Friday, October 30, 2009

Thoughts on Thirty One

Sunday, November 1st I will turn 31 years old! This is something I am struggling with more than I thought I would. Not at all for reasons you might think. It isn't because I am older. I actually enjoy getting older (at least so far) as each year offers something new and I am finding each year to be more meaningful than the last as I learn how to appreciate where I am.

My struggle stems from my mother's death. I am becoming increasingly aware that I am inching up on the age my own mom was when she took her own life. As a mom who has lost her mom, I have battled the fear of death for quite some time. Not really fear of death so much as fear of dying and leaving my kids without their mom. I know what it is like to grow up without my mom and I do not want that for my kids. So for several years I have found that I tend to run to the doctor and panic over every single pain thinking the worst.

I am two years from the age my mother was when she died. That is so strange and surreal for me. I can't really describe it, but my heart sinks when I think of it. I think partly because I look at myself and see maybe a little more of her in me and my mothering and marriage than I might like and yet not. She was a great mom. She obsessed and tried to be the PERFECT wife and mom and while some might see that as a positive, it ultimately lead to her demise. I sometimes have to stop myself when I get crazed with anxiety over my own perfectionism.

I think the other part stems from I can see so clearly what she missed. She was so caught up in putting on the perfect front that I think she often missed the moment right in front of her. I am trying so hard not to do that. I am trying to embrace each day and moment with my kids. She died in January of 1988. I was in third grade. She missed EVERY single thing from that moment on and I from that moment had to learn to survive without her. I no longer had a parent who was involved in my schooling, a room parent. She missed every school party, every concert, game, graduation, dance, boyfriend, break up, college, engagement, wedding, and grandchild. I grew up fast, faster than I ever wanted to and have harbored much resentment toward both of my parents. My mom for deserting me, and my dad for checking out in his own grief.

I sit here today, two days from thirty one and I look back at the past thirty one years. There has been so much pain and also so much joy. As I reflect on the past five years especially I can only be grateful that I have found hope and love in my Heavenly Father. I am broken and yet so grateful for all I have been given. Because of my losses, I can see more clearly. I know more fully what kind of mother, wife and woman of God I want to be and what kind I don't want to be.

The past thirty one years haven't been easy that is for sure, but I am so thankful for each and every one of them. Though it still hurts to live without her, I am thankful I can learn from my own mother's mistakes and not follow the same path she did. So I may be one year closer to the age my mother was when she fell ill, but I do not have to follow the same path. I pray that the Lord continues to direct my path and that I am able to be obedient and follow Him to become the Woman, Wife and Mommy he wants me to be.



20 comments:

Michelle said...

Kristy, it blows me away to read about all the heartache you have endured from an early age and on. Your story is so powerful in that you have survived and lived to give the glory to God! He is using you! I hope you have a wonderful birthday and God's peace is all around you!!!

Trisha Larson said...

I think that it's so great that you can recognize her issues and not repeat them. My parents got divorced when I was 9 and then they proceeded to try and ruin my life with their own selfishness and addictions. I made a conscious choice not to repeat that. I was also heartbroken when Nate died. My oldest daughter was the exact same age that I was when my life fell apart. I wanted more for her. I didn't want her to walk a difficult path. But, God knows her path and He is in control. I continue to be amazed by the similiarities in our lives. I'm so glad that God has connected us.

Hugs,
Trisha

Emily said...

You are a rock star. Period. The end.

Happy birthday, Rock Star. :)

Heather said...

Oh my goodness! I'm sorry you had to grow up without her and lose her in such a tragic way. That is so sad.
I have the same fear of leaving my kids without me, and I wonder if it's a common "mommy" fear.
Praying for peace for you and rest for your mind. Wrap your arms around God for all of His wholeness and reassurance. You are such a strong woman, and I know you affect those who are around you.

Sewconsult said...

Your fears, anxiety & sadness are very normal. Saying that doesn't make them go away or diminish them. I was your age when my dad died. When my brother was approaching that age, my mother had major anxiety attacks. Now that I am approaching that age & knowing that at 64, my brother is dying from cancer, it makes me wonder what lies ahead for me & my sister. I have a great husband & two wonderful grown daughters. I am thankful every day that I am here for however long. I miss my dad & wish that he could have seen his grandchildren grow up. Life is not easy & sometimes it just stinks. Enjoy your beautiful children & DH & let God take care of the rest.
Beckie in Brentwood, TN

Laurie in Ca. said...

I love you Kristy, I truly do and I know that you are becoming the mother and woman God always intended for you to be. You are such a blessing to me and I would be so proud to call you my daughter. Happy Early Birthday sweetie. You are the best!!

Love and Hugs, Laurie

Go Bears! said...

My dear girl, you are not your mother. Suicide is the most selfish act a person can perform and you are not selfish. You know what you went through and you would never put your own children through something like that.

Let Jesus hold you and comfort your heart and still your fears. He truly understands.

jess said...

I have never had a fear of my own death, that is until I had children. When my son was under a year and my daughter barely 3, I ran into some of my own health issues. Luckily, it ended up being more on the non-serious end of the scale...but I was so very scared of leaving them behind. I think it is just a "normal" fear of motherhood.

I know they are just words, but I am so sorry you have been trough so much in your (young!) 31 years. Hope you have a wonderful birthday and feel nothing but love all around you.

Penny said...

Obviously you have a hope greater than your mother had. Try not to have bitter memories, even though it had to be hard. You never know what Satan puts on people to make them think it's the only way out. There's no way to know what kind of torture she went through, what battles. Suicide is so hard on families. I had an uncle kill himself and a first cousin killed himself over a girl at only 18. I feel such immense sorrow that someone with his whole life ahead didn't believe that "this too shall pass." God bless you, Kristy and Happy Birthday a couple of days early.

Elizabeth said...

I'm so sorry that your mom died when you were young. You do not have to have the same "fate" (for lack of a better word). God has a long life in store for you and He holds your future and the future of your family in His hands!

Blessings!

Ellen said...

My mom died when I was 20 and I thought that was bad! At age 47, I am fast approaching the age my mom died too! I worry that I don't eat the right foods and don't get enough excerise and that I will die from something heart related just like her.

Also, last year I realized that my mom has been dead longer then I ever knew her! What a revelation that was..a sad one. Its sad to know I have lived without her longer then I lived with her in my life. I was very close to her and always told her that when she was old, I would take care of her! Of course I never got the chance too.
Big Hugs!

Cheese Lady said...

wow i was blown away by your post, I have been lurking for awile. I also am coming up on the age my Mother died, my brother did the same as she, and a cousin OD'd, also my grandpa on the other side was the same age!! I am scared for this year of my life. We will Over come!!!!

stephanie said...

It's amazing what you have gone through in your life. More amazing how extremely great you have turned out,in spite of it all or... because of it all.
God put you on a difficult path and you have embraced it,you run to Him not from Him and are living for Him.
Have a Happy Happy and Blessed Birthday!

Ellie said...

I wanted to tell you how much it helps me when you share your feelings and grief from losing your mother to suicide. I will not say exactly why in such a public forum, but if you'd ever like to talk you can email me at eagoggins@att.net. Again, I can only imagine how painful it is for you to speak of it, think of it, but you are a trememdous help to me.

Nicolasa said...

I feel sad about all the heartache you experienced at such a young age. However, I feel hope and happiness for you because you can see how you are different from her, even though you feel some aspects of you two are the same. I think they are bound to be. She was your mother.

Anyway, Happy early Birthday!

Amanda said...

I am so sorry you lost your mom.

Just Me said...

I agree with Emily...Have a super Rock Star birthday, Rock star :o)

Miche said...

You are one tough cookie. I really enjoy reading you blog and really appreciate you sharing this.

Your anxiety is a normal side effect of motherhood. My daughter isn't here with us to raise yet my anxiety is now in overdrive.

Thanks for sharing.

~ Kathy ~ said...

There are no magic words to make it all better, but I do want to say, God is using you in a Powerful way!! You are such an inspiration to many. I do hope you have a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Continue to let God handle the rest...

Rebekah said...

Sorry I missed it, but I hope you had a birthday filled with peace & love.