My Brother’s Son

Folks, this is how I think of my Son, living large and loving life.
I long for that bright and shining morning when we will be able to talk once again.
Until then my Son, enjoy the view !!

IMG_3002This past week has been a nightmare.  Just when I thought things couldn’t get worse.  They did.  My plan for last week was to go to my mom’s on Saturday, July 1st to help get her to the Dr. for more tests to find out why she is so sick and rapidly losing weight.  Thoughts of cancer, tumors and death starting to creep in to my heart and mind.  Trying to keep her calm and encouraged and taking some of the responsibility off of my siblings that live closer.  Instead, I look at my phone on Friday, June 30, and see several missed calls from my sister Sherrie and several from my brother Chuck.  I called my sister, thinking it had to be something bad even though her text message said to call her asap and that it wasn’t mom.

In an instant, our lives changed once again.  I had to hear the words that my oldest brother Chuck has just been told his 33 year old son was found dead in his apartment.  My mind reeled back in time when I got that phone call about my own son being found dead in his apartment and the whirlwind of emotion I was thrown into.  Now my brother was in that same storm.  I’m trying to put my finger on exactly what I felt at that moment and it was dread.  Dread for the road I knew my brother now how to walk down.  It’s a dark and painful road that seems to take forever to get down.  He is in for a rollercoaster of emotions that I never wanted anyone I love to ever experience.  But here he is.

I left immediately to go be with my mom to help her cope with the news as we knew it would add to her stress and someone needed to be there for her as well as my brother.  Chuck has an amazing wife and she is his rock.  She has a heart of gold and is smart as they come so I am grateful he has a love in his life to help him on this journey.  When I saw my brother that first day, I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was prepared to hold him up if he broke down and I have never seen my brother waver emotionally.  He had his composure about him and seemed to want to focus on the good memories.  He took me to the graveyard where he wants himself and his wife laid to rest and I watched him measure in his head, laying plans for these events and I thought to myself, “He is being too strong for day one of this nightmare”.  That evening he posted some video’s on Facebook of his son Victor as a child and I knew right then that he was about to hit that wall of grief.  And he did.  The next day wasn’t so kind to his heart but he rode that rollercoaster like a boss.  That entire week was emotionally draining for my brother and his wife as they had to call people and retell the story, take calls and retell the story, make arrangements, and worse of all, they had to go clean out his son’s apartment.  No parent should have to do this.  I did it and it was torture.  You will see the spot your child took his last breath, you might even see the clothes they had on when they passed or the iv bags the EMT’s leave behind showing that an attempt to save your child’s life was made.  You will see their life as they saw fit to live it.  How they decorated, what photo’s they chose to have displayed of family and friends, the magnets on their fridge, the books on their shelves and most importantly, the mementos of their childhood they chose to hang onto into adulthood. So there was some good things my brother got out of this horrible task and it does help to balance the nightmare you feel you are in at the moment.  I have to admit, I never thought that this would touch anyone in my family again but it has and now I need to be there for my brother and counsel him anyway I can.

I guess the lesson here is; if you can help someone get through a tough time because you have been through it too, then do it.  Use what you have experienced to help someone else cope.  Help them find the strength to keep their eyes open for that pin light of hope that is at the end of the tunnel because they might not be able to see it yet, just like you couldn’t.  You know it’s there so just give them your strength to keep walking towards it.

When you lose a loved one, life will never be the same, it will just be different.  In order to heal , you have to embrace that new life in your own time and at your own pace.  Just remember:  Be Strong.  Be Brave.  Be Fearless.  You are never alone.

Starting Over

An adventure a day keeps depression away!

So, Twice Bitten180 was the first thing that came to mind when I had to decide on a new email and blog name.  It probably isn’t hard to figure out but I’ll explain anyway.  I am 55 years old and am having to pick up the pieces of my life and start over…Again.   First time was when I was 28 and my husband decided that the 18 year old girl was more appealing than the wife and kids.  After 4 years (and a third child) I had had enough.  I packed up my three little boys and moved into a government funded apartment, worked two jobs and was determined to focus on them and making their lives happy and successful.  Twelve years later I took a chance on love again and eventually (15 years later to be exact) same thing happens.   This one, however, was the kill shot to my soul.  I lost my youngest son five years ago  ( February 25,2012 ) and the man who should have had my back bailed on me 5 years to the day of that loss.

This blog will have some gut wrenching stories as well as some funny ones.  My main goal is to share through my writings, encouragement as well as ideas that you, the reader, can take and implement into your own lives.

For some of us, starting over means relearning how to live.  I mean, really LIVE and not just survive.  Have you ever been in a really dark place emotionally?  Sometimes, things happen in our lives that make us just not want to live another second.  I never understood how a person could get to that place but unfortunately, now I know.  It took a lot of prayer and looking at pictures of my family to snap me out of it.  I don’t think I could have actually harmed myself but the thoughts of it were bad enough.  We all have baggage in our lives and mine is no different so if  I have the means to help just one person pick up those pieces and create a new heart and soul, or to simply laugh out loud then I will do my best. This blog might not meet the specs of how it’s supposed to be created but I have no clue what I’m doing.  Like, this should probably be my About page but hey, I’m doing my own thing now right?  I am just going to write about things that I am experiencing now that I am on the “other side” of that dark place because for the first time in a long time, I feel like I am really living!

First blog post

My girl Molly and I are almost loaded up and ready to leave this life behind and go start over.  I can’t wait to see her reaction to grandkids and cats!