So many of you have written asking what happened to my writing. Why silence for three months? Did I give up this fight for the education and prevention of child sexual molestation?
On May 22, 2015, I had just settled into my bed to begin reading. It had been a long day of work followed by dinner with friends. Since it was near Memorial Day, my friends asked if I minded if we made a stop at the cemetery to place flowers on their son’s grave. He died at the age of six very unexpectedly. Of course I didn’t mind. I knew what it was like to lose a child — an infant son of mine died and I knew that broken, empty feeling of losing a child. I also knew what it was like to lose a sister at the age of thirteen. I had made hundreds of visits to the cemetery, so I gladly went with my friends to place yellow roses on their son’s grave.
As I rested in bed, my mind kept thinking of that scene at the cemetery. Something about it bothered me. There had been such a chill in the air that I asked to be excused to go wait in the car for my friends. What they didn’t know was I had a horrible, eerie feeling. I took a deep sigh and tried to shrug it off as a mama’s worrying. My kids live in several different states, and it had been since Christmas that I saw them and I guess I was just missing them a lot this night.
Little did I know.
Always trust a mother’s instincts!
My cell phone was laying right beside me and it began ringing. As soon as I looked, I knew something terrible was wrong! The caller ID showed it was my daughter-in-law and ever since texting became the thing to do, she has never once called me. She always communicates with me by text messaging.
I took a deep inhale of air, and hysterically answered the phone by saying, “What’s wrong? Who is it? Tell me NOW!!! Please tell me now!”
The person on the phone was actually my daughter-in-law’s mother. I remember crumbling up into a fetal position and screaming, “Tell me! Tell me what happened. Tell me NOW!”
She kept mumbling, “We tried. We did everything humanly possible. The paramedics arrived and they tried so hard. I’m so sorry.”
“Who? Tell me now!!!!”
“Mike.” Again, she kept saying, “Everything was done, but it was too late.”
After that, the room began spinning and moans came from deep inside me that can only come from a heart that has been shattered, torn, shredded, and utterly and completely broken.
My son. My second child. My son. My son. My son.
On May 22, 2015 when I was visiting the gravesite of the son of my friends, my own son was leaving this earth. And, that is the day a piece of my heart left forevermore.
This photo of Mike and I was taken on August 23, 2014 — just nine months before his death. We were having the most wonderful time as a family celebrating the marriage of my youngest child — Mike’s baby sister.
I will forever and always cherish this picture. It is a priceless treasure to me — truly a gift from God.
Life changes in an instant. Just when you think you might be standing on level ground something can come along and take your breath (and your heart) away.
So many people have showered my children and I with love that there could never be a large enough “thank you” to express my appreciation.
A very special thank you to my family of friends here, too. Thanks for your patience with my silence. Sometimes we’re just too broken to speak and that’s how I’ve been. Through prayer and the love and support of friends I’m beginning to feel stronger. But, the reality of Mike being forever gone from us has grieved my children and I in a way I cannot explain adequately with words. Every day, every hour of every day, I think of Mike. He left behind a most special wife and three beautiful children — and my heart can barely stand to think of the pain they are enduring each day. My pain as a mother has been magnified a thousand times over because Mike is missing from their lives, too.
I *hope* to get back to writing next week. In the meantime, I solicit your prayers for me and my children.
Thank you so much.