Finding Laci

Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Published: August 10, 2015
Laci was Linda Messer's daughter. Laci is Brantley's mom. Laci is married to Matthew Jones. Laci is Lindsey and Jessica's sister. Laci works for State Farm. Laci drives a black Sentra. Laci is twenty-two years old. Laci is short. Laci has brown hair. Laci lives in Atlanta. Laci is anemic. Laci talks a lot. But wait, who IS Laci?

I guess, like everyone else, it's easy for me to lose myself in the things that are true about me. I am Brantley's mother but Brantley's mother is not WHO I am. There is a person underneath all of these things, these hobbies, all of these responsibilities.

Living in such a small town, word of anything gets around fast. It's so easy to let people label and tell you who you are. I think at times I have become so tired of rumors and gossip that I just found it easier to let them say what they wished and move on but, it stops here. It stops with this. If motherhood itself didn't define me, I will not let a town. I won't let anyone.

After my mother died I began to think, "Who is Laci without Linda?" Right now, I can't tell you. It would be so easy to let myself be "the motherless daughter" or "that girl who's mom was killed in June" but, that is not me. I can not afford for that to be who I become.

As I have searched and searched for weeks now to "find" myself, as people say, I have learned that it just may be the dumbest idea I have ever had. The thing is, who I am today is not the same girl I will be tomorrow and putting such a heavy emphasis on an ever changing answer is pointless. I had a baby. DIFFERENT LACI. I got a new job. DIFFERENT LACI. My mom died. DIFFERENT LACI. I'm still me but I am not the same.

Recently I heard a message from Ken Freeman. You probably don't know who that is, huh? Well, Google him. Facebook him. He may even have a Twitter. It will probably change your life but, if not then there's one more person in this incredibly large universe that you know about. Anyway, Ken Freeman. In his message he made a statement that I cannot let go of.

"You're always one decision from a different life."

Think about it. That is probably one of the truest things I have ever heard. Every decision, no matter how small, changes your future. It changes you and where you are going. It may not have as big of an impact as losing a mom or committing a robbery but it does have one. You may not know it and you may never feel it but every choice, every decision that you ever make changes you. How could I ever possibly "find" me if "Me" is always a different person, in a different place going a different direction?

You want to know something else I've learned? Of course you do, you're still reading this for some reason, right? It is not my job to define me. It's my job to do the things that I know are right and to stray from those that I know are wrong. It's my job to take care of my son and be a good sister. It's my job to get the oil changed in my car and obey the laws but it's not Laci's job to define Laci. That's God's job. It's Laci's job to be Laci. It's Laci's job to step back and let God define her.

Don't get me wrong here, I'm not saying that I have no control over who I am and that I don't know anything about myself becasue that's not true. I actually have complete control, in a sense. Every choice is my choice. I have free will and I am in charge of where I am going but, it's my job to relinquish that control. It's my job to listen and watch for direction. It's my job to read, learn and act. It's my job to wait. It's my job to remain faithful.

I think when we go and try to define ourselves, when we try to tell God who we are, that's where we really lose ourselves. Genetics (that, by the way, He created) helped of course but He decided your hair color, your eye color and everything about it. He decided what family He would put you with. He chose these people to be with you, to help shape you into who He needed you to be. He knows every version of you. Now, it's up to us what we do and make of these things and weather or not we let him guide us and use us but, we won't get into that.

Maybe you don't agree with me. Maybe you think I'm rambling and crazy, you wouldn't be the first person, but if you care about my life and my experience I can tell you that when you go asking questions you better think and you better be very sure that they're God's answers and not yours. You better be sure that they line up with His words and not your own. Don't be a self-pleaser. Don't be a people-pleaser. Be a God-pleaser and you will never have to worry about who you are or where you are going because, in time, he will show you.


Losing Linda

Published: 08/02/2015
"Losing a mother is like being on a ship that has lost its ballast and is now at the mercy of the deepest ocean and all it holds within. I bob around without a foundation to bring me back to the same balanced spot each time, a spot I just can't get right. Instead, I spend my time sideways, upside down, right-side up, sinking to the ocean floor and floating back up, taken on the current to places I have never been."
-Rachael Oakes-Ash, The Huffington Post

This is my life now. Three months ago it would've just been a terribly sad statement but now, it's me and it's not sad. It's tragic. In a time where you must either sink or swim, let's be honest, you really only have one choice. You swim, and swim, and swim and then you hope, you pray that someone is there to help you when you're just too tired to keep going.
You learn a lot, I'm sure, with any death but when it's your mother, when it's all you've had most days, you relearn everything. My mom did teach me a lot in such a short 22 years but her absence has taught me so much more than I ever bargained for.

I will not be defined by my mother's death but I have been changed. There is something so different about a girl once her mother is gone. I am always missing a piece of my heart. I will always have to tell my new friends about the worst night of my life. One day, I will have to explain to my son why his Mimi is not here with us every day. I am just not the same person and my life is not the same life. I see things differently. I say things differently. I have been reshaped and it's chemical. It's like burning a candle, it cannot be undone.

It's a harsh reality to face but my mother is perfectly happy without me. Now, she's not happy because she's without me but she is without me and she is happy. My mom is in Heaven. She is happier than she has ever been, she's laughing more than she ever has and she will never know anything else for the rest of eternity. What an incredible thing that must be! I would never wish her back here even if I could, I'm not that selfish but, I am still here for however long God has planned for me and I must live.
Life is so clearly a short and fragile thing. To think that I would have even three more tomorrows would make me awfully naïve. I want those three tomorrows. I am praying for so much for than three of them actually, but they are, by no means, guaranteed to me.
For the short time we are here we must live as much as we can, enjoy everything that we can, try everything we can (within reason and biblical morality, of course). There are not enough days in a lifetime to waste even a second being afraid, timid or miserable.
As Oscar Wilde said, "To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all." I don't know about you but I don't have time to just be here. My mom invested too much in me for me to be anything less than wonderful. I will not just simply exist, not anymore anyway.

After every dark night the morning sun rises. After every storm the clouds subside. Nothing and no one is permanent, not on this earth. All good things come to an end but with that, so do the bad ones. There is a "hello" to match every "good-bye" and there is a death for every life. Some things are within our control while many are not so, we might as well make the most of the moments and the people that we are given because you just never know when that time will be gone.

My mom is dead to this earth but she is so alive in my heart. I find pieces of her in every day and the love she had for me is still a comfort in my worst moments. Her love for me, you see, it wasn't in her. It wasn't for her, it was for me. Her love was in me. Her love is in me.
I look in the mirror and I can see her. I hear her in the things that I say and the way my sisters laugh. I can feel her in my son's hands. My mom lives on through us, through all of us. She may be gone but her love has never been more obvious. I've lost my mom, it's a horrendous truth but, I have not and I will never lose her love.

You know, it hasn't been a long time since my mother's accident but it has been long enough for me to know that when people say things like "it will be easier in time" or "everything gets better eventually" they're lying. They may not know they are. Maybe they're just hoping that for my sake it will. Maybe they have never experienced this kind of loss and genuinely think that after a particular number of weeks everything just feels okay again. Maybe that's just what people say to comfort each other. Regardless of the reason, it's not true, not even close. Accepting death never gets easier and neither does the life. Knowing that someone so important to you, for you, is gone never feels okay. We just get stronger. We learn how to deal and how to survive. We adapt and we keep going. We find a new normal.

I don't deal with things publically. I don't make many statements unless something needs to be said and I keep my emotions very private. I don't do interviews and I'm not interested in answering any questions at this time. There is a story, you're right. You are all right, there is a big story here and I know you're curious. You have questions as I did and you know that I have the answers. I'm not stupid enough to think that you all came here and read this post just because you had nothing better to do. You want to know what happened and you want to know what's happening. Maybe one day I will be ready to tell you. Maybe one day I'll write a book about it and mail you all a copy but today is not that day.
I can tell you, this not easy for me. This is not easy for any of us but I am smart. I am strong. I am Linda's daughter. I can do anything so, if you're looking for sad Facebook updates and tears then I'm not your girl but if you're looking for fire, if you're looking for passion, if you're looking for someone to make things happen, you should keep watching. You won't be disappointed.

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