I was only able to visit my family once during the time we lived in California; all of our savings and extra funds went towards the rehabs and doctor bills trying to help Jeffrey, so a trip back home wasn’t a possibility…until I received a call that my Granny wasn’t doing well and I needed to visit her right away. Times like this you do what you can to make the visit happen. This was in October of 2014. I took Maxwell with me because Daddy couldn’t handle both him and Jeffrey while I was away. On our way to the airport, I received the phone call from my Sister informing me that Granny had passed; sadly, we didn’t make it in time to say our goodbyes. We continued the trip; we still needed to be there for the family as much as possible. Maxwell was a trooper on the flight (his very 1st flight), once we landed, I overheard several people whisper and comment that they didn’t realize there was a little guy on the plane. (He was 2 ½ at the time) I was so relieved! Being alone with a 2 year old on a plane and only flown twice in my lifetime before this and always with someone, I will be honest….I was scared. It all worked out, Maxwell had a wonderful time, I even took a video of us taking off and his giggle was quite contagious!
Maxwell’s Very First Airplane Ride!
This was a wonderful trip, the time I spent with my Mom, Dad, Sister, Nephew and Niece was fantastic, lots of laughs! They all came back to our hotel and we swam, Maxwell was showing off his swimming abilities (we had him in swim lessons). It was really hard to say goodbye not knowing when I would be able to see them again.
In March 2015, we made the decision to move back home to Kansas, waited a few days to announce it. We wanted to call our close family members first before we made it “Facebook official.” I remember calling my Mom, Dad and Sister who were devastated when we moved to California. I had them put me on speaker so I could tell them our news, they began screaming with excitement which brought tears to my eyes. As hard as it was to leave this place, I was looking forward to being around my close family and we really needed extra support from the community as well as our family and friends.
I had promised myself that once I got back, I would spend as much time with my Mom as possible; we would get pedicures, go for lunch and just spend time together which we never did before. I was so excited to surprise her with these special moments!
A few weeks before leaving on April 2nd, I received a phone call…..it was my Dad, he sounded odd and immediately asked to speak with my husband (which was not normal). I gave the phone to my husband with an odd look on my face and the knot in my gut hit me like a ton of bricks, I knew! He NEEDED to make sure I wasn’t alone before he broke the news to my husband. It wasn’t to let me know my Mom or my Sister was ill or in the hospital, I knew it was more serious……My husband takes the phone to the back patio, standing with his back to me so I couldn’t see his expression (I remember this as if it were just hours ago-every emotion/feeling, my reaction), I stood at the sliding door and I asked….”is it my Mom?”, he didn’t respond…..I asked again, this time with a raised voice “IS IT MY MOM!?”, still no response…..Finally, I screamed as loud as I could “IS IT MY MOM!?”, he turned and looked at me and gently shook his head yes. I yelled back immediately “Is she dead?, IS SHE DEAD?!”, I don’t know why I even asked because I already knew somehow, but had a glimpse of hope. He turned to look at me but gave me nothing and at that moment I knew. I fell to the floor and began sobbing so loud the neighbors came running over to see if we were ok, I was scaring Maxwell-he began to cry while holding onto me while I was on the floor, my daughter came running out of her room already had tears in her eyes ( just seeing me this way made her cry), once I told her she fell to the floor, wrapped herself around me so tightly it was almost painful but a comforting painful. I was in shock. I couldn’t believe my Mom has just passed away, so unexpectedly and I was 2 weeks away from seeing her again.
I was halfway across the country and I was helpless! Helpless to my Dad, to my Sister, to my Nephew and my Niece and feeling like the biggest selfish Bitch for leaving them and now they need me the most and I cannot be there for them. The only thing I could think to do is call anyone and everyone I could to go be with them. I made sure they had food dropped by as well as visitors and wouldn’t be alone much. This was the best I could do being so far away AND trying to pack and get ready for this drive/move halfway across the country.
This changed our family so much. My Dad put everything on hold until we got back which I am so thankful for. Once we arrived, it was late. We slept and once movers arrived first thing in the morning we got everything unloaded, next on my list was meeting my Dad and Sister to help with funeral arrangements. I tried to “take charge” and do as much as I could for them, plus this took my mind off our loss and they needed a break.
We got through the funeral a few days later and I immediately started back to work. (I was able to get my old job back which was very comforting…..I guess they like me!)
My second day back to work, 2 days after my Mom’s funeral, I get a call from a police officer telling me Jeffrey had stolen donuts from the grocery store all the while having $60 cash in his wallet. He is already back at this nonsense. I’ve barely had time to really grieve our family’s loss with my family. The only grieving I’ve had from losing my Mother, is being halfway across the country and feeling so alone without my Dad and Sister.
This is the selfishness of a teenager and even worse, a teenager with an addiction. Although my mind was completely numb, I knew my priorities were to find the “help” we longed for for the past 2 years.
I miss my Mom more than words but I know I have to be here and stay positive for my Dad, Sister, Nephew and Niece at the same time of getting our teenage son the help he needed from the community.
Our days get better, spending time with my family definitely helps.
Enjoy some of our silly family photos we’ve captured during our first outing at the KC Zoo! 💙