I am an identical twin, a daughter, a sister, a mother, a grandmother and a widow.
I married my high school sweetheart, Michael La’Von Casey who I started dating when we were 13. We got married right after graduation. We had our first child while Mike was in boot camp for the Coast Guard.We moved around a lot since Mike was in the military. We were stationed in Hawaii and that is where our second child was born.
After his five years were up, Mike got out of the military and became an Air Traffic Controller in Memphis, TN.
Mike suffered from a bipolar disorder most of his life. It was just something that I had to give into for us to make it through his cycles. I got to where I could tell he was going to go through one. I tried to prevent it before it got big and when it did hit I would try to make things easier on him. Mike chose to ended his life on Dec.13,2002.
It was such a horrific time. Writing my thoughts and fears down on paper seemed to help me cope.
My life growing up as a twin was fantastic! We were little devils growing up getting into everything. We where both ADHD (of course they didn't know that back in the day =) so we wore my mom ragged. When we were younger we meet some identical twin boys who were our age. Mike even mistook Lynn one time for me after we were married. There are so many hysterical stories about us.
We had a brother 18 months older and a sister 23 months younger. I love my sisters and brother. During our fist 3 years of life my dad was stationed in Korea. My poor mother had four kids under the age of 4. How she survived it without loosing her mind is beyond me. I was very protective of my sisters and would beat the crap out of anyone who even thought about harming them. I actually got in a few fights over my twin and had to confront some bullies who were picking on my little sister. My brother got into a few fights over my sisters and me. We were all very watchful over one another even though we would fight amongst ourselves.
What can I say about being a daughter other than I had the best mom in the world. She over came so many hardships and never let it hardened her heart. She is as sweet today as she was the day I was born. She has always been there for me especially after Mike died. She is my rock and guiding light. My dad is incredible! Growing up with him was so much fun.
Ever since the fist time I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up my answer was always the same - a mother. I wanted to be just like my mom. My sisters and I even made a promise when we were young to stay home with our kids no matter what. We were all fortunate to be able to keep that promise even though there were many years we barely skimped by. During the first three years of being in the military times were rough. But it was worth it to me. All of us girls married military men.
I was involved in every aspect of my boy’s lives until they got to high school. Then I stayed involved at a distance =) .
Being a Grandmother is just as thrilling. My grandchildren are the light and joy in my life. I am looking forward to watching them grow. They remind me so much of my boys and my youngest son looks exactly like his father. It is like déjà vous.
Losing my late husband was the most difficult thing I have faced in my life. It has been 12 1/2 years since his death and just 2 years ago I finally overcame the grief. I loved my life. It was far from being perfect, but lovely none the less.
I will never forget the first thing he ever said to me, “Man, you look just like your sister”. I knew Mike had a problem while we were dating, I just didn’t know what at the time. But I loved him anyway. The good times far outweighed the bad. When Mike would go through his cycles due to his bipolar disorder, times were very hard. We promised one another: till death do us part in sickness and in health. He was my best friend and we had so much fun together. We hugged and told one another, 'I love you' all day long. I loved him with every part of my being.
About six months before he committed suicide, we bought motorcycles. I am sure he had made his 'decision' and was no longer under pressure because things couldn't have been better. The boys started calling us their rebel parents. We were on those bikes all the time. Almost every night we would ride up to Starbucks and sit and watch the sunset.
We took turns once a week picking where we would go on a date. The most memorable place was when we packed a picnic and sat under a tree across from the airport runway and watched the airplanes take off and land. During the middle of Mike’s graveside service a plane flew over and we had to put the service on hold. It brought a smile to my face as my uncle yelled out, “well, he will feel right at home! ”
Our lives were troubled but wonderful. He was a phenomenal dad and my best friend. Mike was also a great provider. We made many sacrifices for him to get to where he did, but he accomplished what he set out to do and to take care of what was most important to him; his family.
I have gone through every stage of grief there is and sometimes multiple stages at the same time. It was an emotional roller coaster ride straight from hell. But I have come through it and instead of missing the past I now look forward to the future. I will always have a special place in my heart for Mike and I will always miss him. The difference is I can now look at pictures and have memories that bring on a smile instead of a tear.
Many people who aren’t educated think that suicide is always a selfish way out. That is so far from the truth. There are incidents where that is the case, as well as the person taking out his family. But not all suicides end that way.
Mike honestly believed he was doing what was best for his family. There were certain circumstances that made him think he was worth more dead than alive. He had also been in a depressed state for over a year. For someone to get to the point where they are willing to face death, it has to be a very bad place they are in.