Soar on wings like eagles

Eagle_closeupAnyone who knows me knows I love Bald Eagles. Growing up my parents shared their love of this bird, due in part to their hometown, Decorah, IA. It’s a popular area for Bald Eagles and when we would road trip to visit family we would always keep an eye out for one. Dad said we’d get $5 for everyone we saw (still waiting to collect).

I never knew how this bird would become my saving grace in coping with my mother’s cancer. When her hair started to fall out from chemo, mom got together with her sisters to shave her head. She looked amazing. I wish I would have done it with her but my head has a dent in it. Regardless she looked beautiful. One day she was probably asking me to do something and I got sassy with her and called her “Bald Eagle.” She gave me a look but I quickly recovered and let her know it was a symbol of strength and grace. She liked it and the name stuck. Continue reading →

Words to live by

IMG_7943When my mom was diagnosed, it brought on so many emotions. I was in the middle of a quarter-life crisis (it’s a real thing), graduating college, ending a relationship, moving out for the first time, applying for jobs and THEN my best-friend mom was diagnosed with cancer. I needed advice. I wanted someone to tell me it was ok, that she would be alright, I would be alright, my family would be alright and life wouldn’t end.

To cope with the fear of the unknown, I found myself gravitating towards quotes and poems. Whether it was on strength, love, grief or friendship I started saving these in a homemade journal I received from my cousin. I still have it and will write down new quotes whenever I find them. You can find a lot of them on my Pinterest board. Continue reading →

Getting through the hard days.

74bbcd1045617cfdfc240e5a38480681 Some days are hard and some days are even harder. Last night was a really hard one. Over the last month I’ve been trying to cope with loss and understand how and why some experience more loss than others. I know everyone has their own battle(s), but some just seem more obvious than others but regardless loss hurts. It doesn’t make one loss any less than the other. But to some holding onto that loss and grief can be a sign of weakness. As if there is a time frame for grief and “getting over” someone or something. To those people I would say, “it is really easy to say that when you aren’t the one experiencing those emotions.” You don’t have to go through your day seeing people live a life you once knew or you wish you could experience. Logging into social media, you see so much joy (which is great) but on a hard day it can make it even harder. People having babies, spending time with their parents and friends, and it’s easy to start to compare and break yourself down because your life doesn’t live up to that picture. That’s my struggle. Continue reading →

Sympathetic pain and fears

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Mom’s bench in her hometown Decorah, IA

Every step of life brings its challenges no matter who you are and where you are in your life. Something new always pops up. Losing my mom was something I never could have prepared for even though I was able to be with her while her health declined. Regardless it changed me.

Having Hayden has changed me way more than I could have ever imaged. I truly know what it’s like to want to live for someone and that really put my mom’s life and battle in perspective. Was she fearful of the changes she was facing? If she was she never shared those fears. The one thing that scares me most in life is not living to see my son and future children grow. I know what it’s like to live without a parent and that pain crushes me every day. It’s baggage I carry with me into all my relationships and will be constant emotions I’ll forever deal with. I never want Hayden to know what that is like. I know that can’t control the future but I can choose to live in the moment and show him that he is loved. He has made me realize how much my parents really love me. Like now I know why they seemed like overbearing, helicopter parents at times and I wish I could tell my mom “I get it.” Continue reading →

This entry was posted in Grief.

“When it’s cold outside, I’ve got the month of May”

I love Motown. Growing up we always had music playing in the house. It didn’t matter if we were dancing around, baking or cleaning, my parents loved music. It’s funny how some things stick with you because I also LOVE music. Any kind, I really can’t discriminate, maybe heavy metal but I’d probably end up finding some song I could dance to.

IMG_0905Smokey Robinson and The Temptations were two artists my mom played a lot and she sang the song “My Girl” to us when we were little. I still tear up when I hear it and find myself signing it to Hayden Keith too. (Fun fact: my last b-day gift from my mom was tickets to see Smokey live. She was too sick to go but a friend went with me, it was awesome.) Continue reading →

Happy birthday mom.

Blog1     Welcome. This blog is a new project for me but it really feels like it’s been writing itself for years. In the past five years, my life has thrown so many curveballs, presented painful obstacles and sadness, but also had some crazy beautiful experiences. It will be five years this October since my mom lost her battle to stage 3c ovarian cancer, and life since her diagnosis has always been bittersweet. It’s hard to make new memories without her, just like it was hard to make memories during her fight in fear they’d be her last. If her death has taught me anything, it is to live each day as if it’s my last but to never apologize for continuing to mourn her. Never feel bad for being sad. Grief goes on and it will never go away. I struggle every day to accept that she is no longer here, but in that struggle, I try to remember how she would want to see me from Heaven and that gives me the strength to make the most of what I have because I’m still here and get to have it. Continue reading →