Reality

  • It’s been almost 10 months since my mom died. I miss her every single day and find myself thinking that I need to call her to check in and see how she’s doing today.
  • Just typing that sentence brought tears to my eyes.
  • 10 months ago I experienced my very first ever anxiety attack. I seriously thought I was going to die. I had quite a few attacks that week. They are a very real thing and I don’t wish them on anyone. I still have one occasionally but with the help of my kids I’m able to get through them.
  • Beauty is back home and doing well. She’s going to school and working hard. I’m very proud of her.
  • MiniMe got another Citizenship Award a few weeks ago. I am so proud of the great young lady she is becoming.
  • I thought my RA was pretty under control but after meeting with the doctor a week ago I realized that it’s not as under control as it should be. This means switching medications and dealing with a different set of side effects.
  • I still love my job. I am learning new things all the time and so appreciate my boss and her generosity.
  • For the first time ever the girls and I are taking a really real vacation. Our usual vacations are to visit family, which IS a vacation, but not. This time we are going to Texas! Neither of the girls has ever flown so it should be an experience.

 

  • Not every day is easy but every single day is worth it.
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A new reality

I haven’t posted much recently because everything I’ve written is sad and depressing and that’s so not what I wanted to do with this blog. Unfortunately that’s just the way my mind is working right now.

I want to be funny but find myself struggling not to cry most days. And that’s not funny.

I’m still adjusting to this new reality. You know, the one where my mom died and Beauty is in another state? Yeah, that’s been a lot of fun. NOT! I can’t help it. I miss my mom and I miss my girl. We talk on the phone almost every day which helps but it’s not the same. We have gotten to Skype a few times and that’s a little better but still not the same. I can’t touch her and give her a hug.

MiniMe and I will be going on a long weekend trip to see Beauty in a week and a half. I’m so very excited!!! We haven’t seen her since August when we went on our epic adventure and it’s been a looooooooooong 3 months. MiniMe misses her sissy a lot and can’t wait to see her. She’s not the only one! I’m also happy because I’ll get to see my sister who I haven’t seen since mom’s funeral.

With the holidays fast approaching we will have a whole season of firsts. I have Valium for the worst rough spots but I think I’ll be okay because I have the love and support of my family.

Oh yeah, and I’ve decided after almost 25 years to quit smoking! Please pray for MiniMe and I as we try not to kill each other during this time.

 

I miss her

Mom and I 2013

Mom and I 2013

Today marks the 4 month anniversary of my mom passing away. This morning my sister reminded me that this means that for 4 months Mom hasn’t been in any pain. She’s right. It also means it’s been 4 months since I last held her hand and told her I loved her.

Adjusting to this new reality without my mom has been really hard. Mom died on May 16th. On July 17th I put Beauty on a bus to Idaho. I’ve seen her exactly one time since then and that was a month ago at our family reunion. (That epic adventure will be told in a future post) A few weeks ago I met a friend for coffee and we ended up sitting and talking for 4 hours. Before we even got out of the car I made the comment “My mom died and 2 months later, almost to the day, I put my daughter on a bus.” My friend looked at me and just totally got what I was saying. She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said “So it feels like you lost your mom AND your daughter.”

She was exactly right.

I know Beauty is safe and doing well and really needs to be where she is right now but I miss her so much. We have always had a very close relationship, something that I’m sure most single parents can understand. The bond we have is something like the bond I had with my mom. My dad died when I was 12 and from then on it was just Mom and I against the world. Well, that’s the way it has pretty much always been with Beauty and I. Us against the world. She has been my rock more times than I care to admit. She was there by my side as I held my mother’s hand and told her I loved her for the last time. She was there when I had to call the doctor because I was having an anxiety attack and thought I was going to die. She was with me when we had a service locally for all of the friends and family that couldn’t make it to the second service. She was with me when we drove all night to get to my sisters for the final service and graveside memorial. She was with me a month ago when I had to tell my mom’s sisters about the last week of my mother’s life. She was right there with me holding my hand and making sure I was okay.

Today is the day that I grieve for my mom and remember the amazing life she had. She made me who I am today and I can only hope that I’ve done half as good a job with my girls.

After Mom died a friend posted something on my Facebook that I struggle to remember every day. She told me to keep my chin up and a smile on my face so my Mama can see my beautiful face as she looks down from Heaven.

I love you Mom and I’ll see you later.

I love you Beauty and I’m so proud of you for the amazing young woman you have become. I’m so glad God made me your mom.

I love this girl!!!

I love this girl!!!

I remember

9114People everywhere are remembering the day our world changed. On that fateful day 12 years ago I remember exactly where I was.

At the time I was working in a call center for a cell phone company. We hadn’t heard much when I received a call from a woman whose phone automatically transferred her to my department. The woman on the phone that day was frantic. She was a stewardess for United Airlines. She was trying to reach her friends and co-workers. She was supposed to be on one of those planes.

Twelve years later I don’t remember her name but I’ll never forget her voice.

Shortly thereafter we received word that if we wanted to leave work we could go and not face any attendance infractions. 21-month-old MiniMe was in daycare and 7-year-old Beauty was in her second grade class at school. I chose to leave. I knew there was nothing I could do and thankfully I didn’t personally know anyone who was killed that day but I needed to gather my children close and keep them as safe as I knew how. I picked up the girls and we went home. Thankfully they were young enough that they didn’t understand at the time what was going on. I struggled to answer Beauty’s questions in a way that she would understand.

Twelve years later they have learned to live in our post 9/11 world.

I have relatives who have served in the military and a nephew who is a civilian firefighter in Afghanistan. There’s a local family who lost a son a few years ago. We live in a small community and the day he was brought home everything stopped. The motorcade from the airport to the high school gym where his memorial service was held was one of the most amazingly heart wrenching things I’ve ever experienced. Beauty and I were on the freeway and every overpass was filled with people. The fence along side the freeway was filled with flags.  Cars pulled over to the side of the road to show respect for this fallen soldier who was one of our own. I was one of those cars.

I am thankful every day for the men and women in uniform who work so hard to make sure that our world is safe. Whether it’s a military uniform or our firefighters, EMTs, police and sheriffs, all of them are working together to make sure that we in this country are safe.

For this, I thank you.

My response to the Daily Prompt

51 Days later…

51 days ago my mom passed away. I had what I can only call the most stressful week of my life so far. There have been good days and bad days in the last 51 days. Some have been easier than others and I know that will continue to happen likely forever. A week ago my niece and I got matching tattoos in memory of my mom. It was a pretty amazing experience and I’m glad we did it together. I haven’t been posting because every time I try to think of something to write, I feel like I can’t breathe so I stop.

I don’t want to turn this into a place where all I do is vent about how sad I am. That’s not who I am in real life so why should I let that be who I am on here? Father’s Day was really hard because that was the 1 month mark. But I got through it and I’m still here.

We started our Horse Camp season the first week of June and have been having a blast getting to know all the new families and being able to reconnect with old friends. My family does something we lovingly call “Horse Camp” every summer. We started 13 years ago when MiniMe was just a baby. I got a call from my brother asking if we wanted to come over after soccer practice and ride horses. That really is how we started. My niece and nephew started coming and I invited one of my co-workers one time and my brother invited the crew from his roofing business to bring their families out. Because we were doing this right at dinner time we pulled out the BBQ and started cooking up hotdogs. A few years later we had grown to anywhere between 20 and 50 people each Wednesday. One night my brother gathered everybody around and started telling a story about a cowboy named Cactus Jack. When I was in college a few years ago (well, more than a few but who’s counting, right?) I had to create a Powerpoint presentation and I chose to make mine about Horse Camp. I came up with the name Cactus Jack’s Hope Ranch because that’s what it’s all about for us. We have never done any real advertising, it’s all been word of mouth. We do have a Facebook page that I created this season that you can find by just searching for Cactus Jack’s Horse Camp. I’ll try to post a link later.

So that’s how the last 51 days have been for me. I still miss my mom, sometimes so much that I can actually feel a hole in my heart where she should be. But most days I “Just Keep Swimming” and breathe in and out until it doesn’t hurt so bad.

I don’t know how to do this

Life has thrown me some big huge curve balls lately and I can honestly say I don’t think I’m handling it very well. That being said, I’m not exactly sure how one is supposed to handle the amount of stress and tragedy I’ve been subjected to in the last few weeks so maybe I’m handling it just exactly right. I have no idea, but I DO know that this part just sucks!

My brother asked me the other day how I was doing. I answered him truthfully. In that very minute I really was ok. A couple of minutes later I was crying.

I miss my mom. A couple of days ago I posted that on Facebook. I hadn’t had much sleep the night before and I was super emotional. I ended up crying pretty much all evening. We had a video slideshow that we played at her service and I ended up watching that a couple of times. That just made it worse! I think it’ll be awhile before I can watch it again.

Last week a former co-worker was killed in a motorcycle accident. When I found out about it I had another anxiety attack. It just so happened that I was standing in a local pizza place at the time. Yeah, that was fun. The service for that amazing young woman was yesterday. I wasn’t sure I would be able to handle it but I think I did ok. I was able to breathe my way through an anxiety attack so that’s something anyway. My heart breaks for her twin sister. I know how hard this journey has been for me since losing my mom 25 days ago and I can only imagine that what she’s going through right now is even harder. Please pray for the family as they figure out this new life without their loved one.

I find myself being so afraid that something is going to happen to another person I love that I feel like I’m becoming an emotional wreck. I’m needy in ways I never have been in my entire life. I want to gather everyone I love close and not let them leave my side so I can make sure they’re safe. I know that isn’t reasonable so I keep it to myself most of the time but it’s always there. Is that normal? Again, I have no idea. Maybe it is… maybe everyone who’s been through this feels the same way.

I just know that pretty much every day is a challenge and I just want things to be ok. Mostly I want ME to be ok.

And I don’t know how to do that.