Archive for May, 2014


 Keegan, I know that you always appreciated what you had, complained little, lived a lot, smiled enormously, and were thankful for the life you were given for as long as it was given to you.

It’s always tough month for me this time of year (May, that is). My heart splits open every May and tries to heal throughout the year. About the time I think I’m solid again, May rolls around, and my heart splits yet again. Each time it splits a different way, so the healing is haphazard and uneven and scarred, but it is a healing in its own way. However, I always do carry on and have an awesome life.

I’m sure some of my readers wonder what I am referring to, but those that know me already know where I’m going with this since they know that Keegan, my 2nd child, my child who died now 13 years ago, was born February 29, 1984 (yes, Leap Day). February is always a bittersweet month also. I’m thrilled to have had him the short time I did, but I hate that he isn’t still here. May is tough because he was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis on May 5, 1984, and he died on May 30, 2001.  This year it seems different though, perhaps because it’s been 13 years and he always felt 13 was his lucky number.

Having one child dead too young has already ripped up my heart. February and May are months particularly hard on me.  Keegan was a light to all that knew him. He was particularly a light to his brother and sister. We all lost a piece of our souls when he died.

His older brother has a different sort of temperament with an intelligence and intellectual light within him that is amazing at times. I have teased him and told him that he is my own personal Sheldon Cooper. Only those that have ever watched “The Big Bang Theory” will understand my reference.

His younger sister has a grace and a presence about her that draw people to her.  She has a love for people that is second to none and a drive to better herself more than most anyone else I know.

In any event, it would be a huge loss to the world should anything happen to either of them, as both have a sheer brilliance that can be mind-boggling at times. That coupled with their deep-seated loving and emotional natures are true gifts, but they both have their own challenges to face that often stymie me beyond belief.  As their mother, I wish I could make their lives easier, but I know that I can’t as we must all follow our own roads and paths and twists and turns that life provides us.  We are all accountable for what we ourselves do in life not only to ourselves but also to others.  It’s just part of the big picture.

In any event, because of all of that, I worry that another child of mine will die too young, and my heart will be ripped up even more.  I know that’s an irrational fear at times, but I fear the loss of their special light.  I dread the nightmares, the nightmares I still have from Keegan’s death, the nightmares that say … “what did you do wrong? what could you have done to stop it? why? how? what?” … even when I am well aware it isn’t my fault.

I guess no one other than another mother whose child has died can understand that grief and that pain and that heaviness and those nightmares. Even if I can’t control the life of my children like I could when they were little, and even if I don’t understand how they might feel about certain issues, I will always and forever love them and can’t fathom having another dead child. Even saying that term hurts me more than anyone can possibly imagine.

I know not everyone will understand this post, but perhaps this post is just for me.  That’s ok, as the main purpose of this blog is to help me and/or to help Roy, so if it does that in any particular post, that’s great.  Nevertheless … if it helps someone else along the way … that’s even better, as our goals in life include leaving the world a better place by helping at least one person better handle their own day-to-day issues.

You know what, though? I really and truly do want to make a difference in other people’s lives!  Therefore, it nearly destroys me inside to know that I can’t always help my own children, some of the people I most want to help. This is, of course, their own life to lead and I accept that.  I truly do.  I merely want them happy and fulfilled in life, doing what they find most rewarding.

Perhaps another person will realize with this that they cannot be everything to everybody ever and that some people must find their own way … even if they are like me … the type of person that wants to be in control of situations around them and to take away the hurt of those they love.  If even knowing that helps someone, then that’s a good thing.

I’d give my life for the people in my life I love the most … my spouse, my children, my family, my good friends

As a mother, though, I can feel ripped up inside, because I fear having another dead child. 

Today, on the 13th anniversary of Keegan’s death, I think I fear that more than I fear dying myself.   






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“When you remember me,

If you remember me,

I hope you see

It’s not the way

I want it to be

Or I’d be with you now

But wherever you go,

My love goes with you.

Keep on smiling

Keep on shining

Even though you know you want to cry …

When you remember me,

If you remember me,

I hope you see

It’s not the way I want it to be

Or I’d be with you now,

But wherever you go,

My love goes with you.

I’ll be with you.

Keep believing.

Some things even time can’t come between …”

“If You Remember Me”; Chris Thompson






2.29.1984 (2:30 PM) to 5.30.2001 (5:47 AM)




We will always remember you, Keegan.

We couldn’t forget you if we tried.







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I sat and watched my middle child, my 2nd son, die 13 years ago tonight.

I sat up all night.



I miss you, Keegan.  It’s heavy on me tonight.



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“God Shuffled His Feet”

                                   Crash Test Dummies

After seven days

He was quite tired so God said:

“Let there be a day

Just for picnics, with wine and bread”

He gathered up some people he had made

Created blankets and laid back in the shade

The people sipped their wine

And what with God there, they asked him questions

Like: do you have to eat

Or get your hair cut in heaven?

And if your eye got poked out in this life

Would it be waiting up in heaven with your wife?

God shuffled his feet and glanced around at them;

The people cleared their throats and stared right back at him

So he said:

“Once there was a boy

Who woke up with blue hair

To him it was a joy

Until he ran out into the warm air

He thought of how his friends would come to see;

And would they laugh, or had he got some strange disease?

God shuffled his feet and glanced around at them;

The people cleared their throats and stared right back at him

The people sat waiting

Out on their blankets in the garden

But God said nothing

So someone asked him:

“I beg your pardon:

I’m not quite clear about what you just spoke

Was that a parable, or a very subtle joke?”

God shuffled his feet and glanced around at them;

The people cleared their throats and stared right back at him


My second child loved to play with color, particularly with his hair.  He didn’t do it to rebel against society.  He did it because it was fun … and because he could … and because he loved to make others wonder what he was up to now.


This is dedicated to my “Boy With The Blue Hair”, Keegan Crowley Wahler, 2.29.1984 to 5.30.2001.


We miss you, Keegan.

We will miss you forever and always.

We wish we could call you in heaven, to hear that deep guttural laugh and that gravelly voice.

We know you’ll be waiting for us there along with any eyes that were poked out.







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In 2 days, it will be 13 years from when Keegan, my 2nd child, died.  It amazes me still that it’s been that long.  It’s surreal quite honestly.  At times, it feels like forever ago.  Other times it is as real as yesterday.  Then I remember … he was 17 when he died. His friends are 30 now.  They have moved on.  Life has moved on for us all.

Nevertheless there is still never a day that passes that I don’t miss him.  His intelligence, his sense of humor, his common sense, his million dollar smile, his deep and very old soul … the world lost all of that when he succumbed to that terrible killer, cystic fibrosis.

So when people dance around talking about him, thinking it may somehow hurt me to “remember”, they just don’t get it.  I always remember.  I always know.  I always feel that loss.  I always smile at memories of his deep guttural laugh and the twinkle in his amber brown eyes.  I always feel a pang thinking of his gentle ways around his beloved kitty cat.  I always can sense his amazing presence.

I want others that knew him or knew of him to also remember.  I want them to acknowledge that he lived and left his mark on the world.

Keegan, we will never forget you.  Never.  Ever.


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Now *there’s* an overused term that means absolutely positively nothing when it comes to a death of a close friend or family. There is no “closure”. Ever.

“Closure” would mean the door to the feelings of loss and grief are shut off forever. That doesn’t happen … ever … and anyone who thinks it does has never experienced the death of someone close to them.

“Closure” would mean they’re gone from thought, gone from your mind, gone from your heart, gone from your soul.

“Closure” does not happen … plain, flat, and simple … unless the person that died wasn’t that close to you. Period.

“Closure” won’t happen with my grandfather who I look like and with whom I share my general belief system. He died when I was almost 10. That was 50 years ago.

“Closure” won’t happen with my father who raised me to be the outspoken woman with a backbone & will of iron that I am and an entrepreneur to the bone with a love of people. He died when I was just 38. That was almost 22 years ago.

“Closure” most assuredly will not ever, ever, EVER happen with my 2nd child who came from my body and had a piece of my soul. He died when he was 17 & I was not quite 47. That was 13 years ago this coming Friday, May 30, 2001.

People are often amazed that someone hasn’t “gotten over” the death of someone. What amazes me about that is how callous they are to think that. Do they have no feelings? Is there no one in life they are close enough to that they wouldn’t miss forever and always?

I pity those that don’t understand. However, to those that feel that pain all the way to the depths of their soul, I offer this:

I’m glad you know what true love is. Someone will miss you as much as you miss those for whom you grieve. I offer you my unwavering love and support.


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Thank those that lost spouses, parents, siblings, children, etc … and the veterans … for the fact that they protected our country so that you actually do have the option of barbecuing today.


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Memorial Day is a day to remember those servicemen and servicewomen that gave their ultimate all by dying for our country. My friend, Shawna, lost her son, PFC Ryan Hill, in 2007 due to this. I honor her, him , and all of those men and women who died for their country.

Charlie Company … this is for you and all those like you.



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It will be 13 years one week from today that my 2nd child, Keegan, died. In my life (both before his death and after), I’ve had my share of ups and downs, as has Roy. Life has been a major upheaval at times. Overall, though, we are blessed.


Like we’ve said before though, we get up when knocked down. We keep getting up. We will succeed. So, with that, following is one of our many mantras … & it couldn’t be more true …


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