Thursday, August 27, 2009

4 years

Official video here, with Matthew West's story.





(Written August 23, 2009)

Four years ago I awoke to Dave's last breath.
To questions that had no answers
in my little girl's eyes.

And I knew that my world was broken
beyond repair.
That the rift in my heart
would remain.


We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it to the full.
Marcel Proust


Grief is like that.
Sometimes, I can put it away.
In my pocket.
Out of sight.

But like a child,
it will not be ignored for long.
It squirms and pokes
and demands my focus.

And if I persist
in pretending it's gone,
it will rise up,
in a giant wave
and sweep away everything.

Everything but the
tears
sadness
loss
screams
of a wounded soul.

I find that the more it becomes
part of me,
the more I allow
experience
feel,

the more whole I become.
So I make friends with it.

This force that has
shaken me,
and my children.

It becomes part of
the way I think.
The way I talk.
The way I love.

I imagine that I can
run my fingers along the
scar in my heart.

Is it smaller?
Smoother?
Perhaps not.

Is it more solid?
Stronger?
I believe so.

This scar,
this hurt
has become part of what
holds me together.

Is that healing?
I don't know.

It is change.
I know that.


There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature ~ the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter.
Rachel Carson


The rhythms of life.
Things come and go.
And come back again.

Four years ago,
Kenny was beginning high school.
Now he's graduated.

School years start.
Homework gets done.
Dinners get fixed.
Dishes get washed.

Football teams play.
Dancers glide.
Candles are blown out.

Leaves bud,
unfurl,
grow,
change their color,
dry and fall.

I watch the moon
steadily change
wax and wane.

I watch my children
steadily change
learning who they are
forging their own ways
becoming who they were meant to be.

And I know that I
change, too.


All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter into another!
Anatole France


And so it is.
Each change,
joyful and celebrated,
brings a bit of melancholy, too.

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.
C.S. Lewis


And so we keep moving
changing
growing.
I wonder often
what Dave would think
of the changes we've made.

And how he might be now.
Were he here,
living these
changes with us.
What about him would
be different
from the memories we have,
from the person he was?


Each day, life will send you little windows of opportunity. Your destiny will ultimately be defined by how you respond to these windows of opportunity. Shrink from them and your life will be small, feel the fear and run to them anyway, and you life will be big. Life's just too short to play little.
Robin Sharma


Like my dad says,
Go big or go home.

I'll leave you with a new Dave story from a friend (I didn't ask her if I could post it, so I'll leave her out her name.) It's a story I never heard before.


I have been meaning to write you, I had been thinking so strongly of you and of this time of year. I don't know if I ever told you, but I went for a walk one evening when [my baby] was 5 days old (four years ago) on August 23rd. I ended up being harassed by some young guys who thought they were funny, and rang the doorbell of a lady who happened to be a single mom of three teenage boys. They were trying to eat dinner, but they boys were obviously crying. I tried to exit gracefully, and said I was sorry to bother her. She said it was okay, but that the boys lost someone very special that day - that would be Dave.

I never met your husband, and I never got the lady's name, who ended up being an angel and drove me home even though she was crying herself. I just remember thinking so strongly what an amazing soul he must have been to have those three big boys in tears.



And last night, I found the letter from Clinton Zahl, where he tells the story of the most important thing he learned in high school. He was leaning against the railing, outside the portables, watching people walk by. Dave joined him for a bit. Then said, "Clinton, what do you see?" And Clinton said, "People. Some I know, some I don't know. Some I wish I didn't know." And Dave said, "No Clinton, what you see are all children of God."

Thank you J and Clinton, for giving me those little bits of Dave to hold in my heart.

I think this song is about Dave.
And maybe, someday,
about me, too.


Matthew West - The Motions
From the album Something To Say


This might hurt
It's not safe
But I know that I've gotta make a change
I don't care If I break

At least I'll be feeling something
'Cause just ok
Is not enough
Help me fight through the nothingness of life

Chorus
I don't wanna go through the motions
I don't wanna go one more day
Without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don't wanna spend my whole life asking
What if I had given everything?
Instead of going through the motions

No regrets
Not this time
I'm gonna let my heart defeat my mind
Let Your love
Make me whole
I think I'm finally feeling something

Take me all the way
Take me all the way
Take me all the way

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Zach's Senior Slide Show

Can't believe he's a senior.
Dave would be so proud of Zach.
Zach is an amazing person.

Come watch him grow up!

And Steve, I promise a newsy update soon. There's a lot. Including a cougar encounter. And NOT the Wazzu kind!


View this montage created at One True Media
Zach's Senior Pictures



Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Graduation 2009

So...the biggest news - Kenny graduated!
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It's too amazing!
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He hugs just like his Dad.
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He's been so lucky to have such great friends.
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And family...
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We had a great barbeque and party the next day to celebrate!
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Thanks, Matt...for everything.
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It's unbelievable to me that Dave is not here.
The summer that Dave was getting sicker, Kenny went to WaHi football camp in Moscow for the first time. We took a trip over there. Dave got to see Kenny on the field, in a WaHi jersey. By the time the season started in the fall, Dave was gone.

And I had the same feeling then that I did at graduation. How is it possible that these things are happening without him?

I wanted to feel proud. Proud of Kenny for all he's accomplished. Homecoming King, Most Inspirational Player (twice), the Lou Jacky Award, all his medals, his letters. And proud of our little family, for making it through. And I did. I really did.

But mostly I felt that reeling sense of unreality. Like it wasn't really happening. Like I should just shout, "Wait, wait, Dave's not here yet! Stop."

I remember after Kyle died...after Kenny was born. Every first was glorious, first smile, first tooth, first step. But it was also tinged with sadness...one more reminder of what was missing.

The very definition of bittersweet.
Bittersweet tears.

More to come:

Special Olympics (3 gold medals at Oregon Regionals!)
Walla Walla Bears Baseball
Kate dancing

But right now, Zach needs the computer to work on his online class.
Love you all....

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bear Schedule

Tuesday, June 2 5:30 pm WWCC
Sunday, June 7 1:00 pm Selah
Tuesday, June 9 5:00 pm Hanford
Saturday, June 13 Pendleton Tournament
Sunday, June 14 Pendleton Tournament
Tuesday, June 16 5:30 pm Richland
June 18-21, Bandit Bash Tournament, Kennewick
Tuesday, June 23 5:30 pm, WWCC
June 25-28, Palouse Summer Series, Pullman
Tuesday, June 30 5:00 pm, Lewiston, ED
July 2-6, Twin Falls Cowboy Classic, Twin Falls, ID
Tuesday, July 7 4:00 pm, WWCC
July 9-12, Walla Walla Sweet Invitational, WWCC/Borleske/Murr
Tuesday, July 14 5:30 pm, WWCC
Thursday, July 16 5:30 pm, WWCC

Busy summer!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

For all the soldiers who stayed on the front lines,
so my children and I can sleep in peace tonight,
thank you.
Freedom isn't free.
Someone else's son paid for me.





An American Soldier
by Toby Keith


I’m just tryin’ to be a father
Raise a daughter and a son
Be a lover to their mother
Everythin’ to everyone
Up and at ‘em bright and early
I’m all business in my suit
Yeah I’m dressed up for success
From my head down to my boots
I don’t do it for money
There’s bills I that I can’t pay
I don’t do it for the glory
I just do it anyway
Providing for our future’s
My responsibility
Yeah, I’m real good under pressure
Being all that I can be
And I can’t call in sick on Mondays
When the weekend’s been too strong
I just work straight through the holidays
And sometimes all night long
You can bet that I stand ready
When the wolf growls at the door
Hey I’m solid, hey I’m steady
Hey I’m true down to the core

And I will always do my duty
No matter what the price
I’ve counted up the cost
I know the sacrifice
Oh and I don’t want to die for you
But if dyin’s asked of me
I’ll bear that cross with honor
'Cause freedom don’t come free

I’m an American soldier,
an American
Beside my brothers and my sisters
I will proudly take a stand
When liberty’s in jeopardy
I will always do what’s right

I’m out here on the front lines
Sleep in peace tonight
American soldier,
I’m an American, soldier

An American Soldier
an American
Beside my brothers and my sisters
I will proudly take a stand
When liberty’s in jeopardy,
I will always do what’s right
I’m out here on the front lines
Sleep in peace tonight
American Soldier, I’m an American
An American, an American, Soldier.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Meyer Family Travails

I know.
I know.
I'm sorry. I really am.

Update here.

Kenny seems to be stabilized on the medication he's on. We are STILL waiting to see a neurologist. I am very much not happy about this. There's a new neurologist in Walla Walla, but he's not approved for the medical coupon that Kenny has. Yes, the medical coupon that we never use because Kenny has insurance through my employer that's primary. And, yes, THAT one IS approved. Can they see him through that insurance? No. I should have just gone straight to Seattle. He hasn't had any further seizures since the first two.

He's getting ready for graduation. I can't believe he's graduating from high school. He's very excited. And we still have to get announcements out! You're all invited to an open house/bbq on Saturday, June 6, 2009 from noon-4 pm at our house!

Kenny ran track this spring for WaHi and for Special Olympics. He is a sprinter, running the 100, the 200, the 4x100 relay and long jump. He's had a lot of fun in school track and really likes hanging out with his friends. So far in SOWA, at regionals in Spokane, Kenny took 3 golds and 1 silver medal. He was pretty excited about that. I have to get a picture of him with his medals soon.

Kate: well, Kate managed the boys' baseball team at her school this spring, attending all practices and keeping statistics. She didn't enjoy it as much as she did last year. She did do a dance unit in PE and they had a guest instructor teach the unit. The teacher recognized that Kate was an experienced dancer and encouraged her to get back into it. So....
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Wow. She's amazing. Beautiful, graceful. And just enough attitude to make it fun. We should all feel so young, beautiful and free!
Oh. And she and Sadee splatter painted her room.
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Oh. And she's running for ASB President. Fly higher with Meyer. Vote for Meyer, she's on fire! Be part of something great, get out and vote for Kate. Wearing a shirt tomorrow that says on the front: Vote for Kaitlyn Meyer! On the back: She's got your back! We're having a lot of fun with the campaign.

And Zach. Well, baseball, baseball, baseball. Look:
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He's had a great season. Hitting pretty well, catching GREAT! Opposing coaches are complimenting him after the game. He's been amazing to watch. Almost no balls ever get by him. He regularly throws base-stealer-attempters out at second. He's had a blast, even though the team has had a rough go this season. They did make districts, but it was tough.

It's hard for me to understand why he loves baseball so much. It's obviously trying to kill him.

Yesterday, they were doing a drill with a golf-ball-sized wiffle ball. It's heavy and dense. They stand about 6-7 feet away from someone and throw them the ball and their partner hits it. With a bat. Hard. Right back at you. Or, if your name is Zach-Catastrophe-Meyer, right back at your eye.

The ball collided with Zach's eyeball. Hard. Broke a blood vessel in his eye and the anterior chamber of his eye filled with blood and he lost all vision. There is a fancy medical term for this. I just call it very, very scary.

Took him to the eye docs. They couldn't see much inside his eye. It did appear to stop bleeding and begin to clear a little while we were there, and Zach was able to finally make out the wall where the eye chart was. Or at least the shadow of it.

Due to a risk of re-bleeding and to keep the blood pooling/clotting in the right place, he had to remain at a 45* incline all night and not move. I was awake all night. He was pretty traumatized and slept pretty well.

This morning, we went to see the eye surgeon. She said that he has 3 tears in the sphincter of his iris, which will heal, but are not reparable, so his left pupil will always be slightly enlarged, leading to light sensitivity. She could see the retina, which was still attached, but had swelling, so she couldn't rule out a tear. Re-evaluation of that will be Thursday. If it's torn, it will require surgery. Good news, Zach was seeing 20/40 this morning, so the fluid has cleared a lot. Bad news. Still a high risk of re-bleed, so he must remain in bed rest for 5 days. It will take a while for his body to re-absorb the blood, too.

So please pray. Prom is Saturday. I hope he'll be able to go. Meantime, Kailee and Maverick are taking good care of him.

And, file this next one under lessons learned from my dog. (And once again, I tell you, if you're not on Facebook, you're missing the best stuff!)

A few weeks ago, I woke up at 3:00 am to a horrific sound. Now, if you know me, you know that at 3:00 am, I hadn't been asleep very long. I couldn't figure out what the noise was. I went downstairs and the dogs were both milling around by the front door. It took me a minute to realize the sound was coming from them. Or one of them. I couldn't tell. It was a noise like nothing I'd ever heard. Well, it turns out that Duke had gotten into the garbage...a sneaky habit many chubby dogs have...and this time, he had gotten a tin can out of the garbage. A tin can with the lid still partially attached. He had stuck his tongue down inside the can and then tried to pull it back out. It was like those little finger handcuffs. You can go in, but not out. His tongue was wedged against the side of the can and he was running around with a Spaghetti-o's can on his face, making unearthly shrieking noises.

So, by this time, Kate was awake. I asked her to get Zach, thinking he was stronger and could hold Duke. Zach got up, bleary-eyed, looked in our direction and said, "Duke always gets in the garbage." And went back to bed. Okay. So much for that idea.

Kate, on the other hand. Real help there. She moved Koda away, because Koda was freaking out. Truthfully, so was I. The tongue was really stuck. I didn't know what to do. If I pushed the can lid down, it would cut off his tongue. If I pulled it up, same thing. Debating about whether you should cut your dog's tongue off with an upward or downward motion at 3 am is not my idea of a soothing, recreational activity.

So Kate brings me a butter knife. And Duke, trusting soul that he is, just lay there in the doorway and let me work on that can. Despite the fear and pain he must have been experiencing, he let me come in there with a knife. He trusted me completely. And he held still. And I bent the can lid with the blade of the knife, just enough so Duke's tongue was free.

He let me examine it. It was cut pretty badly, but he let me apply pressure with a cloth and soon it stopped bleeding and when I could really see it, it looked like it would heal okay without stitches. So we all went to bed. Whew.

The lesson I learned from my dog? Never eat garbage.

No. Not really.

It's about submission. I heard a song, that I'll try to put on here. "Why are you trying to earn grace?" "Please don't fight these hands that are holding you. My hands are holding you."

Have you ever been fishing? And tried to take the hook out of a fish's mouth in order to throw it back? And the way it writhes and flails and panics and fights with everything in its scaly little body? Even when you're trying to help it? Kind of like they say a drowning person will do?

Well, that would be me.

I have such a clear picture of God standing there, saying, "I'll help you, just let me help you. Stop fighting me. Stop. You're just making it worse. Be still for just a minute."

And I can't do it. I'm not afraid of much. But I am scared of giving up control. Even to God. I like to be in charge. Going with the flow isn't exactly my strong suit. And considering the mess I've got, I'm not sure why I'm so convinced I know better.

Sigh.

I resolve to be more like Duke. To breathe a little more slowly. To trust those who really are trying to help me. To stop fighting. To move with the current instead of swimming upstream.

Well, I didn't say all the time. But maybe I'll try it. Once.

Oh. And, in honor of Duke, I'll eat more Spaghetti-o's.

And take the lid completely off the can this time.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Kenny

Kenny had a second seizure tonight.
After three months, I thought we were home free.
Thought the first one was a fluke.
Sigh.
This one was not as long. Only a few minutes.
And when he woke up, which took about 15 minutes, he was quite himself, not out of his mind like he was last time.
We transported him to the hospital in the Suburban with the ambulance following right behind us, just in case.
They gave him ativan and started him on keppra.
We'll see his doc this week and schedule an appointment with a neurologist...the closest one is in the Tricities, and they're booked out over two months.
Pray for Kenny.
Pray for me.
He's sleeping peacefully now.
Wish I could.

Love, Shelley

PS. Please pray for a local family. One son was a classmate of Kate's. He died on April 1. Then his father died April 2. According to coworkers at WWCC, both deaths were suicides, and this is what Kate was told at school as well, but there hasn't been any "official" confirmation of that. The mom worked with us for a number of years and the older sister is a classmate of Kenny's. There's another brother who is a freshman this year. My heart breaks for them. I cannot fathom what that family must be going through. Services are tomorrow. I hope that they feel the arms of this community around them and that God will hold them in the palm of His mighty hand.

Somehow, seizures seem like small potatoes now.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Kenny's Senior Presentation

View this montage created at One True Media
Kenny Senior Presentation


And you can see his portfolio HERE.
Wish him all kinds of luck tonight!

Kate starts dance again tonight. It's a good day here, except that the baseball game got moved to tomorrow....and I'm gonna be in Seattle. *sniff*

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Zach is 17!

Do you remember this?








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Could he be any more adorable? I think NOT! The one of him on the couch, he was only 2 weeks old. Not quite two weeks. He was so strong. And he just kept growing. And learned to like girls. Kailee in particular.
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But he still likes toys. Legos in particular.
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And his sibs LOVE him!
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To say nothing of the cousins!
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Have you ever been so loved you just couldn't stand it??
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We should all be so lucky!
And baseball is here. So what has the kid got to frown about anyway? He's starting catcher on the varsity squad and is loving every minute of it. Even though it's snowed, hailed and been 25 degrees.
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Oh...an other folks in the household have been up to a few things, too!
KENNY TOOK GOLD AT MISSION RIDGE!!!
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I didn't get many pictures this year. Kate was in Ellensburg at a basketball tournament. Zach was at home. So I left Ellensburg and drove to Wenatchee to see Kenny on Saturday. The weather was terrible! It was snowing and blowing so hard at Mission Ridge they had to cancel the medal ceremony. The kids were all so sad. But the SeaGals were at the dance that night and they wrote all over Kenny's shirt, so that made up for it.

The girls did really well in Ellensburg. They saw some new teams and made it to the championship game. It was awesome.

There was also the cross-town rival girls basketball game. Kate vs. all her AAU teammates. It was a little odd to see her guarding girls she usually passes to. And Pioneer beat the undefeated Garrison! WHOO HOO! Oh, and Kate's taking up dance again, starting next week.

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And me? Well, it's finals week, so there won't be anything too deep in this post. Just too tired to think too much. Or feel too much.

Pray for Dee and her girls, Kristi and Rhondi.
Love you all.