This is the 451st post I've written. From here things look different. The first 450were about making moments. The next however many posts will be about remembering those moments, honoring them, and finding ways to make more.
For the first time in her life, Kate spent most of the night in my bed with me. Her miserable cold kept waking her up and the crying was more than I could bear. We both slept some, her far more than I. I guess my body just hasn't gotten the memo that I don't have to be ready to bolt down the stairs at any moment anymore.
For the first time in over a year, I could turn off my phone. I didn't though. I would wake up and reach for it frantically. Afraid I had missed his call. Afraid he had needed me and I hadn't gotten the message.
I think, I will find myself waking up and reaching for him frantically for the rest of my life.
Thank you all for being the messages on my phone. The slap of reality at 2am was lessened by the love, support and care from all of you.

Today, I begin to put the pieces back together. Kate and I are going to continue our "get back to normal" program. Spending the evening last night, just Kate and I in our home, having cereal for dinner on the couch, watching tv, playing games and talking was just what we both needed. Going on Daddy's now empty bed and jumping was also, just what we needed. I wanted Kate to have a normal night. Not a night of whispers, tears, visitors and grief.
She'll be up soon and we'll get clean, and head out into the world, in search of Starbucks and a Target. It's just what we do.

This afternoon, I'll meet with the funeral home. Scott and I discussed the party he wanted to honor his life, I promise it won't be the usual "thing". It can't be the "usual" thing, Scott wasn't the "usual" guy. He deserves more. He's always deserved more.

I've read each and every message, comment, email etc. that has been sent. They bring me such comfort. I'm working my way through them. Responding as my heart allows. Please know that every response I write, every word I type, is done with thought and consideration. I'm not zooming through them with blanket responses. You all mean to much to me. So bear with me as it takes a little while to get through them all.

And before everyone tells me I don't have to, I know I don't. Hell, I don't have to do much of anything today. But, I want to. I really want to. Reading each one, closing my eyes, letting the words wash over me and finding my voice in my heart, is good for me. I need to do it. I just feels right.

My girl is stirring. Time to put my feet on the floor and put one foot in front of the other.

BigDan  – (March 16, 2011 at 7:42 AM)  

Kath and my hearts are with you.

Baedke Family  – (March 16, 2011 at 7:44 AM)  

I am a friend of the Laudicks and have heard about what you are going thru and want you to know that my heart and prayers go out to you and your daughter during this difficult time in your life. Please know that you have all our prayers!

Anonymous –   – (March 16, 2011 at 7:59 AM)  

I just want to give you more virtual (((hugs))). You and Kate are heavy on my heart and mind right now.


Jen P –   – (March 16, 2011 at 8:09 AM)  

More hugs! Know that you are in my thoughts constantly and I am sending oodles and oodles of love to you guys!

Colleen  – (March 16, 2011 at 8:09 AM)  

I've been thinking of you guys and hoping you are all doing ok.

Unplugged  – (March 16, 2011 at 8:18 AM)  

You are years beyond your age and your strength is admirable. Your family is in my thoughts as you continue your journey beyond post 450. One step at a time...

Chrystal  – (March 16, 2011 at 8:25 AM)  

You and your family are in my prayers. If you ever need anyone to talk to Hospice has wonderful grief counselors. They helped me tremendously in January after my Grandmother who raised me passed away. I can't imagine what you are going through just know you are in my heart and prayers.

Lisa  – (March 16, 2011 at 8:38 AM)  

Brandi- Target and Starbucks are my happy place. They even have a target near here with a Starbucks in it! I don't let myself go there too much because it would break the bank!

I just want you to know you are in my thoughts and prayers. You are a strong and wonderful woman. I hope you can find peace during this time.


Heather  – (March 16, 2011 at 8:46 AM)  

Keeping you & your family in my heart.


K  – (March 16, 2011 at 8:54 AM)  

I don't know you and just learned about your blog through Amy Wells. I just wanted to let you know that my heart hurts for your family. I hope you find the comfort you deserve.

Jen  – (March 16, 2011 at 9:17 AM)  

THinking of you all constantly! I think your "get back to normal" plan sounds perfect!

Christine Olson  – (March 16, 2011 at 9:22 AM)  

LOVE and HUGS your way. I am an OT in JRB and although I never worked with you guys, you all have touched me through the Rush family and this blog. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Isabel –   – (March 16, 2011 at 9:29 AM)  

I am Kath's sister-in-law, Isabel. . . Even though I don't know you, I kinda feel like I do. Kath has been talking about her wonderful friends, Brandi, Scott, and little Kate, for quite some time now. My prayers are with you and your family.

Anonymous –   – (March 16, 2011 at 10:27 AM)  

Hey Cuz, I read this at about 7-7:30 this morning via my phone and sat in amazement yet again. You are so strong and always have the perfect way of saying everything. I admire your strength more then I could ever put in words.

When I logged on to the blog it was actually a relief to see you had posted. It has become such a part of my everyday life, I had thought what if its not there? A little selfish yes! but it gives me the strength and courage some days to keep going. Watching you all from a far face such adversity and stay so positive in it all makes me realize there is nothing I can not handle. You have gave so many this same courage and hope.

We will see you soon go I can give you a real one of these. (((((HUGS))))

All my love, Sara

Amanda  – (March 16, 2011 at 10:58 AM)  

I am so sorry that Scott is gone now, but glad he is no longer in pain. Your strength is amazing. I pray for you.

Hope you guys find that Target and Starbucks with ease. Hugs for you and Kate.


Faren  – (March 16, 2011 at 11:01 AM)  

You are such a strong woman Brandi. Always thinking about others. Target and Starbucks are the best way to start the day. Sending you a lot of love and hugs. You are in my prayers.

Anonymous –   – (March 16, 2011 at 11:29 AM)  

I was thinking about you last night and hoping you and Kate were okay. Jumping on Daddy's bed sounds like the perfect way to remember how much fun you all had together. Thoughts for peace and healing are headed your way.


Karen (tilden2)

Mel  – (March 16, 2011 at 11:42 AM)  

Brandi....I just wanted to tell you that I have been thinking about you and your family for the past few days (I remember you from posting on TB Photo board). You are such a strong and beautiful person. Kate is so lucky to have such a wonderful mama to guide her through her life.

Anonymous –   – (March 16, 2011 at 12:25 PM)  

God has blessed you with such strength and grace. You and your beautiful daughter are in my prayers.

Sarah  – (March 16, 2011 at 12:36 PM)  

Brandi you are such a wonderful mother... I will pray for you and Kate as you go through this difficult time... Getting back to normal is a great way to get it started :)

Sarah (Actingdiva)

NicNacKlein  – (March 16, 2011 at 1:21 PM)  

You amaze me. You are so very, very strong. You have been and will be in my thoughts and in my heart. Big love, Brandi. BIG love.

Magdalena  – (March 16, 2011 at 1:23 PM)  

you are such a wonderful person. Keep being strong. hugs

Anonymous –   – (March 16, 2011 at 1:45 PM)  

I'm new to your blog and just wanted you to know that a total stranger in New England is praying for you. I've read about 10 of your entries and it is clear that you are a woman of incredible strength and beauty. I'm so sorry for your and Kate's loss.

Eli  – (March 16, 2011 at 1:48 PM)  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chad Jacobs –   – (March 16, 2011 at 1:51 PM)  

Brandi, I am so sorry for your loss. I want you to know how much of a privilege it has been to be a part of your and Scott's life. He was a truly inspirational person and will be greatly missed. Please keep in touch and take good care of youself and your beautiful daughter.

Krystal  – (March 16, 2011 at 3:25 PM)  

big (((hugs)) coming your way. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous –   – (March 16, 2011 at 3:47 PM)  

You may find some inspiration in this blog: http://samanthazullo.com/ as she recently lost her husband as well.

My heart goes out to you.

Nicole  – (March 16, 2011 at 5:05 PM)  

Brandi, your family is an inspiration to all of us. I admire your strength and drive. I'm thinking of you often. Lots of love.

Anonymous –   – (March 16, 2011 at 8:15 PM)  

Hey Brandi, just stopping in to say hello and let you know that I'm thinking of you.

I was glad to see your post today. As I expected, you are standing strong, being the mother that your daughter needs you to be and yet still able to address your grief. This may sound strange, but I see a beautiful willow tree, swaying in a gentle breeze. Gracefully handling what nature throws your way. I hope you understand what I mean by that.

I hope Scott's party is all that he wanted and more. I hope it brings you and all of his loved ones a moment of joy as you celebrate the wonderful person he was in his short stay here on earth. How blessed you have been to be such a big part of his life.

Sent with one little tear and one great big hug.

Rhonda H
Oskaloosa, IA

Anonymous –   – (March 16, 2011 at 8:21 PM)  

I just came over to say that I'm still thinking of you and Kate. I've said many prayers for your family. I hope your feet did as instructed today...Target and Starbucks are too good to miss.
Many hugs to you,
Heather (LittleBit)

Anonymous –   – (March 16, 2011 at 8:50 PM)  

Brandi and Katie Sending lots of hugs and love tonite!!!!!!!!!!
Carole Hall

missy dappen  – (March 16, 2011 at 9:32 PM)  

Brandi- you continue to amaze me. Can't wait for this "party," a celebration of a life well lived. We send a big ball of love your way!

Missy (and the bunch of people who have heard me expressing my love, sorrow, and awe daily for the last year or two)

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