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A Little Bit of Sanity and A Lot of Chaos: Signs

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Signs

I'm not sure about this post, but I figured I need to practice writing and I have something that is very special to me, so I'm going to write about it. I have wanted to for a long time. I just didn't know how to put it into words. I tell people about it, easily, but for some reason writing it down wasn't something I was going to do. Whether anyone reads it or not, I don't care. But I want it documented for my boys to see. I am not a writer, but I think I do a pretty good job. This post is actually a writing assignment over at Mama's Losin' It. And so, if I get the courage, I will link it there.

The assignment: 2. If you were the type to believe in "signs," describe a "sign" you have received from someone. (Inspired by Matt's post, About An Hour Ago...)

I believe in signs. Wholeheartedly. My story is a sign from beyond. A sign of what was to come. My mom died three and a half years ago. June 27, 2006. Many of you know that, newbies may not. It's hard to believe it has been that long. She was young. She owned a business. She had Frontotemporal Dementia and ALS (Lou Gherig's Disease). She. Was. Amazing. She cared about every single person that came into her life. Nearly to a fault. She was a wife, a mother, an addiction counselor, a Sprite addict, a chocolate hoarder and a spender. She loved a good garage sale, rollerblading and biking. She loved her children, her husband, her family and her grandchild. She. Was. Amazing. The last few months, no, years, of her life were stressful, to say the least. We believe she was suffering from dementia for several years before it was diagnosed. Her illness took over her body quickly, thank God. I say that, in all honesty, because it is true. She would have been miserable if it was a slow and agonizing death. It was agonizing, but at least it didn't last years. Thank God for my Dad. God bless him. He took care of her the way she wanted it to be. At home. Not "in a Home." Thank God for Hospice. She was diagnosed with dementia in August '05 and diagnosed with ALS in March '06. Along with the ALS came Hospice. They came into the house and helped take care of her during the day so that my dad could work.

(Okay, crying. Need a break.)

There were two other significant deaths in my life within months of this. My dear friend's husband died and one of my best friends in high school died. It was already enough.

The night before my mom died I had a dream. It was a strange dream. I was sitting with my mom in a cafeteria and we were having a conversation. The old mom. Not the mom who wandered and got lost in Target, didn't know who we were, or choked on a piece of watermelon, which resulted in me doing the Heimlich, because she was having trouble swallowing. The mom who talked and listened and breathed. She looked across the cafeteria and nodded her head towards someone and said, "Hey, there's your friend, _____ from high school." (I know his name, I just don't want to post it for the world to see.) And I said, "Mom, there's no way that could be _______, he died a few months ago." Then I woke up. Crap.

The next morning I was packing up for an already planned trip to my parents' for a long visit and taking P with me. At 7 something my dad called. My mom had just passed away. I cried. I died inside. I remembered at that moment my dream from last night and knew it was my mom saying goodbye.

I then proceeded to read the books by Janis Amatuzio, Forever Ours: Real Stories of Immortality and Living from a Forensic Pathologist and Beyond Knowing: Mysteries and Messages of Death and Life from a Forensic Pathologist. I read them the week after she died. Maybe a little too soon. I cried through each book. Every single time I picked it up. There were some times that I had to put it down and pull myself together. I wouldn't recommend reading them so soon after a death, unless you feel like waking up with salty, crusty eyelashes, swollen eyes, and a stuffy nose. Maybe that's your thing. It totally ruined my perfect eyeliner and mascara.

After that I've had a few other moments where I could feel her. Signs that I knew she was still around. I was standing with P one night while he was crying from an ear infection and I could feel something over my shoulder. P looked up and smiled at whatever it was. I knew it was her. I could feel her there. I cried, of course. Each other time I've had a sign from her it's been with one of my kids. I LOVE IT. I love it more than anything.

I feel so fortunate that she got to see me get married and meet one of her grandchildren. I cry for my sisters that they won't have those experiences. But I will share with them this story and they will know that she is with them on those "big" days.

Miss you mom.


Porter's Baptism, 2006


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10 Comments:

Blogger Life with Kaishon said...

This made me cry this morning Christy! Your Mom sounds like a very wonderful person. A very special lady. I am glad you had a mom like that and I am glad you got to share so many of lifes special joys with her!

December 10, 2009 at 7:17 AM  
Blogger our b life said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. No doubt your mom is with you and your family always. If we open our eyes and hearts it is amazing what pours in.

December 10, 2009 at 9:25 AM  
Anonymous Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

Your mom was obviously very special to you just like mine was to me. So nice that she didn't have to go to "a home." My dad did the same for my mom, taking care of her at home so your story reminded me of him too.

Visiting from Writer's Workshop.

December 10, 2009 at 3:19 PM  
Anonymous Petra said...

What a touching post. I have such fond memories of your whole family, and your mom long before she was ill. I was so sorry to hear of her passing. Reading things like this makes me remember to charish that I still have both my parents, my mom in particular is my best friend (aside from Jason). Thank you for that.

Incidentally, I'm sure you've gone by Kristy for a long time, but it's so weird to see that. In my mind you are always Kirsten Brown. :)

December 10, 2009 at 7:47 PM  
Blogger Los said...

I've had dreams involving friends and family who are no longer around, and I woke up at peace.

My older brother has been dead for 15 years ... but sometimes in my parents house, I can still get an overwhelming smell of him (not sure if that is weird).

December 11, 2009 at 1:40 PM  
Anonymous Marija @ Holding Court said...

I lost my father 3 years ago the day before Christmas Eve. I haven't had the courage to think about the signs. This is a hard season for me and your post was inspirational. I hope my kids, like yours, see their grandfather. I recently wrote about my mother. Your post has given me the courage to write about my father. Thank you.

December 11, 2009 at 4:27 PM  
Anonymous Marija said...

ps - I'd love your feedback once I post about my dad!

December 11, 2009 at 5:25 PM  
Blogger The Smiths said...

Kirsten-
Beautifully and perfectly written. Your boys, and your sisters, will thank you someday for sharing these priceless experiences with them. I love you, Kirst. And I miss your mom, too. JENN

December 12, 2009 at 3:36 PM  
Blogger Leah said...

This is a a beautiful post, thank you for sharing this story. I'm sure you miss her every day, but you must wish you could talk to her these days, who else would understand better about having three little ones to take care of?! She sounds like a fantastic woman and she sure raised a fantastic daughter.

December 12, 2009 at 11:38 PM  
Blogger Leah said...

P.S. I remember readin Matt's post on his blog and bawling my eyes out.

December 13, 2009 at 7:49 AM  

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