The day is finally over. It’s a sad, sad day for everyone around. Mostly I stare blankly ahead. At this grey picture that is supposed to be our lives. I think about how life was with Mom (Renée). So full, so lively and so loved. There was never a question of if someone didn’t belong or was wanted. The days had music and color. Everything she touched was special. The kids fought over who got to go to Wal-Mart because she could turn it into a Holiday. Cleaning the kitchen could be done with more fun than some families birthday parties. Even when things were tough, chaos was full throttle and life was questioned; not once were we not happy with Mom. She healed broken animals and children alike. She taught her boys how to love. She made sure her daughters knew that their life was also their dream. The every-day things that were simple to her we have thousands of self-help books covering how to for the rest of us. Childhood friends from less than ideal homes would ask if she could be their Mom too. Animals and people alike were drawn to the farm and to our family. Getting them to leave was usually the problem. I have never met anyone who lived with so much love and enthusiasm in every single day as my Mom. I’ve never heard of a mother with a bigger heart and the skills to back it up. I’ve never met someone who could turn literally anything mundane into fun. I’ve yet to meet a person who sings along with silly songs with her kids and debates philosophy with a keen mind and fresh perspectives. Everything Mom did was nothing short of amazing. It’s easy to think that once someone is gone that talking up their deeds and personality is natural and everything should be taken in account as such. But the truth that everyone who knew her agrees on is that we can’t do her justice. Our reminiscing while seemingly outlandish falls sadly short. As a child your often asked who was your biggest hero, your influence, had the biggest impact on your life ect. Mine has always been Mom. She was the force that moved mountains, saved lives, inspired minds and brought a new meaning to life, love and possibility. Everyday was lived to fullest.
Mom on a friend’s trampoline in the early years in TN.
Nothing was impossible to Mom. She learned whatever she decided she needed to know or was interested in. In the year before she was taken, Mom was in a Irish dance class – because it was fun. Starting a youth wrestling club at the kid’s school because no body else would. Getting her certification in Equine assisted psychotherapy to help behavioral problem children was a goal. As if the challenges of 9 kids, 30 horses on a farm, running a rental house business and homeschooling weren’t enough. Yet no one felt that Mom wasn’t around, involved or too busy for us.
Baby & beer in tow O.C Maryland with Jeremy (brother 3). She never tired of playing with us as children and exploring. We got to go everywhere with her. One year a couple of the kids and her really wanted to see Roswell New Mexico. So she took the 7 yr old (Jason) out of school a week early before Christmas break, packed the 6 youngest kids, myself and a friend of mine into the van and we drove. Dad and the two older boys stayed home with the farm and Wrestling tournaments. All her friends couldn’t believe she was traveling with 6 kids and 2 teenagers across the united states just for a road trip. We went to New Orleans early the next year before it got hit by Katrina too. She loved being a Mom. She loved life. She showed us what possibility really was and just how full everyday could be.
Words do not encompass my Family’s and I loss. The words we use to describe the emotions are flat and lifeless compared to the feelings themselves. 3 years of confusion and colorless life filled with challenges and one question that we will never have the answer to. Why he did it. I know for myself to think of the ‘rest of my life’ now is just too much. Too much sadness and pain. So years after I still have to think in the shorter timelines so as to not despair. 3 years gone. 3 years and it’s still too painful for the right words. 3 years since we heard her sing. 3 years of just trying to get by.
I wish I had some great wisdom to share with the kids and those who lost her. But I’m human. All I have is the same confusion, another shade of grey and another type of hell.