Archive for the ‘Sneak Peak Sundays’ Category

Sneak Attack Feelings

Every Sunday I will attempt to share an excerpt from my work in progress which will hopefully be a book someday…”You Can Hope”. 

September 2009

I have been on a totally awesome emotional roller coaster this week. And by super awesome, I mean the complete opposite. Word Play. One minute I am WEEPING watching the NIKE courage ad on TV and the next I am dry-eyed at a funeral .

Feelings are sneaky. They remind me a lot of my childhood dog Jamie. Basset hounds are my signature breed. I cannot wait for the day that I have my first dog as an adult and it will be a beautiful, sweet, sappy Basset Hound.

My 1st childhood basset was sort of an anomaly. She was not a sleepy, sweet, goofy, droopy basset hound. She was CRAZY.

Surprise, Surprise I have always had a bleeding heart. Both of the dogs that I picked out as a child were runts and the dogs no one else wanted. My family was the 4th owner of crazy basset Jamie. She had many fears in her little brain of hers. Typical fears like thunderstorms, vacuum cleaners, being alone…and then the atypical fears like screen windows or doors and cars driving down the street.

As the 4th owners we were given many tips on how to love Jamie well…including don’t ever leave her alone and whenever any weather change is approaching drug her with doggy xanax.

Little Jamie was always in the moment. When she felt something, she felt it and made sure everyone around her knew. She was demanding, insisting that whoever was in her world at that moment would cater to the current need she had. Ignoring her would not help because she would just make her needs louder, and louder, and louder—-insert hound dog howl.

Now, why do sneak attack feelings remind me of Jamie?  Because currently feelings are running my life. I never have a clue of the feelings that consume my being. I can’t even go to the fricken grocery store without some sort of trigger that will remind me of what is different in my life.

I’ve always been a cheap cry. Even as a child, I saw brokenness in the world and I would quickly be in tears. I will cry with my friends when they are hurting. But, me, crying about my pain.  My hurt. Sharing MY vulnerabilities…that just doesn’t happen.

Until your sneak attacked with emotions.

Its not all bad emotions that are sneak attacking me. I’m in a new place (thank God) where joy is overruling sadness. But its sneaky because joy and sadness have this trait lately of happening simultaneously.  I can’t not smile when I think of my dad. He brings me such joy just  remembering him and recalling some of my favorite memories. But then those same feelings are full of pain and sadness because he’s gone. I won’t make more memories- but the memories I have are so sweet. It’s the chocolate syrup and milk complex. Both in the same glass, getting shook up, so even my joyful moments have a tinge of sadness.

Here’s my point. Jamie felt what she needed to feel. If she was sad, she found someone to look at with her sad eyes. If she was nervous she paced til someone gave her xanax. If she was lonely, she jumped out screen doors and would get outside—-even if it meant going on the roof of our 3 story home. Her family knew what she was feeling. She didn’t hide it.

I could take a cue from Jamie. I could share my story with others. I could reach out for support when I need it. I can cry in front of my friends.

I can make what I’m feeling louder, instead of being ashamed of what I’m feeling inside of me. I can tell someone I can’t be social today and be ok with that. And it will still be me. Just figuring out who this me is after a great loss.

I’ll be being honest with where I am at right now. In this month, at this hour.

But, If I start jumping through screen doors someone call the doctor.


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Sneak Peek Sunday


Every Sunday I will attempt to share an excerpt from my work in progress which will hopefully be a book someday…”You Can Hope”. 

November 2009

Christmas music is on. Starbucks red cups are out. Layering is over, coats are on.

Its fall. The holiday season has begun.

So far this year I’ve experienced:

 My birthday- which I denounced.

 Easter- Where I went to church for the first time since the accident. And ran out crying.

Fathers day- Where I made the big boys waiter wish he was hiding under a chair.

& 4th of July- Which was actually awesome. There was a lot of booze and a lot of hanging with Grandma. 

Now we have the big guys. Were coming around the figurative monolopy board of life and park place and boardwalk are slowly approaching. I wish I could just go to sleep and wake up on  Dec 31st and have a huge party saying screw you  2009.  2010 show us what your made of, you’ve got to be better than this.

This holiday season continues to present the simple fact that I don’t have a dad.

I have a mom. I have a brother. But where is our family? It will never be the same  again. No trees, no lights, no presents.

Covering presents up with blankets because he doesn’t feel like wrapping. Going to Meijer on Christmas eve to get Mom’s gift. Getting the one gift he thought about all fall that he bought on ebay. Looking through all the presents, but waiting for the gift that I know will be a constant. The one gift that is always there.


My Christmas letter from my dad. Listing all the ways that he loves me and all the wisdom he has for the next year.

This year there will be no blanket covered presents under the tree. No man sitting on his couch waiting for his kids to wake up so we can read his scripture of the moment. And no letter sharing the words that hes been wanting to say all year.

Maybe just the anticipation of what these holidays are going to bring are suffocating me with sadness. I’ve never had a first Thanksgiving with out my dad. I’ve never had a Christmas morning without my dad. What if my mind is making all of this worse then it really is.

How do I face the anticipation of something that I know will suck?  How do I prepare myself for pain?

The famed griever C.S. wrote in his book A Grief Observed, “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.” That is exactly what I’m facing. I see this fear in every part of my life right now. This seemingly happy holiday is polarizing me with fear. Fear that I will start crying in a department store when ‘Oh holy night’ is playing, fear that I will make someone uncomfortable as they are talking about the joy they are experiencing with this holiday, fear that I won’t be able to support my mom in the way she needs, fear that it’s a reality that my dad really wont be sitting on my couch when I drive home and walk into my house.

How do I face this? What do I do?

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Sneak Peek Sunday

Every Sunday I will attempt to share an excerpt from my work in progress which will hopefully be a book someday…”You Can Hope”. 

What follows is the first 5 pages of my book. 


Phone Call. Screaming. Crying. Running. This can’t be happening. This isn’t real.


Phone ringing. People everywhere. People crying. People hugging. Scene of the accident. Skid marks. Broken Glass. Pick out a casket. Write an obituary. Find a gravesite. This can’t be real.




Black Dress. No words. Family. Friends. Students. Coffin.


Big tree. Hole in the ground. Black Hurse. Finally able to say what I’m feeling. ‘I want my dad’.


Turn 25. This is the story of my 25th year.

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Sneak Peek Sunday

Every Sunday I will attempt to share an excerpt from my work in progress which will hopefully be a book someday…”You Can Hope”.


I had no clue how much a date means after a loss. Of course I can tell you to the date, how many days have passed since March 26th. 214.

In those 214 days we’ve gone through the obvious anniversaries and holidays…Easter, Mothers day, Fathers day, 4th of July…but the griever in me is now experiencing the secret anniversaries that I never knew about before I joined the grief club. The unknown stings that happen, just because of a date. 

1 month past his death anniversary.

Summer starting/universal Teachers holiday anniversary.

 Annual Blueberry Festival Anniversary.

6 month mark Anniversary.

Such a long list of important dates that showcase once again how Dad is not here. When will it be special to remember my Dad? Instead of  just hating that he is not at our BBQ grilling bacon wrapped walleye….

And those are just the big player dates…every week I run into something else that my dad is not a part of. Even just going to the grocery store and seeing Walleye in the freezer section brings me to a place of tears and sadness. Nothing about grief is certain. You never know when it’s just going to pop up and bombard you with emotion.

Heck, nothing about life is certain. I think alot of people think when faith is in the mix, uncertainty is reduced. LIES!

Faith doesn’t diminish uncertainty at all, it EMBRACES it. I hate it.

I’ve always been a girl who flys by the seat of her pants. Loving the thought of spontaneity. Not needing a plan, trusting everything will work itself out. Then I get knocked out by life and now I’m like a kid in the backseat of my parents car, asking over and over again…”Are we there yet? Whats going to happen next?”

Control Freak is somehow now wired into my everyday psyche. But faith involves a loss of control, and what does that bring…uncertainty.  I hate it.

I’m not at a place to embrace uncertainty at all. But I want to get there.

My favorite part of being in a relationship with someone…the surprise date to the zoo I wasn’t expecting.

My favorite part of new experiences…the mystery behind what it may be like.  

My favorite part of getting my first job after grad school….getting fired before my first day and landing my dream job three days later.

My life has proved up to this point that uncertainty has a few checks in the pro list. The goal of the week…ha, who I am kidding…the goal of my life is humbly attempting to let God call the shots and step up in bravery to go where he leads.  I’m going to need ALOT of help.

” To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways; we do not know what a day may bring forth. This is generally said with a sigh of sadness; it should rather be an expression of breathless expectation.” Oswald Chambers

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Sneak Peek Sunday

Every Sunday I will attempt to share an excerpt from my work in progress which will hopefully be a book someday…”You Can Hope”.

January, 2010

It’s a new year! 2009 is soooo over. I am happy to say I celebrated that fact in style.

I did not do the typical Chicago new year. With a new cocktail dress, at a fancy bar, dancing the night away. I actually didn’t even leave my apartment.

But, I was surrounded by amazing people with champagne, dance moves, laughter, and many protest signs describing how horrible 2009 was.

2010 petition to sign as you enter the party

 How else do you say good riddance to 2009, but by protesting it. In costume.

Giving out the parts awards....ps. all my parties have an awards section.

And of course to celebrate the fact that it’s a new year!

2010. Just writing it and I feel better.

Those numbers, this year. Makes me feel old….and for the first time I’ve ever said this. I feel old, in kind of a good way.

I’ve been thinking alot about the person I was 8 years ago, when I went off to college. And the person I am today. Holy Change-fest.

There’s so many things I wish I would have known back then. About myself. About life. About everything. And I know that going through the experiences of the last 8 years have  made me who I am…. But, what would life be like if I could have told myself a few things that I know now…(insert back to the furture soundtrack music)

Dear College me,

Not much to report here about the future. Phones have become much smarter and Aim is still a cool way to talk to your friends….except now its disguised as ‘g-chat’.

Sorry. You haven’t started your fairy tale life yet with prince charming, but there are a few things to report on:

1)       You are living the big city life.

2)      You did land a kick ass job.

3)      Life is not what you thought it would be. At all.

Lets expand on this point # 3- here are a few things that I wish I would have learned earlier:

  • He’s never going to be the man you need him to be. MOVE ON. Or wait 4 years and get a screwed up head about relationships.
  • Keep loving people as a top priority. ‘Grades’ will not drive 20 miles to get you a starbucks when your roasted by emotions.  
  • You do not have God figured out. At all. And you need him much more then you think. Invest in that relationship as much as you can.
  • You are happiest when you think about yourself the least.
  • Give people grace. You screw up all the time.
  • Hug your family every chance you get.
  • Take a writing class.
  • Don’t spread yourself to thin.
  • Keep your ‘grumpiness’ as a check for how much Jesus time you have had lately.
  • Stop wearing Abercrombie. Seriously.
  • Hear grandma’s stories.
  • Buy stock in google.
  • When you find people who make you funnier, keep them around.
  • You are given so much more then you deserve, stop wanting more.
  • Dream big.
  • Loving people hurts. Pain follows love.  LOVE the cuss out of people every chance you get. You never know how many chances you will have.
  • Life is hard. There is nothing about life that is breezy easy. Take stock in that. And know that joy comes in the morning.

Think on that for awhile.  Your doing pretty good but the sooner you can realize that life is not about you, the sooner we can start changing the world.


The more mature and beautiful you


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Sneak Peek Sunday

Every Sunday I will attempt to share an excerpt from my work in progress…”You Can Hope”.

January 2010     


I’m a dreams kind of girl.

I have them often, and typically can play them back through words fairly easily. Normally this is at the expense of showcasing how weird my brain really is, often my dreams could easily be great material for Tim Burtons next movie.

Last Saturday I had a dream. It was not an epic tale circa Alice in Wonderland. It was a ROAST.

I work up sobbing. Pillow soaked. Shaking from emotion.

Clearly I had just been crying in my dream but I couldn’t retell what I had just experienced. All I could focus on was calming myself down.

What had just happened in my sub-conscious to wreck me with such emotion. What in the world had just caused me so much pain?

 I walked into my kitchen to get a glass of water and then the scene began coming back…

I was at my parent’s house where I was with a bunch of my friends from high school. Friends I loved deeply, but hadn’t seen in years. I vividly could see so much color combined with laughter. But I knew it was time to leave, I had other places to go.

As I was leaving a buddy of mine told me to hold on because he had to show me something.  I was quickly annoyed and said “No, sorry, I’ll have to see it later, I’m running late.”

I continued to walk away and then I hear a very familiar voice saying “Kia, come back.”

I don’t turn around. I don’t even try to get a glimpse of his face. The face I haven’t seen for a year. I don’t stop and give him a hug. Tell him “I love you.”

I just say “I’ve got to go Dad, I’ll see you later.”

I hear his booming voice, stronger and now more powerful, “Kia, come back.”

 I just walk out the door. Without a care in the world.

What did he want to tell me? Why didn’t I listen!?! I can still hear his voice as clear as if he was standing right behind me, “Kia, come back.”

I lose gravity once again. I can’t stand because my emotions have complete control.

I’m not sure what happened in my dream to cause me to wake up crying, but I do know I have some changes I need to make.

How much of this life am I missing because I am focused on my plan, my own agenda? How many relationships am I missing out on? How many moments are there in a day where I miss opportunities to appreciate people, make memories that I’ll never forget, tell someone how much they mean to me, be in awe of the wonder that God creates?

Instead I just keep running. Onto my next big project.  My next new goal.

I can’t walk backwards. And its really not my style to slow down.  But, I need to evaluate this run. How can I stop missing these moments that could shape my life for good?  

How can I step away from what I want, and see how I can be used?  


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Every Sunday I will attempt to share an excerpt from my work in progress…”You Can Hope”.

May 2009

I’ve never gone through anything as demanding as this.

  • Grad School….so what if I need to pull an all nighter and then assist an 80-year-old woman with personal hygiene at the nursing home that morning. I can sleep after my 2nd red bull.
  • Break- ups…another guy (or should I say the same guy 5 times) was an idiot and I got hurt again. I’m over it.
  • And another kid on my caseload that is confusing the hell out of me. How in the world can I engage this child?? Ehh…. I’ll figure something out.

But, grief.  Grief takes every single part of you…pushes you inside a garbage disposal…and then turns that switch on without any warning. Constantly being thrown into a million different pieces.

Can’t sleep. Not hungry. So Angry.  So Sad. Needing to talk about feelings, but having no words to say.  

This is me.  Losing my dad has been the first garbage disposal I’ve been shut into.

The first disposal in 25 years…holy cow. I am one blessed girl.

Yes, there’s been garbage that I’ve experienced. But there hasn’t been THIS.

My mom does not have that same story.

1964. An Accident. A middle schooler at home gets ‘the call’. Family rushes her to the hospital where a daughter sees her dad in a hospital bed, barely alive.

She sees that same hospital bed for the next year.  

Her high school experience was teaching her dad how to walk, not which dress she was wearing for the prom.

College meant fleeing everything she knew to be true, and finding life in lifeless places.

With her 20’s, she fell in love in many ways. With a God who she now knew would never leave her, with a family that looked much different then ‘the Jones’, and finally, with a man who would walk with her through every high and every low.

My mom ‘s life has been a story with tragedy. A story with pain. And a story with such beautiful hope.

Look at the mother that I have had because of the person that she is. God has given me a parent who has been refined.

I have been raised by a woman who has walked through fire, and come out strong.

Would she be a different person if she hadn’t had a disabled parent? Would she be a different wife to my dad if she hadn’t seen her mom not leave her dad’s side for twenty-two years? Would she be a different Mom if she hadn’t experienced so much pain? Would she have even married my dad?

I’ve been given a Mom,  who loves differently because of that pain.

Is that one of the mysteries within trials? Within pain? Will this be my refining fire? Will I be changed for the better because of my loss? Will I be a different parent, a different daughter, a different sister, a different friend…. because of this part of my story?

God, please. Make ‘this’ worth it.

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