Friday, December 4, 2015

Crappy Circumstances

I wanted to use a more descriptive adjective for the title, but I didn't want to have a bad word out there in case my parents read it.  But "crappy" circumstances is very much an understatement for my topic today.
I will admit something here that I have only said out loud once or twice and I'm usually very careful who I would say this out loud to, because too many times I'm afraid people will read more into this statement than what is intended.  So this next statement comes with a disclaimer of no worries, it isn't like I'm going to do anything or act on anything, it's just a statement.  I have to admit at times, since losing Chad, that I have felt a little jealous when I hear of someone (especially young people) who has passed away.  It isn't for some weird demented reason, it is merely because I long to see my son so badly.  No, I am not suicidal and I don't have a death wish.  I have a longing to see my son's face again.  Period.  However, I am human and when I hear of a young mother (like I did this week) who dies in a car accident leaving behind a young daughter and family or 20 year old young man who also died in a car accident last week with so much life to live, I get a little jealous that they get to see my Chad before I do. Then I immediately think of the parents.  Oh Lord, now they are going to feel this ache that no parent should feel.
You never want to be in this situation.  As a parent you DO NOT want to bury your child.  It isn't normal and it is the worse heartbreak you will ever experience. 
I realize I've only  had 5 years to live through this journey so far, but I have a sister that has now lived this journey for 19 years and I can tell you, it does NOT get easier and it NEVER feels "normal".
There have been those who have said they wish it could be them and not me.  NO!  I would never wish this on anyone.  You do not want to walk in these shoes.  We are not "special" or "super strong people", we just had to adapt to a really "crappy" circumstance and honestly I know there are days we aren't even sure how we do it.  When someone says I'm not as strong as you or I couldn't do what you do if I lost my child, trust me, I do not feel strong.  I don't know how I get up each day and put my feet on the floor, but it turns out I don't have a choice so I just do it.  Any parent that has lost a child regardless how or when doesn't know how they will go on from there, but they know they have no choice so they just do it.  I know it is only by God's grace and the love and support I get from my husband, bonus kids, family, and friends that I get up each day and face this world.  Some days I do it a little better and with a little more grace than others, but I still do it, because there isn't another option until the Lord is ready to call me home.  Now, when he is ready to call me home, I am ready to go, but until then I just have to figure each day out as it comes and do the very best I can.
My heart aches in a way that I could never understand.  I thought I understood when my sister lost her daughter at 8 years old.  I thought I knew because I loved Jessica like my own and considered her as much mine as Paige's (although I know that wasn't truth) and while I grieved terribly when we lost her and there was never a time that she wasn't on my mind, it paled in comparison to losing my own son.  There are no true words to describe how this feels.  The only way you could ever know is to literally be unfortunate enough to have to live it through the actual experience and I can tell you, it will be the hardest thing you ever live through.
I've thought a lot about my (what could be considered controversial) statement about being jealous of those going on to heaven before me and at first I felt guilty or bad for even thinking it let alone say it out loud, but not any more.  I know I'm not looking to take my own life or even prevent getting better should I get sick, but that will never take the longing to see my son away.
If you are blessed with children regardless of their age, just cherish every moment you have with them as they are loaned to us for a time we do not know.  I would have never dreamed I would out live my son and my sister never dreamed she would out live her daughter.  I don't know any parent that ever dreams they would out live their child/children, but God has his own plans and while I am the first to admit that I question or wonder why, it's not for us to question.  One day we will hopefully know why he chose the young angels he chose and until that day I will continue loving and missing my son and continue to hope and pray no other parent has to walk this journey. 
A special little prayer for peace and comfort to my Garrison family and my Katie May and her family as they unfortunately find themselves in this "Crappy Circumstance".
This just shouldn't happen 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Five Year Heavenly Birthday

It's hard to wrap my head around the fact that you have been gone for 5 years.  That is longer than you attended high school or even longer than you served in the Marine Corps.  That is a very sobering concept to me.
The last few years I've made a point to take this day, December 1st, off.  I've found that doing so it not only good for me, but good for my co-workers as well.  The one thing I am incapable of doing is containing my emotions when it comes to reflecting on this day and how it all changed in 2010.
So today, I did my "normal" visit to the cemetery and took the staff Christmas cookies and ran a few errands and came home with every intention of just piddling around the house and making sure Tebo had dinner when he got home from work, but instead I found myself looking through old pictures.  I have to say, while there were definitely tears there were far more smiles.  Oh what a joy you always were to me and you made (and still do) my heart so full.
Not only was I blessed to be your mother for 22 1/2 years, but now I'm blessed with your friends and family that do such a great job of taking care of us and my heart.  You would be so proud.  It's true that there are days I have my pity party and I don't feel like a real mom anymore, but just then either one of my bonus kids or family members or friends will do or say something that brings me back around.  I'm truly grateful for those moments.
However, today I want to share a little bit of you with the world (or at least those that read this).  They deserve to know some of the sweet moments that I was honored to have and then some that may not be so pleasant, but are very honorable that most people are unaware of and should know.
So here goes a little walk down memory lane through pictures.  I wish I could have just put them all in this blog, but that would be impossible.  I'm sure there is a limit of some sort and the blogger world would probably lock up.  I definitely enjoyed taking your picture.  Yes, I know, most of the time you were totally over it, but thank you for indulging your momma bear.  It's hard to express what those sweet memories mean to me now more than ever.

You can't start this journey without the trip home from the hospital.  What you might find hard to see in this picture is the little sore on the tip of his nose.  We didn't know at the time that he had double hernias, but he did and back then (no, it's not that long ago) they didn't want babies on their backs so they kept putting him on his tummy and it hurt so he would rub his little nose into the sheets until he made a sore.  I guess that should have been my first clue that there would be many more injuries to that sweet little face to come (and there were).
Born 5-25-88 Memphis, TN @ Baptist East

Once home the fun began.  I had no clue what I was doing, but you just rocked along with me until you and I figured it out.  Most couldn't handle our crazy "non-sleep" schedule, but it worked for us.

Who knew how curly that hair would get

 Aunt Ann gave you this shirt
 Started early with the Camo
 Just a walk to the park
 Then he turns ONE!
 Yes!  Boxes are the best entertainment 
 Oh the jeans and curls of it all
 Oh you know, just a little horse reading with BoBo & Jess
 Elephant crawling for Granny
 Cruising in the bathtub (Jessica's bed)...  Too cool for school
 Aunt Stacy's 1st model
 Oh that face and those curls!
 Pretty sure this had something to do with Granny's Christmas tree...  Ha!  That face
 What?  Not everyone blows bubbles when rounding the bases? 
 Not everyone can rock the mullet like this kid
 What?  It's normal to wear cowboy boots with your football uniform (for the record they were out of the Dallas Cowboy uniforms)
 He may or may not have gotten his fashion style from his BoBo
 Just a boy and his dog (Hannah)
 One of my favorite memories.  Our first trip to Neland Stadium
 I'm not sure I even want to know what they were thinking...
 Swimming cousins
 Always 1 pant leg up and 1 down (always)
 Oh how she loved him (she believed she prayed me pregnant)
 Don't remember what was so funny, but love the picture with Nana
 Oh their bond!  None other!
 Memphis Christmas with some of the cousins
 The Original Backstreet Cousins
 Yes, that is my son hiding in aunt Dawn's coat.  Ha!
 Easter in Memphis with uncle Rodney & aunt Paige
 Breakfast in Eureka Springs after aunt Stacy & uncle Leckey's wedding
 God I love this boy!
Yes!  That is him in the air and roller blades on his feet
 Our family (minus Lil Miss) in 2009
 Mother/Son dance <3
 So grateful I got to see him fall in love and get married
 Some of our family
 Friends for life!
 The beginning of our blended family (2006)
 He was even good with the kids in Afghanistan 
 Don't think I want to know....  HA
My birthday trip to CA
 Carrying a brother
 No words needed
 Camp Pendleton 5-25-11
 They shouldn't have to be here
 Brothers for life
 Such respect
 Boy did he love these kiddos
 She loved him like he had always been her grandson (mom Boyett)
This shouldn't be...  :(

Five years!  I still cannot wrap my head around that.  It feels like yesterday and forever at the same time.  Saying I miss you would be ridiculous.  I long for you and my heart aches only when it beats.  Until I can kiss your forehead again I will miss you and long to be with you.  Love you son.