Monday, February 16, 2009


Sorry, Mind, I hope you don't care if I post this, but I thought it was really beautiful.

By Mindy Miller

I really don't like calling the upcoming March 13th an Anniversary - I need another term for it. I think of an anniversary as a good day like the day you got married (or divorced for some) or how long you have been cancer free... something good.

However, March 13th is the day, a year ago, that my sister, Jenny, passed away from cancer. I don't really relate much "good" or "excitement" with the date. It's actually been very hard to even think the day is coming up so quickly. I think my whole family has been hurting as each day brings us closer to that "year mark". Why should the "year mark" be any different or harder than any other day? Well I think just knowing that she has been gone a whole year... already.

I know for some of my family it has been hard because they think they are forgetting her a little. Maybe her voice, her laugh, what she looked like or even the way she acted. Fortunately for me, I have two "mini-Jennys" walking around my house from 8:00 in the morning till 5:30 at night that constantly remind me of the way Jenny acted, talked, looked, argued, etc.

I still have her obituary on my fridge and it will probably stay there forever. I don't know why, but it will. Perhaps because I see it multiple times a day and it reminds me of her, everyday, and I like that. But it makes me sad when Erin, Jenny's oldest (4), sees it and tells me she 'misses her mommy today, which she just said last Wednesday. It breaks my heart, because she has a great Mommy who would have done the neatest things with her girls had she been given the chance to take care of them.

So I don't love calling it an Anniversary. I have tried to think of other things to call it. In fact on our Higley Family Website, I'm unofficially in charge of the 'Event Board', I listed March 13th as "The year of firsts without Jenny is over, onto the next year" or something like that. But even that seems kind of cold and not very nice.

So I guess to look at this as "glass half full" rather than "half empty" I should think "We made it through the first year [yea!] - maybe the upcoming year will be easier". Maybe. I think it has made us think of all the good times, funny times and bad times, that we have had together as sisters (and family).

So this last year has been a hard one. I don't ever want to have to repeat 2008! :) But like most people say when they have gone through hard times, it has made us all stronger. (That's for sure.) I miss my sister. So perhaps you see why I don't like calling this her "death anniversary". But anniversary it is.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Why So Complicated?

Well, not really sure what's going on, but things around here have gotten a bit (gulp) complicated. That's putting it nicely and optimistically, or putting it the "Martin" way. (Something you should all know is that Martin likes to look at things sunny-side up. I think you all probably know that, but I don't think you realize the severe truth in this statement.) Now for putting it my way: My life is a suck fest right now!

Number 1: Alex had basketball tryouts last week and no, he did not make the team...I have been trying to help him try not to feel like his life is over, but lets face it, I'm not the best person to do this. Remember, I never made the team and/or squad in Jr. High or High School. Unfortunately, I let that affect me negatively, so all these feelings that are supposedly long in the past, have now resurfaced. However, I am a good one to empathize so perhaps that has helped Alex in some way. We'll see. If he ends up being a bitter, depressed, anxious ball of emotions we'll know what went wrong.

Number 2: The economy. Yes, folks, the economy is scaring me. You have probably all heard that Microsoft has let off employees for the FIRST time in its history. Now, that right there, is enough to elevate my blood pressure. Martin assures me that his team is a necessary money-maker for the software giant right now. Not only that, but Martin is high up on the management ladder and the chances are his job is safe but we should prepare (blah, blah, blah...this is where I tune out). All I can think of is what if...?

Number 3: We're coming up on the first anniversary of my sister's death, and I don't feel much like celebrating. It's weird that there should be an anniversary for such a tragic thing, but that's the way it goes. This whole year has been full of depressing anniversaries: her birthday, her wedding day, her daughters' birthdays, Ernie's birthday, First Christmas without Jenny, One year since the Meningitis, One year since she started get the idea. I think this anniversary will be hard too and it's causing me some unwanted stress and emotion.

Number 4: I have had a headache for 13 days!! Nothing super bad, just annoying and uncomfortable enough to make doing my normal routine a challenge. As you know, moms don't get a break, so functioning with a headache sucks!!

Number 5:

Okay, enough whining. I've decided to look at the bright side. Is this Martin rubbing off on me? I don't think so. That probably would have happened long before this year, if it was going to happen at all. No, I think it's just that I need to look at the good things in my life because although there are some annoying things going on, I am truly very blessed. So here it goes.

Number 1: My kids, Martin and I are all healthy (knock on wood)! I don't know why but for the moment, we aren't being challenged with a sickness or disease that threatens our way of life. That is a huge blessing.

Number 2: I am in a marriage that is the strongest it has ever been. Again, I don't know why but year #14 has been the charm for us. Martin and I seem to be more in sync. Do we fight??? Yep (and the kids can attest to that), but we are trying to understand where the other is coming from and that is helping. (Not to mention I married a saint!)

Number 3: I have a family who supports me and loves me. I have also connected with a lot of old friends who have helped give me encouragement this difficult year; friends who knew Jenny and loved her too, and I am thankful for them. I also have many friends here in WA that have given me support and I have new friends who have proven to be the truest friends I've met in a long time.

So, sorry I don't have any earth-shattering news, but this is what has been going through my mind lately, and I'd thought I'd share it here. I hope you don't mind. And if you do, don't read this!!! J/K