Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Some Details Do Not Fade With Time

It was 10 years ago today that I was in a deep sleep, actually ready to go the next day for some rather major, but elective surgery, and the phone rang. One of those calls that you hope is the wrong number but fear is bad news. My youngest sister said these words, "Susan just called and said Clint is dead in his bed"! I can remember saying "Would you repeat that"? Susan is my younger sister and Clint was her youngest son, at the time 18. They live in a city about 80 miles from where I live. I can remember this conversation as if it were last night. After calling and getting some details and yet really not knowing what had happened, I quickly called my doctors nurse at home and told her I was going to have to postpone the surgery, we packed our things and headed to their home. I still did not understand the part of Clint being dead in his bed...My sister lives in a beautiful, perfectly landscaped, very large house on a great corner lot. My brother-in-law owns a concrete business so every inch of the landscape is perfect....Clint and his brother both worked for their Dad in the summers and Wesley had gone in early to wake Clint for work and found him in his bed dead, probably had been for some time. Just typing that brings back so many memories. I talked with my sister today but did not ask permission to go into detail, and really the details do not matter....it was just a split second decision that a young kid made that cost him his life. Life would never be the same in that house. My sister would spend the next many years just hoping she would die. She had absolutely no will to live and told me many times that she just wanted to die. Life was just unbearable without her boy. Life can change in a minute, with one decision, with no warning. I wish my scanner was working tonight and I would share a picture of this wonderful boy. He was a gentle soul...kind and loving and left this world far too early. When I sat down to type tonight I really had no plans to share this, so now that I have, I am hoping that maybe one parent will speak an important word to ONE TEEN, ONE MORE TIME, that EVERY decision matters. Tonight I am thinking of my nephew Clint. I miss his smile and wish I could see it one more time. That is only one chapter in what could be a book that I think might save another kid. Maybe some day my sister will let me share it.

I can remember all the times I tried to drill into my kids during their teenage and college years that every decision mattered. If they read this they will say several million times and counting...and who knows what one time made a difference. Maybe none did. Maybe it was just God's grace. That's one of "those things" I don't understand. I know parents that have done absolutley everything right and then there is a car accident and their child is gone. So this has nothing to do with good versus bad parenting. It is a HARD JOB PERIOD. I know in the world as we know it today, there could never be TOO MANY times of warning them. I was a NAGGER...sometimes to a fault. I will admit it...(before one of my kids tries to leave a comment)...but as I watch both my kids parent today I just smile. They do a better job than I did but they do a lot that I did. God gave me just a little glimpse of what a great job my daughter does at parenting today. She discplines so well and with so much love. I don't think anything makes me happier as a parent, than to see my kids do it well. I have 4 LITTLES, all boys, and there are 2 guys and 2 gals that take parenting them, their number one assignment in life. I consider my number one duty in life to spoil them. I see my life in WANTS...I wanted to marry a football coach for as far back as my memory goes...I DID (I know some of you are waiting on that story...maybe one day! Ha) Then all I wanted was to be a Mom...I WAS...and it seems like from the early days of being a Mom, I wanted to be a Grammy. I AM...I thought I loved my kids more than the average Mom...now I am not so sure...but I can tell you from the moment I laid eyes on the littles I have
NEVER BEEN THE SAME. In case you cannot tell from my posts, it is the ULTIMATE CALLING and actually it is the thing I think I do best. Notice I did not say I always wanted to decorate Christmas trees. I have no idea how that snuck in. I was a fairly young grandmother with Parker, but that was eleven years ago. Now I am a very age appropriate Grammy with aches and pains..but there is still nothing I love more than having all four boys here. I love traveling with them. I LOVE seeing the world through their eyes. I have friends that tell me they hope in their next life they come back as my grandchild. I am going to give you a visual of my grand parenting.. This afternoon I picked Jack up from school...This is the 2 year old that makes me laugh until I cry..He was sitting in my lap and he saw some flower stickers laying by some cards I was writing. I love stickers, he loves stickers...I let him cover my face, both eyes, nose, ears, and hair in stickers, with him laughing hysterically the entire time. I almost had Parker make a picture to show my blog friends but I decided I might lose some readers. Just sayin....they can pretty much do anything their little hearts desire here. So now you get why they are here so MUCH. Grammy and Pop, within reason, almost always say YES! (Now if you would hear Amanda and Greg tell this story, they would say (I have heard this so many times) Mom lets the grandkids do things we could NEVER DO! And I do! I wish I could show you pictures of the flowers in my yard (there are none), or a great dish I just made (I made nothing, we get take-out or eat out)! I could show you my home, but for some reason I have never been interested in that. Because I have been able to go to market for 20 years, I have lots of STUFF, but that's all it is. I love a pretty house and pretty things, but there are plenty of blogs that specialize in that. For years I decorated my clients homes after the holidays, but I saw so many houses that were just full of stuff and not full of home, that I really lost my love of doing that. So really all I have to share is my littles...
So I guess the first part of this post is to the young Moms out there...keep nagging and the last part is to all my blogging friends that have found a passion and new kind of love in grand parenting.


Alison said...

Thanks for sharing that. I understand. My 21 year old daughter died 12 years ago now, whilst on a working holiday on the other side of the world. Yes, when the Police knocked on the door at 1.30 in the morning to tell us, our lives changed in that instant. There isn't a day goes by that I don't think of her, but you have to keep going. I just remember the 21 great years we shared. It's not enough, for sure, but some people don't get to experience that at all. Here's to Clint and to Sophie.... always remembered.

Love Being a Nonny said...

From one Nonny loving girl to another, I felt your pain and your joy in this post. So glad we are friends here in blog world!

Theresa said...

Oh Teresa, I am crying on my keyboard for your family... even from so many years ago, I know it still hurts! Teenagers need to know that every moment counts and ever action requires a decision that has consequences! Texting is one around here that has killed so many and I am happy that it is getting so much attention. BUT, when my phone buzzes and I don't even reach for it is setting an example that they will remember! Hugs to you and your Sister's family for going thru so much while losing Clint and the years after!

Now, the grandkids are just the icing on the cake:) I cherish every moment and enjoy them so much! I feel like I enjoy them so much because I realize how quickly those little kids become adults! Our kids have grown up and are now the parents to our grandkids, again with the example... hopefully we set a good one!

Have a blessed day my friend and thanks for sharing this story!

HUGS, Ganky

fahnmamma said...

Oh how I love being a Nana too! I became a Grandma kinda young also. My first Grand came a year after I gave birth to my youngest child. (I was 40 when I had her) Now they are almost 15 and 16 and we have 3 more little ones we spoil....I tell my kids that it's a 'right'!

We almost lost our second child in a boating accident 12 yrs. ago. She uses a wheelchair as a result of her injuries. It took a long time for me to come to terms with that...but God is faithful and broke through the shell I put around me. My heart goes out to your sister.


Nezzy said...

Teresa, I love your "littles" and your passion. Whether you know it or not, you ARE changin' lives. Your plantin' seeds that make someone think to do or not to do something that may end up a disaster. Your love for people and Christ always comes through. Just stay true to yourself and you will just keep blessin' us all!!!

Your story reminded me of the night I lost a cousin who was the person I was the closest to. We were fourteen and Tommy had an early morning paper route. He had his braces tightened the day before and had been given painkillers. Seems he couldn't sleep and he went to the medicine cabinet and took a sleeping pill. The two meds didn't work and when my Uncle tried to wake in the early hours...he was gone. You never, ever forget those phone calls.

May God bless your beautiful day sweetie!!!

Donna @ The House on the Corner said...

I am about to be a grandmother for the very first time. I can't wait! I hope I can be as good a grandmother as you are!

Bacardi Mama said...

That is so sad about your nephew. I'll say a prayer for your sister and your whole family. I was (am) a nagger too. My daughter who is a mom now gets it. The others really don't. They will one day. You are so right about finding a new kind of love in grandarenting. It is the best. I don't know how I lived without it for so long.

Tammy B said...

What a powerful post. I love reading your stories so much. I think we would be friends if we knew each other. I love football also. I have a son and a daughter. I have a granddaughter wtith a grandson due any day. I am a Grammy and my husband is Pop. I know how you feel about being a grammy and unless you are one I don't think you can really understand. Anyway, I will pray for your sister today. We've had a few of those health events that change everything. It is tough. God bless you all.

Sally said...

I've always loved being a MeMaw, and now a great-MeMaw to a four y/o. And, yes I let her to do whatever she wants. The other day I let her scotch tape my hands and feet together. :)

We lost my 17 year old grandson almost two years ago, and still reeling from his death. I try to remember he was doing something he loved (motocross), but the emptiness is always there. I'll say a prayer for your sister and all of you on this anniversary of your nephew's death.

Candace said...

I am so sorry about your nephew. Such a tragedy. I pray peace on your sister and the rest of your family. Your post touched my heart...both by sharing the tragedy and by sharing your love for your grandchildren. My husband and I are grandparents for the first time...Granna and Pops...and we live entirely too far away from our children and grandchild. Keep sharing your grandchildren with us. I know it blesses my heart.


Weezer said...

Teresa, this is beyond a doubt the most beautiful tribute you've ever written to your family. I'm sure Clint is at peace where he was without at the time of his death. You are changing the lives of so many....not just your immediate family and your Littles, but everyone who reads the words you put down.
thank you so much for sharing this with us. It might not have been your plan when you started, but God has a hand in things we don't even know.
God bless you and those whose hearts you touch every day.

McNew Family said...

Thanks for sharing. I have a good friend who lost a son in a similar situation. She, too, nearly 7 years later, lives in the past, wishing she could join her son. Unfortunately, she has 3 other children and a loving husband here on earth who miss their mom/wife. So very, very sad.

Give an extra love to the littles you have with you today!!!!!

Debby said...

It is a sad thing about your nephew and very sad that it hurt your sister so much. I can't imagine. I do know that things like that happen to all kinds of people. Doesn't make it easier though.
Oh, I Like you. Your Grammyisms are so like mine. I would and do anything for my grandkids. Like go to the zoo for 5 hours on a hot humid day, yesterday. I live and breathe for those kids......you are so like this and throw in MIckey and we are twins. I wore my MIckey crocs yesterday.......hah.

Java said...

I am so sorry about your nephew. What a terrible ending to a much loved child.
I agree that children should be constantly told that they are loved and if they need to talk about anything. Kids don't realize that you can't go back on that kind of decision once its made and that is so sad and so unnecessary.
I think you have the best job in the world! And how blessed you are! I will probably be like you and let my little put stickers all over me! lol..

Grandma Cyndi said...

I also LOVE being a Grandma! I treasured both of my Grandmothers and try to follow their style when it comes to my 4 littles (2 girls 2boys) 9 and under. I do love spoiling them, but I can not say I never say no. We do have a great time when we visit and I know they love spending time with us. We are not in the position you are to travel with them as much, but we do make the time with them special.Thanks for sharing your fun stories and picture of your family.

lwallace said...

Susan breaks my heart everytime I talk to her. We share that sense of loss, with our family losing Caleb. While the circumstances were different, it was so sudden. They say times heals, it doesn't. Only God's grace gets you through the emptiness and His Hope helps you to realize that there will be a day when you will see them again. Love you cousin! Enjoy your grandbabies!

billypandnikkysmom said...

I am so sorry for your families loss, a mother shouldn't outlive her children, I will say a prayer that your sister finds comfort & peace.

Love your littles, enjoy them, spoil them, hug & kiss them EVERY DAY!!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Thanks for sharing Clint's story, Teresa. It really needs to be told, not just to teens but to parents as well... When things like this happen and decisions are made, nobody realizes what it does to those who are still part of this world. Your sister has had a rough time.... Telling the story would help so many!!!!

Glad your life is so good ---and you are enjoying your grands.

Just Breathe said...

What a sad story about Clint your nephew. With all the babylost mothers I have contact with I know to well the pain your sister is in each day. I too have always given my children directions, the what not to do list! I must say that you are so blessed to have your grandchildren, something I dream about. Being in Florida the last three weeks I haven't been able to go over and pick up my ornaments at Hallmark. Can't wait to see them.

Beth E. said...

I'm so sorry about your nephew...my heart breaks for your sister and family.

I probably nag my boys, too, telling them every decision - good or bad - affects our lives. I pray every day that they will make wise choices. They are 22 and 19 yrs. Being a parent is such a responsibility. I'm looking forward to having "littles" in my house someday!

P.S. I wish you had taken that pic with the stickers! ;-)

Kat said...

Oh sweet friend, this gave me chills and brought back memories of when something very similar happened to our realtor about 5 years ago. I don't think she will ever be the same. How could she? Great post.

I'm so sorry for your loss. I will pray for your sister and her family. And you.


Nicole said...

I'm your newest Thursday follower!

Please follow back at http://www.onelittlemister.com/
HELP ME GET TO 200!!! Lol.


Denise said...

Wow, powerful post. Thanks for sharing.

Amber said...

I'm so sorry to hear about the difficult time your family went through. I cannot imgaine something so tragic. Praying continued peace for your sister...even still I am sure it's so difficult for her.

Marydon said...

G'day Teresa ~

My heart aches for all of you in the loss of Clint. May his soul rest in peace. The hardest thing EVER is to loose a child, I have & know your pain ... the emptiness that is left forever remains daily.

Your write is profound with wonderful words for all to hear & implement in their lives.

May the grace of God be with you all ...

TTFN ~ Hugs ~ Marydon

Debbie said...

Oh my, I'm so sorry to read this story of Clint's death. You're so right; one choice and it could be the end of life. I can't even begin to imagine the torment that enveloped the family in the aftermath.

But I love how you hold out that maybe one teen would learn. Thank you for sharing this story with others. I can understand though when life is so hard wanting to just go home to be with the Lord. But He will take us when He is ready and our work on earth is done.

Blessings and love,

Shining 2 Save said...

Hi! I am a new follower from Thursday's Friends & Giveaways Cafe, I look forward to reading your posts

Please visit me @

Melissa Miller said...

Teresa oh I am sorry to read of his passing all those years ago. My heart goes out to you and your family. I know the pain is still there.

Have a blessed weekend.

PS Thanks for entering my GC giveaway. I really appreciate my loyal blog friends and you are one of them.

Whidbey Woman said...

Thank you for sharing from your heart today. I am sure you have made a difference by telling this painful story.

Moe said...

This is such a wonderful and heartfelt post. My thoughts are with you & you have made a difference by sharing this as so many people are going to traffic your blog. Life is a maze (as one of my favorite songs quotes)

Thank you for posting your blog to the party on The Girl Creative. With out that, fewer people would read and share in your thoughts. Best Wishes.

Traci66 said...

Thank you for following me. I am now following you.

Traci66 said...

Here is the link for the globe. Look under love and romance on the left sidebar.

Dee Crowe said...

this is such a beautiful post..I was in tears in the beginning and then laughing at the end! I am a parent to an 8 year old and a grandparent to a 2 and 5 year old...I hear you on both sides! I love it when my daughter is around my mom...mom spoils the dickens out of her, but its good...the relationship they have with one another is so precious, and kids really seem to understand that what they get away with at grammy's place doesn't really fly at home...

Tree said...

Hi Teresa! What a sad, moving story about your nephew. I'm so very sorry...that is definitely a fear of mine...losing a child so young. :( Sending my prayers to you and your family today!

Stopping by for FF 40 and over! I'm already a follower! :)

*~Petra~* said...

Thank you so much for sharing this story and reminding me once again how fragile life is. ♥

Kelle said...

I found your blog via the 40 & Over blog hop! Your post touched my heart and I look forward to following!

Kelle said...

I found your blog via the 40 & Over blog hop! Your post touched my heart and I look forward to following!

Lydia @ On The Verge said...

Thanks for following me and joining in my Follow Me Friday. I am following back. I am so sorry for your family's loss. My kids are still young, but I plan on nagging them just like my father did to me.


Colleen (Shibley Smiles) said...

So a heart wrenching story. I'm so sorry for your loss I have three children and can not even imagining such a thing happening. It makes me want to just give them all a big hug and remind them how much I love them (which around our house we do often).

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

Anonymous said...

Such a beautiful and heartfelt post. I will keep you all in my prayers.

I am your newest Follower from Social Parade. I hope you can stop in and see me at www.hootiebee.blogspot.com

Sari said...

Well, you brought me to tears, I have a 14 year old son who tests everything, and with very poor results. Your blog post reminded me of how important he is, regardless of the messes he creates and that only God with his divine intervention can protect him from himself.
Thanks for sharing and joining my blog.

Lauren said...

Thanks for participating today!!!! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!!!Now following!

SusanD said...

Such a tragic loss for your family. As always, you are in my prayers. I love your escapades with your littles. Blessings, SusanD

CinnyBBS said...

Thank you for sharing...a truly touching story.

Thank you for stopping by and following me. I'm now following you back. I really hope you have a great weekend!

Tammy said...

You sound like the best Grandma in the world! I love reading about you and your littles! They are the luckiest kids around! :)

Have an awesome weekend!

Alexis AKA MOM said...

What a beautiful post in his honor of his memory and to be a reminder to all how precious life is.

I think I want to come to your house, I know my boys sure would. I wish my parents would be like this :)

Kathleen said...

My prayers for your sister.
You are right, she will never be the same. How could one?
My sister's son was hit by a car when he was 18. Someone speeding recklessly took his life, and changed the lives of so many others.
The man who ran to help died of a heart attack at the scene. My nephew was to leave for college in 2 weeks. He had just come from the hospital visiting a sick classmate.
God's ways are a mystery.
Glad you stopped in for a visit.
I hope you had fun blog hopping!
Have a great weekend!

Melanie said...

This is great, Teresa. And yesterday I had a "everything matters" talk with my 16 yr. old son.
Please pray for him. Losing Andrew has been tough on him, too. His grief has been displayed in a very different way than the rest of us.
I'll tell him again today and the next day and the next that "EVERY DECISION MATTERS."

Bonnie @ House of Grace said...

I am sorry for your loss! I am glad that you stopped by. I am your newest follower. I hope that you have a great weekend.
Bonnie :)

Lisa said...

This post gave me chill bumps. I am so sorry about your nephew. I have friends sitting in ICU tonight because of a bad decision their 30 yr old son made. He's not expected to make it and I can not begin to imagine what they are going through...or what your sister went through.

Jen said...

My daughter is out driving in a storm right now...well, hopefully staying put at her friend's house until the storm passes.

I thought she wasn't listening until the day she called to tell me the streets were flooded and I should probably stay where I was instead of coming home...just like I do to her...maybe she is listening.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

RawknRobynsGoneBlogWild said...

Thanks for visiting, Teresa. I appreciate this powerful post on a topic many are not courageous enough to talk about. I survived a similar death (20 year old brother, over 20 years ago). I know too that the pain never goes away.
Keep faith.

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Elizabeth Mahlou said...

It does not matter why or how. When one loses a child, it is life shattering. I have watched it happen to friends for various reasons. Prayers for all your family. I am certain this was a difficult post to write, but I bet it will happen someone and perhaps even many people.

BTW, I want to let you and other followers know that my Blest Atheist blogspot went down. I replaced it with 100th Lamb (www.emahlou.blogspot.com). I explain why there.

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Shining 2 Save said...

Thank you for sharing this post, it is a reminder for how precious life really is. I cannot imagine life without my two sons.

I am your newest follower from friday follow!

Kari @ http://shining2save.blogspot.com

Donna said...

Dear Teresa, I missed the chance to join your giveaway, but I'm so glad I stopped by to visit. You are such a special person as evidenced by your sweet (and sad) post.

I have a close friend who lost her son at that age. My heart broke for her. I can't even imagine what it must be like. I have five children and almost five grandchildren. My youngest is 16 and the two oldest are married. I treasure every moment with my family and totally agree with your advice about teens.

Donna @ Comin' Home

Penny said...

I am sorry for your sister. My daughter, at 18, made decisions that should have taken her life, but by a few miracles, she survived. I've lost an 18 year old cousin to suicide~ over a girlfriend breaking up with him. That almost destroyed our grandmother. My son-in-law lost his 16 year old brother, Matthew, 3 years ago when the boy's "friend" murdered his own parents and Matthew. That was a nightmare. parents of teenagers have soooo much to worry about.