Thursday, April 26, 2012

Day 6. The Hardest Thing I've ever had to Experience.

The Hardest Thing I've ever had to Experience

I had to think long and hard about this one.  I have actually had some pretty ruff experiences in my life.  But one that was really tough for me was when my grandmother passed away.

This experience was very hard for me because I was very close to my maw-maw.  She lived in Gastonia so I would see her at least once a week.  She was a very good maw-maw.  She was also my only grand parent alive for most of my life (the rest died by the time I turned 12.).  My mother was very young when she had me, so maw-maw would help us out and sometimes give us a place to live when we were in between houses.

My maw-maw was the center of the family on my dad's side.  We would always go over there on Christmas eve with a lot of family and she would cook the best meals.  Her house was big enough that other family members could come in town and have rooms to stay in.  Also when I was a teenager and would get in fights with my mom, she would let me stay with her for like a week till things would cool down at home.

She was not a perfect person but she loved us and was a big part of my life.  She was a tiny little thing but had a very strong character and you never wanted to get on her bad side, or be around when she was in one of her little "moods."

I was around 19 when she said she had lung cancer.  She smoked for most of her life and had lung issues for a while so it was actually not a shock when she did have it.  I almost thought she was making it up for a little while though because she lasted so long with not very much symptoms at all.  She was just so strong I thought she was invincible.

It wasn't until January 2007 when I was 21 that we knew it was getting worse when they called hospice in.  At the same time I was at a very busy point in my life.  I was working as a bank teller full time while in school at night full time and living on my own with friends.  I would still visit her but not as much as I used to. I regret that some, today but for some reason I thought she would out last what the doctors were telling us, I think I was probably just in denial and was trying not to think about it.

The passing away of my grandmother is part of the hard experience but it was the other stuff on top of that that really made my life hard at that time.  I was struggling with my own Faith and in between churches and deciding which route to go.  I was quit angry and hurt from my mother because she wanted to me to pay her rent while I was paying for my college out of my pocket so I really didn't want to give her money too, so I left.  I felt people were literally pulling me from all different directions too, "Oh, you shouldn't go to that church", or "You are just rebelling", or my personal favorite "Your are in a cult." (because I visited a smaller non-denominational church.)

I was pretty much feed up with EVERYTHING.  I just wanted to leave everything behind and move as far as I could away from it all.  And that's exactly what I did, I worked hard and got accepted to UNCWilmington and enrolled the summer of 07 (I couldn't wait for the fall semester to start.)

When I arrived at UNCW, I felt so liberated.  I moved there not really knowing a soul and it felt awesome!  I could stay out as long as I wanted or go to whatever church I want or not even go at all! For a while I don't think I even went and I even got a job at Hooters as a hostess (but only for 3 weeks).  Now most people would look at that and think I was rebelling or "backsliding" but it really wasn't none of that at all.  I was finding myself and pushing my boundaries.  The more I did push my boundaries the more I thought about God and actually the more I prayed.  I really felt God and he was there for me the whole time just patiently waiting for me.

Its really weird how God puts people in your life you wouldn't expect.  I had met a friend there and ended up actually hanging out with her roommate. The roommate started introducing me to more friends and before I knew it, I had wonderful friends who just so happened to be good Christian girls.  I wasn't even trying to find friends like that it just happened!   The Lord knew exactly what I needed at the right time because shortly afterward my maw-maw died and I was 250 miles away without my boyfriend and family to help me grieve.

My new college friends helped me in a very hard time in my life. Grieving is not a fun thing to do alone. I remember feeling so lonely so I would get up and go all puffy eyed and just go sit with my friends and just  hanging out with them really helped me get my mind off my maw-maw.  At this time I probably lost 20 lbs. because of all the grieving, stress, and the being apart from loved ones, but I made it through!  I found my Love with God to be that much stronger and even started going and helping a church in Wilmington.  It was a hard experience but I needed it to be the person I am today and for that I wouldn't change one thing about it!
Also excuse grammar, I am really tired!


  1. I hate that you had to go through all of that without your family. I know that must have been very hard on you. I am glad things turned out the way they did and I am just amazed at the beautiful person you are. That time was the hardest time in my life too. We weren't ever close, the way I see other mothers in daughters, but I was very close to her just prior to her death. I got laid off my job, a very traumatic time in my life when we started getting close. It was one of the most happiest times in my life. It was just a couple of months later when we found out she had cancer. I couldn't understand why God would bring us close for the first time ever, and then take her away.I can see now that if I had had to go to work, I would have missed all of those special times we spent together her last year. I am very thankful for that last year. Things don't always turn out the way you want, and the end was so painful for me for so long. However, it is a lot easier for me today because I did have that closeness with her, even if just for a year or so. Though it was one of the worse times in my life, it was also one of the best. Truly, bittersweet.

  2. That is so good to hear that y'all got close again. I remember when u got to come over more often, it was really kind of bittersweet b/c I got to see y'all more too. And I can't imagine the pain u had to feel when all that stuff went down after she died. I would have been really hurt too. But having those last memories & Getting to make peace w/ a loved one before they died out ways all that other hurt. That is a blessing! Love u lots aunt Karen! :)