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Posts Tagged ‘memories’

On this date back in 1946, in a small town in Oklahoma…Prague..to be specific, a baby girl was born. She had black hair and dark eyes. She was the first girl to this family. They already had 3 boys….all older, one already grown. She was quite a surprise to her family…but a blessing.

Growing up she was rambunctious. A tomboy, of course! With older brothers she had to be. But her beauty was there also. She learned much from her family. She learned how to cook and nurture from her mom. But being a daddy’s girl, like so many girls are……she spent most of her time with her dad. She loved fishing and camping and animals and dirt! She became very resilient from these days…..and though I don’t know all of the details from that time….I know it was during her growing up years, she was gaining in the strength she needed later in her life.

Her family moved to another town, Shawnee, where she graduated in 1964. She also attended Business College there. I wish I knew more of the stories from that time in her life. I know she was well liked and learned a lot…..and had a lot of fun!

After school she was working at Tinker and met a young man, transplanted from another state. That was in October. By February they had wed and she was off to the east coast to meet his family. My grandmother tells me as she looked out the window waiting to catch a glimpse of her son’s bride, she was taken back as mom got out of the car….by her beauty. Mom was tall, slender and very stylish!

I was born in Indiana a few years later. My parents had moved up there to be close to my mother’s youngest brother. Shortly after I was born, they moved back to Oklahoma to take care of her mother though. So, I grew up with my parents and my grandparents being the only family close by. Until my second grade year when my baby sister came along. Our family was complete.

It was less than three years later, mom had cancer. I’ll never forget. But there are some cloudy memories during that time. I know that is because she tried to shield me and my sister from most of it.

What I do remember is helping as much as I could. I would take care of her and my sister! I also remember my birthday party. It was at the skating rink. I remember she had a beautiful curly, short black wig she wore. It was the only time she had ever had curly hair. She smiled a lot. At least with me she did. She was strong. She kept going.

Then, I remember growing up, going out on my own and becoming a mother. She was there the night before I delivered my first child. She would hold her hand on my swollen belly and tell me when I was having contractions. She was always the one I would call. Every day….for no reason…or for any reason…she was there.

I remember when she was diagnosed with cancer again. She didn’t want the treatment. She got so sick the first time….and she couldn’t do it again. I, selfishly, didn’t “get it”. I didn’t agree. I didn’t understand why she wouldn’t fight. She had kids, grandkids to fight for. I didn’t agree with her at all……but it wasn’t my choice. She was only a little over a year older than I am right now. And I can honestly say….as I sit here typing….I finally understand. I’m not saying I could agree….but I finally understand. The fear of the past…sometimes overtakes the reasoning of the now. We let it grip us and hold us in a way that makes us feel utterly terrified. I get that now.

After this diagnosis and surgery, they told her it will come back. They told her when it came back, it would be fatal. They couldn’t tell us when…but they did tell us where. And sure enough, two years later…..it was back.

This time, something in her had changed. Because she fought it! She fought hard. During this time I was going through a hard time. I had moved in with mom and dad….the boys and I…..when she was first diagnosed. I watched her fight. I watched her resolve to win. I watched her strength.

I saw her in a new light. I saw her as a fighter. She never stopped working….even when she was so sick. She never gave up.

Then, when the boys died, she checked herself out of the hospital so she could be at home when I got there. I remember laying with my head on her lap and her just rubbing my hair while I cried. I remember laying in her bed with her and just being with her. She was there for me. She was fighting for me.

Over that summer mom and I talked so much more than we ever had. Yes, we talked before….but this was about so much more. We talked about us. Our family. God. Heaven. We mended every fence we had broken. We spoke words that needed to be spoken. We also just spent some time in silence just being with each other.

I remember the day she called to tell me the cancer had moved to her brain. She knew this was truly the beginning of the end for her. She wanted to keep fighting but she also wanted to be realistic. She asked me to bring a pen and paper to the hospital. When I arrived we hugged and cried for a bit. But then she asked me to get the pad of paper and pen out. She apologized first, but then asked me to help her plan her funeral. She wanted to take that burden off my father…but she also wanted what she wanted! 😉 As I sat and did that with her, for her, we bonded even more. I was overwhelmed at how strong she was….at how strong she had always been.

She worked from then, the first part of July, up to her birthday. She finally received her medical retirement. She knew my dad would be taken care of. I don’t remember the day exactly….but it was the week after her birthday…..I saw it in her eyes. She was tired. She was tired of fighting. She was worn out. She had accomplished all God put her here to accomplish. She had fought and survived well past what the doctors had expected. She stayed with us….until each of us…in our own ways knew it was better for her to experience the joys of heaven instead of the pain of this life.

The night she left us…..she looked at me….and I remember saying I love you that one last time. I remember telling her it was okay …… she could go. We didn’t want her to hurt any more. She did just that…but waited until we were all there in the room…..loving her…before she did.

So, Happy Birthday Momma! Here is to all the memories I have tucked in my heart of you!
I thank God for giving me the wisdom to know…..if it weren’t for some of the things in my life I used to see as hard times and difficulties, I wouldn’t have been able to be as strong as I am today.

A huge part of who I am is because of you. I am strong and keep forging ahead…because I saw you do the same. I am strong and won’t give up….because I watched you do the same. I am motherly and protective…..because I watched you be the same way. I “kill them with kindness” because I will never forget your teachings! 😉

I am so glad, on this date, back in 1946…in Prague, Oklahoma……you were born to be my mom!
Until we meet again! ~rrb

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So here I sit….smack dab in the realization that 16 years ago my life was forever changed. There aren’t many days I really let myself feel all the hurt associated with this day…but today is that day….the day I allow myself to be very real with those feelings. Today has started kinda different though.

You see…..through the night…I was thinking it would be good to have my cry and get some of the emotions out while everyone was asleep. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t make myself cry. I felt like I was in a fog. I couldn’t cry. What was wrong with me? Why? Why couldn’t I feel those feelings? Were they too bottled up? Had I pushed them down too deep?

My kids got up…and were so loving and sweet. Bryce held my hand and caressed my hair and told me he loved me. I held his hand so tight…. because sometimes I’m so afraid…..it could be the last. Then sis, was so sweet. She said she knew what today was. She knew it had been 16 years since Cody, Cory and Caleb died. It knocked the breath out of me to hear her say it.

Then…after I took her to school and came back home….the tears came. I have been getting loving and wonderful texts and messages and facebook posts….that mean more to me than I can say in words…and I’d been ok….. But then it hit. One of the girls that was a classmate of Cody’s talked about this day…how she missed him and his smile…and said I had been an inspiration during this whole time…. it hit.

I’m gonna be brutally honest…today.

I DON’T WANT TO BE AN INSPIRATION! I DON’T WANT THIS TO BE MY REALITY. I JUST WANT TO BE A NORMAL FAMILY. I DON’T WANT THIS. I FEEL LIKE MY HEART IS BEING WRENCHED FROM MY CHEST!!!!

I so believe God is using this story for His Kingdom. I truly believe He is calling me into His ministry to share His hope…through all situations. BUT I DON’T WANT IT TO BE LIKE THIS!! I totally submit to His will. I totally believe it is only by His strength I am still here. But …….

I would give it all back….to have them here with me. If I could change it….I would. In a heartbeat. If I could see their smiles….again….and just hold them……..God PLEASE…..this mommy’s heart is in a million pieces. It hurts so bad. I hate this. I really do.

If I had known…that when I saw Cody and Cory in the hospital when my mom had her surgery…it would be the last time…..I’d have held them longer…and maybe not let them go. If I’d have known…..I’d have made Caleb talk to me on the phone longer……and made him say he loved me….one. last. time.

As I sit here…..the tears won’t stop. I am continuing to get such sweet texts and messages….and sweet friends…I cannot express how much they mean to me. I truly believe God has placed such amazing people in my life…..in order to keep me going. As the tears flow….and the hurt…just doesn’t stop….it is the people I love….that keep me moving forward. It is those people…that give me my purpose.

My sweet boys…..I miss them so much….and can’t believe…I’ve lived without them now for so long. I still can see their faces when I close my eyes. I still can see their smiles….and imagine them now.

If you had told me that they would be taken from me in such a horrible way…that I’d have to go on living without them…..that I’d have to find a way to continue my life without them in it….I’d have told you I couldn’t do it. I wouldn’t do it.

But, the reality is……I have gone on……I have found a way……..I have done it.

There are days, like today, I’ll be honest with you and tell you I don’t want to. I don’t want to do it. I don’t want this to be my life.

But, during this day……I’m reminded…..I haven’t done it alone. I have had family and friends who have walked me through this sixteen year process. I have had people I have never met…praying ….. for me to be able to continue. I’ll be reminded each time a person texts or messages me or “likes” a post on fb….that I am not alone. I am still here.

And…as I’ve said before…..if I am still here….then there must be more. I said on this date…..sixteen years ago….I promised God and my boys…that I would stay here and figure out why He left me here. And honestly….it is becoming so much more apparent to me.

He left me here to show others that …. through His strength….there is more. There is a family that I love and adore. My sweet husband and our two children are now my world. They are the glue that holds me together. My friends…..they are here for me no matter how crazy I am…..and love me no matter what….

And He is showing me…….that I am here…..to be His comma. My part in His story is to give hope to others. I’m being honest when I say I really think it stinks…….to have this story….but it is mine. Those sweet boys…..were mine. But really…they are His. They were only mine for a short while. And I’m going to be so honored…….to share them with the world…..and see just how He is going to allow our story………to touch yours!

Today has warmed my heart…..hearing stories of how my boy’s lives touched yours. I am very aware of how others were touched by the loss of my boys. If you ever want to share a story with me about one of the boys…or about how their loss has affected you…or where you were when you found out…..I’d actually LOVE to hear it.

Thank you for remembering with me today. Thank you for loving me through today. Thank you for your prayers and your kind words. I will always miss my babies!!

I want to share this pic…. my sweet daughter was playing in my jewelry one day and took this picture. It is of my c3 necklace. I love my c3angels. They will always be a part of me!

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Man….this week has been such a roller coaster ride for me….and it’s only half way over!

You see…..last night…I got to watch my son walk across the stage and receive his 6th grade promotion…  What a proud momma I am.  He is such a sweet boy with a wonderful heart.   His last day of 6th grade is today!  Onward and upward! Junior High…..here he comes!  Not sure if this momma’s heart is quite ready for all that!

As he walked out the door just a few moments ago to attend his last day of elementary school….. my heart began skipping beats.  For so many reasons.  This is a milestone in his life! But this is also a huge milestone in my life!

You see….today…..also is the birthday of my oldest son, Cody!  My mind races back, 27 years ago today! It was the last day of school that day as well! I was only a junior in high school….but was on my way to the hospital to deliver my precious bundle of joy.  He was stubborn…and needed some coaxing to enter this world….but at 2:55 pm he made his entrance into this world!  Yes, I’ve been a mom for 27 years today….. but after today….it is the first time in my life I can say I am the mom of a 7th grader.

I am an emotional mess.  I can’t even begin to try to explain all of the places my mind is taking me to right now.  The last day of school for my sweet Bryce…… the birthday of my oldest that never lived to see the day his brother is seeing today……the gradutaion ceremony I attended last night……the night of Cody’s 18th birthday…..which was the same night his friends were walking across the stage for their high school graduation and I was sitting beside his grave, in a heap…and just could not bear to leave. I am so proud and sad all at once.  I am filled with joy for the life I am living now with my son here on earth….yet so full of sorrow for all I missed with my sweet angels in heaven!

What a roller coaster ride.  As my friend told me….. “You better buckle up….it’s gonna be a bumpy ride!”  Boy….that’s an understatement!

What I love most….are the memories of both of my boy’s hearts.  Last night, before the graduation….I called Bryce in.  He knew I was gonna cry.  He almost expected it! 🙂    I asked him to sit with me…..and as he did…..all I could do was look into his beautiful eyes.  I couldn’t speak.  Tears just started streaming down my face.  He just looked at me and kind of grinned.  He didn’t get fidgety or upset….he just sat with me.  I told him how much I loved him and how he was growing to be such a fine young man.  He just looked at me and then he took his hand and caressed my cheek and said, “Mom….I love you.  But most of all, I’m proud to be your son.” Well, needless to say that just turned on the water works even more.  He handed me a kleenex. I told him thanks but it was I who was proud.  I told him I thanked God for letting me be his mom.  I thanked him for sending me my rainbow.  I reminded him again what that meant to me, what he meant to me.  He just kept smiling and caressing my face.  He reached over and kissed me and gave me a hug and that was it.  We were off to his graduation and a night of celebrating!

I don’t remember specifically having this same conversation with Cody.  I remember how protective Cody was of me.  I remember how much we just talked and shared with each other.  I remember thinking I could never love another child the same as I did him…until his siblings came along! I remember him telling me his heart hurt and wanting to protect him from it.  I remember his smile…….always brightening my heart every time he flashed it at me!  I remember so much……but it is not enough for me.  Because it was cut short…….I remember not thinking I could go on…..but then I did.

As I sit here…..with tears filling my eyes……and falling down my face…….  I love remembering.  I love that as new memories are made….the old ones can bring me to tears and fill my heart with joy all over again.  I love that as I go through this uncharted territory with my son now…..that the excitement is just as if it would have been with my other children but I know that they are going through it with me in spirit!

I love that I can sit here and close my eyes……and as I do my heart can place my two sons…..Cody and Bryce…..in front of me.  I can imagine both of them sitting in front of me….smiling….back and forth at each other and then back at me….and telling me how much they love me…..and know that I love them back!  I can imagine them, with outstretched hands, caressing each side of my face…..I can almost feel their touch now.  I can hear their words, their excitement, in where my life is now.

All I can ask for as a mom, is to know that my children love me…..know that I love them…..and that they love our God.  I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that when I close my eyes and feel both of them touching my face and telling me they love me, that those words are true and their touch is real.

So, today I choose to celebrate two of my sons.  Cody, I thank you for making me a mom.  For 27 years I have been your mom and it has been an honor.  I wish I could hug you and have seen you grow into a man…..but I know in my heart that my hugs are felt by you even now.  I can still see your smile….and I thank you, that when I close my eyes, you are there. You will always….ALWAYS….have a very special place in my heart that can never ever be taken from you. I can’t wait to see you again…..and get all the smiles and hugs from you for eternity!  That is what keeps me going!

And to my sweet son Bryce…..thank you for coming into my life.  Like a rainbow you’ve shown me God’s promises and goodness and faithfulness.  By watching you…..I’m so often reminded how life can go on and be so good….even after so many storms!  Your smile and hugs make life so worth sticking around!  We are both in uncharted territory……junior high!  But I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to steer through this with you!  You brighten my days and give my heart such hope!  The spot in my heart you hold is filled with such joy and color just because of you!  Thank you for letting me be your mom!

Last but certainly not least….I want to thank you God.  You have given me five beautiful children to love on this earth.  My two boys, Cody and Bryce, have each taught me so much about life and love.  I thank you for choosing me to be their mom. Although I don’t understand all of Your ways, I trust that they are perfect.  I know that while some of my kiddos are with you now, my two that are still here with me, are still really yours.  I just ask that you continue to strengthen me.  But today…..I just want to crawl in your lap and say thank you.  Thanks for understanding my roller coaster of emotions.  Thanks for loving me through all of these joys and sorrows.  Thanks for continuing to bless me.  Mostly today….thanks for these two wonderful sons!

Onward…..and upward!   ~c

 

 

 

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