happy birthday derek…

So I have said this before, I use birthdays as a day to open that emotional box of memories.  I have done this since my brother passed away in 1999.  I don’t like to celebrate death…I want to celebrate life.  I rather not focus on the fact that they are gone, rather on the fact that they lived.  That they were a part of my life.  That they were an amazing blessing and that I was...
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to sarah and john…

For the last 10 years, Sarah you have been my friend, one of my favorite people in the entire world. I remember the day I met you at Joe and Paige’s townhouse, I instantly fell in love with your laugh, humor and unassuming demeanor. As we began our friendship, I learned of our common love for food, entertaining, clothes, travel, people and adventures. So it was easy to quickly call you...
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18 and life to go…

so although these words ring true in my life, they have very different meaning than the song lyrics.  it has been over 18 months.  18 months since my world was turned upside down.  18 months of constant change.  18 months of being a single mom.  18 months of perseverance.  18 months of longing for my old life, my old self.  18 months of missing my boys.  18 months of pure exhaustion.  18...
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bittersweet…

although bittersweet is one of my favorite chocolates…i wasn’t expecting it to be the primary word i use to describe our move into the new house…but it is the best word to describe the experience.   there has been so much joy in living in a home where my girls can run and play outside with lots of freedom. such joy in the girls making friends with neighbors. such joy in...
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alone…

how can you be surrounded by people and feel so alone? i have never understood this question. i would empathize with people that had this feeling but didn’t quite get the feeling. as time continues to move on and in many ways, i grow stronger, more capable, more sufficient…and little bits of my heart heal…there is still this feeling of being alone. i have amazing friends and...
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I hope you dance…

I hope you dance! spontaneously dancing in central park with my love… Usually I post worship lyrics, but i was getting ready at the gym yesterday morning and this song was on. i hadn’t heard it years…so my advice to you is to dance!!! I HOPE YOU DANCE I hope you never lose your sense of wonder, You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger, May you never take one single...
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Strange and normal…

On May 13th, 2000, I became Charity Lynn Taatjes.  12 years.  11 of those spent with my husband, my best friend, my lover.  Today, I wake up having spent the last one of those years a widow.  A title and identity that has become normal.  No longer is it foreign or strange to think of myself in that way.  It is strange how one day you wake up, and this new life feels normal.  This...
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a year later…

happy new year!  well, for me it is my new year.  yesterday i wrote out goals for myself, prayed through what this year might bring, and tried to dwell on hope.  it was a good day.  i felt so filled up after leaving a night with dear friends.  i celebrated our year of endurance saturday night with the girls and some friends.  it was so good.  but as i focus on the new year – i...
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caretaker…

so i consider myself to be a pretty strong, confident, self-aware, independent woman…and all i long for tonight is for someone to take care of me.  the past few months have taken their toll.  i am exhausted.  not physically…but emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  i now have more than double the responsibility, and I am missing my lighter half, my king of fun, the man who could...
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my men…

Grief is a weird thing.  It twist and turns in unexpected directions.  Grieving a spouse is even more of crazy unpredictable journey.  Each turn brings something new that I miss or I discover a new void.  I try to process, use healthy cooping mechanisms, pray, seek God’s word, and try to get to the root of my newest emotion, but sometimes they come out sideways.  I struggle giving...
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