Category Archives: Loss

Talking Tragedy: How Do I Explain This?

by Drew Cotton

As we are all well aware, yesterday was the 16th anniversary of the September 11th, 2001 attacks on the United States. (Do you remember what the world was like pre-9/11? You might remember going to an airport and greeting passengers arriving from a flight directly at the gate, or going to a major-league baseball game without passing through a metal detector.) That day forever changed the American landscape and way of life. The last 16 years have seen a lot of anger, hate and fear. If you’re like me, you were a teenager that day, likely without a care in the world. Now we’re in our thirties, with children of our own. Continue reading

She’s At The Lake

Since losing my dad a decade ago, my mom has been rolling solo. Watching my mom lose her very best friend was almost worse than holding my dad’s hand for the last time. Part of me wanted her to find another companion. She certainly never planned to say goodbye to such a young husband and as each year rolled by without him, she was reminded of the plans they made but would never enjoy together. I watched this wear her down. She started to believe she would live the entire second half of her life alone. My fun loving and vivacious mother was turning Continue reading

I Talked to Cheeky C about Coping with Child Suicide During the Holidays

Ian was 18 when he died by suicide. Cheeky C is one of my closest friends and Ian’s mom. I remember receiving her call four years ago that he was gone; and I’ve not witnessed a girlfriend survive a more devastating loss. I have come to notice that the winter holidays seem to be the worst for Cheeky C. Although she is a warrior and a survivor, this season hits her hard. My spunky, outspoken, and cheeky pal becomes withdrawn and more downcast. The truth is, I will never have my original Cheeky C back. Losing her son was a traumatic turning point and I know she is changed forever, but this time of year seems to be especially heart-rending.

carrie-and-ian-morning-ian-left-for-bootcamp Continue reading

September Series: What Does Being a Mom Mean to You? – The Tall Mom

We are so excited to share that Jelly Bean Journals, Prairie Wife in Heels, and The Tall Mom are teaming up to bring you some special September posts on our blogs. We will all be writing for each other, as well as ourselves, on a topic relevant to our regular content. Here’s what you can find during the month of September:

We hope you are ready for another powerful perspective on what being a mom means, because The Tall Mom has shared her sentiments and she will leave you in a swirl of emotions…

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I Choose to Let Him Go

It happened. I finally had to pick. I had to make that age old parenting choice between my emotional comfort and Kiddo A’s next big thing.


I am at the crossroads of a new preschool and our familiar early childhood learning center; staring down the road of my little boy’s destiny. Do I  cheer as he spreads his wings, or protectively insist that he stay in his safe cocoon one more year?

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On Becoming a New Mom and Handling a Crisis

I started this post when we launched our blog in January 2014. Every time I sat down to write, I could never find the right words and all of the emotions and uncertainty that came with the situation still felt raw. So, finally two and half years later, here it goes.

About four weeks after N was born, my mom, best friend, and biggest cheerleader, was diagnosed with Stage IV Follicular Lymphoma. I was completely shocked and overwhelmed with this diagnosis in so many ways, Continue reading

Merry Gentlemen

This time of year always causes reflection for me. As I was browsing through images to share this week, I came across this gem and my chest instantly tightened. Not long after, tears began to flow and in the middle of this physical reaction I felt a mix of sadness and joy. You will remember that my family lost this wonderful man, my Grandpa John, this past fall. We celebrated many Christmases with him and this will be our first without him. Even though this picture is two years old, it allowed me to remember the amazing grandpa I was blessed to know and the type of man I hope my son becomes. Baby A was almost 6 months old his first Christmas and I remember being delighted over this image of Grandpa John with a spiked eggnog and our tiny boy with his favorite sock monkey. They looked like such merry gentlemen sitting together on the couch and gazing at the tree while the rest of us frenzied around to get dinner on the table. Christmas is sure to be a total delight this year with a toddler who now understands the spirit of giving and the excitement of the season. Even if he doesn’t remember my grandpa, I hope for him to always understand his loving spirit through our memories and actions.


We will miss you this Christmas and always, Grandpa John.

A Love Letter to Our Home

Seano and I bought and sold a home in April. The main reason for our move was functionality. It had nothing do with lack of love or fondness for our house. We were crowded and the layout wasn’t working for for us anymore. Probably like most people, we despise the moving process. So, we set out to find a house that we can live in for the rest of our lives if we choose to. Luckily, and very quickly, I might add, we did!

While helping us move at the beginning of April, Chelse mentioned we should write a love letter to the house Seano and I had lived in for nearly the last five years. I giggled and quickly brushed it off as I was busy moving and unpacking boxes. Then, later in the evening, our dear friend Jessi said that our friendship grew up in that house, and she was right (some of the friendships I treasure most are with a group of ladies that I met and started friendships with about the same time Seano and I bought this house). This statement sent a rush of emotions through me and I was finally able to admit to myself that my heart hurt to be leaving this house.

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