Right after the accident my friends rallied around me. Tammy thought of making "Daddy pillows", Callie thought of "Daddy boxes" and I had "Daddy t-shirts" made. I also made my dinning room into a "daddy room". It is full of all of Scott's books and all of the things that he liked. My kids go into that room any time they are having a hard time. They will find something that reminds them of him at the time. They also wear their shirts on the days that they are thinking about him. Every night they all make sure that they have their daddy pillow. It makes them feel like he is right there with them. It gives them great comfort. I also got them a cell phone. This is only to be used when they need me. It helped them to feel comforted when they were worried about loosing me. Anytime that fear came/comes up they are allowed to call me. It worked!!!! They very rarely talk to me about loosing me. I also have them draw a lot of pictures. Any time they are feeling really upset, I have them get out paper and colors. They are to draw anything they want. They love to do this. It is their way of getting it all off of their chest. When they draw their pictures 9 times out of 10 they feel better and go back to playing and having fun. I take all of those pictures and date them and then put them into their daddy boxes.
I have made it a rule... They are never to say that they do not have a daddy. I tell them that they do have a daddy and he is in heaven. We will one day get to go see him again. But we have to finish telling everyone about Jesus. I have also started telling them how many daddy's that they do have. I have been able to talk to them about God being our ultimate father. I tell them he has to be first in our lives regardless of whether our earthly father is here or not. I also explain to them how much our heavenly father loves us and provides for us. I try hard to help them understand that even when things don't go right here on earth, God is the one to help us get through it.
I have also made it a point to have all of the people around us remain their roles. Like keeping grandma, grandma and grandpa, grandpa and uncle John, uncle John. I am the disciplinary role. I am the one to enforce the "law" so to speak. My dad and brother do help me when they just flat don't listen to me. That has not happened a lot. However, I feel like this is working. I think it has helped them to feel as normal as possible. They haven't lost anymore relationships due to the accident. I have fought for their relationships to stay as close to the same as possible. I was told that I would be the "mother" and "father" role for the rest of their lives. That is not always the most popular way of thinking to those around me. I do think that it is working. It is hard really hard for me and those close to me to except this role.
I have also made sure that their lives were not disrupted as much as possible. I have tried from day one to keep their lives the same. I took them and helped coach their games the day after Scott died. I have made sure they stayed in sports and church. I have always been willing to coach any sport if need be. Thank the Lord amazing people have stepped up and done it for us. I have made it a point to not miss church as well. We are there as much as we can, unless someone is sick or we are out of town. Sunday nights and Wednesday nights are a priority for us. Because I have valued God and all that he is, my kids have done the same.
I also make it a point to try to strike up conversation about their dad. We talk about him often. I try to get them to talk about memories and say things that they would want to tell their dad. I try to help them think through decisions. By thinking about what their dad would want them to do. Scott always to told them 3 words to remember about life.... Lead Obey and Excel. We talk about that daily. How he wanted them to be leaders and obey their authority and always do their best, which in return would help them to excel.
With all of this said, we do have a lot of difficult times. I have times where I want to rip my hair out piece by piece. I have moments of going outside and screaming at the top of my lungs. They have moments that these strategies don't work. They have moments of crying and fighting. I always know when they need to talk about it. Because they will fight with each other non stop and everything makes them cry. I also put a line into action. If they need "mommy time" they have to tell me. There are so many of us in the house that I try to meet all of their needs and sometimes fail. So I need them to tell me when I am failing. I want to know when they need more time. So far they do tell me.
We are not a perfect family by any stretch of the imagination. But we are fighting and trying to be the best family that we can be.