Wednesday, April 23, 2008

All the Firsts...

There are so many firsts. You think they would all be over in the first year or maybe two. But there not. There is always a new first.

They all started immediately. We buried our Son the day before Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving day we forced ourselves out of bed at about noon. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law were still in town but they did wake us, they just stayed quiet and very thoughtful. I'm sure they didn't know what to do, but they were great, they were just there and that was comforting. I really don't remember if I even thanked them. I hope I did. Philip's best friend Daniel came over and when I came out in my robe he made me get dressed, I guess he thought it would help me and if I was doing what I was supposed to do on Thanksgiving then maybe he could too. Neither of us did.

The first birthday without Philip was to be his 21st, just three weeks after he died. My daughter will be 21 on Saturday and yes about three weeks ago I was thinking...what if...? I quickly asked the Lord to please take those thoughts and those fears and He did.

The next biggie was my first birthday without my son calling me and bringing me the goofiest card he could find. He was very serious about picking out cards, he didn't just grab one, it had to be exactly right. (he got that from me)

Another first that really overwhelmed me was Mother's Day. I don't know why I didn't expect it, but I really thought I would be okay. I awoke to just an onslaught of grief that kept me in bed and out of church, weeping. I believe God understood that it was just a little much.

Jimmy had planned our usual dinner; rib-eye steaks, asparagus and baked potato. Kacey, Rhonda and the kids were coming. Jimmy wanted to call and cancel, but I really needed to see a part of Philip that day, so they came and it went well. Nobody really knew what to say, just the love and the hugs of the day made it all okay.

Then came Father's Day and I have to say Jimmy did better than me but his heart was breaking. It's one of those things where people say how many children do you have? Now you hesitate in your answer fight back the tears and begin with "I have a Son with Jesus" and then you go on. Looking at the twins and knowing they will never remember his laugh and his smile and no conscious memory of the one Father's day they had was very heart breaking. But we will always tell them how much he loved his babies.

Well you get through the obvious days that are gonna always be hard, and eventually you learn to adjust a little better than the time before and then here you go again.

Great firsts, great memories, but always bitter-sweet.

The first time the twins stood in front of church with their little class to sing "Jesus Loves Me", the first Bible verse they quoted, and loads and loads of firsts for the rest of their lives.

The Twins are 3 1/2 now. Malachi started playing "Rag Ball" (tee-ball). Everything is fine. Me is in the fence with the camera, great spot, great shots. The tears begin to flow. Philip should be here. He should be on the field with Malachi, showing him how to bat, how to catch, and high-fiving him at every play. I sometimes wonder...Does God maybe just let him peek down and get just a glimpse at these firsts? Who knows, maybe so.

It was a beautiful sunny day, blue skies, and a beautiful breeze, my grandson playing his first game. How could it get any better than that? Well, me waking up and this all being a horrible two-year nightmare we be a good start, but since that's not happening; this would be good.

It would be to know that Philip was standing right beside Jesus and saying, "look Jesus, that's my boy". People may say that is ridiculous but you know makes me feel better and God can do whatever He wants to, whenever He wants to, and wherever He wants too. NOW!

So to you other parents that dare to believe what seems impossible to others; just go ahead and dream, you deserve a good dream!

REMEMBER...We will make it through this journey of grief...
only by the Grace of God!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

They Always Ask ....HOW?

I hate that question. It is a completely normal response when someone finds out that you have a child that died. However, I go through so many emotions each time it is asked. Each time,my heart breaks, the tears come, the defense mechanism kicks in, then, scrambling for a different answer. Always back to the truth...My Son died of a drug overdose. There, it's out. But, please let me explain I always say. You have to know. That is not who he was. He was so much more. But I'm his mother that is what people expect me to say.

Will I ever get passed the need to defend his honor, his name, who he really was? I don't think I will.

Why can't I just say "car wreck", "cancer"? Because it's not the truth. I even try to say "He died in his sleep", which he did. I have tried saying "his heart", which it was... in a sense.

There was this preacher friend that I see every year. He knew Philip from Summer Camp. Philip volunteered every year as a teenager and he loved it. When I saw Bro Darrell for the first time after Philip's death, I shared with him how I felt about telling people how my son died. I'll never forget what he told me as he wept with me. He held out his hands as to measure and said "This is Philip's life and it was a wonderful life, a great young man". Then he took his two fingers as to show a small part, and he said, "this is the part right before Philip died, don't take away that long beautiful part because of the little bad part." That really helped me, and still does. He suggested I say something like, "his heart stopped", which it did, but let me tell you what happened the first time I tried that. Not only am I a really honest person, but my timing is terrible. I had gone back to work at the hospital and I had a patient that I had gotten close to. She found out about Philip and asked the question, "how did he die?" Well, I hesitated a second then I said, "his heart stopped.". She was a doctor! That answer was so shallow. She asked one more question then I began to cry. I told her that wasn't really the truth. I told her the truth and then told her why I tried to avoid it. It ended up that she was a believer and she and I wept together and prayed together...(yeah, I probably broke all kinds of rules). That's okay the job didn't last long anyway. I was in no shape to work. I never noticed before Philip died that all my patients would ask about my children, I just always answered. Now when they would ask, I would always cry.

As always, when I write something on this blog, I learn something. It's amazing. I know that as painful as it is, I have to tell the truth. How else could I help another without honesty. And as painful as it is that truth opens the door to help in ways I couldn't imagine. So...I really don't have a choice.


Madison & Malachi

Madison & Malachi
The exploration of an inch worm

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About Me

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Empire, Alabama, United States
I am happily married to Jimmy McGee, he is my best friend and the love of my life. I have two children. My son Philip who went on to be with the Lord in November 2005, at the age of (almost) 21 and left behind my precious daughter-in-law Rhonda and his twin babies Madison and Malachi who are so very precious to me. My beautiful daughter Kacey who will be 21 on April 26th. Kacey is happily married to Matt Henry and they are expecting their first child John-Philip at the end of May. These are the people most dear to me and make my world the wonderful place that it is! JUST ADDED! New grandson was born on May 7th John-Philip Ryne Henry!

Portugal Bound!

Portugal Bound!