...September 20 was our anniversary. Number 21. The kids took me out to dinner at La Casita and they didn't make me wear the dumb sombrero like Dave would have. After the kids went to bed, I spent hours looking at old photographs of Dave, flipping through the albums, finding the ones that we haven't scanned into the computer, so they were new again since I hadn't seen them in a while. I watch my screen saver or visit the album on flickr to see his face all the time, so it was kind of a shock to see these pictures. They weren't the ones I'm used to seeing every day, and they took my breath away, made me shaky. I hadn't thought there would be any more surprises, since I've memorized every line of his face in every picture on the computer. I can't explain very well. I hid them from myself, so maybe it can happen again, even though it hurts.

Please, keep praying:

for my kids, (I'll have to tell you about the K&K breakthrough soon),
for me, (although Zach told me I never have to ever consider dating because he will come home from college every single weekend and keep me company so I guess I'll be well-taken-care-of!),
for our associate pastor, who's having serious heart trouble,
for Nana and Spud,
for my dear friend, S, whose husband is battling cancer and having a tough round of chemo,
for my other friend, who was diagnosed with cancer,
for yet another friend, who has a family member battling cancer that's spread,
for one more friend, whose husband died in an auto crash,
and anyone I forgot.

God remembers.

Love to you all,
pics and more stories soon, I hope.


  1. I love the idea of Zach coming home every weekend -- like that will last! -- but really understand the "what am I supposed to do with me" questions. Rob and I were married nearly 40 years, and it is lonely without someone to talk to who knows me like that, but someone new won't know me like that anyway, so ....

    My dad keeps saying I need to start dating [yuk! big turnoff], yet I am lonesome for adult company. I have no idea how to resolve this dilemma, so have decided to put it in the Scarlett O'Hara file and deal with it tomorrow!

    I think of you and your kids so often. My ID on blogger got messed up when it was taken over by Google, so I have been reading but not commenting for months. I am sorry you did not get answers from teachers. Maybe the beginning of school is just crazy for them -- it has been for me.

    This summer, two of the men who were stem cell transplant patients with Rob died, one just last weekend and the other in July. At the service in July, there was a picture of Kerry with a very thin, pale man in glasses. It took me several seconds -- and took me totally aback -- to realize that the other man in the picture was Rob. In my mind's eye, he is still the smiling robust man on the CaringBridge page. I literally gasped audibly when I realized who was pictured, then burst into tears.

    Furthermore, I have not located all our old pictures since I moved in May and think some of that may be an avoidance thing -- you think?

    I still need to come to Walla Walla but my life has to stop resembling a train that continually gets side-tracked first!!

    Love you, and hugs from one who really knows about some of what you are experiencing...


  2. Good Gravy, sounds like a heck of a month! I started my training with Edward Jones - a real firehose effect, but the good Lord has allowed it to be interesting to me so that's a bonus! Still no luck selling our house...big sad face I am so bummed we missed Kenny's birthday and Z's touchdown...give them an extra squench for us. I am planning on getting to La Grande in mid-November (house sold or not) as I have to get going there. The kids are really antsy to get closer to home. Sorry about Two-Face, Kyle and I were just talking about him the other day. Caleb didn't remember the name, but he remembered "that kitty that zapped me" :o)
    You have such great kids Shelly, they are truly awesome. We miss you guys so much, but hope to make up a little for lost time soon - as long as you don't get sick of our company :o)
    All Our Love,
    Will, Stacy and the boys...

    PS: I would have emailed you back if I was still teaching...can't really believe they are all "too busy" or anything...

  3. I can't believe we work right down the hall from each other and we don't see much of each other and have to catch up through blogs . . .oh well! Those teachers are something I tell you. They encourage you to email but they don't respond. I have had that very same experience. So many milestones for you this month wow! Happy Birthday to Kenny and way to go Zach. I read the sports page that following Sunday morning and I said "wow, Zach got a touchdown" and put the paper down and Tom said "well that's good but who won?" My response "I don't know; I think Wa-HI!" Another Anniversary without the love of your life -- I'm so sorry. I am glad the kids did what they could to make it a better day. Your poor cat; last Friday night we lost our 17.5 year old cat -- it was so sad we had him longer than we had Morgan. His time had come but I still say today "It wasn't fair." Stay healthy and sane is this crazy world and maybe we can schedule a time to say "Hi" in the hallways of WWCC.
    Love Ya!

  4. Michelle, thank you so much for prayer requests. I feel I know who it was for. I appreciate the visit we had so much. We have not talked since, you have sent thinking of me messages. I know your there and that means allot. I know there are no real answers but just knowing I can talk to you means allot.
    I am happy the kids remembered you on your anniversary. They are doing great, 17 years old for Kenny and a touchdown for Zach boy where does time fly. Volleyball will be another adventure for you. Glad you have all the sports it is great and I know everyone enjoys seeing you.
    I will see you the first of the week or atleast you will know I have been there. It is that time again, make a space in the garage.
    Take Care, thanks again. Kathie

  5. Don't those moments, the ones that stick in your heart forever help ease the pain of going though the not fair things that life brings. I can picture Z seeking you out to look just for you. Dave is/would be so proud.
    Did you read Sundays paper about Dwight senior (our special olympics friend) cancer agian. Ben taking it hard. He was the sweetiest man.
    Ben's sorry he missed Kenny's b-day- be looking for a card in the mail.
    Good to be busy. Somehow helps. Rowene and Ben both went to the homecoming dance last night. One of those pictures in your mind like you say that will stay in your heart forever.
    It must be hard having Kate take a break from dancing. Lets hope it is a short break.
    As for your anniversary thank God again for those wonderful children that you and Dave put so much of yourselves into. I bet next year they will make you wear the hat.
    God bless and take care, Sherri

  6. Sometimes I read your blog and the enormous loss you have dealt with just takes my breath away. I never finish reading without taking the time to send my husband an email saying "Thanks for being so great and loving me" - I do that because you make me see how important each moment together is, how quickly it can be taken away. Thank you for sharing your life and loss with us.


  7. Chellebelle,

    So many wonderful moments, that bring both happiness and sadness, you wonder how can that be, yet you know, it is, it just is. Zach's face, a treasure to remember, brings a pain to your heart. Kenny, 17, doing so well, joy, tinged with a reality we wish wasn't there., anniversaries, birthdays....golden sun and happiness, falling leaves and sadness. Sigh. I wish it could all be better for you Chelle, in this lifetime, now. I wish the days were only sunny and happy. For truly, you deserve that. I guess we must be grateful for the happy times there are. There are many. And so many blessings, still. I know you know that. Take comfort in it. You are surrounded by love Chelle.
    Your city mouse friend who sure would like to see you.


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