Like a carousel, my mind spins around and around. Slowly. Not so fast as to feel sick but just enough to feel like I need to plant my feet firmly on the ground. Instead of beautiful, colorful horses, synchronized as they go round and around – my mind plays slideshows of birthday party memories, pictures of Kenny’s smiling face as we all sang “ Happy Birthday” for him. I can see his face so clear with his beautiful blue eyes that shined so bright when he smiled.. Kenny’s smile made you feel like you were special somehow.. it was said to me once that “Kenny’s smile was like a warm hello without him saying a word” and that’s very accurate!
As I’ve been feeling the anxiety and panic build in my chest and head. I close my eyes tight and plant my feet firmly and focus on my son’s wonderful smile. I will spend today weeping endlessly but I will do so and also smile because I will be thinking of Kenny’s smile!
With a broken heart I pray Kenny is remembered by many today and they spread kindness, tolerance and acceptance. Please Be Kind! It’s Easy!
With Love, hugs and understanding, Angela, KennyBugs Momma!
Parts of me will. Parts of me will remain behind. Each year a bit more of who I was stays. Maybe one day all those parts will come back together and I won’t feel so broken. A.S
Five years ago I was a blessed woman. I had my wonderful husband and four healthy, growing, happy, full of life children. Christmas was just days away, my favorite time of the year.. what more could a mother want for Christmas?
On this evening five years ago I would say goodnight to our second born son for the last time. I saw his face looking back at me, it’s still so clear in my mind. My son smiled and replied “ good night momma.” His handsome face and those words are etched in my mind. My minds-eye tries to read something in his eyes that I didn’t see, something.. anything to foresee that our son was about to exit this life. It’s a painful ritual my mind withstands.
What feels like an impending doom that starts in the pit of my stomach, then my heart, next my mind and finally my soul, all of which will play a role with the inner chaos that I am forced to endure. The months, weeks, days and now hours that lead up to the hour my son left this world and the day that I became drenched in this agonizing sadness. The day is written in stone, the day my son died 12-21-2016. Having four years past to rely on, on this fifth year angelversary of Kenneth Louis Suttner’s passing I will relive the death of my son all over again. The sweet memories that I cling to daily and all the priceless pictures that are my treasures will be my refuge. To remember our Kenny in the shining light that his soul so obviously contained is my gift and my blessing because he is my son.
I pray for the strength and will to get through December 21st and the days to follow with some grace. I pray for my husband and sons. I pray that we may all smile a bit more for Christmas and feel some joy. I pray that as Kenny watches over us that he is proud of us, even in our struggles. I pray for so much. More than anything I pray that Kenny feels our love always and knows how much we wish he was home.
Love, Angela, KennyBug’s Momma! 🦋 Remember our son today and everyday! Be Kind! It’s Easy! 🦋
Recently I have hit a slump. I stopped writing, reading and posting. Doesn’t sound like a big deal but the months of September and October mean so much to me because they are Suicide and Bullying Awareness and Prevention months and for the past four years I have worked hard to do my part to help make a difference. I am always seeking ways to spread awareness but these months are especially important and I just haven’t done my part these past couple months. Yes, I’m feeling very guilty. What happened? Well, I started to feel very insignificant. I’m one person, how much can my words really help? If anyone reads them at all. But today I’m back. Whether or not it resonates with anyone is up to them but I can and will continue to try and help all children feel just as important as the one sitting next to yours.
Last month I came across a article about a elementary teacher who had made a rule in her classroom that she believed would spare children from feeling left out, not good enough, friendless. A very simple rule of -please do not send party invites with your child to school to hand out in class- she then stated, I will not allow you to use my classroom to show who is popular and who is not. When I read the article I thought “ good for her!” THEN I read the comments and I was so angry. There were so many adults, PARENTS calling children “ TWINKIES, weak, soft, crybabies” for having feelings. These are children!! I was appalled. So much so I bawled. Why? Because these are the parents who are teaching their children not to care how their actions affect others and I am mad!!
Read that again.. adults, PARENTS calling children “ TWINKIES”.
No, not everyone deserves a trophy.. as so many parents made the comparison, which is ridiculous. To compare a trophy for accomplishing something to an invite to a birthday party for elementary children does not make sense to me. The two have nothing to do with the other. Maybe not every child “deserves” to be invited to your child’s party but EVERY CHILD does deserve to be treated with dignity. I just can not understand the mentality of these parents. Maybe their child is lucky enough to have tons of friends, never been left out, never been called names but that is not the case for so many children. My frustration comes from the simple question of “ Why would you want to make a child feel left out?” Why? As the adult you can simply do the invites for your child outside of school as the teacher asked and your child will still have a wonderful birthday party.. but to act as if this teacher was taking something away from your child, I just don’t get it. In reality she is ensuring all her students are treated equally, as they should be. Another parent remarked “ kids need to learn that not everyone will like them and to toughen up”. While I agree with part of this statement because I had to teach my bullied child that at a very young age.. it’s ok if not everyone likes you, but I do not agree that it means a child is weak in any way or a “Twinkie” for having feelings, for being sad. In what kind of world are we living in that it’s acceptable to teach young children your weak for being sad?? I guarantee that if any of those parents commenting had a child who was left out or had dealt with being bullied their mindset would be very different. Elementary school years are the formative years where children are learning the fundamentals which includes socializing. Teach kindness, acceptance and tolerance. For God sake don’t teach your children it’s a weakness to have feelings.
To combat the ones who will say “ Why should my child have to invite your child if they don’t want to?” this is for you.. because if that’s the question you have on this topic you have completely missed the point. Your child doesn’t have to invite a child if they don’t want to. The point is.. it doesn’t belong in the classroom. If you as an adult have the opportunity to spare a child from feeling left out, I hope you take it.. I hope that you would consider “ what if that was my child?” School years are hard enough for children!
So honored to have a nationally known expert publish an article in a national professional journal called Rethinking Behavior and included our son, Kenny Suttner and his story. Our son continues to help change policy, procedure, awareness and prevention surrounding mental health and bullying in our schools!
It’s so nice to look outside and see bright green grass, finally! This winter seemed so very long and I’ve struggled to make my way through it. The winter season is so hard for us to get through emotionally. My book release was in October, Kenny’s angelversary is December 21st, then Christmas, and Kenny’s Birthday is January 14th, along with other dates in the winter months that bring about so many emotions. It’s so hard. Among health issues I’ve dealt with some pretty heavy depression.. it’s been the worst I’ve lived with since losing our son 4 years 3mo ago. I can’t explain why this year has been the worst, It just is. My – give a damn- has been busted for months now and I just exist. It’s exhausting, painful and some days debilitating but I’m making my way through. I know that there is a light at the end of this tunnel. I’ve learned through 4 years living in grief that these dwells of depression come and go. It’s not a place to stay but to get through.
It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything. I finished the book I wrote in honor of Kenny with the help of a great friend in October 2020. I felt this urgent need to tell his story to help those who have or are currently being bullied, I want them to know they are not alone. I wanted the world to know our son for who he was, what he stood for and what he went through. I also wanted to help those who live with grief. I accomplished my goal and finished the book; Where The Trail Ends: The Kenny Suttner Story and is available through Amazon. It was extremely difficult to write and some days I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to finish it. What kept me writing was the hope that Kenny’s story could save one child.. if only one child, then it would be worth the time and tears that went into my sons book. I have immense pride in telling the world about my son.. how wonderful he was, how irreplaceable he is.
Once the book released I felt this overwhelming decompression in my body like the biggest exhale.. relief, finality.. put the pen down, done feeling and just felt like I needed to let my mind rest. Wrangle back in all my thoughts, feelings, experiences and reorganize them in my being again to function. To write the book I had to be in constant connection with all my thoughts and emotions, the good the bad, the happy the sad and it was so much more draining than I imagined it was going to be. As hard as it was I am extremely glad that I accomplished this goal for Kenny.
Although it’s been a long hard winter I am here still. I am still Roaring against bullying and still telling my sons story to help others. I am looking forward to spring being in full swing.. flowers, butterflies and walks on the farm. The light at the end of the tunnel!
Relish in your precious memories.. hold on tight and let them bring you some joy! ❤️
January fourteenth! Today twenty-two years ago our miracle baby came into this world. Straight from the arms of God to ours. We felt so blessed to call him ours. Kenneth Louis was and always will be our proof that miracles do happen.
I woke up with that instant feeling of sadness in the pit of my stomach, eyes that started to rain tears before I could fully wake up and my heart hurt with extra pain with each thump. “My baby’s birthday” was my instant thought as I lifted my head from my pillow. A surge of emotions filled my body. Thoughts and memories made my head spin. My mind was wanting to remember every seventeen years of birthdays we had with Kenny, to replay the day he was born over and over again all while screaming inside from the reality that this is the fourth year I have not been able to hug my son on his special day. How can this be?
It’s hard to explain how you can have so many emotions going on at once but yet feel like you’ve zoned out, empty, a living shell for all the pain to grow. At this moment I feel like screaming out so loud to God – GIVE ME MY SON BACK- if only for today! Please….
I’m angry.. he should be here! He deserves this day to be showered with gifts, a cake, hugs and blessings from those who love him so very much! He deserves so much.
As I sit with my sorrow, in the silence, alone.. all I hear is the beautiful sounds of my wind chime that this blustery day is playing for me. How fitting that the sounds to comfort me come from something so simple. When I go to sit with Kenny graveside his wind chime always plays for me there as well, even on days with little to no wind. I choose to believe that it’s my baby saying “ I’m here Momma.. I’m here”!
Although we are denied the joy of being with our son, brother, nephew, cousin, friend today, I imagine Kenny surrounded by loved ones and they are giving him a perfect heavenly birthday party! While a part of me feels comforted with that thought, the reality is I’m jealous beyond words. I will have my own pity party today because the angels get to be with my son and I don’t. It’s utterly unfair. It feels as if I am missing out on the most wonderful party.. also knowing one day I will receive my invite. Reunited with our son!!
Until then I’ll be sending all my love to Kenny on his birthday through prayers and remembering all I can today. I’ll cry and smile and cry again while looking at pictures. I’ll miss him so terribly today like every day before and all those to come.
Remember our Kennybug today and spread kindness today for his birthday gift!
HAPPY HEAVENLY BIRTHDAY OUR SWEET KENNYBUG!! WE LOVE YOU SO VERY MUCH!
My book detailing our sons story is available paper back and now Kindle on Amazon! Thank you for all your continued support and care! Our prayers and hopes are to help one child/person who has or is enduring bullying. Your not alone!
I wrote this one day not long ago when I was trying to describe to someone how life is day to day grieving our son and I couldn’t find the words. This is as close as I can get to explaining my days.
Like walking into a brick wall while I walk from the kitchen to my bedroom when suddenly a flash of an image of Kenny pops in my head, my son is laying on the snowy ground. Lifeless. Instantly I hear myself scream in my head. So very loud. Over and over. I cover my ears, close my eyes and shake my head in desperation to pray this moment in time away from my mind. God help me! My baby is gone! Any bit of stable my mind had felt before that split second disappears and the panic takes over. It stops you in your tracks. Grabs control and once again you sit in a daze. The worst day of your life smacks you in the face. You sink internally into a pit of sadness and there you’ll stay. For awhile. Maybe a day. Maybe a week. It will feel like the moment you knew your child was gone all over again. And again. And again. Life being stuck on replay. The war that takes place in the mind, the battle to control the flashes of memories is exhausting. What I wouldn’t do to only remember the good.
Then with faith, prayer and with the strength that you pull from anywhere you can, happiness will slowly begin to enter your heart again. Happy memories will play in your mind. The love you have for your family will pull you out of that despair. You can sit once again and think of your child and smile just picturing their smile, even if your thoughts are accompanied with tears at least your feeling anything but pure sadness.
The battle you just fought within your mind won’t be seen. The exhaustion your left with won’t be understood. But there it’ll be waiting for you. Rest your mind. You will feel a bit renewed, fix yourself up, make a big dinner for your family, get out more. The good days! Then Bam! Brick wall again.
It’s now the 21st of December and the fourth year that my son has been in heaven. Today is Kenny’s Angelversary. God help me.. how have I survived another year with this pain? One thousand, four hundred and sixty one days since I’ve seen my son. Pure agony.
I’ve been asked many times how I get through the days. Holidays. Special occasions. There is no real answer. Each year has been different. In many ways harder, in some minor ways we have learned to find some joy. Today is not one of those days. The dread starts to build as the days get closer to this date, usually starts with the first sign of fall. I then know the 21st of December is approaching. This the hour that our sons heart stopped beating is torture.. I’m panicked, grief stricken, in a daze all at the same time. Each emotion overpowering as I wish so hard with all my might to turn back time. To have that window of time to stop our son from leaving this world. What I wouldn’t do for that wish. Our family whole again. Getting through this day is hard enough then we have to get through Christmas! Our family’s favorite holiday has turned into the saddest time of the year. Through prayer and faith we remain. Together our family does the best we can.
Your not alone if your struggling through the Christmas season missing your child. The sadness is so heavy. I pray we all are able to feel even the smallest spark of the Christmas spirit, I wish that for us all!