I feel as if this blog was past over due and my feelings don’t need to be kept inside much longer. I was originally suppose to publish this blog a few days ago (now weeks later) but the truth was I hadn’t even sat down to write and the reason is because I didn’t have the words. The right words, the right things to say or in fact I didn’t even know how I was gonna confess how I felt because for the past 13 years I’ve learned so hard to conceal my feelings that I sometimes forget that I can feel sad when I want to. This event in my life has been a series of guilt, questions, and extreme emotional pain.
As I got older I started to try and fully understand the story that was given to me. It wasn’t something I liked talking about in fact barely anyone knows that I carry this with me. I have tried to make sure that I was the positive person in the group no matter what because you truly never know what someone is going through. If you have made it this far into the blog you’re probably wondering what has weighed on my shoulders for so long. Even this far into the blog I still can’t seem to write my words down. I want to be real and authentic with each and everyone of you but this is hard. Because when I post this blog I know for a fact that it will reach people across the world who I’ve never met before. I know that people will see me in a different light and just maybe understand a little more about me.
My questions weren’t always simple to answer and I never wanted to ask the right person because I didn’t want him to have to relive the experience of that tragic night. But I started with the easy ones first and I guess you can say worked my way up to being confident enough to ask and receive my answers. So I started simple, why did she do it? And the simple less complicated answer was because she didn’t think things would get better. Now even writing that I find myself trying to sugar coat that whole sentence and I shouldn’t!
Here’s my real raw story!
September 21,2008 I lost an amazing woman who I truly loved and looked up to. It’s been so long I don’t remember the sound of her voice but I remember the way I felt being around her. I remember how she always smelt like O’lay and cigarette smoke and that she introduced me to the love of horses. As times goes on I start to lose core memories of our time together. I remember she always called jeans britches and her favorite fast food place was whataburger. When ever we went to the park she would make hot dogs and individually wrap each one up in tinfoil. This amazing lady was my step mom. One of the last vivid memories I had of her was she was washing dishes and called me over, as I stood next to her she looked at me and said “Carmelita, I truly hope you get a horse one day”. As I look back at this memory I realized she knew she wouldn’t be around long enough to see me grow up. She wouldn’t see me ride in my first Katy rodeo apart of the Katy cowgirls. She wouldn’t get to see me drive for the first time, or when I brought wildfire (my horse ) home. She knew she wouldn’t be here long enough to see me graduate, go to prom or even meet my daughters. Oh how I wish things were different and she was physically here to give me a hug and let me know everything was okay. I wish she was at my wedding sitting in the seat I saved for her rather than me having to walk down the aisle and place a rose on the chair that was meant for her.
Suicide is not the answer, my step mom took her own life. She took the path where she thought things would get better for her. But what she didn’t think of was what happened after she left.
Here’s a picture of me about a year before she left.
I was only eight year old when I had to deal with such a grown up situation. I feel as if I didn’t matter enough to keep her here on earth with me. For years I blamed myself for not being at my dads house that night. I thought just maybe if I was there she wouldnt have done what she did. As I’m older I understand a lot more now and realize that even if I was at the house she probably would of done it the next day when I left. There’s so many questions I could ask but won’t get my answers till I reach heaven I guess. Because of this event I created a story in my head. I wondered what her emotional state was while she was getting the gun. I wondered if she was crying because she knew what she was about to do. Or was she calm at the choice she had made? I wondered if she thought about me and knew it was the last time I would see her when she hugged me goodbye when my mom picked up my brother and I.
My mom said before she even got home she got the call from my dad that my step mom had left us earth side. My parents lived 15 minutes away, so I know this was on her mind for some time. I know she was stressed out from her sons criminal case but why wasn’t I enough for her to stay here with me?
I started to grow a hate in my heart for what she did. I was angry and upset and just didn’t understand anything. My husband Peyton has been so calm throughout this whole process. In fact he was the one who took me to see her grave for the first time. My parents thought I was too little to attend the funeral so I wasn’t able to go. Which lead me to think she wasn’t actually gone at all. I thought maybe she faked her death and wanted to start a new life or what if she didn’t actually leave and it was just a story she wants all of us to believe. It’s a horrible story to create but that’s what I wanted to believe when I was younger. And here’s why…
I remember this memory very clearly, but the time line of when it happened I can’t pin point, I don’t remember if it was a few months later or years but I remember I was still very young. My dad and I was walking into the meat aisle of HEB when I saw a lady who looked just like my step mom looking at the chicken thighs deciding which ones she was about to buy. I’m standing next to my dad and this lady is the exact height about 5’3 and beautiful red hair JUST LIKE MY STEP MOM. So of course naturally I stare because I still had hope that she wasn’t truly gone and I thought this because I didn’t go to her funeral to get the closure I needed. Okay stay with me on this next part cause it still seems strange to me today. When the lady looked up from staring at the chicken package we made eye contact and she LOOKED JUST LIKE MY STEP MOM. I can’t express you enough how I truly thought this lady was her. When we made eye contact the lady put back all the package of meats she got, in a fast pace manner and walked out of the store! I know she did because as a noisy now nine year old I stared at her till she left the heb doors. But I still wonder why? Why did that happen! Why did she look just like her and what made this lady completely drop everything and basically run out the store? This is when I started to think maybe she was still here but faked her death. Of course now I know she really is gone but crazy things like this could happen. Another weird thing that happened was it was around 8:30 pm if I had to guess the time. Out side was pitch black and my dad and I were watching a movie and we heard a knock at the door, my dad goes and opened the door and a man is standing outside asking for my step mom. I remember him asking if she was here. My heart sank because I knew she wasn’t but I wanted her to.
Years went by and like I said before Peyton took me to her grave site. It was a hard experience to see her name on the stone but what hurt worst was her family didn’t put her married last name “Faulkenberry” but instead put her Ex husbands last name. Makes no sense at all and in fact it’s the most selfish thing they could of done in my eyes. We loved her, we cared about her and she was a Faulkenberry when she left this earth. If she wanted her tombstone to say her Ex husbands last name maybe she would of not ended that marriage. Just a simple thought I think anyone would have.
But her site was beautiful it had a golden retriever statue placed at her feet and stones with beautiful phrases on them. My heart was happy to see her final resting space. As life goes on I will forever cherish the moments and memories we created! 💛
Remember that Suicide isn’t the right choice and you can get help! I have provided a hotline number below incase you or a friend would need it! Remember this, suicide isn’t the answer , all it does is transfers the hurt you feel onto many people. Getting help and making yourself better is what will save your life.