Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Day Suicide Changed My Saturday To-Do List

People that know me well know that I am a planner, and yes some may even say I am a bit of a “control freak,” which I suppose is totally true. I am admittedly much more of an action, than a sit back kind of person. I believe Vanilla Ice said it best in his 90s masterpiece of a ballad, “If there was a problem, Yo, I’ll, I’ll solve it!” 

Moving on…

One year ago yesterday, I was visiting my father who was going through a divorce. The purpose of the visit was for me to help him “replenish” his home with decor that he wasn’t swift enough to negotiate for in the litigation and also just to make sure he was doing well. I had already been up early on a ladder cleaning and decorating bookshelves when I realized I needed to hurry because I had a list of antique stores I love to visit in his town where I knew we could find some cute items. I had a plan for the entire day everything from shopping, lunch, playground to a much needed one on one “choose wiser next time Daddy” therapy session by yours truly later in the afternoon. Apparently life had a different to-do list in mind for me that day.

I had barely gotten out of the shower when Bill started knocking on the bathroom door, telling me my dad was on the phone and that he thought something was going on. At first I didn’t think much about it because every problem can be solved so much easier after you have applied a little mascara and lipstick. A few minutes later Bill came back and told me he really thought I needed to come out but he wouldn’t tell me what was happening. So I quickly got dressed, and as I marched out I mentally thought “what in the world could be going on now?” My life was already in a whirlwind, less than two months prior Brody had been diagnosed with ASD and here I was helping my dad with a divorce, so what problem could be occurring now? I turned the corner and made eye contact with my dad and knew that it was probably something serious by his expression. “Sweetie, your mother’s died.” I went into my “fix this” mode. A little side note about me; whenever there is a crisis I tend to function at my best, in some capacities I sort of emotionally shut off in order to do what needs to be done. My first priorities were speaking to my sister and brother and making sure they knew and were ok.

I’m going to fast forward through details of the next hour and half of absolute utter confusion (seriously no other word can describe it), but my dad, the amazing person that he is, agreed to drive me to my childhood home while Bill stayed in Fayetteville with Brody. When we arrived and I saw the amount of cars and the sheriff’s office parked out front, my immediate reaction was small town dramatics. I thought to myself someone had passed away so why in the world did we need all of this? We parked and I went to my sister and brother and then they told me that my mother had committed suicide. 

I won’t disclose the details of what occurred as there are things that are private and also this is my first time writing about this experience and it feels a bit awkward doing so on a place that has an address of “blogspot” in it. 

I had not seen my mother since my step-dad’s funeral when I was 8 month’s pregnant about 4 year's prior. I had made a decision to no longer have my mother in my life. This was not an easy decision and I know to some in her life it was viewed as a selfish decision. I knew I could no longer continue with the battles and knew that no matter what argument or ultimatum she was given things were more than likely not going to change. Once I knew I was going to become a mom, I did not want my want my child to see what I was and had experienced so it was a decision I made and I own it and take responsibility for it. And yes, I struggle every day with the guilt of my decision. 

Obviously, my Saturday to-do list changed drastically. Instead of antiquing and solving my dad’s feng shui problems, we were sitting in a funeral home planning my mom’s funeral. It’s crazy how in a moment your life can totally change forever. I never thought suicide would be a word that would be in my vocabulary. 

One of my dear friends has a perfect phrase she said to me. Excuse the language, “Everyone has their shit.” When you think about it, isn’t that statement one of the truest statements ever made? Although social media is great for scrapbooking life’s happy and fun moments, we truly never know what is occurring in people’s lives. No one’s life is perfect, no matter how much you think “they have it easy” or “they have the perfect life” it simply does not exist. When things like this happen in your life you will see some amazing people that show you love and kindness that you never expected. You will have people that drive for 4 hours to not speak to you but just so you see them sitting in a funeral pew. You have people that will come to you when you need it most and sit with you and cry with you in anger and eat an entire strawberry cake in your living room floor. You will have people that know to leave you alone because a lot of times that’s what you need most. Ultimately, when awful crap happens you have to focus on the examples I mentioned above because that is what will get you through.

I'm not entirely sure the purpose of why I am writing this post. Maybe just to say you just never know how life’s to-do list can change.