Keep Looking Up

May 15, 2018

One year ago today I typed my last blog post.

If you are reading this, I am thankful for you.

One year ago was the ten year anniversary of my sweet little brother’s passing. In those ten years, I had come to peace with his death and learned so much about life — that it is not controllable or guaranteed.

My conclusion was that I do my best when I find the positive regardless of what kind of negative things are coming my way. It felt good and right and wonderful to write that post on the day he passed on. I was back in the saddle and ready to embrace the days in front of me. I had found that place in me determined to say yes to life and whatever came my way.

I hadn’t really gotten my post up when my employee who had been helping manage our facility for six years walked in and quit without notice. Without a second thought, I accepted his resignation with an okay and a determination that it was a test of whether or not I really meant what I had said — that I could and would say yes and accept life on God’s terms. Yes, I could and would. While I said yes out loud, my stomach ached with fear and a worry that I was not mentally capable of managing our company on that level. There had been a lot of life and death and loss in the last ten years. It had taken its toll and I knew that.

I called my Mama as I did on many days home from work and she told me the thing she always did — I was the strongest person she knew and I could get through it, all I had to do was keep looking up and have faith. Yes, I could

It wasn’t an easy yes or a happy one. I had been out of that saddle for quite a long time. I wanted to write and share my heart and help others. The thing was that while my heart and soul longed for bigger things, it was my day job that was paying the power bills and the mortgage. Yes, I could do this. I could bide my time until the time that I finally managed to get KLP — my writing — off the ground. If God meant for it to be, it would. All I had to do was look up and have faith.

I threw myself back into my oldest position at our company and was moving along okay. Two weeks later on the way to work the call came that we had been broken into. The break-in wound up being more than just a robbery. It was identity theft and a very serious computer hack. I knew that when I walked in and found one of my manuscripts — which was a diary I had kept — on the screen of an employee’s computer. Oh my goodness! Someone had access to every secret I had ever had. How stupid of me to have poured out my soul thinking it was safe on a hard drive.

It was eery to say the least and then got even more so. Someone had created a spreadsheet named Haywood of my whereabouts at certain times and purchases I had made. Who was I and why on earth would anyone care that Lee and I had been taking dancing lessons on Haywood Road amongst other things that were private to us?

I called Mama quite fearful that someone knew the intimate details of my life and was tracking me. What if they put some of these well-kept secrets out into the world. Would people judge me? Would they think I was a bad person? Mama told me the same thing again — I was the strongest person she knew and as long as I kept looking up and had faith, everything would be okay. Once again, she gave me the courage I needed to tell myself, yes, I could.

The hack didn’t just end. For the next three months, our passwords were changed on a daily basis and the thought that I might be losing my mind would permeate my thoughts. I wasn’t sure I could do it. I wasn’t sure that I could keep looking up and knowing that my faith would carry me through anything. I hated that feeling.

The months passed and I struggled to gain my footing. Maybe I wasn’t as strong as Mama thought I was. She continued to tell me I was and I kept repeating that back to myself. Yes, I was and I could plow right on through. I kept looking up. I kept listening to Mama.

And then in what seems like a flash, Mama died. As it turned out, Mama was struggling too but she was too busy being the cheerleader to tell me the truth of her own struggles.

Do you want to know what it feels like when the world ends? Watch your Mama draw her last breath. Walk out of a room and leave her old body in a bed knowing that you won’t ever see her smile again or hear her giggle. Come home and let it slowly sink in that there will be no more calls to Mama because you have heard her voice on the phone for the very last time. Wake up on Mother’s Day and let it hit you that your Mama has gone on. All of those have been hard!

I’ve spent the last five months wondering how my brother Griffen is closer to me than ever but Mama seems so far away. I believe with everything I am that life doesn’t end at death. But for everything that I can feel –.Mama has left me. I cry out for her and want to call her but I can’t. My tears overflow on a regular basis. My heart aches to hear her tell me just how strong I am. I miss her so much!

I feel like I let her down in her last months. I’m so intuitive and really should have known she was suffering. I wish she had been able, to be honest, but I can’t fault her. She did the best that she could. What I’ve learned is I get my fake it until I make it abilities from her. I’m really good at faking it and as it turns out, she was too. She faked it really well up until the last week of her life.

I’ve wallowed in my grief and my broken heart and I am sure that will continue. I’ve struggled horribly these last almost five months. Today on this anniversary of Griffen’s passing I am picking myself up with a renewed determination that I can get through anything. All I have to do is keep looking up and having faith and knowing that anything less would be an insult and disappointment to Mama.

f you are struggling, you can make it too. It might be the hardest thing ever but come baby step with me and let’s heal our brokenness together.

Mama, I will continue to follow in your footsteps and spread kindness and love and be forgiving. You impacted me more than I ever knew and I pray that as long as I breathe, I make you proud.\r\n\r\nIf you have stuck with me to the end of this and are still reading, go out and hug someone you love today. Never take for granted that they will be here. I thought I got that lesson from my brother but Mama has given me a hard reminder that time passes and we forget.

I don’t know what the future holds but I am going to say yes!

Much Love,


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