Colleen's Journey

6 Months? Already?

I apologize for the tardiness of our blogging. This summer has been incredibly busy and a lot has happened. Not a day has gone by where we don’t think about or talk about our mom. While our emotions have stabilized (haha – somewhat) and we are getting through the days easier, the triggers can be overwhelming.

About 5 weeks ago, Billy went to New York for a workout with the Jets. We were so excited for the opportunity for him to kick well and get invited to compete in training camp. When he called me after his workout to tell me he got a job, we celebrated months of hard work paying off! We were absolutely thrilled with the opportunity. Our joy quickly turned to sadness when we realized our usual next phone call could not be. My mom wouldn’t be there to answer and screech her excitement and joy into the receiver. She wouldn’t immediately start asking millions of questions such as “What is your plan…how can I help….” and my very favorite, “Let’s take a trip with the kids to see Billy!” So. Very. Sad. It was such a slap in the face.  That being said, I have to admit that I felt as if she already knew. I can’t help but feel her constantly watching over us and having a say in our lives. It is also not a coincidence that Billy is in NY (her favorite city in the world to visit with us girls and grandbabies) for a reason. As soon as I found this perspective and got myself together, we told the kids and started lining up babysitters to help me while Billy is gone. Usually my mom would have helped me, but now I have to learn to rely on other people – and pay them for doing so! I do feel really lucky that we have a couple really great sitters who my kids absolutely adore.
So, here we are. Training camp will be over in 2 weeks and the Jets will have to decide who their kicker for 2013 will be. The kids and I have not only managed to get by during the last month, but we have really settled into a new routine. They have been really good and have handled the adjustment to daddy being gone quite well. Its a good thing kids are so resilant. Chloe started kindergarten and Luke is back in preschool. Caleb pals around with me all day…I love that gooby baby. We are lucky to be able to FaceTime with Billy and talk on the phone a bunch every day during his breaks. We miss him, but are so proud of him. I have yet to meet anyone who works as hard and is as committed to doing great things as he is. I really hope good things lie ahead for him.
So as the title says, we are approaching 6 months of life without our beloved mom. I don’t think any of us thought we could survive this long without her. Its amazing how strong you can be when its your only choice. I think the thing that keeps us going is the fact that we still feel like we are accountable to her. She is watching our every step and we feel the need to make her proud. Every smile, every laugh and every good moment is our gift to her. She worried so much that we would not be ok – it was probably our fault for telling her over and over that we didn’t think we would be able to go on without her. We felt that way and still wake up in shock that we have made it this far with out her. She told us constantly that we would learn to adjust and would be ok. We didn’t believe her.  However, I think its because none of us (including her), ever really thought she would actually leave. Sometimes I wonder how this amazing world can be so cruel to such a beautiful person. No one loved life, or us, more than her.
In other news, Billie is moving to Chicago in a couple weeks. We are all very excited and proud of her for making such a big-girl decision. She and my mom had talked about moving to either Baltimore or Chicago for a year or two and now Billie is actually going to do it! She found a great apartment and will be taking George with her. I know our mom is super proud of Billie living out their plan. I think it will be a good thing for her, but I am also relieved she will be coming back almost every month – mom’s birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, our gala.
Wait, WHAT?!? Gala? Yes!!!! Our Colleen’s Dream golf tournament and gala will be the weekend of February 22, 2014. The golf tournament will be on Friday, February 21st at McDowell Mountain Golf Course and our gala (black/teal tie optional) will be at Arizona Country Club the evening of February 22nd. We chose this weekend because it will be the one year anniversary of our mom’s passing. What better way to celebrate her life than with great food and dancing by the Instant Classics!! If you went to our mom’s celebration of life, you know what a blast it was! We also have a few of our NFL friends who are supporting Kicking for the Dream coming in town for the big weekend. Well, we will now be celebrating her amazing life annually, so please buy your tickets/tables early because seating will be limited. I will let you know as soon as tickets go on sale. In the meantime, if you would like to help plan or sponsor this amazing event, please let me know!!
I hope all of you are doing well.
Big hugs and many blessings –