Well, here we are in a new year. Can you hear the angels singing? I sure can. For this year, I am going to do a Blog Remodel in a New None Sucky 2021. Really, that won’t mean a lot to my readers, so no big changes for you. Working on color schemes and themes and such. Checking broken links, photos, rewriting some things, deleting duplicate posts and such. Just cleaning up. After 10 years of blogging, it is time.
What Would You Like More Of?
Is there something you would like more of? I’m really working through self-care and emotional healing from trauma, so that is forefront on my mind. Healing through trauma of childhood, adolescent, adulthood, all the big T and little t traumas, so to speak. Really focusing on the metaphysical reasoning behind some physical ailments. From family to friendships…transformation.
Food and Lifestyle Changes
Also, we are having to get serious about our food around here since all the new medical stuff has come up. Good times. Big Daddy has had a new diagnosis. Jude has had a couple. I’m struggling with some foot and shoulder issues. Blah blah blah. Part of it is getting older (for us parents), part of it is nutrition, and part of it is just, again trauma. So maybe some trial and error recipes and such will appear.
Working Towards Minimalism
Yes, there is that word again. I have sorted and plugged away for years. That is how I work through things but geez, with all these kiddos, things continue to accumulate. I continue to sort, throw away, consign, and donate. It is a work in progress.
Honestly, I want to get to a point where when Bart and I start getting older, I don’t want my kids to worry about things. Health and death tend to bring out the “best” in people and I want to eliminate as much stress as humanly possible for them. Morbid, I know but necessary.
Family Growth and Changes
So many things happened in 2020. We are not the exception to the many families who experienced trials and tribulations during a horrible year. There were some glorious moments, but man were there some sucky ones too. Our family is continuing to shift and change every moment.
This year, we are adding 2 new additions to our family. We have one daughter having a life-altering event with a fella she met. Another daughter is having another life-altering event welcoming our first grandchild into the world in March.
We have kids moving out and moving on. Kids finishing school and growing and learning more about themselves. Lots and lots of things happening.
So, if you see a lag in posting, think nothing of it. I’m working on the backend of the blog. If you see broken links or no pictures, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org I will get it fixed. I hope to continue to do reviews and giveaways, as well as, guest blogging. Of course, we have the multitude of medical issues that I hope to educate others on.
Just wanted to give everyone an insight as to what is going on in my world.
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?
Well, I guess it is time for an Update on my Family. It has been a while since I’ve given one and I guess it is long overdue. Can I just say, I am SUPER glad September is over! That whole month weighed so heavily on my heart. Reading the stories, reflecting on my journey, and just allowing myself to feel. Suicide is a real thing and it is out of control, if you ask me. Please, check on your friends and family. Spread love and kindness. Help. Be an ear. God is so much bigger than that moment of uncertainty!
Bug & Ben
They are still married (yay) and are doing well. Still young, still got a lot to learn, still navigating all the things but all in all, things are good. They are both working from home, so that is a LOT of togetherness! In that togetherness, they forgot to be socially distant and are now expecting a little one.
Let me repeat.
They. Are. Expecting. A. Little. One.
One more time for those in the back.
I AM GOING TO BE A GRANDMOTHER.
Breathe. It’s fine. I’m fine. Breathe.
Don’t get me wrong, Flash and I are excited to meet each other. Hunter named the baby Flash because well, he is 6. We don’t know if it is a boy or girl. Honestly, I could care less. I used to think that was a crock of crap when people said that. Now, I get it. I truly don’t care. So, I am going to be Lolli and Big Daddy will be Pop.
Get it? I wanted us to be Harriet and Nels or Alice and Mr. Edwards. Only Bug agreed with that, no one else did. Whatever.
My girl did it. She graduated college with her Bachelor of Science. Sadly, her last semester had to be done virtually because of stupid co-vid, but she did it. Come November, she is walking for graduation. I could not be more proud of her. I mean, geez. She is brilliant and beautiful.
Trying to find that “big girl job” has been tedious, but she is working. It is not her dream job but that will come. She really is good at what she is doing, it is just hard emotionally. Her niche is geriatrics. She loves the elderly and has such respect for them. The love and grace she shows in working with them…the respect. She is her mother’s daughter.
Echo has a friend now. My Ted moved in with them and so did Maureen Kitty. She is a plant mama and has a cute little apartment that she has decorated so pretty. This girl of mine…she is going places (just not too far from me!)
Its been a hard summer. Honestly, its been a hard 13 years. I am not going into any detail because my head and heart simply can’t. This month, she will be attending school, away from us. She will be learning a trade and life skills to move forward in her life. This has been a hard decision for us to make but it is necessary.
For 2 months, we were blessed with the best gift, at the perfect time. A friend offered to let her come to her house for a couple of months to let life settle a bit. It gave us all time apart to heal and reflect on what is best for her and the rest of our family.
I pray the Lord guides her every step.
Well, he still has a female friend and has mentioned moving out. As I choke back on my vomit and tears, I now refuse to discuss it. I was pretty good about the girls moving out, but why oh why am I struggling. Geez. His little female friend has captured my heart. She is a sweet girl, though we often talk about making space for Jesus when they sit too close to each other!
He is still in college and loving it. I think he wants to be a sports journalist. He loves sports and he has discovered that he loves writing. In his job, he left his first job for another and then left that one for the first one because he was going to be promoted. He is a hard worker but his room is a pig sty. I just don’t get it.
Due to the events of the summer, D is away at school until December. Some things occurred where it was necessary for him to be away. I email him. He writes (when he remembers) and he calls every Friday. Some are good calls and some, he just misses his mama. I sure do miss him but I know he is learning so much. Thankfully, this school is geared towards the career that he is wanting to pursue.
Sadly, he got co-vid (well, he and 13 other boys). That was crappy but luckily they were asymptomatic. We have had to send him a lot of soap LOL and shoes. He is wearing them out! Thankfully, he is learning and working through the events of this summer and processing some of his choices. I am super proud of him.
He doesn’t have a nickname…wonder how that happened? I’ll have to think of one. He is “virtually” schooling from August until December. I am hoping he will be back in school in January. The past year, we have been struggling and fighting to figure out what has been going on with him. This summer, we finally got our answer.
He has Idiopathic Hypersomnia. In normal terms, he has narcolepsy. Let me tell you, it is not like what you see in the movies. It has been so hard. In the midst of all the testing for IH, we stumbled on Epilepsy. Yep, you read that right. He also has Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy.
His triggers are stress and lack of sleep. We have had TONS of stress this summer and he has narcolepsy, so there is your lack of sleep. He had his first grand mal seizure and that is something I never want to see again in the history of ever. We can’t treat the narcolepsy until the epilepsy is controlled. The epilepsy can’t be controlled because it is triggered by the narcolepsy. See the problem?
Good grief. He is busy. So. Very. Busy. He talks. All. The. Time. He is virtually schooling and doing pretty good. Amazingly enough, he was promoted up a reading level…to HIS reading level on HIS grade! He is reading so well. Treatments are going as well as they can. His OMS is still there and prevalent, but he compensates like a beast.
He is getting so tall and loves being outside. His favorite thing to do is run. “Mom, I just need to run.” I can think about to when he was in a wheelchair. Most days, I just sit and watch him run back and forth through the yard and I smile. This child is fearless. He brings joy to my heart.
As For Us
We are healing, as a family. Big Daddy is adjusting to working from home. I’m looking at going back to work part time. We have A LOT of kittens. When they are weaned, we are getting the mama’s fixed so we don’t have to worry about that anymore. I know you want to know their names…right? In no particular order:
Karen, Inez, Joan, Janis, Joplin, Lloyd, Linda, Lonnie, Ronnie, Roger, Kim, Pat, Wenago, Tibebu, Ephraim, and Bart.
That phrase. You are not Hidden. It stirs in my soul. There are days when I feel like He doesn’t see me. He doesn’t care or that He doesn’t hear my prayers. I am sure other people think that, but then I heard this song. He does hear me. When I am silently crying, alone, He hears me. Then, He sends His army just for me. He doesn’t send it to Antarctica or Timbuktu. The army comes to me, wherever I might be. Now, He may not answer me the way I want it answered, but He still hears me. He still answers me. Click on Lauren Daigle’s name and it will take you to the video. Very powerful.
The Rest of my Story…Let the Tears Flow. They flow for the pain these people went through. For the pain that their family and loved ones have gone through. The lost time, confusion, hurt, and then that moment of pain…
A man that I worked with was the life of the office. We shared our office space and we had the most fun, hands down, of any other offices. That is where he introduced me to his lovely ‘female friend’ and her son, C. They were all so dang cute together. We all loved hanging out and C had a bit of a crush on me. He was like 8, so it was pretty sweet. There was no surprise to hear that they were going to get married, soon after they met. Then along came baby B! Wow, what a transition.
My friend ended up getting another job, in another town (close by). He wasn’t too far away and so he commuted. His wife continued to work. Both boys began school. Life seemed to be good for them. Until the moment when I got the phone call.
The screams of my friend’s wife still bounce around in my head from time to time. I didn’t realize that my friend was struggling with mental illness because their family put on a very good show. It turns out, he just couldn’t move foward and made a choice that was devastating for all of those who loved him. I will never forget the look on her face when she was telling me what happened. She was talking but she wasn’t present. This is something you never get over and you always wonder what you could have done differently. The pain does not cease with time.
All In the Family
Another family that is close to my heart. Well, when I met this family, they were infections. The dad was loud and in your face. Mom was loud, loved to talk, and make friends. The kids were big. Loud. Boisterous. Kids. A unique blended family that seemed to figure out how to make it work.
Again, from the outside, life looked awesome. Great job for him. Great job for her. Kids in college, school, military, money, nice house. Then, you opened the door to this beautiful home and you see what is going on behind closed doors.
Silence, arguing, pain, grudges, fights, booze, meds, threats, screaming. There was one person of stability in the house and he was an amazing person. Sadly, the Lord called this person home. That’s when things started really falling apart. The marriage was dwindling, the kids were not doing what they needed to do. Then prescription drugs and alcohol began to play a factor
When a parent is unstable and children witness or deal with suicidal attempts or threats, it alters their minds forever. Sadly this is the case. Due to undiagnosed medical conditions, the struggle has been to make the conscience effort to breathe in and out every day. So, it is no surprise when one of her children followed her in her footsteps. Generational curses can be broken! Thankfully, everyone in this family is doing their best in taking the next right step.
2 Families, Same Story
Drugs, alcohol, abuse, feelings of unworthiness, depression plagued 2 boys. One was a young boy, not even a teen. The other was a young man with a brand new baby to love. In my eyes, both of these boys were loved, but in their eyes, they were not worthy of love. They were useless and people would be better off without them. Knowing the people that saw what happened, that day, and ran to their rescue haunt me. I cannot even imagine the sight of what they saw and the strength it took them to save these boys. The thankfulness that these, now men, are still alive does not leave my mind.
Yet, they are still struggling with the same things they did when they were younger. The boy of the story has no ability to work, drive, or do much of anything. He is basically confined to one space. How heartbreaking to wake up everyday to the same thing day after day with no hope of getting out of that space.
The young man of the story is working, doing okay. Raising children and trying to do life in the best way he knows how. He copes with drugs and alcohol and still suffers from depression. My hope is that boy these young men can see who they are in God’s eyes. That they are loved beyond measure.
The Screams of a Mother
There is nothing quite like that phone call. A mom who has given her life to raising her children in God’s light. This mom who loves her children and has made huge sacrifices for them. She has made decisions that no parent should have to make. Then, her young son does the unthinkable and succeeds. It was the most heart-wrenching thing I have ever heard. All I could do was pray for peace. Her voice…
My Sweet Friend
I met this sweet friend at a place that helped my son. She had a kind smile and a loud laugh. Shortly after we met and became friends, she was diagnosed with cancer. She fought that battle and won. We missed seeing her every week, but it was safer to be home and not get sick. Treatments are hard on a body.
I was thrilled when I saw her walking towards me one day. She had her bandana on her head and a smile on her face. My son was so excited to see her, as well. Again, this is a woman that I knew had some struggles but for the most part, she “seemed” happy. Until she wasn’t.
Sigh…I just can’t even begin. Articulate properly. Precious human. She is now at peace though missed terribly here.
Then There was Leigh Ann
My loud, firecracker, sailor-mouthed friend. Fearless. Brilliant. Beautiful. All of the stories I told have taken a piece of my heart. Leigh Ann, however, has taken a chunk. Again, the horror of hearing her mama and the words coming out of her mouth. The useless feeling that washed over me as I held her sweet son while he sobbed. Her daughter. Brother. Even her dog was mourning.
I have written about her before and I will not go into detail of her life or death on this post. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of her. Honestly, there is not a night that goes by when I close my eyes and I can see her staring back at me. Her death was one of the most painful experiences of my life. I am not okay.
You, this whole month, I have dedicated to awareness and suicide prevention. I have posted myths and facts on my facebook page, as well. Honestly, I have no idea how many people even read what I write but it is healing for me. I heard, not long ago, this statement. If a person were in their right mind, at that moment, they would never follow through with suicide. I say this because if they were in their right mind, they would think about the NEXT moment. For instance, who would find them? How would they live in or drive by the place that it occurred? What about their children, if they have them, what would they grow up knowing?
So many questions and so little answers.
Moments are fleeting but the Truth of the Lord remains. Your life is worth more than all the rubies and gold in heaven. He created you in the image of His Son. Jesus loves you without abandon and you have to do nothing to earn it. There is help and there is hope. You are loved. Your life is worth living. Please think about that next moment, after you imagine your “success.” Think about the other person who will find you and have to tell your loved ones.
Seek help. Medication. Therapy. Self-care.
Some of my friends survived and too many were lost to suicide. I have put off writing this and posting this for a month and all day today. It is so hard and I know that I will have bad dreams tonight. I am always trying to save everyone. You can save yourself by calling any of these resources to help you!
Well, this has been a story that I have been wanting my friend to write for along time. Yet, she wasn’t ready. This time, she was ready. So many people need to understand the difference between “baby blues” and “postpartum depression.” There is a difference. So, My Thoughts on This Week’s Story is strength, pain, forgiveness, and mercy.
When I Met Her
She came in like a whirlwind. I met her, her bitty bitty babies, and her 5000 dogs. Then, I scared her husband. What a great first impression. I knew, from that moment, that this girl was precious but she struggled in so many areas. Tears, heartache, pain, resilience, love, devotion…so much wrapped up into this beautiful human. Her strength drives me to do more and to be stronger. Even in the midst of fear and pain…she yields to our Father.
Such a Scary Time
She was walking in a time that many things began to collide. With the premature birth and special needs of her daughters, her abuse, her familial relations, the realization of the loss of her beloved grandaddy, and so much more all landed at her feet with a thud.
She would call me and all I would hear were sobs. So, I sat and listened. She would come over and her emotions walked in the house before she did. This baby (now in her 30s) needed a mama. I became her mama. Fantastically enough, I look awesome to have a child her age and a lot of grands LOL.
Once She Saw it, She Fought it
The realizations that she has made have been phenomenal. Instead of be shrouded in fear, shame, disappointment, and ideations…she became a student. A brilliant one at that. We looked at every aspect of her life and analyzed the crap out of it. The teacher taught the student how to read the book. Now, the student reads the book in 5 different languages.
Once you become that student and learn, it takes fear out of the equation. It kicks satan square in the arse out the front door. Now, she can process events and find joy. Manage the sadness. She may let the bird fly around her hair, but it no longer makes a nest in it.
I Cannot Even
This is the most precious human in the history of ever. I am so thankful the Lord saw fit to cross our paths in such an unusual way. Blessed. I am blessed by her presence. Her laughter is contagious. The fearlessness she attacks things is amazing. Yet, when she is struck at the knees, she ever so slightly bends and has a moment. The moments do not last.
An amazing mama who has fought the good fight for ALL of her children. She fought for her marriage and won. Sadly, she fought the good fight with her family and made a difficult decision. She made this decision with wisdom, clarity, discussion with her husband, and counsel.
Her testimony is an amazing one. I am proud to call her friend.
My Emotions From This Week’s Story are all over the place. I have loved this woman since before I even knew she existed and came into my life. When I met her, it was like my other half. The fun we have had, the tears we have cried, the food we have cooked, and the yardsales we have done. My goodness. Shared histories, shared life stories, so much of my adulthood has had her and her family in it.
I have been holding her hand for almost a quarter of a century. Or maybe she has been holding my hand. How’s about we just hold each other’s hands! When one is up, the other is down. Then when one is down, the other is up. When we are both down, we say inappropriate things and bleach our homes. It’s a thing and it’s our thing, so why mess with what works.
How We Operate
When we are both up, we are a bit hard to handle. We giggle like school girls, bake, talk, and fix the world’s problems. I love all of our history. It has shaped me into who I am today. It’s like we can read each other’s thoughts. We feel when things are not right and we call each other out, in love, when we are screwing up.
Life was good until it wasn’t for a season.
A Difficult Time
There was a moment…or decade…that we struggled. That was a hard chunk of time because I missed my friend. I knew she was struggling but there was nothing I could do. Letting her go and us not be a daily part of each other’s lives was the hardest thing ever.
Things happened, as you can read in her story. Yet, there is so much of her story that had to be left out for a variety of reasons. One day, she is going to share it for all to hear and it is going to be used for God’s glory. The strength she has exuded has been that of Christ.
Even in the darkest moments, she knew that she was His daughter. A daughter of the King. I cannot even properly articulate how proud I am of where she is now compared to where she was 20+ years ago. Honestly, or even last year!
Getting the Call
When I received the call that something had happened, I did not hesitate. I rushed to the hospital and I stood by her side. There were moments when I fixed her hair, cleaned her up, and whispered in her ear on things that she would find funny. I prayed over her. With her family, we all prayed. We didn’t know if she was going to live or die that day.
Anger ensued as a particular person was there and I made a decision to “use my words” with this human. It wasn’t received well, threats were made, and I stood my ground for my friend. He was no longer going to hurt her. Her family was rallying around her, I was there, where I should have been and we were all going to protect her.
That we did.
The Days Following
Man, they were hard for her and her family. She woke up and saw the people she loved most. Her children and family. She and I talked like we had not missed a beat. Things were discussed. Plans were in place. She had a system and everyone was working towards helping her. It was amazing. God is so good.
There have been a couple of relapses where she didn’t use the plan. Yet, this time, she made a call. She wanted to live but for a moment, she yielded to the internal pain of all that has happened in her life. It has been unspeakable the pain that her family went through. That I went through, as her friend. Yet, her pain was 1000 times more. In her right mind, she would have never chosen this. She was sick and needed help. The first time help almost didn’t arrive in time. The relapses…they did because SHE made the call for help.
She has Come So Far
My goodness…it seems like a lifetime ago that all this happened, but it wasn’t a lifetime. It is still fresh and raw in my mind. This is a situation that I still have not fully allowed myself to feel because if I did, I would explode. Now, we have talked about it, some, but not much.
When she has a bad day, she calls and we work through it. She has an amazing husband and bonus daughter now. She has 3 grown children who still like to come over and eat and play games. Sometimes she has to be reminded how strong she is and how proud we all are that she chose to live.
Her relationship with Jesus is wonderful and she is a strong prayer warrior. She is in counseling, seeking help, in church, and reaching out to those she loves and feels safe with. Everyday is a day that is filled with blessings and challenges.
I am SO glad she lived. My life has been better with her in it. I never want anyone to feel the pain and desperation of what she felt. Never do I want someone to yield…for just one moment. I can barely breathe when I think about those times. She is loved by me. Loved by her husband and children. She is loved by her family.
I have to go and cry now…my feels are really feeling things.
My friend…I simply love you.
If you or someone you know is being abused, PLEASE reach out.
In Suicide Sprinkled Throughout My Life, I talk about how I was “introduced” to suicide. Sadly, I didn’t really understand what it really meant until I was older. I mean, I saw people sad and I knew that people had died but that was the extent. Honestly, I didn’t really understand what death meant. I believe I was 10 years old before I had ever even heard that word. When I was 14, that is when I experienced what death really was. There was a deeper understanding because my grandfather had died.
Throughout My Series
Throughout this month, dedicated to Suicide Prevention Awareness, I have documented stories. All of the stories are from people I personally know and love. I have been blessed to be in a chapter of the book that God is writing for them. It has been hard for them to live, much less write. Also, it has been hard for me to read and publish. Yet, I tell them that their stories can reach other people. Their story may be the light that another person needs in order to seek help. They must go through the pain in order to find healing on the other side.
My Heart Aches
To know what these people have been through, hurts my heart. I yearn for Jesus to just erase all the bad and come quickly to stop all the hurt and abuse. He will come, like a thief in the night. He will not come when I want Him too. Jesus says that all things will be used for His glory, as well. I have to rest in that knowledge. He didn’t ordain these acts, abuse, hurt…that was due to free-will of man. Yet, He did allow it and it will be used for good.
Introduction to the Foreign Concept of Suicide
I was about 10. The young man was a friend of our family and he loved to ride horses. I remember, once, riding our horse and she threw me off. There I was, on the ground, and terrified of this “beast” of a horse. **I say ‘beast’ because she was just a pony about the size of a large dog.** She had definitely knocked the breath out of me. I guess she got spooked.
This friend of the family was outside watching. His leg was broken and I remember the cast going all the way up his thigh. I was in awe how he maneuvered around. As I lay there…crawling away…ready to go and cry in my room and NEVER get on a horse again, here he comes.
First, he tossed those crutches (I may be exaggerating here but I was young and the memory plays like a black and white film in my head) down. Then he leapt on that horse and “tamed” the beast. Cast and all. Once he calmed Baby, he jumped off. I remember him looking me square in the eye and saying “get back on.” Surely, he was not serious…yet he was. I tried to squirm out of it and he would not let up.
He hoisted me back up on that beast and off she walked (she was too fat to run). I was amazed at him and what he did. He tamed that beast and told me not to be afraid. After that, I was thrown off many times. Yet, I remember Lee and I remember that image and those words.
I was no longer afraid.
Then It Happened
Whispers. Small details. Crying. Lee no longer came around. I didn’t understand and no one said anything above that whisper. The silence was deafening. I think of him, often, when I get scared. Fear is a liar. I am no longer afraid.
Quickly after that was my next memory of another friend of the family. Again, same scenario. He was there, whispers, small details, crying. He no longer came around. A sadness fell upon those I loved and I didn’t understand why. The word ‘suicide’ was never used…yet now I know.
In Another Decade of my Life
I lost another person that I loved dearly. Completely unexpected. He was so loved by so many people. Talented beyond anything I could comprehend. This one rocked me to the core. Horrible. It is unnatural to bury your child (even an adult child) due to suicide. This time, I was old enough to understand all the things and my heart sunk.
And It Keeps Coming Around
My friend that I met in a Christian group…she struggled with so much. She could not see her worth the way I saw it. Oh, she is so precious to me. She has gone through ebbs and flows of her life but in the end, she is one of my people whom I love dearly. I am so thankful that she was not successful in her attempts. The Lord knew she was needed and loved. Sadly, though, I remember getting a message from her telling me her sister had succeeded in her attempt. The devastation was beyond my comprehension.
The Pain in her Voice…I Still Remember
She still lights candles for her sister and talks about suicide awareness because she wants to spare another family from dealing with what she had dealt with. I cannot imagine what she still goes through, to this day. What her parents go through. That hole never heals. Again, this generational curse can be broken. Praying the blood of Jesus to break this and He will. Seek help, start meds, get into therapy, talk to a friend, reach out. You could be saving a life.
Now, I Understand
Next week, I will share more memories of loved ones that have affected my thoughts and my heart.
In This is When It Began, this sweet girl reflects on her father and the beginning of her abuse. It is so painful for me to read, yet I know that it is going to be healing. As I have said before, you have to walk through the pain before you can heal. That is exactly what she is doing.
I Remember When
I remember the days when we would sit on the couch and watch tv or work on my homework together,
The days when I was the one you cared for the apple of your eye so to speak.
I remember us taking four wheeler rides through our land back when we were still a single family.
Back before the war between the parents where the kids had to chose sides
Where the kids had to learn who would do what.
This was before the manipulation and the lies from both sides.
I wish we could have the same relationship as we did then.
When you were the one I cared for the most
But then it happened…
You should have tried harder.
You should have at least fought for your family
but you gave in and moved out.
This is When it Began.
Mom found a new man.
We stayed with our grandparents most of the time.
This is where the abuse began.
The man who was suppose to be an uncle
turned out to be a child abuser.
As I stayed in silence he became your friend
and this is how it came down in the end.
You Did Nothing but Sit
You didn’t try to do anything.
Instead you said you knew people inside.
This was probably a lie.
Which is you didn’t care what had happened
or at least you didn’t care enough.
If you did, you would have done something… anything would have been enough.
Enough to Show that You Cared for Me
Anything at all would have sufficed.
Years later I still hold you at fault whether I should or not.
I just wish you had seen what was going on.
I mean there were signs.
But I Can’t Blame You for Someone Else’s Decisions
Just for yours at that was to do nothing.
Yes I’m still mad and still sad.
And I know I should forgive you for this one thing.
But I just can’t until I understand why.
If you or someone you know is being abused, PLEASE reach out.
Suicide Amongst the Elderly a very serious problem. Although the elderly (age 65 and older) comprise about 13% of the U.S. population, they account for over 18% of all suicides.
The most common cause for elderly suicide, as for all suicides, is untreated depression. Thus, elderly depression needs to be recognized and treated. And about one third of the seniors who are 65 or older experience depression.
Some individuals believe that depression is a normal part of being elderly, which is completely untrue. Depression is not normal for people of any age. Elderly people with depression have a chemical imbalance in their brain. And that chemical imbalance is extremely common and highly treatable.
However, it is important that an elderly person who exhibits symptoms of depression receives a thorough physical exam from a medical doctor to determine if there is a physical basis for the depression. Some physical conditions and the use of some medications may cause symptoms of depression.
The following disease and physical problems may cause symptoms of depression:
some viral infections
The following medications may cause symptoms of depression:
blood pressure medication
Kevin Caruso has so many resources and help on his website. My Lady struggled so badly after her first round of TIA’s and her stroke. When her keys were taken away, it was devastating to her. I remember that she found them and drove to my house. There I was, homeschooling my kids, and she comes honking in my driveway. She said she was fine and she wanted to prove that she could do it. Well, drive she did, she came to me and then went home. Luckily, we didn’t live far apart.
Depression Set In
Her depression set in because she knew that that part of her life was over. Her Jerome had gone to be with Jesus and now she couldn’t drive. My heart sank. I spent everyday with her because I loved her and I couldn’t stand to see that sadness.
Please, check on your elderly neighbors. Take food, offer to run an errand, just sit and glean from their wisdom…it is so worth it. My life is better because she was in it. I adored her. She stays a part of me everyday. My dad went through this, as well. I can see where they feel like a burden to other people. Remind them that they are not a burden and that they are loved beyond measure.
According to the AAFMT Website “In 2002, the annual suicide rate for persons over the age of 65 was over 15 per 100,000 individuals; this number increases for those aged 75 to 84, with over 17 suicide deaths per every 100,000. The number rises even higher for those over age 85. Further, elder suicide may be under-reported by 40% or more.”
If you or someone you know is being abused, PLEASE reach out.