As my boi would always say, “Ain’t gonna lie…,” before unpacking what was on his mind, I ain’t gonna lie either… Today REALLY sucked!!! I did my honest-to-God best, but my attitude was definitely not the greatest—to say the least!!!!! I can handle hard work, chores, lists, tasks, and even problems to a degree—but small talk?!! Not today. Not this Mother’s Day, anyway…

Truth is hard for some to hear, and I cannot lie—AIN’T gonna lie!!! Today really sucked… but, I am used to sucky days by now. Sadly, when these days come, the numbness can manifest in ways that negatively affect those around me; harshness, indifference, and lack of sensitivity come spilling forth from my mouth and actions. Even expressions of happiness or joy belie the pain that resides within this shell of me. It is not my intention, but there are many moments when I truly cannot feel ANYTHING beyond this aching heart I carry around day-in and day-out for longer than I can even remember….

Petty, shallow conversation is something my brain cannot even process right now; it simply turns to confusion and is instantly dismissed as irrelevant subject matter in my mind. I cannot focus on details that do not relate in some shape or form to the weightier matters I shelter from sight. It is wasted energy to me when I am diverted from these deeper thoughts, and I even feel annoyed that someone or something might dare intrude upon my sacred space with senseless frivolity. I have not the energy…

After attending what felt like an incredibly intense and miserably long few hours at church (because I was struggling to not cry amidst all the beaming, happy mothers), I retreated to the quiet peacefulness of my home, spending the remainder of my day there alone with my sweet girl, Maya.

She had fallen asleep beside me on the couch… The windows were open to the outside breeze, and the neighbor’s Mother’s Day barbecue music was turned up loudly enough for all to hear. I sat there for quite some time with only my thoughts and my maté—trying with all my might to not feel sorry for myself… Nevertheless, the tears came in torrents, and even quite effortlessly.

Maté time is magical!!!

As I struggled to choke down the self-pity, and pull myself together, I noticed something incredibly special happening… It came from the loud music playing next door—a timely message from a sweet angel boy!!! However, this was not altogether a message from my sweet angel boi, it was the favorite song of my dear friend Lora’s son, Kacey! They played it at his funeral fourteen years ago; he was only thirteen years young at the time. His song was “Amarillo Sky” by Jason Aldean. (click here to listen) (click here for lyrics)

I remember that day vividly… And I also remember the agonizing pain in his father’s eyes as I shook his hand in the emergency room the day of the tragic accident—telling him to “hang in there.” I had no idea then that, someday, those words would be my own daily grind… The unspeakable devastation that family endured, and the nightmare they survived, were beyond what I was even capable of comprehending at that time, and yet, I ached sooo deeply for them. Everyone that knew them, and their bright, beautiful, and kind young man, Kacey, was utterly heartbroken, but few would EVER comprehend the depth of their own anguish…

Kacey Gene Mumm (May 5, 1994-December 9, 2007)

When my Josie was suddenly killed in a tragic car accident five years ago, I looked to the example of my dear friend, Lora, for direction… How did she ever survive such a tragedy?!!! How did she do it?!!!!! Her stalwart courage in moving forward in her life was beyond admirable; not only was she left to cope with the trauma of her precious baby boy’s death, but much like me, she also had to look beyond her own brokenness in order to continue being the mother that Kacey’s twin brother, Ronnie, and little sister, Maranda, still desperately needed and deserved!!!!!

I do not know exactly how she did it, but in my own desperate search for “how to do this,” she became my hero overnight, and I have since then looked to her as a source of strength and comfort. It is too easy to check-out in these circumstances, but she did not do that—and I did not want to do it either!!! To this day, my friend Lora and I share a bond and connection that all “loss” parents share—whether we know each other personally or not!

When Julian was killed three months ago (still feels like last night…), she received a special visit from my angel boi. He had a few messages for her—one of which was to let his momma know that he was okay!!! I am not exactly sure why he chose Lora to deliver this message to me, but I have a suspicion it is because of the bond we share, and also her willingness to “hear” what he needed to communicate; it might also have quite a bit to do with Kacey!!!!! She came to my home a few weeks after Julian’s passing with a beautiful plaque she had made. The poem on it was partially copied from one shared with her after Kacey’s passing, but she had tweaked the phrasing a bit to represent my two angels. Words cannot express the tender moments she and I shared that day…

The plaque Lora made for me.

When I heard Kacey’s song on Mother’s Day, it was only natural that I would share with Lora what had just happened! Neither of us believed in coincidence—not after all we have seen and experienced!!!!! I immediately texted her to share how Kacey’s song had just come on the radio blaring next door—precisely when I needed it most!!! She responded quickly, telling me that she believed he was trying to help me! We were both incredibly strengthened and filled with warmth, knowing that our children are near and aware of our struggles.

My text message to Lora

I felt an immensely beautiful calm after that. My angels’ presence was so completely full of love and grace—even though I am such an incredibly imperfect soul!!! Peace flooded my heart, and I was filled with strength and confidence that, just like the lyrics to Kacey’s song, I could take the tractor another round—even though it is monotonous and hard and extremely slow-going…

Later that night, as I continued to grapple with my heartache—even though I could feel their tremendous presence, I set to running in the field after finishing my chores… It was dark. The moon was out, and it was windy—very windy!!! It might have even been a bit scary for me in a different state of mind, but not this night…

I was hurting—sooo very badly. There was no cure. As I pushed through the thick dirt, the moon giving me just enough light to avoid the rocks and troughs, I embraced my pain. I now sobbed freely in the privacy of the darkness—out of sight… The more the running hurt, the better I felt. Back and forth, up and down the rows I weaved. I did not care how long it took, I would run until I could run no more…

As my miserable situation progressed, coupled with strong winds and dust, the dark night seemed to perfectly mirror my suffering and pain. It somehow allowed me to work through it—instead of ignoring or dismissing the surge of emotion. I continued to “plough” through these deep, dirt rows; they reminded me of trying to run on a sandy beach… Suddenly, I recalled the words to Kacey’s Song again—“he just takes the tractor another round…,” and somehow, for the first time in my life, I discovered I was literally running back and forth through a big dirt pasture in tractor-like fashion…

Kacey’s Song

How was it that my friend’s precious son was even cheering me on?!! Why did he take notice of me, or even care? There remained no doubt that his song was especially for me this day… I had loved him very much as a young man of thirteen when he was tragically killed, but I never would have guessed that he would come to my rescue one day—especially in this lowly state!!! Could it be because my own son had paid his momma a special visit with a message for me after he was killed? I cannot answer that; I only know that it happened.

I definitely do not understand all the ins and outs of how Heaven and angels operate; I just know that they do. The more I ponder this day, and the significance of my personalized message, I KNOW that I must keep going… That was precisely what they were trying to communicate to me.

As I continued back and forth, up and down the field, I drove my aching body and soul another round, and then another, and then another. As the words to the song go, “I never complain, I never ask why,” I will endeavor to make these precious angels proud of my efforts to keep pushing—always with great faith in the Lord that there is purpose in this tremendous sacrifice we now endure daily…

I feel deeply honored and privileged to have known Kacey. I cherish the memories I have of the young boy I once knew—always so respectful and kind-hearted. This song that was his is a tribute to all that Kacey stood for—hard work; love of God, country, and family; patience, honesty, resilience, and endurance… I have always thought of him as the epitome of an “all-American boy!!!”

It has become apparent that I have more angels than just my own two that have my back—especially when times are hardest!!! As they all coach me along, I hold them with the utmost respect… Surely, they know what is what in these matters of Heaven and Earth!!! Their eyes have seen what we still cannot…

It is tempting to want to park my tractor, but I know the only way forward still involves some very deep digging. How many rounds I have left to travel is a question without difinitives… I will simply have to keep on ploughing through until I get to the end…

This tractor is just getting started…

Never complaining—never questioning.

I, too, pray the Lord will never allow my dreams to run dry…

3 thoughts on “Another Round

  1. One thing for sure Michelle, one who has not lost a child cannot understand the grief that you are going through. Thank you for sharing a little piece of your broken heart. I cannot even imagine. I so love that you share your visits from angels with us.

  2. Barb, thank you so much for taking the time to read my stories… It means more than you can ever know. I appreciate the encouraging comments as well—they give me courage and motivation to keep going!!! 🤍🙏🏼🤍🌈

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