I've been thinking really hard about what we are going to do Christmas morning. "Thinking" may not even be the right word, it's more like "dreading". I've thought to myself, how can we go on like it's a normal Christmas, wake up, and open gifts, like we're happy? Like everything's Merry? How am I even going to wake up? When there's an emptiness in our home. A huge hole in our hearts. A candle.....to represent my son. How can I get up that morning and NOT hear Cole coming down the steps, saying "Hurry up Mom! Can we start?".......I thought... and then I knew. I know that we have to remember what Christmas is REALLY about. If it weren't for the birth of Jesus, and God giving His only son, to save us, I would not be able to be with Cole again. Because of Him, I know that when God calls me home, Cole will be the first one to greet me, and carry me to God's arms. Without Jesus, there is no hope. So for those of you who have lost a loved one, who are struggling to find a way to get through Christmas, who are fighting to stand, may you too remember what Christmas is really about. Although this hole in my heart will never heal and the emptiness will always be in our home, may we find comfort in knowing that we WILL see Cole again. We have to hold on to our faith, we have to hold on to Hope. Because I know that one day....one day, I will again, spend my Christmas with Cole.
Cole's special candle...to be lit on Christmas morning.
So, when you've lost a child, when your heart aches every day and longs for the day that you will see your child again, how do you find Merry?
When I go to a store, I hear Christmas music, I see people buying gifts, wrapping paper, decorations, cookies, ornaments......all while I ache. All while I feel physical pain in my heart. How can everyone be so Merry? Don't they realize what just happened? Why hasn't the world stopped for everyone else? How can everyone just "go on"? These are honest thoughts that run through my head. Other people are picking out beautiful decorations for their homes and I'm picking out flowers to put on my son's grave.
I'm not looking for sympathy, I don't want anyone's pitty. I just want my son back. It will be 8 weeks on Tuesday, December 16th and it still feels like yesterday. My heart still aches, sometimes it even feels worse. I still have the vision of the accident, the scene, being at the hospital, the funeral.....all of it.
I've been to children's funerals before, and I have cried for their parents, and I remember thinking "I cannot even imagine". Boy was I ever so right. You cannot imagine. It's impossible, until your find yourself going through it. This depth of sorrow, pain, and the true feeling of a completely shattered heart is unimaginable.
So, wow, what are we going to do on Christmas morning? Well, we still bought presents for Cole. Why? Because we are putting all of his gifts into a basket for our Trivia Night to raffle off as "Cole's Basket". Hoping that his gifts will bring a smile to someone else. His gifts will be placed under HIS tree, his special tree that stands on our balcony, overlooking ours. We have a very special candle that is "Cole's Candle", in a very special vase, that will be lit on Christmas morning. The flame will remind us that Cole is still with us, we may not see him, but he is here. We will release balloons at his grave site, writing notes inside them of how much we love and miss him. We will share stories, pictures and watch videos of Cole, to once again, laugh at his comedic sense of humor. We will cry, we will smile, we will laugh, and we will remember. We will do this, for Cole.
We love you Cole. We will love and miss you forever.
Here you will find tidbits and random thoughts as I work my way through this journey of life after the loss of my son. My hope is that it might help someone else who is on the same journey of grief.
I've learned that you don't sweat the small stuff. Messy room? Doesn't matter much now. Not taking the trash out? Doesn't matter much now. Telling me he loves me? Means the world to me. Giving me hugs and spending time in conversation? Means more than you'll ever know. Cherish the small things. Take time to make conversation, simple, silly, real and intentional conversation. Tell your children you love them, not only tell them, show them. Hug them. Kiss them. Tell them goodnight. Every day. Because at the end of the day, nothing much matters except how well did you love and how much did you give?
What in the world do I do now?...
As a mother of two beautiful, energetic and amazing boys, I knew that God had blessed me when He chose me to be their mom. My boys are my reason for living; that's why we are "moms". We live for our kids. To love them, to protect them, to support them, and to walk beside them through life. So what do I do now? What am I supposed to do now that half of my reason for living is gone?
I push on. I persevere. I live because I have Blake. I live because Cole would not want me to give up. I live because heaven needed a hero and God chose my son. I am still a mom of two beautiful boys, the only difference is that one of my boys now has wings.
Don't get me wrong, this is the hardest journey I've ever had to take. One journey that I absolutely do not want to be on. But, I'm here. There are some days that I honestly don't know how I'm going to make it. Some days I struggle to stand. But I'm a fighter. I'm a fighter because my boys are fighters. They didn't give up. Cole never gave up. Even with all that he had been through, he never gave up. So I do this, for Cole. I continue, in honor of him.
My personal blog......I'm not just a mom, I'm a mom to a boy with wings.
Wow.....so Christmas is coming...
What our first hunting trip would have been like...
Who you would have gone to high school prom with...
What you would have looked like in your graduation gown...
When you would have opened your own gunshop...
What your best man's speech would have been at your brother's wedding...
Who you would have married...
What your children would have looked like...
What you would have looked like when you were my age...
I wonder....then I know....
We would have had a blast! Full of laughs & comedy!
One of your many best friends!
Handsome as ever and 2ft taller than the person handing you your diploma!
As soon as you turned 18
Hilarious, you would have had everyone doubled over in laughter
The love of your life - a four-wheelin, deer huntin, chevy truck girl - a girl that you would have treated like a queen.
Beautiful, just like you.
Handsome as ever.
Some days I get angry. Most days I am just sad. Some days I find it hard knowing that I actually "woke up" and he is still gone. But some days.....some days I smile. Some days I laugh. And every day, I remember. I smile at all the amazing times I shared with my son, all the wonderful memories that we have of Cole as a family. I laugh. I laugh because Cole was the funniest kid we ever knew. His sense of humor was sparked when he was a toddler and just got funnier as he grew older. He could have you laughing so hard your belly hurt and tears rolled down your cheeks. I remember. I remember his smile. I remember his eyes. I remember every conversation we had in his truck while making all those trips to the doctor and hospital when he broke his back. I remember him giving his only $5 he had on him to a lady in a thrift store. I remember him begging me to bring him dinner at work because he was starving. I remember hearing his truck or the four wheeler fire up in the garage. I remember all the mud on the floor when he would walk through the house with his boots on. I remember all the love in his heart. I remember his bear hugs and his "Goodnight mom, I love you". I remember Cole's spirit. That's what keeps me going when I wake up.
What matters anyway?
I remember when...Cole was born
I remember being pregnant with Cole; he was full of life, full of energy, always on the move, even in my belly. He was born weighing 9lbs 14oz and was 23 1/2 inches long. Cole never wore newborn clothes, he was too big! He came home to the best big brother in the world who loved him with all of his heart from the time he first held him in his arms. Cole walked at nine months, talked in sentences by his first birthday, and knew how to use a hammer and wrench at 14 months. (he loosened the water pipe under the kitchen sink when he was 14 months old). He climbed inside the washing machine, inside the oven, on the outside of the staircase, laid a hot curling iron on his neck, ate a poisonous plant, had stitches several times, and broke his first bone all by the time he was six years old. He kept me on my toes...
As we waited for Cole's Urologist at Children's Hospital (Cole had surgery on his kidneys at age 5 1/2 - that story to come later...it's good!) we were confined to a small office space that barely held a child's exam bed and two chairs. We held small conversation to help pass time. As we talked, I could tell by the look on Cole's face that he was up to something (this happened all the time - many of you know "the look").
Suddenly, a stench filled the room. As I looked around to try and find the origin of this foul smell, I saw a glimpse of the smile on Cole's face. "Did you fart?!" I asked as I covered my nose with my hand to protect myself from the intoxication. He just laughed. I immediately began to frantically wave my hands to try and disperse the gas. It clearly wasn't working. Suddenly, my fear became a reality...and the door opened. As soon as the doctor stepped one foot into the room, it was quite obvious that he was hit by the wall of stink. When I say stink, I mean it was horrific; I think it actually began peeling the paint off of the walls.
As the doctor began to go over Cole's chart, he kept squinting and blinking repeatedly as if his eyes were burning, in fact, I am pretty sure his eyes were watering at this point. I just tried to politely smile and act as if I were listening closely to what he was saying when in my head I just kept praying that the smell would go away! Suddenly, Cole blurted out "My mom farted." After I gasped, and sucked in the last minuscule of breathable air in the room, I held my hand over my heart and said "Colton!" I looked at the doctor and said, "That was not me, it was him. I apologize." The doctor was clearly doubting me at that point. Cole then chimed in, with the most seriously look on his face, "She does this all the time." "Cole!" I yelled. "Sir, it was not me." I knew at this point that the doctor was already siding with Cole because he gave him a slight nod as if he were saying, "I gotcha buddy. She's just in denial." I felt there was no use in my defense at this point because he was clearly believing the cute little blonde haired, blue eyed boy that sat so stoic in his chair. The doctor finished speaking and quickly left the room. I looked over at Cole and said, "I cannot believe you did that to me!" He just laughed...actually he was laughing so hard that he made me laugh.
From that point on, even at age 16, every time we went to the doctor's office, ANY doctor's office, Cole would look at me and say, "Mom.......I think I have gas......" and I would have to say "Cole it's not funny anymore, no one is going to believe you now." I clearly had to try and immediately shoot that idea down because I had a feeling that for some reason, if he humiliated me like that again, they would believe him over me...again. Just for the record, he never did it to me again. We still laugh over this story, and although it was one of my most embarrassing moments ever, I am certainly going to miss him threatening me with flatulence. I will remember this day forever.....stay tuned, more stories to come, I'm just getting started!
Blake Allen Buehner - Cole's brother forever
From the moment Cole was born, Blake loved him with all his heart. They grew up not only as brothers, but best friends. Blake was the calm stability that helped Cole keep his feet on the ground. Blake guided him, mentored him and loved him as a brother and a best friend. Blake is the most loving, caring and giving brother Cole could have ever wished for. He has an amazing spirit, a giving heart, and a smile that lights up a room. Blake is my rock, he is my "go to" guy, he is the sunshine in my day, and he is forever, the best big brother in the world.
Dancing in the Sky.......this song is absolutely beautiful. I know you are dancing in heaven and singing in the angel's choir, Cole. I know you are still protecting others, caring for others, and helping others. God must have thought that you helped all that you needed to here on earth, now it's up to us to continue that for you, while you continue God's plan for you to help others, EVERYWHERE!
This one's for you.
Cole's tree. Adorned with woodland
ornaments; squirrels, antlers, owls,
bunnies and pinecones.
Tidbits on Cole's adventures! (and he had many!)
You'll laugh, you'll smile, and you'll enjoy reading them! :)
A Trip to the Doctor (one of many)
One of my most embarrassing moments!
A little bit of humor...............Cole, at age 5
Colton Michael Buehner - you'll live in our hearts forever.
Visit my new blog site!
Blogging from the heart, with honesty
*These adventures will soon be moving to their own page, "Adventures with Cole"
Cole's Hope Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) organization. Contributions are tax deductible in accordance with IRS rules and regulations. Please email us if you need our EIN for your tax purposes.
Cole's Hope Foundation
P.O. Box 384
Arnold, MO 63010
At 6 years old, when Cole said "Mom......I think I'm gonna need stitches." I knew it was bad. Since Cole was a baby, we were told by doctor's that his pain tolerance was so high, that it was "dangerous" because he didn't feel pain until it was extremely painful. So when he said he needed stitches, I knew he had done something bad. Turns out, he smashed his finger under his skateboard, but he didn't just smash it, his finger was broken and looked as if it went through a meat grinder. The skateboard mangled the top of his finger and I could see part of the bone in between the ripped flesh and fatty tissue that was hanging. It was gross to say the least. I immediately put him in my truck and drove him to the emergency room. When we arrived, the pediatric side was under construction so they had to put Cole on the "adult" side of the ER. A nice young lady walked us into a room after we registered, where we waited, and waited...and waited.
It was now going on 4 hours that we were sitting in the same room, Cole, with a mangled, broken and now throbbing finger, yet to be attended to. We heard no voices, no sounds, it almost felt as if we were the only ones in the hospital. I would frequently stick my head out the door to see if I could see someone, anyone...but no one seemed to be around.
In the room next to us, we heard the same young lady bring another patient into the next room as she said "Someone will be with you soon. If you need anything, just let me know, my name is Jennifer". It was at this point, that Cole had had enough, he was tired of waiting and needed to get the show on the road. Out of the mouth of a six year old sitting on the hospital bed, he yelled at the top of his lungs "YO JENNIFER, I'm healin myself in here, LET'S GO!!" She came right in. "You haven't been taken care of yet?". Cole answered, "Nope, what do you people drive around here, Ford Focus'!" (you would have to know how much Cole loved chevy's to really appreciate that comment). Needless to say, someone came right in. Cole got the job done. The doctor finally showed up. He used a needle to try and numb his finger before beginning to repair it. The skin on his hands was so tough that they had to try several needles because they wouldn't break through the skin. Once he was numb, they began cutting off the fatty tissue, and with this, I passed out cold, hitting the floor like a ton of bricks. Cole did fine, they stitched him up and placed a brace on his finger. He returned to school the next day, only to be the one handed "anchor" in the kindergarten field day tug-of-war event...and they won!!
An Adventure with Cole*: PART I
Check out our story on KMOV Newschannel 4! Click the link below!
A Trip to the E.R. at age Six (one of many)
Christmas with Cole.