It has been five months since we lost Mr Loco. FIVE MONTHS! It still feels like yesterday. I know that this will never be “over”. Our grief will never be complete. It is something we will just live with and continually move through. What a roller coaster the last five months have been. Just thinking how hard the last few weeks have been kind of blows my mind. This blog post comes from a chain of events happy and sad and may be covered in a few blog posts. Life is rough. I really appreciate the people who continue to love on us and offer understanding as we move through this very difficult time. Every message, text, and hug are greatly appreciated.
We recently flew back to our home state of Michigan for a visit with family and friends. A portion of the trip was planned with Mr Loco. We rented a beach house with friends for the week of Mr Loco’s birthday. We were going to celebrate his birthday. We were going to spend a week with awesome friends who were so supportive while Mr Loco recovered from GBS. We were renting a house with stairs down to the beach in a big HOORAY that Mr Loco was going to be able to go up and down those stairs after our trying year. We were also going to introduce Baby Loco to many friends she had not yet gotten the chance to meet. One final piece of this trip was a friend was getting married and the timing was going to work out that this beach trip and the wedding would happen in one trip.
All of these wonderful things changed with the loss of Mr Loco. Things that would be celebrations became difficult events. It was a reminder that life has forever been altered. That wedding became an event I was unsure if I would be able to attend. Being surrounded by a bunch of people I knew who were celebrating a marriage….something I had just lost, celebrating love only days after Mr Loco’s birthday…getting “the look” from all the people I know….the possibility of being asked a lot of personal questions…yeah, that sounded like torture and sadness and the worst way to wrap up an already emotionally charged trip. I decided to ask to be a maybe.
Things shifted when I got an email from a friend asking why I wouldn’t go and making it clear that she had talked with the bride and was going to defend her. I will admit that the insensitivity of that email made me lose my shit. I wanted to shout from the rooftops- HELLLLLLOOOOOOOO. Do you really question WHY this might be hard or are you just trying to upset me or is this the worst case of bridezilla coming forth in email known to man? I tried to explain my feelings but in the end just decided to step away from the conversation because it was going nowhere. It was a frustrating way to build up to vacation but sometimes you just have to walk away.
As we got ready to fly the friendly skies, Baby Loco got sick. Flying was a juggling act of one sweet and sick girl. When we landed in Michigan we tried to push through but we both ended up sick and spending a great deal of time in our hotel room. Once we were better we tried to squeeze little bits of time in with friends and family.
Feeling better, we headed off to the lake house. Mr Loco’s birthday was spent with close friends. I had blueberry pie (Mr Loco’s favorite and a regular birthday treat) for breakfast. I looked at lots of photos and videos. I told Baby Loco a few stories about her daddy as she went down for nap. In the evening we had birthday cake after dinner and headed down to the beach to light a few paper lanterns. It was the perfect way to remember Mr Loco. He would have loved the lanterns. I have to give a huge thank you to Shannon. She came up with the idea and was completely prepared. I really LOVED this. We will always remember this birthday.
The week at the beach was relaxing. There was time to reflect. There was time to catch our breath. There was no cell service and no wifi, so we were truly disconnected from the world. Baby Loco spent time on the beach. (her first trip to the beach) She loved the water, as did her daddy.
Seeing friends and family was great. Juggling a limited amount of time and feeling pressure to make lots of time for people is not the most fun. I learned a lot for the next time we head back. I will work on not feeling guilty for wanting to see a wide variety of people. I will pack completely differently because half of what I packed was not what I ended up wanting. Lugging a suitcase and a car seat and a ton of carry on stuff is not easy. Lugging all of the same stuff back after you realized that you over-packed all the wrong things stinks! I should have gotten a picture of myself with the car seat strapped to the suitcase with Baby Loco strapped to me with the diaper bag/back pack on my back and my purse and Ruby’s carry on item in my hands. I am sure I was a sight!
We were asked over and over if we were going to move back. The answer to that question is no. I will never say never but moving back to snow is pretty unappealing. I keep saying “You don’t have to shovel sunshine.” and it is SO TRUE! We have an amazing support system here. I have the best job in the world and I work with amazing people. They get me through the tough days. I have the most amazing neighbors. I have no desire to move away from any of them. I am looking forward to a nice Thirsty Thursday with the neighbors so I can share all of the details of this trip back to Michigan. I am surrounded by so many GOOD people. We are lucky girls.
I would love to spend Mr Loco’s next birthday the exact same way- feeling the love.
In the end, this trip was just what we needed. We got to spend time with people we enjoy. We got to relax at the beach. Baby Loco got to spend time with important people in our life. After the sickness passed, she got a wonderful introduction to Michigan. Lush green landscape and water galore. So different from Arizona. The important things in life are pretty clear. Surround yourself with good people. Surround yourself with love. That is what I did when I married Mr Loco. Best. Decision. Ever.
We miss you so much Mr Loco. Words cannot express the big hole that has been left in our life without you. Baby Loco has your big beautiful eyes and I can hear little bits of your laugh when she chuckles. I sure hope she grows up to have your easy laugh and laid back nature about life. The blueberry pie was delicious as was the birthday cake. The paper lanterns were a little tricky to get lit but were so worth the effort. Ethan and Violet are getting so big! We spent the week gathering with friends over food. You would have been in your element. XOXOXOXOXOXO