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who cares?

who cares?

Hey, it’s just me. I’m having a rough time (understatement of the year). Saturday was ‘two months’ and although every single day is difficult, that day just knocked me down. So did the next day. And the next. I’m actually having a harder time now than I did two months ago, when I first learned that my son had taken his own life. The day I fell onto the concrete and wailed. The day I accepted a ride from a total stranger, screamed at a friend, begged Southwest to do some pretty fast adjusting, and raced home to look at the ugliest, most horrific picture of the most beautiful face I’ve ever seen. The coroner’s picture. Yes, friends, in a way it is more difficult today than it was that day.

I’ve got a ton of things to share with you… I’ve been thinking and processing and working things out in my head, and it’s about time for a new blog post, right? The problem is I just can’t make myself do much of anything, least of all communicate. I shut down his phone. I finally washed his pillowcase. Both required herculean efforts on my part. I stared at the wall for a while. I talked to his picture on my phone case.  I stood in my kitchen for a while, doing nothing. Then I crawled into bed. I’ve been in bed for a few days, draining my dvr, maximizing the heck out of my amazon prime membership (unlimited streaming videos, yay!), and drinking rockstars just to force some energy into my body so I actually have the momentum to get up and pee, instead of wet my own bed. It’s true. The thought crossed my mind to just stay in bed and pee because it was easier than getting out of bed and actually handling business like a functioning human being. My ridiculous thought was immediately followed by the internal disclaimer that helps me rationalize all of my self-destructive or lazy or weak behaviors, “Who cares?” Truth be told, I made myself get up and use the bathroom. Maybe if I stopped drinking rockstars, I could stop peeing altogether and just stay in bed… There’s a thought.

You know what? Moms never get to go to the bathroom alone. Ohhhh, they might start alone, but they never finish alone. I’d be willing to bet that any mom you ask would have a hilarious story of trying to just get a minute to pee, alone, for once! Kids must have pee-dar that alerts them to the exact moment that Mama sits down in her own bathroom because shortly thereafter, they are right there in their mom’s face wanting to hash out a few things, or needing something, or just wanting to visit. Mase had pee-dar AND poop-dar. That dude must have had my bathroom visits on a tracker, because I am not kidding you when I tell you, he was there more often than he was not!  He knew I was vulnerable. He knew I would be embarrassed or pressed for time or just begging for a little privacy… man, he was smart. Funny. Cool. Okay, okay, back to the story…

If you’ve been in my house, you know my bathroom was “girls only” and Mason’s bathroom was “boys only” and/or “brave guests.” He was not allowed to go to the bathroom in my bathroom, ever! I mean, seriously! A single mom raising a son has to have somewhere of her own, right? He’d torment me and act like he was busting at the bladder-seams and run in there like he couldn’t wait another second, and I’d scream and get all high-pitched and crazy. Again, if you have been to my house, you know full well that from the living room, it’s about equal distance to his toilet or mine. There is no reason he would EVER need to go into mine unless he was toying with me, his sweet, gullible, easily tormented shmuvver. Oh, he would laugh and laugh and laugh at the result of his own comedy. Dude didn’t even have to pee.

We had some deep chats while I was on my toilet. Sometimes, I’d just get trapped there, a captive audience for him because I couldn’t get up until he left the room. There is an oversized, comfy leather chair next to my bed, and he’d sit right down, launch the topic-of-the-moment, and I’d be his sounding board or an unsuspecting customer for whatever item he was pitching me… from his position, he could see my face. He could gauge my reactions, read my thoughts, watch me crack a smile. My God, I would give every single one of my private pee-moments back for just one more of those convos.

photo of brown chair

Now, it’s different. I can go to the bathroom 47 times a day, and never find him there. He isn’t lurking around the corner, waiting to pounce. He isn’t ever going to plop down in the chair and sell me an idea, or ask me to take him somewhere. That chair is empty, and going to the bathroom is just going to the bathroom now. I don’t have to sneak. I don’t have to rush. I don’t even have to go, actually. I could just pee my bed now, because “who cares?” Most of the time, I sit down to pee, and I cry. I pee and cry, pee and cry. I look at the empty chair.  Cry some more. I run out of pee, but never seem to run out of tears. I am seriously blogging about peeing and crying –

Is this the dumbest blog you have EVER read? hahaha! I actually just made myself laugh. I hope this isn’t your first visit to the blog. I hope you have some inkling of my sense of humor, and my simplicity, before you read today’s entry. If this is your first visit to “it’s just me,” back out now. Go to the home page and start at the beginning.  Get the flavor before munching on this entry, cuz it is borderline ridiculous. I haven’t written it yet, but I know what’s in my head.  You’ve been warned.  For those of you who have been travelling this journey with me for the last 65 days, you know what to expect. Keep reading… I’m getting to the point. I promise.

Enough tales from the toilet. Let’s get to “who cares?” – it has been a self-destructive mantra of mine for a long time, and serves the rebellious side of my character quite nicely. When I want ice cream, and know I shouldn’t have it because my butt is getting bigger, I say, “who cares?” When I want to leave my house dirty, or not clean my closet, I say, “who cares?” When I want to drink too much, ignore responsibilities, permit myself to be lazy or rude or weak or disconnected, guess what I say? We all have one… some saying or phrase that we say to give ourselves permission to do the thing we know we shouldn’t. Who cares? I’ve also used that phrase to tell myself that I am alone, that I’ll always be alone. Who cares? I should shower today. Who cares? I shouldn’t have said that… meh, who cares? I’ve heard others use that phrase to hurt people who are already hurting. She cuts… who cares? He uses… who cares? You know what her stepdad did… WHO CARES!?!

Well, I care. I haven’t always, but I do now. I care. I don’t want my butt to get too big. I don’t want my closet to be a mess. I don’t want to drink too much, or live to excess in ANY way. And on a deeper level, I just don’t want to make excuses for myself, or let myself go off the deep end in any area. I want to let my defenses down, and allow myself to be more sensitive. Not only do I want to change the tape that runs in my head, but I want to maximize my impact on this world in a positive way, and help to change the tape that runs in your head. I want every single person who hurts to know that someone cares. I am determined to make daily choices within my sphere of influence that demonstrate how much I care. (To my work teammates, I will still care from my pool at 2pm in the summer months…don’t you worry about that. Let’s not get crazy.)

I have a friend facing major surgery next week, and she is scared. I love her so much and feel powerless to assure her that everything will be okay. I don’t know that it will. I am living a life FULL of proof that sometimes not everything will be ‘okay.’ So instead, I tell her I care.  I have another friend who is battling for her daughters’ futures. She’s never been a single mom before, but after 20+ years, she is finding a way to make it on her own and is absolutely, courageously, and positively changing the paths her daughters’ lives will take. I have another friend whose cousin ended his own life. And another friend whose brother just tried…thankfully, he wasn’t successful. Did he think “who cares?” in his darkest moment? Did Mason? The thought is unbearable. I have seen a ‘hate page’ on instagram this week. Can you believe that? Everywhere, people hurting. I’ve been asked to share my blog with this person or that person because they are hurting and they cannot find words of their own. SHARE IT!!! I care, I care, I care.

All around us, people are struggling. Who cares? You are struggling with something, and it sure doesn’t matter if it ‘compares’ with my struggle. Life isn’t a struggle competition, with some dumb rule allowing only the biggest struggle to warrant any attention. What’s the prize for having the toughest problems? You get to say “WINNING!” on national television while the world watches you self-destruct? No thanks. The ‘moment’ that I find myself in matters. The situation you are struggling with matters. Let’s stop saying, “who cares?” and start showing each other exactly who does.

In the last 2 months, I’ve been told how strong I am by people who don’t see me sobbing in my own bed, day after day. People who can’t smell me from where they sit, reading my blog or checking out my posts & pics on the aMasongraceproject facebook page. Thank you for encouraging me, and believing I am strong. I have had some pretty bad days lately. I need to hear that, and at the same time, I’m confessing to you that even though I am “hard wired for faith,” I am still having difficulty getting out of my bed and facing the day. The days keep coming. They just keep coming.  I don’t know what to do with them all. I lost my main squeeze, my shmish, my baby boy, my ‘toilet talk’ buddy. I am broken, and hurting, and ill-equipped for the journey ahead of me.

By reading my blog, you are telling me you care. By sharing it or posting it or letting your brother-from-another-mother read it, you show you care. We may not have met, but we can care about each other. We don’t have to cut. We don’t have to get drunk or crunk or turnt up. (Jeez, what is current?) We don’t have to self-harm in any way. We can care. We can redefine how we interact. We don’t have to have the solution; we can just show each other some concern. If you’ve read my blog before, you know I believe in God. I’ll never forget the day that I learned what it meant to pray for heaps of burning coals on your enemy’s head. It sounds like one thing, but means something quite different. Look it up, while I go pee.

That’s some powerful stuff right there. It’s also a pretty clear example of how we are supposed to care. Talk to you soon… xoxo



  • Daisy Rain Martin
    Posted at 16:06h, 07 August Reply

    This handy-dandy little “Follow” feature of yours is slick, sister. I get these updates on my phone which is an actual appendage on my body most days, so I never miss them. I’m glad I get notified so quickly because… I care.

    I think the rubber is starting to meet the road here… I care.

    I believe that you are, indeed, strong… until you’re not. I care.

    I’m glad you haven’t peed the bed yet because… I care.

    I love when I make you laugh since… I care.

  • valeriehennessey
    Posted at 16:07h, 07 August Reply

    Get up out of that bed girl
    I Care

    Take our strength hun
    sending love from Adelaide

  • Jane Barr
    Posted at 16:19h, 07 August Reply

    Your posts are a beautiful, horrible, humorous, tender, raw, painful, gut wrenching gift of giving oneself to another. I imagine this ” to the depths” honesty may be one of the greatest gifts we can give. So many lives are being touched and only God knows how many may be changed as a consequence of your outpouring of a shattered heart. Yes, we may have deep faith, unwavering faith and at the same time experience a suffering unlike anything we could have even imagined. Life is so much paradox….both/ and situations. Your allowing your vulnerability to touch others, reminding us we are all just human, may give others the courage to allow their vulnerability to be seen, and realize that being human is really ok and quite pleasing to God. There is a line by Annie Dilliard (paraphrase) ‘God loves us in all our beautiful, flawed perfection’. And I have never met you but reading your posts always stirs in my heart a love and respect for you. Thank you for inviting us to walk with you through this pain which cannot be denied.

    Sent from my iPad

    • it's just me
      Posted at 10:13h, 09 August Reply

      thank you, jane. love that annie dillard line. so very true. though we have never met, your words touch my heart as would those of a friend. thank you for taking time to read the blog, and to write to me. i really do hope it helps others… i know it helps me to just get these thoughts out of my head for a while. xoxo

  • Christa
    Posted at 16:22h, 07 August Reply

    Holly, your blogs always make me laugh, make me cry and give me chills. I wish caring was enough to take away your pain….so many people care about you. Thinking of you!

  • Deb Taber
    Posted at 17:11h, 07 August Reply

    I echo everything Christa said. Your blog makes me think, laugh, cry, hurt, and wish more than anything that caring about someone would make the pain go away. Thank you for sharing. For being honest about your pain, thoughts, all of it.

  • Joleen
    Posted at 17:13h, 07 August Reply

    I don’t know you. I may never have that privilege. ( I stumbled across your blog through your cousin Lisa…)But I swear, you have made me a better mother and more importantly- a better person through your blogs. I have shared your powerful depictions of grief with a coworker whose husband took his life in June as well. And I pray for you at least once a day. I have never in my life cared about a total stranger. But I do now.
    Thank you! !

  • Andrea Ivey
    Posted at 17:56h, 07 August Reply

    I don’t know if you remember me or not from Cox. I am still there and when I heard about your son I began reading your blogs. I now have 2 son’s of my own 5 and 7 and I can relate to everything you are talking about. My heart hurts for you and I just want you to know that I care 🙂

    Andrea Ivey

    • it's just me
      Posted at 10:04h, 09 August Reply

      thanks andrea! hugs those babies extra tight today! thank u for telling me you care.

  • Debbie
    Posted at 18:13h, 07 August Reply

    Caring & sending you love from Florida, Holly.

  • Nadja
    Posted at 18:42h, 07 August Reply

    I laughed, I cried, I laughed and cried again reading your words. I too have become a better mother because of your words, and thoughts, and the heart wrenching reality of knowing what we love most, can be taken from us without a moments notice. I’m a single mom, raising an only child, and although I don’t know you, I grieve for your loss, my heart aches for what you must endure, and I fail to even be able to begin to imagine… I care.

  • Annette
    Posted at 18:42h, 07 August Reply

    Up till now I have been lurking in the back ground … reading your posts, digesting them, trying unsuccessfully to spit them out both mentally and verbally to some … your posts stay with me every day and I have moments of joy each day that I stop and appreciate more than I would have before, because of you.
    I CARE!
    We’ve never met, like Joleen, I am fairly certain I will never have the pleasure. But your words of honesty, rawness and brutal truth have changed me forever.
    I CARE!
    I must confess that I read this blog post while sitting on the toilet, trying for one of those rare alone mom moments. As I cried and peed with you I was both (with guilt) grateful for my girls and strangely sad that, this time, they did not interrupt me.
    I CARE!
    My brother took his life 5 years ago, in September. We were not on speaking terms at the time, hadn’t been for 5 years for a variety of reasons … the shock and horror of it still hangs heavy on my heart today. I will NOT tell you that it gets easier. It doesn’t Ever. It may hurt a little less over time but it is not easier. We will not ever understand, we will not ever know the why at the moment – even if we have some small inkling of the over all reason, we will not ever know the last thought, the last hope. We will not ever!
    I CARE!
    I pray for you … I sing for you … I hug my daughters extra tight for you. And darlin’, though we may never cross paths, I care for you.
    Thank you for continuing to share your journey and allowing me, a stranger, to ride along with you!

    • it's just me
      Posted at 10:03h, 09 August Reply

      annette i am so sorry about your brother… so. very. sorry. thank u for reading and posting a comment. i am glad to hear it gets better – i have good days and bad days, and it is good to hear from people who have lived thru this pain and are on the ‘other side’ of it.

  • Jennifer Moss
    Posted at 19:07h, 07 August Reply

    please don’t pee the bed. It’s just going to be there when you want to sleep 🙂
    Thank you for opening your heart, brain, private moments, agonizing terrorizing moments…none of us can bring Mason back to you (our biggest wish, I assure you), but we can learn from you. You ARE a great mom. You are a great person with smarts, awesome dance moves, and OBVIOUS care for others. You make me want to be a better person. (don’t roll your eyes).

    • it's just me
      Posted at 10:00h, 09 August Reply

      i only roll my eyes at what u post on fb, j-mo! thank you for replying to the blog and encouraging me. remember meeting my widdle toonces??? i love him like u love ‘boy’ and there just is no escaping the hurt and pain of losing him. it is indescribable.

  • Carla
    Posted at 20:13h, 07 August Reply

    I don’t know you personally. We share a mutual friend on FB and she posts links to your blog. I decided to read one day. I’m not quite sure why I keep coming back to check back for new blog posts. I always cry when I read your posts and I don’t like crying. =) It’s uncomfortable to read at times. I think I keep coming back because I appreciate the honesty. The in your face, gut wrenching honesty and heartache. But above all else, I think I keep reading because even in the despair, there is hope. Thank you for writing and letting us in on something so personal. Praying for you…

    • it's just me
      Posted at 09:57h, 09 August Reply

      carla- thanks for coming back, and thank u for seeing the hope contained within each message. even though i spend many, many moments enmeshed in grief, i remain hopeful that one day i will see him again. please subscribe to the blog so you don’t have to keep checking back 🙂 that way, you will receive an email when i post something new. xoxo thanks again

  • Sarahsomewhere
    Posted at 21:40h, 07 August Reply

    Im reading this on the toilet, does that mean I care?! Haha, I love the sentiment behind this Holly and can absolutely believe it is harder now than it was. Love you, thank you for caring xxx

    • Daisy Rain Martin
      Posted at 21:46h, 07 August Reply

      Sarahsomewhere, you just made me spurt water out of my nose… Timing is everything! Well played. Thanks for being so a-mase-ing to our Hollygurl. <3

    • it's just me
      Posted at 09:53h, 09 August Reply

      trust the witty reply to come from my own sister! hahahaa love u. cannot wait to see u & just relaxxxxxx.

  • Temple Gallagher
    Posted at 08:40h, 08 August Reply

    Holly- I am a friend of Lisa’s in Stockton… Your posts are TRULY from your heart…I care…truly care… and read and re-read your posts! I pray for you and Mason. Keep up the good work girl!

    • it's just me
      Posted at 09:52h, 09 August Reply

      thank u, temple. i need every single one of those prayers. thank u for caring.

  • Juli Curtin
    Posted at 09:32h, 08 August Reply

    Hundreds of words and feelings are spinning in my head after reading your incredibly deep, raw, painfully honest , humourous and powerful, thousands of words! I found myself going back and forth between crying and laughing the whole time.

    One of my favorite lines, and may I add, there are always many, especially the pee-dar. I burst out laughing when I read that because of course, I’m a mom and deal with the same thing! is “I am determined to make daily choices within my sphere of influence that demonstrate how much I care.” This will become my daily mantra. It is so simple, yet so powerful. How different life could be for some, if not ALL of us, if we all worked to do this every day?

    You are a beautiful human being and I care about you, Holly! And please take Jennifer’s advice, and don’t pee in the bed. It will just get really gross over time…

    Thank you, yet again, for the gift you have given me and the world!

    • it's just me
      Posted at 09:52h, 09 August Reply

      ahhh juli… so true. if we only spent 5 more minutes a day showing others how much we care… what the ripple effect could be!

  • Kris Morris Devitte
    Posted at 10:06h, 08 August Reply

    Thanks to Taunia, I have started reading your blog. Although I never met Mason, I feel like I know him through your amazing words. My sister in law lost her 14 year old son many years ago and she reminds me so much of you. I shared your link with her and hope she reads it and finds that she is not alone in her sorrow. I can not begin to imagine the pain of losing a child, and I pray that you will find your way through this difficult time. I care….

    • it's just me
      Posted at 09:51h, 09 August Reply

      thanks kris- your sis-in-law has commented and shared some of her heart with me. thanks for reading and commenting… it feels good to know it meant something to someone.

  • Julie Bomstad
    Posted at 12:16h, 08 August Reply

    Holly, though we have never met, I feel like I know you through Karrie and Leslie posting the amazing words you have been so brave to post. I feel like in some ways, we are kindred souls. I, too, struggled for many years to raise my kids as a single mother in the craziness that is Las Vegas. I can so relate to your bathroom story. I didn’t close my bathroom door for many years, because why bother? They will just barge right in anyway! Parents magazine just published a survey and they asked moms what the first thing they did after they put their kids to bed was and do you know 80% of them said, go to the bathrrom alone? Crazy!
    Anyway, thank you for sharing your pain and thoughts. You are changing so many lives. Your blog has made me laugh, cry, and most important, realize what is important in life. You have reminded me to cherish every day, because none of us know what tommorrow holds. You have taught me to acknowledge my children for the amazing gifts from God they are. You have inspired me to live better, to be better.
    I am so sorry for the loss of your amazing, precious son. There is no worse pain in this world than to lose a child. But please know you are helping people by sharing your grief. You are “making it right” for so many people. So please, Holly, ignore the haters, and continue to share, to grieve, to love, and most difficult, to live.
    May God Bless you forvever and always hold you in the palm of His hand.

    • it's just me
      Posted at 09:49h, 09 August Reply

      thank you, julie. i am so encouraged by your message. thank you for sharing specifically how the blog has impacted you. it helps me and motivates me and truly lifts the sadness for a while.

  • Heather Devitte-McKee
    Posted at 17:14h, 08 August Reply

    My sister i law sent me here. My 13 year old was killed in a car accident 16 years ago. And no me understands unless it happens to them. They try and they are sad that you are not you and never will be again. The first months you are numb. the next months it sinks in and by that time everyone thinks yiu are getting over it and they go away. I will,read your blog from start to,finish but not today. I am movimg soon and I,am having to go,through boxes and trucks of things that make me cry. So today is as raw as 16 years ago. Maybe I should have been brave enough to,do,this many years ago.You have no idea how much a petrified hamburger can make you cry.. So now you’re a member of the club no one wants to join becasue the dues are to high. Don’t try to be brave and don’t try to be strong….It is just enough to be.and somedays that seems impossible. Sometime a heating pad over your heart helps you breathe.

  • Malika Edmonds
    Posted at 15:17h, 12 August Reply

    As I read your posts I am amazed on how honest and open you are during this difficult time, it’s a beautiful trait that so many of us lack or are afraid to tap into. Like others I find myself smiling when reading the moments when your o so adorable sense of humor shines through even though you are experiencing an unimaginable amount of pain. Thank you for not shutting the world off and for sharing your soul, memories and heart with us , it is truly an inspiration. You are in my prayers and thoughts..xoxo

    • it's just me
      Posted at 18:09h, 13 August Reply

      thanks, malika. i appreciate your comment & your prayers. this is sooo unbelievable. i need every prayer. every. single. one.

  • Donna Scott
    Posted at 15:51h, 13 August Reply

    Well, this actually is my first visit to your blog. But I read to the end anyway! This will of course not be my last visit here either. I am glad I followed a friends link and found you. Those people that tell you that you are strong, are right. You are. Even with the times that you are crying and wanting to just pee the bed. You are strong. You will be in my prayers. Keep writing. Writing is therapy. (at least for me it is) I will visit you here often.

    • it's just me
      Posted at 18:08h, 13 August Reply

      thanks for reading, donna! welcome. xoxo

  • Stacey
    Posted at 22:06h, 16 August Reply

    I absolutely, without a doubt, care!♥

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