How often do you count your blessings? With blessings come reflections.
My reflections are of who I am, where I've been, where I'm going, who has been part of my journey, and who has not.Being a blog writer, words usually run through my mind with ease, straight down to my keyboard without hesitation. I have been staring at this screen for hours. Typing, deleting, re-typing and doing it over and over again. Sometimes, there is no perfect literary arrangement.
We as bloggers travel through cyberspace seeking decorating ideas, home inspiration, even hopes to peek into the homes of some of our closest internet friends. To me, "following" a fellow blogger or Instagram friend isn't just about seeing their latest and greatest store finds on a particular day. It is about developing relationships and learning about people who share the same interests and passions as I do. It's about sharing more than just their decor choices and DIY ideas, it’s about sharing a piece of their lives with me.
If you know me in real life, or are an Instagram friend, you know that I’m a very open person who is always trying to help and encourage others with decorating ideas & DIY projects. It is my hope that I can help someone with my story, even if it’s just one.
It was a typical Michigan Fall Sunday in October and the newly built Detroit Tiger Stadium was now open. We were heading downtown with the kids to see the baseball game. Can you say three kiddos and baseball? Exciting! Alex was 11 years old, Chloe was 8 years old, and my youngest son Brandon was only 4 years old. Alex was really into baseball at that age and he was thrilled to go! Brandon and Chloe could have stayed on the merry go round for hours!
That was the first and last time I ever stepped foot into that stadium. Places hold memories, and that stadium is the last memory we made as a family before my son Alex died four days later.
Alex passed away on October 6th, 2000.
He had spinal meningitis from a routine earache despite me taking him to the doctor the day after the baseball game and being put on antibiotics. He was in a coma within hours, and left this earth, and me, just two short days later. He was my first born, my loving son, my world.
I cannot even begin to describe my emotions during this time……the pain was unbearable. I couldn’t even believe what was happening was real. A Mother isn’t supposed to bury their child…..this just wasn’t right. I remember being so angry with God for taking my son. So angry that this experience even made me question my religious beliefs. Why take my baby from me before he even had a chance to live? I wanted nothing more than to see his face again, and I briefly remember thinking of suicide just so I could be with him again. Then I looked over at my two other children, sad, stunned and so lost not even realizing their brother was never coming back. That thought quickly left my head. I need to be strong…..I needed to take care of the only children I had left. I cannot describe the feeling of being so numb.
I just wanted to go to sleep forever.
I remember walking through a haze during the days leading up to his funeral. Because my son was the second child in our area to die from meningitis within a day, the news media was in a frenzy. They were staked outside of our home, outside of the hospital and school officials even closed down his junior high school. We held a press conference at the hospital just so they would leave us alone to grieve. There’s nothing worse than leaving your house and having TV crews following you around town for your story until you talk.
It was because of the heavy news coverage that there were over 400 people in attendance at Alex’s funeral. Every major street was shut down for the funeral procession and traffic was being directed by police officers at every traffic light. I can still feel the tears that rolled down my face when I saw each and every police officer remove their hat and tip it towards the hearse as we drove through each intersection. It was surreal and overwhelming. It still is today.
I look back and ask myself how I made it through those days, how I sometimes make it through a day now. I’ve been told “time heals everything”. Sorry friends, it really doesn’t. It just helps take your mind off the pain for awhile.
How did I make it through? I had the amazing support of family and friends who let me grieve in my own way. I found strength through the thoughtful words of handwritten letters and cards that I received from complete strangers offering their condolences. I made it through because I saw the beautiful faces of my two other children who would smile at me, even though they didn’t want to. I am stronger now than I ever thought humanly possible. I survived. Alex's symbol in my life, is the dragonfly. I have seen them every Spring and Summer since the day of his death. I believe it's his way of letting me know that he is still with me, "following" me in everything that I do.
The dragonfly represents renewal, positive forces and the power of life.A dragonfly lives a very short life and it tries to live it's life to the fullest with what it has.
Alex did just that.
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