Sunday, May 11, 2008

Thoughts of my own mother on Mother's Day...

Ok, so after last night I was at a loss for what this day would bring for me. It stirs up a lot of yucky feelings about my own childhood without a mom and feelings of loss for the boys who are not with me but also brings great joy for the ones who are.

I woke up this morning with that horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. Anticipating a day full of crazy emotions and tears. I was told by my husband to remain in bed until he told me otherwise. We weren't going to church this morning, we were going to a multi site of our church tonite called Church in a Bar, yes it is in a bar but that is for another day. So anyhow I sat in bed and picked up my Streams in the Desert book.

I had not had a chance to read yesterday's pages so I began there. This is what I read:

"I would have despaired unless I had believed I would see the goodness of the Lord...Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage." Psalm 27 13-14

Do not despair!

This got me hooked. Despair was certainly what I was allowing myself to feel. I felt defeated and depressed. Looking at what was lost. I longed to be going out of my room that morning to kiss four little faces and receive four little hand made cards (with Howard's help). I once again had felt I had come to the end of myself and wasn't sure how much fight I had left in me. This is one of the toughest days for me of the whole year. Not only because of the loss of my children, but because of a childhood without a mom. I have harbored many negative feelings toward my mom since her death. I don't remember much about her aside from the fact that she always strived to be the perfect mother and anything short of perfect left her defeated and depressed. She was often easily agitated. I remember vividly the night she died. She had held me a nine year old girl in a rocking chair and she rocked me as she cried. My sister was already asleep. I remember being scared. Thinking about how upset she was and not knowing why. My dad was not home and it was just us. I am not sure if she called the neighbor or if the neighbor offered, but our neighbor came over and took us so my mom could have some time alone. We camped out on her living room floor watching movies. I had this sinking feeling. A couple hours later my grandpa and a neighbor went to check on my mom.

Minutes later I heard an ambulance and my dad burst through the door hugging us and crying saying "she's gone, she's gone." We had no idea what he was saying. (I am shaking as I type this. I am not sure I have ever really played that entire day and the emotions back in my mind so please bear with me) My dad had lost it. He could not control his tears and he could barely speak. I remember opening the door to run across the street to find her and I ran into my grandma (my mom's mom) her arms open wide. She explained that my mom had died.

We went to stay with my other grandma and I still remember thinking this was all a joke and that my mom would bounce through the door at any moment. It never happend. I asked my dad how she died and he simply told me that she was "sick". I found that hard to believe. I remember going back to school and having all of the kids treat me so different. The teacher had told them all that my mom (who was a well loved room mom) had died. One of my closest friends told me that she had heard that my mom had shot herself. I told her no way.

I remember going back to my grandma's house and wondering. I am not sure how much time passed but eventually my curiosity got the best of me and I looked in the metal safe where my dad kept all of the important paper. There I found my mother's death certificate. I will never forget reading the words on that page. I know my dad thought he was protecting me by telling me she was sick and nothing more. But reading a death certificate is a rather graphic retelling of a story. I am certain I would have been better off hearing from my dad. It was true. What my friend said was true. My mom had shot herself.

I won't go into detail, but I can say ever sense instead of being filled with sadness, I tend to resort to anger. I am certain that she had been suffering from depression for several years and failed to ever seek help. I am certain that this event blindsided everyone. But what I know as a daughter and now as a mother is that a life without a mom is a tough road. I have always felt that by committing suicide she took the easy way out. It all seems so selfish. Sure she now was gone and she ended her pain but what about the rest of us left behind? What about her girls?

Before you all begin commenting please know that I in my heart do know that my mother was suffering from a deep depression and was likely not in her right mind when she did this. I know that she loved us. It doesn't make the pain any less. I find it hard to remember her fondly and strive to be nothing like her. I am mad that she never experienced any of the important events in my life and that my kids will never have their Grandma. I am angry when people say that my mom is likely in Heaven holding my boys. I am angry because I don't think she earned that right and I also am not sure I believe Heaven is where she resides. That is between her and God and I am just not sure.

This post may have been hard to read and I am sorry for that. The emotion is kind of raw and has been for twenty years. So I guess before when many of you asked about post partum depression I may have taken it a little hard because of my past. Because I strive not to be like my mom. I am keenly aware of the symptoms of depression and my doctor and I are on the lookout to be sure I don't end up in that same place. Depression runs in my family. My mom lost a son before she had me and many say she was never the same after that. My grandmother also suffered from clinical depression. This is why my dad is always so worried about me.

The thing is God says, Do not despair!

I believe in God and I believe in his word. I know that when I come to the end of my own rope, that is when I lean on him the most and that is when great things tend to happen. When I have given up my last bit of fight and can do nothing but be still and know He is God, a peace overcomes me and I am able to grieve with hope. Knowing he will use me and my family for great things. Knowing that there is so much more to life than what we know. So much more than the life we live here on this earth. I never really got to know my mom, and am actually considering deleting this, but this blog thing has been really healing for me so I doubt I will. this is probably something I should have gotten off my chest a long time ago.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Phillipians 4:13

16 comments:

Angie Luce said...

You are an amazing mother and woman. I cannot imagine the pain that you have been through, not having the chance to grow up with your mom. Reading this tore at my heart. But your refusal to give into despair brings me so much encouragement and joy.

You have chosen to be there for your boys. What an amazing testimony, and I pray God blesses you on this day that is hard on so many fronts.

Angie

Suzie said...

Thinking of you today, and always. Thank you for coming back into my life! Here is hoping that our friendship never fades again! Happy Mother's Day Kristy! You are an amazing mother! I hope one day, when I am given the chance again, I can be just half the mother you are to your boys! God bless you! **hugs**

Megan said...

Kristy, I continue to be incredibly moved as I learn more about you and your remarkable heart.

For a woman who has endured so much, you are truly a shining example of a mother, wife, and person of faith. I pray that God will continue to bless you and your beautiful family. I truly hope that you are able to feel the sincere love of the Lord and those around you on this day, and everyday.

sumi said...

The Lord spoke to me this morning through that verse too. I had been despairing of hope myself.

I used to quote that verse to anyone that I know was hurting, but it has been hard to take comfort from that when I don't see God's mercy in the way that I thought it should appear. I can accept that Jenna is gone but I have despaied of the lack of fruit in my life as a result. I so want God to make me like him but it seems I have not changed much at all - yet.

I needed something to hang my hope onto this morning, and God gave it to me. (Isn't he faithful?) He told me that I am going to make it. He knows me. He knows where he is taking me and how to get me there. I don't need to fret. I am not going to sit in my ashes forever, beauty will come and much fruit will come from this little grain of wheat that fell into the ground and died.

Joh 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

What you said about your mom: thank you for sharing. I know this: those who have suffered much, love much. God will give you a compassion and a heart for his people because of the pain you have gone through, and he will use you mightily for his glory. So many times in the bible suffering precedes glory. They go hand in hand, and you can't have one without the other.

Sorry for the long answer...got carried away. :-)

Trisha said...

Kristy,
Thank you for sharing such a personal part of your heart. I sit here weeping..no words...just weeping. I can't imagine. What I do know is that in spite of all of this and because of all of this, you have perspective. YOu have courage, strength, faith, hope, and sooooooo much love. God bless you friend...you amaze me and I am blessed to be witness to your journey.

Love
Trisha

Laurie said...

Kristy,

I love you. I am so thankful you did not delete this post, and my heart aches for what you have shared. I do believe with all of my heart that this is part of what makes you such a wonderful and loving mother. Your heart is beautiful and I hope it is a little bit lighter after sharing this. I am praying for you all the time and am honored to witness you "growing up" on this blog. I love you girl.

Laurie in Ca.

Story of our Life said...

((HUGS)) Thank you for being such an amazing person, mother, daughter!

I can't really explain what I want to or say what is really in my heart because this isn't a private forum and it is the internet.

But what I want to say is THANK YOU!!! You speak volumes to my heart so often. This morning...you spoke even more volumes to me.

Have a Blessed Day!!

Christa said...

I am just sitting here in tears right now.

I don't have words. I remember when these events happened, and I also remember all of the moms whispering about it. It was so tragic, and I am so sad that she never got help.

I don't know what it's like to lose a mom that way, but I lost mine in a different way. It's not the same, but it was very frightening to me. If my mom had also gone to seek help things would have been so different. I also grieve the fact that my kids lost out on a grandmother...who only lives 2 minutes away.

I am sobbing. I can't imagine the pain she caused you. I want to say that you are obviously NOT your mother. I don't understand why God has given you such an enormous load to bear...but you are carrying it gracefully.

We continue to pray.

msharae said...

Wow, Kristy! I'm so proud of you for sharing that!

Destini said...

I know it must be hard to share you heart with the world...wondering who is going to be the next person to cast a stone of judgement your way.

I am thankful that this blog serves as an outlet of healing for you. Getting those feeling out in the open, actually saying the words...pouring out your soul to the Lord is where you will actually begin to experience his healing.

I pray for you all of the time, that you will continue to grow and seek comfort in the Lord. He has been so faithful to you and your family.

Happy Mother's Day...

JennyWho said...

God bless you, Kristy. I so wish your mom had had the wisdom and strength to stick around for her kids! I'm coming from the position of having one parent who has repeatedly, throughout the past 25 yrs or so, threatened to kill himself. He obviously lives with depression, and I and various siblings do also, although he refuses to get any help as he doesn't believe there is anything wrong with him. In consequence he is a tradedy waiting to happen, and there's not much anyone can do about it.
So, I have to say that you are indeed a strong woman, Kristy, even when maybe you don't feel like it. My heart aches for you, growing up without your mother. I'm glad you wrote about this, and thank you also for sharing your conversation with Luke - brought me to tears. Sending you many hugs, and still praying for you and your family - Happy Mother's Day-

J. in OH

asplashofsunshine said...

I've often heard that every person has a story. Of course we all know that is true, although it is fascinating to me how deep the stories are. You are truly a testament of survival, prayer, and greatness. Thanks for sharing more pieces of your life.

valerie said...

Kristy -

After reading this, I am at a loss for words. My heart aches for you and I can't hold back the tears. I never knew what had happened to your mom and I'm so sorry for all the pain you've had to endure. I can certainly understand why Mother's Day would be difficult.

One thing is very apparent to me as I read your blog and learn more about you each day - YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD!!! Only through Him can a person who has endured so much come out as strong, confident and faithful as you! Our God is AWESOME!! Happy Mother's Day, Kristy!

Sheryl said...

Kristy,

Once again, thanks for sharing your heart. Raw emotions are often the best ones to get in writing. I too have finding scriptures about despair. It's the only way we can battle it.

I'm glad to know more of your story. I pray for you daily and now I have a new perspective.

You truly are amazing,
Sheryl

Jennifer said...

I am so sorry that you have had to go through all that you have in your life. Depression is such a dark place and I have suffered with it for years. I have a grandfather who killed himself too. I pray that your words touch someone who has read your post. I thank God that he is a God that can pick us up from our despair and who holds us and shelters us.

Cathy said...

Kristy, your honesty is amazing. Thank you for opening your heart up and being so human. We love you and continue to be in awe of the mother that you are..
CAthy & Annabel