memories….. breathing……… remembering……

A very special friend made this for me. It truly embodies the life of my mother and all she would like for us to do in her passing.. Her strength before she got sick, how we should do life with her gone with traditions.. My mom loved traditions and starting new ones.

My momma would have loved all the people that came out to show their condolences and honor her memory yesterday. She loved people and to have a good time with those that she loved. Daddy and I listened to the songs before the service, just to prepare our hearts to hear them and hopefully keep it together… I think we did pretty good.

It’s so true when people say “You can never truly prepare for losing your mom” As much as I tried.. it just didn’t happen. I am one of those people that want to be as prepared as I can be for things to happen. To be blind sighted like with the death of my Best Friend, Jeremy, the death of my Sister, Christy, and Auntie takes the air from my lungs. Life STOPS and I can’t breathe or feel anything. It’s like the world stops turning and the pain comes in like an earthquake splitting the ground under my feet and breaking everything around me.. and nothing matters, nothing… but finding shelter.. alone. Alone to get myself together…

Keep breathing my friend says.. and I think of Dori from the movie Nemo and “I can’t remember how”. Dori was constantly forgetting.. Oh how I can relate.. I wish I was more of the “keep swimming” hahaha.

Life will go on, a new chapter. A new normal. Moments will come that will make it hard to breathe, memories will come flooding in blinding my vision.. No matter what this next year brings it will be the hardest. All the first’s… first holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries. I know… I’m “preparing” Sounds funny, doesn’t it? Morbid.. What can I say?

No matter what though, I have made a vow to ask for help when needed, let friends in, let the Lord’s word and song minister to my heart and above all make sure to live this life to the very fullest. No matter how tired or the hurt I may be feeling. Memories are what get us through these moments and memories with my husband, daughter, brother, daddy, and extended family and friends are what I vow to make more of.

Memories, Breathing, and Remembering… all very important in this life, because when we are gone.. that is all that is left for the ones left behind.

The time in between….

This will probably be the hardest blog post ever… All over the map… confusing and just plain sad. BUT- like a friend said… I am not alone and maybe my suffering and grief during this time will help someone else who is also struggling…

My mother. She could make me SO MAD. I mean really!! Really freaking pissed off , I’m telling you the truth. She was just plain sneaky I tell ya. If she wanted to know something or do something no one was stopping her. Not even the man who worshiped the ground she walked on. If she wanted it, she got it. She wasn’t scared to ask either. I was trying to see what the longest we had went without arguing was.. I would say maybe a couple months. Ohhhh how I wish she was hear to argue with me now! Even in death she was mad at me. Her last word to me was “jealous” with a slight roll of the eyes as she kissed my daddy. She was mad because I was talking to the doctors. Looking back I should have been talking to her… She knew that too. She waved bye to daddy and Shawn, my brother her last night on this earth. I even believe my brothers wife, Heather, got a kiss or wave. Not me though. She would look at me and close her eyes.. and I knew she was mad at me. I could feel it. She loved on daddy though. His last moments with her full of sweet kisses and I love you’s. Just as it should have been.

Yesterday, as we gathered pictures and tried to get to the magic number (35) something stood out to me about the pictures as I put them in order as best I could from mom being a baby to being a grandmother. I noticed how beautiful my mother truly was. Her smile seemed bigger than life itself in every picture. Her brown eyes twinkled and in one particular photo you couldn’t help but laugh with her. We were with her as kids growing up then we are all older. The “in between” seems to be missing… Maybe it was just the couple of decades that I see missing we didn’t have phones and still used disposable cameras. However, I know I missed allot of time with mom. She was always mad at me because she said I made her feel like I didn’t care. Or that my “other family” was more important. I did miss allot of holidays, surgeries, and different things like that.. Like she would always say “If it had been your daddy you’d been here” I couldn’t argue that. She knew that was true. It’s just that mom was strong, not saying daddy isn’t. She just WAS. She could do anything. She wasn’t sick, or hurting to me. She was strong and nothing would ever take her down. Until it did. Even when she got lung cancer, I wasn’t worried. I knew she would beat it. When she had her shoulder surgery I knew she would heal. When she got her pace maker, it would fix her. In a million years I never ever dreamed I would be writing this. That she would pass before my daddy. She would say “You better hope I go first” all the time. Like somehow she knew she would. Now I sit here regretting the last 40 years because I just wasn’t the daughter I should have been to her.

Mom was diagnosed on April 29th 2021 with brain cancer. June 28th 2021 she took her last breath.. and I wasn’t there. I spent the last 2 months making sure I was there for her and daddy. Somehow trying to make up for the things I wasn’t there for. We had some great talks, laughed, and held hands as we watched Thelma and Louise… Walking the Green Mile, getting a bath, eating, going to the doctors.. I was there. I was determined to be with her or be there when she passed. They told us it would take awhile when they gave her the morphine and took off the big breathing thingy. So I came home and got clothes and went to dads and got him clothes and his meds and headed back to the hospital. When I saw the text “Where are you” I knew… I arrived and saw my brother and Heather in the hall. I knew.. I went in her room.. I lost it. I wasn’t there, again.

If you know me you know I will carry this burden forever. I will also carry the last 2 months in my heart to help me. I jeopardized everything to stay close to her and help as much as I could. My job, my family, my life. Everything. Luckily, my boss is a great understanding man and my family loves me and continues to support me. My mom came 1st and I put her care before everything else when she was diagnosed. I knew this time, she would not beat this. I felt it in my bones. I even told my husband she wouldn’t make it through July.. I just knew it.

All the time in between my mom starting her own family until the day she died is filled with love, laugher, tears, pain, joy, and heartbreak. We may not have pictures of that but we have memories. I made some wonderful memories with my mom. Showers will never be that same as she soaked me when I bathed her. 5037 has a new meaning as well as e-e-e, 3 e’s. “Say it and it will be” I have so many recordings of our conversations… Videos to watch her.. and I will treasure them forever.

I am struggling with who I call now.. A friend sent a text and used the work “orphaned”. It seems fitting.. When my mom was sick I longed to be able to call my aunt or sister for advise.. Now who do I call? All the women in my immediate family are gone. My daughter is 12 and I am raising her without her biological father. That sucks. Also and entirely different blog post. However, I am going to NEED them.. my aunt was the comforting and encouraging one, my sister was the “put your big girl pantie’s on and handle it” one and my mom was all of these plus..MOM.

June 14th 2016


On a hot 🔥 summer evening 5 years ago today, a text book play on the softball field set in motion…a change in me. A strength I didn’t know I had. A strength I would need for the coming months and years ahead. It started growing inside me on impact. Preparing me…I just didn’t really know for what.. I am still wondering for how long..

In one split second life- changed. Forever. When I looked up and saw my now ex-husband with his hands on his hips shaking his head in disbelief saying “what have you done now” Upset his sleep had been disturbed undoubtedly. Not wanting to go to the hospital I requested because “I’d have to drop my trailer and all that” Not one ounce of empathy after I had just taken a 90mph softball between the eyes. I couldn’t even cry in that moment as the blood poured from my face because I knew. I knew it was somehow my fault, even if it was an accident.

I remember waiting alone in the emergency room, spitting up blood in the shirt given to me by a friend. I remember one of my friends coming in and finding a nurse to get me something to spit blood in. My ex mother-in-law and daughter showing up, the xrays, the CT, then…nothing. My mind goes completely blank.

I don’t remember going home. I remember food being brought in for days after. I remember my mom sleeping on the couch with me, sitting outside with me. Everything looked and felt different.

I was different. I was numb, I was sure my brain swelled or something but it hadn’t. I begged for no surgery but… July 5th, 2016 I had surgery anyway. Doctor said I was too young too just let my face cave in because all my bones had shattered in my face around my eye sockets and my nose was pushed to the right and bones shattered there too. Nothing to hold my face in place..

In those moments after surgery had never felt more alone. I remember looking on the camera at the shop and watching the guys drink beer and shoot the breeze and I couldn’t even get up to make me something to eat or get more ice without my head pounding. I crawed on my hands and knees to the bathroom. Then sat there and cried in the bathroom floor. Alone and lonely. Again.

I cried allot during those next 3 or 4 months. I cried for my daughter, for the family I knew one day I would leave, for the life I was living that felt like one big lie. It was. If it wasn’t I wouldn’t have made such bad choices all the time. Everything I did was wrong. Even if it wasn’t.

I posted #gameface on my Facebook page before taking the field that night. I’d never done that before.. it just seemed to fit what was coming. Game face. Thats what I’m missing these days.. my game face. My strength.

You see, being alone and being lonely are different. They hurt differently. However, a game face, that hides everything.

June 10th, 2017

Four years ago today on June 10th, 2017 I walked away… I walked away from the life I had know for almost 20 years. I walked away from the vows I made, the business I helped build, the big house, the “friends” that came every weekend that are no where to be found now, the ability to go stay on beautiful Lake Martin that would “one day be ours”, financial security, a loving extended family whom I miss so very much. I also walked away from crying myself to sleep every night in my own room, being told I couldn’t do anything right or that whatever went wrong was always my fault, being talked down to like I was stupid, doing everything from birthday parties to church events to family get togethers alone. I also walked away from my faith in God. All that praying for change that never came. All the small group sessions I attended alone, the marriage classes I attended alone, the community outreaches I attended alone. Being at church every time the doors where open hoping that one day my faithfulness would be rewarded.. it doesn’t work that way.. I know.

Then one day… June 10th, something clicked when I heard the words “When you have time for me” and all I could think was.. when I have time…WHEN I HAVE TIME… all these years BUT.. when I have time.. I knew in that moment it was time. Time to walk away. I wish it was as easy as it sounds as I write this. The last 4 years have been nothing short of a living hell for my daughter, me, my family, him, his parents, and so many others that MY decision impacted. I will be forever burdened by the trauma that has been caused to so many people. However, I will not apologize. I know I did what was right for me and my daughter. No matter the HELL we have been put through because of it.

Today four years later it is still tender…still painful to think about and see the impact it has had on my daughter. She was only 8.. now 12. She has grown up fast. She is in therapy as am I. We are going to be ok. This will not break us. This has made us stronger.

Today I am not alone anymore. I don’t fight battles alone, pray alone, go to church alone, go out alone, cry alone, I don’t live this life anymore feeling alone. The worst feeling in the world is having someone there and feeling all alone. Today I feel more love that I have ever felt in my life and all I can think is “I am not worthy” but I will take it, all of it.

Today I finally know what TRUE LOVE looks and feels like. My daughter knows what a father’s love is supposed to look and feel like. She see’s how a husband is supposed to treat his wife, love and support her. Even now we are facing the hardest season I have ever been through (and I just thought divorce was rough) I would not wish this season of death and sickness on ANYONE. God knew this season was coming and He knew I would need someone by my side to hold me up, wipe my tears, and love me when I am truly at my worst. God knew I would need a man to carry me through this and that Katelyn would need stability and consistency.

So in a way I guess you can say my faithfulness has been rewarded with a love that most people spend their entire lives looking for. We may not have done it all the right way but God makes beauty from ashes and we defiantly blazed the way to get to where we are today.

I am thankful for the season of darkness that began June 10th 2017.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: Only love can do that.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Named by god.. .Kasey Van NormaN

While reading Kasey Van Norman’s book, in the room I grew up in at my parents house last night this stuck with me…

Every death changes you, every birthday changes you, every hurt changes you, every win, every tear, everything we go through in this life.. changes you.

Ready or not life is coming and everything you go through changes you. How you let it change you.. well that’s your free will to choose. Choose wisely my friends.. because it affects everyone around you. At home. At work. Everyone you have contact with and come in to contact with. They will see it in you…

As I thought about the words she wrote I read it over and over and thought about this last 6 months, last 3 years, last 10 years. All the changes that have happened and the changes that are yet to come.

How the voices in my head seem to battle with what is good and what is not good. I have to choose what is good, even if I don’t quite understand God’s plan. Last week I began getting angry at God. That “bad voice” was overwhelming me with “How can God allow this?” How can a loving God take my Aunt Lynn, how can a loving God take my sister a month later when she had just started asking me to pray for her after years of that topic being “off the table”. How can a loving God allow my mom to have brain cancer and my Daddy to endure so much pain and heartbreak watching the love of his life for 45 years suffer when my father has been so faithful. How can my daughter feel like she is not who I know God designed her to be and have in her words “no interest in religion”. How? Why?

When does that peace that passes all understanding come again???

I cried so hard in church Sunday for even questioning God’s plan. I know better, it just seemed easier to be mad at the One who holds the world in His hands. The One who also gave up His life for me to live this one. The One who took the beating for me and felt tremendous pain emotionally and physically and could have stopped it but didn’t because He trusted the Father’s will. Jesus’s love for us is greater than any love known to man. He died so we could live. I must admit the thought of taking my own life was so consuming at one point all I could do was call on the name of Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus! Renew my faith!!! You made me the “strong one” and I have a little girl watching me. I have to be strong for her to know that it isn’t “religion” it is a RELATIONSHIP with the One who created us and knows every tear that we shed, hears every laugh, knows every fear, sees every one of our sins, and STILL pursues our hearts.

I am named by God. I don’t yet know why all this is happening to our family. My prayer this morning was “God, use me to bring YOU glory” “Use me, consume me, and make me who YOU predestined me to be” It must be something big because so many reach out to me for help, with questions, and tell me “I don’t know anyone who has endured as much pain as you have in the last 6 months.. the last 3 years.. how did you get through it.” I wish I could say I am up every morning reading my bible, praying, and just staying rooted in the Word. That would be a lie. Music. Music is what grounds me, hearing Christian music and singing as loud as I can through tears. Praying… Praying for people other than myself and my family. Realizing that we all have something in our lives we are dealing with, not just me. Letting God’s people help instead of saying “no we are ok” but letting them actually help.

Last night I was able to help a friend that is going through what I have already been through and still going through. In that moment, helping someone else navigate through their unknown, I knew. I was named by God, to help others. The only way you can truly help someone, is to have lived through it. I must endure this season, for God’s glory to be revealed.

Till next time friends.


I helped her get in the shower and sit on the seat. She was repeating her words because she says no one listens to her anymore. I told her we were listening and we began her bath. She began telling me what was cold and what was hot… I asked her to hold the shower head while I got the soap. She soaked me! Sprayed me and the entire bathroom and just laughed. I laughed till I almost started crying. I have that memory forever sketched in my memories. My mom before brain cancer would have been livid we got the floor wet and water everywhere. Everyday she is different and yet the same. I don’t know how to explain it. We talk now without getting mad at each other like before the cancer. She listens with a thoughtful expression on her face and I can’t tell if she is trying to understand or already thinking of a come back to what I am saying. She’s sneaky too, you gotta watch her. She took my paint brush yesterday and said it needed to dry. Stuck it in her pocket. (Thank goodness no paint was on it) I had a nurse tell me “I dont know what is worse, someone dying suddenly or watching them die with cancer”

My Aunt passed Feb. 7th 2021..suddenly. My sister passed April 5th 2021 suddenly. My mom was diagnosed with brain cancer April 28th 2021 and had surgery May 3rd 2021. Suddenly or slowly the sting of death.. hurts deeply.

I think about all the things I didn’t get to tell my Aunt or my sister…my mom and I have talked and said all the things that needed to be said, I just hope she remembers…I do.

In this season of loss I am. Seems like more should be said like I am…this or I am that.. but no word comes to mind that can even describe what I am feeling these days. Other than I am..

Now life is remembered as before_____ and after _______

Jeremy Lee Kile – Forever 37 years old.
Best friend since Junior year in high school. Class of 1999.

Born on November 12th, 1979
Passed on September 18th, 2016

Gary Todd Chisholm. Forever 50 years old.
Oldest cousin on my dad’s side.

Born on August 13th, 1969
Passed on April 11th, 2020

Marjorie Lynn Hannahs. Forever 67 years old.
My Auntie Lynn from my mom’s side.

Born on December 7th, 1954
Passed on February 7th, 2021

Christy Buckner Morrone. Forever 49 years old.
My sister.

Born on November 30th, 1972
Passed on April 5th, 2021

It is beyond me the feeling you get when you get “the” phone call. Debilitating and time seems to stop completely in that moment. If it were not for the stabbing feeling in my rib cage I would question the status of my own existence after the news that each one of these precious souls…. Then the “fog” comes.. The “waves” of… every emotion…mourning begins..

I have experienced the death of both sets of grand parents, other family members, close friends, and acquaintances. While I did morn them as well, for me, the unexpected passing of these 4 people completely changed me. Life changed. Everything changed.

April 5th 2021

2021 came with all the hope and promises of a “good year” I mean, after 2020 how could it be any worse? In these 4 months I have felt extreme pain, anger, anxiety, depression, hostility, jealousy, abandonment, shame, guilt, heartbreak, and utter worthlessness. I haven’t felt this much brokenness at one time in my entire 40 year existence.

During my drive to work, after the riots started in May 2020, I noticed an old black man sitting in a beat up chair in the mostly gravel lot in front of his single wide. I rolled down my window stuck my arm out and waved peace ✌ to him. He barely waved back, but he did wave. I cried all the way to work that morning I was “touched” by the gesture between us.

Now, it’s been almost a year and my window goes down everytime I pass by him and his long arm extends all the way in the air and I can see a huge smile on his face as he waves back 👋. He knows my vehicle now.. he sees me coming…In that moment I always tear up. I don’t know this old man, never met him. His wave in the mornings enlightens my heart and gives me hope to make through another day.

In 2021 I recommitted myself and my family to going back to church. Not just any church, my church home. Where I raised my daughter, gave my testimony, and grew in my faith for many years before my divorce to my daughters father.

You see, all that I was/am feeling began consuming my life. I was blessed to be given a new life, with a man that loves me like I have never been loved before. Even my own self destructive ways could not break us.. break his love for me or my daughter. However, I know that without God in our family, at the center, we would be doomed and these feelings will never be replaced with what God has promised us to feel as believers. Peace that passes all understanding, bountiful hope and love for one another. Grace.. oh sweet Grace..

I feel the weight of the world, my world, shifting. I hear His small voice calling me and I will not be overcome.

Until next time..

When you know…you know.

On my (1st) wedding day I was about to hyperventilate. I had to take something to calm me down and my mom and aunt helped me control my breathing so we could get the dress zipped. It was insane. I was sweating and crying and…well just plain freaking out! Lol I just assumed it was was “normal” and thats what everyone told me.. “you’re just excited”

When I married Joseph Travis I could have done a black flip, triple axle, and the fact that I couldn’t stop giggling was what made getting in my dress that day a little tough. I knew… I looked out the window.. saw him laughing..that smile so big.. and I knew. I saw a “beginning” and felt peace and joy in my heart I had never felt before.

Honestly, I had planned a get away… no one knows that.. well.. until now. I couldn’t do it, I KNEW that what we have people spend their entire life searching for.. and I wasn’t running.

If you are getting married and everything is done, bought and paid for. You can still call it off. You can still run. Trust me, it will cost ALLOT less to leave BEFORE you say I do. For you, your spouse, your families and friends.

You see you won’t just lose the deposit on the venue, food, dresses, honeymoon, etc. You loose EVERYTHING and EVERYONE and if kids are born… its a Million times worse if it doesn’t work out. So if you aren’t ready, or sure, or ready to do a triple axle in to that dress…It won’t hurt to give it some more time.. just to be sure.



Marriage…a child. Life changing and eye opening.

The word Marriage has so much meaning & feeling in it. Kind of like the Name of Jesus. Marriage can bring many tears, laughter, hope, joy, sadness, loneliness, peace, forgiveness, kindness, patience, goodness, self-control, faithfulness … Many of these are “fruits of the Spirit” Self-Control and Forgiveness… can be the hardest ones. Love can hurt the most, and sadness and loneliness…well they just suck!

When you get married you think, “honeymoon!” Am I right? You also think of love, a home, family, holidays, birthdays, vacations, bills, and “can we handle this….together?” KIDS! animals, family tradition, new traditions, the list goes on.. the 2 families become…ONE. (Ideally but def NOT all the time) let’s just hope they like each other and can get along 🤣 that was, and is, my prayers ❤️🎉

Of course those first few months, maybe even the first 10 years things aren’t “normal” (nothing is “normal” anymore after having a baby) I had a couple miscarriages, my family wasn’t “involved”, which of course is my fault too.

My mom did ask me, with tears in her eyes on my wedding day, “Are you sure!?” My daddy, vey much trying to hide it, sobbed all the way down the isle. They love me….but they also knew I was making a huge mistake… I just didn’t see it…

Everything was perfect. I had a wonderful “new family” and mother-in-law who was, is, and will forever be, like a mother to me. A father-in-law who would stop everything to help us fix something. They will always be some of the best people I know.. so how did their son end up this way… I made some mistakes that hurt everyone, but no one deserves what he has put people through, especially his family. ESPECIALLY HIS DAUGHTER, MOM & DAD.

I feel like my own mother couldn’t get past her own jealousy to be involved so I guess she just stayed out of the way. I still struggle with getting past that.. When it’s was time for Katelyn to arrive, I had 2 epidurals, a spinal tap, and finally an emergency C-section. My mom woke Greg up saying “It’s time!” he looked me dead in the eye and said “It’s 2am (or 4am?, can’t remember exact time by that point) and you want to do this NOW?!?!” I had now been in labor over 24 hours and Katelyn’s head was stuck. Greg’s mom gently escorted him to the waiting room. How thoughtful. My mom did not leave my side in that hospital. She got “left waiting in the ER waiting room” when they had to put a rush on it because Katelyn was in distress. After all the ooooos and ahhhhhhs we went home after 3 days. I couldn’t pick Katelyn up, walk, I was hurting so bad. I couldn’t even hold her to feed her. Greg went back to work the day after we returned home. I was sure my mom would be there any moment. When I couldn’t change Katelyn’s diaper and fell, I called my mother-in-law. She was there in 20 seconds. From then on, she never left my side. She helped us with everything. Even at 6 weeks old when I couldn’t handle all the crying (turns out I am pretty emotional now lol) Joyce kept her so I could heal, took me 6 weeks or longer. After being married almost 5 years (I am guessing) I never saw Greg work so much and so late. I thought it was the “new dad” and all that hitting him… Looking back, he just didn’t want to deal with us. The crying, the bottles, helping me shower, laundry, dishes, formula, diapers, doctors appointments, birthday parties, you name it. He wasn’t there. Video games… that was his thing.

However, It wasn’t about him anymore. That’s when I really started noticing. I honestly think he was jealous, of his own daughter, and the attention she got. Not just from me but…EVERYONE. If he did come to church he sat in the nursery.

As Katelyn got older…everything seemed to become…clearer….I stated to notice things I didn’t before, feel things I didn’t before..Not good things either..

I would have never guessed by the time Katelyn was 11 I would walk around with a 9mm strapped to me after leaving her father.

To help anyone dealing with grief, hurts, anxiety, depression, divorce, raising kids, needing to not feel alone or you just might need a laugh. Try and keep up with me, I dare you!

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