34 Years

34 Years

To my mom on her first wedding anniversary without my dad,

If God gave us one more day with Dad, I’d want him to spend it with you. Why? Because of days like today…June 2nd. The counting of the years has stopped physically, but not emotionally. My heart hurts so much on these days because there is no one but your best friend in life who understands. And I truly wish he was here for you, Mom. So, while I know today will be hard in so many ways. I hope to ease that pain with just a few of the amazing memories you’ve given me and Kelsey. Our memories won’t be those staged portraits you see on mantles (we all know Dad hated a photo shoot 🙂 ). This is how a marriage lasts, by your example:

  • Always stay laughing. There was not a day you two didn’t laugh together. Humor has always been a big part of our lives and that was handed down from you both. I’m so grateful for that. I love laughing and I learned it from you two.
  • Trust each other in everything. From the big things to the small, you both compromised and allowed each other to lead in decisions that shaped our family. There was no second guessing or putting each other down if something didn’t work. A true partnership formed our family unit as we know it today. Parenting, moving, purchases, careers, medical – you did it all in good faith of one another.
  • Honoring the commitment. In good times and in bad, for richer or for poorer. You guys did it all together, in every circumstance, and you did it SO. DAMN. GOOD. I’m inspired daily thinking of all you went through together and never let the stress show. Just think about the last two years and how effortless you made it look on the outside. Because nothing was more important than the commitment of being there for each other.

I’m so thankful for the household you both created. I’m thankful you raised us to now recognize what a gift your marriage is to this family and to those around you. I’m thankful for you both finding each other as kids and writing letters and keeping at it. I’m thankful for your love.

Happy Anniversary to my favorite couple of all time. This is what love looks like. ❤️

Go Rest High on that Mountain

Go Rest High on that Mountain

“What’d you do this weekend?”

The one question I hoped no one asked me to start my week. Not because I was ashamed, but as usual, for fear of bringing someone into a conversation they didn’t see coming at 9AM. Picture this…they ask while making small talk, we’re pouring our morning coffee, I pause because I am trying to think of a way to say “I spread my dad’s ashes” in a cheery tone (no one likes a Debbie downer on a Monday morning). Their eyes get big and yadda, yadda, yadda…we part ways both wishing that exchange didn’t happen. Another part of the process that I just have to fake or push through.

So why am I sharing now? Well for one, no one talks about this part. The fact that our actual goodbyes are just now starting is a big deal. And two, it was truly an amazing day. Amazingly sad, amazingly hard, but amazingly blessed because Dad found so many ways to tell us he was there. And I don’t want to forget those signs. So here we are…

Dad’s wishes were to be cremated and he was only able to give me two chosen destinations in our discussions before the pain meds took their toll. Those places are actually out of state. But I wanted a local spot, somewhere I can go visit him, somewhere I can talk to him. Very much like Jack’s tree in This Is Us. So we agreed on a local spot that may or may not permit what we did – that’s right, I was a rebel for Dad!

Why May 20th to do this? Because we were invited to attend a memorial service for the families of hospice patients in the past year as they read the names out loud for reflection. We figured that this would be Dad’s day. We’ll let the tears fall and keep falling. If anyone knows our journey thus far, they’d know nothing has gone smoothly. This was no exception. After reading all of the names from their list, they asked if they’d missed anyone… Sigh – such sweet, unorganized volunteers. Of course we were skipped. *facepalm*

We then hiked as a family to our chosen spot. It was so hot and humid, we were all becoming more dehydrated as the day went on from crying. But that’s when Dad stepped in. The first 30 minutes of our hike, I was second-guessing everything. Is this the right choice? I’m picking a final resting place, would he approve? At that perfect moment where I questioned everything, I looked up and a cardinal sat on the branch beside me. For those who don’t know, it’s said cardinals are a sign of your loved ones from Heaven paying a visit and I so believe it. This cardinal just sat and looked at me, only being a foot away, as if to say “I’m here. You did good, kid”. And it’s color was such a vibrant red. From that second on, the worry was gone. We saw this cardinal multiple times in the hike, as if it traveled the 2.5 miles with us. And finally, when we reached our destination, there he sat waiting for us. I could hear his words, “what took you so long? What a great spot!”

We decided this was my turn to spread the ashes since the location was my idea. We’ll all take turns at the different sites. Truthfully, I’ve been nervous about this for a long time. Many of my relatives have been cremated, but I’ve never been involved with their final wishes. Thankfully, a calm came over me as I opened the urn and I did it. Again, not without a little faux pas, but I did it. Emotions of doing so really haven’t hit me until 48 hours later. I let a part of him go, but I did as he asked and that makes me more proud than anything else. As we hiked back to our car, the wind picked up as we talked about him and told funny stories. I know that Dad wrapped us in hugs as we left him on that mountain and I’ll never forget it. I know he was with us.

Mom said that as we made our trek, all she could think of was a particular song. Isn’t it amazing how lyrics can take on a whole new meaning? I feel it’s only fitting to end the post with these words:

Go rest high on that mountain
Son, your work on Earth is done.
Go to Heaven a-shoutin’
Love for the Father and the Son.

Cryo de Mayo

Cryo de Mayo

May has arrived! Spring is here to stay! Or Level 1 of summer for those of us in the South. 90’s this week? Sheesh! The pros? My vitamin D levels should be on the up and up starting now. The cons? April showers brought May….sobs. While Cinco and the Kentucky Derby festivities took my friends to Tequila Town and Mint Julep Junction, my own weekend was dubbed as Cryo de Mayo (should I trademark this? JK…sort of). It was unexpected emotion, but that’s grief in a nutshell.

The year of firsts continue and this time last year, my dad made the brave decision to get his first amputation. As previously stated, an infection led him to choose a below knee amputation, mid-calf, on his left leg. It was scheduled for Friday, May 5th. The night before the surgery, we had a lot of laughs. Most would think in poor taste, but that’s how this Frost family knows how to cope. Dad was saying how hard he’s worked in his life, but always comes up a foot short (Ba dum bum – he was proud of that one!). I asked if he’d like us to talk about our favorite memories with his leg, a last memorial to it. While he thought that strange, I proved him wrong by reminiscing of our games of kickball in the backyard, Cedar Point trips, and years of beach walks. We finished the night together and with my sister Kelsey giving him a haircut. Laughing.

Surgery day arrived and It was looooong. Dad was bumped to last on the surgery schedule. Think about waiting all damn day knowing you were losing a limb as you watched everyone else go back to the operating room and coming back “whole”. He didn’t talk much, l can’t imagine how scary that must feel. But he was brave as the dr initialed the leg he’d lose. Before he went to the OR, I let him know that next Cinco de Mayo would be spent doing something much more fun and with way more tacos. I watched my hero finally be wheeled back. So stoic, ready for the battle he didn’t know he was about to be up against. And I cried. HARD. Much like I have this weekend.

He handled it like a champ and I spent the night at the hospital with him so that my mom could have a break. I remember our conversation so vividly and I’ll never forget his words after I told him how proud I was of his decision:

You know I still have a knee to bounce those grandkids on…

In those moments he STILL wasn’t thinking of himself! He was thinking of his future family. Us. It was amazing.

And this is when I find that there is still more to grieve. This week I have cried for the future that he won’t get to experience alongside us. For the tacos we didn’t get to share. For the margaritas and the laughs had by others and their dads on that beautiful May Day. The memory of his perseverance, his positive attitude, makes the loss feel so much bigger most days. He went through it all to end up knowing that the fight wasn’t in our favor. He went to the dr on a Thursday morning and six months later, lost his life to that same infection.

This very infection and disease is the reason I will be walking in the Atlanta Kidney Walk for Team Frost Strong. I want Dad to know we will never forget his struggle, though he disguised it well. We walk for those who can’t and hope to give a better outcome and brighter future to someone else, whether it’s through funds or education. Helping just one person would make it worth it.

So what’s the point, you ask? Why the sobs? Because in my head on May 5th, 2017, this week in 2018 looked a LOT different. Dad and his bionic leg would be strolling up to La Parilla and watching the Derby to see if his horse won. And it probably would have. And we’d hear about it forever. We talked and planned for events that will now happen in the future and that loss will be felt brand new every time.

So yes, I had a Cryo de Mayo. And I know that will lead to some June Blues and some July Boohoos. Its all par for the course and on the calendar. And coming up next on the calendar? Tacos. 😉

I Feel Pretty…

I Feel Pretty…

Before I even start this entry, I have to paint the ironic picture for you all that has me laughing to myself on this Monday. I’ve titled today’s subject “I Feel Pretty…” as I lay in bed recovering from a stomach bug that came out of nowhere. The messiest of buns on my head and pajamas on that don’t match. My eye twitching from lack of sleep and the bags under my eyes…let’s face it, those aren’t due to illness. They’re the normal “you’re 30 and now need eye cream” reminder that I’ve been blessed with. But guess what…it doesn’t even matter.

This weekend I saw the movie I Feel Pretty by Amy Schumer and it was fantastic. I’m sad it only came in 3rd in the box office, so if you have yet to see it…go. I think the message is important for today’s women. I know it’s easy to get held up in social media and pictures of what is claimed to be ideal, perfect, pretty. But the movie shows us that a little more confidence in WHO you are, WHAT you can do, and HOW you treat people is the key to happiness.

Knowing I was going to see this movie and the message it portrayed, the same memory kept coming to me over and over. Every time my sister or I would come home after a hair cut and color, we’d ask “do you like it?” to my dad in his living room chair. His response? “Well, do YOU like it?”


He’d proclaim “then that’s all that matters.”

My mom and dad raised my sister and I to never depend on another person’s approval for validation. We were raised to be independent and kind, hard working and compassionate. Opinions are good, but ultimately it’s your life and you have to make the best decision for you. How amazing is that life lesson? Because of my dad’s response, I learned early on the importance of doing it for yourself. Its engrained in me daily and it always has been. Of course, there are years where everyone feels less than. High school can be hard, rejection from sororities, lonely Friday nights with no dates. But I’m thankful during those times that I had my parents to lift me up. Because in the end I knew the right decisions for me and the perfect man was waiting who loves me for more than my waist size and flawed make up applications. He loves me for my brain, my positivity (though sometimes lacking), and for just being ME.

And he saw me at my worst this morning and is bringing me Powerade and crackers, so I know it’s for real. 🙂 Gosh, I love him!

Basically, no matter what I’m doing, what movie I’m seeing, what’s happening in my life on the daily and the decisions I’m making – my parents are to thank for who I am and how I hope to raise my future family.

And for that? I feel pretty…damn lucky.

The Good Stuff

The Good Stuff

Happy Tuesday, friends. I hope all of my readers had a wonderful Easter weekend with family and friends. I saw many pics and videos of Easter dresses, egg hunts, and smiles. I didn’t get a visit from the the bunny this year, but I got so much more. I know what you’re thinking…will this be another sad post (I can feel the eye roll)? But stick with me here, this one will get better.

I’ve been dreading Easter for a couple of months. These holidays have proven to be tricky without Dad in the kitchen or as an intricate part of the day’s plans. Easter is sort of where our story begins in 2017. It’s the last “normal” holiday we spent together. It was 4 days before he would spend 3 consecutive life-changing months in the hospital. But on Easter, he was standing on his own two feet and smoking steaks with Adam for dinner. I am thankful I have pictures of them together. We always had so much fun doing our annual Ugly Egg contest and getting votes from our friends. All in all, I knew Easter would be hard. I shed a few tears, just from missing him so badly, but then I remembered it’s EASTER.

Easter, where we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. Jesus, whom my dad loved and made sure we were raised knowing and loving Him, too. And because of that love, I know where my dad is now. And because of Easter and the sacrifice Jesus made for us, I WILL see my dad again someday. Why would I ever dread this holiday? I’m so THANKFUL for it!

Today marks 6 months since my dad passed. Weirdly enough, it lands again on a Tuesday. Coincidentally, I just discovered I’m wearing the exact same shirt as I write this. As I look back, I hope what I’ve written makes a difference, but I’m aware that I’ve not shared the upbeat days. I want you all to know that I do laugh, I DO have good days, I even have good weeks! I think people figure grief to be so black and white, you grieve for a time and then you’re done. But it’s all the colors, all the time. It is the most up and down, sideways and loopy roller coaster I’ve ever been on. But, that being said, I’m so proud of my family, the way we’ve stuck together, and I’d like to share some snip-its of the good stuff in our lives!

1. My walk in faith is stronger than ever. When many lose their loved ones, they strain away and question why. When Dad died, I leaned in harder. I pray harder. I love harder. And I’m thankful for the signs I’ve been given that I’m doing the right thing. Knowing dad is in Heaven is so comforting. If he can’t be with us, I want him to be there.

2. I get to brag on my little sister for a bit. Kelsey started a journey to be a hair stylist and gave up everything to learn a new trade. And she made the right call. With everything our family went through, she could’ve made a million excuses….sleepless nights, long hospital weekends, the list goes on. But she worked HARD and it’s paying off. She’s waiting to take her state boards and I’m so, so proud of her. (And my hair is so happy, too!) I know she’s going to rock this.

3. Mom has continued dad’s traditions at their office and to hear the feedback from his colleagues who miss him is so heartwarming. I’m proud of mom for keeping them going! I know he’s so proud of her, too.

We’ve been to concerts, to movies, shopping, we keep traditions alive… We still live our lives and Dad would be upset if we didn’t. But sad days exist and I think they always will. And it’s on those sad days that I tend to write a little more to show how grief affects those around us. But what I also hope this blog inspires you to do is to love the ones you’re with, hard and everyday. And to live a life that you love ❤️Happy Easter, y’all!

Easter 2017 & Easter 2018

Don’t Call It A Comeback

Don’t Call It A Comeback

Well, it’s been a bit since I’ve posted. But fear not, I’m here with more insight and life lessons! I’m sure you have all been on pins and needles waiting for my literary return and are on the edge of your seats. Too much? Ok, ok… I’ve learned that when you start one of these and dig a little deeper, sometimes it’s hard to hit send after realizing that people you know might ACTUALLY read it. Of course that’s what every “writer” (if I can even call myself that) wants, for their words to be read. But the stage I’ve been in lately has led me to realize that if I wasn’t an introvert before, I certainly am one now. Not just socially, but in every sense of the word…emotionally, physically, mentally.

When I’m at work, I can’t wait to get home to my animals and a comfy blanket. When someone wants to make plans, I secretly am already overwhelmed at the thought of having to share how my life has been. The idea of having fun is daunting. Stress creeps in because I’ve been the “downer” in every friend group for nearly a year now. I think of the guilt that comes with deciding to speak the truth, what WAS a good conversation is now struck with “woe is me” and hard to recover from. The thing is, I think today’s world is so fast-paced that everyone forgets. They forget the hurt others are living with. So many times we are greeted with looks that say “shouldn’t you be moving on by now?” or a cliché response that is the only thing they can think of at the time. Anything to get through an uncomfortable moment. So we basically have to fake it. We fake it till we make it and are alone in our cars, our homes, our beds…and then we can release the hurt we’ve been hiding.

I’m learning loss is hard on so many levels I hadn’t even thought about in past months. Not only is life now missing one instrumental person, but now I have to become a new me. Some days it seems to be a sadder re-do of the teenage years, figuring out who you are and what you like to do after this new life experience. How do I fit this version of me into my old life? Fake it. How does sad Kara go to work and excel? Fake it. How do I get out of my bubble of a comfort zone? FAKE IT. The struggle for me, of course, is I miss having fun. I love to laugh! But I just don’t feel like it right now. I have plenty of opportunities to do so, but it doesn’t feel right yet. And I know a day will come when I’m ready to, I know this will not last forever. And if it tries to, I’ll just have to chase the happy, find the purpose, and live it. I owe it to the people in my life, mostly to my dad, to be the person I was raised to be. I think any of us in this position just ask for a little patience while we do the work.

Until then, in the words of LL Cool J (who am I?)…

…don’t call it a comeback.




This Is Us

This Is Us

WARNING: spoilers and emotions ahead. Read at your own risk! 😉

Practically every Tuesday night, you can find me on the couch, 9PM, some chips and salsa, and glued in to This Is Us and the Pearson family. And, of course, then for a second time on Hulu with my mom so that I make sure she is caught up, too. And if you’re like me, the last couple of episodes have hit you at your core and turned on the water works. Yes, yes – it tends to happen every episode, but these were pivotal. And when I started this series last year, I didn’t realize I’d be living out the major storyline: losing your dad.

I’ve always been drawn to Jack Pearson as a character, but it wasn’t until recently that I knew why. I had a real life Jack Pearson, I had Scott Frost. A patriarch, a husband and father. One who loves his family and would do anything for them. Jack going back into that house fire to save the dog and any memories he could was the equivalent of my dad choosing amputation for a chance. They both sacrificed themselves unintentionally for their family. My dad and I had a relationship similar to that of Jack and his daughter, Kate. We had a love of sports, music, and a great sense of humor. He was so many things: our chef, our cheerleader, our teacher, our everything…irreplaceable. My go-to guy. Dad always made sure I knew my worth and I can do whatever I put my mind to. That’s a life lesson I’m so thankful for and I still have to remind myself of daily. Many days I still need those pep talks.

Of course, the latest episodes will touch anyone who’s had a loss in their family differently than most. What I loved was how real it was and how relatable it was to our experience. Seeing that urn for the first time and being angry/sad/numb in the same emotion. There’s the memorial reception where others come to release their grief, but mine had barely begun and still thinking this can’t possibly be real life, I can’t actually do this. But the part that hits the hardest is finally, out loud, saying “we’re going to be ok”. That’s the moment that broke me inside, because it’s time to move forward. Because Dad wants us to move forward. And because it’s the first time a new normal is given the go-ahead.

Even as a fictional story, this show has given me so much in only 32 episodes. I look forward to learning from the Pearsons as they heal. But most importantly, to watch the character of Jack Pearson, who gives me a chance to see some of my Dad every week. To watch it and know that…This Is Us.

The In-Between

The In-Between

Stuck. It’s not the most fun place to be, that’s for sure. It’s not glamorous, it ain’t pretty, it’s unrecognizable. But it’s where I have found myself for the past month. I could blame it on a case of “The Januaries”, but we all know why my personality and heart have taken a beating and it has nothing to do with winter. There is a constant battle in my head between the yin and the yang…and no one wins

Social media is the devil’s advocate showing me everyone who’s life is full of bliss and I wish for that part of my life to come back. I know that I’ll be there again someday. But I think to myself:

I wish they could understand why happiness hurts. What am I even happy about anymore?

Then one scroll down are the other half who think that life’s inconveniences are real problems. Paragraphs of detailed bad days. I miss that naive thinking, because I now know what a bad day really looks like.

I hope they know how good they have it. They should be more grateful.

No one wins.

I can fake upbeat with a smile on my face, because it keeps me from crying and I can’t wait to be alone. I get in my car for the solo drive home and cry, wishing I could find something to laugh at that won’t remind me of my loss.

I have so many questions and I know the answers, I just can’t get there. I’m not the person I was 6 months ago and I’m not who I’ll be when I get on the other side of this. I’m stuck, the grass is greener wherever I’m not. So I’m forwarding all mail to the In-Between, I predict I’ll be renting this home for the time being.

An Ode to the Caretaker

An Ode to the Caretaker

January 23, 1963 – the day my mom was born. The day this world gained such a bright light, such a hard worker, and such a fierce caretaker. I’m always grateful on this day, because all of those attributes made her into the best Mom in the world. I’m biased, sure, but that’s the beauty of having your own blog! 🙂

As a child, you don’t realize all your mom does for you. She’s just the one you go to no matter what….the stomach bug, scraped knees, hurt feelings. My childhood was a lot of boo-boos and strep throat (shout out to those kids with the terrible immune systems) and when you’re a kid, it’s all about you ALL. THE. TIME. Mom is up with you at all hours of the night, that’s what she does. She gets the medicine, she buys the Gatorade, she does it all. But through adult eyes, I’ve seen my mom play that role in other scenarios and I now know everything a caretaker sacrifices: Sleep. Hot meals. Sleep. Their own immune system. Did I mention sleep?

In 2015, my grandma suffered a stroke. My mom, sister, and I rushed to Ohio to be with her. Mom made sure every test was done and every option was visited. When we made the family decision to enter hospice, my mom and I stayed with Mema. Mom never left the facility so she wouldn’t be alone. She talked to her, brushed her hair, made sure she was comfortable. She slept in a crappy recliner holding her hand every night. Mom was in 100% and I learned how important it was to be an advocate for those you love. It was a firsthand look at how much my mom gives of herself and I gained so much respect for her strength in that situation.

What we didn’t know is that was training for all of Dad’s ups and downs. We started with a heart surgery. Once we realized that wasn’t going as planned, mom took the lead and stood up for my dad to ensure the staff would give him the care he deserved. (Perhaps a post on today’s medical practices and their flaws will be a topic for another time…) Mom knew she could take better care of Dad…and she did. He had every piece of equipment he could need: canes, tables, pill separators, etc. In April, when Dad entered the hospital and we began the amputation process, Mom used her positivity to get the family through the hard times. Fortunately, my family is never at a loss for a joke. But Mom made sure we had the right environment to still be us. Hospitals can feel cold, lonely, and depressing. But we became the room the nurses fought to have because Mom made it fun while making sure the needs were met. She never lost hope and she got Dad through PT and rehab. She went to multiple education sessions. Mom truly could get an honorary nursing degree based on her knowledge and patience. She learned to transfer Dad and assist in any way he could possibly need.

When Dad came home, Mom started telecommuting. What many people don’t know is that Dad would have eaten dinner, gotten cleaned up, had nighttime meds, and go to bed around 11 or so and she would continue working until 3 or 4 in the morning. She was doing so for her team in the office and for her family at home. Barely getting sleep and a shower herself, she had a schedule to keep of Dad’s appointments, in-home and transportations via medics. Waking up at 7 am, she went nonstop and she put her whole self in.

She gave the same in Dad’s last days on Earth. She made sure he had everything, she stayed positive in the darkest times. She greeted friends and family flawlessly as they came to give their goodbyes. A situation that’s not easy for anyone, but Mom’s spirit and humor aided in anyone’s feelings of discomfort. She has stayed strong through our whole process of learning to live without Dad physically and I couldn’t be more proud of her. She goes to work and gives her all, she always does the right thing, she’s never used her circumstances as an excuse. She’s superwoman.

While I hope and pray our hardships are coming to an end, I know that I can stand strong and power through, even if more comes our way. I know positivity always has a place, no matter the situation. And I know that if you work hard, there is nothing to regret in the end.

Mom, I know all of this because of you. You are the epitome of what I want to be as a wife and mom. And you are one of the best people this world has ever known. We’re so lucky to have you. Happy Birthday, Mom!


There’s No Crying In Football!

There’s No Crying In Football!

I’m going to attempt to make this short, sweet, and without the sap. But hell, this could end up as one of those Saturday morning ESPN GameDay feature stories that has you amazed that you had these emotions before coffee. But if I know Dad, he’d say “oh stop it….there’s no crying in football!”

This was a special football season. I’ve never seen someone count down to college football as my dad did. He was reading all of the articles, magazines, he was ready. There isn’t a day I can remember he wouldn’t ask “is it Saturday yet?” Or “6 more days till game day!” He had an inkling that Georgia would be here in the championship. He’d prefer the Buckeyes, but he knew this was a good Bulldog team. If he were here, I think we would’ve been in Atlanta this weekend scoping all the attractions out. It’s been fun to see the city host it all!

And here we are, the final game of the 2017 season…the National Championship. Alabama vs. Georgia. I wish Dad got to be here to finish out the season he was so studied up on. I am glad we didn’t witness the Ohio State loss to Iowa together. I wonder what that Heavenly watch party looked like. But I’m happy to root on the Bulldogs tonight, because that’s what Dad would do. (Not to mention, I’d love a happy husband!) But most of all, we want a good game!

Happy Championship, y’all! AND – only 79 days until opening day of Baseball! Dad always said there’s no crying there, either…but 2018 just might have to be the exception.