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!

Tired, just tired

I’m just plain tired of it all…..

the living

The not living

The crying

The dry eyes

The forced laughter

The empty feeling

The longing

The wanting

The loneliness

The hurt

The guilt

The grief

The what if’s

The why me’s

The loss of faith

The loss of me

The endless cycle of emotions

I am just tired

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.

Dear Friend,

Dear Friend,

I am sorry that you lost your precious son. I am sorry that you lost a piece of your heart. I wish there was something that I could do to take your pain away but I know from the loss of my own son that it never goes away. It never gets better. It just becomes a more comfortable hurt.  A hurt that you will feel second of everyday for the rest of your life.

I want you know that it is okay to hurt. It is okay to cry, scream, yell and stay in the bed all day. People told me after my son’s funeral that the hard part was over. Little did they know that I spent that week in a daze and had no clue what was really going on. The day after the funeral when I woke up was when the hard part began. People were no longer coming around to hold my hand, to sit with me to fill my empty moments and fill the void. That day was the day that I had to figure out how to do a life sentence without my child. I had to figure out what to do when it was time for me to send the good morning text to him. What was I to do when time to cook supper? I only knew how to cook for a family of 5, We are now a family of 4. Who do I tell good night to now? So many things that I never even realized, now seemed to pile on me like I was trapped in a hole being filled with dirt. It felt like I was in that grave also with cold red Georgia dirt being shoveled on me too.

I want you to know that it is okay to be mad. Mad at God for taking your handsome man. Why did he do this? Did he not see the life he had here? The people that needed him? Me? You? Why your child? Why my child? What made them so special that you called them home before us? This was not the plan. It may have been God’s plan but it certainly wasn’t ours. It is okay to be mad at your child for leaving. Yes, it is okay and it will come. Why did they leave? Did they not fight hard enough to stay? Didn’t they look back and see us looking forward to our lifetime with them? Did they leap willingly into the light and grab the Father’s hand without a thought to all here who would miss them?

It is okay to feel guilty. Guilt it the one emotion that will creep in and catch you by surprise and bring you to your knees all while ripping your heart into bigger shreds. Guilty for words that shouldn’t have been spoken. Guilt for words that were never spoken. Guilt for a pop on the butt many many years before. Guilt for the what ifs, why nots, should haves and could haves. Guilt for being angry at them for being gone. Guilt for a smile that you let escape before thinking about it. Guilt for laughing a friend’s joke. For me, Guilt has been the worst of them all. I feel it everyday no matter how great of a mom I think I was to him. You will feel this way because he is not here to tell you it is okay. People can tell you that it is just another cross to bear that we should lay down, but I know we can’t.

It is okay, my friend, to tell people to leave you alone. To tell them to bugger off. We need time alone to process our feelings. To learn this new life and how to walk it. You are not expected to hold court and entertain the masses so that they feel better. This is your time. If you want people around then let them in, when ready for them to leave, throw them out.

It is okay to be overwhelmed. The pain of a mother that has lost a child is unbearable. The pain of a mother that has other living children and grandchildren to guide through this is especially unbearable. It takes a strong woman to be a complete mother to living children after losing one. There are times when you have to fake a smile when you are dying inside and then in the quiet of the night the guilt from the fakeness you shown sets in. An endless cycle we will always be in. I feel at most times like I am on a hamster wheel. Spinning and spinning and never able to jump off. Often times I wonder, what happens when I do get off? That thought is just as scary.

It is okay for you to be scared. Scared you will forget his face, laugh, voice, smile, quirks and all the things that made him yours. Even scared that one day you will get used to this pain. Scared that in your old age you will forget the memories you cherish dear. Scared for the children that are left behind. Scared that every move they make will be their last. Scared. Scared mixed with dread is now going to be with you always.

While all of this okay, it is also okay to find your way. TO FIND YOUR SMILE AGAIN. To find your laugh. To enjoy the sunshine. To enjoy the party. To enjoy the little things. To enjoy the big things. Nothing will be the same as it was ever again. But it is okay for you to try to find a bit of light in the darkness. A glimmer of hope. Hope and Faith is all we really have left. Hope that our children will get through this. Hope we will survive this. Faith that God will see us through. Faith that one day as we are bowing at our Savior’s feet, we will feel the hand of our child on our shoulder saying Mom!!!!!! Oh what a day that will be!

Please know that I am here for you. In heart, body and soul. I am a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen, to sit in silence and to scream with you. You are not alone. You are now in the club that no Mother wants to be in. A club where you are not alone and the numbers are great.  You are now in the Broken Mother’s Club.

I love you and pray for you,

Belinda, Broken Mother since December 30, 2013

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!

Wth Jesus? Wth?!?!?

Lately, all I can do is think, Wth Jesus! Wth were you thinking giving me this life? I know that we are not given more than we can handle by you but WTH? Am I really this superwoman you believe I am? Why must my life be spent living happy moments under the veil of grief that covers me? Why did you choose me for this particular life? Wth? Is it because you knew I could put on a brave face for everyone else? Do you know that under that apparent brave face is a hollowed out space of nothingness? A space where I do not know what I really feel at any real moment? It is just a space where I hide myself to keep any real emotions or feelings from showing. A space where I have learned to live with private tears, private hurts, loneliness and sorrow. Torn between wanting to run from it all and being drawn back to the ones I have to take care of. Never stop running. Run from people, places and things. Run until everything goes away and no one knows me. Where no one knows this brave face. Where I can be the me I want to be. Just run until I shed off all the expectations of the ones I love, of the people watching. Just run until this life falls off my shoulders and I become so light I can fly with the dragonflies. Am I destined to always be here where I have to do what is right for others and not for myself? To be black on the inside while fake rainbows beam from the outside? Wth? Wth? Wth? Just let me run!

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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At least…..

“At least you had 20 years with Richie” If I had a dollar for every time I have been told that! I could I certainly could live high in the hog until the end of my days! I usually just nod my head and not think about it. But in the past few days it has really struck a chord with me. Does this mean I am luckier in my son’s death for the 20 years as opposed to someone who only had a few days, weeks or years? I am going to give four different death stories that have touched my life. They all have different amounts of time and circumstances. Then we will see who is luckier.

Let’s start with Renee. She was pregnant and excited for the new life she was carrying. Her family was busy buying everything they could get their hands on. Then she went into early labor. Just a week before the six month mark. She fought for more than a week and then the doctors had no choice but to deliver. Little Ian was delivered and only survived just shy of 2 hours. In this short time she held her baby, loved him, prayed for him and memorized every part of his tiny self. Time with her child: less than 2 hours.

Zack was the son of Tonya. Tonya spent ten years trying to have a child. Then when she gave up, God blessed her with a son. She raised Zack for 18 years. He was on the way to his high school graduation rehearsal when he was in a car accident. A few days later in ICU, he turned 19. Five days after that, he succumbed to his injuries. In the 19 years Tonya had Zack, she raised him, loved him and lived for her only child. Time with her child: 19 years 5 days.

Richie was my son. He was my firstborn of three. If you have been following my blog, you know our story. Summing us up because I will spend hours writing of his life, he was called home after an auto accident almost two years ago. Time with my child: 20 years 5 months 23 days

Ricky is the son of a precious lady named Mrs. Laurie. He is one of two sons she had. He fought hard to beat cancer but lost his battle in March. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather. Time with her child: 52 years 5 months 21 days

So which one of use Mothers is luckier? Is it one that has lots of memories to cling to? Lots of memories at times that cause us to want to scream because they are nothing more than memories now? The one that got 19 years with  her only child she didn’t think she would have? The one that had 20 years and but has her other children? 52 full years with a son that she thought would bury her? I could go into great detail about what each has and what others don’t. The one that has grandchildren from her child to watch versus the one that will never have a grandchild. The way people say it it almost makes me think that I should have one the lottery. Oh I had 20 years so bells and whistles and confetti should come out. On and on I could go!

But why compare. If we all four were to sit down to discuss our stories together, we would all have the same feeling… This is horrible all around. None of us is luckier for the amount of time we had. None if us are sitting around thinking about how the time we had was just the right amount. Not one of us would say that if we had a minute more it would have just ruined our lives. Or one minute less would have been much easier. You cannot put an amount on time when it comes to your children! The natural order a Mother thinks is this: The perfect amount of time we should have with our children is the time we have until our death, not theirs. That is the most perfect time no matter what it is. No matter how many other children we have. No matter how many memories we have.

I am not lucky for the 20 years, 5 months and 23 days I had. I am grateful for the 20 years, 5 months and 23 days I had. Forever grateful! Anytime we have with our children we should be grateful for. No matter what age our children are called home, we will mourn the could haves. We will forever wonder what they would be doing at this time in their life. What would we be doing. All I know is each and every day when I talk to God, I ask him to give my son love for me and ask him to just let me live one minute longer than my children still here with me.

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Bandages

When I first got to the hospital to see Richie, I didn’t know what to expect. What does someone who has been in a freak car accident look like? My mind had built up a scenario that had me scared to death to walk in the room. When I got in the room, he was laying there with nothing wrong with him but lots of white bandages around his head. I looked him all over. He had not a scratch on him. All 10 fingers. All 10 toes. Freckles in all the same spots. Just the white bandages. It looked as if they had rolled miles and miles of white gauze around his head. I could just see the tips of his ear lobes hanging out. He was perfect except for the gauze.

I have been in counseling or therapy as some call it. I call it crying time. Sometimes angry time. I spent an entire session recently on wondering if I am crazy. See, I now have a fear of white gauze. When I see it, I panic. It cuts me to the core. I feel like I have been punched. I lose my breathe, my mind and all sense of what is around me. My mind feels like it is going in every direction at once. Screaming as loud as it can. My brain is yelling for thoughts to get out of my head and all while trying to tell my body to calm down and remind me to breathe. Breathe in, Breathe out.  I cannot look at it. Not just head bandages. Any bandages that are white. Someone had their finger wrapped in some and I immediately went back to being in the hospital room looking at my son and the doctor telling me he was gone. Like I was magically transported back by a genie blinking her eyes.

I have been told things to do to make it better or to try and help. Apparently I have PTSD. Not just for war heroes like I thought. I talked to my cousin about it and he told me,”That S#$@ is real. Take your time to heal. Cause it may never go away.” I asked the one counseling me. And Josh was right. It may never go away. You can just learn to live with it and cope or maybe you don’t. Another cross to bear along with unending grief from the loss of my precious boy.

So why am I being so open about it? Why do I feel the need to share about my fear, hate and anger over white gauze? Because with the way media sharing is now days, I cannot go one day without seeing a person laying in a hospital bed wrapped in gauze! Every single day there is someone that shares some picture with a story of the pictured and their accident. How we need to pray to heal them. Yes we need to pray! We need to pray hard for them. But does the world need to see them in the bed fighting for their life? Why can we not just share a picture of them as if they were up and running? Do you think there will be less prayers without a picture like that? Truthfully I doubt half the people even looking and sharing the picture are praying for them. Most are just doing it to show the “gory details” and to be able to way they saw them that way. At the hospital, we had a strict no media policy. You could ask for prayers on Facebook but you were not allowed to post pictures of Richie in the hospital bed nor were you to give details that were not approved by me. The news story of his accident was not to be posted because it was not fair or respectable to the family. Why do we as a society want to see the pictures and stories like this? I have been there! You do not want to see it. It is not a spectator sport, not a gossip item. It is a human life and families are involved. Respect. It all comes down to respect for others.

So I am asking each one of my family and friends…. with my most sincere heart…. Please if you are friends with me on social media, watch what you post. What may seem like an innocent story to you can be a horrible reminder of loss to others. It can be a trigger into a world of panic and despair for others. There is no need to see people dying in a hospital bed. No need to see blood, bandages and any other thing like that. And truthfully if I am being honest, I do not need to see the picture of the accident site. None of us do. We can pray with just a picture of the person smiling.

thlp