My Dearest Mother, you have caused me so much pain for the past ten years of my life. I cannot count how many times I have laid in bed at night and cried because of you. Sadly, I have cried because I was not good enough for you. I have cried because at the times I have needed you most, you were not here. Also, I have cried because when I have had a hard day at work or school, I cannot call you. It is so frustrating to me that you are so thickheaded that you cannot see what you did wrong. I have written you numerous letters in hopes that they would somehow reach you, and you would come to your senses.
Spoiler alert, you have not.
For years, I walked on eggshells just to be sure I did not hurt your feelings. At this point, I do not care. I am fed up with the lies you feed everyone. Imagine saying that your eleven-year-old daughter made up a story about how you locked your sick son up in his bedroom and would not give him food. Like, I did not just wake up one day and say ‘Hm, I think I want to make up this lie and make my mom look bad today.’ Imagine trying to blame you and your husband’s actions on CHILDREN. Honestly, I have not asked you for much, just for you to admit what you did and apologize.
I know that is something I will never get.
One time you told me you were raising us the way you wanted to be treated. That just does not make sense to me. Who wants to be sexually abused by their stepfather for years? Because I certainly did not. I did not want him to watch me every time I took a shower. Also, I did not want him to watch me get dressed. I did not want him to put his hand on my butt every time I stood remotely close to him. Furthermore, I did not want him to take me and my sister up to the garage that day and assault us. I did not want all this trauma you gave me. All I wanted was a mother.
At this point
I do not even try and wonder what my life would be like had you not met my stepdad because it tends to hurt my feelings. Why wasn’t I good enough for you? Honestly, why? Why? Just why? I have so many questions for you, and I know I will not get a single answer. All I want, is a mom. Someone to look out for me, give me advice, and most importantly I just I want to experience a mother’s love.
Every night, when I pray, I pray that I am not like you. I pray that I never cause my children pain. Also, I pray that my kids will NEVER lay in bed at night crying because they feel I do not love them. I will be nothing like you, and that is a promise. Maybe one day you will come to your senses, but that is doubtful.
Memories with My Mom. The earliest memories I have of my mom is when she would rock me and sing silly old songs that would make me giggle. We would play hide and seek and we would sit outside on the glider and swing for a good long time.
Snuggles in the bed, playing with Barbie dolls, or watching me dress up about a million times just because. Riding our bikes down the dead end street and the car rides we would take to Granny’s house or Jojo’s house.
I love my mom.
She is the best kind of mom a kid could have. My mom and dad were strict but they made rules up for me to keep us in a structured house, and we always managed to have fun. She always took me to church on Sundays and then AWANA on Wednesdays, she homeschooled us for the longest time which I know at times must have been challenging for her with three kids.
We would always do fun things together as a family and we were all close. My mom always opened her home and heart to foster children and kids that we eventually adopted into our family which caused us to grow in numbers.
I must have made my mom’s life challenging at times because I was a considerably difficult child at times. There were a lot of things wrong in my life. Our relationship has hit lots of bumps in the road. I am very stubborn and not willing to try new things because Sadly, I am always afraid I will mess it up and embarrass myself.
She gave me so many things that I asked for (begged for) without hesitation because she knew I wanted it. I never truly appreciated all of her wisdom and knowledge because I always think my way is best and that I know what I am doing is right.
So many mistakes.
I have made so many mistakes. I have hurt my mother on more than one occasion, and yet she still loves me and she still forgives me. No matter what. I love my mom. I love her kind and gentle soul, her willingness to help others at a moments notice, the way she cooks with love and affection (she is the most amazing cook), how she is still in love with my dad after years of being married to him, the fact that she still loves me even after all that I have put her through.
So many tears.
I can still see the look on her face when I told her I screwed up again. She gave me so many chances that I honestly did not deserve. She has been there for me through joyous occasions, heartbreak, funny moments, and moments of pride when I do manage to accomplish something the right way.
She has helped me learn how to communicate. To use my words even though that is sometimes very hard for me. Sometimes, I do not know how to properly articulate at times. She has been there for me through my depression and anxiety. Honestly, I do not know how to handle it properly yet. She has been there for me throughout my whole school education. Also, she has supported me during the hardest moments of college. She is the best person even if she says she isn’t, she really is.
I do not care what she says. She is an excellent mother who is doing the best she can under certain circumstances that are out of her control. We are the very definition of a blended family. All kinds of issues, mental health problems, physical problems, trauma, etc. And she is so strong to deal with everything she has dealt with in the past.
Hindsight is 20/20
I only wish that I was not the cause of some of her heartache. I wish that I had just listened to her instead of trying to do things my way. I wish that I had not asked for all of those things just because I wanted it. I have prayed so hard that our relationship would be strengthened and I vowed to her that I would always be honest and communicate with her whenever she asked, even if it is hard for me.
I have admitted some things to her that I can not even accept about myself. We have been open with each other and we have gotten so much closer than we used to be before which I am so thankful for. God answered my prayers. I am gaining wisdom from her and my communication has gotten better with time and patience.
She is my rock and the one person I can trust to never judge me. I know she loves me with all of her heart and I know that she prays for me every night. I can only hope that one day I will be like her. She is an amazing person.
Mom, I love you more than words can even describe.
I am so blessed and thankful that God chose you and Dad to be my parents. I am so sorry for all the times I made you cry over me. But I am thankful for all the times you have been there for me, the times you have forgiven me, and the times that you have extended grace towards me. You inspire me with your strength everyday.
You are always the one to go without a moment’s hesitation to help us kids or sit with us in the hospital for days on end. You have such a giving soul and I have seen it through the relationships and friendships that you have had in the past. I can only hope that one day I will be like you.
Thank you for everything you have done for me and you continue to do for me every single day. You are a gift and a treasure and I will love you for the rest of my days on Earth. Know your worth (like you tell me everyday) and how much of a blessing you are to your family and friends because of your giving heart.
No Thanks to You Part 3. It was such a shock to me. It came without warning. I honestly don’t understand. Because that morning, it was business as usual. We were doing quality assurance and fixing simple mistakes in the computer. What was that you said to me?
If you would do your job right the first time, your mistakes wouldn’t be on this list? I could count maybe 5 mistakes out of hundreds that I could claim. And they were as simple to fix as checking a box. But you felt the need to point that out to me. You worked me to the very end.
That was hurtful.
When you said that to me, I cried silently at my desk. It wasn’t the first time. I cried silently a lot because of the stress you put me under. That this job put me under. The anxiety and the depression were insurmountable at the time. I put on a brave face, as one does, and carried on. I didn’t let you see me sweat.
His face as you fired me was that of sorrow. That he didn’t want to be in this position. He looked at me with pity, while it seemed you were doing a victory dance. Was I that bad of an employee for you to find joy in letting me go? You were so callous it was almost cruel. At least he had some sense. He knew I was a good worker and I don’t even think he truly understood your decision.
Because she was always in your ear about something. She was intimidated by me. She hated me. Therefore, you had to hate me. I blame you and her. I do not blame him, he did nothing wrong. He was just a poor, unfortunate person to be in that situation.
I can’t believe that you joked and laughed as I was cleaning out my desk. I was crying and you were laughing. That is unbelievably cruel. He walked me out, and he was genuinely sorry for the situation. But you, you were cruel.
What Happened Next
So, I feel the need to educate you on what happened to me after you fired me. The aftermath of your decision. It’s no wonder that people hit such deep lows when they lose a job. If you put 100% of your efforts into a career and you are just dumped, that hurts.
I had very little money. What money I did save went to getting a new apartment. I had to move, I couldn’t stay where I was anymore. It took everything I had. I didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning. I felt like such a failure. Even with the meds, I was depressed. I didn’t know how much longer I was going to be able to live with myself.
Choices are a funny thing, we make them every day. But our choices affect those around us. Your choices affected me negatively. In a bad way. I was already depressed and your choice made it so much worse. When it rains, it pours, and you were the last thundercloud. The straw that broke the camels’ back.
I was a broken human. Frankly, I didn’t even recognize myself anymore. I just remember being so sad. So numb. I didn’t feel anything anymore. Nothing made me happy. I was in such a deep pit I didn’t think anyone could save me. Honestly, I want you to know that. I hope my life will be a lesson to you, what man meant to do harm, God intended for good.
It wasn’t good for a long time.
God knew that, it is only by His grace that I survived that period of my life. He knew that was the worst possible job I could be in. He knew that was a bad fit for me and my personality, though I was good at it. So really, it became a blessing. But don’t think for one second that I don’t still hold resentment towards you. Even my ex co-worker can’t stand you. No one can. Because you are rude, you talk over people, you rub people the wrong way, not many people like you.
Without your poor choice
I would not have made it to the job I have now. I wouldn’t have met my forever love. My job now is awesome, and I am very good at it. I am highly respected by everyone that knows me. And well liked by many in my profession. I tell people how it is, I do not judge them, I do not micro manage, and I am not micro managed.
I am free to do things my way. And my way works. I am still medicated, but it is for the best that I am medicated. It helps me cope with those dark days. Those days that are so uncertain, I never know when one is going to come up. But they are manageable now.
Here, from my guest blogger, is No Thanks to You Part 2.
No Thanks to You Part 2
I didn’t do things the way you wanted me to. Honestly, I like to make myself notes, I don’t shred things as often as you would like because I am afraid of losing something important. Frankly, I still do that to this day. I am good at returning phone calls, but you insist that I write down every number and every message so I don’t forget to call them back. Lastly, I can do several things at once, and you didn’t like that.
You are very controlling, too much micro managing my work. Honestly, you knew I did good work, so why didn’t you let me do things my way? You told me everyone does things differently and gets their own rhythm. I had my own rhythm, but you wanted to change who I was as a person and as an employee. I took issue with that.
Depression Over my Job
I got so depressed at this job, and so anxious over doing a good job that I had to get medicated. Every time you walked into the room, I wondered what I had done wrong now? You started making a point to notice every small detail of something I missed or got wrong. That is not how a boss should be to his employees. You didn’t praise me anymore, you didn’t give me any sign that I was enough for this job.
You expected more and more from me. When I needed help, you were conveniently not around. I tried to get your help with a matter, and you were not available to help me. I made a mistake, I acknowledge that. But your biggest mistake was not being around when I needed you. And not training me like you should.
Another Low Blow
I cannot believe that you tried to take my unemployment from me. That was one of the lowest things that you did to me. I was mortified. And when I explained to the woman at the unemployment office the situation, she quickly understood that it was not me, but you. I am glad she saw it my way.
You kept meeting with me with a disappointed look in your eyes. And you dragged him into this? The look on his face was that of regret for having to deal with your misogynistic, sexist, backwards, lying actions. Telling me we can fix this, if you get yourself medicated then it will be fixed. You made me feel like the problem was with me and not you. That it was all my fault for the very few mistakes I did make.
You made me feel less than human.
That I was just a troubled, sad person that couldn’t perform well at my job without being medicated. Do you have any idea what I was going through in that time of my life? That I was going through a break up months from getting married? My grandfather almost died and you didn’t bat an eye. I was so sad. And you made me feel like, at least in the beginning, that we were a team and you would help me through anything.
But you didn’t even bother to ask. You just assumed I was fine and moved on. Frankly, you didn’t care what happened to me. You didn’t care. And that was hurtful because you said I could trust you.
Smack in the Middle the Lies Began
Then, in the middle of all the shit I was dealing with, you let me go. Within a week of the end of my probationary period. I had nothing. Nothing. Nothing to live for anymore. You were the last straw in my life. I was already dealing with so much pain and agony, and you treat me this way. After all the work I did for you. All those extra hours I worked.
You told me that I was rude to inmates. That I talked over them. That was all a lie. You told me that a clerk filed a complaint against me. That was also a lie. I don’t even know what I did to offend her but life goes on. The judges liked me, they still do. Funny thing how lies work. I have never had a single issue in that courthouse in my job now. I am respected and well liked. By everyone.
You told me that I wasn’t a good fit.
Then why waste my time and yours? You could have let me go a lot sooner. If I was that bad of an employee, you would have cut your losses sooner. Isn’t that what you told me about Charlotte in frankfort? That you should cut your losses and fire me.
You told me that just to scare me. I don’t even think that woman knows my name or anything about me. I was a week from being a tenured employee. And you decided to cut me then, you milked me for all the work I was good enough for. Then you dumped me on the curb like yesterday’s trash. I was no longer your prodigy.
No Thanks to You. I held such resentment for you. I still hold some resentment for the way you treated me. At first you made me feel like I was a prodigy, that I could do it all. You knew me and my family; their reputation preceded me. I was hired on pretty quickly, and I showed you all my potential.
You made me feel special, that I was doing so well. I worked well with you, with judges, with lawyers, inmates, and jail staff. I was good at my job. I did my best to be impartial, no matter the charge. I never gave anyone reason to believe that I disliked them, I was calm and collected.
Everyone loved me.
The jail staff, my coworkers, the court staff. I had no complaints. No one came to me or had any issues with me. My co-worker vouched for me so many times because she knew how good of an employee I was. So what I don’t understand is why you turned on me. It was after you hired on your new protege that I fell by the wayside.
I was still doing exemplary work, my assessments were detailed and nothing escaped me. I did well in court, I was respectful to all and did my job. And it was a stressful job, a lot of things at stake and I worked without a single complaint.
You promised me that you would train me further, that I would be attending all these trainings to make me better. But you failed. I did not receive those trainings. Therefore, I had to learn a lot of things myself. I told you every time I had an issue, I told you every time someone asked something of me that I did not feel right about.
It was when she became a supervisor, that also falls in this time period. She really disliked me for some reason. I did my best to be kind, still told her all the issues I had, filled her in on important details. She is so fake, I can’t understand why you listened to her over me.
Choosing One Over the Other
I never gave you a reason not to trust me. She gave you every reason. It was always my word against hers, and it was always the issue with her. She is a snake in the grass, and I am surprised not more people see that in her. She pretends to be a good person, would play Christian music at work, but I could see that she was faking it. Her actions did not prove she was a good person.
She went behind my back to you, over an issue that I was struggling with. I knew the protocol, I knew what would happen. She was standing over me talking in my ear with another person. Standing over my shoulder, behind me, waiting for me to call. I may have been short with her, but I did as she requested.
I don’t do well when people are behind me, I don’t do well with people barking orders at me and micromanaging me. When I asked her later if there were any issues, she assured me that there wasn’t. And foolishly, I believed her. Then, like the snake she is, she went to you without telling me. And that was the knife in the back that hurt me.
I do not trust very easily. You and her are two of those reasons. First, you told me that you would help me. That you would train me further, that I could trust you. I relied on you to help me, because you said that you would. But you didn’t, you failed in that regard.
In this A Letter to Myself piece, my guest blogger wants to step back in time and parent that child who was abused and never truly parented. She wants that little girl to know that what is happening is wrong and that she is not at fault. What a beautiful way to begin the healing process.
I have written numerous letters to other people who have greatly hurt me, but I have yet to write a letter to the person I feel has hurt me the most.
That person is me.
For years I have “punished” myself for things that were not my fault. Its been hard for me to keep in mind that when bad things were happening to me, I was between the ages of 7 and 11. U have blamed myself for years for the people around me dying. I have blamed myself for not being there for them while they are dying. Like for goodness sake, Sarah, you were like 9. It is not your responsibility to take care of people who are dying.
When my dad got divorced for a second time, we had just moved, and we were tight on money. It is not that my dad was not making enough, it was because he was giving a good chunk of his money to his ex-wife. So, I started skipping meals just to make sure everyone else had enough to eat. When I would eat, my brother would make comments on my weight or how much I was eating. That’s when I stopped eating for weeks at a time and started working out six days a week.
After over a year of doing that
I finally realized that it wasn’t my responsibility to make sure everyone was eating. It was my fathers, and he was incredibly absent at that time. So I slowly started eating again. I have better eating habits now, but I still have my days where I feel I shouldn’t be eating. To this day, if I have to get weighed, I can’t look at the scale because If I see what it says I will spiral.
Around that same time, my dad was incredibly absent. All of the cooking, cleaning, and children basically came my responsibility. I was basically the parent in the household. I juggled all of my responsibilities at home, schoolwork, and band.
About the only thing I remember from this period of my life is being incredibly exhausted. It was at this time sister would hardly sleep. And she became violent. So I would wake up at three in the morning to her punching me in the face or her pulling my hair. I remember countless morning of me just crying because was so tired and in pain.
That was a super dark time in my life.
This was the beginning of a super dark time for me. I had zero will to live, I didn’t care what happened to me. Honestly, I wish this part of my story had a happier ending, but I’m still learning that Madison isn’t my child or my responsibility.
I feel guilty when I go out while she’s at the house. Also, I feel anxious that something bad is going to happen to her while I am gone. I feel like I have been better about leaving her home, so that is a step in the right direction.
Then, I guess the last piece of this story is about the shooting. I remember that morning going into the band room with my friends and I stood across the room from him and I just stared at him. The atmosphere that morning felt off.
I used to blame myself for not talking to him that morning. I used to think that if I had just talked to him, that he wouldn’t have killed two people. That was his choice, not mine. It’s not my fault. It’s not my fault. It is not my fault. After a while of repeating that to myself, I finally believed it.
Being who I am means that I do not have many friends. It is hard for me to open up to other people, because of how often I have been used. Also for being backstabbed by these so called “friends”. My circle of friends is very small due to this issue I have had in the past.
I have like maybe 4 close friends who actually care about me and my well-being. I would do anything for them. Honestly, I am loyal to the end. It is hard for me to let go. Especially when potential long-lasting friendships end. I also tend to take on my friends’ problems. Sadly, I claim that I am the cause of their issues. I will just as easily take the blame for everything rather than have them take the blame.
This One “Friend”
This one “friend” is currently my co-worker and unfortunately my neighbor. The first nightshift we worked together we instantly clicked. We became comfortable with each other which is incredibly rare for me. As the days led on we continued to text constantly about work and life. We would hang out at my place and watch movies on our days off. His friends and family became comfortable with me as well as we continued to hang out. Working together was a blast since we got along together and the kids enjoyed it when we both worked on the same day.
He was always there for me when I needed him. There was a huge party at the apartment where I used to live, there were easily at least 200+ party-goers (which definitely goes against the contract of the apartment complex). Unfortunately, the party got out of hand and there was a tragic event that turned the party into a nightmare.
My anxiety was at an all time high and I needed to get out of there, my friend came to rescue me as quickly as he could. He was so understanding and was there to help distract me from this event. My friend even insisted that I did not return to my apartment until things calmed down and the police finished their investigations.
Maude My Orphan Kitty
My friend was also supportive of me when my little orphan kitten died that I was trying to bottle feed after her mom rejected her. I stayed up late nights and took that little kitten with me literally everywhere, we eventually had a routine and I was so proud of the way she was progressing. I do not do well when animals die, especially if I am the one dedicated to their health and well-being. The little baby passed away and I was heartbroken, my friend was with me and he took the kitten and buried her for me since I could not do it myself.
I Told Him Everything
We did not have secrets and we knew each other pretty well. He was concerned for my mental health and physical health since the job profession we work in is extremely taxing for someone with mental health issues. I was grateful to have someone to talk to that has some of the same problems that I struggle with on a daily basis. This person was the true definition of a real best friend, or so I thought.
We did not date even though he admitted having feelings for me that I just could not reciprocate for personal reasons. But we remained best friends for a long time, that is until his current girlfriend came back into his life. They had dated once before in the past. I was supportive. I still wanted to hang out with him and I also wanted to get to know his girlfriend because I was trying to be supportive of their relationship.
All of a Sudden
He stopped talking to me and he did not text or call me at all. I had no clue what I did wrong to make him not talk to me because we spent almost every day together. Things just got worse from that point, I tried to talk to him but he refused to acknowledge my existence and futile attempts to get him to speak to me.
I admitted to him that I was jealous that he spent every day with his new girlfriend and the fact that she moved in with him only two weeks after them dating. Not jealous in the love sort of way but jealous that my best friend put all of his attention on just his girlfriend and nobody else.
Then One Night
One night I was walking my dog and he was outside on his back patio with his sister and girlfriend. I did not say a single word to him. He shouted from his yard that he needed to say something to me and he let me have it. He told me never to talk to his friends or family again and that if I had something to say I should say it to his face.
Instantly I got defensive and shouted back an obscene comment while rushing back to my own apartment. Granted, I should have handled that situation with better decorum but I was not prepared for that verbal attack. He would text me nasty things and his girlfriend even got in on the action and told me to stop talking to her boyfriend or things would get bad for me. I did not know how to handle this situation at all so I just ignored him.
My Depression and Anxiety
My depression was through the roof and my anxiety about the whole scenario kept my mind running in 20 different directions. He drunk dialed me one night and I just broke down and told him everything that I was feeling and how betrayed I felt about the whole situation. He blamed me for his drinking and dipping problem and he told me that I am the one that caused drama between him and his friends and family. Being the person that I am, I claimed his problems as my own. I honestly started to believe that our entire friendship had been some sort of one-way street and that I caused all of his problems.
After we were mature and decided to end our silly feud, when we would work together, he started talking to me more and we kind of fell back into our usual best friend ways. He said that his girlfriend did not like me and she did not like the fact that we would hang out all the time and text each other constantly. I told him that if she was threatened by me trying to “break up their relationship” that I could never ever do that to someone. I’m not that kind of person. And I reiterated the fact that I will still support him and care about him because he played a part in my life whether I wanted it to happen or not.
I Missed my Best Friend
Honestly, I told him that I missed my best friend, and I truly did. I missed the days we would hang out together and just be goofy and have fun with our two dogs. The thing is, is that I hold onto the people that come in my life. I try to make any situation better by offering to help however I could at the time. My friend kept in contact with me but we never actually hung out except when we were working together at the boy’s house. He fell into a bad depressive state and I tried my best to be there for him since I know how rough it can be when you get in that depressive state.
One Random Night
His girlfriend added me on Snapchat and sent me a message. I dreaded opening it because I hate confrontation. We talked for a good long time and we were okay, I explained that I did not have feelings for him other than feelings of being a best friend, and that I was not trying to break up their relationship. I called my friend and told him what she said and how everything was good between us again. Everything was fine for the next two weeks.
Enter My Mom
One day my mom came over to visit me and she wanted to introduce herself to my boys and my friend since I had already told her about him. All she did was shake his hand and introduce herself. Two days later, I got the most hateful message from him early in the morning. He accused me and my mom of trying to start drama and that she came over to his house unannounced. I was confused and hurt by all the hateful things that were sent to me.
He called me a crazy psycho manipulative bitch and that he never wanted to see my face ever again. We were NEVER friends were the exact words that were texted to me along with some other things I will not mention. I was at work at the time so I had to excuse myself to go to the bathroom to cry and then compose myself best I could. My hands were shaking and I could feel my blood pressure rising with each nasty message. I was confused, hurt, betrayed, and I seriously started to believe all of the things he was saying to me.
Is This a Joke?
I honestly thought at first that it was a joke or that it really wasn’t him because my best friend would never say things like that to me. I profusely apologized even though I did nothing wrong, but he did not believe me. He said that I am not innocent and that I think that I never do anything wrong. I allowed myself to be sad for a little while and then I had to get over it and finish out my shift so I could go home. Why?
Seriously, Why me?
Why do I always end up getting into situations with people that betray me and my trust? I love fiercely and I am loyal to the end. I would never do anything to hurt my friend. But he hurt me. He hurt me so badly that I felt like my chest would rip open. I was miserable for the next week or two. His friends would always come at me. They would send me nasty messages. I just took it all on my shoulders like I usually do.
I really need to stop doing things like that
And that doesn’t make me a bad person. I am allowed to have feelings. To be sad and mourn my best friend who I managed to alienate in my life somehow. After I attended a church sermon one day, my pastor said something that resonated within me. It probed me to remember how badly he hurt me. He said that even though someone might have done us wrong, we need to forgive. Also, pray that God will bless their lives abundantly.
I started to cry thinking about all my past friendships that crashed and burned for whatever reason it was at the time. Then, I sent every single one of my so called “friends” a message. It was a ‘to the point’ message which said exactly what I wanted to say. I did this in a kind and Christ- Like manner. I do not know if any of my friends even read that message but at least I sent it to them and forgave them.
Message to my “Friend”
I still see my neighbor around and I also see him at work. Today, I will choose kindness. Also, I will choose to still love (as a friend). Furthermore, I will care about him even though it is hard. I will choose to make friends if God brings them into my life. Also, I will still love fiercely and be loyal to them no matter what comes my way.
And to my friend, even though he says we are not friends, I hope that you have a fruitful life. That you and your girlfriend are happy together. That is all I ever wanted for you. I want you to be happy and successful. Even if that means our friendship is at an end. That’s okay. I will be okay. Because my heart belongs to God and I believe in his everlasting love for me.
Now what? Honestly, what am I supposed to do now? Over a decade of friendship and now, aside from your son and the children, you are all gone. This ache is deep and my tears flow freely at any given moment. It is so strange knowing that you are gone because that is not what we talked about.
I Miss You
It has only been a few days but I miss you. We would chat, most nights, until about midnight about all the things. I would watch my car detailing videos, muted, and tell you about every detail. Then, we would discuss the children and what they were doing. We would fix the worlds problems and now I don’t have anyone to talk too.
I have always wondered is it best for others left behind for a loved one to die quickly or to *know* that they are dying so you can say what you need too. Honestly, I have experienced both ways and they both suck. For me, they do. The ones who have passed well, as a believer, once your eyes shut on Earth, they open in the presence of the Lord.
When your loved one dies instantly, with no warning, there are SO many things unsaid. That last I love you, the last I am sorry, the last smile…when did you hug them last? For me, it has been 6 mths due to conflict. I remember the last words spoken. Furthermore, I remember the last words he spoke to me. Also, I remember sitting in my car screaming at the top of my lungs just to get out the anger.
Anger is secondary to fear and/or sadness. My fear was knowing how my husband would react at the words said to me. My sadness was knowing what the outcome was going to be. It as an outcome that I never wanted but was necessary in order for my husband to heal. Yet, the pain that came in the morning was devastating.
A Small Amount of Time
This time, however, I have known of “not feeling well” since February or March. What started out as vertigo and back pain ended in death. Something so treatable as those 2 things. Doctor visits yield Meniere’s disease, possibly. Could be allergies. Maybe it is stress. Go to the chiropractor, get some blood work done, blah blah blah.
Those things led to not being able to keep anything down and losing weight. Energy waning. Speech slurred a bit. Upset stomach and passing out. She was “forced” to go to the ER where they said “your electrolytes are low and you are dehydrated.” Well, lets pop in an IV and get that up. For a moment, she was better.
Until She Got Worse
That moment was fleeting and we all tried to convince her to go to the doctor again. This time they did x-rays, co-vid testing, and blood work. There was bacteria in her bloodstream. I remember her saying that. Then she said “good news, I don’t have co-vid!” Sigh of relief.
Then silence. She said “but they found a mass on my pancreas.” My heart went into my throat and I asked if it was cancer. She said she did not know and she had an appointment with an oncologist on October 7th. This was the day after her 61st birthday.
When I Got to Her Place
I walked in and there laid a shell of the woman I was used to seeing. She had lost so much weight and was so jaundiced, I knew that this was serious. I walked over and laid my head across her chest. She patted my head and said “Brandi, I’m going to fight this. It’s going to be okay. I’m too mean to die.”
I snuggled up with her on the couch and we talked about all the things. Once again, we solved the world’s problems. I came by almost daily to check on her and the children. At night, I would call. Then she went to the doctor on the 7th…she said they called in hospice.
The Next Day
I came over and we started talking about other things. Things neither one of us wanted to talk about. Funeral homes, flowers, plans for her grandchildren and son. She kept saying that this was all pointless because she was going to get a second opinion and fight. This woman fought to the very end.
Most days she would ask me to “take her feet apart.” AKA rub her feet because that felt SO good. Then she would want me to play with her hair. Somedays, I massaged her stomach because the swelling was so much that she said it helped her feel better. Other days, I would just curl up next to her. Sometimes we would nap and other times, she would nap and I prayed.
The Night at the ER
She finally could not take the pressure and swelling of her belly. So, she asked me to call and ambulance just to have her checked. They got there and the stress of moving her caused her to pass out. We all thought she was gone and rushed to the ER.
Her son and I got there before the ambulance. They wheeled her out and she cut her eyes at me and waved. I crumpled in the parking lot. It was like all the air being let out of a balloon. Her sisters were there and we all rushed in.
The Beginning of the End
I knew that night, that she would be gone soon. As I sat by her bed watching her breathe, we talked again. She talked of her salvation, her husband, and her daughter that died before her. David died 5 years ago of cancer and her daughter died 2 years ago by a choice that was horrific for her family.
She said they were standing up there going “oh hell, here she comes!” I told her there was no swearing in heaven. We both laughed a bit and then the topic got more serious. She knew there was no fight left. It was a matter of time and that time was up to God.
She asked what would happen to Steve, her son. Then we talked about Lexi, her granddaughter. Next, we talked about Austin, her grandson. Sierra, the precious girl that lived with them and expecting Donna’s great grandson (whom Donna named). She talked about Kenleigh, her great granddaughter. We got it all squared away.
Then, she looked at me and said “who is going to keep you out of trouble?” I just sat and cried. She said “wanna crawl up in this bed, there is room?” If I could have, I would have. I told her we would get in trouble and she said she didn’t care. She begged to go home.
We Got Her Home
Home. She was not Donna anymore. There were moments when she would focus in, but we all knew the time was coming. That time came…my Donna was gone. Once again, I walked in and laid over her chest and cried. I listened to the wails and sobs of her son and grandchildren. Her sisters.
I haven’t even fully processed it all but today is her funeral. Everything changes for everyone. Life never stops moving, does it? I feel lost and go to pick up the phone and realize, there is no one to call. Oh Donna. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. We talked about that, remember?