When I was younger, I would often wonder if it hurt more to lose a parent you never knew or a parent you knew your entire life. Yeah, I know it’s a bit dark, but the loss of my father at 5 kinda made me dark in my teenage years. To be honest, I never actually thought I would get the answer to that question until I was at least 65. I mean in my mind, my mother was going to live forever. Unfortunately, I was completely wrong, and when I was 24 years old my entire world came crashing down.
I remember that day like it was yesterday. I was driving home from a reunion weekend with college friends. My sister called to tell me it was time, and I needed to say my goodbyes. I pulled the car over as I gathered the strength to say my final goodbye to my mother who was everything to me, including my best friend and my rock. That was by far the most difficult thing I ever had to do. I remember clipping the phone shut and throwing it. I screamed and banged on the steering wheel like a two-year-old having a tantrum as the tears poured from my eyes. I cried myself into a choking fit, and I literally couldn’t breathe. I got out of my car and paced on the side of the highway gasping for air as I screamed and cursed at God. Then I kicked my tired which really hurt my knee so I screamed and cursed some more. Eventually, I calmed down and drove the rest of my way home.
When I arrived at my apartment, there were 2 peacocks (one male and one female) waiting for me. I have absolutely no idea where they came from, but they were absolutely beautiful. I didn’t realize it right away, but they were without a doubt a sign from my mom letting me know that she was in heaven reunited with my father. It was the most comforting thing she could have done for me, and I am forever grateful.
Losing my mom was the worst thing that has ever happened to me. The pain and heartbreak I felt was so unbearable, and it left me completely devastated and hardly functioning. To say I was depressed is certainly an understatement. I was more or less numb to everything, and a huge part of me was missing. I had never felt so lost and helpless in all of my life.
Eventually I came to the realization that I needed to find a way to be happy again, and I began searching for the old me. This mission to find myself lasted many years, and to be honest I’m still searching. I know I’m not 100% back to the old me and maybe I’ll never be. That’s ok because I have never been happier. I have endured more than enough pain and I have evolved. I have made choices that have affected my life in both good and bad ways. I have celebrated the good, and I have learned from the bad. I have made a lot of mistakes, and I will continue to make a lot more I’m sure. I have fallen on my face, probably more literally than figuratively, but I always get right back up and laugh it off. I have taken chances, and I’m always ready to risk it all for something I believe in. I am fearless and I go after what I want. I chose to live and truly be in the moment. I believe in love, which is probably the scariest thing in my opinion. I wear my heart on my sleeve and it often gets crushed, but I wouldn’t have it any other way because at the very least I know I’m being true to myself.
Do I have it all together? Absolutely not! Far from it! When my mom was alive and I would talk to her about whatever I was going through, she would always say, “Life isn’t easy kid.” I try to remember that especially when I’m having a moment. So, if you are ever at your lowest low or going through a difficult time or simply having a moment, then just do what I do and say my little mantra using your name of course… I’m Kelly fucking Bates! I got this!
Who are you? Feel free to share your “I got this” moments in the comments below.