All posts by mycupr5

SINGLE

In today’s dating world…

You cannot put your guard down. You cannot be vulnerable. You cannot express how you really feel, and you shouldn’t even LET yourself feel anything.

When Ross passed away, from that day forward, I assumed that I would be alone, just me and the kids. I was content with that. I had come to terms with that.

So I woke up every morning and took care of my children, and I tended to the house, and I packed and unpacked our boxes several times, trying to find our new normal. I worked hard and then I didn’t work, for I was exhausted and tired to the bone from single parenting and dealing with the stress of carrying the full weight of the responsibility. I was transporting two kids to counselors, one with PTSD and the other with autistic behavior issues…who was getting physically stronger by the day, and displaying aggressive meltdowns, which seemed to only directed at me. I didn’t know to control her fits and I was getting hurt a lot. FIVE of my personal dogs that Ross and I raised together, all died, one right after another. I have yet to grieve for any one of them and I was alone during every single passing. I went to bed every night defeated, falling asleep right away, only to wake up an hour later, and lay there all night long, into the morning, pondering every little worry in my head. Did I make the right decision? How will Reagan get past finding his father dead? Will Bailey ever be able to control her aggression, when she is in full fledged meltdown, and will she ever be able to live successfully on her own, as an adult? How much longer can I go on this way, with the weight of the world, with every single obstacle in my pathway, with no way around it? How will anyone ever love me and everything that I am? My package of children, dogs…my newfound trust issues and my fear of abandonment. How?? And why?

What I have learned in this new dating world…..the world is jam packed full of emotionally unavailable men, that say they want a “girlfriend”, but turns out, they do not. There are men who only want FWB (friends with benefits), who want to reap all of the rewards of being in a relationship, without any strings holding them to any one single person. The men out there…they are indecisive or just plain mean. So mean. And the “nice” men out there…they tell you everything you want to hear, and then they are gone, without the respect of an explanation or closure.

I have learned in today’s dating world, that everyone is BROKEN. Everyone has lied, cheated, been betrayed, been heartbroken, and everyone has been hurt to the point of building their own walls, while trying to knock down the walls of others. We WANT love, but we do not want to let ourselves love completely. Gone are the days…of loving with abandonment.

I am a widow. This means that I WILL love differently. I WILL cherish my person. I WILL love that person wholeheartedly, and I will ALWAYS have an insatiable fear of losing them to death. I know that every single moment can be GONE in the blink of the eye. If I lose my person to another woman, then I am able to push on, because that person was not meant for me, but I cannot handle losing them to death. There is NO closure to death. No ending. There is no resolution and NO PEACE, especially when you lose someone unexpectedly. And my children and I will NEVER know why Ross died. That will never be okay, and I will never be at peace with that. I can learn to adapt without him because I have no choice, but I will never be at peace with his death.

So I keep trying to be happy, but I am reaching the bottom now, and I am growing tired of all the games, lies, indecisiveness, and I am growing SO tired of being hurt, and there is a hell of a lot of hurt today, at every single damn turn.

I am only confident of a few things….I have learned that the amount of effort someone puts into YOU, shows their level of interest.

And…

No average man need apply for this position. A real man will have good work ethic. A real man will put you first always (and yes, the exception is if he has children). A real man will not be cowardly, and will TELL you exactly how he is feeling. A real man will not leave you guessing. A real man will love YOUR children as his own. A real man will not sit by and watch you suffer in any way, whether it is emotionally or physically. A real man will not ever put himself into a situation where he could be tempted by another woman. Not a real man who is completely and fully devoted to YOU.

And YES, this works both ways.

I do not NEED to be married again. I do not NEED to have anyone in my life. I CHOOSE to be happy again, in a different manner, on a different level, in a totally different chapter. But I will not knock on any more closed doors.

I want my best friend that I can’t keep my hands off. BUT that person will need to find me, and he will need to come and get me, because this girl is freaking tired.

Gracie Girl – RIP 1/5/2019

Ross found Gracie’s intake picture on the Animal Care Services website when we were wanting to foster a big dog. Her picture was regal and majestic, and he said that her face was sad and soulful.

We saved her from that horrible place, and me, Reagan and Bailey brought her home to safety.  From that day forward, she was soft and tender through and through, and never had anything but unconditional love to give each and every person that crossed her path. She loved anyone and everyone, and she would literally stand under your hand until you pet her.  She would be so content with an accidental touch, even, and never asked for anything, but a full belly and nice long naps sporadically throughout the day. She was truly an amazingly sweet, unbelievably nurturing spirit.

As she got older, she had lots of issues such as incontinence, signs of dementia, and she had these adoring old lady qualities that we loved so much….barking her “double bark”….where she would bark one time and her second bark would be silent. That second one would not come out for nothing.  She would pace around the house and not even realize that she was dropping poopies all over the floor. So maybe that isn’t really a “great” memory, but Bailey would go downstairs and yell up to me…”mom, time to Easter egg hunt”…in other words, time to follow the poop trail and clean the floor. Poor Gracie was just napping contently and not even aware of her surprise poops disbursed about our home. And what did she care, anyway? 😉

She was our Queen. We served her meals to her on the couch. We covered her with blankets. We laid with her and loved on her as much as humanly possible. We were not the perfect or most responsible dog owners, admittedly, but we loved her, and she knew what love was, and she knew she had a home with us forever.

That is what I have to focus on…that she had more than most did…she was so very much loved and adored…she will always be our Queen…she will be so very missed.

My heart hurts so badly with our loss of this beautiful soul.  I cannot believe that I will never see her sweet old face again.  The way she would stare at me while I was sitting with her, and when I wouldn’t stare back at her, she would whimper, or even bark once at me, like, “HELLO, I am here…LOVE me, TOUCH me”…she was a big pile of mushy hearts and flowers and all of the beautiful, but sad songs playing in the backdrop as she watched you go about your day.  That is how she was to me, a vision of love and beauty, just sitting there and wanting to walk around and follow you, but too tired and old to do so.

She only wanted your love.  She deserved everything and more. I cannot bear the thought of never seeing or laying with her ever again.  My heart is broken into a million pieces.

 

Happy Healing Place

My anxiety is at an all-time high.  And I could go into all of that nonsense, and get myself all worked up all over again, but I don’t want to do that.

I want to celebrate this anticipation of our next chapter.  I registered the kids at their middle school yesterday, and though my stomach was a bit sick, because I am very anxious about Bailey starting middle school, and the idea of her being bullied enrages me (I mean, I am working overtime to convince her that a My Little Pony backpack will not suffice)….but I FINALLY convinced Reagan to do ATHLETICS, instead of just P.E.

I am positive that this will be his healing process…athletics…as he tries different sports concepts, and figures out where his happy place is. This is what he needs!!  This is his salvation!!  Teamwork and loyalty and competition and pride!!  I am SO excited to go on this journey with him. It will be a place where he can hash out his anger and confusion, gather his emotions and apply them appropriately.  To focus on something other than his loss.

I about cried my eyes out when the coach gave him a pep talk…he about cried HIS eyes out.  It breaks my heart into a million pieces, how much that he misses his dad, and how much he has lost these past couple of years.  He will NEVER get that piece back that he lost that day.  He misses that fatherly role model so badly, and yet he fights it at the same time. I want him to have this again with everything inside of me, but I will not push him.  I want him to be embrace that when he is ready.

This is where it begins.  Being coached, directed, guided…and being able to process his grief in a healthy manner. I am SO proud of this little man, and all of his broken little pieces.  This is the first day that I believe he will be okay.

Final Chapter

For those of you that have followed my blog….it has been some time since I have posted.  Thank you so much for your support, and thank you for your encouraging comments and lifelong friendships along the way. I know that I take a great risk, posting such personal crap for the whole world to see, but this is how I heal…by writing, not verbally expressing myself.  Verbally expressing is not something I am ready for, and I may never be.

It is possible to feel too much.  To feel too much, all of the time, and not be able to shut it off.  I have been at war with myself over this…wanting to NOT care, NOT love, and simply NOT worry over the smallest matters.  But the problem with NOT giving a shit…it goes against every grain of my being, and it is stepping into unfamiliar territory.

I wear my heart on my sleeve.  This should be a wonderful characteristic.  I should be surrounded by lovely friends, family, and I should always be in love, and always feel secure in my parenting. I should always feel loved, because I can love so hard, and I can give so much.  In a perfect world, right?

But it doesn’t work out that way.  I will never be able to wrap my head around this.  And I know there are so many other tender-hearted souls out there that feel the same way….as if they being punished for caring too much.  Because that is what it feels like…punishment.

Loss has changed me forever.  If I care about you, I am definitely afraid that you will die.  If I feel happiness, I am afraid to close my eyes, because when I open them, that happiness will be gone.  So many beautiful precious memories, dreams, stories, wishes, journeys….all ripped away without any warning, only to leave me with so many damn questions…confusion…and not knowing how to process my sadness, because I was never able to say goodbye to that person…that  dream, that life, that fur baby, and that perception of what my life was supposed to be.

I had a “new normal” after Ross died.  That first year was the most horrible pain and isolation, but nothing compared to the helpless feeling of watching my own children struggle.  This second year after his death….we are trying for yet another new normal, and we are moving again.

I have stayed awake for hours every night, paced the floors, and did so much soul searching…SO scared of doing wrong by my children, and not having a partner to discuss anything with, but determined to NOT be swayed with the whole “single parenting” stigma, even though this is “sole parenting”, because my children’s father did not choose to leave us.  He died suddenly, and there is nothing that I can do to change that.  But yet, here I am, a single parent, having everyone tell me that I am such a strong person, and yet it makes me want to scream.  I don’t have any choice, but to be strong.  None of us do.  But admittedly, it is comforting to hear those words anyway, because I do look back and wonder HOW IN THE HELL am I still here.

I fight to recreate joy.  I struggle to sing a new song, while at the same time, reflect back on the familiar ones even though they sting.  I feel like I am always searching, but I cannot tell you what the hell I am searching for.  I am still lost, but I am slowly finding my way to a new self.  Not what I once was.  Because I don’t want to go back there.  I didn’t value tiny moments, unspoken words, and I didn’t value long lasting glances, watching my child draw her pictures, laughing with my son and his crazy antics, cuddling with my dogs knowing they will die too soon, and treasuring every single damn color, taste, texture, and emotion.  I am forever changed, but I am better because of it.  I really am.

I can love wholeheartedly.  I accept any and all those with all of their flaws and indiscretions.  I truly listen to empathize, not to respond or even understand.  My heart hurts when you cry, because I have been there.  And when there is something to laugh about….I cannot describe that feeling of gratefulness and appreciation…this life and everything that it deals out…and still, we can laugh!!  And when you have been broken, and you are on your knees, at the deep depths of darkness, you can see that happiness SO clearly, and you wonder why no one else can see it, too.  You want it so badly.  It is taunting and dancing and calling you over, but there are mountains and walls and oceans to swim.  You are exhausted, but you want that happiness.

I don’t want to be bitter, hateful, or resentful.  I should be, and there are days when I have moments of feeling spiteful for the cards I have been dealt.  But they are just that, moments, and thank goodness they are fleeting.

I do know my worth, I just forget it sometimes when someone hurts me intentionally or unintentionally.  And there will always be someone that will hurt you. Because we are all damaged in some way or another, and we will hurt others without meaning to.

I believe most people are good, but we all struggle and we all feel pain.  You have decide who you want to bring into your life that brings you growth, encouragement, and makes you feel loved and valued.  We are all deserving of happiness, but are just too scared to take it, for fear that it won’t stay.

But with the right tribe…friends and family, even if there are only a few…with the right partner…they will fight to stay, and they will not want to be anywhere else.

We are coming up on the 2 year anniversary of Ross’ death.  We are coming up on another Father’s Day.  I am without words, but yet I am not.

Surely, there is more

Yesterday, on Christmas Day of 2017, we had to say goodbye to Sherlock, one of our dogs, lost to liver failure that came on very suddenly and unexpectedly. I have also had to say goodbye to Bandit, Star, and Cowboy, all within this past year.
If you are a true heartfelt dog lover, then you know that our animals are part of our family. They are encrypted into our daily lives, and they always find a spot in the corners of our hearts, and sometimes they are front and center in our hearts, if the bond is sacred and strong. Our animals love us unconditionally, no matter what. They carry us through catastrophic loss. They kiss away our tears when we have no one else, and believe me, there are way too many silent still moments of complete loneliness. They fill all of the voids that humans cannot fill, because we as human make so many careless mistakes, and we hurt others, even when we don’t mean to. Sometimes beyond repair, but hopefully not.
I have no idea how I have done this.  I have sat in the vet’s office 4 times in one year. I have held my sick dying babies, and I have stared into their eyes as they left me. My mother died when I was 18, and we never had the chance to be mother/daughter in a happy and healthy environment. My Grandpa died, and I tried so hard to will him back in that hospital bed, laying next to him, but he was gone. My husband….the one person who was always laughing and spread so much joy to others…..his light went out without warning, leaving us wondering why.
I am spent. I have nothing left. I cannot say goodbye anymore. Please don’t make me say goodbye anymore.
When Ross died, our whole lives were shattered. Everything that we ever knew was gone. We were lost and delirious, and we scrambled around through our blinding and deafening distress, not knowing which way to go, but going everywhere at the same time. We had support.  We had family. We had some beautiful, wonderful friends. But we did not have Ross, and the center of our family revolved around him.
I have taken on sole parenting in an awkward manner, tripping over so many obstacles that had never been there before. I have been very hard on myself, and I have had so much anger in my heart….the bitterness and resentment alone could drown me. But I know….deep down….that my children are my everything, and they love me, and I love them. I will always protect them, and I would die myself, making sure they were taken care of and provided for. Even though I still have so many doubts with some of these life changing decisions, I still push forward anyway, because there are no other options, when you have children who are looking to you for guidance. And they will never forget how you reacted to how the world treats you, so cold and cruel….but you fight to still be tender-hearted, even though you know that others may not be so gracious, and will hurt you the first chance they get.
That is where I am. I am beaten and bruised and broken, and I am still fighting to be happy. I am not oblivious or unaware of how brutal life can be, and how we all have our own demons that we battle every single morning. I am not the only one who has fallen victim to the harsh clutches of loss and disappointment. I understand the walls that we put up, and mine have never gone down (and when they have, I am terrified). If only we could gauge who to put walls up for, and who to take them down for….but we cannot. We can only trust our instincts, and pray that our spirits are not ripped from us yet again. Crawling back into that dark place is cold and lonely.
Surely, there is happiness?  Surely, after all of this struggle….this raw aching pain…..this exhausting pushing and pulling, only to be left with nothing…..surely, there is something beautiful that comes from all of this torment. There has to be. I cannot imagine there not being anything…..anyone…..that can shape and enhance our lives. I have to believe this, and if I were to let go of that, then there is no point anymore. 

Merry Christmas

I wanted to reach out to everyone and send a big warm thank you for all of your well wishes, concerns, and heartfelt sympathies. Everyone has been so very kind, especially right after Ross’ death, the holiday following that, and this holiday.
The kids and I are trying to find our new “normal”.  Maybe even some happiness, but a different kind of happiness. Everything  changed overnight, but we are bending and twisting to adapt and learn new ways of coping in more healthy manners.
Please continue to say prayers for Reagan, Bailey, and Tyler.  Every day will always be a struggle, and we all are keenly aware that the holidays either make us or break us, and for Ross’ children….there will never be a time when their dad is not weighing heavily in their hearts. As a mother, I obviously try really hard to make it all better, and always be a constant presence in their lives….with all of the uncertainly and doubt of death sneaking up and taking their dad away….I can only be here, and I can only ensure they know that my love for them will stretch and expand to meet any needs they might have. A mother always finds more love to give.
And a father always finds more love to give. Please pray for those widowers out there, as well. These lost souls have had to assume the mother role, as well, and sometimes they are doing many tasks outside of their comfort zone. I have such an enormous amount of respect for my Widow/Widower friends that have wrapped their protective arms around their little families, when they are broken in a million pieces.
We are all doing the best that we can, and even though this cruel world is judgmental, opinionated, and cold….we have to force ourselves to look internally, and focus on our children, and focus on creating our new chapters, because that is what our spouses would want us to do. To be strong, and fight for a new happiness.
Please accept my sincere thankfulness. My cup runneth over. I could not have pushed through this past year alone, and I most certainly could not have woken up with a newfound strength every single morning as a sole parent, after my family endured such a trauma. Please know that I am grateful to each and every one of you, and will continue to be, as my extended family still reaches out to us. We will never tire of your care and concern, and we will always hold a special place in our hearts for those who have continued to be a source of strength and guidance.
I love you.
Merry Christmas.

Do it. Say it. Feel it.

I posted a new blog the other day, and shared it to my Facebook page, as I always do.  Five minutes later, I deleted the link on my Facebook page. It was nakedly personal.  I am not oblivious to the fact that my life is heavy, and not everyone can relate nor can they comprehend what it is that I live every day. Heck, everyone has their own battles, and they don’t always post it for everyone to see. This is of my own choosing, and my own personal therapy. But I did remove this particular link about my daughter’s meltdowns….because not everyone wants to hear all of the negativity. And guess what?  Neither do I.  I WANT to be happy, and inspired.  I WANT to be in love, and to be a wonderful and perfect mother…..I WANT to have a normal life.  These may or may not be in the cards for me, but there is always something else around that corner.  I find myself happy in little moments.  Why I cannot seem to feel that way 24/7…..I will never be able to wrap my mind around that.  I know that I am deserving.  I know that I am a good person.  And I know that I am busting my ass to follow the path of right instead of wrong.  But sadly, somewhere along that path…..I have lost my way.  I want it all, but not sure that I will ever get it. I am at war with myself every minute of the day.  I don’t want to be.  How about some peace?  All of my life, I don’t think that I have ever felt peace.  Only tiny moments of peace.

My daughter is on the spectrum, as you have read in my other blogs.  My son is in emotional turmoil from the loss of his dad.  We have lost several of our family furry babies over the course of this past year.  Loss hangs over our family like a dark cloud.

I have a lot, and I am grateful for what is still here……but I am bitter about all of the loss.  I don’t want to be.  And I don’t want to be sad, lonely, or lost, anymore.  But mostly……I don’t want my CHILDREN to feel sad, lonely, or lost.  If my children are in distress, then I am in distress.  And I can fight for my new chapter until I am thoroughly spent, but it will not mean anything, if my children are not okay.  We are a family unit, and we all three need to work hard to move forward, together.

It has been a year and four months since Ross passed away unexpectedly.  My family is pushing forward, but we are not okay just yet.  Maybe we never will be, but I am getting help, and I am trying so hard.  Everything in me is so tired.  I am so done, but I cannot be done.  Anyone with children understand what I mean. You do not get permission to check out.

My frustration level is off the charts.  I look around me……I see heartbreak, neglect, and unhappiness.  How can I make you understand……life can be taken away tomorrow, just like that.  There are no second chances.  There is just NOTHING after someone has died……every thing that you always wanted to say to them, will go unspoken.  It will haunt you until the day that you die, and you will leave this world feeling unsettled and unloved.

Do what makes you HAPPY.  Do what makes you feel ALIVE.  Be proactive and forthcoming.  If you feel LOVE, then SAY IT.  If you feel helplessness, then ASK FOR HELP.  If you feel like there is nothing here for you, then GO AND GET IT.  Do it.  Say it. Feel it.

That is all.

onechance

asking for prayers

Bailey is striking me now. She is big, and she is so strong. It is really hard to contain her arms, legs, and head, and it is getting harder to gauge when she will hit in advance.  I am mostly taking the hits and fending her off the best way I can without anyone getting hurt, but it doesn’t always work that way.
She put on quite a show at her last doctor’s appointment. Her developmental pediatrician referred me to a mental health organization for behavior therapy. In my mind, I thought it was probably someone that would come into our home and help me write up schedules, and have lots of suggestions and calming techniques to make our daily activities less stressful. Now I am not sure where it was that I called and left a message with. I was told that I needed the Mental Health Department, and that if I had an emergency, to call 911 right away. It gave me anxiety and made my heart race.
How have we gotten here? How has our family gotten to this point of distress, where I have no solutions, immediate family support, or have no emotional relief in sight?
Bailey is my sweetheart. She is affectionate and sensitive. She tells me that she loves me out of the blue, and she embraces me in wonderful hugs and plays with my ear lobes gently to calm her anxiety. I am her source of comfort. This is my place as a mother.
I am also her source of frustration and anger. When I tell her, “No”, she grows increasingly irritated, until she cannot deal, and then she reacts with no control. She doesn’t hold back her punches and kicks, she just goes with it, and she goes with it full force, and with no remorse in the moment. She screams out words that hurt my stomach, and break my heart…..and make me question everything about myself as a parent. What have I done?  Where have I gone wrong?  Why are we being punished? Why are all of these horrible things happening to us?
My dear sweet Bays….she is a loving package of bittersweet emotions. She is fragile and endearing, and she has such a beautiful and tender heart. When she has broken through her rage, and she finally allows herself to see any relief….she is overwhelmed with remorse and sadness. She holds her arms up to me, and she cries for me to come to her, and she rocks in my lap as if we are in a rocking chair…..while she rubs my ear lobe and her sobs slowly
get quieter, and her breathing starts to relax. She finally gets to her resting place, and then it is as if she were never disturbed at all. But me….I carry it with me all day and into the night.
She can’t help it. Her disability gets this hold over her, and she can’t seem to break free. She will hit herself in any way possible, and anyone that is near her, but she is mostly angry with me. I don’t know how to help her anymore without getting hurt myself. It hurts my heart so badly to see her in such a state. She has her brother emotionally scarred, and he has severe PTSD from the loss of dad, that is still very fresh…..he makes suicidal threats when he is upset, and though I know deep down that he will not do anything to himself, these threats are heard by Bailey, and now Bailey is yelling these threats. I am completely alone and terrified that I have lost control of my little family. I HAVE.  I cancelled my own grief therapy to allow more time and funds for my children’s therapy, and there is no fault in that….but I don’t know how to move forward. Apparently, Reagan and Bailey both need more mental health support that I can provide, and that makes me a failure. I have failed them. But I am going to get this help, and I am asking for your prayers.

kids

If You Are Blessed

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I haven’t been here for several weeks, but this morning my heart was heavy and burdened. Life has thrown me into an endless cycle of routine, where I fight to catch my breath every day.  We are pushing and pulling through each hour, only to lay down for bed at night, and then greet the morning with sleepy reluctance.
I couldn’t make a heart big enough to show my love for my children. I love for both of us now. It encompasses every tiny piece of my soul, and delivers a sense of purpose with a big weathered, but beautiful bow. I long to never unwrap such cherished memories, but a part of me goes away, every time they walk out that door. What if they never came back, and what if I lost a child? I would surely die to save them. I would surely die a thousand deaths before I would lose them.
Our family is a wave of laughter and tears, though we have been rained on for over a year now, and we are finally searching for our sun. There is no mercy within our days, and we fight like soldiers to embrace all the happiness that we can, and carry it with us, in those moments of grief and loneliness.
I pile band-aide on top of band-aide….Christmas presents, birthday surprises, cruises…but can never replace those moments where they will come to me, and take me in their arms, all on their own accord. I could live off of their smiles and their warmth for a life time. They are fuel for my barren, aching heart, and all that I have left in this world. I am their quiet, and they are my wild.
I will never be able to embrace all of these first times enough, nor will I ever be able to cherish all of our last times to their full extent.  The last time that I held them on my hip. The last time that I fed them their meal. The last time that I dressed them for school.  And the last time that I helped them wash their hair, when they finally sent me away, because they didn’t need my help anymore. What will I become, when my children have become adults, and my purpose no longer feeds my soul?
Eventually, we lose everyone, or they will lose us.
One chance. Blinking…hesitating…back pedaling….there is no end result that will complete you. There are only regrets and loneliness.
Today I sit in front of your grave site, and the dirt has turned to grass, and there are little white flowers sprouting up above your shell. Time has gone by, but we are still aching for our family of five, and we will grieve for you every single day.
If one is fortunate, one is given a warning, and one can cherish without reservation. If one is blessed, one is granted a new beginning….though sadly, we will not be blessed until we are ready, if we ever are.  And we never find that same love or that same security, but a recreation of a new love story, and a collection of different memories. Hopefully, we are graced with a chance to live for another chapter, because there is no point in having a story, if you have no one to tell it to, or no one to live it with.
You are always healing, one step at a time, though you will never let go completely, and you should not have to.
We miss you terribly.

First Steps

After I got the kiddos to sleep last night, I was feeling extremely restless and agitated. For no specific reason, just many reasons.

I sat right here, and I read every single blog that I have posted from day one, up until last week.  I could feel the sadness, and the weight of all of the loss reverberating to my core.  I read and felt this burden all the way into the morning hours.

There has been this horrible suffocating bubble around me, but instead of making me feel panicked, it is making me angry.  I don’t want to feel sadness, hopelessness, and I don’t want to get up in the mornings, for the sole purpose of being a mother.  I want to be a proactive, loving mother, but I want to stand by my true reflections, and continue to be free spirited, non-judgmental, and have empathy for others and their hardships, because I am not the only one who has suffered.  I am determined to stay true to myself, to be a force to be reckoned with, and at the same time, still be soft and kind.  I want to do this without fear of falling, getting hurt, or failing my children, even if I do get burned or face disappointment in my attempts.

This past year has changed me for the better.  I remember every little detail that takes my breath away, and I hold it so tightly, that my fingers ache, and I find myself wanting to cry from  all of the emotions involved with that moment.  I want to scream at the top of my lungs….YOU ONLY HAVE ONE LIFE, AND THAT LIFE IS SHORT & FLEETING…..and for others to actually hear and feel those words to their very core, and to embrace all of the sweet sounds of family and friends, and to collect all of the intricacies of early mornings and sunlight, and how the world goes to sleep, but the big beautiful moon stands watch over us.  Everything poetic and cheesy, but holding so much power over your perception of life and its brutal daily grind.

Speak with your children, but really listen to them.  Give them reassurance, confidence, and always tell them that you love them, because no child can never hear that enough.  At the same time, use the word “love” sparingly outside of your family nest…..only speak the word when it is clear and present in your heart.

Discovering Ross had died in his sleep…..that has done this to me.  Watching our son hover over his father, screaming, “Dad, Dad, etc.”, and helplessly trying to bring him back…..it will forever be tattooed in my soul, and our son will never be the same child again….he will carry that weight into adulthood, and there is nothing that I can do to erase it.

It slips away so quickly, but you don’t realize it until it is gone forever, and there is no coming back from death.  Grief is an ugly monster, and it wears many faces of sadness, loneliness, anxiety, anger….and it will strip away all of your hope until you are bleeding and raw.

You have to look around and pay attention to everything around you.  The slight shift in the wind, the sound of your child’s laughter…..you have to give yourself a break. You have to let yourself feel what it is that you need to feel, because if you don’t allow yourself to feel, then you cannot rediscover and redefine who you are.

I have come so far.  I am proud of myself, and I am proud of my children.  I have admitted to my faults, recognized my weaknesses, and I have been fighting to get both feet on the ground.

Bailey has autism.  Yes, we have so many horrific moments, where I cannot pull her back….it breaks me in a hundred different places, but I try and focus on her spirit…and if she is pushing through her fits and coming back up the the surface fully winded….then I will, too.

Reagan has his own challenges, and I like to put myself on trial for coddling and babying him for so many years….but I recognize that now, and I have no shame in identifying that I have made some mistakes, but will make it right, for the purpose of raising a strong, hard working, and compassionate son.  He will be someone’s husband one day….someone’s father….and he will remember these moments…and reflect back on them with joy, instead of fear and doubt.  I stand on our front porch, and I watch him walk to his bus stop, towards all of the bigger junior high boys….and it makes me want to cry, because he is so tall and strong….and he keeps pushing through, no matter what.  How does he do that, when he has been broken down to his knees, time and time again?

I love my family so much.  I want so badly to make Ross proud.  I want so badly to be happy.  I think that is the first step, after all of the other first steps….wanting to be happy, and allowing yourself to be happy.