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Join me in figuring out "what now?"

HotWheels and MatchBox Cars

I should know better by now. It is simple too soon to try and throw or give away any of Streeter’s “treasures”. Today, it was his HotWheel and Matchbox collections. I am going mad sorting and trying ever so hard to dispense of this “stuff” and I simply cannot. It hit me about the time I picked up one of his HotWheel tracks that I recall having searched down every avenue for additional “streets” that his cars were to travel upon.

I am getting much closer to actually admitting that I spoiled that kid rotten. But he never acted like a spoiled kid, he was always so outgoing and courteous and helpful and charming. Loved to cook and when prompted would keep his room pretty clean and organized. (Okay, as organized as a teenager can be.)

Today, as I was alone in the house, I had the strongest sense that he was here in the house. And for a moment, I held a singular HotWheel car in my hand, that I knew I would have to keep it. And all of it. I mean, how do you put a price tag on something that was so important to him, and in return, to me?

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Seeing Less of You

Now that I have been writing about Streeter’s death for the last six or seven weeks or so, I think I am seeing the inevitable. The outpouring from friends has been amazing but it is has been waning in the past couple of weeks.

I knew it was inevitable, after all, people have theirs own lives to get on with. Or they still don’t know what to say or do. Or it just isn’t in the fronts of their minds anymore. Or they just plain don’t want to think about suicide in general, or my baby taking his own life or what its done to me.

As for me, my grief hasn’t waned and actually made worse by being in this house alone and really not knowing or understanding what it is that I should be doing. My grief counselor tells me that I am in a stage called “acute grieving” which makes sense as every day I wake up it seems to be worse than the day before. I think the world in general just wants me to “get over it”.

And KC’s finest called yesterday and told me that the case is officially “closed” and I can pick up anything they had previously been holding as evidence. Well, Streeter went in with nothing but the clothing on his back and the gun he used to shoot himself.

I’ve finally found someone (professional) that I can talk to. Just by coincidence and an immediate need to be able to share this with, I would up attending a group meeting in Lawrence. Yes, way out there in Lawrence. For those of you reading that aren’t from around here, its about a 50 mile drive. One way.

Oh and I think I figured out why I am not getting any calls about jobs… I had put a short message on my other blog about being on a hiatus because of Streeter’s death, and never made the connection with the fact that the first thing on my resume is that I am a blogger and I gave that url. People don’t want to hire someone who’s just lost a child to suicide.

I reached out to a recruiter that has been a fairly loyal recruited and we’ve worked together from about the time I moved to Kansas City. I sent him my resume and he called me back almost immediately to remind me that I had that blurb on the home page. Guess I know why no one else was calling.

Which pretty much puts me out of the market here in KC. I either have to leave or change the field of work that I’ve been in since 1985. I guess, since I won’t have anything to tie me to this city, it shouldn’t be hard to leave. It will be difficult to figure out where to go next.

I just got back from voting (special election here in Missouri) and my first inclination was to tell Streeter.

Everything is just as painful – maybe more so – than the day I found him dead.

Streeter's Mom Final

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Lego Man Urn for Streeter

I found this great place online that builds urns for children. I knew after searching, I had found the perfect urn for Streeter’s ashes.

And for those who know that I want to spread Streeter’s ashes in Alaska, I am still doing that, I am just not spreading all of them.

The company is called Fenix3D. The idea was derived from the need of the founder to find an urn for his young son and not finding anything that looked appropriate. You can visit the website here and their Facebook page here.

Here are some of their Lego Man creations:

Yes, these are urns. And once I saw them I knew this would be what I do for Streeter (well at least half of his ashes). The one being made for Streeter is grey (sweat) pants and a red shirt and then same face as in both photos (smile with glasses). IMG_3527Streeter’s favorite clothes were grey sweats and a red coca-cola t-shirt. I will have to find a way to get the logo for the t-shirt and I will top it with an actual cap the he used to wear all the time.

Yesterday as I was working on the minifig displays, I needed some more black 2×2’s so I headed down to the Lego store. While there, I managed to put together a real Lego man with the same colors (in addition to picking up a couple more small Lego sets.


The young lady working there helped me find the right pieces, and after I said, “Now all he needs are his own little Legos” to which she disappeared into the back room and came back with those teeny tiny little Lego guys. She mentioned that they originally were ‘awards’, a la The Emmys. Aren’t they adorable?


I might try to paint one so that it also looks like the bigger Lego man and the urn that is currently being made.

God I miss him so much. I am closer every day to my Alaskan trip, the last one we will make together. It certainly isn’t going to be the same trip that he and I were planning.

I had thought that I might take someone, but in the end, its all about me and Streeter. I will give updates on the trip.

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A Little Bird

No, this isn’t about a little bird telling me something, but rather a real little bird:Little Bird

The momma bird was in the tree next to the driveway squawking at me the entire time. She must have figured out to rescue this little guy or he was able to get those little wings flapping. But he was gone a few minutes later when I went back out to put water in the birdbath.

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Is There Such a Thing as a “Crazy Dog Lady”?

Well, here I sit in this big house all by myself. I think this is the first time a long time that this has happened. And absolutely since my son died.

There is so much to do and yet I have no energy or direction to do anything. I stand up and make an effort but in less than 5 minutes time, I am restless and don’t wanna do it or my back starts hurting. Ever since I got that massage, my back now hurts. Sigh.

I know it sounds weird – it sounds weird to me – that my son is no longer here. It seems impossible that what happened, happened.

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I think how much my life has and will continue to change without him. Mostly since it doesn’t seem that there is any real reason to continue. I mean, everything – and I mean EVERYTHING – was extensively was the meaning to my life. Now that he is gone, I cannot think of one thing that I would like to do or see or accomplish. Nothing.

All of my old hobbies hold no interest for me. I don’t know if I should even bother packing them to move. Sometimes selling it all and moving far away sounds like a better idea. Re-invent my life somewhere people don’t know me.

Maybe I could become a version of the old lady with cats, ‘cept they would have to be dogs. Not really a cat person.

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Time Continues to Pass

Yep, day by day continues to come and then go. Some days are easier than others and some start really bad and end on not a happy one, but that something was done to help the healing.

There are days when I cannot get out of bed. There is nothing ahead of me but sorrow and loss and heartache and loneliness. I miss him so much yet my inclination to call for him to help me or give me a hug or anything. Its that routine and repetition hasn’t been erased just yet.


We’ve put the sorting and sorting and selling of Streeter’s treasure on hold for now. I just couldn’t handle the idea of selling of the things that made Streeter so happy. His military uniform collection and his Legos. For now I am keeping it all. Later, probably years from now, when I am feeling stronger, then maybe – just maybe – I can let some of it go.

But for now, uh uh…

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Missing My Sweet Boy Today

Sometimes things happen that make me feel so alone in the world.

I turned on Netflix and on their homepage had the three episodes of both “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit”.

Sometime back, like 2014 or so, the theatre that we attend, they had all three of “The Hobbits” playing for the premier of the last movie. We were so excited that we bought passes and for about 7 hours – with a few breaks – we were transformed back to age of hobbits. We had so much fun.

These are the times I miss him most. And overhearing Dan make plans to fly out to visit his daughter and son and his aunt and uncle, there is no mention of solace to the man who had been his father for 22 years. Not a fucking word.

Which leads me to believe that I am ALL ALONE in this world. I really have no reason to keep drawing breath. This has been such an up and down day.

I have been reading the blog of a friend and something I read caught my attention. 12:34 am or pm. As for him, it too is something that catches his eye. And similar things that people normally don’t recognize.

For me, its little things that I see that I believe that Streeter is near. Like sitting at a traffic light and watch 5 green cars in a row go by. When you glance up and the time is that magically 12:34. Or my mourning doves who sit on my balcony and sing those sad tunes. They all make me thing of the only good thing that ever came out of my life.

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Streeter's Mom Final


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Answering A Couple of Questions

I know its been a couple of days since I last wrote. I am happy to announce that stopping the sleep medicine has enabled me to have a couple of nights of really good sleep.

I have been using my days keeping busy packing and sorting. I try not to think too much about things more than a day out, keeps me from asking those questions that I seem to not be able to stop tonight.

This post is kind of special because a really great friend of mine posed a few questions for me in response to the last post:

Powerful. And undeniable. So, question and topic for a post, perhaps. Where are you finding your courage? Where do you get your strength? Are you engaged in any support groups or community or church organizations or writing outside of this? What keeps you moving forward?

Where am I finding my courage? I have no courage. Every night I go to bed wishing I were the one who was dead instead of my beautiful young boy who had his whole life ahead of him. Like I said, I usually try to just keep my mind on the tasks at hand and just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

I also have no strength. When I do allow my mind to wander, if it isn’t to my son, it is to the uncertainty of my future. Right now I don’t know where I am going to live or where I am going to work and which friends will still support when this becomes old news to them. I am a coward and just want to hide from all of this.

Am I engaged in support groups or community or church groups. I’ll start with the last one first. Church groups don’t hold any interest, because frankly, religion has failed me. If one more person tells me he is in “a better place” I may attack them. Can anyone tell me why God would want my beautiful 22 year old son to take his own life? Fuck God.

I haven’t been to any other groups because I fear that it will turn into a “one up-man” contest. Whose child’s death was worse or more heartbreaking or more devastating. To me there has been no bigger tragedy than the loss of my son. Still, I have a ‘wellness coordinator’ through my insurance that has been more supportive of me than I can imagine a healthcare company ever being. She has sought out many avenues of therapy than I can almost count, and she has found a group that focuses on children’s suicides and I promised her that I would try this one that meets on the last Thursday of every month. But I swear, because it meets in the back rooms of a church, that if one person brings up God or  religion, I will be out of the faster than you could know.

I tried psychotherapy and it didn’t go very well. The first one I saw seemed to be more interested in getting her money (because there was a short gap in health care), but my care coordinator talked me into another. It just didn’t seem to work either… I think she was honestly bored or something as she kept glancing at her open computer. But honestly, how can I tell her my whole life story in 45 minutes so that she knows what I have gone through – the good and the bad – so that she can make some meaningful suggestions? No, therapy doesn’t work.

Also the drugs don’t seem to work either. I actually got the doctor to take me off of one and really listened to me when I told him that I wasn’t sleeping and would only have moments of anxiety. He goofed on upping the dose on the sleeping pills, but did listed to my request of something that I had been prescribed years ago when I was having difficulties.

Right now the friends that are supporting me are the best avenue I think I could take. And writing this blog. More comes out of me every time I write and I think it is very therapeutic for me. I think that for the most part, people want to help, they just don’t know how. And that’s alright. I know that they way he died is abhorrent or unnatural and they just don’t know what to say or do.

Like I said, its okay.

What really set me off tonight was thinking about one of the last things packed today. I ran across a set of dish towels that my grandmother made and crocheted the edge and my mother embroidered. They were handed down to me, and I continued the work. But who do I have to hand them down to? Something that three generations have worked on separately will now go into an estate sale and will never know the love and dedication behind it.

Lastly, ‘what keeps me moving forward’? It is only by sheer will and nature. Although I lay down every night hoping not to wake up, I still wake up. And since there are no signs that I will be leaving this life anytime soon, things have to be done as I will soon be all on my own – extensively for the first time in my life – I have to prepare for that.

Hopefully, now, I might be able to fall asleep.

Thank you Geoff, for asking. You have been a very good friend.

Streeter Sequoia

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Trauma Permanently Changes Us.

Trauma Changes

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One of the First and Worst Holidays

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day.  This one is really hard as it is the first without my baby boy. I can’t begin to imagine how joyful and happy everyone is going to be, you know, out there in the world. Restaurants, shopping, parks, whatever.

I know that I have said this before, maybe even here in this blog, but somehow not having a child anymore means I am no longer a mother. Who will celebrate me? We weren’t big on celebrations in general, but Streeter always remembered me on Mother’s Day. My last year’s gift was breakfast in bed and a gaily wrapped bamboo plant (he knew I preferred plants to flowers, as they last longer). He spent the entire day with me, just kicking back and being silly, we probably watched our favorite movie again – John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982). We have seen this movie so many times that we could recite every single word of it.

I’m going to hang out with my friend Chuck, since I couldn’t stand to be in this house with all these memories tomorrow. Every wall and surface is covered with his photos, his creations, his things and most of all, his memories. God I miss him so much.

Like I have said before, I try to keep myself occupied with tasks that have to be done relatively soon, so that the house can be sold. But when I have a free minute, I look up from the foyer to his bedroom door – like I have done a million times – only this time, my heart breaks. And here come the tears again. I find myself having difficulties just writing.

The past year he had become camera shy, after being such a ham for so long and loving the cameras. We considered him having a modeling career when he was young and so outgoing. But I, too, became camera shy about the same age, when I decided that I would be behind the camera so I didn’t have to be in front of it. But as a consequence, I don’t have many photos from the past year. Just when I needed them most.

How could I have ever known that he was unhappy? He had the most wonderful smile. Without my baby, I feel like I am no longer perceived as a mother, as I no longer have a child.

If you could take any kind of advice from me, hug and tell your child how much you love them, no matter how old or young they are. Talk to them and if you feel like there is anything – and I mean anything – wrong, get them to talk to you. I wished I had known what was going on in his mind before all of this. That even though we spent so much time with one another, I didn’t know what was really going on.

Think kind thoughts of me as you all celebrate this day. I wish you all joy.

Streeter's Mom Final

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