The Countdown To Birthday Is Here…

Good evening, TeamKCT! This is Kailen’s mom, Kim, and, after talking with Bryan, I am going to join him in continuing Kailen’s blog.

Please know I have never, EVER done anything like this before in my life and I’m DEFINITELY nervous about this new venture. Right out of the gate, I want you to know I am no where near the writer of either Kailen or Bryan…and, I truly mean that. Both Kailen and Bryan are each very gifted writers in their own style and what a beautiful thing it has been to watch how they shared that passion for writing and spurred each other on. As for me, finding myself on this journey of being a mother grieving the loss of her 25 year old daughter, several weeks ago I began feeling drawn to express some of my thoughts, feelings, and emotions through writing. So, after talking with my husband, Jeff, and, also, with Bryan, here…I…go…

This past Tuesday marked 20 weeks without our Kailen here with us. Twenty long, hard, painful, tear-filled, question-filled weeks without our beautiful, kind, tender, sweet, funny, full-of-life daughter. For me, personally, I miss more things about Kailen than I could ever fit into any blog post; however, if I had to pick just one thing, I would have to say I miss Kailen’s friendship. As mother and daughter at the ages of 53 and 25 respectively, Kailen and I were not only mother and daughter but we were also friends. In fact, we were very blessed to have our friendship begin at a much earlier age and stage in life than most mothers and daughters. Of course, the first and foremost reason for this is because Kailen was a 2-year-old going on 10, a 10-year old going on 20, a 20-year-old going on 30 and a 25-year-old going on 50. Now, for those of you who knew Kailen personally, that last sentence makes perfect sense to you. Simply put, Kailen was (and has always been) wise beyond her years. Why was she like this? The only reason I know is because that’s the way the Lord made her to be. I will say, though, that Kailen purposed to make wise choices for the vast majority of her life and I truly believe that is one of the reasons she was the Kailen we all knew and loved–full of insight and wisdom beyond her years.

In talking about our mother/daughter friendship, I feel the need to clarify that friendship doesn’t mean we weren’t still mother and daughter. We were most definitely still mother and daughter, and, in walking through the health battles Kailen faced, there were times when we walked some difficult roads in our friendship. Oh, our love and respect for each other never, EVER came into question. But, there were times, especially in the last weeks of her life, when neither of us had any idea how to walk the road as mother/daughter/friend in which we found ourselves. I mean, how in the world do you find a way to say “see you soon” to your 25-year-old daughter who IS ready to spend eternity in heaven with Jesus but is NOT ready to leave her husband, her family, and her friends here on this earth? And, how in the world do you find a way to say “see you soon” to your 53-year-old mother who you know is getting ready to walk a road no mother ever wants to walk–a road where life on this earth continues without one of her sweet babies here with her? The answer to those questions is simply this–you don’t and you can’t! There is NO ‘right’ or ‘easy’ way to walk those roads. There’s no map, no handbook, no syllabus, no guide…there’s nothing in this life that ever prepares you to do what we found ourselves having to do. So, what did we do? We did the best we knew to do. We took each day as it came. There were days when talking came easy and days when neither of us knew what to say. There were days we both wanted ‘space’ yet wanted each other to be close-by so we could face whatever was coming next. There were days where neither of us knew how to handle anything. All we knew was to get up, get ourselves ready for the day, and somehow find a way to make it through whatever came through the gates. So, that’s what we did. We talked, we sat in silence, we laughed, we cried, we watched HGTV, we did life together…as best as we could…

So, over these next weeks, months, and maybe even years, my thought is this–through these blog posts, I will share some of how Kailen and I did life together as mother, daughter, friend and how I am continuing to do life as a grieving mother without Kailen but with a daughter, a son, and one precious grandson still here on this earth doing life with me. Honestly, I truly have no idea how this will, go but, my prayer is simply this: that through my writing, I will find more healing on this journey of grief, and, that the Lord will use my efforts to bring healing to others.

In closing, today is January 28th which means there are only three days left in the month of January and then we begin February. February–Kailen’s birthday month–a month Kailen loved and looked forward to with great anticipation and excitement every year…and I do mean GREAT anticipation and excitement EVERY year! So…as with many things we’ve faced in these past 20 weeks without Kailen, I have no idea how we will get through this month, but, my best guess is we will get through it as we’ve gotten through so many things in this life…together…as best we can…IMG_1142

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16 thoughts on “The Countdown To Birthday Is Here…

  1. Thank you Kim for sharing. You are being transparent and real. We love you for it. I pray you get through this and that God gives you strength to make each day. In all your sorrow and pain, you still praise him! Not sure how I would do that. Be strong and keep writing. Love you!

  2. I’ve missed this! I’ve missed her brilliant writings! I’ve missed opening my email and seeing a post from her! I got excited when I saw this! I didn’t know Kailen personally but I was amazed by her strength, courage and faith. I look forward to reading your thoughts and memories of your sweet and precious Kailen :))

  3. Amazing daughters come from amazing mothers and Kailen comes from a long line of amazing mothers…….. Kim my heart goes out to you…. Rhiannon and I share the same kind of relationship and I can’t even begin to imagine the loss that you must feel not having her here with you…… Thank you for letting us take this journey with you. We are all better people because of it….. Love to you and your family….

  4. Kim, I don’t pretend to know how awful it would be to Loose a daughter, but do know the sorrow of loosing two husbands to that terrible disease. Just wanted to say how sorry I am that you have to go through this. Thank goodness for Gods grace to see us through these impossible circumstances. Love you, and praying that the Lord will be with you every step of your grief journey

  5. I’m certain it was no mistake that I happened upon upon your blog this morning. Your story mirrors my own in so many dreadful ways. But, at the end of the day, there is a vein of hope and joy that runs through the similarities, and for that today I feel uplifted. Thank you for your transparency and honesty. I’ll be following your progress and, perhaps, quoting you in my own blog! I am poorly equipped academically to write, but if my feeble attempts to convey my heart helps even one hurting mama’s heart, it’s well worth the effort. Thank you.

  6. I had my Team KCT shirt on just a couple of days ago and was praying for all of Kailen’s family. I’ve never met you, Kim, but I thank you for sharing your heart. Please know that I am praying for you to receive the daily – the hourly – the minute-by-minute strength you need.

  7. Heart-wrenching, and yet heartwarming all at once. I thought/think of you often as I followed Kailen’s posts, and then Bryan’s as well. Thank you for giving us the perspective of a mother’s profound grief surrounded by God’s grace.

  8. What courage it takes to open your heart and put it all in words. I have prayed and cried with you and your family and have been blessed beyond measure by your faith and trust in our Lord. My daughter Karhryn and Kailen shared a birthday and as February 24th approaches, from mother to mother, know that you are lifted up in my prayers. 2 Corinthians 1:3 says that we are comforted in our troubles so that we may be a comfort to others. That you are. Sincerely and gratefully, Jonni Ousley

  9. Kim, I have been so impressed with how you are going through this journey. You are a very good writer, along with being a very good mom. I find this difficult to read and wonder how you are able to write and share this, but thank you for doing so. Love, Jill

  10. Thank you for sharing your story. I never knew Kailen personally, but I have enjoyed reading her blog this year and hearing about her from loved ones that knew her. Whenever I heard one of the songs in church the other day that she talked about “The Rock Won’t Move”, I thought of her up in heaven and what a beautiful day it was to be reminded of her. As a young woman, 22 years of age, I am inspired by her faith in Christ during a period of tribulation. You know she was a daughter of God when she can praise him in the valleys! I look forward to reading blog posts of yours to learn more about her sweet heart. Thank you!

  11. Kim,
    Know that sharing your journey will help not only you, but countless others who are struggling to find the words….praying for your peace and comfort in these days.

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