Life is a Struggle


On April 26, 2017, I was placing my lunch on my desk and heard the chime of my phone. I looked down and saw my son, Quincy, had texted me. I opened the message that read, “Bye, Mom. I love you and you were the greatest mom a kid could have. This was not your fault.” I stood there in disbelief, had I read that message correctly? But he was home sick from school. My hands started to shake and I could barely breath. I yelled I had to go and showed my coworker the message. I flew out the door, got in my vehicle and began my drive home.

I tried calling him, no answer. I next dialed my husband and through broken cries told my husband I think Quincy had hurt himself, that I was on my way home. I then dialed 911, after giving all the information the dispatcher asked me not to go into the house. I told him I was sorry, but I am his mom. I appreciate that he needs to ask me that and I am going in when I arrive. Many things went through my mind during that drive. My eyes were full of tears, my heart was holding onto I would catch him in time.

When I pulled into the driveway I looked at his bedroom window to see if I could catch any movement. There was nothing. I put the vehicle in park and hesitated for a moment. I opened my car door and a gust of wind blew across my face. I walked into the garage and into the house. As I passed through the kitchen I noticed the basement door was unlocked. I also saw the dogs playing in the livingroom and Quincy’s sweatshirt he had been wearing that morning on the couch. I paused for a moment listening for any sound determining to go to his bedroom or the basement.

I decided on his bedroom, my legs getting weaker with every step. Realizing that the turnout of this situation will change me. I got to the top of the stairs and saw his door shut. The dogs had eagerly followed me up the stairs. I yelled at them in a stern voice to go down the stairs and closed the gate.

I reached my hand out and turned the knob, pushed the door open. As I entered the room I looked ahead. After a few steps, I turned my head to the right. Sitting on his bed, with a gunshot to his head and the gun in his lap, my son sat there dead. I screamed and reached out to him. I grabbed his leg and it was cold. I began to rub it, trying to console him. I wanted to hug him, then I thought I can’t I need the police to figure out what happened. I walked over to his window and looked out over the yard we had played kickball in just a few days before. Then something struck me, where did he get the gun. I ran into my bedroom to find tons of tools strung out and the safe broken open. I went back into Quincy bedroom, sat on his bed rubbing his leg and talking to him. I glanced out the window after several minutes to see the Sheriff’s vehicle pulling up my driveway. I wiped away my tears, went down the stairs, then outside and approached the Sherriff. I took a deep breath and said, “My son is dead, that it appears he had shot himself. Let me show you.”

I would describe my son, Quincy, as a gentle soul…an old soul. He was pure of heart and had great sensitivity for the world around him.

He had an ability to notice the hurt others were feeling and would naturally and willingly take it upon himself to comfort them. Quincy projected kindness and showed generosity and selflessness to everyone he touched.

To say Quincy was polite is an understatement…Since his early years, he showed care and respect for all around him. Even through the tremendous experience of losing Mike, he portrayed compassion toward me when I felt I should have been there for him.

When Quincy was a young boy, his smile and kind heart would light up a room. Quincy was always mature for his age. When he was three, he could carry on a full conversation with every adult in the room.

His curiosity for the world around him and his imagination never ceased to amaze me. At the age of 4, he mixed blue and pink to make purple with sidewalk chalk, he figured out all of this with self-discovery. And purple is still his favorite color.

Some of his self-discoveries were a little less scientific like when he figured out at a young age how to unbuckle his car seat while I was driving down the road and throw things out the window…he was a regular Houdini.

His flair for style started at a young age. He would dress in heels and underwear and announce that he was “Going to make the money!” Or not being able to leave home without a superhero costume, even when we were just going to the grocery store. And no costume was complete without his ever-present rain boots. From Hulk to Spiderman, he was ready to help save the day.

Quincy was always thinking ahead in his life. At the age of 5, he sat me down to discuss his life plan. He said that, of course he probably first had to graduate high school, then he should go to college, and he would need money after that so he needed to get a job, then he could buy a house….he could get a girlfriend after that and then get married and have kids.

Quincy had continued to grow into a beautiful young man with a kind heart. He was 14 the day he took his own life.

I wrote this letter to him:

Quincy, as the day breaks and the sun rises your dad and I lay in bed with hurt in our hearts each morning after your death.
Your dad and I talk about how you impacted our lives just as much as we hope we impacted yours.
Your dad will not have you to watch the tie making videos with and see that you can tie a better knot than him. I will no longer have my Quincy snuggle time. Your seat at the dinner table will be empty as we crowd around it. Our Sunday kickball will not be played as a member of our team is no longer here. The car we talked about buying for you will sit there with a for sale sign on it. We won’t be able to see you go to prom or watch you play football anymore. I will no longer be able to run my hands through your curls. When we are driving in the car and look through the rearview mirror, we will see your brothers, we will see that you are missing. Those are the days ahead of us that we will struggle with.
Your dad and I hope that whatever pain you felt that day that was so unbearable is gone now. We want you to know that we feel lucky that we were chosen to be your parents, how proud of the man that you were becoming and how saddened we are that you are gone from our lives.

We love you, Quincy.






Until the 2013…

Words happy Holidays with flashing lightsHello all –

I have been doing my best to blog every Wednesday, give or take a few days.  I have decided to take a mini holiday break to spend the time with my family.  I am going to be back to blogging at the beginning of 2013.  The holiday season is very special to me and to my family.  There are many traditions that are important to us, that at times can be time consuming, but well worth every minute.

Thank you to all that read my blog. 

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season! 


Victim’s Impact at DUI training…

Samantha standing in front of the classroom with podium

Samantha speaking in front of class

Over the last two days, I have presented to a DUI training class.  Where law enforcement individuals are being trained on the risks of driving while under the influence.  I was asked to present the story of my husband, that was killed by a drunk driver.  I shared how the drunk driver’s decision changed my children and my lives forever.  I was a little nervous, but overall it went well.  I do need to work on more eye contact with the class.   I think what this group is doing is great!

December’s Widowed Blog Hop!

an egg with bold letter HOPIt’s the first Wednesday of the month and you know what that means…Widowed Blog Hop! 
Life is full of surprises.  There are moments when you feel like nothing good will come of it and others when a light shines on given opportunities.  I asked myself quite often how I can change or influence others in a good way.  How I can take the death of my husband and use it to benefit others. This may sound like a “crazy” question, but that is what goes through my mind.  I want other widows and widowers to not feel alone in their grief.  Don’t get me wrong, it is a journey that you will get through on your own but we all need support. I feel blessed that I have been able to connect with some great people who have something in common with me.  And that’s losing their spouse.

We are all in different places in our journey, but have taken a step forward in our life story without our spouse.   The support you get from someone who has been down your path or some variation of it is irreplaceable. 

I want to commend all of the men and women that take the time to give us a glimpse of their reality.  The words they share can bring a whole realm of emotions and that is when you know it is written honestly from the heart. 

We have some new participants this month and I encourage all of my readers to check out what they have been doing and posting. 
For ease, below is the list of participants in the hop. 
Thank you for taking the time to hear our stories, feelings and what we think. 

Being Thankful!

Scrabble letter spelling out being thankful. on white background with pink flowersOn the day before Thanksgiving, I think it is suiting to talk about what I am thankful for.  There are several family traditions that happen during this holiday, but I believe the one common practice is to give thanks. 

I am thankful for my two children.  They are two amazing boys that make me laugh, cry and frustrated, amongst many other emotions.  What they do most is make me feel proud to be their mother.  They have accomplished and overcome so many things in their short lives.  They show me that anything is possible.  I am in awe at their strength and unconditional love they have for others.

The time I was able to spend with my late husband is something to be thankful for.  It was not as long as I planned for, but he taught me so much.  He helped create the person I am today and his death has created an undefined appreciation that I have for life now.  He left me with that one final gift in my life.

My family and friends have been there for me in the ups and downs.  With their help I was able to get through things in my life, I once thought impossible.  I probably could have done it on my own, but their support made it so much easier for me. 

I am thankful for the organizations that have supported my families and other families throughout the United States.  For all of you that follow me and read my words.  You give me inspiration and confidence that what I am doing is important.

I am also thankful for my admirer.  I did not think that it would be possible to love another man after losing my husband, but it is.  I am grateful he has entered my life.  We are able to look into one another’s eyes and really see each other.  He shows me each day who I am and gives me boundless love.

So thankful for all the love that surrounds me, strength, beautiful moments and joyful memories. May beautiful moments, joyful memories and love surround you during the holiday. 

Justice needed for closure…

Picture of a gold scale od justicePetraeus is involved in a new scandal centered around integrity, honesty and being faithful.  I find it interesting that these allegations are coming to light during the hearings for the Libya attack.  They seem to overshadow the fact that Americans were killed in Libya on September 11th.  The personnel who are involved in the scandal now may have a tarnished and diminished character. This may impact how their testimony is received for happenings in Libya; what they testify as to what happened during Libya might be taken with a grain of salt.  

Petraeus, as the Director of the CIA, should be a man whose character emanates integrity, honesty, and certainly faithfulness, as well as having the ability to be covert and prudent…these are all qualities in which suite the man who is the head of the CIA. A person whose job it is to be discreet as possible did not do a very good job of covering up his tracks with his assumed affair.  Talking about his character is one thing, but what about what he has done to his wife?  The shame that he has brought upon his family is evident but in my opinion, he has also dishonored them.  What is this saying about the leaders of America? 

I do not understand how people are unable to keep their pants on, entering into an extramarital affair and breaking the vows that they have promised to their spouse.  These things infuriate me more now since my husband was killed.  I try not to judge, but Petraeus stated that he denied having an affair with anyone other than Broadwell.  Both parties in this case were married.  I cannot understand how people take marriage and their family so lightly.  

Think about the families that have been effected by the Libya attack and the figureheads that were supposed to keep their loved ones safe.  The heartache that the families must feel at the lack of support from the US government. This is just outright sickening!

There are innocent victims and families involved in all of this. The Obama administration  was trying to say a video of a no name person caused all of these riots that led to American deaths, this I find hard to believe.  Finally coming out much later calling it a terrorist attack.  Really?  I mean, it took place on September 11th and would have needed to have been planned out unless it is that easy to raid a US Embassy.  In that case, we may need to look at the security that the US Embassy has in place. 

All in all, this should be about the victims and getting them justice.  It is nearly impossible to feel closure from the death of a loved one until you feel justice has been given to those that have caused the death.  This is going to take a very long time for these families to feel like justice has been served if even they will ever feel that way.  

I hope these families are able to find comfort one day and be able to grieve the loss of their loved one.  To feel closure and for those that committed the crimes or did not do their part in preventing this act from happening get their justice for the victims and for their families. 

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Widowed Blog Hop

Welcome to the brand new Widowed Blog Hop! A blog hop basically allows bloggers to add their blog to a list for visiting other blogs, following blogs you like, and gaining followers. We’d love you to join us!

We will host the Hop on the first Wednesday of each month. This will allow all of us the time to visit all of the links in the Hop. By visiting each of the links from participating bloggers, we will make new friends while furthering a dynamic and engaged community of widowed bloggers. Please encourage your other blogger friends to leave comments including their own links.

How to Participate:

1. Visit each of the links below – both hosts and participants – and read their post. Leave them a comment with encouragement, commiseration, community, or however else the post touches you.


Samantha of the Crazy Courage blog

Janine of One Breath At A Time

Rachel of A Little Pink in a World of Camo

Christine of Widow Island

Kiki of Life After Steve

Robin of The Fresh Widow

Ferree of Widow’s Christian Place

Brooke of 2 Peas in the Pod

Paul of Death is an Imposter

Red’s Momma’s Money Matters


Becky’s Choosing Grace Today

Cindy’s Widow’s Pursuits

Tim’s Diary of a Widower

The Official Site of Abel Keogh

2. In the comment section of the hosts’ sites, leave a link to any related post, for example on the day-to-day issues you face, memories you have of your spouse, events you’ve attended, etc. These are things many of us discuss via our blogs anyway, so it likely won’t be out of your realm of experience.

3. It would really help us get the word out about the Widowed Blog Hop if you would tweet, share, and spread the word about the Hop!  Please use hashtags #Widowed and #BlogHop.

Interested in being a host next month? Please email

My First Date…

Woman looking out a window through the shade.  With one hand near her mouth biting her nails. I can remember the day when I looked up from my fish and realized I started to develop feelings for my friend.  I was not sure what to do with them.  I tried to rationalize them, then I thought can this even be possible?  I waited a few weeks before I let him know.  Then of all things I text him.  Which makes me laugh.  I should have probably told him face to face. 

After our short text exchange we decided to go on a date to discuss this change of events.  Moving from friendship to romantic definitely needed to be discussed.  At this point I had no idea how he felt about me.  I knew he was a supportive friend, but could or did his feeling change as mine did.  That was the question I ran through my head over and over. Then I would analyze the times we hung out to see if he was giving me any sort of inclination that his feelings had. 

By the time our date happened the pressure in my head was about to explode.  Not to mention wondering what my children thought.  I did not want to mention anything to them until the “adults”  had their conversation.

I changed my clothes several times, probably putting too much thought into what I was going to wear.  I walked out of my bedroom leaving my clothes strung all over the place and feeling very confident that I looked good. 

I waited, peering out the window for his arrival.  I wondered then how people would judge me, let alone judge him.  This was a big deal to me.  The first person I had feelings for after Mike…I never thought it would be possible.

As he pulled into my driveway, my fears changes to excitement.  I thought tonight all of my questions will be answered.  Some wishful thinking that all of the answers would come in one night…

Come back next week to find out what happened next…

Can you ever “heal” from a loss?

A man hugging two childrenAs I sit here thinking about all of the lives lost in Aurora, CO and how all of their family and friends are now searching for answers it reminds me of my own loss.  How it was sudden…one minute you are sitting at home with plans and the next minute your door bell rings, you answer it and your life is changed.

You start questioning yourself and wondering if there was something you could have done to change the outcome.  Maybe you could have asked your loved one not to go or made other plans with the person.  The fact is there is nothing you can do now to change what happened. This is a hard thing to realize and accept.

Healing means  “restoring health in an unbalanced, diseased or damaged organism”, then ask ourselves can a person ever heal after a loss.  A loss in which you did not get to say goodbye, in which you no longer are going to live your dreams with your loved one, in which you are not sure how to pick up the pieces and move forward in your life. The answer?  I am not sure if we can heal completely. 

If I describe it like a wound, it may make sense. The wound starts to heal and then something causes trauma to the wound again (it could be a holiday, seeing the accused in court, etc… ) and then you go back sometimes to the beginning of trying to heal the wound.  I believe after time, the wound will change to a scar but your skin will never be restored back to the way it was before. It is back to a state of health, but it will always be altered.  I hope that this description can help all of you relate to this type of healing.

As we are going through the grief and pain that comes from a loss, we are trying to heal and restore our health.  It takes everyone different length of time and people’s specific situation affects the way people will heal.

I watched the introductory hearing for James Holmes during which he was accused of the movie theater shooting.  It was hard to watch and understand the facial expressions he exhibited.  Never did you see a look of remorse on his face. This will impact the victims’ families.  It makes you very angry to be in the same court room of the person accused of killing the person you loved.  I saw no look of remorse on the face of the person who killed my husband, neither during the introductory hearing nor the many other hearings that were held until she was convicted.  All I wanted from her was to feel that she realized what she had done.  Until I saw this, I was not able to heal.  What worries me about the Aurora victims’ families is that they may never see that from the accused.

Some of the key things that helped turn my wounds into a scar were the support I had and the counseling that I went through. This is what all of the families need in Aurora: the support of their families, friends and people in the nation as they are working through their grief and eventual acceptance of their loss.

Added new pages…

I have added a few more pages.  They are located at the top of the blog.  They are: what’s your story, How have you used your crazy courage and the do’s and don’ts.   In each page, I wrote a bit about the purpose of the page.  I hope you will check them out.  I wanted to add pages where people can share their information that I can post for others to view.  This will allow everyone to hear different perspectives which is always beneficial.

I hope to see new comments soon!