Five Years Without My Mom

Grief + Loss // www.angiewarren.com

When I was a little girl my biggest fear was her dying. I was a strong type 4 as a child even, and my emotions often felt overwhelming. With her though, I always felt heard, needed, seen, appreciated.

My worst fears came true that cold morning in 2013, and now today we celebrate five years closer to seeing her again. Losing my mom was only the beginning of a string of losses and eulogies and grief so thick you can grab right ahold of it.

It’s been a challenge the last few years to decipher who to miss, who to think of, which loss weighs heavier that particular day - but when it comes down to it, as my sister said this morning, “They’re experiencing HEAVEN. They wouldn’t come back even if they could.”

And I smiled.

Because half of us there means half of us is here. And we have her to thank for us who remains. The mother who gave me the two best sisters in all the world.

Happy Heaven day, mama. We sure miss you, but know you’re surrounded by love and are grateful for all the light that you left.


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When the Missing is Too Much - on Grief

When Grief is Too Much / www.angiewarren.com

Sometimes the missing can be so conflicting. Who do I think about next? My mom? My brother? My dad? There are certain things that instantly take me to one of them and I weep. But sometimes - sometimes it’s a combination of the three.

At these times my sister and I simply say, “I miss the family” and that about covers it. Still it’s hard. There’s a guilt/shame feeling for not missing one as much as the others (when in reality this is the normal order of things). There’s unfinished business. Unanswered questions. Words left unspoken. And just so much life to share.

It’s been five years since I last sent my mom our back to school photos. Up until this year, I could at least send them to my dad - who would rave at how big the kids have gotten, tell me how proud he is, and remind me how much he misses living close. Before that my brother was included. Now - it’s left to my sisters.

But it stings some. The missing of them. The calls and photos unsent. The updates, funny stories, wild antics. I miss all of that every day stuff. I miss it x three - and though time does heal, when it’s the dark, quiet of night, grief reveals itself again.

And I have to sit with it. Acknowledge it. And let it move through. It’s not easy stuff - and I may not talk about it publicly as I once did, that doesn’t diminish the truth of it: loss is inevitable, it’s unfair, it hurts, but it’s life. I’ve walked some hard, tough roads in my thirty-six years, but I’m here. I’m still standing. And I intend to be for a long time yet.


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Come As You Are: An Invitation to Intuitive Eating

Come As You Are - An Invitation to Peace with Food + Body - Intuitive Eating - www.angiewarren.com

Can we have an honest conversation?
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It’s a deep one. It’s a revealing, honest, vulnerable one. I’d like to talk for a moment about this body of mine.
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I have spent the better part of my life in a war, a struggle with an internal dialogue that has spoken lies and untruths. Spit hatred like poison, more often than not as a whisper. But the most painful whisper you’ll never actually hear.
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I have told myself I’m not worthy. I’m not good enough. I’ve spoken that I’ll not be accepted unless I fit the ideal that so much of the world has told me I should be.
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I’ve allowed the words of others, some from those closest to me, to creep in and settle right there on my heart. “She shouldn’t be wearing that bathing suit, did you see her?” or “Wow she sure put on some pounds since I saw her last.” or “She isn’t small enough to accomplish that.”.
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And even if those words weren’t directed at me, I positioned them to be. I absorbed them. I allowed them to fuel a fire that was burning so great, I was choking on the embers that remained.
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I have spent the majority of my adult life dealing with Disordered Eating, I’ve hidden behind creative poses on camera, I’ve filtered myself into a position where I thought I was likely acceptable.
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And now? Now? I’m done hiding. I’m done with the games. I’m done with the diets. I’m done with the idea that I’m only worthy when I’m back in a size 4. I am done. with. the. hiding.
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Because here’s the truth of it: this body has created four babies, birthed three of them. It’s walked me through some of the worst days I wouldn’t wish on my most awful enemy. It’s carried me when I wanted to curl up and join the family members who went before me.
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And it’s pretty damn unfair that I’ve told it it’s not good enough. It’s pretty unfair that I’ve ever potentially allowed my children to think they’re anything less than the magnificent prize their Jesus created them to be.
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So I’m on a mission and it started with this, confession of sorts, today. To raise my voice and hope it encourages you to even find yours. To know you are beautiful as you are. To know restriction does NOT bring joy and diets are NOT going to last.
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You don’t have to hide. You don’t have move your body out of punishment. You don’t have to count or track or measure your way into glory. You can come just as you are and stand tall with me. I am forever and ever and ever grateful for the friend that said those words to me. She offered me and continues to, a safe place to stand. The encouragement and the knowledge that there is peace to be found with both food and body.
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And it doesn’t come with a membership or a good and bad food list. It doesn’t come with pills or scale obsession. It comes with time and kindness and lots and lots of freaking hard heart work.
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You can sit with me. Please, sit with me. Let’s change this for our sons and for our daughters. Let’s raise our voices and declare WE ARE GOOD AS WE ARE. The world needs more voices like this. I hope to hear yours, too.


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Bring Joy to Others + Watch it Change Everything

HOW TO BRING JOY TO OTHERS // www.angiewarren.com

Today I decided I would start finding ways to bring joy to others. As I pulled through the Starbucks drive through it hit me: I’m going to give a genuine compliment to at least one person I see out each day.
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This barista looked like she was having A DAY, you know the kind. I adored her tattoos and told her as much. She was so caught off guard it took her a moment to respond. As it sunk in, I watched her shoulders perk up. She just needed a little love.
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Do you need to pull out of a funk? Try making someone else smile! I’m no stranger to funks: five years of great, deep loss - but gratitude and giving have done me a lot of good.
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Same goes here online! We hard-working women come across other just as hard-working women every time we scroll and developing a connection, a real relationships? It does the BOTH of us good. So take a few moments tonight to cheer another lady on. It takes a village, and we are the villagers!

Jenna Kutcher Quote / www.angiewarren.com

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When Frustration Becomes Gratitude

Motherhood - Angie Warren www.angiewarren.com

I wanted to be frustrated when she came tip-toeing in this morning. I had a plan. A great, genius idea of waking before the dawn. I wanted to spend the early hours in quiet, with my thoughts and with my bible.
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What I found though, was that my body needed a bit more sleep, and the quiet was still to be found, as she sleeps softly near me.
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Motherhood is made up of these tiny moments, of certain sacrifices, of knowing the time passes quickly and trying to both survive and soak in every small piece.
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This girl. She has taught me more in her six years of life than I learned in the thirty before her. So I lean over and brush my lips across the flush of her cheek, and quietly whisper, “thank you, mama loves you so, very much.” and as I’ve done hundreds of times before, I offer an apology.
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I’m a mama full of mistakes, of bad attitudes, of hurtful words spoken. I’m trying just as we all are to do more than just my best, but to do my best well.

Should you find yourself surrounded by sleeping babies on this Tuesday morning, I pray you can find the joy in it as well. We’re in this together, mama. And today is a brand new day.

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Mother's Day: a Tribute

MOTHER'S DAY - grief & loss - a tribute (www.angiewarren.com)

Recently I had an opportunity to nominate someone for a Mother's Day giveaway.  The rules stated that this could be a mother you know OR a mother figure - my own mama being gone, my sister came immediately to mind. I wanted to share what I wrote:


I nominate my sister, Sadie.

Though she is not yet a mother herself (her sweet dog Maggie IS very much a part of their family), she has been so many amazing things to me - namely the very best parts of our mother.

Let me explain.

Nearly five years ago we walked beside our mom as she fought cervical cancer. Sadie found the roles reversed as she was the one caring for our sweet mama in her final weeks - private and intimate details I’ll leave out, but the way my sister selflessly poured into a once vibrant and full of life 49-year-old (our mom), left me speechless. She did hard things. She had hard conversations. But she did it with grace. I am in awe of her for that.

February of 2017 we were shocked by the sudden loss of our only brother. Sadie was able to jet set across the country (while extremely sick with the flu) to immediately take action and do the most dreaded of tasks: final arrangements for an amazing 29-year-old, gone far too soon. Those weeks were gut-wrenching. But we stuck together, doing things we never imagined doing because our mama taught us what strength is, what family is, what grace is. I am in awe of her for that.

A short six months later, just weeks after her own wedding, Sadie and I had to make another emergency trip back east. Our dad was very sick and on life support. Twelve hour days in the ICU with our father, fighting with and for him, I relied on my sister for all the best bits of our mom she encompasses. We made a decision we never imagined having to make and walked our dad into Heaven - to meet our mom and brother. When one of us cried, the other was strong. When one of us felt strong, the other was broken. She may be younger than me, but I am in awe of what my sister is and does.

Sadie may not yet be a mother but she is everything I miss and love about our own mother. Her laugh, her thumbs, her gentle spirit, her love of those less fortunate, and her relationship with God. And when the day comes that she IS a mother? I know she will be just as good of one as the mama that raised her.

I nominate my sister, who has taken some of the worst things life can throw at her, all before she was 26 - and is now an advocate for the grieving, a believer in wellness, and an encouragement to so many others.


I'm sooooo thrilled to share that, she won! Congrats Sadie, well deserved. Enjoy those goodies, love you so so much.

The Balance of Working from Home with Monat

Working from home with Monat - www.angiewarren.com

When I said yes to joining a direct sales company, it was for our family. For me. And I’ve worked very hard at a few things:

+ Being authentic, genuine, and real. I want to change the face of direct sales - if even for those in my small circle, to be different than my own previous experiences. To be relatable and for you all to know with me it’s the real deal.

+ To lead the team I’ve been blessed with, with passion and drive. Warmth and encouragement. Challenge and heart. Using the gifts God has given me to provide a unique experience like no other.

+ And most importantly: to find that sweet spot, the balance, between doing something FOR my family and still being PRESENT with my family. This is a challenge I face constantly, but something I pride myself on continually keeping in check.

So, today I was here, present. Working on some house projects, watching a movie with the family, having a conversation - eye contact. Just, being. Which means I didn’t open my computer. Which means, I did my job, that tricky job of balance and man, I am thankful for a way to provide for the family while being WITH the family.
 

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A Breath of Fresh Air

Angie Warren

There near the end of the road is a sweet, small, girl. Our trip back to New Rumley Road was far different this time than it normally is, and we felt the absence of those we've lost - but it was a breath of fresh air.

It was family (something I've come to treasure more than ever before), it was laughter (the best kind, you know the kind that hurts your stomach), and it was truly beauty from ashes (I'm currently writing all about it).

It was fast and furious and sad and happy and all the things I needed but didn't realize. Halfway home now and ready to be there, but being gentle with myself too.

The aching of family in Heaven and spread out across the country is a painful one, but I'm grateful. I'm just so grateful.

Thank you, my friends, for your grace with me as I've walked a difficult road the last month or so. I miss so much coming here with my heart, and look forward to doing so again soon.

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Musings on Another Loss

Angie Warren // Grief + Addiction

Here's something I can tell you: grief manifests differently, wildly, unpredictably. This I thought I knew after losing my mom, this I now know for certain after the Davis family has gone from six to four.

I have spent the better part of six months expressing a great joy in life after loss - gratitude even. I've started my manuscript over again, saying farewell to 70k words because three weeks before my brother died I felt something in my gut tell me that wasn't the story.

Then SLAM.

Out of nowhere I'm faced with a challenge I never expected, I'm suddenly asking myself how does one say "there IS light after dark, there IS a great and wonderful JOY to be found after life becomes shattered" when suddenly my spring feels a bit more like a winter, again.

It's something I'm wrestling with (among many other difficult things) at present. I can say God is still a good God. I can say He's not left my side. I can say He knew from February 12, 1988 that my brother would live a short twenty-nine years. And I can say with all certainty that I now hold my family closer and tighter than I ever imagined possible.

If you've walked along side me for any amount of time, I pray you take one thing away: I pray you too know that in the midst of whatever winter you're in, you're not in it alone. It's not cliche, I'm not just spouting it. I'm living it. God is good, even in what feels like upheaval, and for that, I'm eternally grateful.

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My Morning Basket: What I'm Reading in February

Full disclosure: I read multiple books at a time, which yes, seems a bit crazy, but they're all a variety of genres, so it balances out (that's how I rationalize it, anyhow, just nod with me).

My Morning Basket: What I'm Reading // Angie Warren

What is a Morning Basket?

I first learned of the Morning Basket idea from the homeschooling world. The basic thought is that you have a basket of books you begin your day with (read alouds, living books, memory work, etc). This thought hasn't clicked with my boys for homeschooling, but I have taken it upon myself to curate my own Morning Basket, and it's one of my favorite parts of the day.

I am not spending hefty amounts of time on each of these books, generally 10 minutes or so per book, depending on the morning, and I don't get to each every day. It's just the right amount of time to soak in something from each of them, and feel I'm giving myself a bit of pampering!

1. STREAMS IN THE DESERT

Growing up, I have such fond memories of waking early to find my mom in the corner of our couch, beside the yellow of a lamp, reading Streams in the Desert. Hers was an old and worn copy, brown, with the edges bent. I'm not sure why I never thought to read it myself until I came upon THIS version at my local Barnes & Noble. I soon grabbed it on Amazon and it has been a life changer. It's the greatest of both worlds, combining both devotions Cowman wrote, and it has been like a warm hug from Heaven, reading it each morning (and some evenings). This is what I start my day with no matter what else in the basket I get to, and I'm so grateful to have found it.

Grab your copy here.

 

2. TEACHING FROM REST

Oh this book. I've now read it, three times? It never fails to hug me in just the right ways. Sarah Mackenzie has put her heart to words, and in doing so, brings so much encouragement to the brand new AND seasoned homeschoolers. A part of my morning quiet time includes a few pages of this book. And without fail, it seems to be just the words I need to hear on that particular day.

Grab your copy here.

 

3. WHEN YOU EAT AT THE REFRIGERATOR PULL UP A CHAIR

This is one of my all-time favorite coffee table books. It has 50 small snippets from the brilliant Geneen Roth on self love and her amazing anti-diet mantra. I've read this book countless times, and each time, I pull something from it. I read one each morning (again note, most mornings), as a little boost for my day. Love me some Geneen, and again, these "chapters" are so small and easy to digest, just perfect for a Morning Basket.

Grab your copy here.

 

4. One thousand gifts devotional

I read the original book a few years ago, and was gifted this devotional after my mom passed away. The pieces aren't as small as some others, so I read just 1-2 per week. Again, like most, I find myself getting new things out of Ann's poetic words every time I open the book. I love the way she story-tells, and appreciate the movement of her words so.

Grab your copy here.

 

5. THE MEMOIR PROJECT

I am only about half way through this easy and insightful read, and I keep wishing I had found it AGES ago. So far, I feel I've been given just all the permission in the world to write my own story. I've pulled out the highlighter and sticky tabs for this one, and would highly recommend it to anyone even remotely interested in writing their own story.

Grab your copy here.

 

6. ALL THE PRETTY THINGS

This is the current memoir I'm reading, well, starting to read. I saw an interview with Edie in the Hope*Writers library and was so drawn to her, I immediately grabbed it. I think there may be a lot of similarities in our stories, and I'm really excited to dive into it!

Grab your copy here.

 


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