I am a daughter. I am a wife. I am a mother. But through it all, I have been and always will be, a woman.

Archive for the ‘Loss’ Category

It’s Been 1 Year….

…1 week and 4 days.  376 days since I lost my mother.  And it still feels like I lost part of myself.  But I did.  I lost my mother.  One of my two best friends (the other is my husband).

My sister lost her mother.

My boys and my nephew lost their grandmother.

My husband and my brother-in-law lost their mother-in-law.

My aunts and uncles lost their sister.

My cousins lost their aunt.

I’m not the only one that lost.  I’m not the only one hurting still.

But it feels that way.

Grief is lonely.

Everyone grieves differently, so everyone grieves alone.  My sister and I both lost our mother, but we grieve differently.  She doesn’t understand exactly how I feel, just like I don’t understand exactly how she feels.

But I know we ALL still hurt.  There is a hole in me.  There is a hole in them.  None of us are complete anymore.  Memories are great, but they can’t hug my sister and me.  Pictures are wonderful, but they can’t send birthday cards to her grandchildren.

I wish we could see her one more time.  I wish I could hug her one more time.  I wish I could say “I love you” one more time.

But I’m glad she’s not hurting anymore.  I’m glad she isn’t struggling for breath anymore.

I’m happy for her, but I still cry for us.

I love you, Mama.  I miss you.  I always will.


Lost & Gained

I’ve written before about people I’ve lost.  I will do that again here (one specifically), but I also want to write about people I’ve gained.

My father-in-law was a wonderful man.  He was kind, sweet, smart, caring, generous, and loved life.  My oldest boy, Z, would always make him laugh.  All of his grandkids did, but this blog is from my perspective, so please pardon me if I don’t mention the other grandchildren more.  He called him “Sport” and would always tease me and J about the “fits” that kid was giving us, and would continue to give us in the future.  He loved hearing the new things Z had done, learned, said, in a way that only grandparents can.  Z was only 18 months old when he lost his grandfather.  How we lost him is another blog, but suffice it to say it was a freak accident.  A sudden loss.  An unexpected hole blasted in our hearts.

But our family has grown since then.

My husband and I have given him another grandson, M.  Wow, my father-in-law (and us) only THOUGHT Z was a handful!  Whew!!! M exhausts me just watching him.  He is so full of energy, and mischief.  I never know what he’s going to say.  Or do.  I have not yet figured out how his mind works, and frankly, I don’t think I want to know.  He makes me laugh daily.  And shake my head in disbelief.  And rant and rave.  And pray for patience.  And blame my husband for all of his bad traits (even though he clearly got them from my side of the family.  Shhhhh!  Don’t tell J that I admitted that.)  He is a charmer, though.  He can smile and you have to smile with him.  He laughs and you have to laugh with him.  He brings joy (and frustration, lol) everywhere he goes.  His Papaw would have LOVED him.  I don’t mean just with his heart, but with sense of humor, with his mind, and with his heart.

M would have had Papaw wrapped around his little finger, too.  I have no doubt about that whatsoever.  M would have pulled one of his stunts that make me want to strangle him and Papaw would have laughed, shaken his head, and said (as he did so many times with Z), “He’s all boy, isn’t he.  It’s terrible to spank a kid just ’cause he feels good.”  So, of course, I couldn’t have spanked him then.  No matter how much he needed it.  Yes, M would’ve loved Papaw just as much as Papaw would’ve loved him.

My husband also gave his dad a granddaughter.  We found out about her just a couple of years ago (another long story), but she is a joy.  Her mother is from a previous marriage, and H just turned 13.  Only 13.  And she’s 5 inches taller than I am.  *sigh*  Yes, I’m vertically challenged, but that’s beside the point.  H is pretty awesome.  She got all of her dad’s best traits.  She’s sweet, funny, smart, easy-going, and caring.  Her Papaw B (she calls her other grandfather Papaw) would have loved her, too.  See, she’s just like he was.  H takes after her dad, and her dad takes after his dad.  Seriously, it’s like they were cloned.  Well, except she’s a little goofier (actually more than “a little”), and she’s a girl.  This family is pretty amazing.

And H would’ve loved her Papaw B.  He would’ve spoiled her just as much as her other Papaw.  He would’ve given her the moon if she’d asked for it.  She’d have wrapped him around her little finger, too.  Just like she has her dad.  But I have to say, she doesn’t over-step.  She doesn’t push the limits.  She’s just so quietly sweet, that people want to give her things just to see her smile.  She doesn’t manipulate like so many kids do (including my boys that know exactly how to get what they want out of Mamaw B.)  She’s just H.

My husband’s brother, K, has also gotten married, gained two step-daughters, and had a little girl of his own.  My father-in-law would really have loved to see that.  K had some problems that slowed down his family creating abilities (a third long story, and not mine to tell), but everything seems back on track for him.  As much as I know my father-in-law would have loved to see the family that J and I have gained, I know in my heart that K’s life now would have brought him more happiness and peace than any of you can possibly imagine.

So we lost one.  And we’ve gained six.  But each of those six lost one they never knew.  And that was a treasure of which they can never know the value.

I do like to think of my father-in-law looking down from Heaven and smiling.  Happy at what he left behind.  Proud of how we’ve grown.  Laughing at our children and how they make us pull our hair out.  Yes, I can see him laughing at us all.  And that makes me smile through all of the tears.

Looking Back to Those I Lost

Tonight is a bad night.  Hormones stretch from extreme to extreme and I’m looking through old pictures (uploading to Shutterfly and saving to Flash Drive) and crying at all the people I see that are no longer here.  I seem to be partly in the past, partly in a world that could have been, and partly lost.

I see my Mamaw J that died last year.  She won’t see her great-grandchildren grow up.  She won’t meet the newest grandchild that is the only boy of the only grandson who will get to carry on the family name.  She would have been so happy to see this little boy.  And her husband who died over ten years ago would have been ecstatic to know the family name would carry on.  (Y’all know how men are about their legacies.)

I see my father-in-law that never met five of his grandchildren.  Two of which are my husband’s and three of which are my brother-in-law’s. If he had lived, he would have known about another grandson and a granddaughter by his oldest son (my husband), one granddaughter by blood and two more from the heart from my brother-in-law.

They missed so much.  My Mamaw J lived a long, full life.  She raised five kids, met eleven grandchildren, and so many great-grandchildren (I lost count a long time ago).  I can remember my kids going to her house and her giving them cookies.  I told her it was too close to supper time.  She looked at me (with that look that always scared me half to death) and informed me it was HER house and they would have whatever she gave them.  I laugh now.  That is a grandmother’s perogative.

My father-in-law was taken so many years before his time.  He was a second father to me and died before I even admitted it to myself.  He never met my youngest son.  He never met my husband’s daughter.  He never saw his middle child released from prison and become the man he was supposed to be.  He never saw that son marry a wonderful woman who already had two lovely daughters we all gladly accepted into the family.  He never met the newest granddaughter that they gave him.

So much loss.  I wish my Mamaw J had gotten to meet my children.  I wish my Papaw J had gotten to meet my children.  I wish my father-in-law had gotten to meet my second child.  I wish they had all seen that I made more of my life than what they saw before they passed.

My Granddaddy M died when I was young.  My Grandmother M died when I was divorcing my ex-husband (she had Alzheimer’s and so didn’t realize what was happening).  My Papaw died the year before I divorced (and thankfully never knew what I was going through).  So many people I loved, that never knew that I actually turned out okay.  Maybe not wonderfully, but okay.

I wish they had known my children.  I wish my children had known them.  But it was not to be.

I remember my Great-Grandmother — my mother’s mother’s mother.  Grandma E gave me a love of poetry.  She still pulled water from a well she actually had on her back porch.  She outlived two husbands, a son, and a grandson.  She was an incredibly strong woman.

I remember my Great-grandfather — my father’s mother’s father.  Papa W was a mean SOB. (I’m sorry for the language, but he was).  He scared me when I was little.  He helped me learn my times tables (how many of you remember them being called that!) because I was too scared of him to get them wrong.  He was mean to my Grandmother M, (his own daughter) who was one ofthe sweetest ladies I have ever known and welcomed him into her home to care for him.

But I am more like my Mamaw.  She was a STRONG woman (like her mother, Grandma E).  She was blunt, and honest.  She saw no point in being tactful.  She said what she meant, and she meant what she said.  She was a survivor and I envied her.  I still do in a lot of ways.  I wish I had her courage, her strength, her faith.

My Grandmother M was a Lady.  Not that my Mamaw J wasn’t, but Grandmother M was a gentler creature.  Her strength was quiet, tactful.  She would shame us into behaving.  They both threatened to spank us when we misbehaved — the difference is that I believed Mamaw J.  When I doubted Grandmother M, she proved me wrong and spanked me!  She hurt my pride more than my rear, but she actually SPANKED ME!!!!!!  Unbelievable.  I smile when I remember her.  I wish I were much more like her.  I wish I had her gentleness, her gift for laughter, her capacity for forgiveness.

My father-in-law, Papa B,  was a gentleman.  As is his son.  As I hope my boys will be.  He will never know how much he meant to me because didn’t know until it was too late.  I remember his ready laugh.  I remember how he welcomed me into his family like I was a foregone conclusion.  I remember his laugh; his smile; the way he called my son “Sport.”  I remember how he said “It’s a shame to spank a boy just ’cause he feels good,” and he’d laugh.  I didn’t know what he meant then (I didn’t have any kids), but I do now.  Sometimes, my boys don’t get spankings because I hear my father-in-law laughing those words in my ear.

I miss them all.  I miss being able to turn to any one of them.  My Grandmother M made me want to be as gentle-natured as her, getting my children to mind by shaming them into being better boys.  My Mamaw J made me want to be as strong as her and raise my boys to be “men.”  My Papa B made me want to laugh at their antics while still teaching them right from wrong, to be gentlemen, but to be MEN.

I miss them all.  And my children miss them even if they don’t know what they miss.  It is said that you are supposed to learn from the past.  I just wish I could really show my children the people they missed.  I really wish they could “know” them.  They don’t know what they missed.  But I hope those that have passed on are proud of what my husband and I have created………and are looking down from Heaven smiling, and protecting and guiding the next generation.

Who do you miss?  Why do you miss them?  Please comment and let me know I’m not alone.


Author and Editor of Literary and Arts Magazine, The Woven Tale Press

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