Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

 
If you are an 80’s music buff, the title draws you in. A little song by Flock of Sea Gulls. Listening to it, I reflect on my childhood and early adulthood that was tainted by verbal abuse, and realize that the chorus of this song reflects my reaction to those attacks:
 
And I ran
I ran so far away
I just ran
I ran all night and day
I couldn’t get away
 
You see, as a child, any day may have been riddled with hurtful words over something simple, like my decision not to eat my peas. This turned into a barrage of escalating events. I would be told I had poo for brains. I was strong willed and if I dared to voice my opinion, I was seen as being sassy and disrespectful so I would find the first opportunity and run as fast as I could to the nearest peaceful bliss I knew.
 
My little legs ran and ran, through the out buildings of the farm, past the stench of the pig pen and finally across lush green grass to the pond. Void of the insult of those words, my reality became just the sound of birds, a cow calling for her calf, and if I was lucky, a fish jumping in the pond. There, I would sit and dream of a world void of hurt and constant yelling. I would dream of how it would be to pack my bags, and be an adult. No more hurtful words, just peace – like I had by the pond.
 
And that is what I did. I packed my bags and drove off to college. At last, like living my dream by the pond, I felt a sense of satisfaction. As so often happens in the strange paradox of abuse, I equally loathed the environment I came from and its people, but I longed for the attention, negative as it was. I longed for love, and after all, isn’t this what girls dream of?
 
To my surprise, I found my prince! Charmed, I was under his spell. Never mind that he came out strong with messages of isolation, always counteracted by loads of flowers. Not once did I question. Well, there were those hurtful words… that I was loud like a cow on the farm. But I had lived through a lot more than something as silly as this! I longed to keep this Prince Charming forever, and gave in to all demands. And I got pregnant. I found myself in the real throes of being an adult. The hurtful words were more frequent. I now had 2 children. I also shared Prince Charming with his mistress. Picture Halloween with my two lovely children and in front of the treat line, my Prince, his mistress and child. I had no choice, I couldn’t get away!
 
Such a life time ago, and I did find the courage to run. To a better life. But I can assure you now, I will not run. I will stand up for others and I will share. Abuse in any form: physical, verbal and sexual, yes – sexual, should never be acceptable! October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Do your part, help others recognize the signs, stand up and be strong and let others know that our community does not accept domestic abuse in any form.

Her View From Home

Millions of mothers connected by love, friendship, family and faith. Join our growing community. 1,000+ writers strong. We pay too!   Find more information on how you can become a writer on Her View From Home at https://herviewfromhome.com/contact-us/write-for-her//

To the Miscarriage Mom with a Broken Heart on Mother’s Day

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Woman holding single pink daisy

Dear Mama, I want you to know—you aren’t alone. Not even by a little bit. Not ever, but especially not today. There are hearts like yours breaking all over the world today. Whether you are grieving one loss or multiple. Whether you already have a healthy family or this would have been your firstborn. Whether you were family planning the natural way or needed a little help from science. Planned, unplanned. Chemical pregnancy, missed miscarriage, late-term loss. Those details don’t matter today. Today, all our hearts hurt the same. We are all part of the same club we never asked...

Keep Reading

Call Your Mom for Those of Us Who Can’t

In: Grief, Loss
Sunset over water, color photo

I never pictured myself without my mama at only 26 years old. I never saw a life when I couldn’t just pick up my phone to call you after the worst day at work. I never thought I would be crying over one of your recipes at Christmas time because I just can’t make it taste like you did. I never thought I would be jealous when I heard my friends talk about meeting up with their mom for a girl’s day. Here’s the thing, yes I knew it would eventually happen, but I pictured the both of us a...

Keep Reading

Dear Cancer, I Thought We Paid Our Dues

In: Grief, Living, Loss
Mother and grown daughter, smiling, color pboto

This is not how it was supposed to be. I am most certainly not made for this. God, why are you forcing me to travel this road again? When my father died after a long, grueling battle with Stage 4 base of the tongue cancer, I very naively thought, bye cancer. Our family paid our dues, and cancer was never to be seen again. I put on a brave face and began to write about my dad’s cancer journey. I believed the more I poured my heart onto a piece of paper the more cancer would stay away for good....

Keep Reading

A Grandmother’s Legacy Never Dies

In: Grief, Loss
A group of kids, old color photo

My grandmother was a Christian puppeteer. She would play the parts of brother and sister, Wilbur and Willette, race their dog King back and forth, and yell in their mother’s scratchy voice from “off stage,” all from behind her big blue curtain while my aunt talked to the puppets and sang from center stage. Sometimes I’d sit on a folding chair behind the curtain with her. Sometimes I’d watch from the audience. From churches to the Iowa State Fair to summer camps, I witnessed hundreds of children give their lives to Jesus. She wasn’t just my grandmother, she was a...

Keep Reading

Losing a Brother, Understanding My Mother

In: Grief, Loss
Sad woman looking out rainy window

At the end of his life, I didn’t like my brother. That feels awful to say. It probably is awful. My brother died at 35 years old of liver failure. It was a long, ugly death full of prolonged hospital stays and frustration. Even before he was relegated to life support and dialysis, the disease changed him. Maybe he knew what was coming, I don’t know. When he did talk, he was rude or short or full of insults. He had withered into a mean, isolated version of himself. Mostly, I was angry at him for refusing to change. I was...

Keep Reading

A Funeral, a Baby, and Whispers of Love

In: Grief, Loss
Newborn baby next to a purple onesie about a grandma in heaven

I woke up and saw a missed call from the hospital. I called her room, no answer. I  called the front desk and was immediately transferred to the doctor on rotation. My mother had crashed and was in the ICU. He asked if I wanted CPR if she coded. I needed to make a decision and come into the hospital as soon as possible. It was the wee hours of the morning, and I made it to the hospital fairly quickly. I grabbed my mother’s hand—it was ice cold. The nurses were talking to me, but I had tuned out,...

Keep Reading

The Last Text I Sent Said “I Love You”

In: Friendship, Grief, Living
Soldier in dress uniform, color photo

I’ve been saying “I love you” a lot recently. Not because I have been swept off my feet. Rather, out of a deep appreciation for the people in my life. My children, their significant others, and friends near and far. I have been blessed to keep many faithful friendships, despite the transitions we all experience throughout our lives.  Those from childhood, reunited high school classmates, children of my parent’s friends (who became like family), and those I met at college, through work and shared activities. While physical distance has challenged many of these relationships, cell phones, and Facebook have made...

Keep Reading

I Obsessed over Her Heartbeat Because She’s My Rainbow Baby

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Mother and teen daughter with ice cream cones, color photo

I delivered a stillborn sleeping baby boy five years before my rainbow baby. I carried this sweet baby boy for seven whole months with no indication that he wouldn’t live. Listening to his heartbeat at each prenatal visit until one day there was no heartbeat to hear. It crushed me. ”I’m sorry but your baby is dead,” are words I’ll never be able to unhear. And because of these words, I had no words. For what felt like weeks, I spoke only in tears as they streamed down my cheeks. But I know it couldn’t have been that long. Because...

Keep Reading

We’re Walking the Road of Twin Loss Together

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Mother and son walk along beach holding hands

He climbed into our bed last week, holding the teddy bear that came home in his twin brother’s hospital grief box almost 10 years earlier. “Mom, I really miss my brother. And do you see that picture of me over there with you, me and his picture in your belly? It makes me really, really sad when I look at it.” A week later, he was having a bad day and said, “I wish I could trade places with my brother.” No, he’s not disturbed or mentally ill. He’s a happy-go-lucky little boy who is grieving the brother who grew...

Keep Reading

Until I See You in Heaven, I’ll Cherish Precious Memories of You

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Toddler girl with bald head, color photo

Your memory floats through my mind so often that I’m often seeing two moments at once. I see the one that happened in the past, and I see the one I now live each day. These two often compete in my mind for importance. I can see you in the play of all young children. Listening to their fun, I hear your laughter clearly though others around me do not. A smile might cross my face at the funny thing you said once upon a time that is just a memory now prompted by someone else’s young child. The world...

Keep Reading