A New Identity.

I’ve always felt since I was a little girl that big things would happen in my life. When I was eight, I KNEW I would be an actress/singer just like my idol, Britney Spears. Fast forward to 20…

Source: A New Identity.


A New Identity.

A New Identity.

I’ve always felt since I was a little girl that big things would happen in my life. When I was eight, I KNEW I would be an actress/singer just like my idol, Britney Spears. Fast forward to 2007, and well…we all know how her life changed. At the time, I was on the bandwagon with everyone else. She must be crazy. Who shaves their head out of no where? Little did I know that me and Britney share more than just a love of music. We share the feeling of a breaking point, a new start, a constant chaos in our own minds. What am I talking about? I’m talking about the little voice inside of so many people. The negative, griping voice that constantly reminds you of your failure. If I say one important thing in this blog it is to tell you that the little voice can be shut out. You CAN ignore it.

Fast forward again to this past December. My favorite time of year, my birthday month, Christmas, my one year anniversary with my soul mate. There was so much to look forward to. The big things were happening in my life. Yet, I had a sense of foreboding. I couldn’t shake the feeling. No matter what, it was there reminding me not to be TOO happy or TOO excited. At the time, I blamed it on college stress. I was getting ready for finals and it was a stressful time. On December 1st, the love of my life asked me to marry him. It was perfect. He was a gentlemen. Asking for my parent’s blessing, proposing on one knee, declaring his love for me in the purest way. I was overwhelmed with joy. Of course, I called my Mom as soon as I got a chance. She was ecstatic too. All of my life, Mom was there. For every big or little event. Every prom and dance recital. Every game that I cheered and every cheer camp I attended. Always buying me little surprises because something “looked like me” at the grocery store. Mom was my rock and I was hers until December 12th when my world was broken.

December 12th. The day before my 22nd birthday. A normal day like any other but with that sense of foreboding. I still couldn’t shake it. I prayed, I played some Katy Perry loud on my way to class. I called my Mom telling her that I needed to go to the doctor after school, and if I needed to pick anything up on the way home. I routinely called Mom at school. Whenever I felt down or anxious, I would call her. Just hearing “I love you” made me feel like I was capable of anything. Always proud and supportive, I worked my butt off getting through college. All the while, knowing that I was making her proud by being the first to get a college degree in our family.

I went to the doctor, went by CVS, when I felt sadness that I’ve never felt before. Overwhelming, gut wrenching sadness. Once again, I cried out to God asking for comfort. For some reason, I glanced down at my beautiful engagement ring and screamed. One of the small diamonds was missing! I only had my ring for 11 days before this happened. I was so upset and disappointed. The diamond was so tiny, I didn’t think I would ever find it. When I got home, I was still a wreck. Mom was worried to death about me and needed me to calm down. She started to help me look. I finally found the tiny jewel in the bottom of my backpack. Thank you Lord.

Who would’ve known that would be the last night spent with my Mom? A normal routine day like any other. Classes, a doctor’s visit, a routine “What do you need from the store?” phone call. I remember her pajamas and the way she was stressed out about work. She cooked dinner and now I realize how tired she was. Dragging on, another hard day at work, coming home to take care of her two children alone. Mom was so strong, but I don’t think she recognized her own strength. Depression is a scary thing. It makes you feel like you’re in a dark hole with no chance of escape. Burying into yourself and shutting others out. I always knew Mom was depressed, but I blamed it on the hardships of her life. No matter what, she loved me and my brother more than I thought possible. She was so proud of every little accomplishment. Still hanging on to my drawings from when I was in Kindergarten. That’s how she was.

I left that night to go to my fiancé’s house. We were going camping to celebrate my birthday. Mom was going to wait until I came back home to give me my present. “Yes, mom that’s fine. I want you to see me open it.” I remember telling her that. I didn’t give her a hug or a kiss. Just a brief “I Love You”. Driving to his house, I had that feeling come on. I started crying uncontrollably. What is going on??? I couldn’t understand myself and these crazy emotions. I was finally able to relax and sleep that night until the phone rang the next morning. Groggy eyed and still half asleep, I remember reaching to grab my phone and being annoyed. Five new text messages, eleven missed calls. It still didn’t register that something could be wrong. I laid back down, resting my eyes, when my phone rang. “Time to start the day.” I answered to a man’s panic stricken voice “Is this Autumn, Kyle’s sister?” I felt my heart sink…” Yes, is everything okay?” I heard my fifteen year old brother’s shaken voice answer me, ” Autumn…….Mom is dead.” I started to shake violently. “Dead? No. Are you sure? Are you okay?” All of these questions pouring out of me before I had time to think. No, no. no. I seen her last night and she was fine. This is a crazy mistake.

“Yes, Autumn, I need you. Get here now.” I remember his voice like yesterday. I will never forget that phone call or the way I felt after. I hung up and threw my phone across the room. I screamed. I yelled. I cried and flung myself on the bed. Crying nonstop, I knew I had to tell my fiancé. I called him. No answer. I called his boss and told him about Mom. He handed the phone to him and all I said was “Mom is dead. I can’t drive, I need you to take me home.” One more phone call to my Dad and one to my grandmother. I looked at myself in the mirror and knew this was the day of my new identity. I will never be the same. My world is crashing and burning around me. I felt overwhelming guilt from not being there to find my Mom. My brother had to find her because I was not there. It took me a while (and is still taking me) to understand you can’t control life and death.

My beautiful sweet Mom passed away from a massive heart attack at the age of 48. So young, so many things in life to experience. I was left to help raise my brother and take over the role of Mom. I will never be his Mom, but I feel responsible for finishing what she started. Making her proud even though she isn’t here on earth, she is in my heart forever. My new identity is a hard one. Some days, getting out of bed seems unfathomable. Then on others, I enjoy life and feel happy (Temporarily). Grieving is a unique process. It truly comes in waves, and when you start to feel like yourself, a wave comes and crashes you back down. “It isn’t fair.” “She was too young.” are thoughts that occasionally cross my mind because of that little voice. The little voice that threatens my happiness and well-being. I finally reached a point where I told the voice to shut up. I wasn’t going to let this tragedy break me. Mom wouldn’t want me depressed, worried and anxious. My whole life ahead of me waiting. I needed to be strong, and by God’s Grace, I have comfort. Don’t get me wrong. I still have some miserable, lousy days. But…that little voice will not control and dictate my life. So I ask you..do not be the victim, but instead be the conqueror. Life isn’t always fair, but when we realize what strength we are capable of; Life seems more beautiful than before.

“So we do not look at what we can see right now, the troubles all around us, but we look forward to the joys in heaven which we have not yet seen. The troubles will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.”
II Cor. 4:18