Will He Get His Mom Back?

I was healing from major abdominal surgery last January of 2018.

All the things I always did, I wasn’t able to do.

I slept in a recliner because I couldn’t even crawl up in bed.

I spent a lot of time in that recliner for a couple of weeks and Robbie said” I just want my Mom back.”

This was a two weeks before Billy’s senseless murder.

I’m the type of person that doesn’t usually sit down. So for my kids to see me laid up for a few weeks and not doing laundry or cooking meals or going to the grocery store was something that they were not used to.

I was definitely getting better and feeling more like myself when we got the dreaded call after 11:00 on a Saturday night that forever changed our lives.

Grief took me to places emotionally that I didn’t know existed.img_0721-1

It hurt my abdomen so much when I would cry and sob but I couldn’t stop.

Grief for me was like giving birth to death instead of life.

Contractions of pain, hurt, loss, sadness, emptiness with every silent scream and muted wail.

I would physically bear down with waves of intense emotions from the depths of my heart as tears streamed down my face.

Billy’s Murder totally blindsided me and our family and my physical healing process.

Me and Billy. Our last picture together December 25th 2017.

Two weeks after his death marked six weeks after my surgery.

I had envisioned such great strategies and plans to get myself back on my feet as I continued to heal from surgery.

I had goals I physically wanted to reach.

My surgeon said I could go back to the gym at six weeks post op so I went back because that’s what we do as a family. Robbie does competitive CrossFit, and my husband and I try to take the same class so we can workout together.

My husband Matt, me and Robbie after a workout this January 2019.

I walked back into the gym six weeks post op and 2 weeks after my 1st born son was murdered.


I felt like everyday at the gym was the 1st day all over again.

I kept going. Somedays it felt like it didn’t do any good.

I just kept showing up unless I physically couldn’t.

So far my workouts post surgery haven’t been like before surgery, before Billy’s death just over one year ago.img_0745-2

I feel like it’s the one thing that I did before murder touched our lives and if I just keep going, I may make it to normal again.


Mommy and Robbie  in 2003

Robbie just wanted his Mom back.

That makes me feel the saddest. I know what he meant.

He wanted me to be the 1st to say good morning when I would wake him up for school to get him moving.

He wanted to know that I was making his breakfast.

That I would be up and about multitasking, no time to sit down, always doing something.

The me before surgery.

Try as I might, and I do try, I don’t know if he got his Mom back…

I’m back to cracking his door open everyday and saying good morning.

I head to the kitchen to start the many tasks that await me every day.

I make him a hot breakfast, I’m there to say goodbye before he and his sister get on the bus for school.

So much has changed in a little over a year.img_1405

Robbie is getting ready to get his driver’s license.

One more rite of passage he gets to go through on his way in adulthood, leaving his childhood behind.

He is well on his way to not needing me in the same ways as he figures out the direction of his future.

There are only a couple of years of high school left.

As a Mom, it’s another form of loss.

Loss that changes and grows into a different kind of relationship with my son.

Maybe I’m more in tune with what’s happening because death knocked at our door and I know what I went through with Billy during this same age and stage.

I know with Robbie that things will come full circle and we will have the adult child /parent relationship that happens as children realize that their parents do have some wisdom and insight that’s valuable and makes sense.

That’s the place Billy was coming to.

I always remembered how I was at that age and it was a lot easier to extend grace and not let my feelings get hurt because I remembered.

The age, the phase, the steps being taken. The attitude. I get it. I remember.img_1876-1

I had little “aha” moments along the way but things clicked for me and it all came together when I was 27.

Billy will never get to be 27.

Perhaps that wasn’t the best way to parent Billy, offering grace for mistakes instead of “I told you so’s” or “you better do it my way.”

It may have seemed as if I didn’t care, but the truth was, I just saw a little farther down the road. I knew he would be okay, he would “get it” but then his life got taken away.

With my other children I not only parent as a Mom who remembers what it was like, but also a parent who has been through this age before with Billy and Jami and my step-sons too.

Even as parent you learn new things and each child is different.

Will Robbie get his Mom back?

Robbie and me 2017. Three months before the murder.

Well, I’m trying. I will do my best as his Mother, knowing that I have changed too.

I’ll continue to love and take care of the evolving young man he continually is becoming.

The young man I’m proud of. The young who will go far in life. The young man who has many qualities and talents. The young man who lost a big brother.

I pray that our relationship will grow deeper in many ways as we both grow and change despite having experienced a great loss.

I pray that loss does not define us, but instead causes us to draw closer to one another and that we would encourage each other to not limit ourselves since we know how fragile life can be.

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