Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I miss him...

I really miss him.

Thanksgiving.  This was Patrick's favorite holiday.  He loved gathering around the table with family and enjoying a nice day.  He loved the food.  We all know that.  He'd pile his plate up 2 layers high full of food.  That bothered me, because his food was touching each other AND the cranberry sauce was all over the plate and being soaked up by a roll.  He would then tease me that I ate one kind of food at a time, turned my plate to get to the next one, until it was gone.  He loved hanging out in the basement after dinner, watching football with my dad.  He loved hanging out with the family and enjoying every moment.  I missed that a lot this year.  I missed him on Thanksgiving.

Decorating the house and tree for the holidays.  I miss coming home to a fully decorated house and tree (except for some ornaments for me to hang).  He loved getting the house to look like Christmas.  He loved surprising me.  He was not good at hanging up lights outside.  He almost fell off the roof 2 years ago. Since then, we just put a spotlight on a wreath and called it a day. 

When I put up our tree this year, I had a tough time.  I miss him being here to do that.  I got all new decorations this year.  Purple and silver.  It was time for a change. I missed him decorating.

Bingo. This year was our 4th Annual Bingo Extravaganza.  The last 3 years, Patrick was the Emcee for the event with our friends.  In past years, we raised thousands of dollars for ALS, American Cancer Society and Be the Match.  This year, my friends and family had the event for Patrick.   I miss Patrick not being up in front calling Bingo.  I miss Patrick coming up with a new skit this year.  I miss him making everyone laugh.  I missed him at Bingo.

Bingo 2008
Bingo 2009

The group at Bingo this year.

Doctor appointments.  I miss him not being there with me.  He would come to every prenatal appointment with me, up until the end.  I know he'd be here for all of Olivia's appointments, too.  Olivia had her 1 month appointment.  She's up to a whopping 8lbs 13 oz!  She is right on track and Dr. Don says she's doing really well.  I missed him not there with us at the appointments.

Milestones.  I miss him not being able to see Olivia grow up.  I miss him not being able to see her smile all the time.  I miss him not seeing her.  I miss him not being a dad.

Miss Olivia and one of her many smiles every day.

I  miss him every night I go to bed and he's not next to me.  I miss him every morning that he's not there making my breakfast for me.  I miss him at night when we would watch all of our favorite shows.  I miss him when I'm running errands and he's not there to lock the car more than needed and the horn beeps.  I miss him on Sunday nights when we would always get Chinese food.  I miss talking to him in the afternoon about what he was going to make for dinner.  I miss him on Saturday mornings watching Game Day on ESPN and then lounging and watching College football.  I miss him on Sundays when we'd watch all the NFL games, especially the Bears, and he'd be yelling at the TV.  I miss snuggling with him on the couch for hours on end catching up on DVR.  I miss his foot rubs.  I miss the cards he would get for me for no reason.  I miss his laugh.  I miss hearing him say I love you. I miss him telling the same stories over and over with his friends and them laughing hysterically.  I miss his comedy.  I miss him loving me. I miss him putting up the plastic on the windows and struggling with it, like I did for over an hour this year.  I miss him at night when I would need help with Olivia.  I know he'd be there in a second to take over.  I miss him shopping with me for Christmas presents for everyone.  I miss him when I see his family.  I miss him when I see his friends.  I miss him when I see pictures online or around the house.  I miss him when I listen to his voicemail and I hear his healthy voice.  I miss him when I can't do something at home and he would come to the rescue. I miss his daily kisses on my forehead.  I miss him kissing my cheek in many pictures being taken.  I miss him just being around me.  I miss him snow blowing outside and saying every time, "Why don't we live in the south?!?  I hate the snow!"

Snow blowing on Easter 2008

I'll miss him on Christmas.  He always got me gifts that had meaning and he put a lot of thought into them.  I was excited to get his gift every year.  It was always the best one and so thoughtful.  For our last Christmas together, he got me a Pandora bracelet.  I wanted one really bad, but never told anyone.  He got me one (He went to Jared) and got beads.  1. snowflake-reminds us of Christmas  2. drop pearl-the wedding present he gave me was a drop pearl necklace and this would remind us of our wedding day 3. my birthstone. Then for my birthday he got me a birthstone for Olivia.  He always knew what to get.  I'll miss him when we're with family at dinner.  I'll miss him playing with the kids.  I'll miss him doing Rock Band and totally rockin' the drums like no one else. 

 I'll miss him drinking eggnog with my brother.  I'll miss him drinking Orange Julius and having sticky buns at my parents Christmas morning.  I'll miss him at New Year's.  We always played Rock Band with everyone and had a blast.  I'll miss him next time every one's dancing.  He always wanted to have a dance with his wife at every event.  He was a great dancer.  I'll miss him tonight.  I'll miss him tomorrow and the next day.  I'll miss him next year and the year after.  I'll miss him forever. 

I love him.
I miss him.

October 2009

Monday, November 15, 2010

Important dates in November

In less than one week, the 2 most important dates in my life happen.

November 9th, 2010.
Olivia Marie Patrick Blessing was born at 2:50am at 7lbs 13oz and 19.5" in Fond du Lac, WI.  Notice the time she was born at?  2:50am? It was a perfect day.  I had the support of my mom and sister-in-law Shauna in the delivery room and family ready to help.

On Monday at 1pm, Dad stopped by for his almost daily "check in" on me.  I was laying on the couch, because I wasn't feeling the best after lunch.  I sat up and that's when my water started to break.  I called Shauna to ask her if it was really happening and then called my doctor.  They advised me to come right on up to Labor and Delivery to check in.  My Dad was calmly freaking out at this time, hoping nothing was going to happen until we got to the hospital.  I then proceeded to finish packing last minute items, doing my hair and make up...and of course shaving.  (You moms out there know why)  There was no way I was going into delivery not looking decent.  You always see awesome pictures of moms after delivery looking so good like nothing happened.  I wanted to be that mom, too.

So, around 2pm, we packed the truck up and headed over to St. Agnes.  I was also praying that nothing would "happen" on my walk up there.  As we checked in, I got the room ready and they got me ready.  I was only able to walk around for a short time before I was hooked up to Pitocin.  It was a slow labor at that time.  I started getting stronger contractions around 5 or so.  The whole time before that, it was just stronger Braxton Hicks contractions. My parents, sister, brother and family were there for support. I got the epidural at 6:15pm.  Shawn and Christine stopped by a short time later to visit.  I told them I'd call them before work or so, because the doctors didn't expect me to deliver until morning or late morning.

From 6pm until 9pm, they kept increasing the Pitocin doses, as nothing was happening.  I was still at 3cm.  They upped it around 10, when I was 4cm.  Then an hour later I was at 6, an hour after that I was at 9+.  At 1:25am they started getting everything ready for delivery.  Now it actually started to seem real that I was finally about to meet my daughter.  I started pushing at 1:35am and delivered Olivia at 2:50am.  The only complication was that the umbilical cord was wrapped tightly around her neck and several times around her body.  The doctor was concerned, but played it cool.  She had to cut the umbilical cord twice to get her untangled!  As soon as she came out, she let out a big cry.  I was relieved.  She was here.  I was so happy to see her.  A wave of emotion came across me.  I was hoping that Patrick was there with me the whole time and he got to see her.  He would be so proud. 

Moments after she was born.

She was then cleaned up, dressed and put in my arms.  They put a hat on her to keep warm.  Someone knit them and donated the hats to Labor and Delivery.  There were so many colors that were made.  Guess what color Olivia's hat was?  Purple.  Yup, that's right...Purple.

Olivia Marie Patrick Blessing
November 9th, 2010 forever changed my life.  And my sleeping patterns.

November 15th, 2008.
The next date that forever changed my life was November 15, 2008.  My wedding day.

I loved how he looked at me that day. 

Today would have been our 2 year anniversary.  I was lucky enough to have Patrick as my partner for 8 years and as a husband for 1 year and 8 months.  He was the best thing that has ever happened to my life, along with Olivia.  We were perfect for each other.  We loved each other so much.  He treated me like a queen from the day I met him.  He was a gentleman. He was a comedian.  He was my husband.

Today was a tough day.  I only got to celebrate one wedding anniversary with my husband. 
Picture from our 1 year anniversary photo shoot at Holy Hill.

I was thankful  today to have my daughter in my arms.  I was thankful today to have my mom and dad help around the house and with Olivia.  I was thankful today to have my sister-in-law by my side most of the day helping with my appointments.  I was thankful  to have friends and family checking in with me with phone calls, texts, emails and messages.  There are a lot of things I'm thankful for.  I just wish I could be thankful to have Patrick healthy and in my life.  But I guess I am thankful that he is not in pain anymore and is watching over us.  He is our angel.  He is our Blessing from above.  He is still my husband.  He is finally a dad.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The waiting game.

Well, this week I am 39 weeks.  Less than 1 week to go before our baby girl joins this world.  It's going to be one of the best things that has ever happened to me, next to having Patrick in my life.  It will be a bittersweet moment.  I'll be overjoyed to meet her, but her daddy won't be there.  I'm so looking forward to this big event, but so sad about it, too.  Just wish he could be here for it.  He would have been the best dad ever.

As many of you know, I'm sometimes an impatient person.  Especially when it comes to vacations, big events, shopping, giving presents, etc.  Well, I consider the birth of our daughter a HUGE event and I can't wait until she arrives.  I thought for sure I would have her by now, but she's also being stubborn, like her mother.  She already has her dad's patience.  I can't wait to see what she looks like.   Until then, I'm just "patiently" waiting.

A couple of weeks ago, my dad and I met the Sibleys at the Ripon game.  I was surprised when the announcer said, "In memory of a former Ripon football player, PB will be on the back of the team helmets."  I had no idea that they did this for him.  We were very touched.

Baby showers.  
My friends at work gave me one on my last day in the office.  It was so thoughtful of them to think of me.
I also had some Merriman wives give me a shower in Fond du Lac on the 16th.  They did a wonderful job and it was absolutely perfect.  I thank them for a job well done.  It was so great to see everyone as well.
My cake!
My large self opening a gift, with Melissa the organizer:)
This past month, we lost 2 more great women to cancer.  My French teacher/FDL HS Principal and family friend, Mary Fran Merwin and Melissa's mother, Sue Hilke.  They will forever be missed.

Recently I finished my 8 week Grief support group.  I recommend it for anyone that has to go through something like this.  I formed great relationships with the people in the group.  I was obviously the youngest, by 30 years.  But we all had something in common to discuss.  Losing a spouse.

Grief is the price we pay for love. Queen Elizabeth II.
I truly believe that.

The poem that we read in our last session.

The Dash
by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end.

He noted that frist came her date of birth
And spoke the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years.

For that dash respresents all the time
That she spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not how much we own;
The cars, the house, the cash
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend that dash.

So think about this long and hard.
Are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left,
That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
To consider what's true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more,
And love the people in our lives
Like we've never loved before.

If we treat each other with respoect,
And more often wear a smile
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy's being read
With you life's actions to rehash
Would ou be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?

I'd like you all to think about this poem.  It's very true.  I believe Patrick lived his life to the fullest and that's what he left us with here on earth.  He spent his dash the best he could every day.  He didn't sweat the small stuff.  He didn't care about "things".  He cared about people and how they felt.  He cared about family, friends and building relationships.  He never gave up and never quit.  For someone to go through what he has in a short lifetime is amazing.  It's something we should all learn from. 

So next time you complain it's a crappy day at work, bicker with your spouse about nothing, not do something to your fullest, worry about little things...think of Patrick.  He would say, "Really? Is that something to complain or worry about?"  That's the biggest thing he ever taught me.  He always brought be back to reality when I needed it.

If you think you're having a bad day, think hard again.  Are you really having a bad day or a bad moment in a good day. 

I had a bad day on July 22nd.  I lost the love of my life.  Was your day that bad?  Not to be rude, but we all need to put things into perspective these days. 

I'm hoping in my next blog that I will be sharing pictures of our new baby girl.  And yes, you'll finally find out her name.  I've been keeping it a secret this whole time.  You already know it's a girl.  This is the last thing Patrick and I have to share.  We liked her name from the beginning and then came across more names.  Days before he passed, we decided on this one.  Only him and I know and it will always be something I treasure.  He and I named our baby.  Together.  It was the last secret we shared.

Thank you all for your support during my pregnancy.  Everyone has been very generous and thoughtful.  I can't wait for you to meet our angel.

Stay tuned...

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Well, there have been a lot of changes going on in my life the past couple of months.

September 11th I moved into my condo in Fond du Lac.  I had the great help of the Jahners, Steve, Blessings, Greg Bach, DeWans, Cara, Mom, Dad, Mr. Roblee and my cousin Rob.  It was so helpful to have them there for all of my "what they all called Heavy Furniture".  My new place has started coming together and feeling like home.  I can start making my own new memories here.  It's just hard to leave the good ones back in Tosa, but it's just to hard to be there.  This move is good for me, so I can be closer to family as well.  It was very hard for me to be here by myself, but I'm starting to adjust.  It's just weird not  having Patrick here with me.  He would love this place.  I just know it.  I say good morning and good night to him every day.  I hope that he is watching over me while I'm on this new journey.  Because I sure need his help.

This week I went back to work full time.  I'm commuting 3 days a week and working from home 2.  I was very nervous about going back, but everyone there made it so nice for me and it was an easy transition.  The only hard times I have are in the morning and after work.  Every day, Patrick would make my breakfast for me and pack healthy snacks for me to bring to work.  Then after work, I'd call him and let him know I was on my way home.  We'd then discuss what he was making, going to make or what we were going to do for dinner.  It was a call I made every day to him.  Now when I leave work, I just call his voice-mail so I can hear his voice.   Like I said before, it's the little things you miss the most when you lose someone.
Here is a picture of one of the meals and desserts he made for me.  And yes...he took pictures of food all the time.

Chicken tortilla soup.

Pudding and cool whip
I'm down to having weekly appointments with my doctor.  5 weeks left until our baby girl is on her way!  I'm right on track with all of my numbers.  The gestational diabetes is under control and not an issue.  I'm also happy I haven't gained too much weight.  That way it will be easier to take it off (and more) after she's here.  I for sure thought I was going to be that 60 pound gainer.  I love food and usually not the healthy kind.  My usually large appetite has been absent my whole pregnancy.  Which is totally weird and not like me.  Also, I was lucky to have Patrick around to monitor me.  He did all of the shopping and cooking.  Always made sure I was eating healthy for the baby.  He was so worried about us being healthy.

I'm continuing to not sleep well.  It's a combination of grief and in my final weeks of pregnancy.  These days, I don't know which symptom is from what.  I'm usually sleeping for 1-3 hours at a time and then I'm up.  Half the time I fall back asleep, the other half I watch Law and Order. 

I had my first baby shower this week with my family.  They held one for my cousin Meghan and I.  It was so nice and we both got a lot of nice things.  Meghan is due on the 14th, my other cousin Alissa is having her baby on the 15th and I'm on the 9th.  Plus, my sister-in-law had my niece, Kate, in May.  We'll have a lot of new babies in the Zimmerman Family this year!

Also this month, we honored some important people.  At the Fondy game on the 17th during half-time, they announced the 2010 Inductees to the Fondy Hall of Fame.  Grandpa Zim being one of them.  We also all wore t-shirts for Diane Blaine, who lost her battle to cancer.  The Fondy football team has dedicated their season to her.

The Zimmerman Family at the Fondy Game.

I attended the Appleton West/North football game on Friday.  They honored Patrick at the game and held the drawing for the raffle.  Jon Leatherbury was also designated as the honorary captain, wearing Patrick's jersey.  The team also put #50 on their helmets for Patrick.  What an honor.  Thanks Coach.

Patrick winning the state title.
Jon on the sidelines.
#50 on the helmet

Bears are 3-0.  Nice win last week against the Packers.  Winning field goal was from a Penn State Alum.  Like my brother said, Patrick had something to do with that win for sure!

Needless to say, I'm adjusting to these changes the best I can.  It sure hasn't been easy.  I miss him every moment of every day.  Memories are constantly going through my mind.  Sometimes it doesn't seem like it happened and it's all a dream.  I wish it was.  It's weird being with someone every day and knowing them so having them not be here at all.  It's a big change.  I know it's hard on family and friends, too.  But the hard part for me is that most people have generally gone back to their "normal" lives, because they can and should.  My life will forever be changed by losing him.  I can't go back to my normal life.  I don't have one anymore.   It's not that your lives weren't affected by losing Patrick, but it's different when he was your husband.  Everyone else has a spouse/significant other to lean on and go to for comfort.  I would have gone to Patrick for a thing like this and now I can't and don't have that.  That's the difference. 

It's been a tough 2010 and I'm certainly ready for it to be over and start a new and healthy 2011.  

I'd like to end with a thank you to all of my friends and family who are there for me.  You are all an inspiration and I thank you.  What you have done for me and our baby girl is unbelievable.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The journey so far...

I'm starting a blog in memory and honor of my husband, Patrick.  His blog was Bless This: The Chronicles of an Unemployed Male. So, hence the name of my blog, Bless This: Family.  Patrick would be pretty proud that I'm actually writing and posting it online, other than Facebook.  I'm not claiming to be a writer at all.  I'm horrible at it.  He was always the writer, not me.

I hope to have this as a place to update everyone on me, my pregnancy, our baby girl and have you learn more about Patrick and what his life was like.

Right now I am learning to deal with having a huge empty spot in my life.  Patrick and I were together for 8 wonderful years.  We would have celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary on November 15th.  He was taken from us on July 22nd, 2010 at the young age of 34.  To follow our journey this summer, please read the Carepages. 

I am very thankful for the family and friends that I have in my life.  I am not sure I could make it through this journey without them.  Everyone has done so much to help me and the baby.  To be honest, it's hard to be on the receiving end of things.  Patrick and I were always used to giving and helping others.  I'm doing it because I need it and because Patrick would want me to be taken care of.  I'm trying to keep all of his promises.

Right now, I'm taking it hour by hour.  I can only do that much right now.  My life has been pretty hectic this summer.  Being pregnant, supporting Patrick in the hospital for 3 weeks (10-14 hour days, every day), losing him, grieving, moving back home to Fond du Lac and getting ready for my baby girl.  I make it work the best I can.  Patrick would want me to.  He wouldn't want anything less than for me to do my best.  I just wish he was here to support me.  He was the one I leaned upon whenever I needed someone.  The first one I called when I needed advice or just wanted to talk things through.  He was always there for me.  No matter what the situation.  Now he's not and it's a void in my life.  A huge one.

I know many of you can't quite fully understand what it is like to lose a spouse.  Many don't know what to say, and that's OK.  I usually don't either.

It's very hard to explain.  It's all of the little things.  Patrick did more little things for me than anything.  He was so good at it.  Imagine having to go back and do everything on your own, when you are used to having someone help you or go with you.  Grocery shopping.  Watching your favorite shows.  Car rides.  Going out to dinner.  Walks.  Cooking.  Visiting friends and family.  Getting a hug every day after work.  The little things.  These simple things have all been very hard for me to do on my own.  Not like I can't do them or couldn't do them on my own before, but now I have to be without Patrick when doing them.  That's a part I miss a lot.

These past 8 weeks have been life changing for me.  I'm proud of myself for doing the little things.  I think and hope that Patrick is, too.

Well, on Monday I will be 33 weeks along in my pregnancy.  It has gone by fast so far.  I am very excited for the arrival of our baby girl, but it is going to be bittersweet.  I feel horrible that Patrick won't be able to experience something he'd been looking forward to.  Being a dad.  Like my dad said after the funeral, my daughter will have a lot of others that will step in and be a dad to her.  I am confident in that.

Thank you all for making it through my first blog.  Hoping for many more to come.