‘I blacked out and collapsed. ‘We’re taking your baby,’ I heard someone say. I woke up not knowing where I was. I tried to tell them I was in pain, but couldn’t talk.’

“I saw nurses running back and forth. My parents waited for the helicopter to land. ‘They have to do surgery right now or she’ll die.’ My husband pulled over, went behind a building, and cried. ‘How am I going to raise 4 kids alone?!’ My oldest son was too scared to touch me. ‘I’m scared I’m going to hurt you, mama.’”

‘Garry!’ I yelled, grabbing his face. ‘Garry, wake up!’ I screamed at him. There was no response other than the awful snoring and shaking. I bolted across my yard to pound on my neighbor’s door.’

“I awoke with a startle. I’d only been asleep for an hour when a strange sound roused me. There it was again, coming from my husband’s side of the bed; a strange snoring sound, except it wasn’t snoring. Something wasn’t right. He was shaking. My babies were sleeping soundly in their beds.”

‘A woman had just given birth and wanted my husband and I to raise him. She didn’t even give the baby a name before she left. This tiny little boy had absolutely no one.’

“I knew right away this baby was destined to be ours. Mike and I had settled into a routine of pinching pennies, sharing domestic duties, and bonding with our little guy, when my world was shattered once again. For reasons of which I’m still not entirely sure, my loving husband, Brenden’s father, took his own life.”

‘What now?,’ is all that ran through my mind. ‘How did this happen to me?’ All the voices in the room disappeared. I was washed on a metal table with hoses that hung from the ceiling.’

“He instilled in my mind there was better out there. Someone who he didn’t have to help when I wasn’t feeling well, someone who he didn’t have to go to the ER with, someone who was ‘normal,’ who’s body was not scarred up. I said to my dad, ‘I can’t do it anymore. I can’t take this anymore.'”