2019, You Are Going Down

What a year! What a past 6 years! Better yet, what a past 45 years! Years that have been filled with many joys but far greater lows, sadness and burdens. I have had almost two weeks off work and I have used this time to really reflect on my life.

Is this life that I continue to live day in and day out the life I want to take into 2020? Do I want to take this life with me until I take my last breathe? Do I want to keep waking up in the same groundhog’s day cycle and going to sleep fighting tears for the things I wish I would have done or things that I wish would have happened?

Then I question, do I deserve that life I want? From the outside, my life looks perfect. I have two wonderful kids that adore me as much as I adore them, a precious newborn granddaughter, a husband that works hard and come home every night, a job that I love and want to make my lifelong career and amazing family and friends. But why am I so empty? Why am I so lonely? Why am I so sad when not with my children? Why do I feel like I need something more? Why do I go to bed each night feeling as if my day was a waste?

I know most of the answers are as simple as I have conformed to the environment around me. When I am at work, I feel like I can do anything. I can multitask and handle anything. I can get something done at the last minute with time to spare. I am sharp. I am on it. When I am with my kids, I am all about them. I am so focused on what they are saying, doing and hanging onto their every word or breathe. I fuss over them. I pamper them. I jump when they even whisper my name. I am supermom.

But when work and children are not around, I am sullen and blank faced. Why is that? I’ll tell you why, I have become so accustomed to doing nothing unless I make the plans, arrangements and details that if no one has made plans, I just sit. When did this happen? I have always been the one with the hair done, clothes just right, nails done and from head to toe just working it. When did I stop exercising and hiking? No I sit staring at a tv, book or phone letting the weight take over. When did I stop visiting my friends? When did I start saying “one day I will” instead of “today I will”? When did I become this person I do not know?

I can’t be this person anymore. I can’t wake up another day and look in the mirror and see this stranger. I have to get my happy back. I need to get my groove back. I need to find the joy I had that radiated out of me. It is scary for me. I know there are some people that I am going to have to leave in 2019. I know there are people that will have to evolve with me or be let go. I deserve to be happy, loved and adored. Not by just people, but by myself.

Look out 2020, Belinda is taking you and making you her B*#¥$!!!!! I am going to do what makes me happy! I am going to be the old me! I am not waiting on others to decide they want to join me. I will not be stuck in a cell phone and ignore this wonderful world! I will live. I will make memories. I will work my ass off at work. I will spoil my kids even more. I am going to be me. The best me I can be. Ready, Set…… GOOOOOOO!!!!!

Mommy O’ Mommy

I miss my Mommy. All the reasons that I have told myself this year to make her death easier are now steaming piles of cow pies. She is no longer in pain. After losing my son and grandson, I told myself that now she has her boys again! She is no longer grieving! Now she is up in heaven with my Granny, Grandpa and her three grandsons! And better yet, for once in my life, this is the natural order of existence. Burying your parent, not parent burying child.

Truth is, I need my Mom right now. I need to be able to talk to her. To tell her what is troubling me in my life. Tell me how to fix some problems I am having in my little family. To give me her unfiltered opinion on where some people can go and rot, then tell me that if I hate I am not getting into heaven. That was my Mom. She would rip someone into shreds if they hurt one of her girls feelings and tell us about the fire and brimstone of hell if we did the same. I need my Mommy to tell me that someone I am so worried about is going to be fine. I need her to tell me that people can change their ways. I need her to tell me she is proud of me for taking a new path for myself. I need her to tell me that I am spoiling my kids. I need her to tell me that Harper is the most beautiful blue eyed little girl! I need her to tell me Maggie is not a child she is a horse dog. I need her to tell me to slow down when I drive. I need her to ask me if I am hungry. I need her to tell me what Victor is doing now on Y & R. I just really need my mom to pick up the phone and tell me she loves me.

I thought I could be the big girl she raised me to be but I am not. I am a mess. I have things I want to talk only to her about and she is not here. My best friend is watching her Mom slip to the other side. I want to be able to tell her all the things people told me to make me feel better. But they are words and they don’t help. It is horrible.

One day, out of the blue when you think your day is going to be okay, a thought will brush lightly across your soul and you will crumble. Mine was when cleaning out the greenhouse. When I got I my greenhouse I planted so many herbs! Not one came up. Not one single sprout. Mom told me I didn’t hold my tongue right. A few days before I was crying on the way home from work and told her just send me one sign, any little thing that she was watching over me and my brood. While cleaning out the greenhouse, after being planted 8 months before, there I find 2 pots full of cilantro! I thought “Oh she is watching me!” I brought them into the house to repot and put in the windowsill. Then I picked up the phone to call and tell her. I broke. She is gone. I can’t call her.

I just need my precious, beautiful, funny and amazing Mommy. For just one more day. One more day!

Flowers from Heaven

It has been a horrible few days! Beyond the daily hiccups in life, I have just been missing my Peanut so much. I just want to hear his laughter and footsteps one more time. And not on a video, in real life.

While walking the dog this morning, I walked over where me and Preston had started a late flower garden project months ago. About 2 months ago I found some old flower seed and me and Peanut just went outside and threw them around the tilled up area. And by throw I mean we literally just threw them by the handfuls randomly. These seeds has to have been at least two years old. No way were they going to grow but being the lover of all things floral, I couldn’t throw them away. As I got closer the patch and then I saw it. The prettiest red flower standing tall in the rain with little white ones coming up around it. How in the world after the cold and rain we have had could this flower have sprouted? And being old seeds at that???

I will tell you how. God’s timing. It was meant for me to misplace the seeds after I bought them. It was meant for me to find them when I did. It was meant for me and Peanut to throw them in the garden spot. It was meant to bloom now when God knee I needed some love from Peanut. A sweet little red flower sent at just the right time. God’s timing. And Peanut’s love.

Ecclesiastes 3:2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

Joyfully Hurt

Tonight I was texting with my best friend and to her summed up our hearts. She, like I lost her precious son also and is trying to navigate emotions through this grief journey. And here is what we talked about:

How do we explain our feelings when life goes on around us without our sons? We are very happy for our son’s friends when they get graduate college, get married, have a child or have a huge life event. But while we are happy, we still have that what if in our minds. What if Richie were the one becoming a father? What if Zack was the one that was watching his bride walk down the aisle? All the plans we have built in our hearts and minds for them are now but dreams that drift away as our eyes flutter open each morning. Only to escape as we reach for the alarm clock with a tear running down our cheek because that dream will never be. And they are always just that, dreams.

So I told her that my heart joyfully hurt during these times. Joyful for the happiness that his friend’s have found. But hurt for the dreams that I have lost in the blink of an eye. Joyfully hurt. Joyful. Hurt. Forever broken-hearted but trying to let the cracks fill with some love and laughter. Joyfully hurt.

What if????

At what point is it okay to do what is best for yourself? When do stop believing in the words and empty promises of others? When do you start chasing the dreams you have rather than the ones that are in reality a black hole of lies? Do you hang onto that moment of hope or let it go because you know it is like the wind? When is it okay to stop putting your feelings away on the shelf? Is it possible to not break because you may upset another because of your needs? When do you walk away from what you thought was your soulmate but realize when it comes down to it, you are just a wife, not a mate?

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while getting the same result. Is it insanity to stay in a life that is just the same day after day? Where you just feel dread the second you pull in the driveway? Where it is the same mess, the same arguments, the same hurtful words? The same place where there is a lack of the love that you need. The love you long for. A place where you know that the few moments of love are only used as a way of pacifying you for the greater need of the other. A place that was once your safe haven but is now your insanity.

And what if you run? What if you just left it all behind to find your peace, your place, your dreams, a love unrelenting? Is there such a place where you feel love like you never have? A place where you matter as a constant, not as a convenience? A place where you know without any doubt that you are wanted and desired? A place where there is a soul mate to be your person? A place where

The sad reality of it is, even if you do run, find that life, live those dreams, you will still be utterly and eternally unhappy because it is not your life. When you have built a life for so many years on hopes, dreams and promises, it becomes your being. To shed that life would be like a death of self. How can you live if pieces of you die? So you will simply stay, in your misery and broken dreams, because you cannot bear to step a foot on an unknown path. Unhappy here, equally unhappy there. What to do? Where to go? Who even cares?

Morning Maggie!

No big emotionally heart wrenching words today just thought I would share some of my therapy with you.

This is Maggie and she was delivered to me two years ago. She needed a home and I needed rescuing. I was told that one option to try to get over the PTSD of my son passing was a comfort animal. Something to make get up and move. Something to give me unconditional love when I was in the deepest throws of grief. So I agreed and she came.

So the kids friends brought over a nameless little Great Dane/ German Shepherd mix little girl. We bonded instantly. She was taken away from the only mom she had ever known and I had my precious taken from me. We needed each other.

Maggie Mae as we called her kept me on my toes. She would get into anything and everything and then some. She was growing faster than we thought and soon became known as Maggie Moose. She took over the house and claimed it as hers. Everyone’s favorite comfy chair soon became the only chair she could stretch out comfortably in. She became our child and the kids sister. Maggie was Krista’s shadow and my best friend.

Our sweet pup has grown into her huge feet and into our hearts. She is more human than dog. When our grandson arrived she was a little wary over this tiny human the size of her head. Poor Maggie became frantic when he had his first real crying spell and was clueless as to what to do. She simply gave him her bone and waited to see if he would calm down. Now, this tiny human chases and terrorizes her in the walker. At night though, she has to be snuggling her little peanut when he sleeps with me and wakes me at his slightest move.

This goofy, clumsy, spoiled pup has now learned to read my moods and love me a little more when I need it. This morning I woke for the 6th day in a row with tears in my eyes from some emotion I can’t name. Some trigger that is nameless to me in my sleep. Maggie sensed this I guess and laid right on top of me. She just laid there looking at me with those eyes and every once in a while licking a tear away. The love of a best friend spoiled only when I told her she would meet her new groomer today and get a bath. (She hates the word bath)

I was always a skeptic on comfort animals but now the biggest supporter. She is my rescuer, my comfort, my love, my child. God knew I needed her and sent her at the right time! My Maggie Mae Moose Schell, the biggest, slobberingest friend of all time!

I’m back and reclaiming my JOY

It has been quite a while since I have wrote. There has been a lot going on. I had surgery. Church has kept us going. Our kids and everyone else has kept our calendar full. My daughter announced that she is going to have a baby so I am going to be a Granny. My niece has moved in. School is out and summer fun is underway. So so much is keeping us busy that I would like to say that is why I haven’t put pen to paper. But sadly it is not.

I have let something terrible happen in my life. I have let someone take my joy away. Actually more than one person. But to start, I let the words of someone who is very bitter with their own life get to me. Get into my head and into my heart. I let this person strip me down to the core with her words and leave me questioning everything in my life. What makes this so sad? This person knew the right words to say and how to use them. Even sadder, none of the words she said were true or even relevant. I had never in my life been spoken to with such hate and anger as I was then. Even though I knew everything she was saying was just pure hate, I let it sink in until it took my joy. I let this person who is so miserable in her own life, damage mine.

It caused a ripple effect too. It started with me feeling down from the words. Then it had me questioning the things said. This caused me to start letting other things get to me. Other people’s problem became like bricks on my shoulders. I let the words and actions that were so tiny aggravate or hurt me like they were the worst in the world. I even let someone at church almost rob me of my safe place at the altar. I would show up to places with an escape plan already in place and dread in my mind. I was only happy at home in my comfort zone.

What brought me out of it? I just dug in deeper and read more of my Bible. I did more praying and even more praying after that. Then one night last week, I had just had it. I realized that I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t joyful. I was sad. I was lonely. I was faking my way through so much of life that I quit even really living. So I reclaimed my joy. I took back my happy. I gave all the burdens that I was taking on from others back. I turned a deaf ear to negative and an eye to the positive. I for the first time in a long time got the urge to write again. I gave the hateful person that started this downward spiral to the Lord and her words to pray. I hope she finds happiness somewhere in her life and gets right with God. But for me, I am reclaiming all that is good, happy and joyful for me.

And now the writing begins……………….

Work and Grief

A friend of mine that lost her son shortly after I lost mine has been going through total heck at work. She was only given two weeks leave after the passing of her only son. Since she has been back to work, there are days where she has had to call in because grief had consumed her to the point that she could not get out of the bed. She has decided to leave her job after one too many inconsiderate write-ups over her actions. T (as I will call her) asked if I would help write her resignation letter for her. She thought I could help her put into words exactly what grief has done to her. Us. And all the mourning parents.

The request had me thinking of the best thing to say. How to exactly describe what we go through. How do you explain to someone that has never lost a child what it feels like to have a piece of your soul lost forever? How do explain how your heart never will beat the same way it used to? How do you let them know that grief does not pick non-business hours to rear its ugly head? I do not think there is any way to really get the full impact of having so much of your life disappear in the blink of an eye. Sure we may have been fine when we left work on Tuesday. But the dream we had that night of our child made us wake up thinking that he was just down the hall in his bed. And then realizing we woke from our dream to the nightmare of reality. Yes we were just fine when we left for lunch. But while in the car at the drive-thru our child’s favorite song came on the radio, leaving us crying hysterically and cars honking their horns at us. Then there are birthdays, holidays, anniversaries of death and life. What about the sadness we feel when our child’s friends accomplish all the things he should be here for? We not only grieve the past and present but also the lost future. We will grieve when we see our friends with their grandchildren we were robbed of. We will grieve when we watch his best friend walk down the aisle without our son as his best man. We will grieve every empty space at the dinner table, the empty stocking, the quiet nights, the missing sound of laughter and all the messy messes that we desperately miss.

How do you put a time on how much work you can miss after the loss of a child? When you give birth you are given at least six weeks maternity leave. They even give the same amount to Fathers now! But only to receive two weeks bereavement time to mourn the loss of 19 years worth of hopes and dreams? It takes two weeks just to come out of the shock and fog! There is no textbook example of grief time because no one person grieves the same as another. Some can handle day to day routines like before with a hard exterior. Some will crack in public over random thoughts. Some will never get on with life. Some will tackle life and grieve quietly in the inside. I guess I was lucky that I did not have to return to any sort of job after I lost my son. I never really sat back and thought about the pain and hardship that my son’s Father, his Bonus Mom or my Husband felt. So how do I try and help her explain this to her employers? There is no possible way for them to understand shy of them losing their own child. And there is no way I would ever wish this torturous pain on anyone…

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Prayerful Friends

I actually started a post yesterday about prayer. I stopped in the middle when I got stumped and was messaging a friend of mine. Our conversation made me delete what I wrote.

My friend’s husband has been having some health issues lately. Since the start all she has asked for is prayers. Prayers is what she has gotten. It was looking like her husband was looking at major setbacks in his recovery. She asked for even more prayers. Which they got! Talking with her at the beginning of the day it was about bad health. Last night, she told me that one of the major hurdles was turning around! Prayers of thanks went up. She had thanked me earlier for praying for them. I found that to be silly to thank me for. We are good friends. Friends pray for and with each other. Truly prayerful friends that is.

I can tell you that I have surrounded myself with True Prayerful Friends. I know that if I am having a bad day with grief, I can reach out to my friends Tonya or Mrs. Laurie and prayers are said immediately. When I just need prayers of comfort and guidance, Melanie is the first one I reach out to. If I need prayers to help me watch my tongue, Misty is the one I call. When I just need a flooding of prayer, I send a mass text to the Ladies of my church. I know my new friend Sheryl is about one of the most faithful praying friends I have. When I am needing deep prayers and questioning my faith, I make a call to my pastor and his wife. I have others that I know really pray. I can feel prayers being said right when they are requested. I also know that these people along with a few others, are really gonna get to the business of praying.

I have changed from the praying person I was 18 months ago to the one I am now. Most of the time when people asked for prayer, I would wait until bedtime or when I remembered it. Now I pray immediately. I have failed so many people by using the phrase, “I will pray for you.” I would say it and then just go about my business and my life. It took seeing some of the small blessings in my life that came only after prayer from myself and others to see the real power in it. Real prayers. Sincere prayers. Now when I say I will pray for someone,it goes in a prayer book and it gets prayed on multiple times a day!

Are you a True Prayerful Friend? Or are you someone that feels comfort in just saying you will pray?

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Self Under Construction

Well, I did it. I have officially decided to take time for myself, I have decided to for once to take care of me. This decision has racked me with pain, guilt and many sleepless nights. By all means, the outward appearance that everyone sees is of someone who is smiling, handling life and seems “okay”. The truth is that person has mastered putting on the face of happy deception. In reality, I spend my nights tossing and turning. Crying and screaming into my pillow. I spend my days with headaches and pure exhaustion. On the days that are good for me, there are the moments that fleet across my mind and will have me crying hysterically for a brief second. But that second is enough to leave me just ready for the day to end so I can crawl into the bed with sleepless exhaustion.

I was spending my days taking care of children when I could barely take care of myself. It is hard to put on a smile and fix grill cheese for these innocent faces when you just want to be alone. It has not been fair to them or me. They are not getting the best me they deserve. How do you answer them when they ask why you are crying? Well little child, I am crying because I miss fixing my son peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Or how about I am crying because Richie used to play this game with you and it hurts me now to do it. Not fair at all for them to have this sad mess instead of the MumMum that used to dance with them and sing at the top of my lungs over the littlest things. Not fair at all.

So what do I do when the last child leaves each day. I immediately go into shut down mode. I do not want to deal with life. I do not want to do anything. I want to go to bed at 5:30 and sulk in my own world. This is not fair to my husband or two children living at home with us. Well, Luke and Savannah are grown you may say. They can take care of themselves.Jeff can get his own supper and let you rest you say. Yes, they can and yes at times they do. But is this fair to them. They did not sign up for this grief ride either. I am the Mom. I am to take care of them no matter their age and I am to be the Mom. They do not deserve a Mom that shuts down from life every evening and does not share in their life fully. I should be making meals for us to eat around our table and hearing about their day. Instead they have been getting a Mom that is quick tempered, stressed, red eyed, frazzled and just a teary mess. My husband does not deserve to come home to a wife that tells him she has had a bad day and is going to bed the minute he walks in the door. How many moments have I missed with them that I can’t get back? Have I gone on too long like this that they no longer desire to be around me?

Then there is this….. Jeff and I have no more children we are responsible for. They have been raised, graduated and are off making there way in the world. What do we do now? We have always taken care of them and put them first always. I can’t count how many date nights were spent with a car load of kids and their friends because we didn’t want to leave them. Now what do we do? Are we even still close enough as husband and wife to be us? What if we don’t even like each other? How do we be us with just us? This scares me more than anything. How do we handle being married with just us? We are having to learn each other all over again.

Now the biggest one…. How do I take care of me? I have always taken care of others. My kids, their friends, my husband(s), others people’s kids, my family, my friends and even the daggum hamster! Now how do I take care of me? I have decided to start counseling to work through some of the things that are haunting me.Things that have haunted me since childhood. I have decided to rest. That is the hardest adjustment so far. I cannot sit still from thinking I have to do something. I am going to write, read, cross-stitch, volunteer at church and just take a walk. If I want to stay up all night crying, I will. If I want to scream at 12:34 in the afternoon because I want my son back, I will. If I want to go have lunch with my handsome son Luke, I will. If I want to go rambling with Savannah, I will. If I want to surprise Jeff with a picnic lunch in his office, I will. (I have always wanted to do that) I will do what makes me happy. I will take care of myself. I will for once let the grief out instead of holding it in until everyone else is taken care of. For once in my life, I will be under construction to be a better me for me. Not for others. Please pray for me. Aside from burying my son, this is the hardest thing I have ever had to do.

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