Doing the Sami Circuit

Last night Zilas, David and I went to his school for Sami Circuit family night.  It was fun, if not tiring.  Sami has a great story and the kids were really pumped up.

It was great to see families working out together and having fun . It was a little sad to see a small turn out, but it is a small school with some low income families.

I bought Zilas a Sami Circuit shirt and Sami signed it.  I told Zi we will find a park with fitness stations and try to do it regularly.


A neighbor, someone who owns the warehouse behind our house, was talking to Zilas and Ayden when he stopped by to check his place. Zilas informed to him that someone has not locked the gate previously. The owner rewarded Zilas with $5.

In the course of their conversation, chris, the owner, asked Zilas about his mother, to which Zilas told him that his mother has died.

There next day Chris came by to talk with me and asked if that was true. I told him the story of Maggie’s crash. He said that he was going through a divorce and feeling in a low point. But meeting Zilas made him realize that others are dealing with worse. He decided that he wanted to do something to brighten Zilas’s world.

Yesterday Chris brought Zilas a Nintendo Switch. Zilas was delighted. While eating dinner Zilas had me recount Chris’s story. Then he said “Ir makes me happy that I could make someone feel better”.

Dealing with the “can I haves”

This past weekend was a test of my ability to hold my ground. Zilas seems to be always wanting something, no matter where we are. At the zoo it was a stuffed animal “to remember the experience”.

I relented and bought him a wolf stuffed animal with the agreement he would not ask for anything else until his birthday (May). But later in the souvenir store he was pressing for more.

The next day he was at it again. He tried to wheel and deal and barter. I explained we’ve tried that and it doesn’t work. He still hasn’t completed agreed upon chores for his Godzilla.

We got a little heated with each other, but after some time in his room things were more normal.

Partly I think he was over tired and partly I think that is just what kids do. But I am starting to wonder if it is him trying to fill the gapping hole left by his mom’s death. Something to discuss with his counselor I guess.

Currently Godzilla is “on vacation” until Zilas completes the promised tasks.

Parenting and holding ones ground takes a great deal patience. I pray daily for this patience.

Zoo day

Yesterday we went to the Sacramento Zoo. It’s the first time Zilas has been there and my first time since his mom was about three or four. We met up there with long time friends. It was a fun adventure.

For me though, the best part was watching Zilas climb the Mount Kilamonjaro tower. He tried the hardest difficulty side when we first arrived, but didn’t quite reach the top. When we were almost ready to leave, he decided to try again doing the medium level.

He nearly quit twice but with encouragement from myself, the staff member and others around he pushed himself and made the top.

The joy I saw in his face at his accomplishment was so great. I told him I was so proud of him. I know his mom is too


Last night we happened to start watching a movie somewhere in the middle. At first it was just Zilas and I watching. The movie was on BYU-TV so it had a religious bent. It was a true story about a little girl about ten who had a disease that affected her stomach and intestinal system. The mother and daughter were at the hospital and the mother was clearly distressed.

Zilas thought she seemed too upset, but I explained that if anything happens to our children parents are so upset and would do anything to make them better. About this time Pop (Jeff) had come in and he agreed. We told Zilas we would be so crazy if anything happened to him because he is our son now.

Eventually the girl goes home but is still not well. She’s is outside playing with her sisters and the older sister gets her to climb up a tree. High up they are sitting on a branch. The girl looks so happy, but then the branch starts cracking and the older sister sitting further out, tells her to get off. She’s clearly terrified but finally moves and in fleeing tumbles into the tree which is hollow. There she lays unconscious.

Ok long story shortened a bit, emergency crews get her out, she is life flighted to the hospital there they find she is fine, not even a broken bone. Later they find that her stomach disease is completely gone.

She tells her parents that while she was laying there in the tree she could see herself and she ends up talking to God, who tells her he is sending her back. She asks if he does will she be healed because otherwise she doesn’t want to go back.

It lead to some discussion with Zilas about God and prayer and death, but he did not bring up his mom. One scene has a lot of people praying while they girl is in the tree. So we talked about praying being talking to God.

He liked the show and the idea of miracles happening. I’m hoping we can discuss it more in the next few days,

Why am I here

I find myself in a situation I never dreamed of. I am parenting a child I have helped raise his entire life, but now I am in the “mom” role.

I want to have adventures with this boy as his mom would have. To do the things with him she would have done.

But I am also more than that.

I am a wife, a mother, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a grandmother, a friend, a woman strugglng to be healthier, happier, and saner.

Here I want to document my journey

Come along

Valentine’s day

The first Valentine’s day after Maggie died, I got a small bear with heart candies and left it in Zilas’s car seat. At first he asked where it came from. I said I had no idea. He thought maybe it was his teacher or Mommy. I told him that it couldn’t be his teacher as the car had been locked. “It must have been Mommy”, he decided.

Ever since then it has been my tradition to leave a present, usually a stuffed animal, in the car for him.

This year he was very excited to get dressed and see what Mommy had left him.

I am happy to give him some magic in the world and to let him think Mommy is there for him. I truly believe she is.

Why I’m here

I’m a grandmother. Two years ago my husband and I suddenly became guardians of our 6 year old grandson after our daughter was killed by a drunk driver.

We have always helped with the care of our grandson, but now it became 24/7 on top of dealing with the loss of our youngest child who was 25.

We are a yours-mine-and ours family. Both my husband and I had children from previous marriages. Then we had Maggie, the “ours” kid. There are 15 years between our oldest and youngest. Having Maggie was like parenting round 2, as the rest of the kids were out of the house when she was still young.

Having our grandson, Zilas, now age 8, is parenting – round 3. But we are ready to take on the challenge. We wouldn’t have it any other way. Although we still miss our daughter greatly, he is very much like her and a joy to us.

I want to share the journey of parenting and our adventures.