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I'm a mother of 3 who started blogging as a way to share our many adventures and to expand beyond the everyday "mommy world". While there IS so much more to us mommies than the title, there is very little that doesn't in some way or another lead us back to or influence our children...if anything. So, I hope you enjoy following our family's randomness, because as all moms know- you can never anticipate what tomorrow will bring! Thanks for visiting and have a blessed day! :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Three Years Ago Today

Three years ago today, my brother was still alive.  Three years ago today, my brother died.  It doesn't seem like that long ago.  Three years ago today, my family's world turned completely upside down in more ways than one.  I've been thinking about writing a book about our (primarily my) journey.  In honor of Matt's angel-versary, I thought I'd share a small portion with you today.  Warning: it's a dark post and this is only the beginning of the story.  There is hope to come and much of the story has yet to happen, much less be written.  Perhaps some of you have lost a loved one to suicide and can relate.  I hope this helps you, not hurts you.  It's a complicated pain like no other I've ever experienced.  I wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemy...and that's the honest truth.

"He's not ok"

I still remember it like it was yesterday.  As I sat in the library blogging about nothing of importance, the librarian approached me, asked my name and told me to call my husband and that it was an emergency.  I walked to the pay phone, worried about what constituted an emergency, yet kept my cool considering I had our only vehicle and perhaps he was just stranded and needed to get somewhere fast.  I was about to dial collect when Justin walked through the door.  I started to say, “Hey, I just got your message.  What’s going on?” but before I’d uttered two words, he was talking over me and walking right past me into the library.
“Where are your things?”
He made it to my work station before I did and quickly shut my laptop and stuffed it into the bag, not even bothering to turn it off first.  I mistook his distress for anger.  “What did I do?  Why is he so angry?” I thought. 
“What’s wrong?  What’s going on?” is all I could say. 
“I’ll tell you outside.  Not in here.”
We walked out the door and that’s when I spotted my uncle Kenny standing in the parking lot waiting for us.  A wave of panic hit me and I immediately thought of our kids.  “Did something happen to them?  Are they ok?  Oh, God, what has happened?  Please, please let them be ok.”  I stopped abruptly and demanded that Justin tell me what was going on. 
“Justin, what is it?  Why is Kenny here?  You’re scaring me!”  I rarely, if ever, use his first name to address him.
His expression softened, and I could see such sadness in his eyes, like he knew what he was about to say would crush me and he couldn’t bear to see it happen.  He was right. 
Squaring my shoulders with his and looking directly into my eyes he said, “Your mom called.  Your brother tried to kill himself.” 
I don’t even know how to describe the feeling that came over me...but I'll try.  Relief that the kids were ok, immediate guilt for thinking that, shock at what I’d just heard, and the inability to comprehend any of it.  Then something in me broke.  Devastation took over.  I lost control and it literally felt like someone (or something) else took over my body.  I watched myself wailing from somewhere up above and was powerless to silence it.  My legs gave out from under me and I fell to my knees. 
I know everyone inside the library must have heard me and I was thankful that my loving husband had the forethought not to tell me inside.  We sat there on the sidewalk, Justin holding me, as I continued to wail, cry, and panic.  Fear gripped my very heart.  A lady walked past us with a look of concern on her face.  She could tell something was terribly wrong, but that stopping to ask might be considered insensitive or intrusive so she continued on her way, careful not to stare.  Such a small thing, but her compassion is remembered.  I think Justin noticed her too and decided it was time to try to get me to the car. 
So sweetly he asked, “Do you think you can stand up?  Do you think you can walk?” 
He helped me up and, in addition to the heavy laptop case, carried most of my weight as I tried to put one foot in front of the other.  It wasn’t until we were standing next to the car that I processed exactly what Justin had said. 
“Wait!  He tried to kill himself, or he did kill himself?”  Maybe this wasn’t as bad as I thought.  Maybe Matt would be ok. 
With a look expressing a wish to tell me what I wanted to hear, he replied, “All I know is what your mom told me.  That’s all she said.” 
Kenny said nothing.  I suppose I knew then; I just didn’t want to believe it.  If Matt were alive, he would know and he would have told me that he was in the hospital somewhere or something to give me even the slightest bit of hope or comfort.
Justin took the keys from me, helped me into the car, and drove to my grandparents’ house.  Kenny followed.  Shaking, trembling, rocking back and forth in the seat and completely unable to keep still, I pleaded with God the entire way, “Oh, God.  Please let him be ok.  Let him be alive.  Please!  Maybe he’s in a coma, maybe he’s badly hurt but please, please, please!  Say he’s still alive!”  As we neared Nana and Papaw’s house, Justin cautioned me to wait for him before I got out of the car, apparently concerned that I may pass out if I got up too fast.  I didn’t listen, though.  As soon as the car stopped I darted out and ran towards the door.  I ran through the breakfast room, into the kitchen and peered at my grandfather who was standing in the den. 
“Is he ok?!” I asked with a desperation that surprised even me. 
With deep sadness Papaw replied, “No, honey.  He’s not ok.”
And there ended the denial; he was gone.  There was no “Well, he’s in critical condition right now” or “I don’t know, honey, we just have to get to the hospital as quickly as possible and find out” or “Your mom will call as soon as she knows something.”  The translation of my grandfather’s “He’s not ok” was “He is dead.”  How did this happen?  Even three years later it still makes no sense to me.  He can’t be gone.  That’s just not possible…But somehow…It is.  At some point amid a flood of tears, a silence fell and quickly broke with my simple, but impossible wish. “I want my brother back.”

 "God's loyal love couldn't have run out,
   his merciful love couldn't have dried up.
They're created new every morning.
   How great your faithfulness!
I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over).
   He's all I've got left."
Lamentations 3:22-24
The Message

God has remained faithful and ever-present with us on this journey and I hope to have the opportunity to share some of those instances with you in time.  He is, and has been, our help in times of trouble.  His faithfulness endures forever.  He is, and has been, our calm among the storm.  His faithfulness endures forever.  We will take heart, for He has overcome the world and nothing is impossible with Him!  His faithfulness endures forever.  Trouble will come, but joy comes in the morning!  His faithfulness endures forever. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this.  May you be encouraged and blessed today.


  1. Oh, sweetie! Even though it has been 3 years, My heart still breaks for you like it was yesterday. Matt would be so proud of how you have handled everything- Just like I am. I love you.


  2. Thank you, Karyn. Your friendship is such a treasure. Love you, too.