Monday, September 15, 2014
Saturday, Sept. 13th 2014, saw cooler temperatures and clouds, with the tease of rain in the air.
This was my families first time, at this walk, here to honor the life of my son, Kenny, who passed away in May. His pain and suffering had become too great. He had been strong as long as he could and God called him to heaven, just shy of his 34th birthday.
We were joined by over 840 other people who also lost someone to suicide, due to mental illness. This alone was so very emotional as was the memorial wall.
The youngest, that I saw was just 13 years old.
Then there was the poster, made by a very young child, proudly showing his father to a friend.
On a lighter note, we were not alone and we came to walk, not only to honor and remember, but also raise awarness for suicide prevention!
Here are some photos of Kenny's Walking Warriors!
Ashley, Me, Nick, their father Andy, his wife Donna
My neice's husband Sean, my sister Betsy, my neice, Melanie.
Melanie's father Bob and his dog Peaches.
Ashley was our Captain and she did an job, getting the team together!
Kenny is so proud of her, and is smiling down.
We were the second highest in fundraising for this event!
Most of the walk was through the woods and uphill, however there was even ground, near the finish.
We could wear beads to signify our relationship. I wore white for losing a child.
Beautiful music, speakers and a host of vendors, filled the park.
Activities, to calm, as well.
The attendance for this walk tripled from last year, so I am told! The word is spreading that mental illness is an illness, like any other and should be treated as such.
Suicide is not a weakness or a selfish act. It is due to an illness of the brain, that progressed and became so painful and full of suffering that the illness took this persons life.
A very special thank you, to all of my Sparkfriends who walked three miles where they live, on Saturday, and thought of Kenny and others.
Many also lit candles, prayed, and supported in so many ways.
For those who also donated to my fundraising page, I thank you, so very much, as well.
We are still accepting donations though the end of the year. Print a form to mail in, or donate online.
Together we can work to take away the stigma of mental illness and suicide, honor and remember those we love and have lost and save lives, in doing so.
It started to rain, just as the event was over. Tears from heaven.
Sunday, September 07, 2014
September has come and what have I done?
SInce May 18th, with the death of my son Kenny, my life has been full of grief, just moving along mechanically, at times, losing weight, from shear emotional stress, then gaining a couple pounds a month or two later. The dinners out from friends and family, as well as all the food brought over kept coming and coming.
The restaurant meals are still ongoing, although my fridge is pretty bare.
SO what do I care?
Not much, at times. Every day is a day closer to seeing my Kenny again and my death does not frighten me as it once did.
My faith grows ever stronger, so this has been a great positive, during this whole ordeal.
But I have two living children to consider and my mother who will be 90 in October! Also my sister and her daughter. I can't just have them worry and I still want to set a good example.
September rolled in and Fall being my favorite season, sparked something within, that just said...GET WITH IT!
I finally looked at myself and saw the sadness, in my eyes, the wrinkles and lack of muscle, as I haven't picked up my weights in a few months.
Those thoughtful meals have added a tummy where it had been flatter not so long ago.
I still have not gained back all of my weight, but oh, it still shows, that I have not been on the health wagon, over the Summer.
Thank goodness I have a physical job, with much gardening! Also I have been walking in anticipation of The Out of the Darkness walk, to honor Kenny and raise awareness for Suicide prevention, next Saturday.
All is not lost. I have started with stretching and pushups and I WILL pick those smartbells up today.
Water.....I have been good at that.
As for my fridge and freezer.....
My freezer has salmon, broccoli, squash, normandy veggies and a hambone in it.
SO supper will be
Salmon and broccoli, with brown rice, from the pantry!
Apples are on the counter, so that will be dessert!
I have lentils in the pantry so, I will make some lentil soup with the ham bone and this will make many meals.
The normandy veggies, I can make a stirfry with, having more brown rice, to top it off.
I have fresh corn, which I will whip up, with a salad of lettuce and tomatoes. A small potato on the side. Applesauce for dessert.
The squash can go alongside a scrambled egg and a sliced tomato.
So, I DO have good food in the house, although it may not seem like much.
Today,as I head out to yet another meal, with friends and family, at Mimi's Café, I will make a wise choice and keep in mind that Kenny, Nick and Ashley, would want me to enjoy, but also be healthy.
Thank you to all of my Spark friends for understanding and encouraging me. Just listening, or sending hugs and prayers.
I am ready to move a bit more on this health trail, with side trips here and there.
I DO CARE! I DO CARE! I DO CARE!
Sunday, July 27, 2014
You may have read some of my other blogs, over the past three years, on walking for fitness.
I walk as part of my job, I walk in challenges and I walk with my daughter Ashley, a fellow Sparker, but this time I walk in honor of my son Kenny.
Ashley and I have been hitting the local park trails.
We are getting ready for a very special walk, in September.
Ashley is the captain of Kenny's Walking Warriors....a team , who will be participating in the Walk Out of the Darkness walk, in Richmond, Va.
Made up of some family members, we will walk in honor of Kenny, who passed away on May 18th.
We also are walking to bring awareness to suicide prevention.
There are several spark friends that are walking on Sept. 13th, for three miles, in the cities they live in and will be thinking of Kenny.
Others are giving support in other ways and to all, you are so very appreciated.
We are grieving and this will be a way to heal, but also a way to try and educate others, understand suicide and the illnesses that can lead to this. May others hopefully get help, so people do not have to go through this pain.
I know that our Kenny is in heaven and is full of peace, understanding and love.
He will be walking beside us, on Sept. 13th, with a smile on his face.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Five friends and I made a road trip to Harrisonburg, VA, in the mountains. ABout a 2 hour drive.
The weather was cool, the sky was beautiful and we had much to catch up on!
All ladies from, work, some from past and some from present.
First stop....The Sugar Shack, for some warm doughnuts. They were really good and a treat from, driver friend, Karen.
Up the road and through the farmland, blue mountains rising up in all their glory.
Harpers statuary, was our destination, as these ladies wanted me to pick out something for Kenny's garden.
I found a nice bench, with birds and flowers.
God has always spoken to me through birds and this just struck me as the perfect thing.
So thank you, to Karen, Ann, Jackie, Peggy and Pat.
Karen's mom wanted to get me something, although she was not along for the trip.
Here is her gift for the garden.
We left, with a van full of people and parcels. I even picked out a little Cardinal for Mama.
I already have given it to her and did not take a photo. It is Kenny Cardinal, as we have a real one that has been visiting us, when we need him most and he has a certain way about him.
This one is sitting beside, her on the table.
We had a good lunch out, a nice ride home and I saw beautiful colors in the cirrus clouds, that I know were formed by ice crystals, but I like to imagine that Kenny was there above, sending aqua and pink and light green to play about the sky, in a spot that for some reason, I alone among the group could see.
A special show of love, from my special son.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Today, I feel brave enough to blog again.
As I edited my last blog, written on May 19th, I ended it with this....
Little did I know, that as we were visiting Papa, at Arlington, on this beautiful day, he was welcoming, my oldest son, Kenny, into heaven.
The two Kens are now together and Papa finally got to meet one of his grandchildren.
My heart aches, but I find comfort in knowing they are in heaven, full of love, happiness and peace.
I will see them both again.
So May 18th is a day that will be remembered as a beautiful day, visiting my father's grave while my oldest son, entered heaven.
A kind and gentle man, talented landscaper, lover of all animals. Generous and giving, brilliant in so many ways. I will miss his sweet smile and special brand of humor.
Here is a photo of Kenny (on right) and his brother Nick, planting a shrub, in a neighbors yard, this past year. They made a great team and I was blessed to work beside them.
It has been a difficult two months and seems like just two weeks.
Everyone has been so good, including my many Spark Friends. Thank you all for your thoughts prayers and comforting words.
I would like to share with you all a work in progress. Kenny's memorial garden.
Tucked in our back yard, many of our animal friends have their resting place here.
Kenny would like that .
There are several Rose-of-Sharon (Altheas) in the garden.
A beautiful white Crape Myrtle with cinnamon bark, is what I chose as the main tree in Kenny's honor.
It started to bloom on Kenny's birthday, June 24th!
In the Fall, it will be ablaze in Washington Redskin colors...his football team.
I will miss our jabbing back and forth, as I am a Dallas Cowboy fan.
My local garden center, is run by a wonderful family. When they heard the news, they told me to pick out any Japanese Maple that I wanted for the garden, as their gift to honor Kenny.
I chose a red weeping Japanese Maple.
There are Lantana(more Redskin colors), Coneflowers and Lavender, as well as Lambs ear and White Peonies. These are from another friend. Kenny always loved her yard, so much.
Tomorrow, friends will be taking me to the mountains, where there is a nice Statuary place.
We will have a road trip, a couple meals out and they will be giving me something that I pick out, whether it be a statue, bench or whatever.
A gift for the memorial garden.
I will make sure and put on a photo, when I have it in place.
A good Spark Friend from Tampa, Fl, Marsha, sent me some Milk and Wine lily bulbs for the garden. I look forward to next year when they show their beauty.
Another friend gave Dahlias...red ones, big as dinner plates! The rain is helping them grow this evening.
My daughter Ashley helped in the garden, as well as her father Andy.
Nick planted the Crape Myrtle for his best friend and big brother. All acts of love.
A healing thing to do. A healing place to remember the good times and talk to Kenny, to God and yes, the little animals.
He is here with us, always.
Those we love don't go away, they walk beside us every day. Unseen, unheard, but always near, still loved, still missed and very dear.
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