Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas,

I hope this finds you happy and healthy this holiday seasons. Well there have been many changes for Hunter and I over the last year. We have had new experiences and celebrated life, as we know it to be. As this season has approached us and I have had a chance to reflect on the past 2 seasons with out Eric, I realize how thankful I am that we had so many wonderful years together, that we lived our lives exactly the way we wanted too and that we loved each other more each day. I have also had time to reflect on the loss, the loss of the traditions we created together, the loss of the friendship we had and so much more. Which of course leads me to start thinking of my life now and I realize that I am so lucky. Lucky to have someone who loves me, who stands by my side as I grieve and is willing to walk this unknown journey with Hunter and I. I am also lucky to have friends who have supported me and been there for me regardless of their own life challenges and of course Hunter who brightness my every moment. I mean there are still moments, many moments that have caught me off guard and the tears come streaming down. If happens in the oddest times and for the oddest reason. The season for me is filled with such joy and sorrow at the same time, I suppose it is like being on a roller coaster. Either way I don’t like roller coasters so I am looking forward to the beginning of the year hoping the roller coaster will slow down, well at least until the next Christmas season.

The lights have been hung this year and the house even has a few more decorations than last, we have made Santa cookies and are having a few family members over to help us celebrate Christmas. Of course Hunter is super excited for Santa and I am hoping to get him in bed as early as possible so that I can finish my mommy duties.

We celebrated Christmas with Eric’s family a few weeks ago and we had a wonderful time together. Again it is one of those joyous and sorrowful times, I am so lucky to have such wonderful in-laws it is a true blessing. This Christmas I finally was able to get Eric’s t-shirt made into a quit. Well actually 4 quilts, one for Hunter, Eric’s mom and his 2 sisters. They are beautiful and something that each one of them can take comfort in when they need that encouragement that all will be ok. Each quilt is different and each quilt was made without knowing who was going to receive which quilt. Once they were finished I looked at each one and decided who should get that particular quilt. So after all settled down and everyone had a few days to look at their quilts Eric’s mom called and shared with me that Laura’s quilt had the shirt on it that he was wearing the last time she saw him which was December 12th 2009, exactly 2 yrs to the day she opened up her quilt. Dianna also shared that her quilt had 3 shirts that Eric is wearing in the 3 pictures of him she has hanging on her wall. Again I had no idea about these particular shirts and we all knew that God had a hand in this selection. It was so perfect and I could not have asked for a better outcome.

May the season be filled with love and joy and may you each cherish every moment you have with those you love.

Merry Christmas,


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Hunter Update...

It is hard to believe that Hunter is 12 years old. I can’t believe that 12 years ago he was just a baby and now he is a pre-teen. I am lucky to have such a wonderful, loving, caring, happy pre-teen and “yes” he will stay that way as a teen (well I am hopeful anyhow). Well Hunter has matured so much over the past year, he can stay home for a while by himself and if you happen to get a call from Eric’s cell phone don’t be shocked, (like so many were) it is just Hunter on his dad’s cell phone, and he finally has a facebook account which does make this teacher mom a bit nervous.

Hunter has successfully completed the 6th grade and we are a few months into the 7th grade already, things are getting a bit harder for him in school but he does take after his dad in the school department and does very well without much work. Of course I did give him something….yes the ability to be social and talkative. So I guess he has the best of both worlds smart and extra friendly!

Hunter is playing soccer and the season is almost over he enjoys soccer but his true passion continues to be baseball. He has been practicing 2 times a week with a baseball training club and has learned so much from the coaches. Not only the game of baseball but the importance of a good attitude and hard work. Of course he is still in Boy Scouts, we will see if he will continue the verdict is still up in the air.

I am so thankful that he is such a great kid, being a parent is hard enough these days but being a single parent is even harder, having Hunter as a son makes it so much easier to be a single parent and I am so thankful for that.



Love...Happiness....New Beginnings

Living with the loss of a spouse makes you want to stop living yourself. You live one day at a time usually not for yourself but for the others in your life. For me my one-day at a time living was for Hunter. I am so thankful that because of him I was forced to live my life and continue to try and keep our life as normal as possible. When Eric passed away I lived one hour at a time, then one-day at a time, then one week at a time and finally I am living one month at a time looking forward to a future that once again can be happy. I am happy to say that Hunter and I have been able to move forward and continue living thorough our grief. I have been fortunate to have supportive family, friends, co-workers and many others who have supported me just when I needed it and supported Hunter just when he needed something We have been fortunate to have a new person in our lives, I have mentioned him before and I am happy to say he is still in our lives. He has been very supportive about our situation. Heith understands that even though Eric is no longer in our lives physically he is still there emotionally and mentally. Hunter and I continue to share Eric with him and are helping him learn who Eric was and what we loved about him. He is supportive when I need to grieve, let’s me cry when I need to cry, understands when sometimes I am just not happy and is there for me each and everyday. He is walking with me in my new journey and supporting me as I develop into this new person. Hunter is laughing again, being silly again and basically being the 12-year-old boy. Because of Heith we both have something to look forward to whether it is a game of catch for Hunter or a hand to hold to hold for me. It is nice to look towards a future again and to know Hunter and I can have a future with happiness, laughter and a sense of normalcy. Everyday I am blessed to know the love I had with Eric, to have spent so many years with someone so special in so many ways. Each day I wake I am thankful for all the special memories I had with Eric. Now because of this new man I once again have hope for a future one that can help me continue to remember Eric and all that we had and one that offers hope that once again I can be happy.



Sunday, July 10, 2011

It has Been a Long Time!

I know that it has been a long time since my last post. There has been so much going on I am not even sure where to start. That being said today is also busy busy busy but I know you want an update. I will be posting something this week so please check back in a few days.

With much Love,

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sisterhood of the Widowhood

Obviously the title gives you an idea of what this blog is about, I have written about it briefly before but I feel it is time to revisit the topic. Once you become a widow or widower you become part of a group, a group of people with at least one thing in common. If you will a "club" that nobody wants to join but once you do it is forever. No matter what your "new" life has in store for you whether you remarry or not, date or not you will always be a widow. I wish I could say embrace this "new" life and get the most out of it but unfortunately it is just not that fun club or sisterhood you want to embrace. That being said I have over the course of this last year embraced the new friendships that I have made because of my widowhoodness. These friends are other women who have also lost there husbands to either cancer or some sudden death. This group of women and 1 new husband that I speak of have been their to support me and each other though the last year. The friendships and support is unbelievable considering we have only met once at a widow conference. The bond is truly valued, we are the "lucky ones if I may say "lucky". We have tried to get the most of our "new" lives, using our sense of humor, our faith and each other to get through. This last weekend I was fortunate enough to meet with another widow in Las Vegas. She is from Connecticut and she also lost her husband to cancer. It was a big step for both of us considering we had only met each other once and our friendship was mostly through facebook. We both thought what happens if we don't get along, 3 days will feel like an eternity. Well I am happy to report that not only did we get along we are very much alike, enjoy the same things and we spent many many hours sharing our story. Not only was this weekend away with a friend but a therapy session all while enjoying what Vegas has to offer. I can't say enough wonderful things about my new lifelong friend. I wish we did not have to be members of this club but since we are I am happy to be here with her.

As I mentioned we met at something called Camp Widow last year in San Diego. This is a wonderful support community and I would highly recommend to anyone who is a member of this "club" or knows someone in this "club" to attended Camp Widow. I have found most of my support through the Internet, it is amazing the the amount of support out there because of the Internet. I want to share of few of the sites I have found helpful and a few that my friends have used for support. Again I hope that this information will be passes along to others in my situation, without the connection I have made though these sites I would not be the widow I am today.

Soaring Spirts Lose Foundation:
Widow Village (Widville)


Friday, February 4, 2011

Finally!!!! an Update!

Well is has been over a month since my last post... whenever I sit down to write I try to have something important to say or something that may make a difference in someones life. I have been though alot in the last few years and have grown in so many ways I want to be able to share some of my wisdom with others. If I don't blog it is usually because I feel that I am not able to pass on some words of advice or some life situation that may effect others. Well that being said I really have nothing important or insightful to say so I am just going to update everyone on our life and the goings on in the Botkin household.
So Hunter has continued to thrive at school and has settled into the middle school swing without much effort....Yippie. He has become an independent student and is doing well all on his own. I am excited to say he can actually take care of his homework and school responsibilities without his mother hanging over his shoulder. This definitely comes from Eric's genes, he was always a better student than I was. Again I have to thank Eric, I am not sure we would survive each other if he was like me. Hunter continues to amaze me with regards to school and I hope it stays that way. He has also continues with the boy scouts and has made it second class....he enjoys the activities with the boys and I enjoy the fact that I don't have to camp with him anymore. He has grown and matured because of scouts and I am thankful he continues to want to be involved. Finally he has begun another season of baseball, he is in majors now and playing with the big is hard for me to believe that he is old enough to be one of the big kids. He loves ball and loves this time of the year, we are lucky to have a wonderful coach, not only a family friend but a wonderful man who loves Hunter and wants the best for him. This makes it easier as a mom, I know he is well taken care of and will be guided to be the best player he can be with positive love and support. Hunter continues to amaze me with his sense of humor and positive attitude. Every day he reminds me of Eric and I am so glad that I can see Eric in him, Eric would be proud of his son...just as I am.
As for me I am busy at Hunter's school, I wear many hats and Hunter's enjoys the fact that I am able to be there for him and enjoys seeing me on campus. I have continued working on me, physically and mentally. Somedays are easier than others but I am happy to say I have more positive days than others. I have begun dating and have someone in my life that I enjoy spending time with and he enjoys spending time with us. He is someone that I new as a child and we recently reconnected. Talking about this personal information in this public forum is a little different but I feel it is important to share, I knew that at some point I would date and of course I know that everyone expected me to date but nonetheless it does feel a little different to put it out to the world. For now I just want everyone to know that I am in a happy place, Hunter is in a happy place and it is nice to have someone in our lives that makes us both happy.
I never thought I would ever be in this situation, nor did I ever think I would survive the 1st year but it seems that I am and I did......I am thankful for all the support, without it I certainly would be in a different place.

Love to all,

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Our 1st Year without you!

It is hard to believe that a year ago today we were saying goodbye to Eric forever. I often wondered how I would survive without him at my side, I mean I knew this day would come and I really was not sure how I was going to manage life without my soul mate. As I reflect on this last year I am thankful that not only did I survive but I grew and have become a new me. I have only Eric to thank for that even through he is not here I am who I am today because of him. All though his life and illness he had a unwavering zest for life, a positive attitude, a smile, a faith in God and a "it is what is is attitude". I was able to grow with him from a young age and learn to have some of these same traits. It is because of his attitude about life and death that I am surviving today and to that I am thankful.

This year has brought it's ups and downs which was to be expected. We had a lot of firsts and we did new things to create new traditions. There were times when I thought the pain in my heart would never stop aching and then there were times when I felt a relief of this pain and wondered how could this be? Many times though out the year I thought wow I can't believe this is my life, how could this happen to me, what should I do now? But with the words I know Eric would be saying I was able to get though each minute, hour, day and now weeks with a positive attitude and a strength I never knew I had. I know that this grieving process is a roller coaster of emotions and I will continue to have my ups and downs but I know now that I can survive, I can get through and I can do anything.

I know that losing my soulmate was something that I never imigined would happen but I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to know that kind of love, to share in something so special, something that many people never find in a lifetime. I am lucky to have friends and family who have been here each step of the way and will continue to walk this unknown journey with me supporting me and helping me get through each day, week, month and now years. I am thankful to have made new friends who are willing to walk with me even with the sadness that may pop up now and again. I am thankful that even though I have had this devastation in my life I have been able to put some of the pieces of my life back and will continue to grow though this loss.

To Eric, I will always love you and can never thank you enough for being you and helping me become me. You were truly a blessing in so many lives and made a difference each and everyday. You are missed more than words can say but because of your strength and faith we are making the most of each day and will continue to live by your example.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Getting Though!

Well I am officially on the count down to that horrid day, while most people are counting down to Christmas my countdown is a bitter sweet countdown. I mean Hunter and I seem to had made it almost to the year and we seem to be moving forward in a positive direction. On the other hand I can hardly believe it has been a year since Eric died. The year has gone by so fast and so much has happened. Holiday's, vacations, baby's have been born, birthday's and much more, it seems as life continues to go on whether or not you are wanting it to. So as I prepare myself for the approaching holidays and the anniversary I am going to continue to look for strength in God and pray that the next 2 weeks will go by as fast as the rest of the year.

Matthew 6:34
"So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring it's own worries. Today's troubles is enough for today"


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Disneyland......another 1st....

Well today Hunter and I went to Disneyland with some friends, another 1st without Eric. It was the 1st time we have gone without Eric, we used to go all the time. Last year in November we went and spent a few days while Eric was still able, he always wanted to stay at the Grand Californian so we made a big deal of our trip. It was his last vacation and ours with him. The memories were great and I am so glad that we had the opportunity to make such great memories. Today's trip was also wonderful spending the day with Hunter and friends but it was hard not to think about all the good times we had spent there as a family. It seems that no matter where we turned I remembered something about us as a family and the fun we always had while there. It was a difficult day but at the same time I was happy to be spending the day with Hunter and watching the joy in his eyes. Another turning point for us, doing things as a family, our new family. As I watched the fireworks I wondered if Eric was watching from above and if they looked the same for him or if there were even more spectacular from Heaven. Funny how my thoughts on the fireworks were so different than before, I guess that happens alot when I do things for the 1st time. I am happy that I was able to get though another 1st and maybe the next trip to Disneyland will be even better and easier.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hockey and the Holiday's

Today I went to my first hockey game without Eric, those you who have known us know that this was something Eric and I loved to do. Before Hunter was born and before we moved we had a mini plan and went to many hockey games. We both loved the game and loved sharing it together. We loved it so much that we decided that Hunter was going to be a hockey player, even his nursery was all hockey. Then Hunter decided that he loved baseball, we moved to Temecula and are lives got busy so hockey was put on the back burner. It was great going to the game, not sad, I remembered all the good times we had and it brought back good memories. It was a first that was not bad at all and I am looking forward to going to more games and enjoying this sport with Hunter, yes he likes it too!

Well that brings me to the holiday part.....As Thanksgiving approaches I wonder how it will be for the next 5 weeks. Everybody is concerned about us, well I am concerned about us too. Hunter seems to be moving though the thought of the season as he always did, making his list, excited to be with family and of course time off from school. I on the other hand wonder how I can listen to Christmas music, shop, decorate the house and honestly deal with the family. I also know that I am approaching the one year mark, another year older and my 1st year without Eric. I know that in the end we will all be fine some times will be difficult and other times will not. Like the rest of the year we will just get though and continue moving forward. I wonder as the years pass will I ever have a different attitude? I hope that I will but for now I will do my best to make sure Hunter is happy and I will try to just get though the season with as much grace as possible. I thank all of you in advance for your support, prayers and love....without it we would be lost.