Bhplayon's Blog

Stories in the life of Betty Brown Hammond…..truth sometimes seems like fiction.

“Everything Happens for a Reason?”

Now isn't that Random?

Now isn’t that Random?

(this is an old post, re-inserted due to deletion) “Everything happens for a reason?” Personally, I really do not believe this. (did you just GASP?!!!) I think it is one of those things people say to you when you tell them something about your life that undeniably sucks. I think those platitudes are just our mind’s way of trying to contextualize experiences that don’t fall inside our usual frameworks for making sense of the world. I believe that sometimes we all make pointless, useless choices…..and these are the times you make “lemonade out of lemons”. There are just too many really bad things out there for me to rationalize “everything happens for a reason”. I guess a lot of it comes down to situations like this: The mother of a severely handicapped child who has to listen to the well-meaning chirping’s of her friends who say “everything happens for a reason…(or) God only gives special children to special mothers who are strong” Yes, these people do not know what else to say…they are well-meaning. But this mother is thinking…. “there’s NO reason good enough that I should have to deal with this severe disability….and I don’t think it is part of a LARGER plan!”. Here is what I DO believe: We ALL have life experiences that make us STRONGER. We learn from these experiences. These experiences are what mold us. They help us better our choices for the future. I have no real problem believing in the randomness of life.  Or, that maybe SOME  things happen for a reason.  BUT….. This is only MY take, albeit a very unpopular view…..but it is what it is And I am what I am:-) I’m definitely not trying to change anyone’s thought process. Just give insight on another view.

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Love one another

Erin with baby Jackson.

Erin with baby Jackson.

How hard is that?

Some may not be aware of how very much has been placed upon my daughter in the last three years. She met Adam, fell in love and they married.  We were not aware that Adam was battling drug addiction.  Aparently he became addicted after a football injury in high school. Shortly after they were married, a baby on the way, Adam got into some trouble.  Still battling addiction the family was able to get him into a rehab facility. He would remain there, away from his family, throughout the rest of her pregnancy and through the birth of their first son, Jackson.  We all loved Adam, and believed he would kick the habit. Erin was in love with Adam and believed this completely.  While in the facility he had some issues with his blood pressure to the point it might have caused a stroke. He was taken to the hospital and it was determined that he had suffered a stroke.  The silver lining was he was allowed to go home to finish his rehab.  He lost a great deal of weight. And eventually the facial drooping was not noticeable at all. Things were looking good. They soon have huge news. Erin is pregnant with triplets!  We were a little nervous, but overjoyed.  Then we found out she was carrying a fraternal, with a set of MoMo twins.This was very scary.  MoMo twins are rare. The survival rate is grim.  Soon she lost the twins. We were all so grateful that the fraternal had survived, yet so saddened by the loss of those sweet twins.  When it came time for delivery it was botched up so badly.  Bennett suffered birth trauma and was taken to Grady for a couple of weeks.  He was such a little fighter. He came home and life should start smoothing out for this little family.  But Adam was still struggling with addiction and it was heavy on Erin’s mind. Can you imagine what was going through her mind. All she wanted was for them to have their little family.  The love was there and it had always been there.  She truly loved Adam….and he loved her.  She stuck it out through all of that and just wanted everything to work out.  Then Tuesday, June 30th Adam was killed. HOW MUCH CAN SHE TAKE?

She has taken his death so hard.  She had an emotional breakdown.  Overwhelmed with sadness, she often allowed me to take the children.  She never asked me to. I offered….to give her some space to work out this sadness and grief.  I am her MOTHER. I have her best interests at heart, and the best interests of her children.

On top of ALL that my daughter has gone through. She needs to be strengthened. If you cannot say anything to comfort, why say anything at all?

Erin will get through this. She will do it in her own time. It is not anyone’s business how she deals with it.

Truthfully, if something happened to my husband. It is hard to know exactly how I would react.  I can only imagine the overwhelming sadness and loneliness.  But until I have actually experienced that, I cannot judge how someone else deals with it.  A couple verses I am thinking about right now are, Matthew 7, 5 New International Version You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.  And another John 8, 7. “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone.

Another quote I love:

“A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world.

It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.

-Agatha Christie

Erin was a rock. She stood by Adam.  She has done what she should.  Remained faithful, worked hard to support the family, and has been a Wonderful mother.  I am proud of her and wish only for her to have joy in her life again.  My advice to anyone who loves her:   It is still raw for her.  Find kindness in your heart and love her through this.  Anything else is just mean!

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This gave me Chill Bumps

Sometimes things happen that cannot be explained. Today I experienced such a thing.  Erin has been on my mind. Thinking about how her world turned upside down with the death of Adam. Although I have prayed about the whole situation, it is so hard to accept the death of someone who was so alive and part of our lives.  It has been heavy on my heart and mind.

Today, after hanging up after talking to Dennis on my cell phone. I carefully returned my phone to the home screen before putting it in the small purse I carry around my neck. Since I am really good at butt dialing people, I have made a point to try harder to cease this annoying habit. I was walking to check in on Bennett when I heard Adam’s voice coming from my phone. It was so shocking. I took my phone out to find it playing a recorded voice mail I received from Adam months before he died!

I can’t explain this because it takes some maneuvering to get to those saved voice recordings. How it randomly opened that particular recording is unexplainable.

It was so good to hear his voice, yet so sad.

Rest in peace, dear Adam.

Post note: I took one of those silly quizzes on Facebook entitled “Who is your guardian Angel.” Turns out it wasn’t so silly. My results: My guardian angel is Adam Parker. I do believe he watches out for us. Especially when I am watching his precious boys.

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Tuesday, June 30th

Sitting on the porch drinking coffee in Panama City Beach. Looking up through a  palm tree at the Morning Sun and thinking about my nephew, Matt Brown, who had passed away during the night. I was thinking about his dad who is my brother, Terry.  and his mother, Tami Warman, a close friend and ex sister in law. What pain they must be feeling at the loss of their son. Thinking of comforting words I might convey. There was not enough time to digest this information. When around 10:00 am  Dennis called my cell with news that would shake my  daughter’s world, leaving her in the darkest place she has ever been. Grief consumes her. The words, “Adam’s dead” sent a wave of emotions through me that paralyzed me. I could not fathom this news could be true…. He was much too young, age twenty- five! WHY??? Erin, who had called Dennis, could barely get the words out and that was the most news she could bear to convey the time. So we had no details as to how this could have happened for maybe an hour after we found out of his death. My mind was spinning trying to sort this out. Then came the unbearable details.  He was killed when his car hit a tree. He apparently had lost control of the car in a curve.  It was an accident.  . I immediately thought of the unimaginable sadness my daughter was feeling now. And I am so far away! I have to to throw all my stuff in the car and get to her! Dennis, who was on his way back to Florida had already turned to go to her. Stephen and Katie were on their way to the mountains for a hiking trip.  They had just got on 400 when they got the horrible news. Without hesitation they tuned around and headed her way. Shaking so hard I could bearly hold onto the phone I managed a call to  my niece, Jesse, who lives in Carrollton.  Hoping I could get her to go on over to comfort Erin.  She said Erin already called her…She was on the way!
This was the first of an overwhelming outpouring of kindness and generosity we would receive.  I grabbed my stuff and hit the road with a mission. Everyone I spoke to was telling me to drive responsibly, don’t speed!  But I was driving faster than I ever had before . I shouldn’t have…but I did. I was fortunate not to receive a ticket.  I had to slow to 45 around the Alabama line. It was raining so hard it was difficult to see. After a journey that seemed never-ending,  I finally made it home.  Dropped off the dogs, took the fastest shower I’ve ever taken and headed to Carrollton.  It was a relief to finally get to Erin to give her hugs and motherly support.  She was a basket case …as  expected.
Lord, please take some of this pain from our baby! We were and are hurting, too. Adam was our beloved son in law. How could we get through this? How was his mom and dad, going to get through this?  Youre not supposed to bury your children! Adam was extremely close to his siblings.  This was so incredibly painful for so many people!! His grandparents,  aunts, uncles,cousins and friends.. all in utter pain.
I was able to allow myself to breakdown on that torturous ride from Florida.  But was able to hold up , for the most part, as I felt I had to be strong for the kids and Erin My bestie, Jan, commented that she knew mom’s have superpowers as she witnessed this firsthand.
Faith is so important. Especially now. Many have shared words of comfort.  Being there for her is all I can do. I feel so helpless in trying to console her. Grieving will be a process,…I want her to emerge stronger. This has certainly put a new perspective on my relationships.  As I was caring for my precious grandchildren right after this happened. I was  Overwhelmed with the things I needed to do. Sitting in my recliner about to feed Bennett his bottle,  I was looking over my living room at the toys strewn about and dining room table so cluttered. In that moment I realized those things were not important.  I decided to just live in the moment.  I cuddled that sweet baby boy and fed him that bottle. I talked to him and the Instant reward was his sweet eyes soaking it all up .  Adam loved to cuddle with his children. I will never let them forget his love for them. He gave us those two wonderful boys.  What a blessing they are! Losing someone so close to us can help us focus on our relationships.  That is a good thing.  But anyone who  has followed my blogs knows how I feel about “Everything happens for a reason”. I just do not believe God caused Adam’s wreck. I didn’t believe he would have  Laura die such a brutal death. Awful things just happen.  But our faith can bring us through the pain. We just have to learn how to give it over to God.

We want to thank everyone who gave their sympathy. All the Facebook comments, the cards, flowers, donations, food, babysitting, and being there for us… by so many people. ALL  was so appreciated. We are so grateful. Please know it lifted us and we felt the love.

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Gender Dysphoria…..Have Empathy? Hate? Not sure?

You are as God made you! You have NO right to change your gender….no matter how unhappy you are!  This is a common reaction to anyone experiencing gender dysphoria. I’ll start by saying my  knowledge of this, or sexual disorders is minimal.  That is exactly the basis for my stance.  Since I know so little about any possible causes, I do not have a negative opinion.

Recently I have seen Bruce Jenner’s transgender story in many media outlets. In stunning juxtaposition,  a picture of him as an Olympian Gold medal winner in 1976, and as Caitlyn Jenner plastered on magazines, television, Twitter, and Facebook posts.  This is understandably shocking.  Is this just a crazy ploy for media attention?  I really do not know. I do not know Bruce/ Caitlyn.  I remember Bruce from the 1976 Olympics. Proudly winning the gold medal for the decathlon. I’ve never kept up with the Kardashians.   I would know little about these people if not for the media frenzy. 

There is an outpouring of antipathy from so many people. Some have strong religious reasons for their feelings on this matter, saying that prayer can change this sort of person.  Honestly, this is something I cannot wrap my mind around. It is something I’ve never had to deal with personally.  However, I had a male first cousin who chose girls as friends to play with instead of boys. From a very young age he enjoyed toys and games that were typically associated with girls instead of sports, cars, trucks or things boys usually like.  He came out of the closet so to speak as a young adult. Lived his life as a Gay man. I loved him. He was a unique individual. But wouldn’t his life have been easier if he had naturally been attracted to girls instead of boys? Why would he choose a more difficult lifestyle? This is a bit off the beaten path.  Not exactly the same as the opening transgender story. But it supports the point I am trying to convey.  Studies suggest that gender dysphoria may have biological causes associated with the development of gender identity before birth. While I am not in a position to know anything about this particular case involving Bruce/Caitlyn.  How would I feel if I was indeed more male than female biologically?   There are so many variables.  In researching sexual birth disorders I was overcome with empathy for any child born that way. What if I was born with both male and female genitalia?  My gender determined by my parents or a doctor?  What if they got it wrong?  I am not saying this is the case for everyone experiencing gender dysphoria. What I’m indicating is  we do not know everything about the complicated world of genetics and sexual birth disorders.   How could I,  a woman comfortable with her gender,  possibly know what its like to have feelings to the contrary?  We are a long way from Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden.  It isn’t a perfect world.  There are so many sexual birth disorders.  Children born with both testicular and ovarian tissues, some born with both male and female genitalia, babies born with male genitalia and female organs…..and many more variations. It isn’t cut and dried, it’s complicated.

Even though some may believe this is abhorrent behavior.  A deliberate choice.  That is not my take on this.  I choose tolerance. It is not possible for me to know everything about this subject.  God reads hearts.  I’m mindful of one of my favorite scriptures, recalling the admonition of Jesus, John 13, 34:  “A new commandment I give to you,  that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”

Christians have  an obligation to lead by example.  Tolerance for people isn’t embracing their actions. It is simply not being the judge and jury. Leaving that to God. Showing love. 

I do not know if Bruce becoming Caitlyn is a ploy for media attention. It is such a good feeling to be a wife, mother, grandmother, sister and aunt. I’m grateful my children and grandchildren were born without any biological gender issues.  When I see that picture aforementioned of Bruce and Caitlyn, empathy is what I feel, not disgust, hate, or anger. 

That said, I am a bit annoyed that the Jenner case is being glorified. Media gives this way too much attention

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Don’t worry about me

I have been very mixed up about religion my entire life. Having been raised in what I consider a cult  The religion of my birth has caused great divides in my family. The members claim it is the ONLY TRUE religion. They actually say you will know it by the love shown. I am here to tell you, I have not felt any love. It is a very cold religion.  Recently at a funeral for my cousin there were many witnesses present. Some were cordial and spoke to me.  One uncle , however,  would not even return a polite nod.  How Christian is that?  Going as far to walk off when I attempted to take a picture of him and his siblings.

Since being free of that cult, I have visited many churches. I have learned the things taught about other religions as a child was false. the people there were nice, honest,  and sincere for the most part.   I was especially impressed with all they did for the community and the mission work overseas.  And WOW, the witnesses were especially harsh on Catholics. Since I’ve been out I have had a few friends who are of the Catholic Faith. They are the most loving, giving, honest and wonderful people I know.  Coming out I found that all religions were not bad.

Here is my view, however unpopular.  I do not believe that going to Church is a salvation issue. I believe I can, and do, have a relationship with God through Christ. Some feel going to church strengthens that relationship. For them, it probably does.  But, for me, putting that time and energy into something else, like simply talking to God through prayer and meditating on his works, is what bolsters my relationship with God.  It solidifies my faith every time I pray for a friend, or a friend of a friend who is sick or having some difficulty. I feel the power of prayer.   I have attended different Churches from time to time.  The people there have been very nice at most of them.  I’ve enjoyed the sermons at most.  I have a great respect for churches that give so much back to their communities.

I am a very private person. I don’t have to let anyone know what I do or give. God knows. And he knows me as a person.  That is enough for me. I accept the gift of grace. Ephesians 2:8:

American King James Version
For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God

What really seals my attitude is when someone says "You need to go to church." Or "You must not have Jesus in Your life." How could anyone know that? Or the worse one, "you’re going to hell!"   This kind of thing makes me turn to God in prayer for them.  We all are imperfect. We all make mistakes. The best we can do is love one another.  Let people make their own choices. Can anyone honestly say everyone not going to church is evil and all churchgoers are saints?  I think not.

What I would say to the Church-goer worried about me because I do not go to church:  Don’t worry about me. Jesus died for us all. My relationship with God through Christ is a very personal one. I am happy for you, please be happy for me.

Post note:  I feel we raised our children with good morals. We taught empathy for others.  We are very proud of the adults they have become.  My son and his wife attend Church. My daughter does not. One can only look at the way she is raising her children, the way she handles her responsibilities,  and her conduct to see she is a good person. I’m proud of my children. Whether they choose church or not. She may choose to attend a church one day. I don't think she is opposed. Sometimes a church has to be the right fit for a person.

However, if she never does, I will never doubt Jesus’ love for her and her love for Jesus.

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