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!

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.

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?

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

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!

I Failed My Children

I failed my children. I have made one of the biggest mistakes a parent can make. Powerful words for a Mom to say. But it is true. What could I have done that was so bad?

Well, I didn’t beat, starve or abandon them. I didn’t take them to church every Sunday like I should have. Every single Sunday I should have had them in Sunday school and then sitting in a pew with me hearing the Word of God. Oh I took them here and there. But I failed to make it a priority like food, clothes and shelter. I let them go with friends and relatives to church and youth groups. But I didn’t take them myself consistently. We were not in church every Sunday as a family.

Why didn’t I do this? There are many excuses I can make for it. I was tired. We didn’t have a church we liked. There was that thing we wanted to do. I wanted to sleep. We will go next Sunday. It’s okay, someone else will take them. Well, we have had a hectic week. My Mom and Dad are to blame for not taking me regularly. On and on I could go but they are just that excuses. But there is no excuse. It clearly says in Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. I taught my children manners, right from wrong and how to be good people. But that alone will not get them into heaven.

I am extremely thankful that the good Lord saw me failing my children and put people in their life that would lead them to be saved. I will forever regret not being that person. I do have peace of mind that their salvation is secure.

So where does that leave them now? I am in church every time the doors are open. And where are my children? Well, they are there sometimes but not every Sunday. They are adults and I cannot force them. If I had started from the start of being in that pew every Sunday, then they would wake up every Sunday out of habit and be there. Then the habit would turn into a need to be there like mine. I did not train them up in the way the real way they should go. Now they are busy on Sunday. Too much to do, they have plans with friends, or simply just don’t want to.

I have ask for forgiveness over my mistake. But I still beat myself up over it. The verse from 1 Timothy 5:8 really convicts me. It says – If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied them faith, and is worse than an infidel. pretty bad when the Good Lord calls you like you are. I pray every day that my children will see how I jump up to go to church and tag along. I pray this cycle will be broken and they will do better than I did.

So my advice to all the ones with children… Take them to church. Let them see it as a good time and not a burden or a chore. Let them see you excited to go. Stop looking at your watch ready to bust out the door before your pew ever gets warm. Teach them. Talk with them. Pray with them. Do it now while they are young and they will standing beside you with their families when you are old.

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Grief Stage #482

I seem to have hit yet another stage in this grief journey. I don’t even know what you can call it. The “if he where here stage” or “he’s missing this stage”? Whatever you call it, for three weeks now I just cry every free moment alone I get.

It started when preparing for my sister’s wedding. She and Richie are only a few years apart and were more like siblings than aunt and nephew. The whole time all I could think of was how excited he would have been for her. I have no doubt he would have been a groomsman or fought to give her away. I try not to live in the thought of every second of the fact he is not here but during the ceremony and reception it was all I could think of.

I have been doing that in everything. Even little things like what I am cooking. I have picked up the phone to text him what is being fixed so many times lately. I have all but stopped cooking. A movie was coming on the other night and wanted to tell him to watch it. I hate when we have anything lately with family because I can feel his absence. I just keep thinking about what he would be doing. Would he be aggravating Lexie and Kane? Would he be teasing his Grandma? Would he have been yelling at the football game on TV with Jeff and his uncles? Is he missing out on everything that is happening here?

Yes, I know everyone says he is watching down from heaven and isn’t missing one thing but I find that hard to believe. The only thing that gives me comfort in him being gone is that he is in heaven. As I am lead to understand from studying the Word, in heaven there is singing, worship, serving, ruling, fellowship with others, eating. (Rev 15:3, 5:9, 22:3, 22:5, 2:17, 2 Tim 2:12, Matt 17:3) Richie is experiencing a life of fellowship with God (Rev 22:4), a life of rest (Rev 14:3), a life of service (rev 22:3), a life of growth ( Rev 22:2) and a life of worship (Rev 19:1). Why would he be looking down here at this messed up world? He is probably having such a glorious time with no worries of this world, sickness or trouble that he hasn’t thought of us. I am sure my Granny has gotten a good grip on him and is showing him off to everyone up there.

With all that being said, I am still mourning what he is missing but I am comforted by Richie rejoicing at the right hand of Jesus!

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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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