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Let Me Introduce You To Streeter

Many of you didn’t know Streeter other than from my stories and mentioning in my blogs.

This was the greatest kid was ever born. As a baby, he slept through the night at 3 weeks, in fact, after waking for an eight hour night’s sleep, I was panicked and raced into his nursery to make sure he was okay – and there he lay gently cooing.

He was a large baby – 9 pounds 4 ounces – but it took him over a year to reach 20 pound so that he could face forward in his car seat. He took his first steps around the time of his first birthday and from then on, you couldn’t stop him.

He was always comfortable playing by himself. He was diagnosed at 6 as having borderline ADHD, but another pediatrician told me that he had something more akin to the same thing Einstein had, that his thoughts moved faster than he could act upon them. So, as a consequence, he always had more energy than he knew what to do with – so he would tap his foot or hum or sing and could never walk, but trot or run. He could watch something without ever really watching it, he would build Legos and have a video playing – he loved Winnie The Pooh videos until he was like eight – and could recite the lyrics and words by heart an hour later.

He was kind and generous and loved hanging out with his friends and had good friends both girls and boys and was always helpful. He figured out what he liked and went nuts on it. Couldn’t do anything halfway or even the whole way – he had to do over do it. Every time.

He was smart and funny and he loved his mom. He would hold open the door for me and pull out my chair and hold things and look for things and cook for me. He never said no to me and never, not EVER said the word ‘hate’ to me. He always told me that he loved me and would hug and kiss me – on the lips – always and in front of friends and strangers.

He was always a happy kid, at least to me. He was my partner in all our adventures – we loved to go ‘abandoned house hunting ‘ and exploring the country and thrifting and cooking and a zillion other things. We had computers in common and he taught me as much as I taught him. We both loved our Macs and iPhones and iPads and iPods and all of it.

But he had some quirks, maybe I gave him some, maybe he gave me some.

The first one is that we have this three way light switch in the hall… the first for the hallway, the second for the stairway going up and the third for the stairway to go down to the basement. They always had to be up and he would run and up and down the stairs to get them all lined up right.


Another thing was that we could never set anything digital to round numbers. He once remarked that wasn’t it interesting that people in general would always use round numbers for everything: the thermostat, the over temps and microwave settings. So he started using odd numbers for things, never using round numbers whenever he didn’t have to.

And of course, he got me to do it too:


He was a lot like me in some ways and nothing like me in other ways. But he was my best friend and I miss him so much. And I just cannot understand why he chose to end his life.

I wish I could have introduced him to everyone in the world. He was the greatest kid, the greatest son and the best person I have ever known. Will ever know.

Streeter's Mom Final

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And The Pendulum Swings Back…

Today has been exhausting and frustrating and makes me question whether I can do this at all. This day has been about the long process ahead separating what to keep and what to not. So far today, it has been about what I am keeping. But the very thought of going through each and every item that my son collected. Much as his mother was a collector, so was he. And of course, we collected things together which are even more endearing. Everything meant something to him and to me, and it breaks my heart to have to make a decision on each item or collection. I want to keep it all.

And as logical as I am trying to be – after all, I know I can’t keep everything barring a miracle – it all hurts so much to have to discard even one of his treasures. I just am paralyzed with indecision. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I know that this has to be done, but right now it seems that I have more than enough time and justify not sorting and organizing based on it.

This morning I had to go to the pharmacy and while I was waiting a young mother came in with her little boy, couldn’t have been more than 5 or 6. He was not feeling well. She was giving him all the comfort I recall giving Streeter when he didn’t feel well, letting him sit on my lap and rubbing his back and giving his forehead little kisses. It made me miss him so much that I had yet another crying jag right there in the middle of CVS. Even as a ‘grown up’ when he didn’t feel well, Streeter would crawl in bed with me and I would rub his back and kiss his forehead until he fell asleep. How can that all be over?

I expect that the days will swing back and forth forever for me. And whenever I cry I get a headache and sleepy and just want to cuddle with his pillows, which is all I have left with his smell in them.

I can’t believe this is happening to me… where is my baby boy?

Streeter's Mom Final

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What A Glorious Day!

Okay, was not really in a birthday celebrating mood, but my good friend Kim and I hung out most of the day. She went with me to – yes! – get my tattoo!


It didn’t really hurt and I am so happy with how it turned out. I might go back in a week or two and have the ‘e’ and ‘r’ in the middle filled in a little bit. Right now I want to wear it a while and just get used to it.

Me and Kim walked around downtown and took a look at a couple of apartments.We tried to see a fairly new building called “One Light” – and they just opened up a second called (wait for it) “Two Light” – didn’t have anyone that could show us a model, so we took a brochure and left.

Then we went to “Power&Light” Apartments, the first was the old Kansas City Power & Light offices, built in 1931. You know, the age when buildings got character and only those details that construction in the era was afforded. Kim and got the grand tour, we had a very nice young man that gave us history and the full guided tour. The building had high ceilings and sprinkled through the common areas were rescues of the original lighting and ornamentation. It was beautiful

But wow! The prices of fairly small apartments took my breath away! Add in (just) a parking space and I would need two ($100 each) and some normal expenses and the price for the two bedroom (the largest they have) soon ballooned to nearly the house payment I am making right now! It was beautiful and new but there was just not enough space to suit me. But it was fun being “prospective’ renters!

I think the walking did my knees some good but between it and the tears, I am worn out. I believe that I will be in for some really solid sleep tonight. In fact, I think I am going to be now.

IMG_0757 copyMy baby with his ‘little sister’, those two did everything together!

Streeter's Mom Final

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Today Was A Bit Better

So, I was determined to make this a better day and although not completely free of tears, as today marks six weeks. I did trek downtown to talk to a tattoo artist about doing my tattoo. For Streeter.

She was cheerful and kind and liked my idea. They were busy today doing “May The Fourth” tats for a fund raiser, but I set the appointment for tomorrow at 1:00p. This had made feel so much better. Then, to celebrate my birthday, I bought myself a small Lego set, City Pizza truck. I like the whole City line of Legos, Streeter and I had many of them already. It made me feel good to play with them again… I think I mentioned this before, but when he was little I helped him follow the directions and later, I became an organizer and helped to find the right pieces while he assembled them. I have decided to keep all the Legos that he assembled and collected. I am buying small display boxes for the smaller sets, still looking for the larger boxes for the Star Wars models and the pirate ships and even the last one he put together which was a huge truck.

Pizza Truck

With the help of a new friend at Overland Park’s Lego store, I managed to put the Yellow Submarine’s set into one of the display boxes. I needed extra clear round bricks to bring the submarine up to a height where I could display John, Paul, George and Ringo and the little guy from the movie (thanks to a reader who supplied his name: Jeremy Hillary Boob). This is what I hope to do with all of his sets.


Tomorrow my very good friend Kim is joining me for the tattoo session. I expect that there will be tears just for the very reason that I am getting the tattoo. We’ve not spent time together in a while and is very past due. I hope that tomorrow is as good as today was. It was nice to feel okay for a little while.

Streeter's Mom Final

PS Geoff, sometimes tough love is necessary. Thank you. And I love you.

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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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