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.

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!!!

Mooooooommmmm….

I’m going to change my name. I’ve decided. I can’t tell you what it will be because one of you will tell my kids then I’ll be screwed.

7195 days ago I became a mother. I suppose you could add 9 months to that if you wanted to get technical about it but I think that number is overwhelming enough as it is. Little did I know that I was about to embark on the most difficult, sometimes heartbreaking, often terrifying, frequently enjoyable, always rewarding adventures of my life! Almost from the beginning I was mostly a single mom. When she was 3 months old, I became a really real single mom. Thankfully I had MY mom to help me. Those early days were tough as we learned about each other and got to know one another. My baby Beauty was my first true love. She taught me things about myself that I never knew. I didn’t know you could function on so little sleep for extended periods of time. Not function very well but still able to be semi-coherent. She opened my eyes to the little things I had never noticed. She was excited about pretty much everything and learning to see the world through the eyes of a child is an amazing experience. For the first 6 years of her life we were a team. It was her and I against the world. 5019 days ago her sister was born. Beauty was such a great help when I was pregnant with MiniMe. She loved to cuddle with me on the couch and lay her head on my baby bump. 2 weeks before MiniMe was born we moved into the hotel I worked at and were living in a room there. 3 days before MiniMe was born my parents arrived and stayed in a room across the hall. Because of complications during childbirth (I almost died! For real!) I had to stay in the hospital for a few days. Poor Beauty had never really been away from me for that long and wasn’t happy about it. That first night she decided she was going to sleep in my bed since she couldn’t be with me. Grandma couldn’t get her to change her mind for anything. MiniMe brought many changes to our lives. Beauty was the very best big sister around. Right up until her baby started getting into her stuff and trying to eat everything. Then the days (and nights) were filled with “Mooooommmm she has my…” or “Moooooooommmm she wants my…” That never really changed even as they got a little bigger. Except instead of only 1 of them saying it now I had 2.

MiniMe was my “no leg baby”. Not literally of course but the kid seriously had the shortest little legs it was crazy! Beauty was 7lbs 6oz and 21 1/2 inches long at birth. Long and skinny. MiniMe was 7lbs 15.5 oz and 19 inches long. She was the Gerber Baby. Most of that 19 inches was her torso. She didn’t even hit the charts for height until she was almost 4! Beauty was off the charts from the beginning and finally stopped at 5’9″. She didn’t get that from me! MiniMe is now 13 and a couple of weeks ago we measured her and she’s 5’1″. Yep, that’s my girl!

The other day I was making dinner and MiniMe just randomly yelled “Moooooommmm”. I’m pretty sure it was just to see if I’d react. That’s when I told her I’m changing my name and I’m not telling her what it is. She didn’t find the humor in the situation.  Right now Beauty is taking some time away and visiting family and working on herself. The last year has been a rollercoaster and she needed to get off the ride for a while. MiniMe is keeping me on my toes this summer. We now have a kitten so she’s been busy with that. Horse Camp Season will be ending soon and it will be time to go back to school and get our routine back. She is definitely a creature of habit and not having anything to really do during the day is driving her a little crazy.

10 days from now we will be at our family reunion with my aunts and uncle and cousins on my mom’s side. The day we get there will mark the 3 month anniversary of mom passing away. I’m glad I’ll get to be with my extended family on that day. But I guarantee I’ll still get to hear one or hopefully both of my children call me Moooooommmm… And ya know what? I’m gonna enjoy every single minute of it!

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.

Mamma Mia

I was 13 and totally rockin' the mullet!

I was 14 and totally rockin’ the mullet!

That’s my mom and I. I was 14 years old. It was about a year after my dad died. We were still having lots of struggles in our relationship. When Dad was alive he was the calming influence between us. I’ve mentioned before that I was totally a daddy’s girl. When he died there was no longer anyone there to calm things down between us. We had lots and lots of struggles. I’m sorry Mom! I get it now!

I am the youngest of 5. My oldest sister has kids older than me. The next to the youngest was 12 when I was born. I was basically like a second family for my parents and when I was younger it was almost like being an only child. Well, until my sister and my niece moved in with us. My niece is 6 months (and 4 days!) older than me and we fought like sisters. We lived in a 2 story house and she and I shared a bedroom upstairs. We were always falling down the stairs. One particular morning we were both coming down for breakfast and each had a glass of water in hand. She went first and fell and didn’t spill a drop. I wasn’t so lucky. By the time I hit the bottom my glass was empty and I was soaked. One year I got a Slinky for Christmas. We were trying to get it to work like the commercials said it did when Mom/Grandma decided to come show us. Mom became a human Slinky. 😦 Of course at the time we thought it was super funny because we did it all the time. Now that I’m about the age she was when that happened, I’m so very sorry we laughed. I’ve fallen down a couple of stairs recently and it’s not funny anymore.

Shortly before we moved from my little hometown to the county where I currently live, Mom had surgery. It was a huge change for all of us and Mom couldn’t do much at all. When we got here she was stuck in bed for weeks. Not the easiest way to start our new life but she did what she had to do and we all survived. When my dad died we were all thrown into grief, heartache and chaos. I can’t imagine how difficult things were for her. She showed amazing amounts of strength and kept our family together during the most difficult time of our lives.

During my teenage years we had daily struggles. Now that I have teenagers myself, I don’t think I can ever apologize enough to my amazing mother. I love you mom! I moved out when I was 19 and now that I have a 19-year-old myself, I understand how scared my mom must have been for me. But she always let me know that she loved me and was there for me even if she didn’t agree with my choices. I learned a lot from her.

Now that Mom is older and her health is failing, I realize how grateful I am to still have her in my life. We may not always agree on things but I know that she loves me unconditionally and I am so glad God chose her to be my mom.

I love you Mom and I hope your day is amazing!

Mom and I 2013

Mom and I 2013