Wife. Mama. Amateur Cook. Pretend Sewer. Novice To All Things Domestic.

Stroke – Part 1.

Posted on: Wednesday, September 4, 2013


 circa ’97 – my memory pretends my parents house was decorated a lot cooler than pictures show.


I have been blessed in my adult life with two women who I call “mom”.

I know what it is like to have a healthy relationship with a parent and an unhealthy one.

One entered my life for the second time when I was 19. Even after I resisted her attempts, she refused to leave. She saw through my walls and knew that under my rough exterior was a girl who needed love and family. This post isn’t about her.

This post is about the woman who brought me into this world.

My mom has never been a constant in my life for more than a few years at a time.

She has struggled with addiction longer than she hasn’t.

I remember when I was young looking up at my mom while she got ready and thinking she was the most beautiful woman in the world… don’t all little girls do this? I wanted so badly to look just like her when I grew up.

When I try to remember my early childhood, my memories are usually a haze of chaos.

My maternal grandmother played a large role in raising my sisters and me.

Child services got involved during my early elementary years and life was really scary and hard for a first grader.

But then from second grade to sixth grade, life was good.

My mom was sober. Our days were full of laughs and our nights were calm.

Sometimes I think those few years of happiness makes it that much harder to accept the realities of today.

When I became a teenager, things got bad again.

My mom lost all parental rights when I was in the seventh grade.

At 15, I left my grandma’s home for good. I moved in with a guy that quickly became my closest friend and only real family for a good five years of my life.

At 17, my grandma took her life. My little sister, Brooke, moved in with us. The three of us grieved together, struggled together, survived together.

My mom wasn’t there.

She isn’t a bad person. I believe that she loves me the best way she knows how.

My husband met my mom three times before November 2012. Corbin met her once.

She was sober for one of those visits.

Two weeks before Thanksgiving, on a Sunday, my sister called and said she thought our mom had a stroke. Mike, my youngest sister’s father and the man I knew as dad growing up, had found my mom unresponsive.

Corbin was sick and hadn’t broken his fever yet. I had planned on cuddling him all day long.

My mom was taken to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville.  She remained unresponsive.

I have a friend who is a neurologist and happened to work at Mayo at the time. She was able to look at the CT scans for me in order to relay whether or not it was a true stroke and if we should come up.

I can still hear the tone of her voice as she said it was bad and that we needed to be there.

My two younger sisters and I were on the road within an hour.

She was three days post laparoscopic ACLS repair – a simple in and out knee surgery.

She had thrown a clot that was still lodged in the left hemisphere of her brain.

When we got there, she still hadn’t woken up.



  • Jessica Neel

    I am so glad I was your best friend and there by your side through what was hopefully the worst days you will have to face in your life. I am so proud of you and your strength. You went through a whole lot with your mom during those days, and then you lost your grandmother, who had been playing the mother role in your life for most of your childhood.Taking in your sister was challenging for you both, but you were so brave and strong! I know the challenges you faced as a teenager have made you the amazing mother you are today. I know we dont talk often but please know I love you and will always be there if you need me! I am so sad to hear about your mother and will keep you both in my prayers. I love you!

  • Marta @ petiteraisin.ca

    Hello Shayna,

    Found you via The Wiegands link up. Corbin is just the sweetest little boy – you are one strong, resilliant, brave, and inspiring mama. I don’t know the path of your life except for the posts I’ve just read, but I can see the love you have for son and hubby. Keep it up mama!

    Look forward to reading more.


    • Shayna Shayna

      i am so glad you found me on the link up! thank you so much for your sweet words. being new, it is still difficult for me to put it all out there; but hearing encouragement from other mamas reiterates that i am doing the right thing. :)

  • Jessica

    I have loved this post that I just finished. you have a great way of story telling and I am eager to read part 2 and maybe part 3 if that exists.


    I hope you have a beautiful weekend!

    I am stopping by from Casey Leigh’s link up.



    • Shayna Shayna

      thanks, Jessica! this is my first round of link ups & they have proved to be a really fun way to connect. i’ll be sure to head over and check out your blog!

  • Katie P.

    Hey Shayna!
    I found your blog through The Wiegands link up this week! I nominated you for the Liebster Award! If you accept, you can check out my blog post and join in:
    So excited to have found your blog!

  • Stroke - Part 2. - Creating Carter

    […] You can read part 1 of this story here. […]

  • Stroke - Part 3. - Creating Carter

    […] You can read part 1 of this story here. […]

Leave a Comment:

Theme by Blogmilk   Coded by Brandi Bernoskie