Getting Real: My Story and memories with my mom #thisisme

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My childhood as I remember it!

My childhood as I remember it!

This past weekend I went to SoFabCon, an awesome blogging conference for Social Fabric members. I’ve been involved with Social Fabric for a few years now and love that they take pride in connecting brands with a broader community! I’ve done several shops for them and have enjoyed the process and how the brands truly want the feedback. They work with a ton of great brands!

The closing key note speaker didn’t make it (she was from Canada and something happened at the airport with her paperwork!) While I was sad to miss hearing her speak, I loved that Collective Bias was so flexible and came up with a new plan! Jasmine Banks, who planned the fun conference , took on the challenge to speak! I had not heard her speak before but quickly feel in love with her! Her HONESTY and AUTHENTICITY was quickly relevant and I knew I needed to hear what she was sharing. She encouraged us all to share our story…and I’ve thought about it many times..but just haven’t done it! Partly because I think deep down we all want to look (and feel) normal or perfect to others, and partly because I knew it would be an emotional journey to think thru and write it.

Well here it goes…I am only going to highlight the life changing moments for now and can do more posts about more later!

I grew up in a two parent house hold for most of my life. I was entering those crazy pre-teen years when my parents divorced. It was devastating to say the least. My dad moved out and luckily we lived in the same small town…for a year or so. Then my mom started dating and we moved to another town a few hours away. She remarried and had a baby fairly quickly and we had to learn quickly how to become a blended family. This would prove to be harder then I ever anticipated. I was, after all the “baby” of the family until all of this happened. I didn’t really know how to process all of these changes and quickly became a total brat to my step dad. I didn’t really care for the fact that he had taken my moms attention off of me (and my siblings) or that he had created a baby with her…much less having to move into HIS home with HIS rules. It sucked. I was trying so hard to figure out how to fit in, in a new school and felt simply lost.

Fast forward a few years and I was back living with my dad in the very familiar small town I had lived most of my life in. Things were much different but I didn’t have to worry about the big town life or who my friends where anymore. I was a good kid, who made good grades and I didn’t get in with the wrong crowd! My dad remarried and I was excited about new life and the new sisters and mom that I was gaining from this new welcomed change. By this time, I was pretty rotten to my mother and our relationship was more stressed then ever. There were MONTHS that we didn’t talk. I wanted so badly for her to be proud of me and to “love” me. I thought if I excelled in school that she would, but that didn’t work.

By the time I was in 11th grade, I only needed one more credit to graduate and decided that I didn’t want to be in high school anymore, I was ready for a change. So I took summer school to get my credit and graduated a year early. I enrolled in college and was very excited about moving forward with my life and “figuring it all out!”

(If you are still reading this…thank you! It’s been therapeutic to write.)

I was a 17 yr old freshman in college who had just moved into an apartment with a gal when my aunt came knocking. I remember that day like it was yesterday. She asked me to go with her and told me that there had been a family emergency. I told her that I didn’t want to go until I knew exactly what we were talking about. Then I heard the words that changed the path of my life, forever. My mom had died in a one car, car wreck during the night. It’s been 16 years since I lost my mom…that’s half of my life. I still cry about it sometimes as it SUCKS. I never got to mend the broken fences with her. I never got to tell her that I was sorry for being a terd, in my teens. I never got to tell her that I missed her and so on. Thru the years it has been hard to not have her there when I got married, or had babies. It has been painful to watch as my friends have unmended relationships with their moms. As I had each baby I made a promise to myself…I would be the best mom I could be and press forward each day to love them verbally and physically. I felt “lost” for a few years after my mom died. Like she was the missing link connecting me to my family and now that she was gone, I didn’t know where I fit in. I don’t have many pictures with my mom, and I hate that. I found the one posted above and am thankful to have a few like it from my early years!

This is where I would like to switch gears because I am SOOO very blessed by a (step) mom who has loved me and cheered for me thru life. I have a grandma (my mom’s mom) who has also been there to cheer me on thru the births of my girls and my two very scary hospital stays. I also have a mother in law who is so very thoughtful and reminds me that hubby and I are doing a great job raising our girls. My kids have grandma’s (and a great grandma) who love them dearly and play and interact with them. I also have an aunt (my mom’s sister) who is always inclusive and brings the family together during the holidays. I am so blessed! I am close to my sister and I am so thankful for this! My great-grandma really laid the grounds for that…always reminding us to be there for each other! So thankful to have my sis less then an hr away!

There is tons more to my story and I will be posting it…but as we move into Mother’s Day weekend, I wanted to take a moment to remind you of the precious gift of Mom that you have in your life! Life is too short and can be taken away at any given moment. Make the most of today, tell your mom you love her, call and laugh with her! Send her flowers or show up unexpectedly to give her a long over due hug. She is simply too important in your life! (After all, you wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for her, right?)

My next “real” moment will be about our journey with infertility. I’ve gone one post on this already (read it here) and will do another soon.

So there, see I’m not plastic or perfect…I am real and have a story to tell. No pain is wasted and I hope this has inspired you in some way! 🙂

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  1. Thanks for sharing more of your story Courtney! Hugs to you!!!!

  2. Courtney, I am so blessed to be a part of your life, and the lives of your sweet family. I love you. Mom

  3. It has been one wild journey and I too feel blessed to have you living so close. You really did make smarter choices as a teen and are flourishing because of it. While you were making the grades and bonding with family, I was busy rebelling and pushing everyone away. Mother’s day for me is an emotional wreck and I find myself avoiding Facebook because it depressing. I love seeing the photos of my friends and their mothers but it always brings up “what if” and “what would my life be like if only…”. I’ve learned to focus on my kids and not let my feelings take away from their excitement on Mother’s Day. I hope your girls spoil you rotten and you have lots of smiles this year.

    Love ya!
    Big Sista

  4. It has been 5 1/2 years since I lost my mom. I was 3 months pregnant and 2 months away from getting married. I had not “really” spoken to her in almost 10 years. She was an alcoholic and I had to remove her from my life (mostly) so that I could take care of myself. I had a few conversations with her, but I could never tell if she was drunk or even remembered we had talked. The last thing she said to me – through my sister and over the phone – was “boy or girl?” and I couldn’t tell her because I wasn’t far enough along to know. The conversation before that I asked her about helping with my wedding by relieving me of some money that I owed her (even longer story) and she said no. I can’t say that I have regrets because I stand by the decisions I made for myself, but I have sadness for a relationship that we had, a relationship that we should have had, and her life ending way too soon.

    Thank you for sharing your story and I look forward to reading more. I am liking the personal changes you are already making here (the picture of you, the stories) and I’m looking forward to watching you come out of your shell more. 😉

  5. It feels good to finally stop hiding those broken pieces, doesn’t it! I’m proud of you for sharing!

  6. Thank you for sharing… and for the reminder. I struggle with my relationship with my mom in various ways. When she was diagnosed with cancer 3 years ago it put everything into perspective for me. Now, like you, I simply want to make sure I am the best mom I can be. And am more than grateful for the MaMaw that she is to my children. Besides, as you mentioned, she is too important in my life and I know I am lucky to have her.

  7. The relationship between mothers and daughters is a tricky one. I struggle with letting things go but know that things can change in the blink of an eye and I don’t want to feel guilt and remorse over not addressing situations as they arise. Thank you for sharing your story – this is a great reminder to cherish each day because you don’t know what will happen tomorrow.

  8. I think one of the best and most frustrating relationships for a girl/woman is with her mom. I know that’s definitely true for me! This was a touching story and I’m glad that you still have so many positive female influences in your life despite losing your mom so young. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Courtney I can not imagine how devastating that loss would be on a young fragile girl, I am so sorry.

  10. So thank you for sharing. You are encouraging me to share my story too


  1. […] also met Courtney from My Crazy Savings who was my inspiration to finally take the plunge and start blogging after her post, Why I Blog. […]

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