A Different Kind of Mother

Not everyone
had this loving support
from a mother growing up

No, there are some moms out there
who did only one thing…give birth
yet that’s the most important thing needed
to create a possible legacy

Yesterday, I heard this really good sermon
about being nurtured through childhood
yet a couldn’t relate
it was a beautiful sermon for others though

But the similarities were hidden
in the mother I am today
I’ve become “my own” through God
and I love all my kids very well

Each one thinks they’re my favorite
because each knows how special they are
to me and to God

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My Latest Breakdown

Last night, on my drive home from work, I had the worst breakdown yet.

I “could” tell you what led up to it, but that’s not the type of person I am, so I’ll only explain what I went through.

In the car, I was listening to “The Greatest Showman” soundtrack, which I often do because I LOVE it. Anyway, during the second song, I began to cry deeply, not because of the lyrics but because of my mom’s death (I’m assuming).

I was crying so hard, I could barely see, but I couldn’t seem to pull over. The thought came to me, but my foot wouldn’t reach out for the break, and my cruise control was set on seventy two mph, so I did my best to keep the wheel straight and drove.

At one point, I was so scared, I cried out through my wailing, “I DON’T WANNA DIE!” and asked Holy Spirit to help me drive. Obviously, He did because I made it home safely.

All I wanted to do was make it home.

Just like any other job, sometimes, you have your bad days, and yesterday was a bad day at work. From being talked to about something out of my control to being talked at through… It was, almost, unbearable.

Without Jesus, I don’t know how I would’ve handled it all. I really don’t understand how people live without Him. I would never choose to go back to that life.

But my breakdown…it was so intense. During it, I cried out a few things:

“WHY ARE PEOPLE SO MEAN!”
“WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME?”
“I CAN’T HANDLE THIS”
“WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME?”
etc.

I’m so glad God was there with me. Had I not known that, I doubt I’d be here writing right now.

In the past, I’ve never really given grief too much thought, and now that I’m dancing with it, I look forward to the times when we sit out a song or two. MAYBE, someday, I’ll understand it, but for now, I’ll just live through it.

Experience, Strength, and Hope

Last night, I had a BLAST speaking at the recovery meeting!

Every time I share my story, I never know what’s going to happen because I leave that up to God. I don’t plan anything; I just show up, open my mouth, and let His Spirit flow through me, and in the end, I hope that “someone” was touched by His words, and at the end of the meeting last night, I met who that someone was.

About twenty minutes before the meeting, a woman from the East Coast had made the last minute decision to go. She believes her recent trip to Harlingen, a drive over 1800 miles long, was to hear God speak through me at that meeting. What an honor is that! I just love the extreme God goes to to chase after “the one.”

When I think about what I shared, it was all about God. I talked about the mess I was without Him, my seeking Him for the kids, my finding Him, and my walking through Him in recovery. It was amazing!

My life is not my own.

If my life was my own, I’d be mourning my mother every moment of every day, but I don’t. I stay focused on Him and the life I’m leading and let the grief come and go wave by wave, and let me tell you: it comes at the weirdest times.

Last night, after the meeting, some friends came over for Carolyn’s yummy spaghetti, and after we ate, a few of us went to a late night showing of “Avengers: Infinity War.”

During one of the scenes where they were fighting, I had a vision of my mom when she’d kissed me in the hospital bed a bunch of times (without her teeth). Is that not the strangest timing for me to remember her! Anyway, another weird thing happened in that movie theater.

I’m a crier at movies…very emotional (at the drop of a hat), but last night was “different.”

As sad parts happened and I heard sniffles all around me, I sat there stone-cold…no emotion, and I wondered if it was because real death was so near me that fake death seemed far away. I don’t know. All I know is that not one scene affected me emotionally.

If I really want to know where I stand with that, I guess could watch a tearjerker and see what happens, but it’s not that important to me. I’m just very grateful for last night: the speaking; the yummy food; the fellowship; and the movie with friends.

THAT’s what recovery’s about, and that’s what living’s all about, too!

Regretting the Past

“Don’t regret the past!”; I hear that time and time again, but you know what? I DO have something in my past I regret: not taking the time to visit my mom BEFORE she got sick.

When I found out she wasn’t doing well, I “finally” drove out there to see her, but by the time I got there, she was a different woman.

The mom I saw wasn’t the mom I remembered, yet now, it’s the only memory I have. At any given moment, when I think about her, I see her slumped in the hospital bed, struggling to breath, barely able to speak.

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That’s the memory I have now.

As I walk through the healing of all this, I plan to write, so I hope you’re ready to read.

If you’d like to help me cremate her, click here.

The Day My Mom Died

For some reason, I’ve been wanting to write about the day my mom passed away (April 25th), so here it goes.

That Wednesday morning, I was called into work early, which was a Godsend.

During my shift, I taught a class, and at the end of the class, I read the poem I’d written a few days before. Afterward, I cried, and fifteen minutes later, my mom ended up dying, yet I didn’t know about it then.

A couple hours later, I received the call from my aunt. All I remember was her saying my mom had died a couple hours earlier. Instantly, I felt my heart drain and began to cry.

As I got off the phone, I wondered if I could handle completing my shift, but as I walked into the office to tell my boss, I KNEW I had to leave. ALL I wanted to do was go home and cry.

Right away, all the girls around me knew what had happened, and as I made my way to the door to leave, everyone lined up to hug me, even the maids, and every hug I received was one I needed so deeply. At times, I felt myself falling deeper into their arms.

One girl walked me out, and as we hugged again, she asked, “Are you okay to drive?” I told her, “Yeah, I’ll stop and get a soda.” We both laughed, but then, as I cried even harder, I leaned against the post and asked God to help me.

A mile down the road, I stopped for that soda and wanted something cherry, but wouldn’t you know it, they didn’t have anything cherry, so I cried a little harder and left.

I sent Carolyn a text, asking if I could pull her out of school. She said yes, so all I had between us was an hour drive. (sigh)

On the way, I was never alone. Of course, God was with me, but also, I stayed on the phone with someone, almost the whole way.

When I picked up Carolyn, immediately, she had me laughing. At times, the laughter turned into tears or the tears turned into laughter. She was so confused: she didn’t know if I was laughing or crying! We headed to Panda Express to order our takeout.

At home, we watched Netflix and ate (and I cried). It was perfect, but later in the night, I told her how I REALLY wanted something cherry, so we went to the store.

As we walked passed the liquor aisle, I said, “We’re so lucky I don’t drink anymore!” I can’t imagine what it would’ve been like if I did.

Anyway, at the end of the night, when exhaustion set in and the tears stopped flowing, we went to sleep.

I’m sure we all walk through grief differently. This was just a look into mine.

“The Next Generation”

[Written April 22, 2018, the Sunday before my mom died]

Every person in your life
is a teacher
They either show you who you want to be
or show you who you don’t

And every situation
has the same effect

Death
has the same effect

As I go through this painful trail
of losing my mother
I find more of myself

Instead of grieving what I missed
as a daughter
I’m strengthened to pour out
as a mother

Instead of regretting what’s been lost
in the past
I’m hoping for what I’ll create
in the future

The past will forever be behind me
as the future will always be in front of me
And it’s up to me to choose
the direction in which I walk

As I go through this painful trail
of losing my mother
I find more of the me I choose to be

When People Die

For some reason, ever since mom passed away, I really wanted flowers, so today, I finally went and bought some.

I guess you’d imagine that I’d get her favorite flower, but I have no idea what that was, so I bought my favorite color (yellow) and my favorite smell (carnations) and combined the two.

As I stood in line to pay, Continue reading