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Courtney McNeal

Leave your beauty standards at the door

9.28.2021

She was the 1st person that signed up to follow my blog. She was always the 1st person I called if I needed advice, had a bad day or needed to vent. She’d always say “I love you Courtney but don’t call me on a Monday or a Friday because work is always so busy and I won’t feel like talking when I’ve talked to a million people.” Our relationship wasn’t always this close but when I grew up (like really grew up), we got really close and she became my best friend. My best friend died Sept. 24th @ 12:57 pm.

She struggled to keep our family together no matter what but everything slowly unraveled year after year due to deaths, fall outs and divorce. She never wanted to impose or be a “nuisance” to anyone. You couldn’t tell that woman to do a damn thing, as I begged her to move here so I could take care of her like she took care of me for so long. I wanted to make up for all the shitty things I put her through (she always told me paying for her cell phone was enough lol). She wouldn’t have it, “there’s no room for me and I don’t want Doug to not have an office.” Last week, before my mom passed, I told myself I wouldn’t bother her about moving out here. It wasn’t what she wanted and I’m doing no good bringing it up all the time. One time when I brought it up, she said “I’m not going out there because I won’t be able to bring my towels!” I don’t know why the towels were such a big deal and I never said she couldn’t! She just didn’t want to leave the house she rented for 33 years. I think it was the only place she felt my dad present and he was the absolute love of her life. I’d like to think they’re finally together again, singing to each other and laughing for eternity. I’d also like to think she’s with her parents as well!

In 2 weeks, I’ll be sifting through pictures and listening to lots of old stories from her friends. She was so special to me and this has been an absolute struggle for me. I got so mad at her towards the end, she was canceling important doctor appointments and I think she knew it was almost time and soon it wasn’t going to matter. I didn’t fight her, she was always going to do what she wanted to do and she was tired of fighting. She went through a lot of things in her life and there could be even more I had no idea about. It’s ok to be tired and it’s ok to not be ok. She was strong for so very long.

I have so many great memories of her. She let me watch Freddy Kruger when I was 4 and that’s where my love of horror came from! We went to Target every Friday and I would get a G.I. Joe figurine (What? Barbie needed a real man not just Ken!). We’d do crafts on the weekend (needlepoint, yarn hook rug things or the stained glass with the plastic beads and you put it in the oven). Her dark sense of humor was off the charts, she had some good ones that my dad would just smile and shake his head at her. She was the last person in my family that I was really close with and I knew without a shadow of a doubt, this was going to be hard. It’s been harder then I ever imagined.

For what it’s worth, I keep telling people I’m now an “adult orphan.” It makes me laugh because how ridiculous is that? Or if there’s a club for adult orphans. She’d laugh and I know she’s laughing because she knows its how I’m coping with her being gone. Grief is different for everyone. Have I uncontrollably sobbed and felt like I can’t breathe? Yeah I did. Have I walked around the house in the middle of the night for no reason? Sure did. Do I stare off in space randomly trying to control the flood of emotions, compartmentalizing, packing away emotions? Absolutely. I’ve been struggling to be vocal with all of this and I always have. Mom taught me we are strong, we discuss these things behind closed doors but everyone else will see that nothing is bothering you. We wear the mask to keep us safe and no one gets to see how weak we can be. I want to break this cycle because sometimes I’m not ok and it really isn’t healthy. This year has been a really hard year to breathe, it’s been one thing after another or door after door closing. The doors that open have been few and far between. I know this will change for the better and good times will soon come again. Silver lining right?

To everyone that ever loved my mom, knew she was a unique person. She was so stubborn and in a way it was what made her so unique and sometimes crabby. She loved the time she had by herself but LOVED the time she spent with her family and friends. I’m going to miss her calling me a “smartass” or saying, “Oh Courtney don’t say that!” I know she loved me with all her heart and she never wasted time by not saying it. I loved her almost as much (per her of course) because she’d always say “I love you to infinity” and that meant she loved me more lol.

Thank you for reading this if you made it this far. I know it was a little different then my usual favorite weekly makeup. She was one of the reasons this blog exists, and I will always remember she was my biggest fan in life. Love you always to infinity Mom!