Pitty Potty Train, this is my stop

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I feel like it has been such a long time since my life changed unexpectedly and yet I have days where it stings so bad like it is so fresh and raw, the heaviness doesn’t last long and it actually lasts less each time it sneaks up on me. I long for the day where I can think about the past and not end up feeling like crap, not even for a minute, where when I am driving and a song comes on the reminds me of what was that I can continue to listen to it or sing it and not have tears stream down my face.

It isn’t like I think about it often, in fact I don’t even really have to try to not think about my marriage and how it all came crashing down, it is just easy to enjoy each day of life and live in each moment with a smile on my face. But then there are those days where something triggers the sadness, the betrayal, the deep ugliness of lonely. It can be a song, something someone says, a smell. The good thing (amongst many) about relocating 1600 miles away from where I spent my whole life is that I can drive all over and there is not 1 place that triggers those feelings. It is all new, a fresh start no doubt.

I know that I am not the only woman going thru a separation, a divorce, an end. I am not the 1st and will not be the last. So many people I know have had their fairy tales end as well in the last 2 years and I have connected with so many others. Sadly… I am not 1 to ride the pity potty train, and if I happen to choose to board that train for whatever reason for whatever short amount of time I know I will get off at the next stop & be okay again. I am not 1 to feel sorry for myself, although I did spend many lost moments the 1st days stuck in this state of mind, I could not control those thoughts and feelings. I want to say it is “normal” feeling like that and for blaming yourself even when there is not 1 thing you could have done to change the other persons mind or actions. For some it last a few days, some weeks, some months, some years and some blame themselves the rest of their lives. I myself could not carry on like that. Blame, guilt and pity hung over my head as long as I allowed them too, a few weeks perhaps. Can’t be sure exactly when I stop letting those feelings control me, I just know that it wasn’t too long.

We all have that in each 1 of us. The strength to not allow any feelings control our thoughts and emotions whether they be good or bad, the ability to choose how we will react to each situation. No matter how rough our past was or how rocky our present is, we can all control how we respond to each day. I choose happiness I choose strength I choose to try my best to see the best in each situation. This does not mean that I will not have days or moments when I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders and it doesn’t mean I will have no more days filled with tears but what it means that even when I allow myself to feel like a normal human and be sad for a moment or a full day that I will not stay in that state of mind, it means that I will look past the tears and know that moment will pass and I will smile again, a real smile that says I am strong and a choosing to live positive no matter how much crap I have or had in my lap.

We all have the ability to fill our hearts with faith and know that whatever we are going thru that our maker has a plan for us and will never leave our side. So many people preach how you should put your marriage 1st and how you should obey the vows and work thru whatever you are going thru to make it last. So many people have so much to say when people someone chooses to end their marriage or walk away from it as I did. They say God will guide you thru the rough times of marriage yada yada yada… Until you walk the path of pure in your face betrayal that ripped the hearts out of each 1 of your children and yourself, you cannot preach to me to “work it out” when there is nothing there to work out, when the other person becomes the enemy to your children and self, when I have to mend the hearts of each of them and myself. God put me on this path and He will see to it that we are guided each step. I see my marriage ending as God saying “I have something else in store for you” Not relationship wise but growth, change, faith, my time to blossom as a person, a woman a mother, a time for me to find me. And that is exactly what I am doing, thru each beautiful good day & moment, thru the smiles on each 1 of my children’s faces, thru the sound of their laughter and yes, thru the bad days, thru the tears.

Onward with a smile 🙂

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P.S. You are NOT alone! If you too are walking a rough road and need some guidance I would love to help you find your inner peace and happiness. Please feel free to contact me thru Ingenio. Let’s talk! http://life-coaching.ingenio.com/Coaching%20with%20Kelly

Mama Bear Plus 6

I wish Heaven had a phone…

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Lugene Ann Colby 01/01/1956-04/25/1993

My mama, my best friend, a woman FULL of spunk, love, endless dreams and laughs.

Me and her, her & I. Single mama of 1, ME

I could write for days about all the memories that I pray never leave my mind of her life & our relationship. But I will keep it short and sweet as this day I remember is not a celebration as her birthday would be, it is a day that stings me to the inner core of my being, the day I lost the only parent I ever had. The day my life as a daughter ended just.like.that.

April 25th, 1993 We were baptizing our 2 month old daughter at St John’s Catholic Church at 1:30PM. All our friends and family are there except for my grandma who had to work and could not join us and my mom, who was supposed to be there. I talked to her 2 days before that and she, in her very scratchy sounding voice said of course she would be there, she was off that Sunday and wouldn’t miss her 1st grandbaby’s baptism. But she wasn’t. I was mad. I kept looking for here to walk in the door and nothing. How could she do this? She knew this was important to us. She knows where the church is and said she was off so there should be no excuses for her to miss this. Baptism was beautiful but I was still upset. Maybe just maybe she would show up at the after party we had planned… What would her excuse be?

See I was rebuilding a great relationship with my mom during these last 2 months since the birth of my daughter since she had been very upset that I was going to be a 17 year old mother. She wanted more for me and felt that I had thrown it all away by keeping my baby. I knew from the time I saw the pink line on the test strip that she would flip out, that she would not want me to keep it, that she would be so very disappointed in me. I was her only daughter, she had high hopes for me and felt that this was a way to road block them all for myself. Plus no mother dreams of being a grandma at only 37! During my pregnancy we rarely talked and when we did we would argue and fight. As I got closer to my due date she began to realize she would have to accept this or we would never have a relationship, so we began to build. To build a new friendship and a new understanding of each other. It wasn’t the same fun exciting relationship we had as I was growing up, it was more of a mature “soon to be mother” to mother bond and relationship. It was what I was longing for so very much. She was there in the delivery room when I delivered cheering me on, to see her hold her granddaughter was a sight I will never forget! She fell in love, instantly and from that point on I knew we would all 3 be close. In the weeks that followed she had me meet her at the bars she hung out at, the bowling alley etc so she could show off her granddaughter! She was a young and proud grandma J

After leaving the church and still no sign of my mom we headed to my grandmas place of work to pick her up so we could head to the after party. As we pulled up there were cops everywhere by the front door, which is where we were supposed to pull in. She works at a retirement home and we see cops and ambulances there often, no worries. We get as close as we can and I can see my grandma walking towards to door, she is crying and crying hard. I am now thinking her favorite patient just died, oh no. As she approaching the car a few officers are also walking towards us. Hmm this is weird. I am getting the baby who is still all dressed in her white dress to show grandma in hopes of cheering her up. An officer reaches out and takes my baby from me as my grandma starts talking, she says “Kelly, its your mom.”  I say “What about my mom!? And why the hell are you taking my child from my arms!?” She then tells me that my mom has died. “What NO no she hasn’t she is home she isn’t at work.” My mom was a heavy equipment operator at the mines and it was a very dangerous place for her to work, many accidents had happened there and if she was to ever die, which of course no teens mom is ever going to die, but if she ever did it would be at work. Grandma stop this I say. “She is off today she told me so!” She says “She died, she died at home. She was very sick. We need to go with the officers and they will take us to her.” At this time I have NO clue where my infant is and I am leaning against the car wishing I could wake up. This is bullshit, it’s a lie. Not true not true at all. The officer with my baby walks over and wraps his arm around me and walks me to his car while another officer is basically holding my grandma up as she walks to the police car as well. We all get in and start driving. I am asking question after question and no one is answering them, they all keep saying we don’t have details yet etc. UGH! After what seems like a 2 hour car ride we get to St Joesphs hospital. “Okay she is in the hospital, she has not died she is just very sick. People that have died are not in hospitals! What is wrong with these people telling me false info. See grandma they got you all upset and she is just in the hospital. She is going to be okay, she just needs us here.”  No one speaks…  The officers, carrying my baby in her car seat refusing to let me carry it,  walk us in the emergency room area and thru the halls and then into a room where there is another officer sitting and my mom on a table covered with a blanket to her neck and a tube still hanging out of her mouth. My grandma very loudly loses control and begins to cry out to her daughter, her 1 and only daughter. The officer holds her upright and keeps her from hitting the floor. As I slowly approach the table looking at her intently thinking she will ask me what the hell I am staring at I realize this is real… She is not moving and she looks so different. I walk up next to her face with my grandma. We both are talking to her, almost yelling at her. This can’t be happening! This is my mother, the only parent I have. I am 17 I can’t be without my mom! Why would God do this!? What happened!? Why didn’t they save her!? She was SO young SO healthy! Our lives at this moment are forever changed…

My mom died at her home from a mixture of the flu & pneumonia with her long time girlfriend there as she is the 1 that called the paramedics and after working on her for over 30 minutes they pronounced her gone at 1pm. There was entirely too much fluid build up in her lungs for them to get any oxygen into them. She was sick for a week and saw 2 docs that told her she had a cold and to take cough syrup. Not 1 of them took the time to take a chest x-ray or any blood work etc. Not 1 of them took their time to really listen to her and diagnose her correctly. Wrong doing on their part, YES! Did we sure them and their practice, YES! Did we win, YES and NO! We won the lawsuit and they financially paid their dues but then again we didn’t win as we still didn’t have her. We still had a HUGE hole in our hearts and lives that can never be filled… Would she be here today if they did their job better!? Nobody can answer that! But damn it she would have had a chance! Beating myself up for years over cursing her and being angry at her for not being at my childs baptism when she was at home taking her last breath…UGH! For many years my faith in God was 0. After all how could God take my mom from me when I am at church baptizing my baby!? There is no good mighty powerful God that would do that! So for years I blocked out any and all things that was God related, until my mid 20s when I was able to really find faith on my own thru several life experiences that I endured. I then came to realize that it was just time for her maker to call her home. There is nothing any of us can do about that no matter how much or how good of care she would and should have received.

I have many moments in my life where I wish Heaven had a phone, just to talk to her 1 last time… ALL the things I want to tell her, talk to her about, ask her! The list is endless…  The 1st thing I think I would say is how much I love her, because I just never told her enough and how I miss her beyond words. How I am so sorry that I didn’t stop by her house on my way to the church at noon even though I was right up the street and just assumed I would see her at the church. How I find SO much of her in my own parenting and the things I say to my own kids sounds like it is coming from her mouth! I would ask her if she is proud of me & the person I am today, even though I was once a teen parent and was destined for failure as so many people assume.  I would give anything to see what she would have to say about all these grandchildren she has and how amazing they are. How she would spend her time with them and teach them to bowl like a pro like herself and how to play a top notch game of pool. I would give anything to see her have her dream of owning land with a horse, and the smile on her face after accomplishing that since she was saving every last penny for it before she passed.  And SO much more!

Life is short! You just never know when your time will be up or the when the time will be up for the people that you hold close! Be patient with the people you love and cherish them and the moments with them for the time you have is limited. Tell them you love them! Forgive them! Like they say, life is like an hour glass and when it runs out of time you can’t turn it over and start it again. And if you are lucky enough to still have 1 or both parents, call them. Tell them they are important to you, you will be SO glad you did!

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Mama Bear Plus 6

In Just 1 Year…

It has taken me a year to even attempt to share a small portion of this story with anyone outside my small circle of close friends & family & even now I will be very selective on details, not sure there will ever be enough time between then and the present that will make me want to dig up and share those deep ugly memories. It is not something that I thought I would ever want to talk about or share with anyone or relive, but it is amazing of what just 1 year can do in terms of healing, strength, grace and faith. So today, 1 year to the month when darkness fell, I celebrate victory! Victory for my children that have grown and have become even more amazing stronger individuals and victory for myself to have picked up the scattered & shattered pieces of our lives in my weakest moments and have slowly but diligently sorted thru what pieces we needed and what pieces we didn’t, gathered almost all new pieces and have created brand new life for us!

Let me start by briefly taking this back to days, weeks, months and years before April  2012.

Met a guy (I met this guy as a single mother of 4 daughters) became friends, fell in love, got married, had 2 children, started 2 businesses, bought a house… happens to many many people. Isn’t that the way it is suppose to be!? Living the dream, or so I thought!

Yes I was married before to my high school sweetheart. We were very young when we got together, 15, married at 18 and over the years began to grow apart. By the time we were 21 our marriage was on its way to over and by the time I was 22 I was divorced, even sadder, we have no contact and haven’t for 10 years, not even with his children. Most dream of falling in love with that 1 person and staying with them for life as I did but life as we know it hardly ever goes as planned. But enough about going WAY back; I will leave that for another day.

Happily married to my best friend, life was great, it was as I thought it should be (little did I know…). We hardly fought, we vacationed, we partied (although he drank WAY more often than I did, which I didn’t really care for), we laughed, we worked hard, we cried, we were connected to an awesome church, we lived our lives surrounded by many amazing friends (friends who I will be forever grateful for that were there for me & the kids when the darkness fell) People were envious of our love & happiness. I counseled friends on love and relationships, I even played dating service and hooked up everyone I knew that was single because I felt like everyone should have the love in their life that I had. I spent many moments lost in thought of how this was it and I was set with my lifelong partner and all life could do was get even better and for years that seemed to be the case. We were planning on moving to WA State and opening a business. We were set to leave in May, to pack up life as we knew it and move. We had a house set up, he had a job lined up that would sustain us until the business that I would put all my time and energy into, got off the ground. Crazy when they say Man plans God laughs because it is so true…

There was nothing in my mind, heart or soul that led me to believe things were about change, drastically, nothing… How did I not know? How did I not see this happening? Why is it that my gut instinct didn’t kick in? How did things get so twisted in our lives that made him think that it was okay to betray us, to destroy us, to throw all we had worked for away after 8 years of our lives together…WTF!? And I was too blind to see it. Blinded by the wonderful marriage I thought we had, blinded by a love I thought was true from both ends… Love is blind they say, guess “they” are right.

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Anyone have an “unlucky” month in their life!? I do, it is April. I lost my 37 year old mother on April 25th, 1993. I lost my white cat Sugar in April of 1995 as she suffered a horrible death by coyotes in our yard. I also lost a friend to accidental suicide in April 1995. I have been in 3 car accidents, 2 in April. Oh God I get it, just not my month and that’s okay, I didn’t dwell or focus on all that as April approached over the years, okay well maybe I did lay awake some nights in every April thinking about the negative but I didn’t let it control my mind or life. In April 2012 just as the month was almost over with another good streak of good Aprils, BAM! The day this all came out and knocked me to my knees is unimportant, days & times etc are all a blur anyways. The tremendous amount of pain that hits a person when they hear devastating news that their husband, best friend had betrayed his family, more than once & I didn’t see it coming is unreal. Was it the drinking!? Would this all have happened if it wasn’t for the alcohol!? Why couldn’t our marriage be rocky 1st? Why didn’t we argue more? Why did I let my heart get SO involved and let my wall all the way down when I swore I wouldn’t years back when we got together? Why couldn’t we have been falling apart so my heart would have thickened and prepared for the end? Why was there NO notice? Sudden SUCKS! I feel like this would have been easy for me to walk away had I been preparing myself and I never got that chance. And then more questions that will never have answers came… What did I do wrong? Why wasn’t I good a good enough wife and why didn’t he talk to me before it went too far? Why was this family that loved him endlessly not enough to keep him from hurting us!? What was he thinking!? And the list goes on… Talk about feeling worthless and like the biggest failure ever. Not only was I divorced once, now twice, wow nice… NOT what I wanted to my children to have to go thru or witness. There are so many things I wish I could have protected them from seeing, feeling and hearing but the things we go thru in life either make us or break us and it is up to us to choose which path we will take, I have to say these children are fighters and have turned all the negative in their life into strength and power and dreams. They are what got me thru this, thru everything that has crossed my path in life. In the days & weeks to follow: no sleep, no showers, no eating, I couldn’t even think straight. Friends were stopping by to check on us and it was as if I wanted to run with my kids to a cave somewhere far away where none of us could be hurt by anyone and no one would talk to us.  Although I can say now that I am thankful for everyone support & love even when I tried to push them away. Everyone had SO many questions and I had no answers for them. And worst thing ever, nobody believed it. I had and still have friends and family that feel me ending the marriage was & is wrong, that I should “work it out” that I should give it time that I should be more forgiving that I should give him another chance that I should “think about the kids needing their father” and so on. I have never been good at doing what other people think I should do, they do NOT walk in my shoes, this is my life, my children’s lives I WILL do what is best for us and that is to remove us from heartache and pain. God gave me these children to protect, nourish and raise with morals and respect and that is what I will do. I have been asked over and over “What about your kids being raised in a broken home?” Excuse me!? What about our happy, fun & love filled, crazy most of the time, never a dull moment, loud, laughter filled house is broken!? If you can find something please let me know! Broken would be to stay in the negative ugliness of betrayal and heartache raising them to ignore hurt and pain and no trust! We don’t live there anymore! We are free!

I was now, overnight, a single mother of 6, 5 daughters and 1 son. They needed me, they needed me to be their strength and they were mine. They needed me to show them we would be okay. They needed & still need to know they have me and I will NEVER leave their side or betray them, ever… We needed to get thru this together and we did and we are. In the months that followed all this nastiness I had some tough choices to make, our house was being sold on short sale and I knew I needed to move out of it somehow someway with 5 kids still at home. Talk about raw knees from spending most hours of the days & nights on them praying endlessly for some guidance some light some hope, a glimpse is all I needed and God showed me so much more than that. I had emailed the wonderful couple that we had planned to rent their house in WA the week after this all happened and told them that my marriage had ended and that I would not be making the move, after all how in the world would a single mother pack up her 5 kids (and 2 dogs), pack up all our stuff, leave her oldest daughter behind, and move over 1600 miles away to a city with no job promised!? Ya ,sounds about crazy doesn’t it!? The home owners were sad and so was I. This house was meant for us, I felt it from the day I spoke to them on the phone and read their very 1st email to me offering their house to our family to lease for a year and to possibly purchase. I pictured our family there, living on the lake, enjoying our new surroundings, making the best of our lives in a beautiful place and starting a new chapter in our lives. My vision came to an end that nasty day in April. No way would I make it alone on the road and in a new place.  The home owners wished me their best and went about their lives as I tried to as well. What was I going to do? Where would we live? I started looking at houses in Tucson and it felt wrong in so many ways… Why am I going to allow this 1 person who has taken so much from us already take my dreams of moving to this place with my kids away!? I wasn’t!

Now it is the 1st week of June, I had cried and wallowed enough! It was time to take back my life and make things happen. I woke up at 2am and sat up and said out loud, we are moving; we are leaving this place and starting over. I WILL follow my dreams I WILL make a new life for my kids. Hitting my knees again praying for a sign this was what I was supposed to do I asked God to please show me something, speak to me thru someone anyone! I emailed the home owners figuring the house was long gone by then. Then I waited, I wanted to start looking for another house but I waited… 2 days and the home owner emailed me back. She stated that her father had passed away in May and they had been SO busy with handling their pain and his affairs that they had not rented the house yet and it was mine if I still wanted it. Thank you God! Here was my sign! I wanted to leave that day! But in order to do this the right way I needed to plan it out to the T so there were little surprises.  And I did, reserved the truck, bought and sold a bunch of cars to rack up my savings and planned a move date, July 17th. As the date grew closer I grew more scared. I have lived here all my life, all I know is right here and I am going to drive away from it all into the very unknown, YIKES! Preparing myself to leave behind my 19 year old child was HARD! Knowing she would be right behind me right after she was done with school and knowing all my friends would look after her and be there for her is what gave me the strength to go and not worry too much. My kids had SO many mixed feelings about leaving, of course leaving their friends was making them very sad but the desire to see a new place and be near the water kept them excited. Regardless of what they thought at that moment we were moving. I as their mother had to do what was best for them and me and staying in Tucson just wasn’t it. The movers came and we loaded our stuff on the 16th and emptied our house aside from what we packed in suitcases, the moving truck left the 18th. We stayed at my daughters for 3 days and nights spending every moment I could with her… The wee hours of the 19th we loaded up our suburban kissed & hugged and bawled like a baby as we were walking out the door and left AZ. There were countless moments where I almost backed out, even after the truck left with everything I own in it I wanted to back out but I knew I couldn’t and wouldn’t. We made it to WA on the 20th. I will never forget the feeling of driving to our new house thru the neighborhood and how speechless I was about the priceless beauty all around us.  And then pulling into the driveway and crying, not tears of sadness but tears of joy, tears of accomplishment, tears of gratitude… We are home, we are free, we will all be okay! When people ask how we did it, how we made that move, my answer “On faith & gasoline & the wings of prayer”!

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We have been here for 9 months. It has been an adventure to say the least, a wonderful one that will never be forgotten. SO elated that I am able to say that my oldest daughter and her boyfriend really were right behind us, they sold everything, packed their car and moved up here end of September! All my babies home where they belong, where we can grow together until their futures take them to new places and on their own exciting journeys! We are all new people in so many ways. It has taken me months to be able to go out in the community and make any connections here. I was happy to stay home, work from home and never go out (anyone who knows me knows that is SO NOT me!) unless I was shopping quickly. I was healing, growing, focusing, creating a new me from the inside out, etc. Little by little things are changing, I am now able to get out and have a life here. I actually have made friends in my community & Spokane and enjoy being away from home when I can be and doing my best to truly enjoying all this place has to offer.

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I have learned that nothing I did or didn’t do caused the end to our marriage and our life together. I refuse to own his mistakes & doings. This has been a huge thing for me to come to terms with and there are days that I still ask myself why but those days of sorrow come less and less and most of my days are filled with happiness and joy with my head held high knowing life goes on no matter how broken my heart is. When your life falls apart you can blame, make horrible choices, give up, etc or you can fight like hell for your happiness, peace and hope and turn what was once a tragedy into a blessing and see it as God’s push into something more than I could have ever planned for myself. He guided me here to this beautiful place in an amazing community, I have no clue as to why yet, but as with most things in time I will be able to look back and see how the plan was all laid out by Him. Our future is bright! The kids have SO many plans and dreams and I am so wrapped up in witnessing their beauty and lives, thank you God for another chance at life! I myself am working towards my dreams, I am creating a passion filled career where I can fuel and move others! I have always had “save the world” syndrome and now I will be able to utilize that thru my work, may not save the world but helping people is right up my alley!

People have brought up the fact that I was SO broken just 1 year ago and expecting me to say I will never date again and never love again, even heard that I may turn gay, LOL! I am only bent now, not broken. I do like knowing my heart is safe from being broken, I do like knowing I can’t be hurt or let down if I don’t trust again. I am in my safe zone, I am content to just be me and being single for as long as time & the man above allows, which could be the rest of my life. I need to allow God to guide that part of my life for me and right now He is saying be a mama to those babies and do your best and if and when the time is right He will guide me to someone special and if it never happens I am okay knowing that I will be surrounded by endless love thru my family, friends, children and their children and so on. I am okay with having 1 rocking chair on my front porch with my lap full of grand babies when I am old and gray if that is the plan He has for me.

I want to express my deepest gratitude to God for guiding me out of the darkness and into the light of life, to my kids for being the most amazing, inspiring, strongest people I will ever know, to Tammy for being the most awesome true spiritual friend to me and for always being there day or night to walk me thru the very dark moments & for always helping me see things differently, and last but not least to countless friends and some family who showed support to my family past & present & talked me thru many times of desperation and fear. I would not be who I am today without all these people in my life, I may not even be here if it wasn’t for them, everyone of them helps make life worth living.

Mama Bear Plus 6