The journey….

Wow!  This is an incredible journey.  Facing the death of someone you love so much.  Someone who you respect and appreciate so much.  The questions plague me.  Why did you leave me?!  What do I do now?!  Who am I?!  For 24 years my identity was wrapped up in you.  Sigh.  People have said that my son Kyle and I were like twins.  We were so connected. A good friend of my son’s tried to explain it one night when we were out to dinner.  He said, “see this fork…this is Belinda…see this second fork as he laid it on top of the first, this is Kyle.  You take one away…you still have them both.”  Sigh.  So my question is…how do I live on without my twin?!

People tell me all the nice things…like Kyle would want you to do this or that…to be happy.  Yeah, I know.  The only thing I am truly thankful for is that he died and I did not.  My son would have been destroyed by my death.  He was close to my Mom…and when she died…well, it hurt us deeply.  I survived, but my son struggled with it.  It hurt him deeply.  It was hard to watch.  I know in my heart that my death would have killed him.  He would not have recovered.  So…I am thankful that if one of us had to die, it was him.  That is a hard thing to confess as a parent.  Believe me…I would like to say…I wish he was alive and I was dead…but I know too much.  This is killing me.  As his parent, I would not wish this pain on him and as much as I would like him to be alive…I also know this would have killed him.  He was already in so much pain.  He lost my Mom…his wife…a child…no, to lose me too, he would not have survived.  My question is…how do I?

I breathe in…I breathe out.  I take one day at a time.  I also handle the burden of living not only without him…but for the both of us now.  Every moment of every day is like a gift to me.  When I saw the Redwoods and Yosemite and the Grand Canyon…it was for both of us.  I was living on with our dreams. When I went skydiving for his birthday…it was to fulfill both of our dreams.

So…now I step forward to live my dreams…without my twin, without my best friend…and it feels so bittersweet.  I know in my heart that is what he would want…but he is not here.  I have to live on…with courage…and listen to my voice…my dreams…my life…without Kyle.  This is the toughest thing I have ever done.  But, I know…I was born to do this…and it is time.

I called this blog entry “The Journey” for a reason.  I have continually been inspired by the poem by Mary Oliver.  I know it is time to listen to my own voice…to lead the life I was meant to live, but it is scary at times.  Her poem keeps me focused.  Enjoy…and God Bless

By
Mary Oliver
The Journey
 
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.

 

 

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Reality…this is a new reality

How do I explain my new reality…well…it’s kinda like “orange is the new black” for me.  I went to bed one day a Mother with a great son, great relationship…and woke up the next day…to face the death of that great son.  It is not something I strive to “get over” or return to a “normal” life…this is my new reality….life without my son.

Ok…let’s put this into perspective.  My experience is not unique…painful…but not unique. It is part of the human condition…or simply..just being human.  But, there are traumas or tragedies that effect us…we are never the same.  We live on…and do more than survive, but hopefully learn to live fully.  When I talk about trauma and change, I think of one of my rape victims.  She was only 14 years old..she was raped by a 24 yo on her birthday.  It was a very tough call for me to go on…but, one that marked my life forever.  This poor beautiful innocent child asked me…”will I be alright?”….and without thinking with anything but my heart I said..”sweetie…you want me to blow sunshine up your ass?  Seriously kiddo, you just lost your virginity to a rapist…this is tough.  If you were just in a car accident and lost the use of your right arm…would it effect u?  U bet!  But, u know something kiddo..I not only believe you will figure out how to function without your right arm…but you will thrive!”  That 14 yo taught me about courage as she testified at Grand Jury…she was strong and brave…and we won.  But that day, I made a promise.  That 14 yo made me promise that I would continue to make a difference in people’s lives…that I would keep fighting the “good fight” .

I have been through a great deal in my life.  Faced many traumas before the death of my only child.  This is my moment to live without my “right arm”.  And ya know something, I will honor that promise made to that 14 yo.  I refuse to be a hypocrite…but will somehow, someway find the courage, strength, and grace to thrive!  God bless you all if you are listening and identify in someway.  And say a prayer for my 14 yo…she is somewhere…now 30 something…smile!

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If I Die Young

If I die young bury me in satin
Lay me down on a bed of roses
Sink me in the river at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love song

 

“If I die young”…hmm…words to think of. My son died at the age of 23. I am 53. What would he say to us right now? He would tell us to love one another…quit arguing about petty things…and to enjoy the moments in life that we treasure. I call them “dancing in the rain” moments. They are the moments when we are free…brave…and dancing with life with everything that is in our hearts. He would tell us to be real…with our selves and others. He would tell us to live life fully! And he would tell us he loved us.

If I die now?  I would be okay with that.  Do I want to die?  Hell no…I do not want to die.  But,I do not know what I am living for…I have lost all purpose.  My family and friends want me to find purpose in the fact that they love and need me…not enough!   I am a strong Christian who knows the sacrifice that was made for me…has remained faithful and endured an incredible amount of loss.  But what now?  I loved my son with my whole heart and soul.  It is very difficult to live without the person who “gets you”.  The person who you can talk to about the Game of Thrones, Broadway, the Bills and the Sabres…and go camping with and sing those silly camp songs.  But…I live on. I want to live a life “dancing naked in the rain”…wholeheartedly…with courage and purpose.

Have u lost someone important to you?  Do you feel lost?  Do you wander in the wilderness…feeling numb and unreal?  If yes…plz join me…been there…done that.  I get you…and it fucking hurts…but, I believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Plz, have courage and journey on with me!

 

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Seize the day! Be real…be honest…be brave!

Thank you so much for stopping in.  I believe that life is a journey…and it is not a matter or whether we have ups or downs, but who is along for the ride.  Since 2008 I have lost 2 of the most important people in my life….I lost my Mom in May of 2008 and my only son, Kyle in June of 2014.  They were the “bookends” of my life…my witnesses…to who I was, who I grew to be..and who I had the potential to be.  Bottom line…they were my best friends with and I miss them.  But, realistically,  “Boohoo, boohoo, boohoo,  blah, blah, blah…who the F cares…welcome to life sweetheart!”, RIGHT?!?  Yes and no.  I am hear to share my story…my journey…not because I am unique or special but because I need to have witnesses to my journey…..AND because I hope and pray my journey can give others courage to face life head on when you not only don’t know which path to follow…but you cannot even see the path.  So please…join me…journey on…

Carpe diem…seize the day…what does that mean?   To most it expresses the desire to live in the moment..OR the desire to take advantage of opportunities that come your way OR live life with no regrets OR……..well, .you get the point.  The answer to that question is as unique as the person who is answering it. I can only define it in how I feel.  I believe that “Carpe diem” is about  having the courage, grace, and wisdom to live each and every day to the fullest…with no regrets…to be FEARLESS facing life….and refusing to quit LIVING freely just because life has knocked me down.  This is not always easy.  Some days it may only be that I can master breathing…IN…OUT…repeat……….while other days it means that I am out skydiving because my son and I always dreamed of doing it   However you look at it..it is very personal to you…I hope you choose to journey on with me.  Please feel free to share.  Til then..please…live ur lives as honestly and courageously as you can!!!

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