Four Years


The picture above was from your last trip to the Eagle Cap Wilderness area.  I know that you were in such a happy place and enjoyed camping out like a good scout, eating freeze dried food and scoping out nature at its finest.

This time of year still remains a difficult time for me…

I still reflect on certain events that led up to my final days with you.  I haven’t decided if the ‘memories’ that show up in my social media accounts are a good or bad thing, but in all honesty, I do enjoy them.  I had one that was a video of you with Harlow a few days before the accident and to hear your voice was awesome!  I can say that those last few months were incredible and I will never forget them!! Our final family trip to Maui and my setting up a local photographer to take family pictures at sunset on the beach, seeing you and our family at the finish line of the Rock n’ Roll Portland ½ marathon, waiting until I met up with you at the finish of the Rock n’ Roll Seattle marathon to verify that I had PR’d and banging the gong once we knew it was confirmed, driving the Jeep to the Coop to see the Blue Moon and climbing up on the bales of hay to get the perfect pictures, our last dinner together and our last phone conversation… Instilled in my brain forever!!

As in each day/week/month/year I have my times of feeling sad, mad, and hurt! I have learned however that these times are okay, and I allow myself to have them. I feel it is my right to have these feelings since for whatever reason (yes, I STILL haven’t figured out why!) all of our hopes and dreams were ripped away in the blink of an eye.

My new life with the man that came after has been a blessing and continues to be so.  Being a widower himself we share the same intent to honor the loves of our lives that were taken from us far too soon.  We say your names and remember your faces!!  We recognize your birthdays, our anniversaries and your angelversaries.  You will NEVER be forgotten…  We continue to live a full life in your honor.

I suffered a huge setback at the house due to a toilet tank malfunction… I was not at home but camping, therefore it went unnoticed for a week.  The laminate work that you placed in the guest bathroom was destroyed.  It broke my heart, but in the back of my mind I smiled as you were never happy with the results LOL!!!  The house really took a beating with 75% of the flooring needing to be replaced.  I could be dramatic and say that it looks like a war zone, but it’s not ‘that bad’ as I’ve been told.  For me… It’s BAD! My whole past is just in disarray and every time I am there I feel less and less connected to ‘my home’.  With the needed remodeling I feel it more and more.  The house will always have a special place in my heart as it holds so many memories that will never go away or be replaced.

A major event occurred this year… the coop ranch sold!  Your happy place, your safe place, your haven. You knew it was coming and I’m certain that you guided all involved to make the best decisions.  I’m SO glad that we have all of the pictures and videos of our and our family trips there, in addition to the many hunting trips that you enjoyed there.

I made another difficult decision, to sell your Jeep!  You had so many plans for ‘Johnnie5’… It broke my heart but I just couldn’t put it to the good use that you intended and why not allow someone else to have that pleasure? Good news is… it remains in the family and will certainly provide many years of enjoyment.

I’m sure you know my Grandma and your Uncle Buzz passed this past year. Hopefully you have all reconnected and are enjoying each other’s company on your clouds…

Your granddaughters are simply amazing! Harlow continues to talk about you, and is approaching First Grade!! Oh my how you would be so proud of this little one… She is loving being able to ride in the ‘beep’.  Our little Carlin Jewel is growing so fast! She continues to show that Horning determination in any challenges that are thrown her way.   I’m looking forward to the time that she will be able to understand our sharing of pictures and stories of her Poppa Steve!!

In closing, I wanted to share a video that was near and dear to us very close to you leaving this earth.  I will continue to rise and laugh & be stronger for all that has/is thrown at me, hoping to make you proud!

Much love – Lolly





Two Years


As we mark the second year since Steve gained his angel wings I want to get these thoughts I’ve been gathering out to share. I’ve been jotting them down for some time and pardon me if they seem random, I’ll try to assemble them in order. It will also give you a look into my mind as I try to maneuver through this new world of mine.

Suffering a devastating loss, and for me a sudden loss was the.most difficult event of my life. I not only lost ‘my person’, I lost my support system. I lost the one person that I trusted most in life, I lost all of my hopes, my dreams and all of our future plans – in the blink of an eye at 9:47pm on July 21, 2014. BOOM – finished, done, the.end!!! I also lost my identity; I was a happily married woman of 37 years, the co-leader of our amazing family and now a widow, the sole head of my broken family.

The one thing I knew for certain was that I HAD to heal myself so I could help my family. I felt a strong sense of responsibility to lead others through this life change. I wanted to be an example of a statement that Steve used, ‘life is for the living’. It was extremely clear to me now more than ever that we are not promised tomorrow-

I am a fixer by nature, and I needed to fix this. It took me a while to realize that unfortunately I can’t fix everything… I can’t fix the pain of my kids never seeing or talking with their Dad again. I can’t fix the empty chair at the table. I can’t fix the hole in our family unit. What I could fix is ME, to enable me to be present for them when they need me, to listen empathetically and to help them and others through this loss.

I saw a therapist in an effort to heal, to have my feelings validated and to gain guidance. There is no quick cure, there is no timeframe for grief… It is as individual as your fingerprint!! I continue to work on getting myself stronger and provide support for others as they need.

I still hurt, I still get sad, I have bad days – these bad days can be triggered by many things, sometimes something very simple. However, I can see that when these days do occur (I call them dark times) I spend less time there before rebounding back to life. I continue to learn more about myself and how to manage without my husband. Some things I cannot do, but whenever I can I am independent and do projects on my own. I am constantly aware of my own strength – the fact that I continue to rise each day and contribute to life speaks of that!!

I still miss and love ‘my person’… Steve was my first love, my best friend, and my true love. When you lose that person in your life, you don’t get over it, you move forward… You have too! and by moving forward I mean you have to take that journey that includes finding yourself again. I made the choice to live life, to move forward – this choice has not been easy or always accepted, but I wanted to be happy again.

I branched out and tried new activities, made new friends and spent time with old friends. I met a wonderful man that shares the understanding of having your true love pass away. This new relationship does not replace or diminish the love I had for Steve! We are capable of loving what was and loving what is… one does not cancel out the other. Love expands the heart, it’s okay to honor the past and embrace the future.

I have high hopes for my future, I’m not going to let being a widow define me but it is what I am. I am also an example of life giving you lemons, and I ‘m making lemonade!!!

In closing, a couple of favorite phrases..,

* Live the life you have left
* Dance in the rain, dance like no one is watching!!!
* One life, don’t blow it