Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Just Breathe...

Pearl Jam has played a large role in my life.

In 1993 I got their first CD, Ten.  They were introduced to me by my friends, Dan and Jamie.  Their "song" was Alive.  When they passed away that summer, we listened to it constantsly.  Alive became my favorite song.  All through college, I listened them even more and grew to love them.

During Patrick's time in college at Ripon, Alive became his song, too.  It was his faternity's song, Phi Kappa Pi. 

While Patrick was in the hospital for his leukemia, he constantly listened to Vitalogy, as it was released that year.  He listened to it all the time and it helped him cope.

Years later, Patrick and I got together.  Both of us attending many concerts.  He was at the Chicago one about 5-6 years ago.  I asked him to call me when they were playing Given to Fly.  It was my favorite song.  He loved it, too. 

Then in 2008, we got married.  We incorporated Pearl Jam and Eddie Vedder songs into our wedding.  From me and my girls walking down the ailse, us walking down the aisle as a married couple, to our first dance-Given to Fly.  It was perfect.

Then their latest album was also something we loved.  Our favorite song on there was Just Breathe.  We would listen to it all the time in the car together and play it over and over. 

Then on July 22nd, my life changed.  I listened to this song in a very different way.  I really heard the words. Patrick's best friend Brock made this on YouTube.  http://www.youtube.com/user/beckyandbrock?feature=chclk

Every day that I'm in the car, I'm listening to Pearl Jam.  You know there's a Pearl Jam radio station, right?  I mean, ,who doesn't? 

Pearl Jam music has helped me through all of my tough times in life.  Especially now.  I was taught in my grief counseling that when you feel like breaking down or crying, that you just breathe.  Take a deep breath.  I do that a lot.  If something hits me hard and I'm surrounded by people and can't cry.  I just breathe.  When I hear that song on the radio and it brings back memories.  I just breathe.  When Olivia is fussy, I can't fix it and know Patrick would have been able to, I just breathe.  When the holidays were here and I was missing him like crazy, I would just breathe.  When I'm alone at night and missing him by my side, I just breathe.  When the clock struck midnight on New Year's, I cried.  Then I took a big breath and tried to remember all of the good times. 

This past month has been the hardest since Patrick died.  I don't know what it is, but I think of him more than I did before. (Which I didn't think was possible)  He's on my mind all the time.  Thinking of stories and memories I thought were gone.  Going through his things.  The holidays.  Stupid holidays.  They are supposed to be happy times and they weren't for me. 

In one month I will be going back to work in the Milwaukee area.  I'll be able to work at home 2 days a week, which will be a really nice transition for me.  I don't know how I'm going to be away from my baby girl 3 days a week.  I'm thankful that I have my sister-in-law and mom to help with the babysitting.  I don't know what I'd do without them.  I am very lucky.

Olivia continues to amaze me every day.  She's been smiling so hard every day.  She smiles with her whole face:)  She'll hopefully be laughing soon.  I can't wait to hear it!

I am very ready for 2011 to be a good year.  Other than Olivia being born in 2010, it was by far the crappiest year of my life.  Along with Patrick dying, I've had many other friends pass away.  There were more than 10 close people in my life that have passed away since July.  I'm ready for a new year and fresh start.

See you later 2010 and don't let the door hit you in the ass!


  1. I hope and pray that 2011 will be a year of good things for you and Olivia. :)

  2. You are absolutely amazing and an inspiration. Not a day passes by when we don't think of you, Olivia, and Patrick. In fact, Aidan still includes all three of you in his nightly prayers.

    I am glad that you'll be able to work from home 2 days/week. That will help with the transition back. It is so great that your mom and Shauna are able to help with Olivia. It helps to know she will be in the best possible hands when you are in the office.

    Much love to you and your peanut from all of us :-)