Friday, October 5, 2012

October - Take Two

 So, it's October again. It's Clergy Appreciation Month, Pregnancy Loss and Infant Loss Awareness Month, Rett Syndrome Awareness Month, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, National Cyber Security Awareness Month, Dwarfism Awareness Month, National Squirrel Awareness Month, Celiac Sprue Awareness Month, National Down Syndrome Awareness Month, National Lupus Erythematosus Awareness Month, National Physical Therapy Month, National Spina Bifida Awareness Month, World Blindness Awareness Month, Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month, 3D Ultrasound Awareness Month, National Infertility Awareness Month and Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

It is important to recognize all of these causes and to recognize the awareness they are trying to raise. Though my life has only been personally touched by two of these, I find it important to share all of these with you.

Now, I want to again bring up the fact that it is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Last year I had posted this explaining my own personal story about my mom. This year, I want to paint a different picture. Pardon me if this is all over the place, I want to write this without editing and without changing anything. This is straight from my heart, through my fingers and onto this page. 

My mom has been gone now for 16 years, 3 months, 12 days. This also equals to 849 weeks, 142,752 hours, 8,565,120 minutes, or 513,907,200 seconds. Without my mom. I miss her more than I could ever say. I can't even begin to describe the void that I feel every single day. 

When Joe and I talk about our family and children, I explain to him that I am blessed to have Macey and Delaney. I was never supposed to be able to get pregnant without the help of fertility medicine. But I did. And I am extremely blessed to experience that on top of gaining a beautiful step daughter. And when we talk about our family I always tell him I want one more. I try to explain that I feel like our family isn't complete yet, that one more little life is missing. And now that I think about it, like REALLY think about it... maybe I am looking for someone to fill the void that was left by my Mom 16 years ago. 

Now, Im no therapist. And please don't mistake my last paragraph for a confession to us trying for a baby (we are not, and I am happily taking my birth control pill at the same time everyday). But... that seems to make sense to me. It's funny that has never occured to me until right this moment.

I was in the shower a few days ago... I could hear Delaney playing in the next room while watching Dora. I stopped to think.... I want my daughters to know me as ME someday, on top of just seeing me as their parent. I want them to grow up and get to know what kind of a woman I am. Because I have no idea what kind of a woman my mom was. I don't know what views she had. I don't know what her dreams were. I have no idea what goals she had. I'll never know what it would be like to discuss life with her. I can't call her and have her tell me I'll survive motherhood when it gets hard. I will never be able to ask her what she thinks about anything. 

But I want to be around for my girls. I want them to know the woman I am. I want them to experience everything I never got to with my own mom. And it's me going through all of it for the first time. But in reality, I'll have no idea what I'm doing. 

I talk to my mom often. But I don't hear her talk back. I want to know WHO she was. Hearing stories about her, while helpful, isn't the same. It's just... not.. the same.

I get angry. All the time. Because she should be here. There is no GOOD reason she isn't. A monster shot and killed her. She was ripped away from her family at a time that we needed each other the most. And no matter what anyone tells me - I will never, ever forgive him for that. 

It's easy to see these words and feel sorry for me, but remain detached. But I don't want anyone's pity or need anyone to feel sorry for me. I'm a strong person. Sometimes in life you are dealt a shitty hand, but you push through and you become even stronger. And I have. BUT - what I do want is for you all to take a minute and see my mother as a woman, how I try to see her everyday. She was more than a name on a screen. Think about that. She was a woman. And this happened to her. 

You all know someone who is experiencing domestic violence whether you realize it or not. It may not be obvious. It may not be physical. But it's happening. And that person who is experiencing it needs you. This is not saying to bombard them with questions or yell at them to leave. You just have to BE THERE. Be the ear when they are ready to talk. Be the arms when they need a hug. This can make all the difference in the world.

If you follow pop culture news at all, I'm sure you've seen the pictures and read that Rhianna is hanging around with Chris Brown again. I see this and it makes me so angry. If she was my friend I would want to drill some sense into her, has she forgotten about this?!? BUT, I would have to instead tell her that I cared about her and be careful not to try and control her, because I am sure he is controlling her enough.

The news is filled with stories of celebrities who are arrested (or accused) of domestic violence. And while I can get angry at Rhianna for running back to the arms of her abuser and sending a bad message to those who look up to her, there are people who look up to those who actually do the damage. This is unacceptable. It's the sports stars and the actors and the reality stars that people look up to showing us that it's ok to hurt others. Children see this and think it's ok.... And THAT angers me. 

We need to teach our children that it is unacceptable to act that way and it is unacceptable to let anyone treat you bad. I hope that I raise my daughters to not take shit from anyone. And I hope all of you reading this will do the same.

I hope that if you take nothing else from this..... take the knowledge that it can happen to ANYONE. What happened to my mom can just as easily happen to someone you love. Be there for them. Their story can end up different than my moms. 


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