From broken to shattered

I haven’t posted in a while because I thought my brokenness was healing as much as possible. In 2017, we welcomed our first grandson, Preston James Nelson! What a beautiful life we were blessed with. God had sent us this little angel because he knew this family was sinking under the pressure of losing Richie. He quickly became known as Peanut, Lil Buddy, Stinky, James Leroy and many other names. He didn’t even know to respond to Preston. I became a Granny, Jeff a Grandpa, Luke became an uncle. Our life was coming out of the darkness for the first time in 4 years!

I often felt as if there was any way the cracks in my heart were going to heal it would be because of this sweet boy. I didn’t cry as much. And when I did cry it was because Preston was missing out on his Uncle Richie not me. My mourning went in a different direction. I mourned for the loss of what an amazing uncle he would have been. Savannah was the best Mom! She doted on him and made sure everything was just perfect for him. She gave him Richie’s middle name so he would have a piece of him always. Luke, my Luke, became the Uncle every boy should have. Preston was in the yard getting dirty before he could walk. Luke was his hero! If you could have seen the way Preston got so excited when he heard Jeff come home each day! His little feet would go so fast they never even moved. This baby healed our family. We laughed now! Our how was noisy!!! Our house was scattered from one end to the other with toys! Pure Joy!!!

I can not describe or even begin to explain the joy and pride I had as a Granny. It is all I ever wanted to be in life was to be like my own Granny. And now by the grace of the Lord Almighty I was!

I say was because on October 15th, my sweet little Peanut was murdered. For reasons I am not even sure of (investigation still pending), the last of my heart was completely shattered beyond any repair. I watched my daughter go through a pain that I knew all too well. I could not save her from this tragic heartbreak and pain. I could not save my own son and now my grandson. Talk about feeling like a three strike failure. The only thing worse than watching your own son die is to watch your daughter watch hers die. Watching and knowing there is nothing you can do but hold her hand and watch.

At 8:23 pm on October 16, Preston was pronounced. October 16, what was his Uncle Luke’s birthday. A day that I was supposed to be watching Luke and his Little Buddy eating cake, riding on the Polaris and pretending to hunt.

Why God Why!!!!????? Why our family again? And to lose a 21 month old to murder?! I have been walking around scared to even try to comprehend any of this. Do I want to know the answers? Yet can I live without the answers? I feel as if there is a belt around my heart that keeps getting tighter and tighter each day. I pray. I thank the Lord for the time I had. Bless the Lord’s heart, he must think I am the most messed up minded person he ever made. (I hope he broke the mold after he made me) I cry, scream, question, praise, thank, rejoice and show every emotion in one prayer multiple times a day. I just cannot even begin to understand any of this. Why Preston who was the most happy toddler in the world? Everyone that met him became instantly in love with him.

So now I am a broken Mother, a broken Granny and just broken. Please pray for our family as we make sense of this tragedy. God Bless you all.

I hate our friendship!!!

I have a best friend. And I hate our friendship.

I love my best friend more than she will ever know! And I hate our friendship.

The smallest, most intricate details of the way we became friends could only have been woven by God himself. And I hate our friendship.

I can tell her things I wouldn’t dare tell anyone else. And I hate our friendship.

She is my my life raft when I am sinking. And I hate our friendship.

I can’t imagine her not being in my life ever. And I hate our friendship.

We met because our boys died. And I hate our friendship.

We are friends because our hearts have been fractured forever. And I hate our friendship.

We would both trade our friendship to have our boys back in the blink of an eye. I hate we didn’t get to meet because our boys were friends here. I hate we didn’t meet under happier circumstances. I hate that we share a pain the is almost unbearable. I hate that we wonder if the boys are friends in heaven. I hate that I have come to love her son as my own yet I have never met him. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it.

I wish beyond words we weren’t drawn together out of pain instead of joy. But I am so glad that with this pain she brings me joy. Even though I hate our friendship!

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.

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…

grief1

Happy Birthday To Me!!!!!

Yep! I am 29 again this year! I have been 29 for so many years that I cannot remember what my actual age is. I have to always ask my husband! I haven’t been writing lately. I have been caught up with life. Caught up in my own problems and self-pity. What a better day than today to get back at it. I thought I would do a year’s review and let everyone see a summary of how life can change, rise, fall and flourish.

We have had many happy events this year. Some major life milestones. Savannah graduated high school! Krista got to sing the national anthem twice at Atlanta Motor Speedway. I got baptized! Luke has been working hard at being a firefighter. We got to meet Richie’s heart recipient Lance. We also met a tissue recipient Morgan. Luke bought his first truck with actual payments and even got lasik surgery. We have a new addition to our family. Maggie. A great dane/ german shepherd mix. Richie’s dog Sam and his hamster Pippin are still alive and kicking. (Pippin is now living beyond normal hamster years.) We have Jeff’s stomach issues under control and that is a relief. Will started college! We are officially settled into this house and preparing for some remodeling.Jeff and I have attended many Donate Life events in honor of Richie. Just to name a few for the ones in the house.

Other good news! Sydney is about to head off to University of Alabama! Dillon and Lauren got married! Kaelyn and Nolie are walking! Hunter is still awesome! Briggs is adding more fish trophies to his name. Brandy is about to bust with boy #2. Josh has found him an awesome lady that we have just fallen in love with. Wesley is playing his heart out on stage in Florida. Ingles got to meet Lance! My family got to meet Lance! So many of Richie’s friends have just been out and tackling the world. I love when they call me to tell me what they are doing!

I have made many friendships this year. I have met many people that have touched our lives and hearts! Tonya and Robert have become close friends that we cherish like family! Debbie M and I have become like sisters. Misty started coming to my church and has quickly become my sister in Christ and confidant! I have made many friends through my blogging and Donate Life journey. I have gotten very close to our piano player at church after we bonded when she lost her son. I have also become very close with people in the community that reached out after Richie passed and have become more than acquaintances. they have now become people that I can depend on and reach out to share the good and bad. Our small circle of friends has now grown abundant.

Well, I was going to share the bad that has happened this year also but now I think I will just let it rest. Why should I focus on the bad? No matter what happened in the past year, nothing can be as bad as the day we lost Richie. So why focus on them? I think that is a big problem for the world today. Rather than focus on all the good things in life we tend to get hung up in the bad. The dishwasher broke, the tire was flat, JimBob didn’t get the promotion. Who cares! You still have life, your world didn’t stop turning. There are very many little blessing that should be celebrated each and every day. Even if it is just the fact that you and your family woke up and were able to put your feet on the floor. It would be very easy to get sucked into a world of self-pity and I have to stop myself daily. Life’s problems can consume us and make us miss God’s little blessings and rainbows. So what is the past year had hiccups along the way. I have been through the worst and none of it equaled that! So here is to turning 29 next year! May it be filled with many more milestones and many more friends!

il_340x270.736455794_jdbr

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.
36607_544302425612584_1279232493_n