I had an investment in you since the day you were born Kaitlyn. Not the monetary type investment but the investment of love for you that through love and actions I could receive a return on my investment one day. That investment would have been to have seen you realize your full potential, you have the career you wanted, a husband if you so desired, a home, and children. You told me you wanted a husband and children one day, even the week before you took your life you told me this. You told me this. This was my heart’s investment.
Oh my investments were wonderful Kaitlyn. I did the things that a mother does when they love their child and do everything they can do to make sure their child is happy. Not spoiled, but happy.
All of the times I took you and your sister to dance class for tap dance, ballet, jazz, and gymnastics class (not all at one time) and sat and waited for it to end to take you home. All the recitals each year your daddy and I sat out in that audience to watch the fruits of your long days of practice.
All the home football games so I can watch you in the band, sitting in those bleachers watching you at halftime in the middle of the field or in the bleachers playing during the game. All the band competitions everywhere. All the endless amounts of parades in scorching heat or freezing cold. We stood there watching, being so proud of you. The band spring concerts, the band winter concerts, we sat in the audience so proud.
All of the art competitions you were entered into in various colleges across the state where you would win Gold Key Awards. Every festival known to man in the south, and we love festivals, every Strawberry festival, every yam festival, the fair, where your art would be on exhibit and you would always win awards. Again, so proud we were of you. This was just as much fun to us as it was to you.
The poetry contests that you would enter and win awards in; when we went to Waccamaw Academy for the poetry competition.
Watching you be inducted into the National Honor Society. I was right there in the audience.
The time you played in the orchestra pit at one of the plays the high school had “Fiddler on the Roof.” I still have your t-shirt with the name of the play on it.
All the times I hauled you here and there to be moved into various places like The University of NC in Wilmington for several weeks in the summer when you were in high school for the program Summer Ventures in Math and Science. I moved you into the NC School of Math and Science for the math and science gifted, a boarding school you were to spend the last 2 years of high school in. And OUT of that school because you didn’t like it.
I went to many honor dinners for you and some of your classmates where you all were honored for your academic success.
Every single year we sat on those hard bleachers at the high school at the end of the year to see you accept your award that students would get for having a high GPA at the end of the year. You got one every year and we all and your friends would go get ice cream after.
I watched you at awards night, when your received all your awards and a scholarship to Campbell University (and to Carolina but you did not want to go there).
We went to a graduation your junior year just to see you in your white dress as you did your duties of being a Marshall. (The juniors with the highest GPA got this honor).
We went to your high school graduation where I had the absolute joy of watching you graduate high school valedictorian and got to hear your wonderful speech that you wrote. Before then during that year I watched and you so painstakingly sent college applications in and then trying so hard to make the right choice of which one you went to. College applications are so complicated and you have to do so much. But you finally decided on a college.
Before you started college, they had an orientation weekend were the parents could go with you, see the college again, and stay in one of the dorms. They had movies to watch and all sorts of events. Your daddy could not go as he was working out of town. I wanted you to make friends so you went off with a bunch of girls around the campus and had fun and I just stayed around, went to the movies and such. Then we moved you into your new dorm. Then after a year or so, we moved you to your first apartment, this time with a U-Haul since you had so much furniture.
We sat in the audience as we watched you graduate Summa Cum Laude from Campbell University in only 2 and half years with your biology degree.
Then you applied medical school. I went through with you mentally (because you did it all yourself) as you took the MCAT. The higher someone makes in it, the more likely they were to be accepted into medical school. Applying to medical school is a grueling and expensive process. After the first application, if they are remotely interested in you, you have to send them another application (and you were charged for these too). It was a long hard process you went through and my heart and mind were with you every step.
Then you were accepted into Medical School. So we rented another U-Haul and moved you to another city, into another apartment. You had gone on your own and picked out the apartment yourself. Then you were all situated. You started medical school and you loved it. After a couple of months, we sat in the audience as we proudly watched you accept and put on your white coat at the White Coat Ceremony. Again, so proud.
Kaitlyn, we enjoyed each milestone, each achievement, each time sitting in an audience, or in the cold or hot sun, or hard bleachers or just anywhere because we loved you SO much and with each thing you accomplished meant you were getting closer and closer to your goals. And you had many goals. You were driven, ambitious, wise, intelligent, and one of the greatest people I have ever met in my life. We would have done anything to help you along your road to a happy life. But we were just a vehicle to your achievements; YOU are the one that reached all your goals and dreams. Yes, we invested much into you Kaitlyn, not money, I’m not talking about money at all, and that is nothing in the grand scheme of things here that I’m talking about. But we were deeply invested in you and your happiness. Our hearts were deeply and heavily invested in you Kaitlyn for your happiness and wellbeing. You were invested in yourself. You worked hard and achieved so much.
My heart was not only invested in you Kaitlyn, but you stole my heart the first moment I laid eyes on you and from then on until the rest of your life, the mere thought of you made my heart swell and tears form in my eyes. I loved you that much.
I recently sat at a ceremony for you Kaitlyn. It was outside in fold up chairs with a tent over us, with many people surrounding us, the preacher that preached at our church all during your childhood sat in front, and your coffin was directly in front of me. All the visions of your childhood, your teenaged years, your young adult years all flashing before my eyes. I’m sorry, but I remember little of what the preacher said, all I saw was you in my mind and the wonderful girl we raised laying there in that coffin.
You took your own life Kaitlyn right in the middle of medical school. Just when you were beginning your 3rd year. In the spring with all the flowers blooming. No prior warning of the deep depression you had all your life, but only to be written in a 2 page note to us we read after you took your life.
We did not see a return on our hearts investment Kaitlyn. Many years of watching you grow and form into a wonderful, beautiful, intelligent, gifted woman only to have your life taken away by something so horrible you could never admit to it, depression.
The unfairness, the injustice, the horribleness, the sickening feeling in my stomach of all this is so unbearable. To lay down all you had done in your life, all you were and could have continued to have been, the mountains you could have moved, you must have been in horrible pain to just let it all go. To let us go. To let yourself go.
I did have the joy to be your mother and be taken on this wonderful trip of becoming the great person you were, but the investment was not complete Kaitlyn. No career, no husband, no children, no house, only a grave. That was not what I would have ever counted on. And though I hurt from the pit of my soul, from parts of my being I didn’t know existed, so much I just want to tear my hair out and squeeze my temples together and lay on the floor and cry with your clothes in my arms pretending it’s you and taking in your scent, and seeing everything on the walls and bookshelves and you in every inch of my life…..I know that even though my hurt is more than I could have ever imagined real hurt to feel, even all this could have not compared to the hurt you felt when you took your life. I’m so sorry Kaitlyn. I’m so sorry Kaitlyn. I would trade places with you in that grave in an instant if it were possible so you can continue your life and get help for your depression. But I don’t have that choice. I have to live this hell I live each day with knowing you are not here. My heart’s investment was not fulfilled. My heart is broken.