I am a mother who never ever thought I would be fighting to end this ugly epedemic called bullying that took our sweet, caring, wonderful son from us, Kenny Suttner. But here I am and will continue to try to make a difference in my sons honor.
As I sit and look back through my day, which I try to do every evening. Sometimes I can’t, it’s so hard but I know it helps when I do.
Today was a ” good” day! That meaning I didnt spend most of my day crying or hiding from life. Yes, sometimes I hide. I hide from real. The real truth that my son is gone. Somewhere I can not get to. To me that’s torture. I hide from all the pain that comes with knowing I will not see him today, tomorrow, or ever again until I get to where he is. That is the torture I wake up to every single day.
Today was no different than any other day. I can not explain why today was a day I felt ok. Ok enough to clean, take a shower, go to town with my husband and son and take our dog for a ride, I dont know why some days are more bearable than others. I wish I knew. But days like today are so refreshing. Like a breathe of air was aloud in my lungs that had been denied, a splash of color in a dark existance… and it is amazing and weird at the same time.
How can I feel happiness?! That is a constant war within myself that I can not win. Guilt.
May be it’s not meant to be a win or lose. Right or wrong. Grieving is so personal. Having 3 living children, I feel like I failed as a parent more so now than at any time in raising our four young children at such a young age myself. When your children are young you can protect them, shelter and bubble them from as much harm as possible. As they get older you lose a little here, a little there, to where your gripping onto anything you can to keep your child young and safe. I lost. And it hurts every day.
I look up at the clear sky at night, the big dipper so clearly sitting right on top of me and I know somewhere my son’s named star exist and I pray upon it. I pray he helps my heart understand all the why’s that plague me.. my heart, our lives. I trust one day our son will allow us that. I know he feels my love.. he has too.. I spend most of my energy to make sure of it, through prayer.
My job as his momma never ended and never will. I am his, he is mine to always protect and shield. He is my Angel.
After a wrestless nights sleep I awoke to a beautiful sunny day. But my heart feels so heavy. I can not let go of witnessing such cruelty spread by words, it shook me to my core. My voice silenced. My work haulted. My faith rocked.
For over three years now I have advocated #BEKIND#ITSEASY and raised awareness on the harm of bullying others. The detrimental long term effects it has on ones soul. I’ve done this feverishly in hopes of being able to create some change in people’s hearts.
In recent events I’ve been made aware by actions and words that not even those closest to me get the message and it is so disheartening. Why do I put myself out there telling my son’s story if no one gets it. I know change takes time and may be I’m naive in thinking I could soften even the hardest hearts. But I did. And I feel defeated.
I will never understand how it comes so easily for some to be cruel, demeaning and judgmental. How can they sleep at night knowing someone else is hurting because of them? Where is the compassion for another human being?
Lost and bewildered. I will eventually regain my composure and keep moving forward in this fight of kindness verses cruel but some days it’s so hard.
With love, hugs, and understanding, Angie… Kennybugs momma!
My son was the walking, talking, poster child for kindness.
Yes most of us can say that, but my child was special. Why? Because he had every reason to turn hard to this world and the people around him.. he could have retaliated and fought back the bully’s who sought him out. He could have.. but he didn’t. He didn’t have a mean bone in his body. No matter the amount of hurt, sadness, confusion.. not understanding what he did to be treated so different, he never let it deminish the light in his heart. His soul was so bright and loving and he stood tall and strong as long as he could.
I have had to as his mother remind myself this over and over again. When I see a similar situation taking place I want to be the voice for that person, family.. I want to stand in front of them and say NO… You will not terrorize this child. I want to be that body in-between hurt and cruelty. Stop it in it’s tracks. But I am one person. One little lady and can not do it alone. That’s why I use my words.
Words will enter a willing mind and heart and perhaps create change.. being confrontational will not help. But it is hard. It’s hard to bare witness and feeling helpless, limited to what I can do. I am always willing to help as much as I can.. that’s what I do now. My time, mind, heart.. I’m all in. I’ve lost a lot of people in my life and more here lately because I can not relate to them anymore. I can not condone violence in any form. Words, actions, destruction.. it saddens me to my very core. Removing myself from so many people is my ill attempt to protect my heart… If I allow this world to harden my heart I can not help others who need to hear they are not alone.
No I’m not hiding from the problems, the world. Just the means at which people hide.. tough behind screens and misuse the greatest tool of all.. social media. If not for platforms we would never be heard. But so many abuse the ability to use it wisely. To help. To ease fears. To give hope. To keep people together. Instead it’s a tool to demean and belittle and that goes against who I am.
I pray for so much. As we all do and my hopes are high.. may kindness win!
Love, hugs and understanding.. always Angie..Kennybugs Momma!
When I think of my son, he is my light, my beakon to which I aspire to be.
This little light of mine I’m going to let it shine.. let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.
Kenny has been gone for 3 years and 5 months.. some days it feels like yesterday while others feel like eternity. I’ve mentioned before how time doesn’t seem the same since our son passed away, the days all mesh together. I have a hard time realizing that this year is already almost half way over. Where does the time go??? I feel older now. Time keeps flying by, like a fast forward button got pushed. With twinges of life creeping into my body I also feel more aches. As if to waken from a 3 year sleep. Stiff and deflated. I feel a change coming and I pray it’s good.
Change is something I loath at this stage in my life. I do not like it.. I’ve had enough change to last me a life time. I am content in my little bubble of quiet, simple, non confrontational existance. My once fierce, love for adventure has dulled inside of my now panicky anxious self. But I’ve grown accustomed to my new self. Safe, secure, weiry of those things that can hurt. I steer clear of the what ifs that life can throw at me because I have enough that fill my head.
My new normal may be called a rut to others but it’s where my survival mode has sustained me. And out of fear of a set back, here I will remain until my mind and body decide it’s time to pick up and move forward to uncomfortable waters, unknown reactions, and possiblity. Not quite a coward but not strong either. I balance in between life and lingering in existance. But I am here.
With love, hugs and understanding! May we all find peace wherever we are in our journey.
This caught my attention today in a big big way. It’s a beautiful picture and the saying, like a bell, rang so loud for me.. it is very true!
My memories before December 21, 2016 are clear, crisp, like new.. I can remember dates, places and events like it was yesterday.. ask me what I did 4 days ago and I may or may not recall. It is like a time difference that I can not quite explain. The days seem to mesh together.
Fighting for normal, one day at a time. Remembering time can not be moved or taken back. I keep moving forward while holding on tight to my yesterdays, they are my memories with my son. They say time heals all wounds.. not true. They say never look back your future is ahead of you, yes but my son is back there. Not everything is as simple as it sounds.
When nature offers a warm ray of sunshine, a beautiful song just for you from gods creatures, unseen, but you know they are there. Birds, frogs, the trees swaying.. it all culminates into a peaceful tune. With the creek gently flowing by it brings you calmness. The air feels new, smells like earth and fills your lungs with purity. Spring.
Spring sprinkles a ray of hope for all, it’s full of new beginnings, new growth and so much beautiful transformation everywhere you look. The array of colors, the hummingbirds are back for their months long stay, baby birds are getting their feathers and soon frolicking fawns will be seen. It is all so lovely and amazing. To stop and smell the flowers and take in all Gods wonderful sprinkles of happiness that come with the season. I feel blessed to witness this each year.
I stop and admire each of Springs sunsets, each so different, special and priceless. I take in all of Springs blessings because my son can’t. Kenny can no longer experience all of the wonders the simple country life we live have to offer and for him I will never take it for granted again. When a butterfly lands on my shoulder I think of my son, when an eagle soars over the house I think of my son.. my son is everywhere because I think of him in all the beauty of nature.
With sadness and grief we are allowed to feel happiness nomatter how far and in between it may be.
Sometimes it seems as though the sadness, anger, desperation and heartache I am feeling can be read on my face and goes from mind to words very easily…sometimes it stays bottled up nice and tight. So many feelings all the time, mixed and matched with whatever the day brings. With a raw heart and open wounds, I forget to stop and express my thanks to those who have kept me going since we lost our Kennybug. I am extremely grateful and forever indebted to so many whose support and care have been invaluable to me during the last 3 years and (almost) 5 months without my child. The kindness that has been shown to us comes from all parts of this world and is truly humbling and a profound honor to know that now and for always our Kenny touched the lives and hearts of many. Kenny left behind the legacy of pure kindness. Those who knew Kenny, even if they only met him one time, remember our son. I’ve been told that over and over again. With Kenny’s after school job he had many customers who remembered him by his smile and the stand up kindness he bestowed upon them. That is a gift! There have been many many more who never even met our son but instead saw a picture of our son in the many media outlets, read an article or heard about him on the radio have said that they instantly felt heartbroken for Kenny, for us, and felt compelled to reach out to me. What a gift! Most comment on Kenny’s eyes and how you could see straight to his kind soul and they just felt connected to him. What a gift!
All of the things we knew and loved so deeply about our son.. the world sees, the world listened to Kenny’s story and cares for Kenny as well. I think in part because Kennybugs story was so unheard of and was considered unprecedented at the time and for the first time people from everywhere could see that my child could very easily be anyone’s child, in the sense that here we were a family with a normal everyday life, working, loving, happy family and this happened to our son and our family, that meant it could happen to anyone. I think Kenny’s story and those that have stuck with us through this journey have been able to help in the spread of Awareness and Prevention. With the “We Roar For KennyBug! #BEKIND #ITSEASY” initiative it has helped children and adults have a voice. A platform to which they can stand and say this is happening to my child or themselves. To help. What a gift! If Kenny would want anything… it would be to help others. I am blessed to be his momma, it is my job to continue to try to help as many as possible through Kenny’s story.
The care and support we recieve helps us tremendously, it reminds us constantly that kindness will prevail. We have recieved some of the most treasured of gifts. Drawings of Kenny done by fantastic talented artists. Thoughtful cards. Endless messages of thoughts and prayers that provide me strength. Just amazing kindness that is so unexpected but so much appreciated. It helps so much knowing we are not alone.
A 5th grade class from California made a book about Bullying and dedicated it to Kenny. It is one of my most treasured gifts. Priceless and means so much. A group of young children heard my sons story and set out to help spread the importance of kindness and acceptance. What a gift!
A soldier who was overseas sent us a U.S. flag that had been flown over the headquarters in Baghdad in honor of our Kenny. MSG. Michael Sass made sure I recieved it from overseas. With it was a wonderful letter and a certificate with Kenny’s name to commemorate our son. All while fighting for our county, he took the time to let our family know he cared. What a gift! We will never beable to thank him enough. It is priceless and will always be treasured.
I will never beable to express to each and every single person who deserves a Thank You! Our family and friends are wonderful and irreplaceable to us. They have struggled with us and we help each other through each day. What a gift!
It helps to stop and remember all the things to be thankful for and to allow some of that joy to be felt. Tell our loved ones that we love them, and often.. that we appreciate them and all they do. Give credit where credit is due and thanks where gratitude resides because without the loyal love and support of those around us we would be lost. Thank you!
With Love, hugs and understanding.. here’s to hoping for a good day today. Some joy while we remember our angel children, a smile, a laugh.
Today, May 10th 2020 Mark’s the 4th Mother’s Day with KennyBug in Heaven. Our angel. The missing link in my everyday. A part of my heart, mind and soul is with Kenny today, like all days but today more so than others. I find the despair in my heart growing as the day progresses.
What I wouldnt give to hear his sweet voice say with so much love and legit happiness ” Happy Mother’s Day Momma” with a specially made card and some fresh beautiful flowers from my all my boys, that’s what I miss. Seeing all their faces, feeling each of their individual hugs, each so different, each my pride and joys. I miss those days so much. It’s what so many take for granted. You never imagine one day you’ll spend a Mother’s Day without all your children, never. Every other thought goes out in a prayer to your angel child, closing your eyes for a moment pushing all your love as far up to Heaven as you can to reach your child. To have them feel your love, to know they are always in your thoughts, especially today. For our child you will always be and celebrated on this day, grateful for the day God gave me you. Being a mother 4 times over I’ve been blessed.. and he blessed me with 17 years with Kenny by my side to celebrate this day. Now I have to learn each day, each month, each holiday to get through the best I can.
I will spend this Mothers Day doing the best I can. Loving each of my children. I pray they all know my love is forever. I pray that they always know there are no boundaries and that my heart beats for them.
My Mother’s Day prayer for all of us! Those of us who are missing our child I pray we can all find some peace today knowing that our Angel’s are always with us.. when we remember them, a moment in time, we keep them close and they will always be alive in our thoughts.
With Love, hugs and understanding Happy Mother’s Day, from one grieving parent to another.
In the still of the night I sit after a long shower, as hot as I could take it as if to wash all the sadness off of me, to ease the panic in my head and the pounding in my heart. The night hours are hardest for me.
I don’t sleep well at night. During the day I can sleep a little here and there but at night not often at all. The night brings out different emotions, thoughts and it is torture that has come to be like groundhog day. Over and over again I find myself up, alone, with to much on my mind. It’s the silence that allows me time to think. If I cry I dont have to hide it. I can look through pictures of Kenny and not worry about making anyone else sad. I can walk outside in the middle of the night and wish upon my sons named star ” Kennybugs” star and talk to him if I want to and not look insane. If I want to write, I can without distraction, night time is my friend and enemy. My family makes jokes about my room being my bat cave during the day.. kinda true. I dont “hide” there but it is my safe zone. It’s where I go when there is to much noise, to much staring back at me that needs to be done and where I go to recharge my thresh hold. Although I maintain some sort of normal on a daily bases. Clean on days that my body agrees, hang out on my porch when the weather is nice, take rides with my husband around the farm but mostly my bat cave is where you’ll find me. My children and husband all come in and surround the bed and we talk, catch up, do homework, laugh and tell jokes like any other family, just not around a dinner table, like most.
I dont have many friends but the ones I do have are great, supportive and always offer an ear, shoulder, and it means so much but I haven’t seen them in a long time. Months before Covid-19. I have met so many kind caring supporters through Kenny’s memorial FB page that I call friends and they are all such gifts in my life. I am so grateful. I am blessed with some amazing family, my inlaws are wonderful people/friends. We get together as often as we can but that hasn’t been possible for awhile. My circle is small but meaningful. I’m not a phone talk person, texting.. sometimes. I have become horribly great at not returning texts. Forgetful, avoidance, procrastination and selfishness keeps me bottled up to myself. And I’m quite a pro at it. But I appreciate each and every one of them whole heartedly.
I give out no false impressions that I handle my grief healthy or right. I dont pretend to be the best wife, mother or friend that I could be because I’m far from it. But what I do say is that I do try. I reach out to family and friends to just say Hi. I make a point to tell my youngest children several times a day that I love them so very much. My husband is so strong and takes on so much of a load to pick up my slack and to me he is irreplaceable… my rock and best friend… almost 22 years worth of living, growing up together, love, caring, raising 4 boys, struggling through life, coming so far from the two young kids we once were… we thought we had made our way through this world and there was nothing that could stand in our way. We had overcome so much. And then it all came to hault. Life as we knew it had ended. Our child died. It’s so hard to even write those words.
He died. He died. He died. In the early morning hours on Dec 21st, 2016. I have a hard time with the words ” died, dead, deceased” I use words like ” angel, passed way, left this world” they dont sound as final to me. I have learned these little mind games with myself to lessen the pain.
But the painful truth is our child died. We have had to learn how to be us. The wife and husband, momma and daddy, friend and family. We balance each other in the way we always have but in a much deeper form. When one of us is down and out the stronger one stands taller and carries the other until we get through the troubled waters. Only now those waters won’t reced and give us a break from the waves. They just keep beating us up against the rocks and with little time to heal before the next crash. My husband takes on the brunt and carries me way more than I do him. It’s not a difference between man and woman, mother or father, stronger or weaker.. it comes down to my husband doing what he sees needs to be done. I admire that so much about him. He grieves our son so much but he can do it and still maintain normal life. I wish I could do that. Maybe one day I will. I worry somedays that he will resent my inability to function normally.. I pray ( I am a praying lady) for strength daily. Not only so I can help myself but for my family. I know they miss me. The me I was. The mom I was. I miss her too. I dont know how to be her anymore when I am so broken and lost without all of my children. A mother needs all of her children.
I write this to help myself but to also let those going through something similar, struggles the same as I do.. the feelings, thoughts and depression… feeling alone, sadness and despair… the one thing that you are not is alone. You are not alone! I suspect sadly that many many have felt the way I do right now. I have found that it helps tremendously when I read about a parent who describes their grief and I can relate.. I know then that I am not alone or defective. There is no wrong or right way for us to grieve our children. It’s a journey that we all must take unwillingly… kicking, screaming and crying our way through it and it helps to share. I hope in some small way I have helped you. The sun will rise, the birds will sing and the world will be consumed with what’s new while we stay somewhere in the past existing in today’s world. But we are here. I will continue to tell my sons story and lash out against bullying and violence, I will keep moving forward the best I can for my son. As you will do for you and yours.