Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Who Lives at is Das Whetsel Haus?

I have a few new followers. So, I feel like I should reintroduce myself. My name is Marlo Whetsel. I asked my husband for a few things adjective to describe me. Quirky, artistic, inspirational, loving talkative, maternal, and expressive. (I told him that big, hot momma would not be acceptable for my blog. Then he said, "Well, they are adjectives." This is why I love the man.)

I am married to an old friend from college. Before that, I was married for 14 years. I have a thirteen year old son that lives primarily with his father in a town about 25 miles away from here. He has had a tough last few years. I left his father. He loves both of his "bonus parents." He also got a "bonus brother" at his dad's. Later in the same year as the weddings, his sister died. She was diabetic and the toll of spending half her life with the disease took it toll. She had a seizure in the middle of the night (It was not from her sugar dropping. We will never know why she had it.) and her heart had an arrhythmia. Well, that is the best guess anyone has. A lot of doctors have looked at her autopsy report. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is listed as a secondary cause. We were reassured that there was no way we would have known about the thyroid issue.

Losing Sarah of course effected all of us. I am still feeling the physical effects. The emotional and mental problems may never go away fully. But, it is getting better. A lot of what I try to do with this blog is to show how we are searching for happiness after the loss. Discussing death is far easier for some people than others. My thoughts on talking about death. Don't get me wrong. I'm not "over it" by any means. I never will be. But, I manage to not overwhelm myself too often with the thought of my daughter. I can usually manage to take the time to sit and think about her when I am at home where I feel safe.

At Das Whetsel Haus we don't just talk about death. We talk about computers, books, Cthulhu, all things nerdy, cosplay, pets, baking, art, crafts and faith. We talk about a lot of other things, too. We are a rather eclectic bunch. I am a bit of a newbie nerd. Well, I should say I was a repressed nerd. When I moved back to my home town, I began to reconnect with my brother and friends that helped to cultivate my more geeky side. My husband and I have managed to get to a couple of conventions. They were awesome. My husband is an IT nerd. So, we have computers everywhere. I bake when I can. It's part of my therapy. I also sew and do other crafty things. I have a side business called Whetsel's Wearables and Other Crafty Creations. It has been MIA since I went back to working full time. But, I plan on getting it back up and running. We have several pets. Somewhere between 15 and 20 fish, 3 hermit crabs, 2 hamsters, 3 birds (not including the babies) and 2 dogs. But, one dog thinks he is a cat.

On the subject of faith, my husband was raised Catholic and I was raised Southern Baptist. Neither of us agrees completely with either organization. But, we have things we love about both as well as other groups. We are working on discovering who we are as a family in regards to our relationship with Christ. I have thoroughly enjoyed the endeavor. There are so many things that I have learned  that I didn't know before. One of the traditions I have grown to love more than any other is the celebrating of Day of the Dead. I have found it is celebrated differently around the world. I have a specialization in art that goes along with my degree in education. I have strongly considered going on to get a degree in art and maybe a masters degree in art revolving around death and mourning. If there is such a thing.
Well, there is a lot more I could go on about. But, that wouldn't leave much for me to write about , now would it? If you want to keep up with the blog as I post and other daily updates, please follow me on Facebook at

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Boo to Halloween?

I have no interest in dressing up for Halloween this year. If you know me at all, you understand that there is something monumentally wrong with this. Halloween is my favorite holiday. It always have been. There is a bond that forms between parents and children at Halloween. I don't know if it the fact that I won't have any children at home for the evening (My son is 13 and has a football game that night.) or if it because I am distracted by other things this year. But, I just don't really care this year.I haven't even attempted to get out the decorations.

Halloween is my holiday. I would always help the kids pick out their costumes. We never bought them. They were always assembled of sewn.
2007 - Ty as a puppy. For some reason, He REALLY wanted to be a puppy that year.

2007 - Sarah wanted to be a CSI agent really bad. It was her idea. That is her kit on the pumpkin.
2008- Ty as Blade

2008 - Sarah as Alice Cullen
 2009 - Sarah as a goth cheerleader. The anarchy symbol was her idea.
2009  - Ty wanted to be a generic vampire. I was pretty proud of the job I did on his make-up.
2010 - Sarah as a "The DJ That Got the Party Started."

2010 - Ty as a Death Eater

We lost Sarah in 2011. I avoided Halloween that year. Sadly, I don't even know what Ty was that year. Last year, he was supposed to be James Bond, and changed his mind at the last minute. And, went as something else. I didn't see him. I get to see him this year. But, he has a football game that night. So, he decided that he is going  to go to school as a zombie football player. I bought him make-up for the day. I just wish I could be there to help him put it on. 

But, next year will be awesome. Thanks to a couple of friends and their brilliant idea, we shall have wonderful costumes! We are going as the the cast from Hocus Pocus! My two friends and I are going as the witches. Ty and the daughter of one of my friends are going as the two teenagers. Jerry has agreed to go as the zombie. I may even make the dog a cat costume. 

I am excited. It is a sign that my life may actually get back to normal. I can hope.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Just Me, Myself, and I. (And all of the animals)

What happens when you do not have anyone at home to distract yourself with?

You have a not so delightful opportunity to look at yourself. You get the chance to admit to yourself that for the first time in your life that you have a really hard time reading. I mean it is normal after a tragic event to have problems that you didn't have before. But, what is so hard for me is that there is a certain amount of guilt when you are writing something for people to read when you have trouble reading yourself.

I also learned that my husband let's me watch what ever I want to want to. I haven't had an, "Oh! I don't watch this when he's not here!" So far I have only watched shows we normally watch together.

Well, I am going to work on some artwork for the page!  I am trying to come up with a nickname for the people that follow my page! Let me know if you have any ideas!

Have you a good night guys!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

It's OK To Be Happy

I started this blog because I wanted a journal.  And, if it is open to the public, it makes me accountable for writing. Even if you only have a couple of followers, someone is paying attention. Little did I know that it would turn into the therapy that I would need in order to help me heal after losing my daughter.  And, not only did it help me. It helped the people that loved and cared about me to see inside my mind so that they knew how I was doing.
Also, I am far more eloquent when I write than when I speak. My brain tends to work faster than my mouth. This results in me sounding like Yoda, a lot. And, after losing Sarah, it was worse. Sarah’s step mother and I both had similar issues. Mid-sentence, the wrong word would come out. It would be the right part of speech, but the wrong word. For example, “The carpet is filthy. I need the microwave.” Or, I would get words witched around. For example (This actually happened. My husband gave me a really funny look.) “I need the car out of the book.” I also developed a tendency to stutter when I get wound up. So, writing is much better.
Along the way, I have tried to narrow why I blog. I want to give it a more narrow direction. We have a family blog for the fun nerdy stuff. But, what is the point of me even having blog? What am I trying to communicate to the world more than anything else? What makes me special?
I have had people say that I should speak out to parents about diabetes awareness. That I should help lead the crusade to make sure that parents know the warning signs so that more children aren’t lost to diabetes. And, given the opportunity I will gladly drag out my sap box. But, I do not want to dwell on the cause of my daughter’s death.
Then, it occurred to me that the biggest compliment that I have received is that I am not afraid to talk about death. And, I am not. It is part of the cycle of life. My children were raised in the country. So, there were always animals around. Animals die for a variety of reasons. And, we had to teach the children that sometimes, a creature’s body just wears out. Or, that it just isn’t strong enough. Especially with babies. They also lost great grand-parents that they were very close to at early ages.  We took our children to funerals. Especially when there would be family members present. Sadly, funerals are often the only time they will get to meet some of their family. We made sure to talk about what would happen before hand. We would talk them through what was going on and taught them appropriate behavior. The first funeral a friend of mine attended was his mother’s when he was 16. I didn’t want my children thrown into a situation like that. It was heart breaking.
My son has one of the healthiest grasps of death that I have ever seen. He always has. His ability to accept that it is part of the circle of life is astonishing. The compassion just floors me. A very dear friend of mine came all the way from Oklahoma City for the wedding, then the funeral, and again to check on me. When her father passed away, I did not figure he would want to go with me. But, he insisted. “She was there for us. We need to be there for her.”
And, my daughter. My dear, dear Sarah. One of the most heart wrenching things you can do is have a conversation with your child involving their own mortality. I can count on one hand the number of times that she broke down emotionally over her diabetes. Mostly that is wasn’t fair that no one else had to remember to check their sugar, count their carbs, and remember their snacks. If any other girl left her purse at school, they could usually wait until the next day to get it. She couldn’t. Hers had her kit in it. Reminding their child that they only have one body and that you cannot be there with them twenty-four seven to watch over them is hard. Especially when you point out that they could die if you don’t take care of yourself.

Her grasp on death was good, too. She had her father’s philosophy. You go when it’s your time to go. We had discussed it. She also told us that when she died, she wanted “Good Riddance” by Green Day played at her funeral. It was the first song we played before the funeral and when it was time for everyone to come by and say their last goodbyes.
That being said, what I want people to leave this blog with, more than anything else is that it is OK to be happy. You don't grieve and just move on. You spend your whole life grieving. But, you find a way to balancing it with living. And, that means accepting that it is OK to be happy, again. There isn't a magical time limit on when you quit being sad and start being happy. It just does not work that way. Death is hard. It is hard to wrap your brain around. It hurts. And, when it is your child or loved one, it hurts you physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. But, it does not mean that you have to wallow. Especially if you still have people that need you. Take some time. But, remember that you have value and worth on your own merit. And, that makes you eligible for happiness. Take it when you can and hold on tight. It may start out small, maybe taking a moment to savor a hug from a friend or even scratching your dogs ears.
But FIND YOUR HAPPY PLACE! It is OK to be happy and grieve at the same time. Really, it is. Even if people look at you like you are crazy or grieving wrong. And, there is always going to be someone that thinks you are grieving wrong. You're going to fast. You're going to slow. Just remember, that they are not you. Also, remember that they will not see when you are sobbing, convulsing on the floor and screaming at no one. Do not let them judge you. Just find your happy where you can.

Friday, October 11, 2013

What Shall I Be Known For?

I woke up this morning to the news of another child gone. I was glad to see that the mother is blogging about the loss . Her's is still very fresh. It's been less than a week. It brings back so many memories. Some of the memories stem from my interaction with people. I read the comments. Full of people giving their sympathies. It reminded me of a post on a friend's page. Her small child was admitted to the hospital, again. People were going on about how sorry they were and again, giving sympathy.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying they were doing anything wrong. It just reminded me of going into "work" mode. The "I really don't have time for a breakdown" state of mind. I got tired of being the mom that's claim to fame is that her child died.

I know that I am not the only mom that is known for what went wrong with their life. They have a mental disorder (or five). They have a child with mental, emotional and/or physical issues. They themselves have been injured or hurt both emotionally or physically. There are days that we want to step out of our own lives and just breathe.

But, we don't. No matter what we do the issue will be there. The memories of your child's smell and warmth when they hug you. Having to teach your blind baby how to eat. Making yourself leave your home when you are agoraphobic. Putting yourself out there when you feel dejected.

We find a way to make our way through the world and find a purpose. I finally come to grasp that my purpose in this great big world is to teach people that is OK to be happy when the rest of the world says you should be sad. It is OK to smile at your child's funeral. It is OK to not dwell every day on the fact that your child is not there with you. It is OK to smile when you think of your child rather than break down in tears. Just as it is OK to let the tears fall where they may.

"Birds sing after a storm
why shouldn't people feel as free 
to delight in whatever 
sunlight remains to them?" 
- Rose Kennedy

There is a song that makes me smile every time I hear it. It is by one of Sarah's favorite bands, Black Veil Brides. They were awesome and tweeted about Sarah after we lost her. It also went to their Facebook and Myspace pages. She was trending on Twitter for a while. But, I digress. It seems like a good thing to end the night with.

Sarah in her Black Veil Brides shirt. 

"In The End"

In the end
As we fade into the night (oh whoa oh oh)
Who will tell the story of your life?

In the end
As my soul's laid to rest
What is left of my body
Or am I just a shell?
And I have fought
And with flesh and blood I commanded an army
Through it all
I have given my home for a moment of glory
(I gave it all)

In the end
As we fade into the night (oh whoa oh oh)
Who will tell the story of your life (oh whoa oh oh)
And who will remember your last goodbye (oh whoa oh oh)
Cause it's the end and I'm not afraid
I'm not afraid to die.

I'm not afraid, I'm not afraid to die

Born a saint
Though with every sin I still wanna be holy
I will live again
Who we are
Isn't how we live we are more than our bodies
If I fall I will rise back up and relive my glory

In the end
As we fade into the night (oh whoa oh oh)
Who will tell the story of your life (oh whoa oh oh)
And who will remember your last goodbye (oh whoa oh oh)
Cause it's the end and I'm not afraid
I'm not afraid to die

In the end
As we fade into the night (oh whoa oh oh)
Who will tell the story of your life (oh whoa oh oh)
And who will remember your last goodbye (oh whoa oh oh)
Cause it's the end and I'm not afraid
I'm not afraid to die

Who will remember this last goodbye (oh whoa oh oh)
Cause it's the end and I'm not afraid
I'm not afraid to die

Not afraid
I'm not afraid to die
Not not afraid
I'm not afraid to die!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Fluoxetine and Alprazolam

Everyone wants to be part of a group. It means that there are people with similar interests that like you and want to be around you. It has only been recently that I have felt like I really fit into a group. I always had the feeling that I was tolerated. I was on the edge of a lot of social circles. But, with the exception of my very closest friends, that was it. I just felt tolerated. And, it was through no one else’s actions or words. I sincerely mean that. I cannot stand myself some days so why should I expect anyone else to.  When I think about myself, all I see are my flaws. I see the lazy, unmotivated, irresponsible blabber mouth that does not know when to shut up. I feel like a failure as a mother. I’m a horrid mother. And, like most women, when I look in the mirror, all I see are my faults. And I see plenty of them. So, for the life of me, I don’t know why I would ever fit in any group.

But, as life has gone on I have become of groups that I do not want to be part of. There are some very nice people in the groups. And, they are very supportive groups. But, that does not mean I want to be a member.  I am a member of divorced parents of America. (Just because I don’t want to member doesn’t mean that I regret my divorce.) I am member of the Dad’s Weekend Group. I am a member of Parents that Have a Child Died.

I am also a member of the Mental Health Issues group. I have never really felt that I belong. Even though I was treated for depression and anxiety, I never really felt that I belonged. Somehow, I always felt not worthy. That I just have a touch of it. That I really make more of an issue out of it than it really is. Even hearing time and time again what the death of a child can do to a person, it didn’t sink in until today. When the doctor read PTSD off of my chart, I jumped. And, I was already riddled with anxiety today. (It was a good day to go to the doctor. She saw me in rare form.) And, I know how have two new prescriptions to help me function like a “normal” human being. But, I am starting to feel a little more like I fit in the group. It's not like their is such a thing as a model mental health patient, after all.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year...

I am in a minority. When stores start putting up Christmas stuff, I am the one complaining about the other people complaining. I means seriously, if you are going to buy a lot of decorations, you have to start early! That stuff ain't cheap. I love wondering down the aisles of decorations, stockings, wrapping paper and lights. That is until we get to the ornaments.

This is where I am conflicted. On one hand, I am taken in by the bright colors and mixed textures. The beautiful shapes, shimmering in reds and greens. The bubble gum pinks covered in sparkling glitter. Our family has a tradition of each person picking out a new ornament. I have always done this with the kids and Jerry joined in when he joined the family.

The Christmas after we lost Sarah, I went a little overboard buying decorations. Jerry didn't complain. It was my way of getting through the holiday.  Plus, we were a brand new family and didn't have a lot of ornaments.She had been on a peace sign kick. So, we decided on a theme of Peace. So, we had lots and lots of Peace themed ornaments. So basically, the tree was covered in her ornaments.

Last year was hard. The trip down the aisle that I normally love was nearly painful. But, we quickly found an ornament that was a perfect choice. A large white jingle well covered in white glitter with the word peace on it.

This year was easier. That is except for the thought of choosing an ornament for Sarah. We usually pick our ornaments by what we are interested in or we are drawn to. I have been on a seahorse kick. And, Jerry loves robot related toys. Our choices were obvious. Our son will pick his when he is with us.

I do not know what Sarah would want for an ornament if she was here. I just don't know. I know what things she loved. I know what things brought joy to her face then. Looking for an ornament that says, "Sarah would love this." is painful. It is a reminder that she is not here. It makes me ponder, "What would she be doing right now if she was still here? Would she still want a career in music production? Would she still be doing art? Would she have a job?" These are the things I try not to think about.

"Would she have convinced her dad to live here for high school?" If she did, she would be getting ready for bed for the night. I just can not let myself think about it too long. If I do, I find myself spiralling down into a valley of sadness that weighs my heart down.

So, I try my hardest to not think about it. Instead, I have decided to continue with the theme of peace. So, every year, I will look for a new "peace" ornament. I contemplated not getting her one. But, my children get a new ornament each year. It will not change because she is spending Christmas in Heaven instead of here.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

People Suck, Well, Not All People. But, A Lot of Them.

I know a hand full of people in this world that I know glow from their love for other people. This breaks my heart. I am an idealist. People think that it means I am na├»ve. I am not. People suck. They make selfish, hurtful decisions daily. There are evil people who thrive on chaos. There are also petty, narcissistic people that thrive on chaos as well. “Some people just want to watch the world burn.” Yes, I am quoting Alfred from The Dark Night. But, we as individuals do just as much to hurt the world we live in by not putting others first.


Being idealistic, I expect people to do the right thing. I expect people to be polite and courteous. I expect you to hold the door open if you get to the door first. I don’t care of you are a guy or not. But, if a gentleman offers to hold the door, let them. I am old fashioned. I believe in chivalry. And, I don’t care how old a person is, you should be courteous regardless of your age. It makes it really hard for people to respect you when you don’t respect them. (This includes not putting carts up in parking lots. Grrrr…)


Don’t get me wrong. I know people are not going to do these things. I am never surprised when they act in a selfish, lazy, entitled manner. But, I will be damned if I am going to lower my expectations to meet their demands. Grow up. It means learning to be meek. It is easier to explain what meek doesn’t mean than what it does. It does not mean letting people run all over you. It does not mean being a whipping boy. It does not mean accepting the status quo. It does mean not lashing out. It does mean choosing your words wisely. It means not calling people names. It also means thinking of people as individuals and not just part of a group. This also means that, heaven forbid, you actually get to know someone. It means that when you have a problem you can back up what you say. It also means you listen more than you talk.


One last thing before I get off my soap box. I have a hard time finding stand-up comedians that I enjoy. “Why is this relevant,” you ask. Most comedians’ jokes stem from making fun of them or someone else. I hate it. It makes me very uncomfortable. There was a lady who came to town that had commercials where she was mimicking the people in her nail salon. I hated it. Whether it is meant as hurtful or not, it is rude. When people on Facebook referring to getting a manicure as “getting their Korean on” ticks me off, too.


OK, I am done for now. Until next time, play nice.