You Can’t Pour From an Empty Cup

photo (1)My son Jared was a lot like me.. I had to quiet all the noise to realize this. I have had to do a lot of soul searching to really hear his voice and the voice of God through this mold maze.

A good friend told me the other day, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” I’m chuckling now, because I am realizing I do that everyday. In fact the cup is cracked, it’s broken, it’s seriously falling apart, but it is determined, determined to pour out what it does not have. This is what made me think of my son. Someone told me they could see in this picture of my son that he was determined. Ok, I’m sitting at Starbucks, but the tears are suddenly pouring like rain. Hopefully noone sees me, because I am finally not trying to repress all of this. I know as painful as this moment is, it is also cathartic.

I never use to repress things. I just realized days ago that I have been repressing. I starting realizing that if I kept busy, if I tried to help others, tried to take on the world, it meant I could focus on something other than my pain. In theory this may sound good, but the truth is, it’s not. It’s not good to not deal with the pain.

Going back to the picture, that day my son had done his hair and even put on some of my bronzer. 😉 Sometimes you gotta fake it to make it! And he sure did that day, so whoever said that he was determined in that picture, you were right. I only see that now,  I am starting to remember. He was going on a date. You see Jared was not sick.. Well, I mean that is what he told himself. I never understood that. Why would he try to convince himself he wasn’t sick? His labs were the worst and he always reminded us of this, always with his chest puffed out as if to say,  “look at me, I am an overcomer!” I’m serious that was my son. Ok, now I am smiling, I am a proud mama. My son was determined! I guess that is what I respected most about him, his determination.

In the 11 months after the exposure, Jared was determined to resume life, go to school, and even fall in love.. He accomplished all of this. Cute story, mold took everything from us. It broke us, physically, emotionally, and financially. Jared, a musician, had one prize possession a pair of Beatz headphones. He sold them for 18 dollars on craigslist so he could take his girlfriend out.  I had no idea till I noticed he wasn’t wearing them. Jared loved with all his heart…Now Ladies, who wouldn’t want a man as amazing as this?

Where am I going with all of this? I am trying to remember… Oh yes, it’s about what Jared wanted, it’s about what Jared experienced. He did not want to live in pain, dwell on his pain, so he repressed. He was determined to live the best years of his life. He often told me he was not going to give in. Yet in this fight we wrestle with a demon. Toxic mold is not something you can just wish away, and it is no indicator of lack of strength if you can’t get well. This illness ties you up, and then beats you, it’s not a fair fight. My son wrestled this demon, and he was determined to win. He was determined to rise above something that, let’s face it was impossible.

Jared and I are alike. I repress the pain too. I am determined to rise above this tragedy, so I push it all aside. It’s how I survive. So, like Jared I keep pouring from this empty cup, because I am pretending it is full. I almost don’t see the cracks. In fact I didn’t even notice them till my cup shattered.

Last night I opened a window to let his spirit in, as I knew my pain was shutting him out.

I said, “Jared, I know I need to go buy a new cup, and then fill it till it runneth over.”

I love you.. I miss you. You are my heart and my soul. You are a very special somebody Jared.

13 thoughts on “You Can’t Pour From an Empty Cup”

  1. Kelli
    Reading this I feel like I am right there with you ????
    I love you girl and giving you virtual hugs (((????)))
    I am happy you are taking some time away to take care of Y❤️U ????????

  2. Kelli, You are Amazing. I can not articulate it how I want. I can not imagine your pain, yet, you share. Your love for Jared and Jared’s love for you knows no bounds. You are giving a voice to this catastrophic epidemic that is too easily swept aside. My heart and eyes cry for you. You are nothing short of a miracle. Jared is somebody, Kelli is somebody and I am somebody. You are the only person who has validated me on that level for me to believe that I am somebody. This is not me and I deserve to live. Thank you Kelli.

  3. Oh, Kelli …. So touching, so you have me crying too! I feel for you Girl! Let those feelings out, express them,not suppress them. You need to to heal. As long as you don’t continue to dwell in your pain. You don’t have to always be so strong. Let it out. ( I tend to fake it through too, so I can relate). I can’t even imagine the pain you carry in your heart, and only hope over time, that will lessen. My thoughts and heart are with you and Jered , always.

  4. Oh dear Kelli, what a tender and true tribute to your most extraordinary son, Jared! You bravely poured out your broken heart and let us all in, so that Jared is now in our hearts too. I am in awe of your courage and honesty. You and your beautiful children inspire us all to carry out Jared’s wishes … To carry on his legacy. I am so glad you are taking time to take care of yourself. Take all the time you need… We have your back! I feel a rain of love and healing today… And know it is Jared’s way of blessing us all, because we’re all in this together. Jared’s memory is a rain of blessings! Sending love and comfort to you and Tyler and Kaya, especially today…..????????????

  5. I thought I was alone,to start another project. An environmental issue,every mothers nightmare. It could have been prevented,that weighs heavy on our hearts. The price we pay, for another’s greed and institutionalized ignorance. . I know, that but for the grace of God and microbiology, I may have never discovered the truth. Escape we did, for a moment free, believing we could heal. Than like before, it brought me to my knees, unexpectedly,unpredictably,than again and again and again… Thank you Kelli for sharing, maybe we should honor you both and the sacrifices of Mold Warriors as a” Black Star Family”. I weep for you and know it could happen to any of us. We have powerful enemies but I know God has a plan and He is in the business of Love and Mighty justice. Stay with us, Jared is still a blessing and a mighty warrior who soars among the Saints.

  6. Kelli, this is just amazing! You’re amazing! What you’ve written is incredibly beautiful and I’m sitting here crying lol.. Please take care of yourself and your family! And you’re so right, it’s very important to allow yourself to feel your pain… You are such an inspiration and so is Jared.. The stories you wrote and shared show what an incredibly special person he is …a beautiful spirit. Thinking of you ????

    1. Kelli, I am so sorry for the typo.. Was supposed to be heart emoji after thinking of you and for some odd reason put ??? I’m so sorry for that

  7. Sweet lady, I agree with you–so easy to want to repress, so good when we let it out!!!!! Yes, NOT a fair fight at all!!!!!! The mold messes with our bodies, our minds, our lives, everything. I am SO glad you are blogging and sharing. I can’t imagine your pain, and I think of you and pray for you a lot.

  8. Bless you dear mother of an angel. I can’t begin to understand your pain. I’m hopeful that in time the good memories will outweigh the sorrow. You are helping bring awareness to so many silent sufferers.

  9. Thank you all.. I am fighting the good fight. I am taking this time to refocus my energies on making change and developing a strategy, one that will make my son proud. My son did not die in vain, there is no way I am going to let that happen. He needs me right now to tell his story, which is all of our stories.. Its time!

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