When It Hurts

I want to use a swear word, but I’ll hold myself back.

Stuff happens all the time and we don’t always like it or know what to do with it, especially the stuff we didn’t choose to happen.

We tend to focus on the good stuff and we seem to know what to do with that. But what about the bad stuff? How do we know how to go on again and reclaim our future and redefine our new path and accept that it’s ok to move on from here?

It’s hard to know.

It’s coming up on the one year anniversary that Chase died and we’re feeling it. We’re not really sure what to do with the feelings and there are no simple solutions or one size, fits all remedy. We want to reach out and connect and console one another and talk about it, and it hurts.  We want to offer comfort and care, and we’re not sure how best to do it. We want to give gifts and be together and share our stories and hear each other.  Maybe we just have to be.

I lit a candle and said a prayer. I called and texted loved ones. All throughout the days, while I’m working and driving and thinking, I am sitting with and feeling the sadness and loss more so again this week and am trying to accept it.  I wonder when the acceptance phase kicks in.

We don’t have all the answers.

To all who are hurting, I wish you love and peace and hope to carry on.

We love you Chase and miss you.



So we took our baby girl to the airport today and did the whole group photos, lots of kisses and hugs and sharing thoughts and don’t forgets and call me or text and all that good stuff.  


We wished her well and stood anxiously waiting behind the black wall, watching her go through security until we couldn’t see her anymore. And then we left.  No tears, actually! I was proud of myself. Maybe I worked through the anxiety yesterday and was ready and prepared today. Maybe. 

 I am happy for her. 

 I am proud of her. 

 I am okay. 

 What made me sad and anxious was realizing that I’ve done my job and that she’s flying away. Not literally, as in flying to Japan, but she’s flying the nest. She’s got the hang of this life thing and she’s confident, strong, independent, courageous and curious and kind. She’s everything I’ve always wanted her to be. And she’s still young. I wasn’t expecting this to all come together like this, right here, right now. And so it is.

I came home from the airport and just sat still. I didn’t know what to do with myself. There was nothing I wanted to do and everything I could do and yet I did nothing. I ate some leftovers, not because I was really hungry, but because food is my anti-anxiety drug of choice. I looked at Facebook and created a FrameMagic collage and posted an update from the moments just passed. I practiced using SnapChat and chatted with Juliana while she waited another 2 hours before her plane departed. 

I sat and waited with her yet in my living room. She asked me what I was doing and I told her I was waiting with her. She asked if I was going to sit still for 11 hours too, the same time she would be sitting for the duration of her flight. I told her no way, that wasn’t possible and she laughed. She also told me she was only going to be gone for 240 hours and asked if I was going to sit and wait for her too, and I said absolutely not. 240 hours sounds a lot shorter than 10 days.  She made me laugh.  

Kristin invited me over for a visit and I was thankful that she got me out of the house. I needed to do something and I enjoyed her company and conversation. I continued texting Juliana until her flight took off. It was fun to stay connected and I’m anxiously awaiting her next text around midnight tonight, letting me know she landed.  All is well. 

I called my mom this afternoon, and the first thing she said to me was, “So, do you feel lost?”  And I said, “Yes!! That’s exactly how I feel. How did you know? I didn’t even know that was what I was feeling, but yes. I feel lost.”  She said that’s how she felt when I left to go to Australia when I was 12 years old!!  I so get her. She is one brilliant woman. I am so glad she was brave enough to let me go. She shaped my spirit for adventure and wanderlust and I have now shared this with my kids.

I’m okay feeling a little lost. 

This is real and it’s normal and she’s fine and I’m fine. I am vulnerable and just a little lost – like I don’t know what to do with her not here and not having to pick her up or make her lunch or make her gluten-free dinners or take her here nor there.  She’s okay and I’m okay – it’s just different and we’re growing up. Both of us.  

Laurie called today to check on me and several friends and family texted to see how I was feeling and to wish Juliana well. I am grateful, especially to Laurie who could see me and my anxiety and reached out, despite her own feelings of loss. How did she do that? I am in awe of her, always. She’s one strong woman who I admire so much. 

The sisterhood of motherhood is strong in my village.  

I don’t feel so lost anymore. I can’t wait to hear all the stories about adventures in Japan! Have fun, baby girl and live it up!!

Carry on, BeLoveRs!!

nAMaste sisters!

Chase Varney

Tomorrow we will celebrate the life of Chase Varney, who is one of our family

Click here to read about Chase: Chase’s Legacy

Today we skipped school and sports and drove 6 hours to be with family, so that we could be together and be ready for tomorrow morning.

We have felt lots of stress and anxiety and fear this week, as well as love and uncertainty. We’ve laughed and cried, sat silently and yelled, missed assignments and appointments and forgot the ice cream in the car. We are a mess.

Losing Chase has affected so many, from friends to loved ones, and to those who didn’t even know him. We are filled with sorrow. With his passing, we are keenly aware that life is uncertain, unpredictable, and unfair, even when you do what’s right. This is not comforting and yet it’s raw and real and we are vulnerable. There are no guarantees, which is why we try to live life to the fullest with love and laughter every day.

Tomorrow we will celebrate Chase and hold on to each other for comfort, as we navigate the next steps that are to come.

Godspeed, Chase. We love and miss you so much and we wish your family the strength to carry on.


Blogging Vacation

Friends – I am taking a blogging vacation. I will miss you and hope you’ll join me again next week. Sometimes you just need to unplug.


Before I go, I’ll leave you with a story.

This morning I woke up at 5:30 am to work on my photo-storage-backup-elephant in the room before everyone woke up or needed anything from me.

I keep putting it off as you know and the elephant died.

I was moving the 3700+ photos to a safe place and before the migration was complete, an error message popped up. All of a sudden, my 3700 turned into 10. Where did they go?

Just lost.


I was extremely sad for my loss, especially as I was trying to fix my problem.

I decided to try to recover. I went through the steps to recover a backup from iCloud. I followed the rules. I read help pages and sought advice.

But my elephant must be just too big.

8 hours later my problem is still not resolved. I felt many emotions. Sadness. Anger. Frustration.

As I sat with my frustration and tried to get control over it, I cleaned and organized everything else. That’s what I do when I get flustered and had a short temper. I get quiet and I clean. Weird. And I laugh when I should cry. And then I cry. And then I say so what.

So what. I mean, really.

They are photos and memories of the past. I’m holding on to the past and wasting the present moment. I hate that. Let it go, mantra, remember?

As I sat there feeling sad and mad at myself for not keeping up with my photo project, I thought of real loss and the families who died in the airplane accident this week, and all the other real pain that people carry. This is nothing. It’s just a little something.

I am walking away from the problem for today as I had enough.

Despite the chaos of life, I always look for the silver lining and there were several today.

My sister was texting me throughout the day and “listened” and supported me and reminded me to breathe. Thank you. I love that you get me.

My kids were so patient when our expectations for the day changed. Even though they had lots of questions, and were waiting, they were helpful and got it even though they thought I was crazy.

My husband is my rock. He went and got lunch for everyone. He helped with the technical solutions, even though he doesn’t really want to be family tech support. When I wanted to give up, he offered another idea and took me to his office where the wifi speed is faster than our home. He didn’t give up on me, even when I wasn’t so nice. I really like you. Thank you.

After nothing was working, I finally chose to give up. We got back in the car with the kids, and I just sat quietly in defeat.

As I sat still, I let go. We have places to be. I will deal with the elephant carcass next week.


I will be thankful for the love and support I received today and be ok with my loss.

So that’s why I’m taking a break.

Going unplugged this week. I need a tech cleanse. Aaaahhhhh.

Namaste. xo