Dear Mommy…

Christmas has come and gone already. It was quite different this year. I woke up at like 6 am on Christmas Eve, you know me and Christmas lol. I wanted so badly to call you, like I always used to. So, I cried a little, then did the next best thing, I put on your Christmas music and took some time for myself, and of course, cried some more. My heart aches when I think about you missing all this fun, but my heart also rejoices in knowing that you are in all of our hearts, and you’re having the most glorious Christmas up there in heaven. 

We went to Grandpa and Grandma’s this year instead of your house, I think that made it a little easier on all of us. Aunt J lives with Gma & Gpa now, I’m sure she’s told you. I’ve seen Gma at least once a month since she moved in, so that’s been nice. We went Christmas shopping together, the 3 of us, and oh my gosh Mom, the mall has changed so much! The pretzel place is gone, but a new one is coming soon. Aunt J said they’d be at my house at 10, they showed up EARLY and I wasn’t ready!! I told them it was your fault, I’m so used to you saying you’d be here at 10 and then calling me at 10:15 to say you’d just gotten on the freeway haha. I gave them your Christmas tapestry throws to put on the couch to help decorate. Dad and Aunt J went up to Cedar Lodge and cut down a beautiful tree for Gma’s house. I’m sure you heard all about that too. Of course Gma had her candles and birds on the tree, but she skipped the angel hair this year! You would have loved it.

Uncle M & Aunt D were here of course. It’s so wonderful to spend time with them. I feel like we bonded a lot with them this summer while you were sick. I really feel like we know each other now. Perry and Aunt D are just adorable when you get them together, we had a lot of good laughs. They got us the cutest pair of double sided fleece pillow cases, one side is GB, one side SF! They are soo comfy and the kitty cats sure love how warm they are. Uncle M & Aunt D are always just so thoughtful and generous. I know you know how great your family is, but I just thought I’d let you know that they’re for real. Nobody has changed since you left. I almost feel like they’re loving me more since you left, if that makes any sense.

I think my favorite part of Christmas Eve this year was that Brian came home. We didn’t get to see T and the baby, but Brian stayed with Dad for a couple days and I think they had a good time. He said my sugar cookies were really good. Everyone said they were just like yours! I was so stinkin proud of myself for actually pulling it off! I even cut the butter all by myself! Thanks for organizing your recipes in those binders, it makes my life soo easy! I know you did it for yourself but… 

Since Brian doesn’t have Facebook, he hadn’t seen my tattoo yet. So I showed him, and everyone else. They loved it. That was when the tears started flowing. I knew it was bound to come out, since it was Christmas and our first time really being with him since July. He hugged me and we both cried, and it actually kinda helped. 

I thought about you so much all week long, especially while I was baking your treats. I even made rocky road dream bars! I messed up the first batch, but the second batch was perfect! Perry’s parents let me use their kitchen all week, and he helped me decorate the sugar cookies. They also got me this beautiful pendant urn, so I can always keep a little bit of you with me. Isn’t it perfect? My Guardian Angel Jenny Rose… 

Oh Mommy… I have been so incredibly blessed by so many wonderful people since you went away. You sure picked some pretty amazing people to call friends. They’re really good at checking in on Dad and me. 

I mostly wanted to tell you how Christmas went without you, but I also wanted to say thank you. Thank you for always being there for us kids. For giving us such AMAZING Christmas memories and traditions to carry on with our own families. For instilling in me a deep love of Christmas, not just the lights and the music and the nativity and the presents and, but the whole thing. Christmas with you will forever be one of my fondest memories. Christmas without you will get easier as the years go on, at least I hope it will. I’m not gonna lie, this year was rough. I don’t think I’ve ever been this openly emotional. But the memories of you, and your smile that could light up a room, and your laughter, I can still hear it… They make me smile and laugh, and it makes my heart happy. I know if you were actually reading this, you would cry and say, “oh Potatie…” followed by some motherly words of wisdom… This letter isn’t really for you though, it’s for me. You always like to read my thoughts, and I’ve noticed that it really does help with the grieving process. I’m not a great writer. I write like I tell stories, jumping all over the place and taking forever to get to the point, but it comes out on paper like it would if I were telling a story. I find it easier to just write it, that way there’s no need for conversation, and I don’t get caught crying while trying to talk.

So, on that note, Merry Christmas Momma. The New Year is almost here. We survived our first holiday season without your beautiful face, though we know you are here in spirit. I love you Moo. ❤❤ 

Advertisements

Life after Mom… it must go on!

It’s been an entire month now since I said ‘goodbye’ to my sweet mommy. I never pictured my life without her. Now I find myself stumbling, somewhat gracefully, through my life; a bit scattered, extremely emotional, kind of dazed, super determined to make big changes… I don’t really know what I’m doing, or how I’m doing it, so for now, I’ll just tell you what I do know. 

On April 7th, 2016, Mom was blindsided with a stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis. By the time the doctors discovered it, made up their minds as to what kind of cancer it actually was, and were prepared to offer a course of treatment, it was too late. We got to spend 3 full months together, crying, laughing, cooking, praying, and saying the things that needed to be said. I only got to have her for 3 months and 1 day after that life altering phone call. 

It’s really easy to be angry with the doctors she saw, especially those before the diagnosis. She was “sick” for about 6 months before, with no discernable illness, and certainly no major indicators of cancer. I’ve definitely lost some faith in the ability of the medical “professionals” in our area. 

It’s difficult to be alone, and hear a song, or see a photograph that reminds me of her. I always smile at first, but then the flood gates open. I got my eclectic taste in music from her!

It’s difficult to not be able to pick up the phone and call her whenever I want. We talked on the phone almost every day. She was the only person I called on a regular basis. When she started texting a few years ago, we wound up “talking” every day. 

It’s painful to think that she didn’t get to meet her first grandchild, who was born a mere twenty-two days after she left us, but comforting to know that she is up there in heaven, and got to see it all from the best seat in the house. 

I’m so grateful that we got to celebrate her 54th birthday with her just a few weeks before things got bad. It makes my heart happy that she and Dad got to go away for a few days for their 32nd wedding anniversary just days before she became confined to her bed.

I am eternally grateful to the hospice staff! They were wonderful at answering all of our questions, even over the holiday weekend. It was incredibly comforting to hear them say that we were doing a great job in keeping Mom medicated, comfortable and clean. The compassion they showed my family through every step of the longest week of our lives was just immeasurable.

It’s comforting to know that there are so many people out there whose lives were touched by my mommy. I seriously don’t think I’ve ever met a single person who didn’t have something nice to say about her. I love hearing stories from her friends. My heart beats a little faster and a smile spreads across my face when I see pictures of their adventures together. Mom was only 54, but she lived an incredibly full life. 

I have to keep reminding myself that she’s in a better place, free of pain, cancer free, and celebrating with all our loved ones who beat her there. I will forever cherish the time we got to spend together in her last couple months. I’m blessed beyond words to have been able to call her my mommy, she chose me to be her daughter, and it was just an added bonus to call her my best friend.

So yes, it’s difficult to answer the, “How are you doing?” inquiries every day. “I’m doin…” That’s my typical response, but what I mean is, I’m sad. My heart hurts. I miss my mommy. While I appreciate that people care and that they’re taking the time to check on me, honestly, I don’t really know HOW I’m doing. By the grace of God, I’m alive, back to my routine, and still able to laugh and smile, so I guess I’m doing alright.

Keep singing and dancing with the angels, Mommy. I’ll see you again someday! 

A mother’s love

As an adopted child, whose biological mother recently sent her a Facebook friend request, I felt I needed to blog today.

Today is a day to celebrate our moms for all of the things they have done for us over the years. They have made countless sacrifices, kissed our boo boos, sung lullabies, dried our tears, and calmed our fears. They have been our confidantes.

Mine taught me right from wrong, the power of strong work ethic, and how to be a responsible adult. She taught me how to be a loving wife, and more importantly, she showed me how to keep God at the center of my marriage.

With the recent contact from my biological mother, my mind has been reeling. I think I’ve finally made sense of my feelings, with a little help from a poem that hangs in the hall at my parents’ house.

20140511-180002.jpg

Sometimes I still have feelings of bitterness and resentment towards my biological mother, even though I forgave her many many years ago.

I realize now, that I need to be thankful for her, and the decisions she made. She may not have been prepared to be a mother, nor mature enough at the time to definitively decide how to handle the situation, but she loved me enough to actually give birth to me. She loved me enough to acknowledge that she couldn’t handle the responsibility of being a mom. She loved me enough to make sure that I ended up in a good home, with people who would love and raise me as their own.

So on this Mother’s Day, I just want to thank both of my mothers, for always having my best interests in mind.

Love your mothers friends, for all the things they do.

Happy Mother’s Day!

A time for family

20131218-020224.jpg

Christmas is my ultimate favorite time of year! The holiday season fills me with warm fuzzies and makes me yearn for more quality family time. Of course, it helps that everything is covered in lights and dripping with sparkly tinsel.

Having been adopted, I feel like I have a pretty good understanding of the importance of family. I’m am in no way implying that biologically bonded “normal” families don’t understand it. I just mean that it’s different for those of us who have been blessed with families that chose to love us and take us in, when those whom we share genes with, didn’t have the means, or the courage to do so.

My family means the world to me, and so does my husband’s family. And I’ve recently been given the opportunity to get to know some of my biological family. Social networking is a pretty spectacular thing!

I just had a really nice chat with my biological father’s new wife. Having been adopted at such a young age, I had basically made up my mind about what my “biologicals” must be like. Turns out I may have been wrong. It would appear that the ideas I had, about who they were or are, were simply the thoughts of a jaded young lady, who had been hurt, and didn’t know how to let go. Forgiveness is so hard to give, yet it can be so healing when you finally let go. I thought I had forgiven them a long time ago, but there was definitely some bitterness that I was still keeping locked up inside.

With the holidays here, and all the recent contact I have had with my half-sister and her new step-mother, I’ve been kind of flooded with emotions and racing thoughts. The hubby and I have been talking and praying about the idea of meeting these people. It’s still a little bit scary to think about, but it’s beginning to feel more and more like a good idea. Something to look forward to in the new year.

My thoughts exactly.

I stumbled across this song the other day, and I just can’t get it out of my head. Pretty much sums it up!

watch the video
I Would Die For That – By: Kellie Coffey

Jenny was my best friend.
Went away one summer.
Came back with a secret
She just couldn’t keep.
A child inside her,
Was just too much for her
So she cried herself to sleep.

And she made a decision
Some find hard to accept.
To young to know that one day
She might live to regret.

But I would die for that.
Just to have one chance
To hold in my hands
All that she had.
I would die for that.

I’ve been given so much,
A husband that I love.
So why do I feel incomplete?
With every test and checkup
We’re told not to give up.
He wonders if it’s him.
And I wonder if it’s me.

All I want is a family,
Like everyone else I see.
And I won’t understand it
If it’s not meant to be.

‘Cause I would die for that.
Just to have one chance
To hold in my hands
All that they have.
I would die for that.

And I want to know what it’s like
To bring a dream to life.
For that kind of love,
What I’d give up!
I would die for that.

Sometimes it’s hard to conceive,
With all that I’ve got,
And all I’ve achieved,
What I want most
Before my time is gone,
Is to hear the words
“I love you, Mom.”

I would die for that.
Just to have once chance
To hold in my hands
What so many have
I would die for that.

And I want to know what it’s like
To bring a dream to life.
How I would love
What some give up.
I would die
I would die for that.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind
written by SLATER, JAMES THOMAS/COFFEY, KELLIE ANN/HARMON, TRINA LOY
Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

Lost and Found

I was lucky enough to be adopted at the age of 3. It was an open adoption, but I was young enough, that I don’t really remember it. I do remember the social worker coming to our house to do interviews and observations while we were still going through the foster care process, but that’s about it. Pretty sure the other “memories” I have are actually just figments of my active imagination. Your brain does that (fills in the gaps with ideas of what things may have been like.)

Fortunately, my mom (adopted) kept a journal of pretty much every day during that process, and about once or twice a week during the first few years. I wish I could remember where I put it, because some of those anecdotes are just plain amazing. Pretty sure I’ll find it when we move again.

I’ve always known that I was adopted, which has been a blessing, I think, growing up in today’s society. My parents were always completely open and honest with me about my infancy.

As the story goes, my mother (biological) was very young, and believed herself unfit to be a mother. Apparently she had a meltdown of some sort when I was about 6 months old, and she left me, wearing only a diaper, in an abandoned apartment. The local authorities discovered me, after an unspecified amount of time, when residents in the next door apartment called about the non-stop cries of an infant.

I am pretty thrilled to have zero recollection of these events, but even today, some 28 years later, I have scars (one on my foot, one on my forehead) from the broken glass that was strewn about in that empty apartment.

There was never any conversation, that I can remember, about my biological father. I only knew my mother’s name. In high school I got a little curious, like most adopted teenagers do, and tried to find her. Hooray for the birth of the Internet! With the internet being what it was 15 years ago, I struck out pretty fast. This was okay though, because it was really just an itch that went away after a little harmless scratching.

Several years later, I was planning my wedding, and that itch came back. It was a bit stronger this time, but when Facebook, MySpace and Google failed me, I gave up again. I decided that it was time to move on for good. I was starting my adult life, with my own family, and that was that.

About a month after the wedding, we received a card from my old foster mom, to whom I am still related to by marriage, but that’s a long confusing story. In that card, there was an email address belonging to my biological grandmother, on my mother’s side. To my surprise, she has been living a mere 45 miles or so from where I have always called home. She wants to meet me, and talk to me, if I am willing. All of my prior curiosities instantly turned into bitterness and anger. “I’m 22, just got married and started a family of my own, and all of the sudden she wants to be a part of my life? I don’t think so!” That’s where I left it. I was upset, and pretty much over the whole thing.

On July 23, 2011, I received a random friend request on Facebook. It was accompanied by a message that rocked my world…hard

It was from a woman named Cathy. She seemed to know who my parents (adopted) were. She knew my birthday, my maiden name, etc…

Cathy is my father’s daughter, and is close to me in age. She told me that her father had cheated on her mother with mine, and boom, half-siblings created. Turns out, I have a crap-load of biological half-siblings!!! There are 6 on my father’s side alone. I finally learned my father’s name and saw pictures of him. He’s not a bad lookin’ fella.

Cathy and I haven’t met yet, but we’ve shared some pleasant conversations. Today happens to be her birthday, which is why this has all been on my mind.

I’ve said all this to say, happy birthday to my long lost sister!