I've become determined to do anything I can to try to get back some small joy in living, even if I have to do it without my little girl. It's hard to bear the pain, but when I'm very busy, I do better. Some things I still have to work through, such as guilt and worry and all the many, many things that come with the death of your child.

I took five classes over the summer semester, and managed A's in all of them. I got an A- in one of the classes, which did aggravate me a little, but that's okay. I'll take it.

Fall semester begins next week, and I have a feeling it's going to be a bit tougher. Biology, chemistry, algebra, and nutrition. Nutrition will be a piece of cake (pun intended), but I do have trouble with algebra. I've never been good with numbers. Not even a little bit.

Anyway, on Mondays and Wednesdays I will be at the university all day.

I do look forward to Fall weather, because it's been so very extremely hot here this summer. I was going through town yesterday and the thermometer read 104 degrees. The air is hot and heavy and wet. Very uncomfortable!

I've nearly finished the sequel I've been writing, and also received a contract for another book, so we're doing the rounds of edits on it. The publisher of a different house asked me to write a book specifically for her, so I'm also doing that. She's also offered me a contract for a book I'd finished, but the contract hasn't arrived yet. I wanted busy? I sure did get it.

Next week I start classes on Monday, hair appointment on Tuesday, class on Wednesday, meeting with attorney on Thursday...the week after that it's class, therapy, class, and I'm not sure what else. Which is why I'm going to do a marathon writing session while I've got the time. It doesn't help that tennis is on, distracting me. Turn it off?? No way. It's Roger Federer.

I switched to a different antidepressant. I've also been exercising and eating better, so we'll see how that goes. Some days I feel better, some days I don't. I guess that's just the way it goes.
It's been seven months today. And this is the first day I've been able to talk about her with my son. Yes, I broke down, but it felt good to talk about her. After all, what if she's listening? I don't want her to think we don't talk about her because we don't think about her. It just hurts so much, hurts to even say her name.

We talked about how much it hurts to not buy her things like we used to, so one thing we decided was to keep buying her things. We waited YEARS for Family Matters to come out on DVD, because for some reason, the baby loved that show. She'd watch the reruns whenever we could catch them on for her. How strange is it that a few months after she passed, the DVDs came out? Well, the first season, anyway.

We're going to buy that first season for her, and play it for her. If her spirit comes to visit, she'll be happy to see it. She sure did love Steve Urkel.

I've gone back to school. With edits, writing, school, keeping house, keeping up with my websites and publishing chats and contacts and communications, among other things, I am pretty much busy constantly. And that's a good thing.

I've also been getting out with a friend, a woman I met at court during my brother's murder trial. We went to visit The Serpent Mound, and other outdoor places where we could enjoy nature. Lately though, it's so stifling hot that hiking is not one of my favorite things to do.

I'm studying to become an Athletic Trainer. I may have written that already.

A writer who will also be an ATC. I WILL be busy. That's a good thing.
Today has been one of my 'down' days, as I think of them. Missing my daughter, accidentally running across pictures I'm not ready to look at, like those of her in the hospital. Remembering things she used to do, or laugh about, or want. Parties we'd have for her in October or whichever month, not because anything was happening but because she wanted a party. Balloons, wrapped presents, cakes, pizza, the whole thing. I like to think I did good, but part of me keeps whispering that I could have done better. And I just miss her. I still can't quite figure out what it is I'm supposed to be doing now, or who it is I'm supposed to be.

And I still can't wrap my head around the fact that this thing called life is supposed to be a gift, and that I'm throwing it away with my misery. I can't figure out how this is a gift when all I want is the gift that comes after. I want to be with them, the ones I loved and lost. I want my baby girl.
Yesterday I got a cartilage piercing in my left ear. That did sting! Today though, it only hurts if I touch it. Because I have to turn the earring quite often, it hurts quite a bit;) Nothing I can't handle. In a couple of weeks, I'll go back and have the other ear done. I didn't want to do them both at once because I don't like sleeping solely on my back. It wouldn't be a good idea to have two seriously painful ears going at once. I have to leave this earring in for three months before I can change it out. That's a long time!

Today is had rained all day long, and not just a little rain. A lot of rain. It was a good day to write, so that's what I did. I need to turn off my phone and internet while I'm trying to write, because rain or no rain, my phone does not stop ringing. I could get much more work done if I shut down the communication avenues. :)

The pictures are from a couple of days ago when I went to visit my baby's grave.

Kirstie Alley's show is on tonight, so I'll watch that, have some hamburgers and coffee, and relax. I can hear the rain.
A couple of days ago I went back up to visit my daughter's grave. I find it really difficult to leave once I get there, as though her soul is hanging out there in need of company. Or maybe it's just for me. I wish I'd have buried her in my yard so that I could be closer, could go out each night and talk to her. I know I can do that without the grave. I do talk to her. A lot.

Her headstone was finally installed recently. It's heart-shaped. I probably told you that in a previous post.

I've been doing better. One day at a time. Also I keep telling myself that she's happy, and with God. Every time I start to panic, to feel overwhelming pain, I take a minute to say it to myself. She's with God. And I'm in His hands as well. It helps me feel better.

Still, I get sad. When I go to sit in the yard I think of how much she used to love sitting outside in her wheelchair. She loved tossing the ball out there. Every time she'd hear a lawnmower or loud car, she'd cover her ears and wait for me to make it stop. :)

I'm writing, quite a bit. School starts on the 20th of this month and I need to get in as much writing as possible before I have to slow down for classes.
I'm pretty sure I came close to losing my mind, and I doubt it's over yet. I'm sure there will be hard times ahead. But...last night I decided to turn myself, and my pain, over to God. I put myself in his hands. I decided to trust him. He'll take care of my little girl. She's with him. I'm his, and she's his. There are things I can't possibly understand, and I know that. Faith. I have faith.

I love you, baby girl. I'll see you again.
No one wants to hear it. They want to think it's okay, that I'm okay. But I'm not. Why is it hurting more instead of less? Why does it tear me apart to think of her? Why do I miss her so very much, and why, no matter how much I try to think of her in heaven, pain-free, happy, and waiting for me, does it still make me want to die because of the pain? When, when is it going to be better? When?
Yesterday was release day for my latest book. The day was a busy one, and I should take a small break from writing now that this book is out, but I'm not. I started on a new one recently, and it's coming along well. I don't want to jinx it by stopping :)

I'll begin classes next month; a biology, a medical terminology, and a computer class are all I've registered for so far, but I'd like to add one more. I just haven't decided what yet.

It's good to stay busy.
My dog is probably the smartest dog ever born. Seriously. (And no, her name is NOT Fido;) )

It's not just that she learns everything so quickly, but she also has a sensitivity to my emotions. And she's just downright hilarious. I think I found her because it was meant to be.

When I got her, it was raining and she was in a huge fenced in, muddy, disgusting yard with a lot of other dogs. She was hiding in a box, trying to keep warm and dry, I'm sure.

The breeder dragged her from the box and brought her into an under construction building so I could check her out. She was small, scared, and though I didn't know it then, very, very sick.

My ex husband went with me to see the dogs, which I'd seen in the paper for fifty bucks each. I asked the breeder's husband why so inexpensive, and he explained that while he told his wife it was a bad idea to price them so cheap, they needed to sell them because they'd gotten these dogs when the other breeder had gone out of business and they'd purchased all her stuff.

They actually bred and sold a whole different type of dog.

I didn't care that her nose was practically hitting the floor or that she wouldn't come when I called her. She tried to lean against the breeder and hide, or rest. The breeder told me she was generally very friendly, but that she was just being a little shy. Right.

Anyway, I fell in love with her right then and there, and my ex-husband put her in the car for the short ride home.

She was completely terrified of the car, and I've never been able to get her to enjoy a nice little ride since I've had her.

I got her home and the first place she wanted to go was straight to my daughter, who was lying in the floor on a futon mattress, waiting, waiting to see her new doggy. They bonded immediately. This dog was the first one we'd ever had that was so perfect for my little girl.

A few hours later when we put her in her kennel and we all went to bed, our new dog began throwing up. The next morning we took her to the vet, and discovered that the poor thing had Parvo.

The breeder gave me my money back, and offered to take the dog from the vet and care for her, but I refused. No, this was our dog now, and though I was furious with the breeder for being so careless as to sell a dog with parvo.

How my little dog must have suffered, there in that filthy, muddy open...field, of sorts, all sick and wet and cold.

The vet said he wasn't sure she could be saved. He said that if we hadn't brought her in when we did, she would have died in a few more hours.

We had to leave her there, in the animal hospital, and we came home and worried, and cried. How on earth had we become so attached to this little dog already? It stunned us. But we were attached, no doubt about it. We'd found our perfect little dog, and had fallen in love.

The week she was in the hospital we visited her, taking her cards and taping them her cage, taking her a little pooh bear with my daughter's scent on it, and just letting her know she now had people who loved her and cared about her, and were waiting for her to get better.

And she did. On our last visit there, we walked in and she actually recognized us and stood up and gave a happy bark! I was amazed and asked the tech, was that her barking? I'd never heard her bark before.

The tech let her out and she ran straight for us, and has been happy and healthy ever since.

If I hadn't gone to that place and picked her for my family, she would have died. I honestly believe she was meant for us. And we were meant for her. She made my daughter happy. She makes us happy.
I left my hometown a few years ago and moved to another small town. This one, however, is huge and bustling compared with where I grew up. And it's only a few minutes away.

My hometown holds the family cemetery, which is where my little girl is buried. I went there today, and took photos of the scenery. It's beautiful, just very lonely, that town.