Friday, October 22, 2010

Long awaited

I know I said I would write every month, but I decided I don't want to.  I will keep trying because I know so many are still thinking for us and want to know how we are coping, so this is your you. 

Wednesday marked 7 months since Jon's passing.  I can't really believe it has been that long without him here.  I don't even know where I have been.  I guess I just starting blocking out large portions of my life, which is really sad because I don't want to forget memories or new moments with the kids, but I guess it is a strategy my brain is doing to keep itself safe. 

I feel like I have really lost myself.  I don't know how to be alone without Jon.  I don't know what I like anymore.  I seem to be doubting myself more, which I have heard is normal, but still hard to except.  When you are married you always use the words "we" and "us", but now I have to use the works "I" and "me".  How do you switch?  If someone knows please let me know because it sucks!

I have been making friends with other widows which I like very much.  No one quite understands it when I tell them and they seem a little weirded out by it, but it's helping.  I am the youngest usually, but we can relate so well and I don't feel alone in my struggles.  I sometimes think wow I must be going crazy, but then I talk to another widow friend and find out she went through the same thing. Either we are both crazy or it must be normal, right ?  Its very validating to have someone feel the same way and be able to bounce ideas off one another. 

Max started school at the near by elementary.  He is loving kindergarten.  He is so smart and learns things so quickly, just like his daddy.  I get to volunteer on Mondays for an hour.  What a delight for me.  I am the luckiest person to be able to drop off that little boy and then pick him up and have him run to me with excitement.   I am so blessed to have him.   He is such a good big brother.  Kenadee just loves him and calls him "honey" now, and he gets so mad.  I love it.  It is so cute when they start talking like you and resembling a mom.  Max has been to a friends house to play twice since school began which is huge for him.  I had to completely talk him into it and then drag him up to the front door, but hopefully now he knows its not so scary.   Baby steps right... 

Kenadee is just wonderful.  She is such a little sweetheart with a mind of her own.  She wears Maxwell's backpack all over the house and says she is going to school.  She got her first hair cut from the little neighbor girl, and so we cut her hair into a little bob to help it.  Very cute I think. 

They are both growing up to fast.  We are excited for Halloween, but not the cold weather, except for skiing.  :)  Kena wants to be a princess of course. (Cinderella because of the blonde hair) Very cute and Max told me he wants to be a "dead zombie" or "half wolf half dead".. (I am not even sure exactly what that is) Sounds a little scary to me and I have no idea where to get that outfit.  I am still trying to tell him super hero is the way to go.  But, what do mom's know? 

Well that is about all to report.  We are coping and sometimes living, so that is okay for now.  I love going to the temple and feeling the wonderful Spirit.  I loved reading the ensign this month about temples. 
President Thomas S. Monson wrote. " How far is heaven?  I testify that in the holy temples it is not far at all - for it is in these sacred places that heaven and earth meet and our Heavenly Father gives His children His greatest blessings".  
Wow!!  I just had to share.  That meant so much to hear.  Why is it that the ensign always has something for everyone in it?  Its the Spirit of course.  It is such a wonderful magazine and so inspiring.   We love you all and pray that we can all be thankful and have gratitude in life's little things. 

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Wow time is just flying by for us.  Tuesday will mark 4 months since we were seperated from our sweet daddy and best friend.  I can't believe its been this long.  We are trying to stay busy and have been having a pretty good summer so far.  We went to the swimming pool for the first time on Friday.  It was super fun, but I felt worried and paranoid the whole time with staying in the the sun for 2 hours straight.  Max is used to letting me put sunscreen on him every 15 minutes now.  I use SPF 90, but still I feel like it needs to be applied always.  I think about Melanoma way to much.  Everyone out their please do not tan or not use sunscreen.  You will die and make me very angry!!!
On a brighter note.  The wonderful Elder's Quorum from our ward is helping out with finishing our basement.  We will have a family room down there with two extra rooms.  We need the space so badly and so it will be great when its done.  It will probably be a slow project, but done right.  I feel so blessed to live where we do and have the support from the ward.  What can I say.  They are wonderful and truly a blessing for my family.
I got a new calling at church.  I am the new secretary in the RS.  I am loving every minute of it even though it keeps me busy and on my toes.  I am so glad I get to stay in RS.  It is my favorite time during the church block.
Max and I just ended T ball last Saturday and he informs me he liked it but is so glad it is over because he needs a break.  You know life is so busy when you are 5.  He is still seeing a therapist and is actually doing well with it.  He seems like a pretty well rounded kid.  He is having some anger issues and just lately starting having some bad dreams that we are working on.   He just learned the last two weeks how to ride a two wheeler bike.  He can't stop riding now.  All he wanted to do is ride his little bike 24/7.  He is so excited and I know Jon is so amazed by him and his little strength he has.  Jon is probably clapping his hands right beside me and cheering him on.
Kenadee is just so happy.  She has started none stop talking and thinks she gets everything Max does.  She has a little lisp and sometimes I can't understand a word.  I have to tell her to show me and she does. :)  Everyone caters to her because she is so cute and tiny.   Her hair is so blonde and cute.  My sister cut her bangs because her hair was always in her eyes and now it makes her cheeks even rounder.  She is a sweet baby.  I am in no hurry for her to grow up. 
Last Saturday we were able to go up to the cemetary and see Jon.  I only cried for the first 10 minutes or so, which is really good because before it was the whole time.   Now I can sort of stop and play with the kids and actually laugh a little. Max always wants to write secret notes to Jon and has a little secret hiding place he has been storing them so they can make it to heaven to his daddy.  We saw little rabbits up there last time and the kids chased them up the hill.   Maxwell was saying "Holy Cow" mom look at the bunnies and Kena started saying "Oh cow mom, Oh cow" because she couldn't say holy.  It was a laughing moment.
I am so grateful for everyone's thoughts and prayers on our behalf.  I haven't really felt alone and have been able to feel Jon's spirit so strong lately and of course The Spirit as been my constant companion.  I couldn't do this alone and I feel like my prayers have been answered in a way.  I am getting more comfortable with being alone in the house.  I am not so scared anymore.  I am being strong for myself and the kids.  I made up my mind that I wasn't going to be scared and it was weird but then I said it to myself it really worked.  Thanks for all the support and encouragement.  We love all of you and hope your summer is filled with special moments with your families.  Please take care and keep in touch.  If I don't call you back, please just keep trying and give me time.  I just can't pickup sometimes.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I don't know exactly what I want to say on here anymore.  I know everyone wants to know our family updates and how we are doing, but I have just lost all desire to do this blog anymore.  I am sorry to those of you who haven't received call backs or thank you notes from me.  I just can't do it all and I am now just finally realizing it myself and coming to terms with it.   I am now really doing the work of two people; time is not on my side anymore.  I want to post a few things and I will try to do an update once a month for those of you who want to check the blog.  

Well its been 8 weeks since Jon's passing.  Every Saturday marks another week that I have to live without my partner and best friend, but time just keeps moving and I can't stop it.  I talk about him every day with the kids and some days the tears just keep flowing, but over all things have been going pretty steady.   I have to say everything is falling into place and we have really been taken care of.  Our family, our ward, our neighbors, our friends, they have all been here for us and supporting us every step of the way.  I had a few things to do around the house and I had so many guys from my ward step up and volunteer to help, that it was more then enough help. Its just been an incredible journey.

Sadly, even when you don't want life to move on, it still does.  I am trying to come to terms with this concept.   I still have to get up everyday and feed the kids and clean the house, and I guess just live.  I know people have not forgotten, but the eight weeks have really not made things any better or easier.  It still is very much an open wound to me and I feel very much hurt.    Jon and I talked about me having to live life without him and he told me he would be so mad if he was looking down on me and saw me so sad and staying in bed all day.  He told me I had to get up and be a mom and live life and be happy.  I say now "Thanks Jon easier said then done though babe".

Nights are still the worst.  I can keep myself busy for the most part during the day, but at night I really feel the aloneness and the sleeping is bad.  I started sleeping with little Max and of course he loves it and I actually do to.  Sometimes because of the kicks in the head, I don't get the full night of sleep I need, but overall its okay.  I do love it.  He is my new little cuddle buddy.

Jon's headstone will be up by Memorial day and I am very happy about that.  I think I found a good design for the headstone and I know I will be very happy with it.   Max is playing T-ball right now and I get to be the coach for the team that we just named the Mesquito's.  He is loving the baseball and is really a little natural.  Kena is just as happy as always.  She is just a great little girl and really easy for an almost two year old.    We are going to be starting some family therapy sessions because I want to make sure the kids are as well rounded and I guess as okay as possible.  I want them to have as little issues in the future as realistically as I can, so I thought a little therapy can't hurt work out some of the kinks.  

Thanks so much everyone for your kindness and patience with me.   I really do feel blessed in a weird sort of way.  My testimony has grown so much these last few months and I feel so much stronger in faith.  I at times had some big rocks to go over with my anger issues with God, but now I am leveling out the wrinkles and have come to realize even though I don't understand His will, I know there was a reason and lesson to be learned from this and I respect that.  I pray for understanding every night and I think that is one of the reasons why my anger kind of disappeared.  I will keep in touch, but for right now that is all I have to say.  My little guy is curled up next to me sound asleep and I have to go be with him and finally put him to bed.  Please take care and know I pray for all of you and hope The Spirit can be with you always.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Jon's Obituary

Jonathon Harold Moroni Unander, 31, passed away peacefully at his home in Provo, Utah, March 20th, 2010.

He was born on November 18th, 1978 in Fort Collins, Colorado to Gary Unander and Jayanne Edwards Unander. Jon went to school in Riverton, graduating from Bingham High School in 1997. Jon was an Elder in The Church of Jesus Chris of Latter Day Saints and served a mission in Guayaquil, Ecuador. He was employed at the Utah State Drivers License Division as a Hearing Officer in Orem and was currently attending Utah Valley University. Jon had a passion for structural design and had the dream of being an Architect.
Jon married his true love and best friend, Tiffany Gardner on August 15, 2002 in front of family and friends. On September (), 2003 they were sealed for time and all eternity in the Timpanogos Temple. They were blessed with two very special children. He has a son, his best buddy and shadow, Maxwell, age 4, that loved to do everything with daddy and was his little helper. He shared a very special bond and many of the same unique characteristics with Max. He also has a beautiful daughter Kenadee, age 1, who is a true daddy’s girl. She loves her daddy so much and walks around saying “Hi, Daddy.”

Jon had many talents and hobbies but his greatest gift, and cherished love, was his family. Time spent with them was what he lived for. He was a loving husband and a wonderful father. He was always so fun and slow to anger. He loved life and lived it to the fullest extent possible. He always had an optimistic attitude and kept that until the day he passed. He loved playing soccer, drawing and playing board games with his son, chasing, holding and snuggling with his daughter, and just being around the wonderful extended family that he loved so much. Jon was a true family man and will be missed by all who knew him.
Jon is survived by his wife and children, parents, parents-in-law, a sister, grand parents and many other wonderful extended family members who love him very dearly.
A viewing will be held at Berg Mortuary in Orem on Thursday, March 25th, from 6-8 pm. Funeral services will be at the Bonneville 12th ward in Provo (1289 E. 300 S.) on Friday, March 26th at 11 am. Jon will be layed to rest at the East Lawn Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations will be accepted by the family at any Wells Fargo bank in the name of Jonathon Unander.

The original obituary that was in the paper can be viewed here:

Obituary for Jon

I will be posting Jon's obituary in just a little while for all of you who didn't see it in the Daily Herald yesterday. I also have a bunch of pictures to post, I just need a little help with them :)
The funeral services are being held on Friday March 26, 2010 at 11 am at our chapel. (around 1200 East 300 South, Provo). All friends and family can come to Berg Mortuary in Orem tonight from 6-8 pm. to pay their respects and condolences to our family. I have chosen to lay to rest Jon at East lawn Memorial Hills right after the funeral services. It is a beautiful place that I know my children and I can go for peace and mediation in months and years to come.

Check back in just a few hours and everything should be all updated. Thanks so much for all of the support and love my family has received. It has been one busy week, but somehow we have managed to get through all the planning and preparation work that comes along with funerals. I know from all of the prayers we have received on our behalf.

Monday, March 22, 2010

This week has been the hardest and most trying time of my life. My husband, Jonathon passed away at our home on Saturday after his 6 month battle with Melanoma. We as a family are deeply saddened by this, but know Jon is in a better place with his Heavenly Father and other family members who have passed on. He is no longer in pain and back to his wonderful, happy self. He will be greatly missed by so many including of course our little children, Kena and Max.

A viewing will take place on Thursday night from 6-8pm at the Orem Berg Mortuary at 500 N. State St. The funeral will be on Friday at 11 am. at our church house located on 300 S. just a few blocks up from 9th East on the north side of the street. All friends and family are invited to attend. I would love to meet some of you that I have only been emailing. I love to meet new supportive people.

Thank you everyone for all of the support we have received from all of you these past 6 months. Our family has been so blessed, that I really can't be mad at God right now for taking my husband. All of the prayers have helped us so much these past weeks and months. It has really made everything a little more bearable for my family. Thank you again to for the donations. We greatly appreciate it and please know they will be put to good use with my family.

Continue please to pray for me and my children. We need to feel the love of Our Lord, Jesus Christ and feel His strength in our lives.

Love, Tiffany

Monday, March 15, 2010

To Everyone

I have not wanted to write what I am about to say on this blog and that is why it has taken me a few days to try and adjust a little, but Friday we went to our Oncology appointment we thought to discuss our treatment options and found out far more then we wanted to at this time.

The doctor could tell Jon's cancer was still progressing because of the measurement growths that seemed to have doubled in just over a week even though we were taking the Temadar chemotherapy. We were hoping to seek additional advice on treatments, but the doctor could tell how weak Jon had gotten and sick since the last visit which was about two weeks ago. He thought Jon had a Pulmonary Embolism because his heart rate for the last week has been in the 130's-140's and his oxygen saturations in the 80%.

He said he wanted to do a CT scan in order to diagnoses the Pulmonary Embolism and the best option would be to check into the hospital and get it done faster while Jon got to just rest in bed. So we said fine and checked into the fourth floor and I went home to gather up things and get a doggie sitter for the dogs.

Well I could tell something was wrong when I came back to the hospital because Jon's parents were there and everyone had teary eyes including Jon. At that point Jon told me that our doctor had come in a little while before and the results were not good. The doctor told Jon that it was not a pulmonary embolism affecting his breathing and heart rate, it was the cancer.

The cancer had grown so much these past couple of weeks that it now completely enveloped both lungs, is pressing on his heart and all the main arteries suppling his brain and upper arms. Jon can hardly swallow at this point because of two tumors in his neck. The doctor said he was so sorry and that the cancer was to progressed to go any further with treatment even if he had any to give, which he didn't.

So We came home on Hospice and said goodbye to Huntsman and to our doctors. We are praying for understanding of why this has occurred and know it must be for a very good reason. Jon is needed on the other side very much and has to leave us, even though I just can't believe it and don't understand one bit.

I feel mad and frustrated that we didn't have more time. We have been fighting this cancer for 6 good, hard long months and still nothing has been able to stop or even slow it down. Jon thinks that Heavenly Father has answered our prayers and granted us more time together here on earth and that a miracle has taken place. He feels like that is the reason he is still alive right now and the doctors couldn't explain why he is still even breathing with so much cancer. I guess he is right, it just wasn't exactly the time I was thinking of.

Jon would like to see anyone who would like to see him. The doctor has given him maybe a few weeks left of life and so time is precious to us, but if you would like to stop bye for goodbyes all friends and family are welcome to come for a short visit. I would like everyone to call ahead of time, just to make sure Jon is feeling up to it. He is very tired and weak. If you don't have our phone number please just email me or call my sister Kristen at 801-222-9506.

Thank you everyone for your loving support you have shown us through our battle. We please ask to continue your prayers on our behalf and ask The Spirit to be with us and to comfort us. I am trying to take one hour at a time and pray for strength and support from Our Father in Heaven. We love you all and ask for the spirit to be with you all as well.

Truly Your Tiffany