The words that follow may leave some of you thinking I have simply lost my mind and finally snapped after all of these yrs… so 1st I will reassure you that I have been tested and am not crazy in a mental sort of way.
Many of you know part of my story and that about 12 yrs ago my Mother, who was also my best friend, was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer and given 4 to 6 months to live. She died just 6 short weeks later but in that time she never complained or worried about death, she had no fear because she knew where she was going. We were raised Christian and held the promise of eternal life. She used that time to say goodbye to loved ones and plan one last party. Her last hoorah, her going away party, yes her funeral. She loved to entertain and chose everything from the last outfit she would ever wear and the food that would be served at her reception. The day before she died she asked me to take her shopping one last time because it was Fathers Day that coming wknd. So I pushed her thru the mall in a wheelchair because she was too weak to walk and we laughed and shopped as if it wasnt the last time but just a normal day and we even had our nails done and bought her favorite shade of hairdye fr Target. When we got home she stayed in the car and had me run in to get my Daddy because she needed to go down to the funeral home and pick out her urn and design for what she called her program…morbid right I know but thats just the Hayward side of the family…she even told Michael, the funeral director that and I quote, “The doctor said I may lose alot of weight and thats a plus cuz I’ve been dying to lose a few pounds!” and then she laughed hysterically at her own litl joke while my Dad and I gaped at one another fr across the table not sure what to say if anything but her laughter as always was contagious so against our will we joined in and even Michael laughed so hard he cried. My Mother had a favorite hairdresser, a wonderful very gay man who she actually made promise that when she died he would do her hair and makeup one last time so she wouldnt look frumpy in her casket and he loved her so much he agreed. That night I helped her dye her hair and kissed her goodbye to go home to my babies who were five and two at the time. The next day when I arrived she was in bed and very weak and she grabbed my hand and said, “I have a foot in both worlds Rosie, its almost my time to go.” I went out to where my Dad and a supposed death specialist from hospice were talking on the sun porch and they reassured me that her meds were just off and she had an appointment that afternoon. This asshole even went so far as to describe the death rattle that would tell us she was at the end. I left and drove down to the park to call my big brother who was on lunchbreak in Denver and I told him he needed to come home NOW. He called my Dad and was talked out of it…around three oclock or so we heard a loud crash and Mom had fallen out of bed. She kept asking me to help her up saying what a rude hostess she was being to all of the people who were there with her, people we couldnt see and my Dad called an ambulance. I rode with her in the ambulance holding her hand as my Dad drove his car behind and watched her blood pressure slowly drop. She who was the one dying, consoled me, her baby and told me not to hit that brick wall, which at the time made no sence. My big sister met us at the hospital along with a nice lady from hospice and we watched as they one by one turned off all of the machines saying it would be any time now and she was a dnr. We called my brother and put the phone to her ear, she was too weak to talk by then but her got to tell her how much he loved her and as was his way that he’d see her soon. As her breathing began to slow I softly sang the song she had sung us countless times in our lives when we needed calmed, You Are My Sunshine and with my sister and Dad on one side and I on the other tightly holding her hands, we watched as she took her final breath and turned a lighter shade of pale…it gets a litl fuzzy here for me but I clearly remember shutting her eyes and mouth and applying some makeup, knowing she would be mortified if anyone saw her like that and headed straight to the bar where I got smashed on tequila sunrises and endedup puking in the back of my sister in laws car…we had to wait a few extra days to have her funeral because Little Feat was on the road and Uncle Richie couldnt come right away. Before they closed her casket I remember watching each of her five grandbabies put their favorite toys in with her. My son Sammy selflessly gave her his yellow power ranger that he had taken everywhere with him and played with so much it was discolored in spots and my baby girl Magge gave her Mamo her Princess Diana purple beanie baby that no one else was ever allowed to touch. They didnt want her to be alone I guess and did this all on their own. I covered her with a cashmere blanket that she had loved so she wouldnt be cold and the rest is a blur but I do remember the music they played at her service, which she of course had picked out and all of the people who came to show their love and respect for this woman who had touched so many lives during her 51 yrs on earth…
The next day my brother and I got into a spat over a ring we both cherished and instead of hugging him when he left, I flipped him the bird. We didnt talk again for 6 wks which was the longest we had ever been out of communication, even when he had been traveling the world, because we were very close…so much time lost….that is something that too this very day I still regret. Eventually one of us caved and called and picked up as if we had never fought and our relationship grew stronger than ever. We both missed our Mom and drew strength and encouragement from one another. He called me from work one day and said guess where I am. He then told me that he was sitting on top of the scaffolding to eat his lunch so that his co-workers couldnt see him cry. The boy who was so scared of heights he peed his pants once at Pinican Ridge trying to climb the stairs to the tower had overcome his fear just to save face. He was angry at God that day and said he just wanted to know where she was RIGHT NOW! His 1st child entered this world on Friday October 13th, 2000 and there was a full moon that night. Robb and I decided that it was a sign of a new beginning and not a bad omen. We were all going to fly up to meet our new niece the following week but he and his wife decided that the first week she was home would be time for the three of them to bond and not a circus of visitors. He called me on a Sunday morning excited to see us all that coming Friday and we talked for three hours while my then husband took the kids to the park. He told me that he understood true love the first time he looked into his daughters eyes and that he wished he didnt have to return to work the following day and be apart from her for even a second. He also said that he knew he would die young like Grandpa Hayward who had died at 42 but it was okay because he had seen the world and regained the faith that had waivered the past four months after we lost Mom, so he would be ready. I got kinda angry that he would talk that way and he told me to simmer down and that I was stronger than I knew and he was so proud of me. He giggled about how amazed he was that his baby sister, the one with the red kinky hair, crooked teeth and glasses had grown up to be such a beautiful young woman and that I should believe in myself the way he did. Wishing me luck on my real estate exam the next day he promised to call on his lunch break to see how I had done and told me how much he loved me and couldnt wait to hug on me that Friday and show off his new bundle of joy…Monday came and I aced the exam but his call never came and he hadnt answered any of mine. The next morning at 5 am our home phone rang and my Dad told me that there had been an accident at work and that Robb was gone. I threw the phone at the wall refusing to believe what I had just heard and began to scream. It woke up my babies and I had locked myself in the bathroom so they of course started banging on the door and crying out “I want my Mommy!” I was broken and wailed back “Well too damn bad, I want mine too!” Their Dad, for once, took over and the next thing I knew I was on a plane with my big sister and Dad, feeling dead inside. My whole body was numb and I asked how it had happened. Dad told me all he knew was that it was being investigated as homicide but that it looked as if somehow someone had filled in the wrong trench on the worksight and not taken the time to look around the pile of dirt in front of it and with a backhoe had buried my brother alive…
I had never been a big drinker but went downstairs to his space at their house where he kept his drumset and guitars etc and found a fridge stocked with Heineken…It was then that my addiction, my self medicating, began and I drank every night for the next 3 years. I have Lupus and in 2003 got put on narcotic pain pills which I found very soothing and quit drinking all together and began to eat pills like candy…So for 12 years I was an addict and ran from the pain that was eating me up inside. I divorced, withdrew from my family and friends and spun down a path of self distruction, dragging my babies with me. I was depressed, lost and angry at God. In fact I was so angry at God that I just stopped talking to him all together. My sister and Dad got back involved in church and I resented their faith and ability to move on…
I began to use and sell oxycontin and became so addicted that I had to have it just to function and get out of bed to even bathe. I knew I had a problem and tried to detox myself many times on my own, too ashamed to ask for help and I failed again and again until August 14th, 2011. My uncle was in town from New Jersey and I had run out of pills so I was too sick to drive 20 minutes to see him. I finally asked my Dad for help and went into the hospital to be medically detoxed. I hit my one yr anniversary this August and felt like my life was just continuing to go downhill. I used to sell some of my meds to afford my habit and was now sober but poorer than ever and felt very alone. I had a whole in my heart that could not be filled and when the kids returned to school, my son now a senior and my daughter a freshman, I hit my emotional bottom and lost my will to live. I was so depressed that I didnt get out of bed and quit eating. I was just getting thru each day to get to the next till I was finally allowed to die. I could not see my future past the kids leaving the nest and felt like a waste of space…
That Thursday I woke up at 4am and had been up for four hours and wide awake watching tv when I saw a small flash of movement out of the corner of my eye. I turned my head and sitting there, on the love seat was my big brother as real as you or I. I said, “Oh my God, I miss you so much!” and he said, “I know right…are you kidding me!” Then he crossed his eyes with a smile and made a face that only he could master, a face that as a child had gotten me into and out of alot of trouble, especially when he did it behind Moms back as she was scolding me, because she thought I was being a disrespectful litl turd and laughing at her out of disrespect…I began to laugh so hard that I closed my eyes for just a second and when I opened them, he was gone. Then I started to weep like I have never in my life done before. My daughter was asleep on the couch next to me and it woke her up. When she asked what was wrong I said “Robbys here, cant you feel him in the room?” and I felt his love surround me and hug me tight for just a moment before his energy had faded…I wept uncontrollably for two days and my kids seriously thought I had lost my mind and even accused me of using drugs again. The second day before bed I wrote two pages about my experience in a journal. I pictured God up in heavan playing golf and looking away for just a split second when Robbs accident occured then going “Uh Oh, cant fix this one.” Assuming that Robb was meaning, are you kidding me, what a stupid way to die!” When I woke up there were 12 pages I do not remember writing and they were in a sort of frantic script that was like mine but at the same time not and I began to read them. As I did, I literally felt the whole inside me get smaller and smaller until it was completely gone and the depression which had plagued me for so long was instantly lifted. Here is what they say…
”ARE YOU KIDDING ME, YOU THINK YOU CAN GET RID OF ME THAT FAST?
YOUR NOT ALONE, NEVER HAVE BEEN, I’M STILL HERE LOVING YOU.
DONT GIVE UP ON YOURSELF, ITS TIME TO FIGHT BACK NOW, THIS IS YOUR FUTURE WERE TALKIN ABOUT.
THIS IS YOUR STORY WERE WORKING ON, IVE ALREADY HAD MINE AND YOU CANT LET IT BREAK YOU.
MY LITTLE SISTER DOESNT QUIT AND SHES NOT GONNA START NOW, SO SNAP OUT OF IT AND QUIT MISSING ME.
I NEVER LEFT YOU, I NEVER GAVE UP ON YOU AND AM NOT GONNA LET YOU GIVE UP ON YOURSELF.
YOUR KIDS ARE BEAUTIFUL AND A REFLECTION OF YOURSELF,
OWN THAT AND GIVE THEM YOUR BEST SMILES AND THAT LAUGHTER THAT HEALS.
LET THEM KNOW A MOM WHO LOVES HERSELF AGAIN AND WONT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER.
WRITE EVERY DAY LIKE I TOLD YOU AND LET YOURSELF BE LOVED AND GIVE LOVE IN RETURN.
DONT BE AFRAID OF THE PAIN, EMBRACE IT AND MAKE IT YOUR FUEL.
REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE AND GO LIGHT UP THIS WORLD WITH YOUR CHARM, DIMPLES AND MUSIC AND WHEN THE TABLES ARE TURNING JUST BE FLEXIBLE TO CHANGE SEATS AND THINK OF THE BIG PICTURE YOU WILL SEE INSTEAD OF DWELLING ON THE VIEW…
CHERISH THE PAST BUT DO NOT LIVE IN IT BECAUSE THAT CLOSES YOUR EYES TO WHAT MAY BE RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU, JUST AS I WAS AND HAVE BEEN ALL ALONG.
KNOW I MISS YOU TOO AND WISH YOU COULD FEEL MY ARMS AROUND YOU.
KNOW YOU MADE ME PROUD AND NOW GO OUT AND DO IT FOR YOURSELF.
TAKE CARE OF DAD AND HOLLY NAD REMEMBER THAT THEY MISS ME TOO.
BUT WHEN YOU SHUT THEM OUT THEY DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO.
FORGIVE THEM FOR THAT.
ITS NOT THEIR FAULT THEY HADNT KNOWN YOU LIKE MOM AND I AND WERE PRETTY UNPREPARED FOR THIS AS WELL.
MOM DID KINDA KEEP US TO HERSELF WHILE ALIVE SO REALIZE THAT THEY DESERVE A CHANCE TO KNOW YOU.
THE REAL YOU, AND LOVE AND ACCEPT YOY UNCONDITIONALLY AS WE DID.
IT’S ALREADY THERE MANDE BUT YOU HAVE TO ALLOW THEM TO LOVE YOU IN THEIR OWN WAY AND YOU HAVE TO TRUST THAT THEIR LOVE IS AS PURE AS OURS, ITS JUST A DIFFERENT COLOR.
OURS JUST SEEMS BETTER BECAUSE ITS SAFE AND FAMILIAR BUT YOU LOOK BEAUTIFUL IN THEIRS TOO AND ITS TIME YOU WEAR IT WITH PRIDE.
SHOW THEM THE LOVE IN YOUR HEART AND QUIT PUSHING THEM AWAY.
LET THEM CLAIM YOU AS I ONCE DID AND ALLOW THEM THE HONOR OF LOVING YOU AND KNOWING YOU AS I DO.
LET ME IN AND TAKE THE DOOR OFF ITS HINGES BECAUSE AS I SHOWED YOU TODAY AND YOU HAVE ALWAYS KNOWN, FAMILY IS LOVE AND LOVE IS ETERNAL.
THEY ARE YOUR FAMILY TOO AND NEED YOU IN WAYS YOU HAVE NEVER IMAGINED.
BE THERE FOR THEM.
YOU ARE ALL HURTING AND MOSTLY BECAUSE YOU CANT MOVE FORWARD AND YOUR UNHAPPINESS IS LIKE A DARK CLOUD THAT HOVERS NEAR THEIR HEARTS EVEN WHEN YOU THINK YOU’VE BEEN FORGOTTEN, JUST AS YOUR SPARKLE CAN LIGHT UP THE DAY LIKE A RAY OF SUNSHINE WHEN YOU LET IT OUT.
I NEVER MEANT TO TAKE THAT SPARKLE AWAY AND I PROMISE YOU THAT WE WILL NOT ONLY FIND IT AGAIN BUT GIVE IT A PURPOSE.
GOD HAS A PLAN FOR YOU AND ITS BIG. SO DRY YOUR TEARS AND READY YOURSELF BY FOLLOWING YOUR HEART.
LISTEN TO IT QUIETLY EACH NIGHT BEFORE BED, LISTEN FOR ME.
LET IT REINTRODUCE YOU TO THE PASSIONS YOU’VE FORGOTTEN AND YOUR DREAMS AND HOBBIES THAT YOUR GRIEF HAS PUSHED ASIDE.
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF AND TRUST IN LOVE.
ONE DAY AT A TIME BABE AS LONG AS YOU JUST KEEP MOVING EVERYONE GETS A BLUE RIBBON AT THE FINISH LINE.
LOVE ONE ANOTHER, LOVE YOURSELF AND ALLOW OTHERS TO LOVE YOU BECAUSE OVER HERE THATS ALL THAT MATTERS AND ALL YOU TAKE TO THE BANK.
YOU HAVE ALWAYS LOVED TO A FAULT AND BEEN HURT AT TIMES BECAUSE OF THE END RESULTS, BUT THE LOVING PART FOR YOU NOT ONLY COMES EASY BUT YOUR WORDS EXPRESS IT LIKE FEW CAN AND YOUR SO GOOD AT IT SIS THAT YOU CANT NOT SHARE THAT WITH THE WORLD.
DO NOT LET YOUR PAST FORESHADOW YOUR FUTURE ANY LONGER.
I AM NOT GONE, I HAVENT LEFT YOU, IM JUST NOW IN THE RAFTERS CHEERING YOU ON AND DEMANDING NOTHING LESS THAN A PERFORMANCE OF A LIFETIME AND A STORY THAT WILL TOUCH THE HEARTS OF MANY.
ITS OKAY, I’VE HAD MINE.
DONT GET ME WRONG, IT ROCKED BUT IT IS JUST A CHAPTER IN YOURS AND THERE ARE MANY MORE TO WRITE.
ALLOW LIFE TO HAPPEN TO YOU AND REMEMBER TO LAUGH AT YOURSELF, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU KNOW YOU HAVE TRIED YOUR BEST AND FAILED.
BECAUSE YOUR BEST HAS ALWAYS BEEN ABLE TO OUTSHINE MINE BUT YOU DONT BELIEVE IT AND THEN DONT TRY, NOT ONLY MISSING OUT ON THE POSSIBLE HEARTACHES BUT ALSO THE MANY MOMENTS TO COME THAT WILL TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY AND LEAVE YOU WANTING MORE…
TAKE THEIR BREATH AWAY, EXPECT THE IMPOSSIBLE AND DEMAND THE BEST AND YOU WILL FIND YOUR SMILE AGAIN ALONG WITH THOSE OF MANY OTHERS WHO HAVE BEEN PATIENTLY WAITING TO BE LET INTO YOUR WORLD AGAIN.
ALWAYS KNOW I LOVE YOU!
AND REMEMBER BABY SIS THAT ONE THING YOU DO HAVE IN COMMON WITH DAD AND HOLLY IS ME AND MOM, SO START WITH THAT AND GO FROM THERE.
KNOWING HOW MUCH YOU MISS ME, ALLOW THEM TO MISS US TOO, IN THEIR OWN WAY AND REMEMBER TO LOVE THEM A LITTLE HARDER FOR US OKAY BECAUSE WE MISS YOU ALL TOO AND ARE ALWAYS RIGHT HERE WAITING TO BE REMEMBERED AND LOVING YOU.
BUT YOU ARE STILL THERE AND ABLE TO CONTRIBUTE TO THEIR FOUR HUGS A DAY AND SINCE YOU’VE MISSED SOME JUST MAKE IT SIX!
KISS YOUR KIDS AND LOVE ON THEM BUT PLEASE START LIVING FOR YOURSELF.
KEEP FIGHTING NO MATTER WHAT LIFE TOSSES AT YOU.
LITTLE GIRL YOU’VE ALREADY PROVEN YOU CAN WITHSTAND THE NEXT BLOW.
NOW ITS TIME TO SWITCH UP THE GAME A BIT, DUCK N WEAVE, STOP, DROP AND ROLL IF YOU HAVE TO BECAUSE NEVER WILL MY LITTLE SISTER GET KNOCKED DOWN.
BUT FIRST YOU HAVE TO STAND BACK UP AND RE-ENTER THE RING.
ITS BEEN WAITING FOR YOU AND ITS TIME TO SHOW IT ALL WEVE TAUGHT YOU PLUS DISCOVER MOVES OF YOUR OWN YOU DONT EVEN KNOW YOU HAVE LEARNED YET.
STAND UP, SHAKE IT OFF AND BRING IT SIS.
THERES LOTS OF PEOPLE BELIEVING IN AND COUNTING ON YOU TO OWN IT AS YOU SAY AND SHOW THEM THAT YOU ALSO BELIEVE IN YOURSELF AND FOR GOOD REASON!
YOU HAVENT EVEN BEGUN TO PEAK YET, SO GET READY FOR THE CLIMB AND ENJOY THE HEIGHTS BUT RELAX ONLY WHEN YOU KNOW YOU HAVE OUT DONE YOURSELF.
ALLOW THE PRAISE AND COMPLIMENTS OF OTHERS TO NOT ONLY SOOTHE AND REASSURE YOU BUT TO GIVE YOU STRENGHTH AND PEACE.
GO TO SLEEP AT NIGHT FOCUSING ON THE LOVE AND NOT THE INJUSTICE IN THE WORLD BECAUSE LOVE WILL AND DOES SUSTAIN YOU!”