Unsent Letters – 08.21.2016

DISCLAIMER : I am going through some personal things and am needing a place to vent. These are the letters I’ve written along the way. If you have any advice about things, please feel free to keep scrolling because I’m not looking..

August 21, 2016

To My Autumn Michelle,
I’m dating this letter because I don’t know when I’ll finish it and I don’t want to forget where I began.. It’s been four days since you were here, and aside from a couple of meaningless texts we haven’t spoken at all. You probably think I’ll call you when I’m done being mad and so you’re waiting.. I hate to say it, but you’ll be waiting a while.. I can’t do it. I can’t keep going the way we’ve been. I don’t know who you are or how to talk to you anymore and I’m tired…

Still, there are some things I need to say and I’m just going to say them..

I’m sorry for the things I said when I was mad. Not necessarily for WHAT I said, but for HOW I said it. I won’t apologize for having feelings.

I’m sorry for making you feel like you were ever not enough. You’ve always been so much more than I had ever dared to dream.

I’m sorry that you didn’t feel like you could trust me when it really mattered.

I’m sorry for making you grow up so very young, though that should show you who it was that ever really had my back.

I’m sorry you were so unhappy here..

Thank you for always being someone I could be proud of, I’ve never doubted that you would be amazing.

Thank you for never giving up on me. Lord knows you probably should have more than once.

Thank you for just being you most of the time… That was all you’ve ever needed to be..

I want you to know that I’m always proud of you. Of your strength and of your determination and of the way you keep going no matter what. You’ve always been an old soul, as your Nana would say, and you’ll go far in life, no doubt.

I wish I could fix what’s been broken between us, but I don’t even know where to start.. What I do know, is that I don’t want to do this with you. I just can’t seem to get it right no matter what I do, and so I’m thinking it might be time for me to take a step back. I don’t think you have any idea how bad that sucks for me but I don’t know what else to do. I miss you more than you could ever imagine, and I have for a long time..

The other day when you left for Alabama I was really hurt. I know I didn’t marry your dad but I still love his family. Kelly was my connection to the Hartman’s too.. I had my own relationship with her and I’ll miss her. Maybe I could have handled the whole thing better, and I’m sorry for that, but I was just so blindsided by the way you did a total 180 out of nowhere. One minute you didn’t really want to go at all, and the next you were practically running out the door. I’m so sorry Gracie wanted to be with you more than she wanted a nap. I felt like I actually had to spank her so she would leave you alone and it really bothers me. I shouldn’t have to apologize or make excuses for how she feels. You’ve been a constant every day of her life and she doesn’t understand why you’re gone. She only knows you promised to come see her sometimes. She cries for you often and I can’t help it. It is what it is.

I don’t know where you and I fell apart and I’m not sure I know how to fix it. You’re right, you’ve been unhappy for a long time and I didn’t want to see it. I did the best I knew how.. And for that reason, and so many more, it’s time that I let go…. I hope I taught you enough about life, and that you’re not too proud to ask for help when you need it. I heard you loud and clear when you said that you won’t be calling me for anything so I hope you have someone. Thanks for listening. I will always love you (a million red m&m’s)



A Rare Moment..

This is Dratton, wearing Mickey Mouse gloves and a smile July 11, 2014 in Kissimmee, FL during our Make•A•Wish trip to Disney and Give Kids The World. 
My husband isn’t generally the most smiley faced man. Strong and hard working with a serious, somber personality, it is truly a rare and beautiful gift to watch him laugh and play with our children like he did on this vacation. 

Random thoughts..

Within the 30 Day Challenge lies the prompt “your fears”. What’s written here is something of an extension of the thoughts that followed…

It is often that having a special needs child can be hard on a marriage, too often leading to divorce or separation. I can see how that happens and after seven years with our daughter, I still remind myself daily that we are among the lucky ones. We’ve not only survived, we’ve flourished. After the initial period of uncertainty and regret and was this my fault? that simply comes with the territory, she has become the glue that holds us together. Her fight has been a journey but it’s helped to make us better.. 

Better people.. Better parents.. Better Christians.. 

Our children have become compassionate and accepting and tolerant before their time; things that can’t be taught or learned in any school in the world today. It was hard for them sometimes, but I hope they carry these lessons with them throughout their lives. 



The most precious thing in the world is youth. Too bad it’s wasted on children.                       Irvin S Cobb – 1931

Youth is wasted on the young

I never really understood what that meant until I started getting old. I didn’t think of ‘old’ as what I’d really truly be at 38, but geez am I tired.. 


Carry Me Home 

Yesterday sucked. I wish I had something clever or insightful to say, but I really don’t. I’m not sure I have it in me today. Just the thought of having to string together the words I would need to speak my heart this morning is leaving me broken and exhausted. Please God, give me strength to carry on through these next few days..

Autumn’s dad and I were never married. We stayed together right around seven years but we were still so young.. His family though.. He has this huge, amazing family that I still, seventeen years later, find the time to miss now and again. 

Johnny has eight – yes, I said eight – brothers and sisters, most from previous marriages. His parents were married while the kids were still young, and together they had Kelly. A family of As-Seen-On-Tv bikers, they are among the kindest, most amazing and family oriented people that I’ve ever been blessed with knowing.. And if I never saw them again they’d still be family. 

Kelly was twelve, if I remember correctly, when Johnny took me home to meet them all for the first time. I was seventeen and we drove to Phoenix, Arizona for Thanksgiving (or somewhere around that time because Mommom gave me pumpkin pie..).. I will always remember John’s mom telling me later that she’d watched us while we slept. She found us curled up together both facing the other way, he had spooned himself around me. We both had our hands side by side on the wall.. She said we were meant to know each other. 

Four years later we were living with them. We’d had Autumn by then and they’d gotten a much bigger house with a pool. Jason, Toni and Kelly all still lived at home too and we all became very fast friends. 

But Kelly.. Kelly was the youngest and at barely fifteen (while I was twenty) she was the closest thing I would have to a best friend during the entire year I was there. From the beginning I wasn’t a big fan of Phoenix – I was hotter than I’d ever been in my life living there and I couldn’t escape to the ocean. In fact, it was SO hot in Phoenix it was literally illegal to walk your dog during the day because the concrete sidewalks would blister the pads of their feet! No freaking joke! I seriously cried..

Kelly and I spent a lot of time together back then. She was so young and dramatic and completely filled with the kind of inner light that only comes from the naivety of being a teenage girl. I don’t think I ever told her, but her friendship was what kept me from dying of loneliness. I’m not surprised to see the bond we shared reflected in the relationship she has with my daughter. 

We’ve tried to keep up with each other through the years. You know how it goes.. Random phone calls and Facebook posts and fleeting visits every few years. I never married her brother but she was still my sister and I loved her.

Yesterday afternoon, around 2:00pm on a beautiful day, Kelly walked out alone into the waters of the Alabama Gulf Coast, called her sister Toni to say I love you, and then took her own life. 

The world will never be the same.

I hadn’t seen her in a few months, but we had spoken just last week..

I miss her already.. 💔

P. S. Truth be told, I started writing this morning with the help of a daily prompt. I often enjoy the randomness of choosing miscellaneous topics and just running with them. Today’s word is ‘Carry’. I can imagine that to some I’ve gotten quite a bit off topic so I will remind you..

Please God, give me the strength to CARRY on through these next few days.. 

I believe He will..