A new journey that is unknown and unwanted.
This blog doesn’t come easy and frankly I don’t want to write it. I’ve held it off as long as I could. I wasn’t sure if I was going to write it. I have found a love for writing, and that's why I have started my blog. Maybe love isn't the right word, but maybe therapeutic is.. Almost, for selfish reasons, getting my thoughts on paper but also giving you a glimpse of my life. My life as a small business owner, my life as a mom, wife and daughter. Sometimes, I often feel people think I live this “lucky life” or there is not a real person behind this business or brand. And yes, I think sometimes we all feel immune to bad things happening or it could never happen to us. But let me reassure you, I love, I hurt, and I crumble, just like anyone else. I also have been dishonest with you all, and have kept a few things private this month. I haven’t been myself, and I won’t be for a while. As, I am completely heartbroken.
June 28th, about a month ago. I received one of the worst phone calls anyone should ever receive. My mom was found unresponsive at her home. She had a massive stroke at the age of 51. She was being rushed to the hospital and they do not know how bad it was. I got on the fastest flight to Portland, Oregon that very next morning. My mom just recently moved to Southern Washington State. That trip I recently just took with both my kids by myself, that was a trip to see my mom and see my cousin graduate high school.
As I write this, my eyes start to well up, my heart begins to race, and my breath disappears .I can’t breathe thinking about it. My mom suffered from a massive stroke. She received a CT scan upon arrival at the ER and it was determined that she had severe damage to her left side of her brain. My mom is right handed, meaning that is her dominant side of the brain. The neurologist was certain that my mom, if she survived these next few days, would be severely disabled. My heart was crushed and still is in that same place from a month ago.
It was an agonizing 3-4 days hoping and praying my moms brain swelling would decrease, if it didn’t, we would slowly lose her each day. When I went in to see my mom, she was breathing on her own, doing her normal fidgets, brushing her hand through her hair, all the normal things she did. She looked so normal. However, doctors told us they weren’t sure if she could comprehend speech. She was in a weird state, she wasn’t asleep but she wasn’t in a coma. As each day went by her beside, my heart continued to break. Those normal movements started to slow down and I could feel my mom slipping away. My twin brother was deployed across the country, and thanks to the Red Cross, he was able to get on a flight but due to his location he wouldn’t be here for another day. Time was critical.
The night my brother arrived, we both walked in and we held my moms hands for one of the last nights. Her swelling in her brain continued to increase and hour by hour, the swelling took over her brain. There were decisions that had to be made. The decisions are something you can’t bear to think about. We made the decision to put a breathing tube in and be put in an induced coma. Giving her one last shot to fight this. We were told that once this happened, it would be a miracle if she came out. So we knew our odds were not in our favor. We needed our mom. More importantly, we couldn't imagine our life without her. That night we got the phone call. My mom wouldn’t make it through the night. Her body was slowly shutting down. We went up to the hospital and said our final goodbyes on July 2nd.
In the mix of this happening, we had to talk about the worst case scenario. With that came up the topic of organ donation. My mom was a smoker, so we were worried about what could be donated. They ran tests. My mom was perfectly healthy besides her brain failing her. Her heart did show signs of some distress. But the final results were in, and she could be a donor for lungs, liver, and kidneys. With the organ donation process, it gets hard. They keep the body “alive” until they can find a patient that the organs can go to. For us, it was hard to comprehend and go through. But we knew deep down, this would make a difference and it was her wish. She would now change someone else's life. Maybe another mimi, daughter, son, friend, sister, or mother. The hospital does an honor walk as the donor gets wheeled into the operating room, for me I didn’t feel honor, I felt anger, sadness, and most importantly jealousy. Someone else was going to get a second chance, while I was losing my mom. The person that gave me life. The person that made incredible sacrifices for me. It was unfair. But I do feel a sense of comfort that my moms loss wasn’t in vain, and there was some good that came out of darkness.
I didn’t know your heart can physically hurt from grief. Everytime I think of her, my chest feels like its being crushed. It's beyond painful, and there are nights I think about her and can’t breathe. I go into an anxiety attack. I’ve had a past with postpartum anxiety so with this, it's been extremely difficult. Everyday and all of my surroundings I am constantly reminded of my loss, whether it’s a song, a picture, a movie, Ava asking about mimi, or an excited grandma coming into my store... I mostly hurt for the future I had dreamed of.. I have to live the rest of my life without her.. I am not sure how I will get through it..There is one thing my mom loved more than being a mom, and that was being a mimi to my kiddos. She loved Ava Grace and Luke and my heart can't bear to think about the days my mom will miss. Ava’s first day at Kindergarten, or her first high school soccer game, or her graduation, or wedding day. My mom was my best friend. I talked to her almost daily. I saw her almost every-other month. Every time I went down to Dallas Market, I would stay with my mom and she would watch the kiddos. She would be thrilled to discuss my market findings. She was there for every celebration. If you are local, there were days you would see my mom working with me at the store. She was damn proud of it. She loved coming to my store and chatting with the other mimi’s or soon-to-be moms. She loved watching her daughter chase her dream. But only if she knew, she was the reason I did.
I will leave you all with this. I won’t be the same Derion you once saw and knew. I won’t be able to show up like I once did, not for a while. My brain physically isn’t working, it races most days. I can’t focus and I make mistakes. Just like this past weekend. I won’t see the world the same. Light won’t ever shine as bright because a piece of that light is gone, gone forever. It won’t get easier, only the grief will get less heavy. A new phase of life that feels unknown and unwanted.. However, this boutique is my blood, my sweat, all of my tears, and all of my joy. My mom was damn proud of it and I will continue to make her proud. She wouldn’t want it another way and honestly there is no other choice but to take each minute, hour, and day at a time. One foot in front of the other. If one thing I have learned from all of this, each day is a blessing, live it to the fullest, love what you do, and be sure to tell your family each night you love them. I rest with my mom knowing she was so loved. She made an impact on many people's lives. She got to see some of the proudest moments in her kids’ lives and from this day forward, she gets the best view.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the continuous support of this store. This past weekend from Crazy Days was something I needed so badly, I needed to see my customers and I needed that fire lit under me. As much as I have wanted to be tucked in a hole and never come out, I have to continue working on this dream of mine. To my local community that has shown up in ways I couldn’t imagine, Thank you will never be enough. Just know, I am forever grateful.
Secret code: iloveyoumom this is for free shipping this week as I do secret steals, just tell me the code and you get free shipping.