Category Archives: Anything Goes

Life Moments #27 – Changes

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Reading this quote made me think about change in my own life. I came to the conclusion that:

Change is not my friend.

As many of you know, my son passed away three months ago.

As I said:

Change is not my friend.

Losing him has been one hell of a change, a change that I definitely have not been able to accept. At least, I’m doing a pretty crappy job of it right now.

The day I lost him, my world dropped out from under me. These days, it seems like I am just floating through my life.

Here, but not here.

I have carefully catalogued each memory of him into my mind, but don’t let them surface very often yet. It is quite painful.

But, I recently was going through some computer discs and came upon some goodies.

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Over the last few days, I have had quite a few melt-downs. I feel like I am drowning in this heartache. Nothing around me makes sense and although I should feel joy, the hurt is just too big. I went to his grave, like I do most days, and just sat there.

Not talking.

Not scolding.

Not feeling.

Just crying.

I sat there and just cried.

I want the pain to stop, but it won’t.

I want Darren to be back with us, but he’s not going to be.

I want the tears to stop, but they won’t.

I am a jumbled up mess right now. Will I ever be normal again?

Change is not my friend. Even less now than ever.

 

#FightSuicide #SuicideSucks #lovehimforeverlikehimforalways #MissinHimBad #Iamnowbroken

 

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Life Moments #26 – Missin’ My Baby

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I sat and stared at your picture today.

It still doesn’t seem real that you are gone.

Honestly, it can’t be real.

Can it?

I have spent a lot of time thinking of the short seventeen years, four months, and six days you were with us. I thought about all the laughter and the tears. I thought about the triumphs and the fears. I thought about the many sleepless nights, from infancy to teenager.

Sometimes, I want to run, just run, screaming for you to come back. Other times, I sit and cry. Sometimes, I want to hit the wall or a tree, just hit something so hard because you’re gone. The early morning we got the news, we waited to tell the kids until later in the day. However, we found out everybody already knew and we didn’t want the kids to find out from someone else so we picked them up from school. I remember your middle brother telling me he wanted to hit something because he was angry that you were gone.

OMGoodness, it was such a shock to the little kids. To me, I was stunned. I didn’t have a reaction right away other than disbelief, like it wasn’t true, but I knew. To this day, I wish I hadn’t carried that fear because maybe if it wasn’t a fear then it wouldn’t be true and I wouldn’t be typing this right now.

And still I ask, it can’t be real.

Can it?

I think about you constantly. My mind is jumbled with thoughts of you, of helping others, and letting our tragedy make a difference for someone else.

But, I just can’t get past how stuck I feel, as if I am sinking in quicksand and nobody around me can help. People move on. People accept it, remember you, but move on. Why do I feel so stuck?

Every day, I get up slowly and I look around. And I remember that you aren’t here so I try to graciously get through another day. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I talk about you all the time. I write about you mostly. I show pictures of you that I have on my phone to your baby sister. I have been teaching her your name. She can almost say it, so garbled that it doesn’t sound anything like your name, but it is. One day she will say it clearly!

I still can’t believe you are gone. And all I want to know is…..

WHY?

and

How do I go on?

 

 

#missinhimbad #Darren #lovehimforeverlikehimforalways #FightSuicide #suicidesucks

Life Moments #25 – Hanging On…..Barely

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These last few days of summer are busy, busy, busy trying to get everything ready for the school year. Today’s agenda: took a couple of the kids to their semi-annual dental appointment.

As I sat in the waiting area for my kids’ turn, I watched everyone scurrying around me as they, too, were doing the last minute dental check-ups. It was a busy place today! I observed in my own quiet way. The introvert that I am, I just watched. Kids here and there, even ran into a friend’s son, someone who knew my son. He kindly ask me how I was doing, but I try to stay away from the subject of Darren with most people as it….it’s a hard topic for me. I told him we were hanging in as expected and then changed the subject back to him and his accomplishments. He has been kind of a big deal at his high-school the last few years due to his wrestling skills so I gave him congrats on his upcoming freshman year in college and more wrestling. Yes, I’m guilty. I don’t know all the wrestling terms, but it was nice to see him. I know his parents are proud of his hard work and commitment. He will do great things in his life. My point here was that I just needed to change the subject from my son to something a lot less emotional for me.

As he said goodbye and left with his friends, I went back to my observing. Each family was there for a purpose, a dental check-up and as I watched their perfectly ordinary lives from the outside looking it, nothing seemed askew. The children chatted, the parents or parent thumbed through magazines and conversed with their children. And as we normally see, many people were on their phones, completely oblivious to the noise around them. I continued my observing, most of the time lost in thought – a black cloud hovering above me – wondering what their lives were really like. Nobody except the receptionist knew of what had happened to my son. To be kind, she asked how we were doing – a well-meaning question full of concern, but it cuts so deeply as my heartbreak is still so recent. It’s only been three months. A question that is asked with the best of intentions, but painful nonetheless.

Every day I swim in this grief, trying with all my heart to claw my way out of the darkness, but not having much luck. I wonder if everyone else knows and just not saying anything because what is there really to say? What are the other people in this place really thinking?

They don’t know. How could they?

Finally, our turn. As we made our way to the exam tables, the boys needed updated dental x-rays so we started there. Looks like braces in the near future for one, the other just needs to brush his teeth better. What is it with kids and brushing their teeth? You would think they would want clean teeth! 

Time to exit my head and put on my focus hat because now it’s time to drive. It felt like a really long day, but in all actuality, we were only gone about 3 hours.

In my grief-stricken state of mind, three hours that felt like a week and now my mind is exhausted.

How does grief have that affect on people?

Hmmm……

He’s never far from my thoughts. The pain is always with me.

#heavyheart #MissinHimBad #Darren #Smoochie #anotherdaywithouthim #FightSuicide

 

 

Life Moments #24 – His Life Ended Too Soon….

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Darren, age 9. Aww, I sure love him.

As we are enjoying the last week of summer vacation, my heart grows heavier with each passing day.

Every teenager and parent anticipates the excitement of senior year. Darren was no different, although his reasons may have been different. He couldn’t wait to get out of school. He wanted to be done so he could begin his life out from under the control of his parents.

However……

He will not be attending senior year.

As I see all the fresh senior pics posted around me, my heart grows heavier.

Darren’s will not be one of them.

He and I discussed senior pictures earlier this year. It was something I was looking forward to. He and I shared that passion for photography. And he was very photogenic.

So, this is only one of the many milestones I will never see in his life.

I will never see him enjoy being the uncle to his little niece when she is born.

I will never see him go to college or not….whichever he would have decided.

I will never see him get married or have children of his own.

I will never get to hear him talk about his joys or see his smile.

It breaks my heart to know these things, but I can’t really stay in this place of darkness.  I can’t undo what has been done. I can’t run away from it. I can’t wish it to change as much as I want to.

What I can do is remember him and learn how to live each day without him.

And I’m not looking forward to that.

#FightSuicide #MissingHimBad #LoveHimForeverLikeHimForAlways #Darren #Smoochie

Life Moments #23 – Where Do We Go From Here?

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The sled for the truck pulls. The tractor pulls it backward into the starting position after each truck’s turn.

The other day, my husband, my children, and I went to the county fair as we do every year. My husband shares the same birthday with our twin sons and every year on or around his birthday, the county fair takes place. One of the attractions that we enjoy at the county fair is the truck pulls.

And every year we have gone to these truck pulls for almost as long as we have been together. We have some wonderful family memories that have taken place at this truck pull. This year was no different.

Only is was different.

We were missing one child, which – like most of the summer – put a damper on it for me. So, as we arrived at the fairgrounds, I suddenly had the urge, like uncontrollable urge, to just go back home. I told my husband exactly that and since the day was already off to a rough start, he was more than willing to agree.

But, I couldn’t go home.

You see, I had told my oldest son that I would come watch him because he thought he was going to participate in the truck pull. And, as most of the time, I wanted to be supportive and cheer him on.

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My oldest son, my youngest daughter and myself

With some apprehension, we unloaded the kiddos and trudged our way through the gate. As we walked along, I began to feel my apprehension go into almost a full-blown panic attack.

What the heck was causing such unrest in my soul?

My son being gone and here I am about to see his father not only there, but there to enter the truck pull with two (2) trucks. Mind you, I haven’t seen his father since our son’s funeral, and I haven’t spoken to him since before the funeral when I texted his girlfriend that they are to blame for the death of my son.

My nerves were very much a jumbled mess.

The other day I was talking to my oldest son who is completely broken-hearted right now. He lost his brother. He is angry. He is hurting. And he doesn’t understand why any more than the rest of us.

But, he is there. And he is caught in the middle. Sometimes, I think he feels like he has to choose. I told him when we spoke last and he was so upset that if it came to choosing, if he just felt like he had to choose –  like if he didn’t have a choice but to choose, then I want him to choose his dad. Not because his dad is better than me. Not because his dad deserves him more than I do, but because I don’t want to make him choose.

If parents could only understand what their hatefulness and spitefulness does to their children then they wouldn’t engage in such behaviors.

I am angry at their father. I am angry about the kind of person he is and what he has done to our boys. I am angry. But I wish him no harm. I blame him for what happened to our son because I honestly and completely believe that my son did what he did due to the hatefulness he received from his dad. But even though I feel that way, that man is still their father and we still have one son. For that reason alone, I try to forget the angst, the pain, the anger he has caused me and let the rest of it rest.

Crazy, huh?

#wheredowegofromhere #lovethatboyofmine #wishingtheotherwasstillhere

Remembering Darren Giveaway!

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Many of you may not know me personally or even know my Darren personally, but he wasn’t just one of my children. He brought blessings that only he could bring into our life. I feel we all have a purpose on this earth. Some may never know their purpose, and I may not even know mine, but one purpose for me was to raise a family. My husband and I are still pretty young, only 38, so our children are still pretty young, too. We haven’t completely raised them yet. My oldest is 19, Darren was 17, then 14, 13, 13, 8, 6, 5, almost 1….we have a ways to go before they are actually “raised.” However, it is with a big heart that I strive to accomplish my purpose of raising a family.

Losing Darren has been a hard battle, to say the least. My mind hasn’t fully comprehended that he’s gone although I know that he is.

It is through outreach, promoting suicide awareness, and talking about him that helps keep him alive. He may no longer be here in his body, but he will always be here in my heart.

So, far all who knew him, I ask you to talk of him as well.

Tell your stories of him.

Remember his goodness and laughter.

Remember his shining personality and help others to know him through your memories.

Many of you know by now that one way I am keeping him alive in my heart is by contributing to suicide awareness. I am getting involved in the fight against suicide. I firmly believe suicide can be prevented. It can be prevented by reaching out to those who are in a dark place. For instance, my son was texting a girl the night he took his life. He told her what he was doing. She could have prevented this from happening if she had had the courage, the decency, to call someone (his father, myself, 911) when she received the first message.

But, this post isn’t about her lack of action.

I am asking you to get involved.

I am asking you to pay attention.

I am asking each of you to contribute your own memory of Darren. Please comment your memory below.

 

In remembrance of Darren, the first three (3) people to comment their memory of him, will receive a gift to honor him.

Let’s remember Darren.

Let’s #fightsuicide together.

Life Moments #22 – It Will Never Stop Hurting……

IMG_20180703_004456_474 August 17, 2018 will be three months.

Someone told me this afternoon that she doesn’t know how I have handled it so well these last months.

I just told her I don’t think I have.

Every day is like walking in the clouds. I am here. I can function. I do what I need to do, but I’m not really here. Some days it’s almost like I am going to explode or completely go off. These last few days have SUCKED! And I

have

not

been

okay.

Emotions all over the place.

Will it ever stop? Will I ever feel something besides a broken heart?

I just want the pain to go away.

Will it?

#brokenhearted #missingyou

Life Moments #21 – A Now Open Letter to Darren, Written Two Years Ago…..

IMG_20150724_011415I love this picture of my baby! He looks so much like me when I was young.

I ran across a letter today that I wrote to Darren in November of 2015. It reads as follows:

November 17, 2018

Darren,

Hello, my boy. Sometimes, I don’t quite know what to say, but yet I have so much I want to say.

I will start with the MOST IMPORTANT piece of information I can give you –

I love you, all day, every day, no matter what, no matter the circumstance, no matter the mistake, no matter the good deed, and just as much (if not more so) than the last time I told you. You can never do anything in this world that will change my heart about you. As I told you a few days ago, there will be days you make me happy, days you make me cry, days you disappoint me, days you make me laugh so hard I may start crying, days you will make me so proud I could burst and days that drive me completely insane, but NEVER will there be a day in my lifetime or yours that my heart loses its’ love for you. From the moment I found out I was pregnant with you, you made a difference in my life, The forty weeks I carried you, my heart beat with love, sustaining life for you. The day I held you in my arms, that spot in my heart reserved only for you grew and kept growing. You see, a mom’s heart never runs out of room for her children. She could have one, eight, or twenty, but each child has a reserved spot in mom’s heart to call his/her own. I don’t love any of you kids any less or more than the next. I love you differently because you are each different. My love for you is and always will be as deep as the deepest ocean, as bright as that ball of fire in the sky, and as sweet as the lullabies I used to sing to you as a baby. This is the most important truth, other than God, that I can ever give you.

However, now I want to tell you that life is hard. It seems with each passing weekend I spend with you, you are withdrawing more and more. I’m concerned for this, for you. I am not sure if this is normal teenage behavior or if it’s something more. Dylan was quite different at your age. I am not sure if I should be worrying or if I should be accepting that this may just be teenage angst for you. I will say, though, that I am here for you. I am here if and when you want to talk. I am here if you want to cry on my shoulder…I know, I know….boys your age don’t cry. Just saying, if you did, I’m here. I am here if you just want to watch a movie, go to dinner, or a theater movie…..for whatever you need or want from me as long as it’s not dangerous or illegal.

When I talk to you, I cannot always tell if you agree with what’s being said or if you’re only agreeing because you want the conversation to be over. You are quiet. You are more inside your head. Honestly, I am not even always sure if something is bothering you.

Then, not only is reading you hard for me, I seem to forget when looking at you beings you’re so tall, that you are two years younger than Dylan. After conversation with you, at any time, I can hear the difference between your age and his. But this isn’t about Dylan.

I want you to know, that even though you seem older to me because of your height, I see you when I look at you. I see what you have given me in this life. I see the heart you try to keep tucked away, but every now and again, it breaks free. I see the laughter in your eyes. I see the words you want to say, but don’t. I see you Darren. I see my blue-eyed, blond, curly headed little boy. I see the man you will become. I see the hurt you feel sometimes. I see the anger you try to keep tightly bound. I see the indifference you portray that hides the soft-hearted boy you used to be and the teenager you are now. I see goodness and love that you are scared to display. I say, let it all out, Darren. Be the kindness and the goodness and the love that you have inside of you. Let the whole world see it, feel it. I say this because it helps you, but it will also make the world a better place.

You remind me so much of myself when I was your age, but at the same time, you don’t. It was hard for me to love others when I was growing up. I didn’t trust easily. I was always unsure of myself so I hid behind a facade of false bravado. I thought too much about what others thought of me and that I wasn’t good enough for anyone. I secretly vied for people’s approval, but acted as if I didn’t care what they though of me. I was scared and became mule-headed because of it. I wanted change in my life all the time because that was how I felt alive. Change for me happened quite frequently as a child due to the senseless amount of moves we made.

I just want you to know, Darren, that parents don’t ever stop learning how to parent. I know you don’t like all the gushy-gushy stuff, the emotional stuff, but I’d really like for you to talk about it. I really will make you feel better. If your feelings are heavy right now, it’d be a relief to unburden some of that weight. Now, I am not a doctor and I am not going to label you. I am perplexed by you. I don’t know if you have really deep sadness or if you are just going through teenage hormones. Whatever it is, remember that I am always here for you. Call me. Hug me. Talk weather with me. Text me “I love you mom.” I can respect you and your space, but I refuse to let you stay downstairs all weekend without talking to me. When I come down to talk to you, it makes my day. It makes me smile.

I love you to the moon and back, kiddo.

Love Mom

As I read through that letter, my heart smiled and ached at the same time. I miss him so much. I’d been concerned about him for a while, but…….

When I found that letter, I was happy. How awesome it is that he saved it!

#hewassomebodytome #myheartisbroken #foreverlovedandsadlymissed

Life Moments #20 -A Lifetime of Photographs I Can’t Bring Myself to Look at…….

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The movie We Bought a Zoo is based on the true story of a man, with his two young children, who decides to buy — and live at — a zoo some time after his wife passes away. In this movie, there is a couple of scenes in which he begins to look at photographs of his deceased wife, but cannot……until the last time when he is finally able to scroll through each photograph, appreciating the memory that pops up with each one.

I used to wonder why he couldn’t look at the photographs. I mean, why wouldn’t he want to remember all the good times with her as she made her mark on their little family.

Right?

And now…..

I get it.

As I meander my way through my daily life, I know that Darren is gone. I know that I will never see him walk through my door again. My head knows it, but my heart seems to not.

A couple of years ago, I made some posts about my older son.

His proms.

His graduation.

Whatever it was, I was highlighting my oldest son.

I started to do the same with Darren. However, he wasn’t able to go to his prom that year so I didn’t get to post about it. And now, this year, he will not be going to prom. He will not be graduating at the end of the school year. He will not be doing anything else ever for me to highlight. So, this post was going to be sort of like a yearbook of his life, complete with pictures and stories of him.

However, I came home from visiting his grave, pulled out my photo books to start going through photos I wanted to use……

well……

As I said, now I get it!

I couldn’t even open the cover of the first book. I couldn’t even pull the book out of the box where they are currently stored.

I couldn’t look at the pages because…..

I am Not. Ready. for. the. Onslaught. of. Memories. that will flood my mind with each picture.

I sat there, looking at those closed albums that are tucked safely in the box and cried.

I cried for him.

I cried for my family.

I cried for my children

I cried for myself.

I. Just. Cried.

It’s not just the picture books because yes, I have all of those memories tucked safely away into the internal baby books, photo albums, children’s accomplishments and failures, baby years, school years, teen years vault inside the mommy part of my brain.

But they are there.

I don’t pull Darren’s out right now.

I can’t.

I can’t yet handle the emotions that will surely come. I can’t handle going through each photo to see so much of him, knowing he will never be here with me again.

My heart knows I can’t handle it.

My head knows I can’t handle.

I know I can’t handle it.

Yet.

Some day, when I pull out those photo albums I will carefully thumb through each one, I will relish every memory of him. I will laugh and I’m certain I will even cry. I will graciously smooth every crease so the photo lies flat and I will embrace every snapshot of him, welcoming each tear that falls because ….well what else can I do? Stay angry? Stay sad and in this place I’m in now?

But today…..

Today. Is. Not. That. Day.

So, I mindlessly put the box back away again.

Today is the day I will continue my life in fear of letting those raw emotions envelope me.

Because, it’s the only place I can handle right now.

Now, I am super thankful I have been a photo hoarder since I gave birth to my first child. I am thankful that I have all these pictures so when that day comes when I can handle facing my memories of him while knowing I will never get another memory with/of him, I can open those photo books.

 

 

 

Life Moments #19 – I Thought of You Today

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I thought of you today

     which is nothing new

     because I think of you every day

     a million times through.

You remember this picture?

I didn’t take it, but when I seen it…I just fell in love with it.

There’s just something about it that caught my eye. I have always loved the photos that are taken as someone is walking toward and/or away from the photographer. I used to practice with you and Haylie doing exactly that.

As I’ve said before, some days are okay and some days are

So. Not. Okay.

Today wasn’t too bad.

I thought of you and I cried for the millionth time since you went to Heaven, but I was a little bit okay.

And I have good news!

Your friends’ mom — no names yet!! — and I are working together to accomplish a goal to start a non-profit. Well, today your friends’ mom set up a meeting with a contact who, hopefully, will get us pointed in the right direction. It’s a small feat, but it’s a big feat! I am excited!

She and I have been working on a name for the non-profit, our trademark, and our slogan. Our goal is to help others who feel that same hopelessness. I have been pretty busy doing research into suicide and of course, non-profit information gathering.

I am also still working on getting the team organized for the walk coming up. Our team is doing well by way of participants.

The funds aren’t quite making our goal, but the walk support is there. I have ordered our team shirts. Now, I need to get some posters done, bracelets ordered, and beads bought. Suicide awareness, here we come!

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I was invited to a Suicide Prevention meeting taking place in the middle of August. I am looking forward to that. And then, in September, I am invited to attend a conference with some of ND representatives to address the suicide issue. These meetings will hopefully encourage needed changes in regard to suicide in ND. I am excited to be involved. I am your voice!

Every day, I wonder how our tragedy can make a difference in the lives of others. I miss you so much. And with that, my thoughts are haunted with your words, “It’s just Darren gone.” As I said before, to me, it’s not just Darren gone. A piece of my heart went with you. I will never let it be “just Darren gone.”

As much as or as little as I accomplish in my day, you linger in my mind, my heart. You will forever be there and that’s the way I want it!

I thought of you today

     which is nothing new

     because I think of you every day

     a million times through.

We will fight suicide with hopes of saving other’s from this heartache.

#nomoresuicide #suicideawareness #suicideprevention