Tag Archives: Life and death

Undo – The Single Change I Would Make in my Life

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For the most part I wouldn’t change anything in my life.
Because with change means all the circumstances and things that come after could be altered or not exist.

So changing anything that would leave me without my wonderful husband and beautiful daughter is just not an option.

There is however, one moment in time I would change.

It was January 20th, 2012, the day before we were leaving to go on a cruise. We were taking my mother who had never been and always wanted to go. She and I were getting ready to go have a mani-pedi and I walked away from the kitchen as she stood up to go and get ready. In the seconds I walked away she slipped and slid down the back wall, landing on a hard ceramic dog food bowl and breaking her hip.

She didn’t get to go on her cruise, we had been counting down the days.

She would eventually pass away in September. I think the depression that came on after her hip was broken all led to the end for my sweet momma.

So yes, I would change that moment. I would have stayed. I would have made sure she got up and did not fall. I would have let her have her cruise. Maybe she would have still been gone by September, maybe not.

— This post is in response to The Daily Post Prompt – Undo

And now I realize I totally messed up the Prompt… it was to Un-Invent something…. So…. crap….. I would Un-Invent Ceramic Dog food bowls…. 🙂

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The Warmth of Your Love

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Two years ago today, my mother departed a sick, bedridden body and went to heaven. Walking proud and healed of all her sickness. It is easier this year than it was last year. I feel both sadness and comforted by that. I wrote this poem in memory of her.

 

The Warmth of Your Love

©S. Tennyson Taylor

 

Not a second goes by

When I don’t feel the warmth of your love

It has been two years today

Since I said goodbye

And yet, in each significant moment of my life

In each small act of kindness

I feel the warmth of your love

You taught me strength

You showed me kindness

You held my hand when we walked

You held me close when I was afraid

I felt the warmth of your love

I watched as disease riddled your body

The C word

The horrible, awful C word

You fought hard, squeezed out every bit of life you could

But in the end, the angels came

I can no longer wrap my arms around you

I can no longer sit up all night talking with you

I can no longer see your sweet face

But, no matter where I am

No matter what I am doing

Each and every day

I can still feel

The warmth of your love

My mom and I in 2007

My mom and I in 2007

A note to my mom

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My beautiful mommy! How I miss her so!

My beautiful mommy! How I miss her so!

 

Mom,

You were the first person to love me. My heart and yours beat together for nine months.

You were my role model in life. You taught me how to love and be loved. You made me realize that it was okay to want more and reach for my goals.

You encouraged me, you believed in me.

You taught me how to be a mom. To show Stormy unconditional love. I will give her the strength to know that whatever she wants in life, she can achieve. I can teach her all those things, because you taught them to me.

When a boy breaks her heart, I will be able to comfort her, because you comforted me when my heart was broken.

I will stand up for her, like you did for me. I will do my best to show her how awesome you were by being the best mom I can to her.

If I had just one wish in this entire world it would be to hug you close and tell you how much I love you; how grateful and blessed I was to have you as my mother.

I love and miss you momma, happy Mother’s Day

A Confession and Suppressed Grief

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So, for the past week I have been going through the motions of a mindless eater. Actually that isn’t entirely true, I have knowingly gone into the cupboards and found the hidden Nutella jar (by the way it is either heavenly goodness or the devil, I haven’t decided which yet), eaten spoonfuls of peanut butter & Nutella mixture, taken handfuls of cereal, eaten ice cream and basically anything I wanted. Now, for a normal person this might be okay, however I am recently back at my Weight Watchers lifetime weight and so this has put all of that in jeopardy.  I dread the scale next week…. Sorry Susan, advance warning of my breakdown.

Not only have my eating habits been bad, but also I have not written a single word or edited a single page in my novel in the past 6 days. I am not reading, and I am spending mindless hours a day trying to Crush Candy…..

The question is why?

I had an epiphany moment a bit ago when I opened a piece of mail from Cobb Hospice. Reminding me, As if that wasn’t all that has been going through my head since the start of September, that we are coming up on the 1-Year anniversary of my mother’s passing.

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Aha!
In all my mindless acts, I do not have to think.
If I start to think, I might be reminded that I have lived the past year of my life without my mother, my best friend, my daughter’s Nana. Without these mindless acts, I would have to think and realize how much I miss her and how I would love to just have her arms around me one more time in a comforting hug.  I might have to realize that I finally wrote and finished a story AFTER she died and so she was not able to read it. I might have to register when my daughter says she misses her Nana. I might have to take off the mask of “I am fine, I am strong.”
I might have to allow myself to grieve for her again.  

I guess the little box I had this all tucked away in is getting wet and soggy and breaking down.

For a moment, I will allow myself to cry and be mad and sad and happy she isn’t in pain anymore. I will feel sorry for myself and for my daughter for not getting more time with her. And then, I will wipe away my tears, put on my happy face, and put it all back in a new little box and tuck it away.

Of course, in 3 days on September 9th, when we come to the “actual” day that Momma went to be with Daddy in Heaven then I might have to pull that box back out and allow myself another good cry.

The First One Without Her

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Me and mom

Me and mom

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It will be the first Mother’s Day without my mom. She died last September 9th, the day after what would have been her and my father’s 45th wedding anniversary if he hadn’t passed in 2009.

On one hand it seems like she has only been gone a moment and on another it feels like she has been gone forever. I don’t think my 3 year old daughter remembers her that much anymore. It makes me sad to think that she won’t remember the endless amount of love that my mother had for her. I try to talk about her when I can but that is hard. Talking about her reminds me that I will never be able to put my arms around her and hold her close again. My heart breaks.

My mother was my very best friend. She was smart and funny and strong oh my was my mother strong, both physically and emotionally.

As I sit here I am trying to remember a “just” me and mom story and I am reminded of a time when I was just maybe 9 or 10 years old and mom had a gym membership.

Looking back can’t help but wonder why she even had the membership she was always so fit. I don’t remember her ever being overweight. But she had the membership and my dad used to drop us off at the gym and she and I would go in get changed and then go play racquetball.

We weren’t very good at it but we had fun playing, plus we got our exercise in.

Afterward we would go to this little bar inside the gym and get a fruity drink. It is pretty much what is called smoothies these days but back then in 80’s they were just icy fruit drinks.

When we were done daddy would be waiting for us outside in the station wagon. We always had a station wagon or a white van, lol!

I have no idea what those afternoon racquetball games were about. We didn’t go long. A few months was all maybe. But I loved that time with my mom. It was just us girls. And I had forgotten all about it until I sat here to write today.

Everyone says life is short but we never seem to realize it until we begin to lose the people closest to us.

Mommy in Heaven, I love you so much. I miss you every day. I dreamed about you a few days ago and in my dream I was hugging you. It felt so real that I didn’t want to wake up. Enjoy your Mother’s Day in Heaven and I will see you again one day!

A letter to my Pastor

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I wrote a letter to my pastor today and I realized when I was done that it was more than just a letter to him. It was my testimony and it deserved to be shared with all of you. So here it is:

Pastor Rick,

I just wanted to write you and tell you how much I appreciate you and Tonya. I have been telling my husband “I rebuke his thoughts” for years when he says stuff like. “I am getting sick.” “We are never going to get out of debt.” “We are never going to have a child.”

Your declaration sermon this past week really hit home. Tony (My husband) is better now. He doesn’t talk the way he did in the past but sometimes I hear those negative words coming out of his mouth and I rebuke them.

To tell you a little about us:

I was raised in a FIRE AND BRIMSTONE — HELL AND DAMNATION Church of God. And while I do admit I got saved because it literally SCARED THE DEVIL out of me at a very young age. I found it tiring and mentally exhausting to go to church every Sunday. I then went the opposite way and changed to a United Methodist Church (where I graduated high school) the sermons here left me lacking and wanting more. In the Church of God the Flock was at least lively and active. In the United Methodist the Flock simply sat staring and the man talking on the stage. Occasionally you would hear someone whisper an “Amen.”

My husband on the other hand was not raised in Church at all. It was a loving home but not a Godly home.

When we got married at the tender age of 21 I simply quit going to church. I was not happy at church at that time and Tony wasn’t used to going anyways. It was easy to justify not going to church. I mean I watched Church on TV on Sunday that was good enough, right……

When we got married I said that GOD was going to be my birth control. My mom had come close to getting Cancer from Birth Control Pills and I didn’t want to take that chance. A few years into our marriage and we wanted to have children and it just wasn’t happening. We went to a specialist and eventually found out my tubes were blocked. GOOD JOB GOD! That is one way to apply birth control. But now Tony and I wanted children. The only problem was in order to fix this we would need In-Vitro. This was in the late 1990’s and coming up with the $100 it took to go to the doctor was a hard task for us, much less trying to come up with $40K for In-Vitro.

We went back to our lives, knowing now that God really was our Birth Control. I prayed every day that God would open my tubes and give us a child. Tony began to drink. He escaped into the world of alcohol and gave up on the thought of a child. Maybe it was the woman in me but I could never ever give up that thought. I knew I was going to have a child even if that meant adoption. I WAS MEANT to be a mother. I KNEW it as well as I KNEW my own name.

Years passed 1996 turned into 2006 and Christopher Reeves (SUPERMAN’s) Wife died of Lung Cancer. She was not a smoker but a heavy drinker. Something inside Tony Clicked when this happened and he put down the Alcohol. Cold Turkey. DONE.

Things began to change; we started to work towards getting our finances in order with DAVE RAMSEY. In July of 2008 we were able to move out of a home that was eating us alive in payments and buy a home that was almost double the size and half the payments. GOD WAS GOOD.

In October of 2008 my company changed insurance plans. They are based out of NJ and when I read through the new plan at first I thought. This can’t be true……But it was. In NJ it is mandatory that you get the option of full coverage IN-VITRO and all other infertility treatments in your insurance plan.

I remember when I realized that this was true and about to happen. I sat down on the stairs of our new home that GOD had given us and cried like a baby tears of happiness.

It wasn’t easy. Satan threw things at us along the way. In 2009 while I was getting my tubes removed in preparation for In-Vitro my dad was in the hospital going through Kidney failure and in the process getting kicked out of their home (a small trailer near the lake – they said they didn’t want him to fall and sue them…). My parents moved into my living room.

They had told us that my tubes were THE ONLY thing wrong with me so getting pregnant should be easy. The first time it failed. I was devastated, HEARTBROKEN. I wondered WHY God had opened all these doors for us only to shut them in our face. The second time it failed again. We tried a 3rd time this was going to be the last for a while. I was tired. In case you don’t know IN-VITRO is hard work. There are bi-weekly doctor’s appointments multiple self given shots in a single day. It is a physical and emotional rollercoaster. But when I saw that word “Pregnant” come up on a home pregnancy test I have never been happier in my entire life.

During all this my mom was diagnosed with Cancer (She died September 2012) and my dad would die in 2009 when I was only 13 weeks pregnant. Bittersweet heartbreak but I knew the child I was carrying was my reason for living. She gave me hope again.

Our sweet bundle of Joy that we named STORMY was born on APRIL FOOLS DAY! After she was born Tony and I both agreed that we had to thank GOD for what he did for us, what he gave to us. We took our baby girl to my mother’s church (The HELLFIRE AND BRIMSTONE Church) and had her dedicated to Christ. We knew this wasn’t the church for us so we began to search for ours. We went back to the United Methodist Church I graduated from and although I love the pastor and he had good messages, the congregation was so sullen. It felt like they were just going through the rituals for getting to church on Sunday morning.

My best friend’s mother-in-law sweet Gail Yarbrough had been trying to get us to come to Bethany for years. Too bad we waited until she was gone to do just that.

I remember that first Sunday sitting in the parking lot and watching everyone I MEAN EVERYONE come in wearing jeans. I remember being judgmental and wondering what we were doing at a church who didn’t bother to dress up for God. This was how I was raised in BOTH churches after all.

But once inside I knew. I had the answer. They weren’t dressing up to please the other members; they were going to church in WHATEVER they had to worship and LOVE God. To simply hear the WORD of GOD. The GOOD NEWS…. Live life and HAVE GOOD Days.

I am so Thankful for you and Bethany and mostly to MY GOD who placed us there.

18 years after we were married and made that vow that GOD would be my birth control, I had my daughter. Truer words have never been spoken, “God’s ways are not our ways.” But I am so thankful that he is a GOOD GOD. And by DECLARING those words “I WILL BE A MOTHER.” For so many years, it came true.

I am sorry to have rambled for so long but I thought it was time I shared our story with you and thanked you for what you and Bethany are to us. Home.

Filled with God’s Blessing even in the darkest hours,
Shelly & Tony Taylor (& Stormy too)

Goodbye Grandmother, You Will Be Missed!

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It is eerily strange. The last 2 lines I wrote yesterday. “Hug your family close. You never know when you are creating your very last memory.”  Not long after I wrote that yesterday those came true, as we lost my grandmother.
Her heart simply stopped beating. She was tired and heartbroken from my mother’s passing last September. She was battling with Cancer herself and she was going to turn 90 years old this year.

4 Generations at my daughters 1st birthday.

4 Generations at my daughters 1st birthday.

I got the call yesterday of her collapsing and rushed to the hospital. As I was leaving our neighborhood a small deer ran across the road in front of me.

It was at that moment that I felt that my grandmother was saying goodbye to me.
It probably sounds strange but my grandmother hit at least 3 deer with her car in her lifetime. It may have been more than 3 even. Seeing that deer made me think of her and I knew at that moment she was running free.

My grandmother lived a full life, 89 years of life; up until this past December when she was diagnosed with Lung Cancer she had hardly ever been sick a day in her life. She still drove her own car and lived alone. She took care of herself, went to church every Sunday and truly enjoyed life. When people met her they couldn’t believe she was 89 maybe 75 but that was about it.

She was a God fearing woman who loved to write, sing, draw, and paint. She was very creative and the prayer warrior in our family.

She will be truly missed.