I am a Survivor. With a big ol’ capital S. Why the big S? Because being a Survivor requires the acknowledgment of something stronger than just a name or description. It’s not who I am totally, but a big portion of my heart, soul and body. - Shani Kenny 2015

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Letters for Mama.....

I wrote this a while back and after dealing with a lot the last few days, I needed this reminder. That no matter what has happened, she still loves me the way I love her. 

So here it is.... a letter to Mama.....

Dear Mama,

Oh how I miss you! I go through all these things, angry at the world angry at whatever..and sad I don't have you here with me. But then on days like today, I look at my babies and I have to say thank you. Thank you for every moment of my childhood, good or bad. Scary, or happy....loved or hated. All  of it. Every moment that made me who I am. Every time you held my hand just to make sure I knew you were there. I can remember just having you hold me, before things got harder on you. You would hold me and we'd snuggle under that pink blanket of yours. The one I had a match too. We'd watch the Carol burnett show and crack up. I loved your laugh, your smile and just the peace in your face when things were ok.

The moments of you showing me how to put make up on, crimping my hair, dressing me up when I hated it lol. As much as I miss you right this second, damn it I'm so thankful for you. I know that it's meant to be, and honestly I'm trying to be ok with out your physical absence in my life. Because I KNOW with everything in me, you live in these moments with m own kids.

Christopher came to me asking me about what we can do with his hair since I dyed mine purple. He wants to be blonde he says, and have it spikey. Took me straight back when you did that to Daves hair! Remember when the Boz was the coolest thing to football? Everyone had to have the Brian Bozworth hair do. And you did it, regardless of what mike said, never mind what family said, or the world. You did it because YOU wanted Dave to be happy. To be his own person. I told Christopher what ever he wanted we could do, he wants to just be a lighter color than what he has and spikey. I'm going to do that for him because it's what he wants to show is identity. He's so handsome Mama, so proud, fights like I can't believe for himself in life. And he's a smarter than most give him credit for. His sense of humor is such a mix of all of us. He makes me smile every single day.

I had promised Otelia I would teach her how to wear makeup. remember that mama? You took me to that snooty salon there in Federal way lol..Got to love the 80's! Remember the blue shadow??? Oh lord help me mama...some days I do miss the 80's lol. We were in the bathroom together as I got the flat iron plugged in and asked me to experiment with her hair. It's so long and thick, beautiful young woman she is. She asked me if I could buy one of those set ups that have the curling iron, flat iron and crimping iron. I started cracking up!!!! I was in 6th grade, the crimping iron was in full effect on my beautifully frosted blondish hair. Big fat bow on one side, black velvet dress with the doily collar. Full on 80's make up and my cool boots. 80's hair band baby!!! I wish I still had that picture lol. I loved it, you loved it and we had a blast doing it. You told me how to touch up my makeup before the pictures were taken. Sitting for hours with you just experimienting. God I miss those moments. But I was given a gift of having those moments with my babies. Mama Otelia is so wonderful. She sat and listened to every word as I told her about her hair, and what we could do with it. When I taught her how to put on makeup she hung on every word, and did just as I did. We talked and just enjoyed each other, with mae even!  Mama she's growing up and she's so beautiful, so free and so happy. I'm so thankful for that.

Mae was watching as we were doing all this today. Shed me to use the flat iron on her hair, so I did. She stood so still and lsitened. I was worried she wouldn't because she tends to get irritated and won't let me do it lol. But no, she let me! I straightened her hair and showed her how pretty it looked and how you could hardly see where she had pulled out her hair in the back. It's so much longer and looks so nice. She looked up at me and smiled...I melted. Mama I saw YOU in here. It was like you were there, damn I can't explain it. I just felt you and saw you in that smile. Uncle George kept telling me over and over how much she looked like you. I see it mama...and I'm so proud. I did her hair and she had me put tiny clips in it, showed off to daddy and he loved it. How grown up she is! She sat with us while we did makeup too. She wanted to put some on, so she tried. Oh how she cracked me up! The eyeliner...was more like cheek liner! And bright red lipstick! Remember that mama? Way back in 2nd grade? When Penny had bought me that sweet sixteen makeup for kids and it had the blue eyeshadow in the tube and the red lipstick? I took that to school and me and my friend Sammy made ourselves look beautiful at recess.  and we got in so much trouble when we went inside!!! That was so funny, but looking at mae...reminded me of that moment. It gave me some peace, a moment to be so thankful that I have those moments with them.

Mama I miss you....but I understand better. I see that every moment I had with you, has set me up to have these moments iwth my babies. Because of YOU and what you did for us in life, I can be a better mama to these babies. Thank you Mama for every moment of my childhood, thank you for loving me despite what flaws I may have had. For holding me and loving me when I fought to be away. For helping me be a better Mama and having these momets.

I miss you mama always, but I find peace in that love.


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Just one more moment in time....

......to say I love you. That's my one wish tonight. Just to hold my Mom and hug her one last time. To tell her I love her with all my heart. Why? Because I miss her so badly tonight. 13 years ago today, we lost her. She made her journey to a better place for sure. It's hard...it's devestating and even though yes, it does get easier over time, it still hits you on the rougher days. Soon I'll write more about her passing. I just can't tonight. I had a long talk with my girls about their La La (the name Odie gave her since she always sang "la la la"to her.) and how much she loves them all. Not loved..but loves. I talked with Odie about how close she and La La were. How even though La La is gone and was the year and a half after her passing, she's so much like her. So much so, it's kind of scary. They are for sure connected now. I talked about how much La La loved Christopher too and their close relationship. Amongst other things of course...I cried my eyes out. Odie cried hers out...we're a mess. Mae just tried to make us laugh and be happy. My babies...they are amazing. They keep me going and be stronger each day. Today, 

Today, I don't feel so strong. I feel weak and full of heartache and confusion. For whatever reason, this year it's WAYYYY harder than it has been in say the last ten years. I'm not sure why, a lot of things I'm sure. but it's there and it's raw and I just....I want just that little bit of time back. Even though my adult mind knows better, and the fact that part of it is survivors guilt, but my heart...it hurts tonight. 

Hugs from my babies and a good talk helped some. Looking over my past letters to her and poems in general helped too. I want to share with all of you the one I wrote in 2010 just for her. 

This is an original poem by me, Shani Kenny.

Just One More Moment In Time...

I open my eyes to the morning sun,
embracing it's warmth and shine.
Looking to the heavens above, wishing for just one...

Just one moment in time, 
To hear you laugh, as we giggle about the past.
For me to see that you are just fine.

My heart is full of love for you, for the family we had.
The times in my life, the triumphs, the glory, the embrace.
For all the feelings, the good and the bad.

Just one more moment in time,
To smile with my eyes, my heart, at you and life.
Telling you how proud I am, thank you for all the ties that bind.

I think of the memories, the moments of bliss,
The laughter, the sorrow, the fun and the hurt, no regrets, no do overs.
It is you that I miss.

Just one more moment in time, 
To tell you all the things I forgot to say,
My heart in pain, a way for me to pay.

For I never said I love you enough,
Never gave you more credit, never said enough how proud I was to be your daughter.
Even in the toughest of moments you did your best. In all the moments that were rough.

Just one more moment in time,
To save you from falling from grace,
Take away that pain, the scary moments that you needed someone to catch you for a change.
To wipe the tears away with my loving hands, away from your beautiful face.

I love you with everything I have in my heart.
Nothing can ever change that no one can take that way from me.
I ache in my heart for all the years we have a part.

Just one more moment in time,
To hug you, to hold you and never let go.
Reminding you that you were the best Mom you ever could be, and you were mine.

You worked so hard! You worked until you could not anymore.
Giving us the kind of life you never had, trying to fight and keep us together.
It's ok Mama, I don't blame you, I embrace you, forever more.

Just one more moment in time....
To tell you I'm sorry I couldn't save you.
If I knew then what I know now...I would have given so much more.
you used to tell me about the guilt one feels, and now I know, and I feel it too.

One of the proudest moments in my life, was when Otelia was born.
Three generations sat in that room, I watched you hold her with such love and grace!
You told me once she saved you, patched your heart where it was worn.

Just one more moment in time,
To tell you I forgive my past, that I've never once stopped missing you or loving every moment of my life with us.
Thanking you for saving me from myself so many times, for being the best La La you could be. For giving me fuss ;)

Never will anyone be able to take your place in this life.
Your laughter fills my memories, your love is in my heart.
For every happy moment, every joke, every boost, every strife.

Just one more moment in time,
To say just thanks Mama, thanks for my children, thanks for my family, thanks for everything.
Heaven has another angel in you, as Otelia once said, your in a house down the street in heaven, helping Jesus take care of the kids. 
For that I am grateful, and my heart sang.

I love you Mama, I miss you always. 
You are my heart, my love, my saving grace at times.
Forever in my heart, until the end of days.