Saturday, October 10, 2009

Kids' Praise

Dear Stephen,

I had several people ask me if the six month anniversary of you being gone was hard on me. It really didn't seem harder than any other day. It's the things that you would never expect would bother me that knock the breath out of me.

Brooklynn's school had a small singing program on Thursday. When she saw me walk into the room, her little face just beamed with excitement that I had come. It only took a couple minutes of me watching her to make me heartbroken. I know that if you would have been there, your heart would have almost burst with love for her. She was so adorable. When I sit in a room full of parents like that, I realize just how much you completed me. I feel so out of place and alone. I wish I could go back to before you were killed. I would snuggle closer to you when you put your arm around me. I would absorb how it felt to have everything right in my world. I would fully appreciate your strength, character and humor. I miss you, Babe. I didn't sign up for this. I signed up to be your wife and mother of your kids. Not your widow. I need you.


Loving you,
Me





Notice how she is playing with her ears... I was telling her a couple days ago that her Daddy used to play with his ears just like she did. She got so excited and said that when she got to heaven, she was going to ask you to play with your ears. :-)



video


Lake Placid, NY

Dear Stephen,

We were invited to a police hockey tournament held in Lake Placid, NY. They honored you three guys this year. Scuillos and I were able to go and they spoiled us rotten! Something that I think over and over since you were killed was that you would have loved to meet some of the people that I have got to meet. It was wonderful being with Scuillos and meeting the people from Lake Placid.
Monday night they had a banquet for the hockey players which were mostly all policemen. There were about 7 teams there. Three or four of the teams made presentations to Scuillos and I. It was very moving to see how people are still affected by the tragedy.
I wish you were still here so you could go skiing there. Gorgeous! It's such a neat little town. I would love to go in the winter and get snowed in!
Love you so much!
Shandra


~Ausable Chasms...on the way to Lake Placid~

~Ausable Chasms~



~New York State Trooper, Mike...he took us on a tour of Lake Placid, including Olympic sites. Such a great man! Mrs. Scuillo is small, but Trooper Mike is just plain big! 6 ft. 8 in. big!~



~Olympic Bobsled Run~




~Practicing jumping...they land in the pool. Pretty awesome to see!~


~The view from my motel room...gorgeous~




~Olympic Ski Jump~






~PA State Police on the left and Pittsburgh Police on the right~

~Our guys~

Niagra Falls

Hey Babe,

Julia and I took the kids to Niagra Falls a couple weeks ago. They all did so great. Brooklynn and Alyssa even got along great which we both know is a miracle!!












Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tuesday

Dear Stephen,
Hi, Babe. Crazy day here in the Mayhle household. Our car broke down today. It would have been so much easier if I could have just called you and let you deal with it or at least been able to ask you what I should do. I hate being dependent on people. Loved being dependent on you. Anyway, the Pittsburgh Police came to the rescue, yet again, and helped me out.

Other than that, it's been a really relaxing week. It has been dreary and you know how I love rainy days. Thankfully I didn't have a full schedule so I was able to sit around and pretty much do nothing.

The G-20 is here in Pittsburgh. I know I would have been scared if I knew you were down there dealing with all the crazies, but on the other hand, I know you would have had a blast. I will be so glad when it's all over. So afraid the officers I know will get hurt.

Brooklynn loves drawing pictures and I was noticing today that in almost every picture she draws, she always draws a picture of you up in the sky. Alot of times, you are crying or we are crying. She is always very chipper and happy, but never forgets to add you.

Wishing you were here with me,
Shandra

Friday, September 11, 2009

"Here We Go!"

Dear Stephen,
Last night was the first official game of the season and we won! Unfortunately at this point, I am having trouble being excited about the football season. Too many memories of you. Memories of you acting like a kid on game day....frying up wings....putting on your jersey.....you calling your dad, excited they won or disgusted they lost....turning on our CD of "Here We Go" and you singing it with Jennifer... I'm sure someday these will be fond memories, but right now they hurt too bad. I want to be excited just for you because you would be if you were here, but I just can't do it. Losing you took the fun out of alot of things for me.

The girls had a great week in school. Brooklynn was apprehensive about going to school by herself yesterday, but when I picked her up she emphatically told me, "I LOVE SCHOOL!!!!" Jennifer has made alot of friends which I'm so excited about. It's so cute listening to her talk about them. However, she did tell me last night that there is a boy in her class that she thinks is cute and he keeps putting his face close to hers. I told her that you would not be a happy camper and she said, "But, Mommy!! I like it!!!" Great. Fantastic. Wish you could march into school and give Romeo the speech you had all planned out for situations like that!

I tried taking a nap yesterday and I was thinking about how much I loved taking naps with you. For some reason, I would normally get the giggles and you would sigh deeply and say, "I thought we were going to take a nap?!", which would only make me laugh more. Alot of times you would roll over and tell me to hold you, which I did gladly. I always felt so secure and peaceful. You were, by far, at the top of my list of "Favorite Things".

Loving you forever,
Me

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Brooklynn

Hey, Babe!
Just wanted to tell you some of the stuff Brooklynn has come off with the last several days. I keep thinking you would be getting such a kick out of her!

She told me that she was full of mud. When I asked her why, she told me she didn't know, but she felt it in her bones.

While playing with her Barbie's today, she told me they were being unscrupulous. Granted, she's heard Dad say that, but she used it in context. When Krista asked her what "unscrupulous" meant, she said "They were being bad!"

Wish you were here to laugh with me,
Shandra

First Day of Preschool

Dear Stephen,
Well, we did it. Another milestone without you here with us. Our little girl started preschool today and thoroughly enjoyed it.


~The morning started out a little dramatic, but I wouldn't expect any less from Brooklynn! :-)~
~Clearly your kids~
~Can you believe how adorable they are? I'm so proud to be the mother of your children!~


~Our sweet angel~

~A tad apprehensive, waiting to go into class~

~Enjoying a literary masterpiece~

~Playing Mommy~

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thursday

Hey, Babe,
It's been nice having a routine back in our lives again this week. Brooklynn has been awesome at entertaining herself while Jennifer is at school. I've been staying at home for the most part, working around the house.

Jennifer is really liking school. She wasn't a happy camper this morning because she just wanted to sleep in, but never complained about going to school. I'm so happy!

Brooklynn has really bounced back great from surgery. No complications so far and she hardly complains about anything hurting her.

I mowed the yard today. Even though I can't tell that it's making a difference, I want you to know, Mister, that one week I mow the yard vertically, the next I mow it horizontally. I know you loved a checkerboard pattern. Horizontally takes more time, but I remind myself it's how you would have done it.

Because of the new carpet, the door on our old bedroom was awful to shut. So, Krista and I took it to the basement today and used your table saw to cut it shorter. I was pretty proud of myself for figuring it out! Thanks for making me help you do stuff. I remember seeing you work the machine and we were able to cut it with not problem. Problem solved.

It's been great being home more with Jennifer in school. It feels good to work around the house. I am finding though that unless I have at least small plans for the evening, the day seems endless, with no purpose. I used to love our evenings...you made my life so happy.

All yours,
Shandra

The Dance

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tuesday

Dear Stephen,
Well, after hearing Jennifer voice her many complaints about school the whole way home yesterday after picking her up, I am very pleased to report that she came out of school with a smile on her face today! I was somewhat optimistic this morning when she didn't complain at all about getting ready and even said she was a "tiny bit excited" about going to school today. She is just like you. Heaven forbid she admit she was wrong and actually might like school! :-) However, admitting you have altered your views ever so slightly is perfectly acceptable. That is reason #979 why I loved you so much. You were so fun to harass! Anyone listening to us would have thought we were enemies sometimes the way we harassed each other! It was so much fun though.

Krista is moved in with me now. It is so nice having another adult here to talk to even if I haven't got to see her much. I know that is something you would have been excited about for me.

Brooklynn is doing great from her surgery. Such a cutie. THAT comes from me. No doubt about it. ;-)

I looked at some of your pictures today and as it frequently does, I was struck again how impossible it is that you aren't with me anymore. I see the pictures and remember how I felt and how you were while the picture was taken and it just seems so real...tangible. Then I remember you are gone. It's an overwhelming feeling of separation. Just know I will always be forever grateful I was able to spend 10 yrs of my life being your girl. I was so blessed to be loved by you.

Wanting you back so bad,
Me

Monday, August 31, 2009

First Day of School

Dear Stephen,

The day Jennifer has been dreading for so long is finally here! Thankfully it went really well.

~Before I woke her up. She was supposed to be in her own bed, being wakened by her own alarm clock, but as you can see, they haven't changed and she ended up in our bed.~

~Not at all happy with me and sure I'm making a terrible mistake~

~Still not a happy camper~

~Slightly smiling but only because she was promised money....definitely your daughter~

~Thawing out slightly~

~Awwww, there's our happy kid! She did awesome once she got there and into the school. Not one tear. Didn't even care I left!~

~She's going to be okay...she was even more happy when she realized she gets to sit beside a girl she met last week~


~This is how I left her. She'll do great because she's got her Daddy's brains and charming personality...I was going to say my charming personality but I know you would have argued that you were the one with the better personality. I definitely couldn't put my brains because, after all, I did score 5 points less than you on the IQ test. ;-) You never would let me forget that!~

Missing and loving you so much,

Shandra

Brooklynn's Surgery

Dear Stephen,
When you told me you were scheduled for criminal court on the original date of Brooklynn's surgery, April 22, I was so upset that you wouldn't be there when your little girl went into surgery. You told me you would see what you could do about rescheduling it but you didn't think you could change it. I just couldn't imagine going through that without having you there with me. Well, I did it. Didn't want to, but I did.
Everything went as smooth as possible. She kept saying, "I want to go HOME! I want to go HOME!" before they sedated her and in the recovery room. It was so cute and heartbreaking at the same time.
I kept thinking if you were there you would be in the bed with her, holding her so close.
You would have been so amused. The nurse came in awhile after her surgery and was telling me she could have clear liquids, popsicles, etc. Brooklynn commented in the background, "I want a popsicle!" The nurse kept on talking and Brooklynn said very forcefully, "I'll tell you! I want a popsicle RIGHT NOW!!!" The nurse stopped mid sentence and went and got her one.
She is doing great now. She was very ornery yesterday which is a good sign. Today she is very active and playing.
Love you bunches!!
Shandra
~Our baby waiting to be taken back to her room~
~Not at all happy with the situation~
~Playing Memory with Grammy and Mama while waiting 1 1/2 hrs before they took her to surgery. Poor kid went 15 hrs without any food and was such a trooper.~
~Feeling pretty relaxed after drinking some "happy juice"~
~Happy to see her big sister~
~So busy~
~Falling asleep while playing with Grammy's ears~
~Our sweet angel...we did good, Babe!~

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thursday

Hey, Babe!
Today we went and met Jennifer's teacher. She was able to meet two girls that will be in her class too. I asked her afterwards if she felt better about going to school on Monday and she said, "Kind of," which is a good sign. :-)

Mom & Dad, Kenton & Vince and Papa & Mama came down tonight for Brooklynn's surgery tomorrow. Brooklynn seems to be okay with it. She told me she just doesn't want any needles. I told her I would tell them that. :-) I'm feeling really bad you won't be here tomorrow. I need you. So does Brooklynn. I loved watching you with the girls when they were sick. Your arms would swallow them up and you would have such a peaceful, protective look on your face.

Tonight we went to orientation at Jennifer's school. It went good and I think we will really like it there. It made me feel bad though sitting there realizing you should be there with me like most of the other wives' husbands.

All yours,
Shandra

Crazy Man

I got on the scales this morning (thankfully it was a positive experience!) and remembered the April Fool's trick you played on me a couple years ago. Setting the scale 5 lbs heavy so your wife who is diligently trying to lose weight almost has a complete meltdown was NOT cool at the time but hilarious after I found out what you did! You always kept me laughing...I miss your amazing humor.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wednesday

Dear Stephen,
Last night we went back down and walked/rode bikes along the river and took Denise and Franchesca. We went from Millvale clear down to the convention center...6 miles total! Serves me right for taking a cop with me! Jennifer did awesome again even though she took a couple tumbles and ended up with quite a few scratches. Scot taught her how to get up on her bike by herself so now she doesn't need me to hold the bike.

I remembered while I was walking that we walked along the same path to go see the fireworks for Pittsburgh's 200th Anniversary fireworks last year. You didn't want to come because you were tired but you came anyway because you knew I really wanted you to be with me. You were always doing that. Making sure I was happy even if it inconvenienced you.

So many couples seem to live parallel lives. Our lives were completely entwined so there is really nothing I do that I don't have memories of doing with you. It's a blessing and a curse. Seems like I can't completely enjoy myself because you aren't there enjoying it with me.

Today I went to a meeting downtown to discuss details for the Pittsburgh Police Officer Stephen Mayhle/KPMG Memorial Scholarship for IUP. I am so excited about it! Can you believe you are going to have a scholarship in your name?! Such an awesome man! Course you already knew that, right? ;-)

Loving you so much it hurts,
Shandra

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tuesday

Dear Stephen,
Last night we went with Muirs down to ride bikes/walk along the river. Wish you could have seen Jennifer. She and Scot rode bikes and they rode down to the Convention center from Millvale. She was such a trooper. Absolutely loved it. It was her first time at being able to just get on and ride a straight shot. She almost ran over a little dog Scot said, but hey, it could have been worse, right? I kept telling her you would be so proud of how awesome she was doing. She loves it when I say that.
Brooklynn started out riding her scooter but that didn't last too long. Such a drama queen.
Wish you could have been there. Everyone is taking such good care of us though.

Love you so much!
Shandra

Sunday, August 23, 2009

First time for everything...


Dear Stephen,

So many people tell me that you can see what is going on down here. Not sure if that's true or not. I always loved showing you pictures I had taken of our girls because for the most part, you didn't comment. But then you would see one you liked and your eyes would light up. I knew I had done good. So I just wanted to create a spot where I could come and show you what's going on since you can't be here with us.

We have had a crazy 4.5 months with so many ups and downs. Allot of downs but that just makes me appreciate the ups a little more. You would be so proud of your city and how everyone has pulled together to help us out. But even more than that, your city is proud of you!

The girls and I miss you like crazy. So much I want to talk to you about. It's been so hard on me to go from talking to you almost constantly to not being able to talk at all.

You did an amazing job at making sure we were going to be OK before you left us. I'm so incredibly proud to have been your wife and to have had the privilege of watching you show such strength and determination to accomplish your goals in life. You were my hero before April 4, 2009 ever happened. I love you no more now than I did on April 3 when you walked out of our house for the last time.

Our girls were at my Dad and Mom's for the weekend. They brought them to church tonight and they were so happy to be coming home. The girls were running around, chasing each other after church. So happy. We were almost home and Brooklynn told me that sometimes she forgets what you look like. Broke my heart. I told her that was OK and that when she did, she should go into the living room and look on the wall at the big picture of you or come ask me to show her a picture of you. I will never let them forget what a perfect Daddy they had and how much you adored them. Thank you for them...the best gifts you could ever give me.



Well, I need to go to bed.

Love you more than words could say,

Shandra