::pack:: of fixations

life after tragedy. living while grieving. love and triplets.



First order of business...the 5k is this Saturday 6/29 @ 8:30am.  We will have tshirt and number pick up starting at 7:00am.  If you have any questions email me at packx4@yahoo.com.  You can still donate or register at Iheartcolum.com 100% of proceeds will go to the Gunnell family.  They were on the news last Friday to watch it click here. (it totally made me cry for hours, by far my favorite news story ever!!!) Norah came home last week!  The Gunnell's have turned their home into a mini hospital and the expenses for renting the medical equipment is overwhelming.  Thank you to all that have helped this beautiful little girl.  She holds a special place in our hearts.  They will be making an appearance on Saturday, and I'm excited to see her awake.  I've only seen her when she was sleeping, recovering from a major surgery.  

Note: I'm really sorry for those that live out of state.  I can't get you your tshirts in time for the race.  I'd assumed the shirts were being made and accidentally dropped the ball and I had to go through somebody else and they will be ready probably the day before the race.  I will get them mailed next week and I'm terribly sorry!  

What Is Forgiveness?
Psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.
for•give (fərˈgɪv) 

v. -gave, -giv•en, -giv•ing. v.t.

1. to grant pardon for or remission of (an offense, sin, etc.); absolve.
2. to cancel or remit (a debt, obligation, etc.).
3. to grant pardon to (a person).
4. to cease to feel resentment against: to forgive one's enemies.
5. to pardon an offense or an offender.

The trial has been scheduled for July 22 & 23.  This should be it.  The deadline for more motions has passed.

I've been struggling with the idea of forgiveness lately.  Do I forgive him?  I could write on here that I completely forgive him and come across as an angel but that's not me; I'm honest and am no angel.  We were victims of a crime.  The criminal has 3 pages of mugshots just in Salt Lake County alone.  When you click on his history you literally scroll to the bottom passing each mugshot, watching him slowly grow younger and younger in the photos and click next to get to page 2 and again to page 3 where you will find his earliest documented crime. A part of me feels sorry for him.  But honestly, I don't think about him often.  

We've been to the courthouse several times and sadly I always leave with the same impression. Through body language, letters to the judge from his family, and letters written to Ryan and I, there's one major thing lacking-


From our point of view, everything points to him not holding himself accountable for his actions.  His Mother doesn't seem to hold him accountable.   It seems in their minds, they are the victims.  I am keeping him in jail, not the state of Utah.  It was just an accident.  Crystal Meth doesn't impair your driving.  He will never walk again because we are keeping him locked up so he can't go to physical therapy.

To me this feels like a stab through the chest and a huge insult to injury.  

I don't expect his Mother to love her son any less or to not be by his side.  But the glares I receive from her makes it seem she forgets he killed my son.  

Her son still lives.

Honestly, I hold her accountable as much as I hold him...I have my reasons.  It's taught me to do it different as a Mother.  Teaching my children accountability is just as important if not more than not to do drugs.  I always feel like I'm on the brink of forgiving him.  But then the lack of accountability makes me angry and emotional.  It re-opens the wounds that are starting to heal.  

He's still in a wheelchair.  By the time the warrant went out for his arrest 3 months had passed. Ryan and I were both walking by then with assistance; I required a walker and Ryan a cane.  Our injuries were far worse than his from what we've been told. We woke up everyday and pushed ourselves out of bed.  Cried tears through the excruciating pain of relearning to walk while our hearts were broken in two.  We planned a funeral that we couldn't attend.  After being released from the hospital we made appointments and forced ourselves to continue to go to physical therapy.  The Dr's and nurses don't do it for you.  You actually have to schedule a time, get in your car and drive there.  Then you work your ass off harder than you ever have before. We fought through it and still do. Then you have to pay a whole shit-load of money for it because it isn't free.  You are the only one who can help you.  It was hard and it was frustrating but we did it.  He had 3 months to do this...3 months and he didn't.  

Sometimes I wonder if when the trial is over and I'm not around him anymore if I will start to feel completely at peace.  But then I remember he will be up for parole and as the victims we can write the parole board and attend hearings to keep him in prison, and you better believe we will.  It will never be over.  We will have to re-live it over and over, but at least he will be off the roads.  The man with 3 pages of mugshots.  The man who was arrested a month before that Christmas Eve for traffic violations and drug paraphernalia but the charges were dismissed.  The man who had no business to be out driving that night high as a kite.  The man who caused all this pain and the unimaginable sadness.

I'm having a hard time really forgiving somebody who isn't holding themselves accountable.  I'm not sure when he will enter his plea but it will be soon.  I can almost plan on it being not-guilty.  I think forgiveness would come easier if his plea were guilty.  He did it, he made a lot of poor decisions in his life, here's his chance to show us he's sorry, he knows he was wrong, he's holding himself accountable... he's guilty.  

I hope I'm pleasantly surprised.

We've come a very long way.  I never thought I'd get to where I am now.  It can only get better.  Perhaps I have forgiven him, or perhaps I have a long way to go.  Either way I'm proud of us.  We didn't lay down and die.  We are not going to live as victims.  We are survivors.  Justice will prevail. I can't wait for the trial to be over!



It turns out that remodeling a house, planning a 5k, and being pregnant with triplets is a lot to juggle all at once.  I'm tired but I'm doing it.  Went to the Dr on Friday and the babies are perfect!  The pair have the same profile as Colum and Finn (but more Colum).  I'm so happy about so many things right now.  But I still cry at least 10x's a day because I'm so sad; it's just what I do.  It's quite the experience being at both ends of the spectrum all the time.  But I'm so grateful for the happy end, it helps balance me out and makes the sad a whole lot more bearable.  The girls are kicking the computer and making it bounce as I type.

Click here to read a beautiful article about the Gunnel family.  And if you're local tune into the Channel 2 news at 5pm tomorrow 6/21 to see an interview with Norah and her Mom!  



A friend commented on my IG saying she'd recently come across an old picture.  I asked her to email it to me.  I don't have very many pictures of both my boys and I.  I cherish them.  Even though it's blurry I love it so much that he is smiling.  Miss you baby!  Note: if you have any pictures of people's loved ones that have passed, passing them along can be the greatest gift you could ever imagine.  Just do it, I promise it will make their month!  Thank you Amber!

Profile pics of baby A and C...didn't get one of B (but I assume it looks a lot like C).    The twins are looking so much like the boys!  Baby A looks like a petite little elf to me.  Oh my gosh I'm so in love with them I can hardly stand it!  I'm already dying at how cute they are.

Ry cooking breakfast for everybody while camping.  He picked out that hat for himself on our way and I had mixed feeling about it until I saw him wearing it cooking the next morning.  Love this man!
My niece and nephew brought their slack line.  They are more like Aunts and Uncles to my kids.  Finn worships Uncle Sky-yer.  I absolutely love Finn's smile!

I hate pictures of myself when I'm pregnant but this time I'm just gonna do it.  Besides it might make for some awesome birth control someday for my daughters.  I know my belly doesn't look big here but it is.  I needed serious help getting out of this thing.  Check out my normal looking hair too :)

Thank you for all your love on my last post.  I'm extremely emotional.  I cry everyday, multiple times a day.  Grieving is my friend, my companion, he's always there.  He comes out in different ways all the time.  Sometimes when I look at Finn I tear up.  I'm still so grateful he's okay.  He's absolutely beautiful, I love him so much, and I can't believe he's mine.

We went camping with Ryan's side of the family last weekend and it went by way too fast!  We love camping, there's nothing better.  If we could go every weekend we would.  Every year movies get left in the trailer all Winter.  Lion King was one of many this time.  When Finn saw it he said Remember I got that when I pooped on the potty?...When Colum was here.  I vaguely remembered.  I can't believe he can still remember that.  It was so long ago.  I know it makes him happy to have little memories like that about Colum.  Once upon a time when he had a little brother that lived with us.

Now back to the grind of things.  We are busy preparing for the 5k.  I can't believe it's only 17 days away.  We hope to get more registrations by then.  If you were planning on registering please do it soon. To go to the site click here.

Our new house is slowly coming along.  The people who lived in it before smoked in the attached garage and the smells seeped in.  And I'm happy to report the cigarette smell is gone.

It's been good and bad living without most of our stuff.  I didn't think it would take this long for our house to get done so I didn't pack very smart. I want to get rid of a lot of stuff, especially now that we won't have a basement to hide stuff away anymore.  At the same time 3 babies requires so much, I have a feeling our house is going to look pretty cluttered for a couple of years.  I'm getting a strong urge to start nesting and it's so hard because I can't.  

My last Dr appointment was almost 2 weeks ago.  The girls were all perfect.  They are measuring perfect and are so cute.  My Dr even told me that this is a picture perfect triplet pregnancy and I'm a picture perfect triplet carrier...as of right now.  I go back again on Friday and I hope everything stays picture perfect.  

I went to the grocery store on Thursday to pick up some groceries to take camping.  The same thing happens every time.  I walk in and I think maybe this time won't be so bad.  Slowly my legs grow weaker and weaker and I start to feel light headed.  By the last isle I'm taking small baby steps and can barely walk.  I feel like I'm going to collapse.  My body is telling me I can't do that anymore.  I can't do much of anything anymore....except gestating of course.  That's what is important.  Looks like I will be sitting in the motorized shopping carts again.  I've been this big when I was pregnant with the boys.  I read that the weight of 3 babies can sometimes push on a major blood vessel cutting off oxygen to you brain and even to your babies.  I feel like a total lazy wimp.  I didn't expect to feel like this until I got freakishly big.

It's going to be a long Summer.

We had to drive up to our house Sunday after we got back from camping.  I sat on a chair while Ryan carried scraps of wood out to the garbage.  I looked down and my left ankle and foot was swollen.  I took off my sandal and there was a deep indent where the strap went.  I'm 22 wks.  I sorta can't believe this is happening already.  I had faith that maybe being pregnant with girls I'd get lucky and this wouldn't happen to me.  

It's going to be a long swollen summer!


Out of bed

I don't miss our old house, not one bit.  We are still living with my Mother-in-Law and it's been really great.  Finn has been getting closer to her and counts the minutes for her to get home from work so he can go upstairs to spend time with her.  We may start moving in our new house next week, but that will be with no kitchen and only toilets and a shower in the bathrooms.  I'm getting very anxious to start unpacking and to get the nursery set up.  Each day I'm growing larger and becoming less useful.

After the accident my body was still healing and so I spent a lot of time in bed.  It hurt to walk (and still does) and the place where I felt the least amount of pain was in my bed.  Every minute I was home was spent in my bed.  I can't explain why but being in my own house outside of my bed made me feel uneasy.  I felt trapped in my own home.  I'd never been a lay in bed all day person BC.  Getting up to go somewhere was a struggle.  Even long after my body had healed a great deal, my bed is where I always wanted to be.  In my bed I could cry whenever I wanted, I could cry for my baby while hugging my pillow.  Being out of my bed was physically and emotionally uncomfortable, it was my safe place, my security blanket.  I did everything I could in my bed; paid bills, ate all my meals, painted my nails etc.  If it couldn't be done in my bed I just wouldn't do it.

I knew we had to move.  I was worried deep down that I was going to be one of those Moms who lay in bed all day everyday.  I felt chained to my stupid bed and it wasn't me.  

Ever since we've moved away from that house I'm free again.  I don't long for my bed or even spend much time in my bedroom.  Something about that house and those memories made me feel trapped instead of comforted.  There's just so many good things about our new house and this new adventure.  Not being chained to my bed is so refreshing.  I can't recall ever being this excited about something and feeling this good about it.  

Yesterday Finn and I went to Costco to pick up a few things.  After shopping we stopped to share a slice of pizza for a late lunch.  As I was walking to sit down I passed a shopping cart with 2 infant carseats in it.  I looked and saw 2 newborn babies.  Twins I thought as I smiled and began to walk away.  But out of the corner of my eye I spotted a second cart with a third carseat in it.  Triplets!  I had to say something, it's not everyday you run into triplets.  So I quickly walked up and introduced myself to the lucky parents who were very welcoming to all my questions and super friendly.  Their triplets were all girls and two were identical.  Finn was with me and I told him he was almost 5 and they were astonished that we were so similar...or at least they thought, for they too had a 5 year old son.  I briefly explained to them that I have another son who was killed in a car accident and then quickly went back to discussing triplet life, being conscience not to cry or make things awkward.  It's always painful meeting new people.  On the outside we look like we just have a son who's almost 5 and have a set of triplets on the way.  But there's one more & it always feels like he's being forgotten.

We'd exchanged names and this morning I briefly looked at facebook and saw she'd sent me a friend request.  I accepted and had a few minutes to spare and started scrolling down reading people's posts.  I quickly came across a wall post she'd written about us meeting.  She wrote how she'd met someone at Costco who was pregnant with triplet girls, 2 were identical and how I'd had a 5 year old son.  It was an innocent post about a strange coincidence.  One of her friends commented she wants to be you.  

I cried when I read it.  It hurts so bad.  I cried all morning.  It took every ounce for me not to comment and write I have another son.  He had blue eyes and blonde hair.  He'd be turning 3 this month, he's supposed to be here too.  He would be here if a man on drugs hadn't hit us on Christmas Eve almost exactly 18 mos ago.  We really aren't as similar as it may seem.

Please know I take no offense and I'm not angry at her for forgetting what I'd told her about Colum.  I don't expect everybody to tiptoe around my emotions.  By the looks of it it was a crazy coincidence on the outside.  It's just hard being on this end.  It hurts not having him here, it always will.  Other people may forget about him but he's always on my mind and in the center of my heart.  I'm sure things like this will get easier with time.  And I'm excited to spend this time out of my cage in wide open spaces.

Update: maybe she didn't forget, maybe she did.  That's not what hurts.  It's just hard having 1 kid with me instead of 2.  It's hard having one of your sons be an uncomfortable subject.  People don't bring him up because they don't want to make me cry or feel uncomfortable themselves.  I get it.  I used to be that person.  It just sucks.  I hope that makes better sense.