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“Don’t let this be the last page of your story, but the start of your next chapter.” Jennifer Betts

I couldn’t tell you what was so wrong either. Neither could my mom even though she threatened suicide more than once.  

Her bent toward that option made me wonder about her mom dying so young. When I asked Mom what happened to my grandmother, she said, “Daddy killed her.” That was her story until we sat at our kitchen table just the two of us and, out of the blue,  she said, “I think my mother committed suicide.” 

I related to my grandmother’s pain over life and relationships being so hard that she didn’t want to stay alive. I also related to Mom being detached from reality and out of touch with her emotions to the point that she was unsure what even happened.

I struggled for decades with depression and suicidal thoughts, and then I struggled to admit them and heal.   

My lowest point happened in 2018. I sat in a parking lot for 20 minutes or an hour or three hours. I have no idea. All I remember is being afraid to go home to an empty house. I connected with the part of Dotty Duke’s story I told in yesterday’s blog post. She thought her family would be better off without her. Since I didn’t see an end to my depression, it made sense to end my life. 

Neither my daughter nor I know how she knew or why she reacted the way she did, but she called that night when I finally returned home. We were on the phone less than 10 seconds when she started to cry. 

“Please don’t leave us. If you need to pack your car and go to California like you’ve always joked about, do it,” she said, “but please don’t go away so we can never see you again.” 

A couple of weeks later, on August 13th, I marked on my calendar “a turn of events.” I didn’t know what that even meant except I felt more stable than I had in years. I had energy after feeling dead for more than a decade. And it happened on the 13th anniversary of my dad’s death, which seemed significant. 

After facing death and dying some to myself (like every single one of us has to do in some way on some day), God began raising me up … the same as He wants to do for all of us. 

In This Together,

Parts of this story are excerpts from a blog post I wrote in 2019.

FYI: I’m blogging my book titled On The Other Side of Trying Hard: Healing, Happiness, and Holiness. Because these blog posts are a manuscript instead of stand-alone stories, some posts may leave you hanging. I hope you’ll hang in here with us anyway ‘cause a happy ending is coming. My blog post title includes the chapter title first. The phrase in parentheses is the subheading. I’m over-the-top grateful to have you here. I’d love to hear your reflections, questions, and comments.

I have something for you!


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