Sunday, May 4, 2014


I went to church today. On a Sunday. With my daughter.

This is the first time I have gone to church on a Sunday since my mother died. I can think of two times in the history of my history that I attended a Sunday service without my mother (well, that's not true, some more when I visited friends' churches as a kid, but I am speaking as an adult here). Today was time three.

I have been wanting to attend church for some time. But each week brought a new excuse. Too tired. No clothes. Don't want to go alone. Beach day. Out of town. Did I already say too tired? But last night it hit me. I'm avoiding church because I don't want to go without my mama. I don't want to brave a new place all by myself. See, you aren't really a grown up until your mama is gone. I'm still adjusting. Being a grown up sucks, btw.

I woke up this morning. I wasn't too tired. I found clothes to wear. I was in town, and didn't feel a pressing need to get to the beach. So I got dressed, Googled local churches and picked one at random. Upward Church. I liked the way that sounded.

Today's message was all about loneliness. Funny, that's why I didn't want to go to church. I felt too lonely to go. The message wasn't catered to my personal situation, but I took so much away from it.

Throughout the sermon, the pastor talked of David. David who went from being a no one, to the very top, just like that. And then he LOST IT ALL. His wife, his friends, his home, his power. But he rebuilt. And again, he lost it ALL. His power, his family, his children and his friends. He was ALONE. And yet he turned to God. He found solace in our amazing God.

The pastor kept saying, we have to change the messages we tell ourselves. WE can't say, "I'm so lonely, my mom is dead. I'll never find another mom like her. She's gone, gone, gone." Instead I have to say, "Jesus, I trust you. I turn to you in my loneliness. I know I am worthy of love, for GOD loves me. I will not be lonely forever. I will take comfort in HIM."

I have kind of been doing that. But I need to do it more. It's not okay to feel this sense of isolation and loneliness. God wants me to have community, to have others I can depend on and talk to. I have to change my ways and reach out more.

The pastor said, when we are all alone, God places us in a family.

How true is THAT?

I lost my mom. And since then, people have never been more kind to me. People I barely knew, are now a PART of my life, through absolutely NO effort of my own. I have mom friends new and old, Ladies Let's Gather friends that care for me, Charity Chapel friends that are there for me, even though I do not attend that church. I can't attend that church. I said goodbye to my mama there. My in laws have been nothing but supportive and loving to me. I've grown closer with them as a result. I have internet friends, who loved and supported me even though I've not always been the kindest. I've met new friends through my weight loss surgery. I DID NOTHING to get any of this. God placed all these people in my life. He gave me a family in my loneliest hour. And now, NOW it is time for me to start being an active part of that family. To reciprocate and to love back.

I think so much of my friend Kim. Who lived here for such a short time. She may not think so, but I think so, that God gave her to me. She saved me. Without her in those weeks after mom died, where would I be? I don't know. She saved me from self destructing with her honest and strong/tough love. God gave me her. She was my family. She is my family. I will never forget the family she was in those days.

I'm grateful for soooo many people. I don't tell them enough. But so many ladies have touched my life in this past year. I don't know where I'd be without you. These are women here in Pensacola, and women half the country away that I've never even met. Women are my family. Some call it a tribe. I will stick with family.

God has blessed me with great family. These people just landed in my life. And I have to start realizing that. I am not alone. I am not. God gave me family. He provided for me, when I could not provide for myself.

I'll be going back next Sunday. I can't wait to learn the lesson. :D I have so many lessons to learn.

Surgery went great! My first month in pics!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

But I Do Have People

My last blog post discussed the idea of being personless and the resulting loneliness and sense of isolation that results from that. You can read about my struggle with being personless here .

I miss my mother every day. And that is not ever going to change. As I said in my previous post, she WAS MY PERSON. I doubt I will ever have a person again.

But I do have people. I have lots of people that bless me continuously even though I feel I don't deserve it.

I have isolated myself so much over the years. Don't get me wrong, I was social! I had friends. But I did not LEAN on my friends. I loved them, I loved being with them, but they were not who held me up. All of my needs were met by my person and my family. Now I have all these needs that aren't being met, and yet, others are finding ways to help me. It is so hard for me to ask for that help, as I was always so reliant on myself, my family, and my mother to pretty meet all of my physical and emotional needs.

There are so many kind, kind people in my life, who constantly bless and love me. I have lost so much, but I feel like that loss has opened my eyes to so much that I do have. Now, I won't lie. I'd rather have my mom back and my eyes shut tight, but since that is not going to happen, I am so grateful for all the wonderful women in my life.

I realized in my last therapy session, that I AM finding ways to get my needs met. I am using - hate that word but it is true- others to fill the gap. It takes many, many people to replace a Person though.

I have a beautiful friend who also owns an Etsy shop. She is who I now bounce ideas off of, show my new products to, and just generally discuss Etsy cuteness. She looks at everything I make, and always let's me know it's CUTE! ;)

I have a friend who prays for me, encourages me in my weight loss, and gives me encouraging words constantly. This lovely friend made me the most precious gift, which I plan to blog about soon.

I have an online friend who just tells me random things because she knows I miss having someone to tell random things too. We are the random girls, in my mind. :D

I have friends who plan events and then reschedule them just so I can come, so I can see my daughter play and hunt Easter eggs with their kids. They bless me by reminding me my presence is important. Even though I may hole up and hide away, I am wanted.

My sister in law who constantly posts cute messages to me on FB. She lets me know I am thought about.

I have a friend who loves my daughter, much like a grandmother would. It blesses me to see someone LOVE my daughter. To hug her and miss her and buy her little presents. To think of her with gifts like balloons and flowers. Without her, I wouldn't see anyone else doing this.

I have my therapist. She listens to every single thing I have to say, and does so without judgement. She is always in my corner, much like my mother was. Her goal is always to figure out what is best for me.

There's a whole bunch more too. My husband, my in-laws, other friends, my dad, countless online friends, weight loss surgery support groups, preschool mom friends who listen to me ramble. So many good people are in my life!

I know this post sounds so incredibly selfish. I don't mean it to. For years I had a person that did these things: made me feel special, praised my efforts, wanted only my happinessa above all others, adored my daughter, and so much more. Maybe I was spoiled having such a fabulous person. In fact, I know I was. the shock of not having her has been . . . hasbeenfreakingawful.

But I do have people. And I know I have to continue to reach out to them. I have to graciously accept their love and support, and the new roles they play in my life. And I have to learn to start reciprocating. I need to be a part of other people's PEOPLE.

That is how I think I will heal.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


“A mother is she who can take the place of all others but
whose place no one else can take.”

― Cardinal Mermillod

I remember the first shower I took after my mother died. Turning the faucet, adjusting the temperature, stripping down and hopping in. It was surreal. I had never once in my life bathed without having a mother. She'd been alive my whole life. I know, makes perfect sense, but I couldn't wrap my brain around it. How can I do anything, when everything I ever did, she was alive. It was like the world had stopped spinning for me. Everything was a brand new experience, and not brand new and shiny, but brand new and scary. For thirty-eight years, everything I did, I did having a mother. I had never ever, not one single time, done anything without having her. While she may not have actually been there, or been in the forefront of my mind, she was always there. I always knew she was there, someone to fall back on, to love me unconditionally. Something as simple as bathing, as breathing, seems so much harder, so different, when you don't have that someone. And now, for the rest of my life, every single thing I will do, I will do not having a mother. Seems so simple, but trust me, it is not.

I will rock my child to sleep without a mother. I will have arguments with my husband, without a mother. I will wash dishes, walk dogs, write letters, drink wine, go dancing, eat good foods, bathe in the sun, swim in the ocean, build sandcastles, sing songs and live the rest of my days without a mother. I will never get to ask her a question, hear her opinion, or receive her guidance on anything that ever happens to me again. I'm on my own. Every breath I take, I will take motherless. She who gave me life, brought me into this world and nurtured me, is gone. Forever.

Yet, it is natural, it is ordinary, it is normal. It is in no way unique or extraordinary. Millions upon millions of women, all of them daughters, are doing the exact same thing. They are living without a mother. One day, my daughter will too.

How can something so ordinary be so mothereffinexcrutiatinglypainfulthatitmakesyouwanttojustquititall?

I'll tell you how. Because she wasn't "just" my mom. She was a million times more than that. She was my mom and she was my person. IN fact, due to her declining health and our role reversal, she was more my person than anything. And not everyone loses her person to sudden death. And not everyone loses her person and her mother at the exact same time. It's the double whammy. In losing her, I lost both, I lost almost everything. I am clinging to what I have left and trying to keep sane. It's not easy, but I am making progress.

She, my mother, my person, is the one I called for every little thing often five times a day. She is the one I ran to when the mailman was grouchy and made me cry, or when I felt insecure about a new haircut. She would listen and discuss my hesitation about public school over and over again, never tiring of the conversation, never wishing I would just shut up and make a decision. She was proud of me, in ways that no one else ever is. She admired my creativity, my writing, my generosity with others. She validated me, my thoughts, my feelings. She loved to hear the same stories about my girl over and over again, wanted to know exactly what we were doing each and every day. She loved to look at my designs over and over again. She never tired of them. Every sale in my Etsy shop was an EVENT to her, and she wanted the full details. Any complaint made by another was just ridiculous in her opinion. I was her golden girl I guess you could say. I was loved so hard and I loved her so hard back. This woman would spend hours with me, searching bolt after bolt of fabric just to find the perfect scrap of pink. She is the one who felt my anguish when I had to bust out the seam ripper AGAIN. She laughed at my jokes and I at hers. Nobody could make me belly laugh like this woman. The inside jokes were in the millions. Jason thought we were crazy. We probably were, in the best possible way. We moved, she moved with us. Not just once, but three times. I wouldn't dare go anywhere without her. Jason knew, it was a package deal. She was such a huge part of my life, she was at least half of it, and had tons of influence on the other half. She was my mom and my person and she was mine.

And then she died. She died and I didn't want her to. She died on a day that I had no idea it was going to happen. She died unexpectedly without saying goodbye. She died on an ordinary day where I was just sitting around doing absolutely nothing important. She just died. And she took my mother with her.

I will never, not ever, find another person like her. She was my mama and she was mine.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

My Girl

My girl.

She's the sweetest thing to me. She is my world, my sun. After losing my mom, this girl is what has kept me putting one foot in front of the other. This precious baby girl.

She's five.

She's oh so smart. Everyone thinks this about her child, but I am right.

She's oh so funny. She makes the wittiest jokes, the smartest little comments.

She's oh so kind. She snuggles me when I cry. This girl draws pictures for my mother, and puts them on her box of ashes. She takes care of me, just as I take care of her. That's family. That's my girl.

So anyway. . .

I'm freaking out.

I love, love, love her. And I know that love just won't die. I'll always love her. But I also know she's five. And well, five year olds just forget. We all do. But she has her whole life to forget me, if I'm gone.

I don't want her to forget the feel of my arms, the warmth of my snuggles as we cuddle at night. I don't want her to forget that I smooch on her nonstop or that I pick out a different favorite curl on her head every day. I don't her to forget everything or anything. You see, love doesn't die. But memories fade. I'm not afraid of dying. I am afraid of being forgotten by the most important girl in the world.

I was supposed to write letters for her, just in case. Just writing this blog has me so emotional though. I can't get past, "Sweet Mimi Girl," without losing it.

I know this is not the way of faith. That fear is lack of faith. I need to trust Jesus. But I'm new at this trusting thing, and it is a lot harder than it sounds. I trust that no matter what happens, He will provide for her. Yes. But that still doesn't mean I won't be gone.

So if you read this. Or stumble across it. If you know me. . . think of me and my girl. And if something ever did happen, please do me a big one! Please remind her. Please tell her, not just a year from now, but whenever you get the chance. Please tell her she was my girl.

I am 99.9% sure I am going to be just fine. I am just, and have always been, a worst case scenario girl. I'm going to be fine.

But just incase, she was MY girl.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Hitting the Curb - Hard

Much profanity ahead. Well, not much by my standards, but perhaps a bit by yours.

My mother loved to haul some serious ass in her wheelchair. Woman did not slow down for anything. She was the crazy lady begging us to let her go at the top of ramps. . . She had one leg, so often the fastest way to go was to push herself with that one leg backwards. Zoom. Go. Go. Go. One time, we were taking the pups to the vet, and they had just poured new concrete. For some reason, my mother thought it was ramp all the way. Backwards she went, zoom, zooooom, CRASH, BOOM! She hit that curb going as fast as she could go. She went flying out of that chair and landed flat on her ass. Her face? Startled! What the hell just happened? Then laughter. My mother was always good for a laugh.

I hit the curb today too. But I didn't laugh. I've been crying all day.

I picked my gorgeous girl (who is driving me nuts lately) up from school and off we went to our favorite after school destination. Bonus points if you guess it. It's Target. I know, too easy. Anyway, as we approached the light on the corner, an old man was trying to get his wheelchair to hop the curb so he could get on the sidewalk. Now that's a trick my mom would do too. She couldn't be bothered with handicap ramps at the END of the walk. She got on where she was. But this guy wasn't making it. I rolled down my window and asked if he needed a push up. Yep, he did. So I stopped, set on my hazards, and got out to help him. I had to roll him down to the ramp part of the sidewalk, which was a joke and a half. It was on a hill, AND had a huge lip to it, so really, unless you had great strength (like my mom had) or someone pushing you, you weren't getting up that thing in a manual wheelchair. It just wasn't possible. I had to turn him backwards and pull him up, it was such a steep area, and such a big lip to the curb/ramp/whatever the eff you want to call it.

Here it is, this is what counts as wheelchair accessible.

I got him up, turned him around, and said goodbye. He saw my girl watching through the window and told me she was a pretty thing. I said she was my world. I waved and got back in my van. I had caused a mild traffic jam, but the guys in the car next to me, rolled down their window to tell me that I was nice. I said thanks. I felt fine.

Then my daughter asked why I did that? I explained that, well, when GaeGae (my mom) was in a wheelchair, wouldn't we have wanted someone to help her? Yep, we would have. "So that's why you did it?" Yep, that's why. Because we all should help each other.

Next up, biggest cryfest this girl has had in a while. I sat and sobbed and snotted all over my pretty new infinity scarf in the Target parking lot. I don't want to be nice and help other people up on the sidewalk ( I mean, I can, but that isn't what I WANT! )I want my mom. I want to push her up ramps and let her fly down them. I want to help her up the curb, and I want to lift her from the ground when the curb knocks her out of her seat. I want her to tell me I'm nice. I just want her.

That was the first time I've pushed a wheelchair since she died. I had no idea it would affect me that way. For so long I hated that wheelchair. I hated that it put this distance between us, made me more of her guide than her companion, made it more difficult to hug, be physical. I hated the limits it placed on her, and how cumbersome it could be. And now I just ache to hold those handles and push. I ache to deal with pushing her chair through doors that won't stay open when no one seems to want to help. I WANT to fold that chair up and throw it in the back of my van for the fifth time that day. I long to see her hauling ass backwards in it, and me shouting at her to BE CAREFUL. I miss that sorry ass chair. I miss that crazy, loving, fun woman; my mom.

As far as I go, I've hit a curb too. I am doing so much better, but after talking with my therapist, we realize my anxiety is back in full strength. She thinks my grief has turned into depression and that I need to up my medications. She's right. I'm shaking at everything. My surgery is coming up, and I keep hitting a wall on that too. I feel change on the horizon, and I'm scared I'm going to mess it all up. I'm just scared, and lonely, and well, motherless. Which is the worst. I can't think of a more awful word to be.

Anyway, I'm okay. It is going to be okay. I have therapy tomorrow, and tomorrow is a new day. Hopefully one where I can keep my emotions in check. Hopefully one where I can find a ramp, or if I do hit the curb, I can get up and laugh.

I miss you mom. I wish I had half your strength.

PS. I will try and take a picture of this sidewalk tomorrow so you can see what I am talking about. It is in front of the Whataburger on 9th Ave.
UPDATE: Pic added above