Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom.

My Mom's senior picture

Our family

Many of you know as I have posted before, that today marks what would have been my mother's birthday. She took her own life when she was 34 years old. I have been working through a lot of feelings in the past few years since becoming a mom myself and am trying HARD to let go of my anger. My life is different because of her life and because of her death and in some ways that makes me terribly sad and in other ways I am grateful. Grateful that she taught me the traits of a great mom and what matters, and also what doesn't and when it is time to let go of the perfectionism. She was never able to do that, and because I see her mistakes, I can. I can be different.

I don't remember much about her. I remember her perfectionism, I remember her being involved in my school and being a "room mom", I remember a clean, well organized home and fantastic birthday parties. I remember her laugh and I remember her cry. I remember her holding my nine year old self as she cried the night she died. I want to understand. I don't. I try, but I doubt I ever will.

I wish she was here to hold her grandchildren. I wish she was here to hold me when I had to say goodbye to two of them. I wish she had been there the day I said "I do" and I wish she had been there when HER mother got sick. A lot of things died along with her. A lot of hopes, dreams and wishes.

Today, I wish she were here so the kids could give her kisses and homemade gifts.

The reality is....she is not. :(

Sometimes life just hurts doesn't it? I am so thankful I know this is not all there is. I have to admit that in the days since having Hope, I have found myself spread thin, and falling short of pretty much everything. I have had to back away from childrens' ministry, realizing my ministry is here at home right now, I have stepped away from my part time job until next school year to care for Hope. I fall short as a mom, a wife, a cook, a housekeeper, and accountant. I cannot do it all. My floors that used to be washed by hand daily are now lucky to get mopped once a week. My intense need for organization and nickname of "label girl" have all but died. Some days I find myself in tears because I so desperately want to do better. I want to live up to all of the potential God intended. I want to be the super mom and wife.

As much as it hurts to be without her, she taught me an important lesson. Though I fall short, my best is better than nothing at all. In the end, that was what I got as a kid, no mom. Even in my frustration and failure, I know that just my being here for my kids is something. My best is not perfect, but it is good enough. I was chosen for my children and them for me. I adore Howard and want nothing more than to be the best helper I can be to him and even when I fall short and lose my temper or snip at him, he loves me, and having me as a wife is better than going at it alone.

I fail. Every. single. day. I fail. My mom wasn't well enough to see that her presence was all that was needed, but because of her colossal mistake, I can. I can see it. Despite my shortcomings, my presence matters in this family. My kids love me, my husband loves me and my God loves me and that is enough. So for that lesson, I thank my mother.

Happy Birthday Mom. I wish you could have seen how much you matter. I wish your mind was not so clouded that you could barely get out of bed in the morning. I am sorry we didn't see it and we miss you. Thank you for this important life lesson. Thank you for helping me be the mom my kids need.


Erika said...

Kristy, so beautiful. I am so sorry your mom is not here for you to celebrate with- for every day she is not here to watch her grandkids grow, to watch you grow as a beautiful mother and person. Your mom's story has given me great perspective in my own mothering, as I can also get trapped into the "perfectionist" trap. Many many hugs to you, friend. Praying for you on this hard day...


Emily said...

Beautiful tribute to your mother. And beautiful to see the Lord continue to work on your heart. You are such a wonderful mother, Kristy. I know she would be so so proud of you. Any mom would be!

And I know your Father is. :)

melissa said...


I have lost my mom not the same way you did although there are issues that I struggle with myself on her denial. I think your post is an awesome tribute to your mom. We have to take the good things they gave us and give the rest to God. You are a great woman of God, wife and mom! Someday we might get answers to our life long questions:)


Stephanie said...

Heart wrenching yet filled with hope.
I have to remind myself daily that my kids will remember the times we spent together not how clean the floor was.
You are doing an incredible job,I can see that through the small glimpses I get of you through your blog. You are in tune enough to know what truly matters in the lives of your families and you allow God to be by your side.

God Bless!

Sojourner Truth said...

Kristy, I hvae struggle with suicidal thoughts for many years. I don't believe I will ever act on them mostly because of my faith, but also because of my children. I too am a perfectionist.

I began blogging anonymously recently about this subject, and I would love for you to visit and read my blog, there are only a handful of entries.

You have touched me profoundly today. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I appreciate your honesty. I will carry your words with me for a long time!

Peace to you.

trennia said...


Mama E said...

"I was chosen for my children and them for me."

This line speaks worlds to me. Thank you for the reminder that our God is an omniscient and loving Father!

Trisha Larson said...

Beautifully written. It gives me a new perspective -- thank you!


The VW's said...

You are a FANTASTIC Mom!!! Your children are blessed!

I'm so sorry that your life has held so much pain! Life CAN be very hard! I pray that God gives you peace that surpasses all understanding!


Rebecca said...

What a beautiful, eloquent, heart-wrenching post!

Laurie in Ca. said...

I love you Kristy and you have my heart today sweetie. No answers, just lots of love and hugs for you today. You are the most wonderful mom for all five of your kids. Never forget it. God made you special, like no other and He loves you so much. You are enough!!

Love and Hugs, Laurie

Triple J's Girl said...

This post is so moving in so many ways. I can honestly feel your pain (although I"m sure you're saying I can't understand.) I don't understand in the same way, but my mother is terminally ill and I am struggling with knowing that I will be losing her. My mom is the same way you described your mom, the cleaning, the organizing, the perfection. Although nothing is ever good enough for her, or I certainly feel that I am not. I have 2 small girls that are missing out time with their grandmother because she is too obsessed with what she is dealing with. Which I understand, or at least I try. But I still want my mom sometimes. When my husband and I get into an argument, when one of my girls gets hurt, I want my mom. She passed the need for organization and perfection on to me and I struggle with that. It's not realistic for me to have a clean house all the time with the girls and spending time with them should be more important than laundry. I struggle daily. I feel that Im not a good wife because we are behind on bills. I feel I'm not a good mother because I don't always want to read a bedtime story. It's hard. So in a way, I understand. I have read your blog for awhile, and commented a few times. By no means do i KNOW YOU, but I admire you. I am proud of you. I think you are doing an amazing job from waht I see and handling the struggles and pain that has been given in your life with such grace. I hope you can just hug your kids extra tight the next few days and know that you are loved, you are needed and you are important.


Tammy said...

I can relate to the pain you are feeling. I lost my brother to suicide 11 months ago today. It still hurts every day and I wonder if I will ever get over it. He was 8 years older then me but we were very close. He won't get to watch his grandchildren grow up and experience all that life has to hold for them. I am so sorry for your loss and that your children will never get to know their grandmother. I will be praying for you on this very hard day.

Sewconsult said...

Hugs to you & prayers.

Cathy said...

Kristy - I'm going to share something with you that my Grandma shared with me. They are only words, but have made such a difference in my life.

I have 5 children - and like you, my "TO DO" list only gets longer each day. No matter what gets crossed off, new things take it's place.

Before she died, Grandma told me that if I am worrying the house isn't clean enough, or worrying about the bills being late by a day or two (or a week) - I only need to do this:
Imagine myself 90 years old in a nursing home. When I am there, will I look back on my life and wished I had cleaned more? no. Will I regret not having paid that bill on time? no. Will I have wished I could have done more laundry? no.
I will however wish I could go back in time to read my children one more book - or tuck them in one more time - or hug them more - I'll even wish I could go back and pick up a livingroom FILLED with toys.
It's simple words - but they meant so much to me, and I live by them. You will never find my entire home cleaned, nor will you find us eating a 3 course meal as a family every night of the week. You will find us laughing and loving one another - encouraging one another - and just BEING with each other very often.
You aren't a failure. In fact you have SUCCEEDED at realizing whats important - before it's too late for that realization to matter anymore.
I hope you have some really good laughter and smiles in your home tonight! You all deserve it - and down the road... it's all that will matter.

Erika said...

Kristy, thank you for sharing your thoughts and emotions so honestly. I've been following your blog for a short time and didn't know about your loss of your mother until now. I lost my mom five weeks ago to depression and alcoholism, possibly suicide. I have thought and felt many of the same things that you described, and reading your words was really helpful. I too learned a lot from my mother, some from her positive example, and some from her mistakes.

I'm so sorry that your mom isn't here for you today. Praying for peace and blessings on you and your beautiful family.


Kelly @ Sufficient Grace Ministries said...

Kristy...this post is amazing. My heart aches with you as I read your words. I am so sorry for the ache that you feel...for the unaswered questions...for all of it. But, I stand in awe of the gratefulness in your heart for the lessons you've learned from her mistake. That is so beautiful...and such evidence of God's hand in your life.

You have honored your mother beautifully both in this post...and with your life, as you mother your own sweet children.

Your words encouraged me as a mother remember that even in my imperfections and all the ways I fall short, it is better than not being there for my family at all. God gave us (my children and I) to one another...and His grace is poured over us every day. Thank you for reminding me of that.

Love and Prayers,

Cindy said...

Bless your heart. You are an amazing mother...I am positive your mom is watching over you, and is very proud.

Ellen said...

My mom's birthday would of been today too. She died when I was 20 of heart failure. She never got to meet my first hubby and go to my wedding. She never got to be grandma to my kids. My kids missed out alot on not having my mom for a grandma because my ex MIL was not much of a grandma. When I had my first daughter, I would get so sad and teary when I saw other ladies shopping with their moms and the kids. I got a bit messed up when my mom died because we were best friends. Luckily that only lasted about a year. Its hard to be without a mom. Although my circumstances are different from yours, I can certainly understand alot of what you went thru!! One of my ex sister in laws mother took her own life when she was a young girl. I am far from a perfect mom too. I figure if I can be just half as good of a mom as my mom was, then I can live with that. My mom was great! Your kids will do fine as long as they have the basics. No need to stress over got getting everything done or done right etc. Kids don't care about that stuff. Your a great mom! You seem like a wonderful person too.
On a side note...I donated to the march of dimes for you.

Kenzie said...

Hey friend. Sorry I've been "blog absent" lately, on yours and mine, but I knew that your mom's bday was coming up. This is just a beautiful post and it filled my eyes with tears. Thank you for sharing your insight, from what you have learned, from your mother's mistake... I struggle to feel like I'm managing everything a lot of days too. The house isn't as clean as I would like, laundry piling up, not enough money to go around, etc. but boy, I DO KNOW that my children will remember me being home, on the floor, in the backyard and playing. I have to juggle a lot, just like you, but ultimately we are home for this season. What a blessing huh? We both know it, but it's still hard.

Thank you for sharing Kristy. I love you girl!