Happiness Unexpected

Yesterday I visited my parents that live 30 minutes away. Since my daughter Kaitlyn took her life I have not visited them as much as I once did even though I spend most of my days alone. My parents are getting a little older now and while they do suffer in their health, they are still both sharp as a tack and are self-sufficient except for strenuous yard work and such. I have always been very close to my parents and my momma thinks of me the way I’ve always thought of Kaitlyn.

She told me the other day that she misses me though she calls me every single day. So I decided to go see them yesterday. I had asked my mom a few days ago if yesterday would be a good day to visit and she said of course and that she would cook something for me. She is the best southern cook in the world. I am a southern woman born and bred (North Carolina) and was born with the appetite of Jethro Bodine from The Beverly Hillbillies though I have always tried to manage it. (Except when I was growing up and had a high metabolism. I ate like a 250 pound man). I have gained weight since Kaitlyn died so I asked her to please cook something low fat (she usually cooks low fat anyway now but I wanted to make sure).

Anyway, she cooked pork chops. She fried them in the pan without using oil or flour, just seasoning salt and you have no idea how good that is. She had rice, fresh peas out of the garden, fresh sliced tomatoes and fresh cucumbers out of the garden and sweat tea. I ate like a hungry animal because I’ve been living off Healthy Choice meals and soup for 2 weeks since I’m trying to lose weight. My gosh it was good.

I spent 5 hours with my parents and we talked nonstop the whole time. We talked about when they first got married and the hard and good times they had. (Both my parents were VERY young when they got married). We talked about the time she rung the mean roosters neck that attacked her for the last time and he wound up in a pot of pastry (we call dumplings pastry around here) on our Sunday table. I always love that story. We talked about World War 2 and that my father was drafted into the army just after it ended and was able to be discharged just before the Korean War. We talked about how when he was growing up that his family was self-sufficient on their farm with cows, pigs, chickens, wheat (they took it to the grinding mill to grind and they would make their own bread). They grew sugar cane to make their own syrup. His father only had to go to town once a year for rice and things like that. We talked about so many things and we laughed and I was happy.

I feel guilty when I feel happy. I feel that I can never be happy again and the only way I could was if I woke up and the suicide of my daughter was just a nightmare or I would just see her drive back up in my driveway. To be honest with you, sometimes I just don’t even WANT to be happy because my baby took my happiness with her and only her being here can complete me. She is the missing piece to my happiness. In a jigsaw puzzle of happiness, there is my husband, my other daughter Stephanie, and my family but there’s a huge missing piece and that is Kaitlyn. Puzzles are not complete if a piece is gone. I will never be able to find that piece again.

But the fact is I WAS happy. I felt so good talking to my parents about olden days because I love hearing all about that and I am genuinely interested. My parents are amazing. And the food that my momma so lovingly prepared for me was like something that filled my soul with satisfaction. As my oldest daughter Stephanie told my momma when she was little and she was keeping her a day when she was sick for me, while eating a meal my momma fixed for her she said “Grandma, this food would make anyone well again.” And so it does.

So whether I wanted to or not, I was happy yesterday. And it felt good.

Below: A pic from 1964. I was 4 years old and we were standing in front of one of our tobacco fields (my daddy was a farmer and we had tobacco and strawberries). We were getting ready to go to the lake for the day. In order from left to right, my sister Judy, my momma Lucille, my sister Gail, my sister Sherry, and me the youngest at the bottom with the blonde hair.


Below is a picture of us again in 1964. We were probably getting ready or coming back from church. The man is my daddy UV.


About gatito2

My name is Rhonda. I'm a registered nurse, for the last 20 years, that has not been able to work since the day I learned of my daughter's death by suicide 4-12-13. (She actually died 4-11-13 and her body was not found until the 12th) Me and my husband have been married for 32 years and he's a wonderful man. We grieve in different ways. He works, I write. This is my journey through this horrible land of losing a child..
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10 Responses to Happiness Unexpected

  1. AnnetteM says:

    Wow! Your mum looks like a film star! So glad you enjoyed your visit.


  2. gatito2 says:

    Yes, my momma has always been beautiful….inside and out.


  3. Neal says:

    I’m so happy that you had a happy day yesterday. I know you feel guilty for it. But, I’m really happy you had that day. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. gatito2 says:

    Thank you Neal. I hope you have happiness days as well. They are so hard to come by now.


  5. Anonymous. says:

    Your pictures are always so lovely- and your mom absolutely looks like a movie star 🙂 I am glad you had a good time- you are not betraying Kaitlyn by doing so. It is obvious she is missed so very much. I think you have great insight in saying that in some ways you don’t want to feel happiness: I would bet this is a common sentiment when someone we love has passed. But I think Kaitlyn would want you to feel loved and happy whenever possible. It would be a great testament to her memory to live life as fully as possible, as she did for as long as she was able to. I now remember her letter to herself that you had shared, and I think she would be happy that you followed some of her advice 🙂
    Finally I must add that your descriptions of these meals sound absolutely delicious- I think many of your readers will get hungry 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. gatito2 says:

    Thank you. My momma has always looked like a movie star and always has taken care of herself. And she is SUCH a wonderful person as well. I’ve always been so proud of her.

    I know Kaitlyn would want me to be happy again. She said so in her note to us. But I know she had to know how difficult or impossible that would be. But I take moments of happiness when I can get them.

    Yes, happiness is hard to find these days but it sure did feel good. I also wish I had some more of that food about now. 🙂


  7. Uncle Spike says:

    Lovely post Rhonda 🙂


  8. gatito2 says:

    Thank you.


  9. allin1life says:

    Lovely post Rhonda. I find sometimes that talking about the past, way back when I was young too, is a little chance to escape the pain of loss momentarily. You know that your daughter would want you to have happy times, as you did before this awful thing happened to you all. Reading your post made me want to just share with you something really silly, that I wouldn’t be able to say to anyone in my daily life – they’d think I was mad! I bought a Dutch apple tart from M&S yesterday (lovely food they do, but a bit pricey) and while I was eating it last night, lovely sweet apple and raisins with cinnamon, I felt a twinge of guilt. The reason for my guilt wasn’t to do with the calories it probably contained, no – it was because my wonderful mum, who died in December 2008, would have absolutely loved the tastes I was experiencing… How strong our memories remain of knowing someone so well. I wish you more happy moments Rhonda.


  10. gatito2 says:

    Thank you. I will never have the happiness I had before Kaitlyn died but I have to grab what I can and be thankful for it.

    I don’t think what you wrote about the Dutch Apple tart was silly at all. I know exactly what you mean because I feel this all the time. It’s hard enjoying anything because she is not here to enjoy it, especially the things she loved so much.

    I’m so sorry that you lost your mom. I have a very close relationship with my mother and I know I would feel the same as you do.


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