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Okay, Today Was A Little Better

I’ve been going through all of Streeter’s Legos looking for just the minifigures, working on displaying at least some of the best ones we collected.

IMG_4702This is just some of what I have found… it at least gave me some good memories of all the Lego sets that we bought and assembled them together. Its the one thing we loved doing and as he got older, I would organize the colors and sizes and help him find them as he needed them. The great thing about Lego sets is that they come in a wide variety of prices.

When Streeter was little and going to half day kindergarten, I would pick him up everyday and we’d have lunch together before I took him to his afternoon daycare. We ate quite a bit of McDonald’s and Burger King and Wendy’s and other fast food places. I set up a little system that he could trade his meal “toy” for a special ticket that I created. One ticket was worth a small Lego set, four tickets was worth a medium toy and ten tickets was worth a large toy. Saved myself from throwing away a lot of those crap toys and he ended up with a very nice collection of Lego sets. In California, his Dad built him one of those Lego tables and once we built a city – had a zoo, a hospital, houses on a lake, gas station, mountains with pine trees… lots and lots of details and it was so much fun working together.

Unfortunately, there came a time when he wanted less to do with Legos and was more interested in computers and computer accessories. We sold the majority of them on eBay for more than $2000, a nice start for his new interest. Several times afterwards, he said he had wished that he hadn’t sold his collection and there were times I wished he hadn’t either.

So, over time we did manage to acquire a few more sets – like the Beatle’s Yellow Submarine set. They have those mystery packs of minifigures which was really fun trying to guess what the bag contained. I will probably continue to collect these to keep that part of us alive.

I collected a couple of shadow boxes and collection boxes and am organizing those I want to display. I’ve contacted this company that makes special large Lego men sized for holding ashes. It doesn’t appear that there will be an Alaskan trip – at least not this summer – so I am considering ordering one for the meantime. There were only four very generous donations to my GoFundMe campaign ( but not coming close enough to make the trip.

I met with a new psychotherapist today and having to start the process all over didn’t feel helpful at all. Still looking around for the right support group. Trying to attend to too many things at the same time seems to overwhelm me, so I am trying to deal with less things in a single day. Tomorrow I’ll try to take on a couple of more.


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This Has to be The Worst Day Yet

Today marks one month since my darling son felt that he had no choice but to take his own life. I awoke in tears today.

And it went downhill since that. While I have often put on a “brave” face for many things: jobs, shopping, paying bills, cleaning the house and trying to be creative enough to merit yet another blog post on my other blog, today was almost impossible.

So, in addition to feeling lost, lonely and utterly sad, I am now faced with the fact that my husband (while I was in the hospital) hired a divorce attorney, set up his own bank account and diverted all of his funds into it and announced to me – when I finally got to come home from the hospital – that he was divorcing me, retiring from his job and moving to Arizona.

From the moment I knew infertility treatment had finally worked and my baby boy was safely on his way, I was intent on giving him everything I didn’t have growing up with so many brothers and sisters – an steadily absent father (long haul truck driver most of my life) and an overworked and angry mother who blamed everyone else for having all of this thrust upon her,

I have said many times that there is no way that two people should have this many kids – there just isn’t enough time, attention, love and interest in a couple (let alone for all intents and purposes a ‘single’ mother) to give to that many kids. And I was angry about all that I did not get and that doesn’t even include the lack of ‘stuff’ that every child dreams about.

I wanted Streeter to have everything – mostly my love and attention – but those material things that I never had. A nice house, his own room and bed and the very best in clothes and toys and opportunities. I wanted to give to him – while also giving myself those things – the opportunity to travel and see the country. And (almost) every toy that he ever wanted. But most of all, I wanted – no needed – to give him my affection and love, hugs and kisses, to be read to before bed and the real need to be proud of himself as well as his family.

I have worked very hard over the past thirty years or so to acquire those things I felt were necessary to live the ‘good life’. And now I see it unraveling right in front of my eyes on the heels of him losing his life. I can’t seem to find a job, my health right now is a joke, I am soon to lose my house and my car and that goes without saying that everything that he had that meant so much to him.

Yesterday I had this breakdown in an aisle in HomeDepot, today it was in IKEA. If I don’t say anything and don’t look people in the eye I have the slightest chance of not losing it, but the checkout clerk was so kind and I didn’t want to intentionally hurt his feelings, so I stumbled out the words that I wasn’t intentionally being disrespectful, but that I had just lost my son. As soon as the words fell out of my mouth, he wanted to hug me and say something meaningful but I couldn’t stand there one more second, but broke down into tears, sobbing as I stumbled off towards the exit. Once outside, the tears flooded from my eyes and I couldn’t turn it off for like fifteen minutes.

I am missing him so much it physically hurts. I’ve not had anyone offer me a hug or a hand or arm across my shoulders in weeks and I am so used to have hundreds of hugs and kisses from my baby. It is the worst kind of withdrawal I couldn’t ever imagine until now.

My life seems to be falling apart a little more every day. This morning I didn’t even get that fraction of a second when waking to not realize he was gone, I woke up in tears. One month has passed and I can’t seem to see it ever getting better…. only worse and worse.

I really don’t know how I will ever bear this…

Streeter's Mom

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Tomorrow Marks One Month

I honestly don’t know how many more mornings I can wake up and deal with the fact that my baby, my best friend and constant companion is dead.

Sometimes I think this is the longest April Fool’s joke anyone has ever played and that one day he will walk through the front door and give me a big bear hug and lots of kisses.

But my mind knows better. And my heart is just so broken that I can’t see much past the next two minutes at any time and it is only due to my doctor that I can sleep now that he has prescribed sleeping pills. Even at that I am only getting about six hours of sound sleep. Every night when I go to bed, I look upwards and ask that if there really is a God that he take me before morning. It never fails that I wake up and think about my baby and cry and cry and cry. I can’t imagine how this will ever get better.

I see and hear and remember him in every corner and room in this house. I can’t imagine living in this house without it driving me slowly insane, but then again I can’t begin to think about loosing the house that he spent most of his life growing up in and even dying in. I am so confused and lost and don’t know what to think or how to move forward.

I can’t even imagine what was going on inside of him. He always seemed like such a happy and helpful kid…. he always was helping with my projects or willing to sit with me and watch television or a movie. Loved to play on his computers and always willing to lend me a hand with my issues. One of the things we loved to do was go ‘thrifting’ and looking for Pyrex or Magnalite pot and pans and apples and cupcakes and mostly his love of all things military. He has enough fatigues to clothe a small army. And, of course, his collection of money… he was a numismatist.

Legos. He loved his legos. I love Stephen King’s books. It was so fun going out on a saturday morning and hit three or four thrift stores. Occassionally we went to estate sales… you never know what you might run across. He always said that the houses smelled “like old people”, so we didn’t go often, but when we did, we usually found some pretty cool stuff.

What was going on in his head and his heart that he felt he had no reason to go on? I couldn’t have loved him more and told him often. Hugged and kissed him all the time and he would do this in front of others… in public. He was the essence of my heart. When he was born, someone told me that I would then know what it meant to live with my heart outside my body. It couldn’t have been more true. And now that he is gone, he took my heart with him and I feel dead inside.

Streeter's Mom

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How Can This Ever Get Better?

Mornings are the worst. There is this fraction of a second as I am waking up that it doesn’t quite occur to me that he’s gone. And that everything isn’t broken.

Most of the time I just wished that I would be dead alongside of him. I can’t really understand or make it make sense how I am supposed to live without him.

I picked up his death certificate yesterday. Can you believe that they make you pay to get this? And the clerks behind the glass are so unfeeling and unkind. Again for the detective’s report at yet another police station. I am stiff fighting to get back the possessions when they carried him out of here.

If it weren’t for the myriad of drugs that the psychiatrist has prescribed, I’d not sleep either. Sometimes I wish I would never sleep again. Or always be asleep. My head hurts and I am dehydrated from crying constantly and it breaks my heart over and over to have to think about selling this house that he grew up in. You can see him everywhere in this house… things he did, things he said, places where he just ‘was’.DSCN0164Everything I did in the past couple of years, I absolutely depended on him for help. Sometimes it was because of my knees, sometimes it was because he was an excellence source of help but mostly because I just like ‘being’ with him. Just hanging out. He help maneuver my large quilts as I was sewing, helping me with ALL of the projects we did on, making dinner, running errands with me… just everything.

As I sit through these days realizing everything ahead of me, my brain can’t help but leap first to needing his help. And then, of course, realize that he is no longer around to help me. And then my brain goes numb trying to figure out how I am ever gonna make it without him.

Streeter's Mom


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Everyone says it will get better…

Just about the time I think I have the positive energy to get something done, my brain goes into overdrive and my heart breaks in about ten millions pieces all over again.

In between job hunting, doctors’ visits, therapists’ and group meetings, I have to think about finding a new place to live, getting rid of probably 75% of all my “stuff”, which includes all the heartbreaking things that my baby boy collected. The carpeting in his room has to be replaced so there is dealing with the homeowner’s insurance as well.

The new place has to be able to accommodate at least my quilting stuff, which I can’t even imagine trying to move all of that downstairs. There’s five bedrooms’ worth of furniture and it just seems to go on and on and on.

Looks like I will lose my health insurance, no small thing in this day and age coupled with the place I am at right now.

I sit here an try to get organized in some way and I can’t help but think about what life was like just a month ago… I never had a clue that he was so depressed.

And there is that… I am still dealing with an unsympathetic Kansas City police department and medical examiner’s office… I can’t even get his Certificate of Death. The detective in the case was a real asshole when I tried to talk to him about what happened. It’s like he was just one insignificant kid to the rest of the whole world… but to me he was the whole world. My whole world. I don’t know how I am going to make it in this world without him.

photoThis was just the kind of kid he was. I just don’t understand what was going on with him. I never saw a second of depression in him and God knows I know depression in me.

Every morning I would hear him come down the stairs, taking them three at a time: thump thump thump, thump thump thump, thump thump thump. And he’d be cautiously knocking on my bedroom door to see if he could make me breakfast. Or better yet, come slip in beside me and snuggle with me. Talk about the day and what had to be done and what we wanted to do.

And every night the same ritual when I would text him that I was heading to bed… thump thump thump, thump thump thump, thump thump thump… and a couple of g’night kisses and a hug or two. We exchanged about a million texts, it was just such a part of our communications… and he could say anything to me. Told each other we loved each other dozens of times a day. And kisses and hugs all the time. Even though he was not a kid anymore, he still loved his momma.

Took such good care of me when I had all those surgeries in the past couple of years… gall bladder, kidney stone and both knee replacements. Would drive from Kansas City North to Overland Park every day. Never hesitated if I needed him to pick up something or make dinner or breakfast or run to the store. I feel like I died right along side of him.

010114I love you so  much baby bear of mine…

Streeter's Mom

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Grieving is Hard Work

For the second day in a row, I have spent every second alone. Even though I know that people cannot just drop their lives and rush off to support me. Especially when I’ve intentionally secluded myself…. but I suppose I wished that I had someone reach out. My son’s best friend has been wonderful in attempting to help me, but that’s a heavy burden to put on the shoulders of a 21 year old young man also attempting to deal with what I think is his first hand knowledge of death.

Even my son’s father is not understanding in the least. His last comment to me was something along the lines of “I thought the hospital was supposed to fix you”. Perhaps I should be thinking of him as well, but Streeter was my child, my best friend, my constant companion. We had all of these inside jokes and history. I had so much more to give to him and share with him.


His Grandmother’s Funeral… Grandma loved blue, so he picked it out just for her.

I can’t keep myself moving in a single direction. So unlike me. I can’t think and I can’t keep my thoughts moving in a straight line. Right now I have but one goal and that is to raise enough money to get Streeter’s ashes to Alaska. After that, who knows. I am guessing that I will eventually have to go back to work… well, “eventually” seems a misnomer, seems I should have gone back to work months ago. Everything seems to be hanging by a thread.

I keep vacillating between selling the house and everything in that reminds me of my sweet baby boy. A clean slate, so to speak.

But then I start looking at the sheer amount of ‘stuff’ that he collected and simply could not bring myself to part with a single piece that meant so much to him. So many memories in the pieces he kept. And just the sheer amount of work that will be involved in looking, touching and assessing the personal value of each item. I can’t even begin to imagine how I can let go of even the smallest objects, let along let complete strangers paw through his prized collections.

On top of this, of course, is his day to day possessions, his clothes, shoes, toothbrush. I don’t even want to think about taking care of his room – the room he died in. I am staunchly on the fence about a clean sweep of the room, turning into yet another quest room or an extended craft room and restoring it back to the wonderful little ‘pad’ that we spend so much time and energy not that long ago. One of my therapists (yes, therapists with an ‘s’) tells me not to think about it right now. But how can I not?

Oh God, I think I need a nap and a reprieve from thinking. About anything and everything.


Streeter's Mom

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Apparently, He Was a ‘Rainbow Baby’

I have been searching and hunting for a support group for women who have experienced what I’ve gone through.

The “official” definition is: A Rainbow Baby is a baby born after a loss. That loss may be a miscarriage, a stillbirth, or an infant loss. It may even be the loss of a grown child. But when the mother who has lost a child goes on to birth another live baby, the affectionate term “Rainbow Baby” is given to her new and wondrous gift.

So, I guess Streeter qualified as a “Rainbow Baby” and I couldn’t have loved any child more. The problem isn’t that he wasn’t healthy (he was über healthy) or that he didn’t have mental issues (other than the Einstein Syndrome). It was that he was the most perfect child I could ever have hoped for.

But there was something wrong- obviously. Whether is was ‘normal’ teenage/youth angst or about being expected to leap from the nest or that he was depressed. Now I know that he was extremely depressed/suicidal. Easy to make the diagnosis following. You know, the whole “hindsight is 20/20” thing.

I looked up what the signs of depression in young men are supposed to be and honestly, I did not see any of these in Streeter. Perhaps he was adept at hiding it or maybe I just wasn’t paying close enough attention (though I doubt it). Maybe it was one thing that hit recently and it impacted him too much… I don’t know. I went through a period of doubt and believing that maybe, perhaps it could have been an accident, but the coroner is ruling it a suicide. The signs were there that it couldn’t have been anything but intentional.

Tonight has been especially hard for me. Its been windy and cold and the house creaks and it sounds like he is upstairs playing on his computer much too late. I think that I cannot really find someone to understand, not having to – as I so angrily referred to it in the hospital – as no one who has walked through the fire of infertility for nearly five years to finally get the child of my dreams, only to lose him far, far too soon.

Who do I talk to? Who can I say, explain, cry about to who would really get it? I don’t have other children, I am too old for another child (and even if I weren’t, it would be the whole infertility thing all over again.

Mother’s day is just around the corner and now I am no longer a ‘mom’. I have no one who to make me a special breakfast or bring me flowers or just snuggle and watch a movie with. I’ll never be the ‘mother of the groom’ nor will I ever be ‘Grandma’. I don’t have someone to help with all my crafts and projects… sometimes I think I did all those projects just to have a reason to have him spend time with me.

I have lost my favorite traveling companion. We’ve been all over the U.S. and it has been great that we were both interested in seeing the same sites and places. Nice when he was old enough to help drive and wonderful that we essentially liked the same music and would sing out loud and crackly to the radio. As most of you know, we were talking about making the trip to Alaska this summer (so I would come home and finally go back to school while he either worked or started college). Make the drive, taking our time and do all those goofy things we always did together.

SoAsh Urn Pendent, I hope to take the trip with him one last tiAsh Marble Pendentme. I am planning on making the trek to Alaska and leaving his ashes there. At least part of them. There are a few people who will be getting keepsakes of his ashes – either in little enclosed pendents or I can have some of his ashes made into a ‘marble’ type pendent.

And, again much like his mom, he never found, was given or bought something that he didn’t keep. You would not begin to believe the immensity of ‘stuff’ (or as he called it ‘treasures’) that I have to go through and try to decide what to do with it all. I get as far as his bedroom door and cannot go any further. And, of course, are the ten thousand photos I have take of him. They adorn every wall of every room and fill dozens of photo albums (and don’t forget his four baby books!).

Half the time I want to leave everything exactly the way it is, like I am expecting him to walk back through the front door and yell “SURPRISE!” or something. The other half of the time I want to just throw it all away and spare myself bumping into his shoes on the stairs or his clean clothes still sitting on the cabinet in the upstairs hallway – right outside his door.

And then I get overwhelmed and I can’t breathe or stop from sobbing. I obviously need him to help me. What a painful, horrible Catch-22.

And I can’t sleep….


Streeter's Mom



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Quora asks “What is the Most Horrible Thing in the World?”

I started this blog about 7 or 8 years ago as I found myself hitting the “50” milestone. Up to this point things had been pretty good – not without blood, sweat and lots of tears, but in the end, at that point things were pretty great.

The original blog had this photo as the header:


This was taken while we were on a trip to Mount Rushmore, Streeter driving real highways and interstate after just getting his driver’s license. The road was clear and the weather couldn’t have been better and we were singing to the radio and really have a super great day.

Then from out of nowhere and you can see there is no where there, a cop snapped on his sirens and pulled us over. Not only did he give Streeter a speeding ticket (going 60 in a 50 zone) which made his license provisional until 18 – but threatened to arrest me for “adding to the delinquency to a minor” after attempting to explain that I thought it was okay to go a little faster than the speed limit and our joy getting the best of us. I snapped the photo thinking I would protest the ticket later  (Nebraska btw) but then decided to use it as the original header to this blog, which was supposed to be about where I was going with the rest of my life.IMG_1123

Little did I know that I would lose him just six short years later.

I wanted to give you a little background on what this entry was supposed to be all about. See, I was sent to a psychiatric hospital where for a week I wouldn’t come out of the room. When they finally told me the only way to get discharged was to participate in group therapies, I relented.

I sat in this room with the most pitiful people I had ever met. The two worst cases were a 72 year old man whose was grieving the passing of his parents ten years ago. The other was this woman who was just ‘sad’ (her word not mine) and that a second cousin had died a few months before and her dog died last month.

I was aghast. What could these people know of me finding my only son that I walked through fire to be able to give birth, was dead. That I simply, too, was dead yet my heart wouldn’t stop beating. I knew that group would never work for me. How many people are there in the world that had lost only children that were the result of infertility treatments that committed suicide? Right now it seems to be a very exclusive club of one.

This post was prompted by a question on Quora: “What is the most horrible thing in the world?”

The first post was written (written well, I might add) about a young girl who gets out of bed and puts her feet on a cold floor and makes her way to the kitchen to find that she had no milk. End of answer. The “most horrible thing in the world?”

Here was my answer:

What is the most horrible thing in the world?


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Streeter Daniel-Benson Grant 06/30/95 – 03/23/18 Rest in Peace My Baby Boy

I’ve never been predictably methodical about writing in this blog and as such, doesn’t have much of a following. My other blog gets much more visits due to the large number of projects, writing, photos, time and attention. But what I have to say can’t be said on the other site, so please understand that this is one of the hardest – strike that – the absolutely, most insanely difficult thing that I know I will ever write.

I have been writing and re-writing and editing most of the day. I guess there is no simple way to say this, so I will just say it: Late on March 23 or early March 24th, the single most precious and my only true reason for living – my beautiful son Streeter – took his own life.

Suffice to say that this hit me – is hitting me – very, very hard. Once the police and medics and medical examiners had trampled every piece of me to bits, I can say simply that I am broken.

Those of you who really know me, know that nearly five years of infertility treatments – including 6 IVF procedures – were required to bring that beautiful, happy baby into this world. I had him less than 23 years.

We were often known for our spontaneous travels about the U.S., last year we went to Arches National Park in Utah, that’s Streeter dutifully obliging me with a pose:

IMG_6960The year before we went to Texas for a week, doing The Alamo and San Antonio, cruised through Dallas/Fort Worth and spent a few days on the beach at Corpus Christi.

We were notorious for travel and usually on a moment’s spur. Grand Canyon, New Mexico, Oklahoma City, Dodge City, Chicago, Des Moines, Nashville, Yosemite, Hawaii, every square inch of California, Phoenix, Oregon, Washington…. on and on and on.

A ways back, we posted our current state visits (mine on the left, Streeter’s on the right):


Our plan for this summer was to drive to Alaska. This would have filled in a couple more states for Streeter. My plan is to still go and spread his ashes along the way and in Alaska itself.

I have set up a “GoFundMe” account and appreciate all gifts no matter how large or small. I just want to do this for him.

Here are some photos of him from recent years. He was my whole world and without him I feel broken. I hope this trips helps me through the grieving process.



Beautiful Sounds



With his puppy, Ashla.

Kid Fedora

The Kid and His Dog "Ashla"…I just cannot believe that he is gone from me.

Thank you for remembering him with me.


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Down But Not Out

Wow. This has been a tough week or so. In addition to the cold and snow (off and on) and my usual headaches, etc., I was hit by a nasty UTI. And the struggling between my doctor’s office and the pharmacy to get the right medication prescribed was something straight out of a bad movie.

You see, I have a penicillin allergy and I have been taking pain medications for some time for the headaches, so the first called in Rx didn’t catch the penicillin allergy and so there was some phone tag between the pharmacy and the doc’s office.

When they did get a second prescription phoned in, the pharmacy was worried about its interaction with the pain meds… something about causing a depressed breathing issue. So, third time was a charm, but by then it was late Saturday and the pharmacy was closed with the doc’s office called and of course, the doc’s office was closed on Sunday.

Sigh. By this point my back was killing me (I had a kidney stone surgically removed a couple of years ago, so I know that pain) so I laid a little heavy into the pain meds to combat that. By the time I did get the Rx, it still took a couple of days to get things moving, so it wasn’t until about today that I started getting to feel like my old self.

Give me another day or two and I think I will be back. I hope this qualifies as my contribution to the country’s “flu” statistics. That is, I don’t plan on getting it, so I’ve done my sick thing.

I’ve actually been doing some job interviewing, first steps over the phone. I hope this means that things are picking up and perhaps I will soon be heading back to work. I like the idea of going to work full time for a company, one that I can perhaps retire from. At this point, although it isn’t ideal, I wouldn’t even consider the option of relocation would be out of the question. We’ll see, I guess… take it one step at a time.


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