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Almost One Year

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” - Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)

I hope everyone is having a good weekend. I'm trying to make the most of my weekend right now, as it's been a very long week, with every night working a lot later than I would like. I would like to take a vacation. Thankfully I have Sunday to get some much needed workouts, church, and rest.


Over a month ago I started this post, originally titled, "Almost 11 Months." Then I got busy with E40 and never got around to finishing it. Now we are a few weeks away from making it to one year since Teri passed away. I can't believe it.


Overall, I've been feeling a lot more discouraged and unmotivated, which is unusual for me. I can't explain it, given there's been so many blessings to be happy about. My therapist actually isn't surprised, since he's seen several others hit bottoms of the grief cycle at the most unexpected times. Mayo and I really miss Teri's energy and enthusiasm around the house. I was also reminded by Meli that VBS is also a few months away, Teri's favorite week of the year.


The discouragement has led to me sleeping in again, even though my Chattanooga 70.3 race is ~2.5 months away. That race will be here before I know it, so I should be putting in some serious training hours every week. Perhaps tomorrow. I'll attribute it to what I wrote in my last post regarding having such a "high" seeing all my friends and family at E40 and then getting back to reality. That's probably just part of it.


A close friend recommended that I should mix things up with some new routines. He suggested I join a local gym so I can meet some new people, even though I prefer to train on my own. He also suggested I check out those meal prep services since I don't have much of an interest to cook for myself, which then results in me picking up fast food. Both sound like good ideas worth trying. I then forgot that I tried a meal prep service to help with Teri's diet and ended up just freezing most of the meals, with some of those meals still in the freezer.


Regardless of how I've been feeling this past week, I still feel thankful every time I have the opportunity to write here. I always have a few drafts in the queue. As time permits, I either start a new post or finish something I was working on.


I like writing for every one month milestone because every 2nd of the month seems so impossible to forget now. It was a bit strange to me to celebrate my 40th birthday on the same day as her 11 month death anniversary. I really wish she could be here to celebrate E40 like I was hoping for a year ago when I turned 39 and was determined she would beat cancer like she did the first time.


On a more positive note, I'm also excited to visit Atlanta in a few weeks because Teri's cousin is getting married. I'm very thankful to get to attend to see my Atlanta family and visit Teri's final resting place. Maybe I'll be adventurous enough and bring Mayo? Flying with him and putting him in the dog carrier thing stresses me out, especially since he's a bit bigger than the last time he flew. We'll see.


Reading the book of Deuteronomy hasn't been the most exciting book... as it's so slow, but at least better than the book of Numbers. Teri was crazy to find the whole Pentateuch to be so interesting. This particular book reminds me of Teri because:


  • Teri loved to explain the reasons of the laws to me (just like Moses did to the Israelites)

  • Deuteronomy emphasizes remembering the acts and guidance of God, especially during times of difficulty (Deuteronomy 8)

  • Moses had a series of Farewell speeches to the Israelites, reminding me of some talks that I had with Teri before she passed away


I'm still thankful that I'm further along in a "bible in a year" plan than I've ever had in my life. I'm excited to start the book of Joshua tomorrow. What a blessing that Teri's passing has really helped me take my bible reading a lot more seriously.


Screenshot from Bible Project Video

Teri's Consumables


Here's a random topic that's been on my mind that I think about every day: the consumables I have at the house because of Teri. There was lots of them. Mostly food. Vitamins. Stuff in the bathroom I can use (like her shampoo). Now there's not as many let to consume.


At a recent dinner with friends, what stood out about our conversation the most was when psyllium husk was mentioned as a way to help with my diet. I know, I should just eat more vegetables to get more fiber. Hearing about psyllium husk reminded me of Teri wanting to buy some from Trader Joe's last year, around this time.


Teri brought the big container of psyllium husks from Trader Joe's to help with the constipation issues she was having:

Stuff I drink now thanks to Teri

We actually bought a version from Costco at first, but before we could open it, she found this version at Trader Joe's. The Costco version had a bunch of other stuff in it that she didn't like. I think we got into a mini argument about it since I said "it's all the same" and the Costco version was a better deal. Anyways, I let her have her way.


I just finished consuming the container a few weeks ago. Then I bought some more (but this time, from Costco). Of course it tastes way better. For those curious, I think it does help me, as I feel like I get better bowel movements in the morning when I take it at night. This is one of many consumables that I said I might as well finish since I have it and I don't like throwing things away. I think about her every time take it.


There are lots of other things regarding Teri's consumables I am still finishing, such as:


  • Olly Vitamins she had on Amazon subscribe and save (her Amazon account is now cancelled)

  • Calm Magnesium Citrate powder (this is so big, it seems like it will take forever to finish)

  • Food in the pantry (that isn't expired yet)


When Teri would get upset, I would insist she takes the Calm powder. That wasn't the nicest thing to say to her and it didn't help the situation when I would just start making it for her with the hopes she would take it so the situation would deescalate. I probably needed it more than her, since many times she would get upset at me because of my anxiety. Now I take it almost every day, helps me wind down and get better rest.


I'm not sure why I think about all these "Teri related consumables" alot more than usual. At the moment, I feel sad when I'm reminded of it. I know these consumables will all be gone one day, and for whatever reason, I associate that with my memories of Teri.


Teri's plants (also what I will label a consumable) also make me sad. Some are doing okay. Friends and family who come over always remind me to water them. Some people are harsh with me and my inability to keep plants alive. Some plants didn't really make it, so I put them outside in the backyard or on the front porch. I've also replaced some of them. They're just plants, but plants were pretty important to Teri and why I had a plant vendor at E40.


Another difficult phone call I had to make recently was to TMobile to cancel her cell phone number. She was the primary account holder on her family plan (that I joined). I'm now the primary account holder. I've been putting this off for a while, thinking I may need the number one day. While I probably wasted a bunch of money since I should have cancelled this months ago, its OK and I probably would have felt a lot more anxiety if I cancelled it right away.


More Thoughts on E40


This past few days got me really thinking about Jon's talk about Shyne Labs and the fire that burned the entire factory down:

Here are some of the photos from the presentation. You had to be there.


I've been thinking about this story because of how fortunate I am to have experienced loss, but had very ideal circumstances regarding my dependents (only Mayo). I really was able to focus on myself for the last 11+ months and has a tremendous amount of help from friends and family. Just having the time to blog here a few times a month is really a luxury that most people who experience loss don't have the time to do.


In Jon and Allan's case, not only does Jon have a kid to take care of, but so many others that are employed by them and have families. They kept going and showed resilience when the odds were really against them. I probably would have just quit and went back to SoCal. I'm so thankful to have friends like Jon and Allan that continue to inspire me to keep going when I want to give up. I'm looking forward to taking the raffle winners to visit them in Nashville later this year.


Photobooth Pictures


I'm gonna end today's post so I can get some rest. I'll leave today on a brighter note with a link to the Photobooth Pictures. Looking through these during the week made me feel alot better because so many of you had a lot of fun with the photobooth. I just wish I took more photos with people. Next time for sure.


Lots of Photobooth Pictures from Saturday


Thanks for reading, I do feel a bit better now. Tomorrow is a new day. Have a great rest of the weekend everyone!


Blessings,

Erwin



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Tomorrow is a new day, Erwin. I love that reminder. I needed to be reminded that God’s mercies are new every morning. Loved your blog. I am sorry that this is a discouraging and difficult time for you Erwin. I hear you. That must be hard thinking about Teri and the 70.3 race. It looks like that was a fun memory 💕I loved how you share about Deuteronomy and the reminders to Remember God and remember all the guidance He offers freely to us day after day. I love hearing about Teri’s consumables. How special to have those and to remember her every day when you take them. I love how you got a plant vendor to represent Teri. That…

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts, the fleeting ones and the heavy ones. Eleven months and one birthday later now -- you've come very far. When you get to that one-year mark, you'll feel especially proud of yourself that you made it even with all the reminders of Teri around the house and everywhere. For me, it took passing that one-year mark to feel like I had said goodbye with some sureness. One trip around the sun that contained all the birthdays and anniversaries and important days to my sister and to us, her family. I celebrated and treasured those days for her in my heart. You'll get to that one-year mark and you'll live past it and you'll see…

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Yeah, I get the post-event blues, too—unless I have another event I immediately need to start planning, so I get Teri and her post-wedding project, haha!


Praying for you to find comfort and purpose in His Word!!

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Ups and downs are part of life.


Your post kinda reminds me of this thing at Emma’s preschool that we’re trying to do with her.


Questions for the Younger Children


• What is something hard that has happened in your life?


• Make a list of as many good things as you can that God has given you and does for you. What do you have more of, hard things or good things?


I see some hard things but I also see a lot of good things. You’re acknowledging both and also seeing God through them. It’s a good thing when you can see what God is doing in your life in the midst of the difficult times.


I kill…


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