96 Days LaterĀ 

It’s been a little over three months since mom passed away. It was only today, that I was able to start a ‘project’ that I’ve been meaning to start since her passing, on October 17th. While I was in the process of putting this project together, I came to an important realization amongst my tears. 

I’m not done grieving over my mom, and to be honest, I’m not sure when or if, I ever will be. But the simple fact is, I couldn’t bring myself to start this project until today. I couldn’t bring myself to read even just one of the cards that she wrote in and gave to me for a holiday or special occasion, it was just too painful. But today, today, ended up being an important day for me in terms of realizing where I stand with my grief. 

Today, I finally pushed myself to read at least one of the cards that she gave to me. I would be lying if I told you that I managed to get through it unscathed. The truth of the matter is, I bawled like a baby. On one hand, it honestly felt like my heart was breaking all over again. But on the other hand, I concluded the reading of that card with many mixed feelings. The most prominent of those feelings being a weird sense of peace and comfort. It might sound kind of crazy but, when I started reading that card to myself, I quickly realized that I was reading it in her voice. Other than listening to old voice messages that she left me, it has been at least 96 days since hearing her voice. Not only that, but it has been at least 96 days since the last time I got the privilege of hearing my mom tell me something that I really needed to hear (even though technically I read it instead).  I want to share with you what my mom wrote in that card that ended up being a blessing to read today:

(11-5-2009): 

Catie, in my dreams I see you and I feel you, that is how I know that our spirits will go on among each other, near and far, wherever you are, I will be everywhere with you. Time, people, and circumstances may seem to separate us, but my undying love and my unconditional love I have for you always will remain inside of me along with every breath I take. Only God knows all about our very own hearts & souls & what we really think and feel. 

I love you. I crave to see you and to touch your beautiful face. You are my sweet child!

Even if you may never come back to me, just like the “Prodical Son” in God’s word, the day I see you coming up the road, I will embrace you with open arms, a gentle kiss, and with tears of love and joy flowing down the cheeks of my old face 

I love you Catie June!! 

Love, 

Mommy

God Bless You!!

79 Days LaterĀ 

Today as of January 4, 2016, makes 79 days since you passed away Mom. To put that in perspective some more some might look at this the following way: (1) 6,825,600 seconds (2) 113,760 minutes, (3) 1,896 hours,  (4) 79 days, (5) 11.2857143 weeks, and (6) approximately 2.63333333 months.

I can’t say for sure if those numbers are 100% accurate, but it seems that they are a pretty good estimate just off hand.

Everything feels like it has continued to fall apart since you had to leave us. I will try not to get into too much detail, but all 3 of us kids have taken this so hard! Corrie is going through multiple things that I won’t go into detail about, Brian has went through his share of personal demons but he seems to be doing better since he moved in with grandma, and I have been going through expected ups and downs (plus some) to say the very least.

Nothing about this “grieving process” has been anything close to being something that one would consider to be “easy.” At this point, I think it’s safe to say that over the last month or so, I have cried a little less and things have appeared to look “up” for me more so than before. That doesn’t necessarily factor in the nights, or any other time of the day that I know I have spent, thinking about you, missing you, and crying over your absence.

My hope is that with 2016, that we can all find some sort of comfort or peace over your passing. Unfortunately, I have deep feeling in my gut that more pain, heartbreak, and hardships of some sort is in store for us in 2016 as well. Mom, I have done my best to stay strong for everyone in this family! Even when it’s felt like nothing short of impossible to do.

If you are really in heaven like a lot of people have tried to reassure me with, please don’t hesitate to watch over us as our guardian angel. Keep us safe throughout our travels (as you would say when you used to pray for us) and always keep close to us in spirit so that we keep all your words of wisdom and encouragement even closer to us.

I love you mommy! There hasn’t been a day that has gone by so far that I haven’t thought about you. I miss you!!!

26 Days Later

26 days ago, on October 17, my mom passed away. Since that day, I’ve been nothing but a constant emotional roller coaster. I’ve gone through this seemingly, never-ending cycle, of being “alright” one minute, but then the next minute, I’m completely falling apart again. Up until today, my mother’s passing still didn’t feel completely real to me. Don’t get me wrong, I knew she was never coming back. I just think there was a part of me holding out on the hope that none of this was real. That it was all just a long, terrible, nightmare I would eventually wake up from.

Today ended up being the day that I stumbled upon the realization that my mom was gone. She was never coming back. The incident that led to this was probably as mundane as it gets. Now that I am thinking about it, I can’t believe that this didn’t happen sooner than it did.

The previous day, my sister and a friend of ours, decided that we were going to go out of town in the morning to do a little bit of early christmas shopping. One thing led to another, and I found myself sitting in my friends driveway. I was just sitting there, waiting for her to get back home from dropping off the kids to school. At the time I didn’t know she was going to be as late as she ended up being, but anyways, I ended up picking up my cell phone to pass the time. After unlocking my phone screen, a warning popped up on my phone prompting me to delete some old voicemail messages because my memory was 90% full. So I went to where my voicemails were, and started listening to old voicemails.

Without even thinking, I went to the oldest message I had on my phone, but I apparently ignored the fact that it was a voicemail from my moms cell phone she had. Suddenly, I found myself practically engulfed in the sound of hearing my moms raspy voice singing “happy birthday” to me seemingly out of nowhere. I looked down at my phone and saw that this particular voicemail was left by my mom at 6:42 AM, on May 19,2015, making it the morning of my 23rd birthday.

The message was only 48 seconds long, but at that moment, it felt like the message lasted an eternity. When I say it felt like it lasted an eternity, I want you to understand that I mean that in the best way possible. It had been 26 days, possibly even more, since the last time I had gotten to hear the sound of my moms voice. At the time, this unexpected surprise was pretty much completely pleasant. That is until that 48 seconds was over.

After singing happy birthday to me on that voicemail, this is how she finished up the rest of her message to me that morning: “Happy Birthday babydoll, 22 years ago…23 years ago, I gave birth to my beautiful baby Catie June. You’ve been such a blessing honey and I love you. Now today you be careful in your comings and goings, Give me a call. I love you. Bye Bye.”

After taking time to recover from the feelings I had after listening to that message, I continued on a mission to listen to every voicemail I had on my phone. My hope was to see if I could find any other voicemail messages from her that I had forgot about. I did come across several other voicemail messages that were shorter than that first message, but nonetheless, I still enjoyed listening to them.

Here’s another one, that was recorded on May 31, 2015 at 4:34PM: “Hey Catie, how’s Corrie? Text me and call me. I need to talk to her. Her message thing isn’t set up. I need to talk to her. Bye.”

Anyways, sitting there and listening to those messages, made it painfully clear that the last 26 days hasn’t just been one big nightmare. This really happened. I am only 23 years old, my mom would have turned 52 in just over two weeks, but instead, we had to “celebrate” her birthday without her physically here. Instead, we had to hug the urn that held her ashes, instead of being able to give mom an actual hug or a kiss. No more buying her birthday or christmas present. Instead, you get to stumble across things you would have bought for her, for instance, today I saw plenty of coloring books she would’ve loved to have.

I miss my mommy! I would do anything to be given the chance to tell her that I love her one more time. I would do anything to be given the chance to hug her one last time and to hear her tell me that she loves me. Some might think that I am really lucky to have these recordings to be able to cherish for the rest of my life. I just want those people to know that I more or less wish I didn’t have the recordings. It just makes me miss her even more than before. Not to mention it kind of makes everything even more final. I’m glad I have access to them for the purpose of not wanting to ever forget what an “I love you” from her sounds like. But on the other hand, I’m burdened with the realization that this is one of the very few things I have left to remember my mom by. I’m burdened with knowing that it’s too late to return any of those phone calls, especially if I know that I didn’t try calling her back.

26 days later, I am still heartbroken and sad. I am also a bit remorseful about missing certain chances to spend time with her that I can’t get back. 26 days later, and I realize that even though the heartbreak has been unbearable at times, I still have managed to make it 26 more days. I made the decision to keep fighter, 26 days later, and still counting.