Guest Post: A Readers Story by Renee T.

7:17 AM

My name is Renee and this is my story:

At the age of 19 I was told I wouldn't have children, because I had some female issues. I married at 23 and had my one and only son Tyler at the age of 26. When Tyler was 6 months old I started having these attacks that I felt that I couldn't breath and had a feeling of doom and like I was going to die. I was very scared. Needless to say my husband did nothing to try to help me, neither did my sisters. They told me I just needed to get out and get a job. I was so consumed with what was going on with me that I was unable to take care of my son.
I finally called my dad and step-mom and my dad came and got Tyler and I. My step-mom took me the next day to have me evaluated and they admitted me to the hospital for severe depression and panic attacks. After getting out of the hospital, I had to learn to cope and deal with this illness that had taken over my life. After many different types of medication, they finally found some that worked for me. All of my family felt guilty after me coming back home. My sisters and I were always close and this made my feelings a little different for them at that moment, knowing that they didn't believe anything was wrong.
My older sister and I were pregnant at the same time and our kids were born only 3 months and 22 days apart.I guess I inherited this from my mom. My dad and her divorced my senior year of High School after 34 years of marriage and she had a nervous break down, so I guess God meant for this to happen to me. I have always been strong, but this was so taking over my life.I could not do the things I could and couldn't do anymore. 
My son was my miracle baby and meant everything to me and more. I slowly got better and got out and into the working world again. I worked and saved money and moved out with Tyler when he was only 3. I worked 2 jobs to make it. It sure wasn't easy, but it was worth it. Hid dad and I did get back together to try to make it work because of Tyler, but things were never right. It hurt me so bad that he didn't believe anything was wrong with me and I heard all the time, "Things will be different", but they weren't.
I met my husband John, when Tyler was 5 and he is the greatest man I could have asked for. We put his daughters and my son together and made a family. Some of my family didn't approve, they thought it was all my fault. But, you know what, they didn't have to live with my ex and had no idea what was going on. John and I lived together for almost 9 years before we married, we both had been married and wanted to make sure it was going to work.
My family finally accepted  the fact that I was going to be with him no matter what they thought. My older sister and I grew a lot closer and our kids were like twins. Tyler and Alise were like 2 peas in a pod and they fought like siblings. In 2000 my older sister was diagnosed with breast cancer (she was 38). The kids were only 6 then. She went through chemo and radiation, had a surgery to remove one of her breast, but it was too late. It had spread into other parts of her body.
She passed away in May of 2002 at the age of 40, with a 20 year old son and an 8 year old daughter. I didn't know if I was going to make it through losing her, but I did and it will soon be 11 years that she has been gone, but the hurt never goes away.
Then in April of 2005 my mom was headed to our house and she has a heart attack and a stoke and totaled her car. She survived that and was in ICU for 6 days. She came home and her health just kept getting worse. My husband and I took her to the doctor and went to her apartment everyday. There were about 5 times we had to have the ambulance to come get her, because of trouble breathing. We knew something just wasn't right.
We had her admitted to a better hospital where they discovered that she had 4 blocked arteries and one of the valves going to her heart was leaking. They said they had some of the top Heart surgeons and talked to my mom about doing surgery She decided to go through with the surgery in September. They told us the surgery would take approx. 5 hours. 9 1/2 hours went by and no one would give us answers, so I went to the surgery floor of the hospital demanding answers about my mom.
Finally about an hour later she came out of surgery, she was on a ventilator and they said this was normal. They told us she would be on it for 2 days and taken off. Well almost 2 1/2 weeks went by and not off the ventilator and they asked my younger sister and I if we wanted her put on a feeding tube also. My mom was a very strong lady and still working up until the time she had her accident. She had already made up a living will saying that she wanted NO kind of life support what so ever. We knew this is not what she would want. We had a lot of discussions with the doctors and they said it was just taking her a little longer because she was a small woman.
Bull, I didn't believe this one bit and neither did my sister or our husbands. She had a lung doctor that came in to see her everyday and my sister and I finally confronted him and asked him if our mom that we LOVED so very much was going to get better. He stated to us that she would probably never recover. Finally someone that was honest! My birthday was soon coming up and we had a talk with our mom to find out what she wanted, which we already knew. We asked her if she was ready and she shook her head yes. So we knew it was time for her to go HOME, to be with God and with our grand parents.
We chose to take her off all the life support at 10:00am on October 29th, which was my birthday. She lived until 10:00am the following day. When she coded and we knew it was her, my sister and I both collapsed to the floor. My dad was there with us, at this time when we really needed him and he sat down and held my sister and I. 
I lost my sister and my mom within a 4 year span. It was so hard. I would catch myself dialing my mom's phone number to tell her I loved her and see how her day was going. If anyone says that the pain goes away in time, they are lying to you. I still think of my mom and sister every single day and remember all the good times and wonder if there was something I should have done different. I had to take the advice I sought from God and do what he wanted me to do.
So my son will be 20 on November 28th. He is now in his own apartment and works 2 jobs. He has been working since he was 16. He chose not to go to college and that is something I stood behind because I totally believe in him. He is very responsible. As I have seen him grow up and become the young man that he is, makes me realize that I am getting older. Sometimes it scares me.
The moral to this story is to LIVE~ LOVE~LAUGH and enjoy your life while you have it, because it can be gone in an instant. Trust and believe in God that he will see you through the most horrible things.

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