Mom traveled from Ohio. We celebrated on Saturday having a cook out. All of her grand children were there. With that said, the following day … Sunday I did not see my oldest son. Instead, I received only a text stating Happy Mother’s Day. Very much disappointed in the system for this huge error. I was told that his father already had plans for the two of them to have dinner together out of town. I had received a message from the Department of Corrections as most of you know Eian is on house arrest for underage drinking. So, could anyone please explain to me why DOC would even leave me a message stating it was okay that he be out of town when he is on house arrest? Not to mention, is there any one or any thing more important on Mother’s Day than that of a child being with his Mother? Pish Posh to the system and to his father for once again being a selfish man. Not that it matters who it was with, he wasn’t with me which is shameful!
Evan however; made Mother’s Day comical as always. I had called him to wake him, he was still asleep at 10:30am. He said he had a few things to do and needed to be up early….really. He calls me at noon, mom where are you? I am at my friends, why? Well, I thought when you called me you were upstairs, so I went upstairs and you were not here, so I just needed to know. I said, I am actually heading home is there something you need. Yes, mom I am hungry. Okay, great cause a double cheeseburger sounds good to me. I pull up outside of the home. Evan is dressed and standing patiently on the side walk. Putting the car in park, I look over at his huge smile. He raises his arm in the air & says to me …. STRETCH IT, it’s Mothers Day, I am chauffeuring you around. I laugh, and he walks over, opening the door & giving me a HUGE hug & kiss saying, Happy Mother’s Day. He says, so where shall we eat? I am not into fighting the crowds and since we had a wonderful cookout yesterday, I’m good with … and before I finish he says, just sit back I shall surprise you. We pull into the drive thru at Milky Way and get tacos. After that he said he would weed eat the yard later and just let me relax. He was off to shoot some hoops. I went home, did a load of laundry and relaxed until he called wanting a ride to play football. He plays football for fun with men. He told me after the game today that there was a new guy from Indy and he was like 6’3″ and 260 lbs, big guy and he tackled him. He always just cracks me up. Then we stopped at one of his best friends home. He went inside and woke her up to give her a hug and tell her Happy Mother’s Day. She said she was in tears. Her son, Chris called me wishing me a Happy Mother’s Day later and said I would have came to visit or got you something but, I am kind of grounded and it made me giggle. These boys have been friends since they were 5 years old.
The list makes me smile just re-reading it. It is all 100% accurate and my favorite part is that he wrote in cursive. You will notice that he mentions where I work & that I always call him from work. As he grew, he enjoyed going to work with me. One time he was really ill. I could not bare to leave him at home without me. I brought a sleeping bag, pillow & placed him on the counter top behind me & allowed him to sleep right there in dispatch with me. These were the good ole days. Dispatch was under staffed & they would rather me bring my ill child then to call into work. You were the best little sick kid a momma could ask for. I also located this typed note Eian wrote me a few years later for Mothers Day. You were at my job, and you cut out several hearts from our scrap paper :: notice the COPY, SERVE AS COMMANDED on the hearts.
You typed the letter and told me that there was nothing more than hearts in the hand made enveloped & that I needed to not mind the words on the hearts. My heart swells with pride as I remember always being there for you, always loving you, always enjoying your little moments, always putting your needs ahead of my own.
I also located a hand made card from Evan. The funny part about this card is that both Eian & Evan were very much intrigued when they found out that my name was not Keona Michelle Stidham. When they found out that I use to be Keona Michelle Shelley, they just found it funny. So, they began calling me Keona Shelley sometimes. If we were in a place where lots of moms were, that was their favorite time to yell Keona Shelley. They knew if they yelled mom … everyone would look. So, in this card Evan wrote the card to his mom, Keona Shelley … his spelling of course is much more humerus. And after Matt & I divorced, I had discussed with them taking my maiden name back. Evan stated, that is fine mom we will just change our name to Shelley as well. I chuckled & stated it doesn’t work that way, I chose to keep the name for my children.
My mother wrote me a letter telling me about how she came across a story of a couple who use to use SHMILY on everything they wrote to one another. She stated that they would write notes and sign it this way, or write it in the fog of the mirror, write it with the ketchup on top of the meatloaf.Whatever came to mind. SHMILY stands for See How Much I Love You. After mom sent us this story, she began using it when she would write to us all. Matt & I began using it as well. We shared it with our boys. I would write them notes in their lunch boxes with SHMILY, it would be on their birthday cards & anything else for that matter. Matt & I basically made it a tradition to use for our entire family. I am grateful that my mother shared it with us. After Matt & I divorced, Eian would still use SHMILY (& still does). I did not mind that he used it however; I could not bring myself to use it as Matt was no longer a part of my family & this was something we shared as a family, as a whole. So, I wanted to find my own phrase. It wasn’t long after that – I started using YBIMHA. It stands for You Will Be In My Heart Always. It is a song in the Tarzan movie, it was one of Evans favorites, mostly because of the music, his eyes would get so big & his smile the biggest I had ever seen when he was younger & this song would play. Even better because Evan & I argued about the song, I said it states You’ll Be In My Heart Always & he said nope it does not say Always ….well, he was right. So, with me being wrong, I decided to add it as a special touch between he & I. One that we were able to communicate, two that he was right, 3 that I was willing to admit I was wrong.
So, this is something I plan to carry on as a tradition with my boys FOREVER. Many people see it on my fb posts & I have had several inquire about the meaning. A relative, Jenny Kochert & I actually had a genuine conversation about it, the meaning & where it came from. Our conversation reminded me of my Mother’s letter & she inspired part of this blog. Hopefully, she has used one of the phrases herself or has created her own, as I think it is spectacular to have in a family.
I have many things I want to pass along to my boys as a Mother. My love for music, especially the golden country tunes, George Jones, stories about our family growing up. Most importantly I want to pass on the love that their father & I shared at one time. We created those boys out of love, they were planned, they were wanted & it was all 100% real. We were devoted to them. We were raising them properly in our home, attending First Christian Church as a family & doing things together. We were involved, we worked together, we were a team. We showed them what a relationship & love was suppose to be like. We have many amazing letters, poems, gifts, videos, photos, & memories. I want to leave my boys with this part of our marriage & life. I want them to remember that part of their father & I. Not the part they get now, as it is not always pretty. While I tried in every way possible to find a way to make us be friends & communicate. Sadly, it just is not happening. For reasons unknown to me, although I have my suspicions of the influences. No matter the reason, this is one way for me to show the boys that I did everything to make it better & for them to REMEMBER the good & the love.
It is very necessary that I point out some inspirational women in my life while growing up. Without these women I would not be who I am today. Darnell Marcum, Annie Buser, Brenda Cottrell, Jamie Kochert, Debbie Crowe. Darnell allowed me to see what a family was & how they were suppose to be, together, surrounded, supported. Annie whom is now the boys Godmother guided me through HS, she saw me for who I was and somehow always knew when I was down, & would reach out to me. Brenda raised me like her own daughter, giving me the chance to stay a part of the Shelley family when I could have been put in foster care. Jamie showed me there was more in life. More than what you have, that you don’t have to settle, that there is reward when you apply yourself, put forth an effort, and stop having excuses. She showed me that there is so much in this world to explore, and I want to see it all. Debbie, showed me how to accept someone & love them as your own child. She also showed me that we are stronger than we think & that we can manage to over come even the worst. She showed me the value of being a Mother & through a pain of her own, how NOT to allow a moment to pass without cherishing your gifts & what you have. Other women/mothers have inspired me in others ways. Mostly showing me through their own experiences; many things that I do not want to be as a Mother. Not to be jealous of a relationship my son may endure. Not to challenge that relationship. How to support my son even when he is wrong while still being honest with them & letting them know they are. Not to be a person who says one thing and does another. When push comes to shove; I may have to show my son(s) that I am their Mother not their friend & if we’re lucky & their seed grows properly as it was planted, we will be blessed enough to be both. To never lie to my children.
You’ll Be In My Heart ~ Phil Collins
Timothy 1:5: “But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” This quote allows me to remember while I seem strict & my teen may be angered & believe my punishment is too harsh. That one day he will be rewarded with the understand knowledge that I provided sound instruction when it was difficult & chose to be his Mother not his friend. That he will thank me one day for it.
There are few things more satisfying than seeing your children have teenagers of their own ~ Doug Larson
A father is a man who expects his son to be as good a man as he meant to be, A father is someone who carries pictures where his money used to be. ~ Frank Howard Clark