Tuesday, May 8, 2012

How do you say goodbye?

It's been a long time since I took time to write on my blog. There are many reasons, but the biggest one? I lost my son Clint McKell 15 months ago. Feb 3, 2011. The worst day of my life. Losing a child is something that if you have not experienced, is not warrented or would I want that for anyone. I wrote about Clint in my last post. I wrote about taking him to the Phantom of the Opera before he went on his mission. The day the world stopped for me was a bright cold, sunny Feb morning. I got a phone call no mother should ever receive. My beautiful boy was gone. All I remember was falling to the floor screaming.. screaming - I couldn't stop screaming. I don't remember much of that morning, other than my husband wasn't home, and my daughter in law was with me. She is the one that started calling people together. Slowley and quietly they gathered, shocked, stunned, in tears. I was an absolute mess. I don't remember calling Vinny - until later that day - but I guess I did - and he told me later that he never wanted to hear me cry like that again. Just writing this is hard. I have tears. It is so hard to talk about that day. But my grief - even after 15 months is just still very fresh. Because of his death however, I want to be an advocate for Drug abuse. Clint had some deomons in his life, and if I can save ONE PERSON from going through what he did, then I could be somewhat happy. Clint was our "golden child". He had everything. He was so talented... so wonderful. But he hurt his neck on his mission - and playing football - for which he had a full ride scholarship. He started to lose everything. His scholarship - his jobs, (RN) and finally - his marriage. We moved back from the east coast.....and saw him go to jail, we saw him go through drug court, we saw him actually live at the Salvation Army - and get sober. Such a great day. He was sober..something I never in my life would actually say my family had been through. At any rate - he was an up and coming comedian in Utah - and was doing so great. He missed his own first headlining show, at WISE GUYS - Trolley Square. Five days later, he was dead. I still don't know all the details of that night - I have so many questions. The autopsy left us with more quesitons than answers. But - I am happy to say that I did see him 2 days before his death, and he hugged me to death. He told me I was his best friend, and had always been there for him. The night before he passed - he repeated that. He was happy, upbeat, so HAPPY. And then - he was gone. Yes - life this past 15 years have been so hard. What I HAVE learned from this - is there are a lot of mothers out there that have lost children, and people are so so ready to be there for you. I have been let into many circles of Moms that have lost kids, and people who have been in my shoes. I honestly didn't know drug abuse like this was so prevelent. I have learned a lot from this experience. More than I ever wanted too. But in this journey, I have also met some incredible people that have declared that will dedicate their lives to sobriety for Clint. I still hurt. I always will. I think about him EVERY SINGLE DAY. No mom should have to bury their child. But I know so many of you have. I thank all who were there for me, and who still are. You don't know how much that means to me. I am hurting. I will hurt. But I am grateful for the knowledge that families are forever, and I WILL see my son again someday. I know he is free of his demons. The living are left with the hurt. If you are in a situation like this - or know someone who has been or is... feel free to contact me. Let's fight this terrible disease that invades and permeates homes, families, and communities. This is dedicated to you son. My beautiful boy, Clint McKell. I will post a pic of him later.
It's been a long time since I took time to write on my blog. There are many reasons, but the biggest one? I lost my son Clint McKell 15 months ago. Feb 3, 2011. The worst day of my life. Losing a child is something that if you have not experienced, is not warrented or would I want that for anyone. I wrote about Clint in my last post. I wrote about taking him to the Phantom of the Opera before he went on his mission. The day the world stopped for me was a bright cold, sunny Feb morning. I got a phone call no mother should ever receive. My beautiful boy was gone. All I remember was falling to the floor screaming.. screaming - I couldn't stop screaming. I don't remember much of that morning, other than my husband wasn't home, and my daughter in law was with me. She is the one that started calling people together. Slowley and quietly they gathered, shocked, stunned, in tears. I was an absolute mess. I don't remember calling Vinny - until later that day - but I guess I did - and he told me later that he never wanted to hear me cry like that again. Just writing this is hard. I have tears. It is so hard to talk about that day. But my grief - even after 15 months is just still very fresh. Because of his death however, I want to be an advocate for Drug abuse. Clint had some deomons in his life, and if I can save ONE PERSON from going through what he did, then I could be somewhat happy. Clint was our "golden child". He had everything. He was so talented... so wonderful. But he hurt his neck on his mission - and playing football - for which he had a full ride scholarship. He started to lose everything. His scholarship - his jobs, (RN) and finally - his marriage. We moved back from the east coast.....and saw him go to jail, we saw him go through drug court, we saw him actually live at the Salvation Army - and get sober. Such a great day. He was sober..something I never in my life would actually say my family had been through. At any rate - he was an up and coming comedian in Utah - and was doing so great. He missed his own first headlining show, at WISE GUYS - Trolley Square. Five days later, he was dead. I still don't know all the details of that night - I have so many questions. The autopsy left us with more quesitons than answers. But - I am happy to say that I did see him 2 days before his death, and he hugged me to death. He told me I was his best friend, and had always been there for him. The night before he passed - he repeated that. He was happy, upbeat, so HAPPY. And then - he was gone. Yes - life this past 15 years have been so hard. What I HAVE learned from this - is there are a lot of mothers out there that have lost children, and people are so so ready to be there for you. I have been let into many circles of Moms that have lost kids, and people who have been in my shoes. I honestly didn't know drug abuse like this was so prevelent. I have learned a lot from this experience. More than I ever wanted too. But in this journey, I have also met some incredible people that have declared that will dedicate their lives to sobriety for Clint. I still hurt. I always will. I think about him EVERY SINGLE DAY. No mom should have to bury their child. But I know so many of you have. I thank all who were there for me, and who still are. You don't know how much that means to me. I am hurting. I will hurt. But I am grateful for the knowledge that families are forever, and I WILL see my son again someday. I know he is free of his demons. The living are left with the hurt. If you are in a situation like this - or know someone who has been or is... feel free to contact me. Let's fight this terrible disease that invades and permeates homes, families, and communities. This is dedicated to you son. My beautiful boy, Clint McKell. I will post a pic of him later.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The music of my life

What makes a person tick? What makes a person move? For me, it's music. It has always been that way, and for me, I can always feel the rhythm in everything I do. It's in the way I talk, the way I walk. It's in the way I clean, the way I work, the way I laugh, the way I love, and the way I play.

If I were to have any senses taken away from me, I have often wondered which ones I could truly live without. I would not want to be blind... but I could not bear to hear the sweet SWEET voice of a child or loved one. I couldn't bear not to hear a choir's majestic talent, that has at time - moved me to tears.

I remember going to The Phantom Of The Opera, with my oldest son Clint, before he went on his mission. I sat there with tears streaming down my face, as I heard the incredible talent that the company that performed it had. I have so much respect for people who can truly sing and captivate an audience.

I am glad I had teachers who instilled in me at a very young age the love of music. I like to think that I always have had this gift.

There is nothing I like better than someone who can sing, and someone who always has a song in their heart. Except for maybe a good book? But that is another story.. =)

The big 5-0...




I need to update my blog. It's been awhile. Okay - what to write?

I turned the big 5 - 0 a couple of weeks ago, and it has caused me some time to do some serious reflection on my life. Wow, where have the years gone? It seems that the older I get, the faster time goes. A couple of days ago, my cute niece Kelsie came and saw me, along with her little girl Adalee. We were talking about life and things, and I remember I made the comment that when Adalee was 20, I would be 71. WOW. That about knocked my socks off.

I think about my kids, and their lives. It was so fun to go back to North Carolina recently and see all the kids there. It was great getting to hold and cuddle Hailey, Bella, and Rocco. I am SO excited for Chad and Cynthia's wedding coming up in May. And being out here in Utah - being around Holden and Hadlie, and soon Jett, has been a delight. That is one of the best benefits of being this age. Being a grandma.

Which brings me to what I really want to talk about today. My grandmothers.

My grandma Beckstead was a pistol. She was full of fire and hot sauce, I swear. She was such a tiny little thing, but she knew what she wanted, and she never backed down. She knew how to pinch a penny like no other. She always had a cake ready for us on Sunday's, and we always knew we could visit her AND Bob Barker any day of the week. (well, excluding weekends.) She had to be the biggest Jazz fan I knew.

I have a lot of Beckstead in me. I see where I get my "Well - I've been here for 30 minutes, it's time to leave" from. (Sound familiar, anyone?) She loved to shop.. (Yup - got that too.) And I always knew grandma loved me.

When grandma got sick, I remember at the very end I was back east living. She was staying with mom..and I remember calling her. She didn't remember much, but I called her one day, and sang to her, "Let Me Call You Sweetheart". She tried so hard to sing along with me. I will never forget the tears, or the memory. How I love my grandma Beckstead.

Grandma Nielsen. So many different memories. She taught me my first piano lessons. She was also the librarian at the elementary school that I attended, and she used to always let me go pick out books after school. She instilled in me a love of reading and a love of music. Grandma always made me feel like she wanted me there at her home. We would often walk to her house after school. We would play dress up - and she would watch us put on silly plays for hours.

Grandma always made me feel like I could do anything. She too, always could pinch a penny. Buy it, use it, wear it out, and then use it again. Both of my grandparents taught me to love my Savior, and instilled in my a great love of the gospel.

I miss them both. Now that I am a grandma, I can only hope that my grandchildren will love me as much as I loved these great women. Yes, It was "scary" for me to turn fifty. But with the wonderful examples I have had in my life - including my own sweet mother, I think I will be okay. It's funny how much smarter my mom is the older I have gotten.. =)

I am glad that I come from such a rich, sweet, wonderful heritage. I remember my grandparents telling me to "never to do anything to hurt my family name, for good people had worked hard to give me that name". I want them to know that I am so sorry for anything I have ever done to tarnish any of their names, and I have worked ever so hard to make that right.

I love them all.

Being a grandma, actually, is the best job in the world. Along with being a mom. =)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Trials and Tribulations


It's four am. I can't sleep. It's been four days now. Aliana has been diagnosed with H1N1 - better known as Swine Flu. She also has pneumonia, AND bronchitis. When she gets sick, she does it big time. I have made my bedroom the sick room - complete with masks, medicines, drinks, books, etc.

Watching your child be that sick is not fun. Even though she is fifteen, I don't like it at all. I would rather go through it for her. Hearing her cough so hard that it almost makes her cry, breaks my heart.

I wonder how our Heavenly Father feels as our parent, when we as earthly parents stand by and feel so helpless with our children when we try so hard to help them, but they have to go through this process on their own. He must feel similar feelings, with everything we do. Not just being sick - but with the choices we make in our lives. Does He feel helpless, wishing He could reach out and save us from ourselves at times?

I can't even imagine what it must be like for Him. I have a glimpse of it, being a parent, and being entrusted with the care of these precious children He has given me.

Then I think of myself - and the choices I have made, and continue to make. Sometimes I have chills. I am so so very glad for the atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Not only did He suffer for our sins, He suffered for every single pain that we have to endure, every trial, every tribulation that we must go through. And hopefully, when we return home, we will be told "well done, thou good and faithful servant".

I am grateful for the knowledge that I have in this life of the gospel and of a kind and loving Father in Heaven. I know He loves me and my children, and watches over us. With Vinny being away, not having the priesthood in our home has been the single hardest thing that I have had to endure, for I have come to rely on it so much. I am grateful for a husband who honors his priesthood, and who I know can use it and is ready and willing to be worthy at all times.

Sleep may escape me tonight. But, I feel the spirit, and I know my Savior is near. Since General Conference - I have felt a stronger urgency to be more dedicated to write my testimony and share it more, especially after listening to Elder Holland's testimony about the Book of Mormon.

I am not going to be a "fence sitter". I want the world to know what I do believe. I DO however, believe in compassion, and kindness, and being good to your fellow men.

As I go through my journey, if I have offended anyone.. please forgive me. I want so much to be Christlike, and I want my children to know that, my grandchildren to know that, and my friends and family to know that.

Yes, the trials and tribulations will come, but they will also teach me. And hopefully, I will use them as I should - as life lessons.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The grandkids in Utah and North Carolina!











Well, even though I really miss my Hailey bug, I'm so grateful that I got to spend three and a half years with her in Raleigh, North Carolina. That was a treat. She was just starting to have sleep overs.. so I'm sure she was as shell shocked as we were when we left. Also- as I mentioned in my previous blog, Rocco Aiden was born shortly after me leaving, and that has been really hard on me, not even seeing him.

But, getting to spend time with Holden and Hadlie in Utah has been a blast. Holden is all boy, and Hadlie is a lot like Hailey, very sweet, and just a joy to be around. I love my grandchildren very much. They are my world. I can't wait for the next two to get here, and at times, it just seems incredibly unfair that I have to be so far away from half of them. ARRRGH. It's a no win situation. The one good thing, is Grandpa (Vinny) is there back east to pick up the side of me that can't be there. He told me a cute story last night. He has been in New York for his Dad's birthday. Chad and Cynthia left to go to a party - and left the baby (Rocco) with his sister Kathy and him at her house so they could go. Around 11pm, Rocco fell asleep, and Vinny put him to bed. Five minutes later, he woke up. Grandpa picked him up - and in his own words, "laid him on the bed, and talked to him for about five minutes". They just stared at each other. They both fell asleep- and woke to the "paparazzi" snapping pictures of both Grandpa and baby sleeping. =) I wished I could have seen that peaceful, beautiful picture...

So today, I share with you beautiful pictures of my wonderful grandchildren. I NEED some new ones of Hailey, but give what I have. I love you all, and will list them in this order. ( I think they will go bottom to top.) Holden, Hadlie, Hailey and Rocco. Then, Morgan and Natalie's baby,(just the picture) Isabella (just the picture).. =) I can't wait to meet these two! (Isabella will be Hailey's little sister).

I always wanted to be a young grandmother. I adore my grandchildren, and I want them to know that, even if they are too young right now to actually comprehend that. I LOVE EACH and EVERY ONE OF YOU. I love how love expands, and not retracts.

My children are good parents. I am proud of them. I am proud of them.

I glory in my posterity..

Monday, October 12, 2009

Been SOOOOO Long!





Gosh- where has the time gone??

Well - 3 and a half months ago, we piled our stuff in a truck, and made the move from Raleigh, North Carolina to Draper, Utah. I can't believe we have been gone SO LONG and I haven't written! It's fall now - and I love the colors on the mountain. Morgan is home from his mission, and married. We are now expecting two more grandchildren, Bella, due in December, and another one (Morgan and Natalie's) due in April. Life is good.

Vinny is still working for the Pentagon, back East - so I don't see him but once every six weeks. It is a tough sacrifice. I hope that one day everyone will truly understand just how hard this has been on US. I miss and love him dearly with all my heart.

Aliana and Nikki and Cami grow more beautiful (if that is possible) with each passing day. And I swear I have the most beautiful grandkids. I even have one I haven't even seen yet!! Rocco Aiden was born right after I moved out here... and I cannot wait to see him. He is Chad and Cynthia's son, and is so beautiful.

So - with the passing of summer - and the beginning - and almost ending of fall, I write of the beauty of the seasons. I write of my love of my family, my love of the gospel, and the love I have for my family and friends.

May you all wrap yourself in the warmth of love this season.