Trying to keep things as normal as possible for my other kids,  but I'm missing my son and struggling through my days. 

Getting Through The Grief

My son has been laid to rest at a pretty little cemetary right outside of the small town he grew up in.  His military funeral was beautiful. 

The pictures are from family and friends that attended.  I'm grateful for them as the entire week is now a blur in my mind.  Some details stand out and are razor sharp, completely in focus, while others are blended together and almost dreamlike. 

The official military flag. It's in a beautiful wooden case now permanently residing on my piano amongst family photos. 

A woman that was like a second mom to my son a few years ago THAT MET HIM WHEN HE WAS A FULL GROWN ADULT was rather broken by his passing.  There were several women that considered him a son. This woman however was ... let's say...deeply affected.  I paid for a second flag to be presented to her.   It wasn't part of the military rites as it was just handed to her, though.  A bit unofficial,  but hopefully appreciated gesture.  I tried to do things that I thought my son would want me to all week.  Once again playing the role of peace keeper and taking the high road.  ALL SO UNNATURAL FOR ME!!!
I felt enormous sympathy for this woman because she couldn't quite grasp the pain she was inflicting on my family while we grieved for my son. She went so far as to submit an obituary to a newspaper and listed herself as his mother and listed me second.  I hope she receives some form of help. 

Back to the funeral,  it was beautiful.  Over four hundred people filled that little country church. 

There were so many soldiers in dress uniform at the cemetary. 

It was a beautiful tribute to a beautiful soul. 

My son was crazy adventurous.  

As you can clearly see.

I'm hit with waves of sadness out of the blue throughout the day that take my breath away and are overwhelming.  It hasn't lessened,  but I'm told it will.  I've been given enough books about grief that I could open a really depressing library.  Everyone seems to have a special book that helped them through a loss of their own. 
I'm finding that visiting my son every day helps me.  For now.  

Thanks for hanging in here with me.  I'll return to my usual recipe and family life posts soon.  I promise.  The teen girl is taking driver's ed.  Heads up to everyone around here.  She'll be in a student driver car soon. 

*** An update on the lady that overstepped and crossed a thousand boundaries when my son passed away.  Her mother passed away at the end of April.  My son was close to her sons.  Something in her must have broken.  I feel sorry for her and wish her family would have stepped in and done the right thing by stopping her from making such a  spectacle of herself.  I  forgive her,  of course.  She wasn't in her right mind.  I pray she receives the healing she so desperately needs. ***

We're Grieving

I know I usually post recipes or my ramblings as a mom,  but today I'm here to share with you about my son.  He was killed in a motorcycle accident.  He wasn't wearing a helmet.  He was 25.

The first twenty-four hours:

The sheriff came to my door at three o' clock that morning.  It. Was. Devastating.  

I had to call his dad and tell him.  I had to wake my son up and tell him. I had to drive to my parent's home and tell them.  I had to tell my other children.  I had to contact the Red Cross to reach my son stationed far away on an Army base so I could tell him and start arrangements to get him home.  I had to call relatives and close friends. Each time I said the words  as difficult as the last. 

The decision to save other lives was easy.  Whatever could be donated was.  His sister lives because of donations from other people whose families made sure to share their loved ones with strangers. He wanted to help others.  Always. 

I had to view my son.  His face was perfect- eyes open,  his arms in the air,  one hand as if still driving the motorcycle,  the other in the air but in a position it would have been resting on his leg. He had fallen backward off of the bike so fast,  he died instantly still smiling, dimples showing.  He had been having FUN on that motorcycle driving on the interstate. His face was perfect , but the rest of his head and his body were not.  

 As I left they handed me a bag.  I looked inside.  It was the  clothes he had been wearing.  He had bled out, not leaving enough blood in his body for even a blood alcohol test they told me.  There was more than just blood on those clothes in that bag that I now had to deal with.  Then they gave me a smaller bag that had money,  a few  bills and some coins in it.  Some of the money had a little bit of blood on it.  The ear buds in the bag had a little blood on them  too.  

There were arrangements to be made that day,  decisions made that would affect the hundreds of people that knew him and loved him. Plans made that day with the thought of not only honoring my son,  but helping the ones that loved him , especially my five other children,  receive some comfort,  some peace in a senseless tragedy. 
For it was senseless. It didn't need to happen.  

He wasn't wearing a helmet. 

It was the worst twenty-four hours of my life.  I thought it couldn't get any worse, and then the next morning I woke up and remembered that he was gone and I'd never see those dimples again or hug him again. 

It did not have to happen. 

The newspaper did an article about him for he had touched so many lives. You can read that HERE

Thanks for stopping by.  We're grieving , but we're okay. 

Pete is not gone.  I truly believe he is in heaven right now. He is also living on in countless others.  There were families this week that will continue to have their loved ones living for a while longer because of Pete.  There will be children and grandchildren born to these people  someday because of  Pete.  He's in heaven but he'll live on not only in the hearts of the ones that knew him but in countless people that never did. 

Hot Weather Meals

Thanks for stopping by! 
I hope you're having a good week so far,  and the weather where you are is decent. 
It is a beautiful day here,  albeit  a bit humid.  It's that time of year where you don't want to heat up the house at mealtime. Fortunately for us, Jolene over at Yummy Inspirations has gathered over forty of the best summer ~too hot to cook~ recipes!  

Click HERE to go to her post! Enjoy!

The Latest From Dandelion Acre

Hello! Things have been winding down here at Dandelion Acre.  I injured my back setting up the graduation party,  and as I've been cleaning and reorganizing areas of the house,  I keep reinjuring it. I'm now walking very slowly and using ice packs a lot.  The decluttering and cleaning has temporarily (hopefully just temporarily) stopped. The show bingeing has started.  ( Currently on season six of The Good Wife.)
I did manage to get most of my flowers planted before I hurt myself so that's a blessing.  I attempt to water every morning before the mosquitos become too much of a problem.  I'm moving slowly so it's a bit of a challenge to finish daily before I'm devoured. 

During  graduation, my son presented me with these pretty daisies.  They make me smile when I walk into the dining room. It really is all about the little things,  isn't it?

Everything is a little late this year with the odd weather we had.  My lilacs are in full bloom and smell AMAZING!  I added a few sprigs of them to some of the rooms here in Dandelion Acre.  The house smells so lovely. 

I'm missing my kiddos,  but I know they're having lots of fun. My goal for the week has changed from a massive to-do list to just healing.  If I don't complete the office declutter and reorganization before the kids come home,  I'll work on it a little each day until I  do. 

I  hope you had a relaxing weekend and you're ready for a great week.  Thanks for stopping by!

It's The Little Things

My kids are visiting their dad for two weeks with the exception of my son that has a job. 
I have some serious free time on my hands.  I've cleaned out and organized my walk in closet. I've completely reorganized my daughter's closet.  They've been gone three days. 
This morning I straightened up my gifted books shelves. (The place I put all of the books that have been gifted to me that I haven't read yet.) It's in my office,  which is the old porch that's been enclosed.  

Here's the before picture:

And here's the after just a few minutes later...

Okay.  You may not notice much difference,  but I do.  
It's the little things around the house that I normally don't have time for that I'm getting done,  that are making me smile. 
Now I'm off to clean and rearrange the pictures on top of the piano. 
Thanks for stopping by!