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?

Remembering GB8

Friday the 5th, I had the honor of attending a balloon release in memory of yet another child called home to soon. I reached out to his mother when I heard of his passing and we have leaned on each other since. Young Garrett’s birthday is today and I thought I would share in his family and friend’s words just how special he is.

When I pulled up to Sherry’s house the yard was already full of teenagers. I walked into the house to find Sherry and there was a good bit of family and friends all gathered around hustling to make this day perfect. I was glad to see that Sherry was surrounded by people of all ages that wanted to support her. After a long hug with Sherry and a few tears, we started the party!

Everyone gathered in the front yard in a circle. Holding balloons of every color. There were jokes and laughter,. Tears were starting to form. Sherry spoke to the circle of love and then we all released balloons. It was quite a sight. Everyone kept looking up even though the sun was blinding. The balloons seemed to stay in sight longer than usual. It almost seemed as if they were reaching for a plane that was flying over. Quite a sight.

I began going around talking to people and asking them to share with me a story of Garrett. Or something about him. I had never met him and wanted to know who he was. What he was like. The stories and memories were plentiful. One thing that was always said was he loved to make you laugh. Here are some of the memories shared with me:

Kaitlin and Kylie- “We would spend weekends over and have bon fires. He was always doing something dumb to make us laugh. Garrett always made us watch the stupidest movies! And he loved to jump from the tree platform to the trampoline.”

His Granny- “He would come in my room and just jump up with no hands. He would move around like a fish until he got up there. He was just a joy. Kind hearted and always caring about others.”

His PawPaw- “He knew he could always come to me if he was worried about anything and he always did. His driveway is long and we let him drive the old 79 Chevy truck to the end of the driveway in the morning to get on the bus. When he got off the bus he drove it back up the drive. After a huge rain he it stuck and we had to go pull him out. I just miss my buddy.”

Jaron- “Garrett was always calling before I ever got up in the mornings wanting to do something. He would call until I finally got up. We are all bigger boys and when he would leave we would find these his tiny underwear. He was always leaving it at our house.”

Aunt Angie- “He was the most kind hearted boy. There are so many memories that I will treasure for the rest of my life. I especially will miss watching him unwrap Christmas gifts from me.”

Zach- “He was like a brother. Never a dull moment when he was around and always laughter. He always brought people up. He was a person I leaned on.”

Tyler- “He was like the little brother I never had. We always hung out together. I miss the times we would go mud bogging and get the 4 wheelers stuck and have to jump off in the mud. He was always joking, making you laugh. I hope to see him again someday.”

Joy – “I only met him once to take the family pictures but he made an impression that would last forever. He just had this laugh.”

As you can see from the stories that were shared with me, he is truly missed. I regret never getting the chance to meet him. As his mother said at the beginning, “He should be here but I know he is riding in the clouds watching over us.” Happy Birthday Garrett!

Garrett

Garrett

Releasing the balloons to heaven

Releasing the balloons to heaven

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Sherry, her oldest son Austin, Garrett's pup and motorcycle

Sherry, her oldest son Austin, Garrett’s pup and motorcycle

Sherry having a  tender moments with Garrett's friends

Sherry having a tender moments with Garrett’s friends

Sherry and her oldest son Austin

Sherry and her oldest son Austin

All that gathered to remember Garrett

All that gathered to remember Garrett

No, I Am Not Living In Death

Isn’t that something odd to proclaim? I am not living in death. I have been accused of this a lot lately. In fact, I have friends and even family that say they can’t be around me because of this. I am just at a loss.

They seem to say that since the death of Richie that I only surround myself with other parents that have lost children or the people I have met through organ donation. Well, maybe I have. When I hear of another mother or father that has lost a child, my heart breaks for them. So yes, I reach out. When I lost my son, Stephanie, Angel, Lisa P. and Judy were at my side because they knew what I was going through. The way they told me that all I was feeling was okay helped me tremendously. It made me regret not knowing what to say and reaching out to them more when they were going through their personal tragedies. Now when I here of anyone going through what I did, I go to them, call them or send a card. I reach out after the funeral because I know first hand that it is harder then, Yes, I have reached out to people that I do not even know but have met through my blogging. In fact, Sherri has become a great friend and I have never even met her! The organ donation world has showed me hope. I see the stories of life continuing. It gives me great joy and a sense of hope to meet the people who are living because of a gift. When I meet a donor family, I feel a kinship of sorts. I know the pain of loss they are feeling and the great pride they feel for their loved ones who gave. I was once “new” to this world too. I know the confusion they feel at first. I reach out just to be a friend. I answer the questions they have or send them to someone who has an answer I don’t. I just listen most of all because that is what I needed when I started this journey.

I do not live in death. I am perfectly capable of separating death from life. I have been to plenty of things that I have never even said the words death, dead or dying at. I am very comfortable with telling a group of Moms what Richie did at age 2 without crying or wanting sympathy. It gives me a great sense of comfort to be able to talk about Richie as if he were still here with people. Just because I say his name in conversation does not mean I want pity. It simply means that I am telling a story about him just like I do Luke and Savannah.

It may seem as if that is the only ones I am around anymore are the ones I have met in “death”. This is not entirely my fault. I have watched as Jeff and I are left off some invite lists. Some that are very hurtful. We have watched as some family, close family, completely cut us out of their lives. And when you bump into them at the store? We get the “we have been busy” excuse. Jeff and I have not been to busy or grieving too hard to reach out to people. Even if it is a text or card, we reach out. Maybe our circle does include more “death” friends than longtime friends and family, but that is all we have most times.

I am still a friend, cousin, niece, sister and aunt. Jeff is still a friend, cousin, nephew, son and uncle. And whatever else you may call us. We do not want any pity. We do not want any one to feel as if they can’t be around me. We do not surround ourselves with death. But the death of our child is always with us. If We can’t handle being around someone or somewhere, we will bow out quietly and gracefully. We are not and do not want to live in death.

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TimeHop: Friend or Foe

Timehop. Most of us have the ap. For those that don’t, it is an ap that you can download that tells you what you posted on FaceBook or Instagram 1-5 years before. At first I thought it was a fun way to see things from the past. But then I realized that it makes you rethink a lot of the things you said.

For the most part, I have rather enjoyed seeing the pictures of family from past and how they have changed. Or laughed at the posts that were funny stories about family happenings. It has been good for a laugh now and then. Other posts have made me see how trivial some things were. Did Facebook really care that the cashier bagged my groceries all wrong? Did everyone need to know that I was grumpy and having a bad day? Did everyone on Instagram really need to see the picture of what my toe looked like after a fight with the door? Or what about the times when I was snarky and made a snide wound about comment to someone? Were these moments really important and worth remembering? I think not.

While Timehop can remind you of some of the greatest times you had, it can also remind you of the absolute worst times ever. I have been reminded of the time when I was asking for all family and friends to pray my son would get better. Then reminded of the time when we had to announce when his funeral was. It has reminded me of the days this past year that were lonely.

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It has reminded me of wonderful fun-filled times while at the same time adding in the times of unbearable pain. Some days, I do not even open it. Other days, I open it and laugh. The rest just make me cry. So I am not sure if Timehop is friend or foe. Mayne just a casual acquaintance.

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In two days……….

In two days it will have been one year since I heard those words from my son,”Bye Mum! Love you! I will see you tomorrow!” In two days it will be a year since I heard the words,”Ma’am, Your son has been in an accident.” In two days, it will have been in a year since I heard the words from the doctor,”We are doing all we can do. You need to pray.”

In three days, it will have been a year since the doctor told us,”We have done all we could. Your son is gone.” In three days, It will have been a year since I had to tell my children, family and friends that Richie was gone. In three days, it will have been the last time I ever saw my precious boy and held his hand.

In three days, I will have been strong for everyone else for a year. In three days, pray for me because I will crumble.
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Roadside Crosses

Today, Jeff, Will and myself went to the Farmer’s Market. On the way, there was a group of cars pulled over on the interstate taking pictures with a white wooden cross. It made me wonder about the story behind that cross. Since losing my son, I have become more aware of them than I was before. Each time I see one the questions run through my head. Is there a mother out there mourning like me? Was this a mother or father? Are there little children mourning for a parent? Was it a grandparent, aunt, uncle or friend? I know the person was loved because someone took the time out to place a cross. Then I wonder how painful that must have been. I can only imagine. I know how painful it is to put a new flag or wreath at the cemetery. But my child did not die there. To go back where your loved one died and put a cross just seems heart-wrenching.
I have a new friend in grief who lost a son to an auto accident. I told her that I pass that spot every single day and wanted to put a cross there. She said I could. I will proudly do it for her because I do not think there is anyway that I could do it if it was where my son left this world. I don’t think I could even go on that floor of the hospital again.
How many times do we pass these little crosses and not even think about it? OR at least not think about it until death comes close to us. Now I say a silent prayer for the family and quietly wonder about it’s honoree.
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Remembering his gift

A month or so my Aunt Judy was digging through some old papers of hers and found a poem. She called me and when I answered, I noticed her voice was very shaky. She said,”Punkie, I don’t know where this poem I have found came from but let me read it to you.” So she read the poem and we both cried. This poem was called To Remember Me. At the time she found it, I needed it most. I told her that I would get a copy of it later when I saw her. Things happened and I forgot about the poem. It amazes me that a poem that touched me so deeply, just as easily slipped out of my thoughts. While I was on the computer trying to find something fitting to post about how my son is a hero in my eyes for saving lives after his life ended, I found the poem Judy had shared with me.

I would like to share with you all the poem written my Robert Test. It is amazing and fitting and I almost feel as if I can hear it in Richie’s voice.

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