World Mental Health Day

Since Rory’s death our family has dealt with depression, panic attacks, anxiety, suicide ideation, and PTSD.

The trauma of her loss, the trauma of the night, has brought each of us to our knees in different ways.

The road we’re walking with each other is painful and difficult.

As we each deal with our grief in diverse ways, there are times we struggle to understand the other’s.

As the panic engulfs one of us, literally taking his breath away, we search for the right words to say.

As depression and guilt grip one of us, squeezing us to the point it feels easier to give in than to fight, we hold on to the one.

When the thoughts play over and over in one of our minds relentlessly, we try to love and distract.

This is an unexpected road and, if I’m being honest, really terrifying.

In many ways I don’t know how to help or what to do. I’m so grateful for the professional help we’re receiving.

The one thing I tell my boys and I always want them to know is that I’m here.

I’m here.

I love them.

No matter what.


If you know someone who’s struggling, reach out.

If you’re struggling, reach out.

You’re important.

You’re loved.

You’re not alone.

Facebook Memories

As I was laying in a Las Vegas hotel room, this Facebook memory came up.

Two years ago.

In the same city.

Our lives were very different.

We had this small ceremony with just our family and Lance’s and my parents.

It was perfect for her.



She was funny in that she wanted all the attention but also none of the attention.

She wanted full one-on-one attention but too many eyes on her or a stranger talking to her and she was hiding behind my leg.

I miss that silly smiling face.

That amazing girl.

I miss all those smiling faces.

Two years.

So much has changed.


January feels like the month that never ends.

But we’re here. We’ve made it to the last day. January 31st!

Can I get a halle-freaking-lujah?

The whole month is:


The sun is out less.

The holidays are done and celebrated.

Christmas bills are coming due.

And for me. I have Rory’s birthday looming.

Where there used to be excitement.

There’s apprehension.

Where there used to be joy.

There’s anxiety.

I frame January with love and service trying to help push me through the month.

It works. It helps me. A lot.

But it doesn’t take away the fact that we’ll be celebrating her birthday without her in a few days.

Ugh. I miss her.

But I’m going to take this small accomplishment. I did it!

Goodbye messy, hard January. Until next next year.

Memory: Pretending to be a Dog

Rory loved animals. I’ve shared that.

She pretended to be a dog all the time.

She’d go down on her hands and knees or sometimes just bend her elbows.

She would bark.

She would pant.

Sometimes she’d try to lick an arm or face. That was less enjoyable.

As she was getting older, I began noticing she’d turn into a dog when her anxiety increased.

Aside from play times with her friends, she’d turn pretend to be a dog when she didn’t know what to do with herself.

When she didn’t know how to act or what to say.

Her pretend time as a dog was starting to wane by the time she passed away.

But I’m grateful it wasn’t completely gone because I can still hear echos of her barks in my head.

I miss that.

I miss her.