Sunday, September 28, 2008

"To Grieving Mothers"

I don't want to by any means minimize the significance of "grieving fathers". I know that my husband grieves over Philip, I know that Kacey, his sister grieves, I know Rhonda his wife grieves. However, I only know how my grief feels, I only know my thoughts and my struggles, because they are mine. So if you are reading this and you have buried someone close to you, don't take this as minimizing your grief.

After talking to some friends who know other people who have recently and not so recently buried a child, God has really spoken to my heart about trying to reach out to them and others through this blog. After all, that is why I am writing these things and bearing my heart and soul to friends and to strangers. All of it is in hopes that someone else that is going through this horrific pain can be helped in some way by knowing that there are others who know how you feel and are willing to share.

Each time that I share this way two things happen. One: I re-visit the pain as if it were new. Secondly: God strengthens and blesses me. So it balances out alright.

As mothers we put a tremendous amount of pressure on ourselves and our expectations are most times way beyond our reach. Although our responsibility is great and I feel being a parent is a honor and a calling from God, we are still, after all...human.

We are going to fail as mothers, probably not as often as we feel like we do, but we do fail. I know people who really believe that they have done nothing to fail as a parent. They truly believe that they did everything right, and if asked they can even make a verse from scripture back them up. Trust me when you have "friends" like that around, pointing out your failures, the pressure is overwhelming. (I got a feeling this is going to be a long post, so just stick with me.) I feel however, that I need to finish this train of thought.

Have you ever had a "Godly friend" that everything "appears" to always work out for them? On the surface they did everything right, their kids are doing just what they are supposed to. Let me give you a news flash...everything is not always as it appears. When your faults as a parent are pointed out, it usually because your kid got caught. "if you would have done this or that your kids would have never gotten in to that sin" Guess what most, not all, and I mean that as sincere as I know how, most kids have done their share of the same sin, but didn't get caught. Before you think that is a horrible statement let me say. Praise be to God for those kids who did stay straight, who did have enough of God in them to do right. And yes, I totally believe it can be done. ABSOLUTELY! I have seen it and I pray for the young people in my life because I am for them and I know how bad satan wants to destroy them.

There is really not an easy way to say what I am trying to say. I just want you to realize that even well meaning people can hurt you deeply even after you have been devastated by the death of a child. We have enough guilt as mothers because our child died and there was nothing we could do to prevent it, the last thing we need is someone else pointing out our failures.

The "What if's" will absolutely destroy you if you let it. You want to hear some of mine? Okay, here goes...

What if I had called Philip back that night and told him I loved him one more time?
Why didn't I know how bad he was hurting, he was "MY SON"?
Why didn't I see what was going on?
Why didn't I go and be real spiritual and pray for him in front of him like I was doing at home, maybe if he heard me praying it would have made a difference.?
Why was I so hard on him?

Yes, I know how haunting it is. I know that feeling in the pit of your stomach like someone kicked you, I know the shortness of breath because my heart is ripped apart. I know lying in bed not wanting to go to sleep, but then again not wanting to wake up. I know "Mom", I know, and so does God, He really does know our pain. Almost 3 years and as I am writing this I am about to stop for a few because I am weeping now, I can't breathe right and I just want to hold my beautiful boy and love on him, just one more time. I want to hear him laugh and tease me. I do know how you feel "Mom".

Here is another feeling and thought I have from time to time, I don't like it, but I'm just being honest. You look around and you know kids that have done the same thing. They have done it more, and for a longer period of time. Why do they get by with it, but my child didn't. Why do they get second, third, fourth, and so on chances. Why?

If you didn't read my earlier posts, my son died of a drug overdose. He had been in church from the time he was six years old, got saved at 12 years old, on Mother's Day. Volunteered at youth camp for six or seven summers in a row. Great kid, married, twin babies. His life fail apart, the pain was too much. Bad decisions, one after another. In a matter of 4-6 months his life as he knew it and dreamed of was over and so was his physical life. How quickly satan can destroy a life.

I feel like this is where I need to end this. Take you grief and your experience and in time through God's grace let Him show you how to help others and most importantly how to cherish what you still have. Don't push away your other children, your family, or your friends. Just cleave unto God and He will see you through this. Are you still going to cry? Oh, most certainly. Are you still going to have a huge hole in your heart? Yes. Are you still going to get angry because your child is gone? Most definitely. But, as with every experience in life we can use it to grow and get better or to wilt and get bitter.

Hang in there. Let's make it through this journey of grief together.
Love ya in the Lord
Lora McGee

A Giant Step toward Normality

This is Matt trying his best not to gloat at half-time
John-Philip with Poppa for his 1st Ala/GA game
poor baby had on Alabama shirt and Georgia socks!

I know that lately I have written things that seemed to be "normal", just everyday life for most folks, however, I feel the need to re-visit the original reason for this blog...GRIEF.

Yesterday I took a really big step toward "normality". Alabama Football! This time of year is really hard for me. This November will be three years since the death of my son. Yesterday for the first time I felt like it was okay to get back into the game. Since the day my son was born we watched Alabama Football together. There were only a few games that we didn't watch together. Those were the ones after he was married, but we still spoke to each other by phone and some point during the games. He was so funny, such a big, faithful, Alabama fan. He told Rhonda, "there are two things our kids don't get a choice in...going to church and being an Alabama fan. He was serious.

We were going in to the grocery store to get some food for the game. Kacey, Matt and JohnPhilip were coming over to watch the game. 90% of the customers had on their "Alabama" game day shirts. I felt myself getting in the spirit of it all, then there it was...No, not without Philip. As quickly as that thought came I just had this overwhelming feeling of Philip saying, "Okay Mom, it's time to get back in to the game...cheer for me." I know that sounds silly, but it was very special to me. Philip will always be in my heart, a part of my spirit, a part of who I am.

We had a great time watching the game with our daughter and her family. It wasn't as fun in the same kind of way as with Philip because Kacey is a Georgia fan. However, it was fun in the fact that we kicked their tails! Kacey was very quiet during the first half, and finally spoke to us the second half when her team got on the board.

So, no, nothing will never be the same, but in life what ever really is? I will always cherish my football memories with my son, but I will also cherish the new ones with the rest of my family; even if they are confused about which team to cheer for.

To the other parents who are grieving. You cherish those memories, share them, but don't forget to make new ones.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

John-Philip - Prayers Answered!

John-Philip just turned 4 months old. What a joy he is! The hole in the upper chamber of his heart is completely closed, and except for some acid reflux he is a healthy 15+ lb baby. Thanks to those of you who prayed for him. He is such a happy baby, a little rotten, but very happy. I was worried that he wouldn't smile because his dad doesn't smile (much). But you see in the picture that is not a problem. He smiles all the time. As soon as you catch his eyes and say something, he is smiling. Thank you Lord! Don't get me wrong my son-in-law is a sweet guy, he just don't smile a lot. It is not even because he is not happy, they are just not a "smiley family". Don't worry if Matt ever reads this I will not be in trouble, he knows. You should see what I do to make him smile when I am taking pictures. If I had someone taking a pix of me taking a pix of him it would be pretty funny.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Through the eyes of a child

Is it just me or is that some beautiful eyes?

Malachi and Madison came to spend the night with us and we had a blast. They are so much fun. Isn't it amazing how much more fun they are when they are your grandbabies. I guess that didn't sound too good did it? What I mean is you have reared yours and now you have more time to appreciate the grandkids. Oh well, if you are grandparents you know what I mean. There is just nothing like it.

So on with the story, morning came and we had breakfast and Poppa was getting to spend the whole day with them. I had to go to my shop and do some work. They weren't going to miss me because they had a day planned with Poppa. Playing on Booker's Fort and getting "tickled". They love it.

They were dressed and ready to go out. I was folding some towels just in my own little world..I thought. I heard them go outside, but I looked up and Malachi was just looking at me. I smiled and this is where it all began...

He walked over and gave me the biggest hug, and said I love you MeMe. I love you too Malachi, I love you so very much. I had really been struggling over the last week with some emotions but I hadn't shared them with anyone, especially my four year old grandson. Malachi is very sensitive and perceptive. If he feels something is wrong he will not leave you until he knows you are okay. So he said are you okay MeMe? Yes baby, I am. I am so glad that you are here Malachi, you know since your daddy had to go on to heaven I am so glad that he left you and Maddie here for me. It helps me so much. This entire time he is looking at me eye to eye with those beautiful blue eyes. Then, he reaches and hugs me again. He says, I don't know why God took him but I think he might be watching over us. I grabbed that baby and said "I know he is Malachi, I know he is."

With that all being said he followed me to the bath to put away the towels and when we got back to the living room he gave me a once over, hugged me again, and then said he would go on out to the "Fort" now.

I really believe sometimes God just lets him give me a hug from Philip. He is so much like him.
I can't imagine how much worse it would be without Malachi and Madison. I am so thankful that their Mom has stayed close to us. There is never a problem with getting the kids anytime we want them. They live 5 minutes away, another blessing. I am just so thankful for that, I think if it were any other way it would be unbearable. So hats off to good daughter-in-law's. We sure love you Rhonda!


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!