Day 3650: From Grave to Grace

It’s been ten years since the day that changed my world. The brain is an amazing thing. Recently, they proved through an image called an engram that the brain can hold two memories at the same time. I know this to be true because I seem to live in a perpetual state of this mindset. My memories of my time with Lindy seem distant yet top of mind simultaneously. Not sure how healthy this is, but it is the truth.   

I was reading back through my blog post that I used to do in the beginning and stopped at Day 1003: Fit to be Tied. Everything in this post from seven years ago is still so true today. (It is nice to read confirmations). Day 1003 was a few months after I met Julie. My feelings and sentiments about her are also still so true today. Julie is unique because she encouraged (and still does) me to celebrate Lindy, write about her, and never forget her. Julie is just so extraordinary this way. Journaling my days of grief is the most important tool I had to cope then and now, celebrate her memory. However, I did not start journaling my grief until my first day in Spain, a day after her funeral. The first 6 days never made it on paper…

I recently saw a picture of Lindy on Facebook Memories of her at the Zale Lipshy rehab facility, looking at her phone with her puppy, Ollie, on her lap. I had my breath taken away for a brief moment when I realized the date. This was a picture of her 15 days before she passed away. When I zoomed in on the image, I noticed my makeshift bed behind her, where I had been sleeping for a few weeks. I was immediately in a trance, taken back to this moment in time, sitting next to her after bringing her puppy, Ollie, up to see his momma for the first time in over a month. This was a fond memory because we were both so silently confident, as she always was, that she would again get through this episode and come home. Me? I always took my cues from her. I never wanted to think about reality. Little did I know that reality was soon about to rain down on me, the darkest hell I had ever known.

This memory of her at Zale led me down a rabbit hole to the dark times right after she died. I haven’t felt those feelings in 10 years. Kinda surprised it was still so raw. I was immediately transported back to the dark days of sitting in the dingy 1st & 10 Sports bar every night, trying to drink the pain away before I walked back to pass out in the tomb of our bedroom. During these 6 days between her death and funeral, I felt engulfed by the heaviest, darkest cloud that seemed to rapture my mind to even darker places unknown. (I think I now understand insanity)! I couldn’t see anything right before me, just torment and agony. This cloud of utter hopelessness felt like it would never be lifted. Lindy was my everything. My future, my family, my hopes, and my dreams all vanished without conscious warning. Sure, the lurking thought of her death over the 41 months since her diagnosis was always in the corner of every room, but we never gave it space in our lives. Her fearlessness helped me believe that she was superwoman and that we would outrun her fate. She was courageous and optimistic like that, always. Always.

I drank enough in the 6 days after her death to drown a small village ten times over. I even got so drunk that, walking home one night from the bar, I mistook a house three blocks over from ours as my own. I walked through the back gate, onto the back porch, at no pointwise to the fact that it looked nothing like my back porch, and I tried to unlock the backdoor at 2 am with my key. I was immediately met by a pissed-off homeowner in a bathrobe holding something in his hand. Maybe a handgun, perhaps a billy club, who knows. In hindsight, I wouldn’t have blamed him for shooting me on the spot! Perhaps I was even hoping he would! Thank God now he didn’t. Luckily, he was vaguely familiar with my loss and begrudgingly grabbed his keys and drove me home.

I had to buck up and finalize the funeral arrangements when not dodging angry-middle-of-the-night homeowners and stumbling home every night after literally flushing $300 worth of booze down the toilet. I struggled to put the funeral agenda together. I owe the great people in my life a debt of gratitude for helping me arrange everything at my often-incoherent direction. I am so surprised, looking back, that the funeral turned out as perfect and fitting for Lindy as it did. Heck, even deciding on a single tombstone for Lindy or a dual headstone for both of us plagued my every waking hour. I didn’t realize then that I couldn’t be buried next to her even if I wanted to. I was too young to have to make these decisions, and at the time, I remember feeling that I likely wasn’t too far behind her, so I felt I needed to cover my basis.

I didn’t see a point in going on; at the least, I didn’t think I would make it long at this pace. What little driving I did during those six days, I would often have horrible thoughts of jerking the wheel slightly and hitting oncoming traffic to end it all. I was miserable and lonely, numb, and I just wanted it to stop. It’s hard to admit all this now, seeing how far I have come, but I am glad it didn’t end that way. Looking back, I know God had His hand on me even though I had wanted very little to do with Him for the past twenty-plus years prior and even more so then.

A lot has happened in ten years, including my recommitment to my faith in Jesus. This was a miracle for those that knew me in my Speedtrucker band days. While I don’t want to stray into a theological debate, I look back on how things could have gone terribly for me. Spun me off into never, never land, never to return. But, apparently, God had other plans. 

These were inconceivable plans, to say the least. Nothing could have prepared me for what, unbeknownst to me, God already had in motion. Enter the miracle: June Lucette was born on September 24, 2022. Ten years after Lindy’s death and thirteen years after June’s conception, and after a very tough court battle for custody, I saw something I could never have imagined possible. I saw Lindy again in June’s eyes. This was nothing I could have imagined or even prepared for. When I heard June cry for the first breath, I came out from behind the C-section curtain, took one look, covered my eyes with my hands, and wept in a swell of bittersweet (engram) emotion. When I juxtapose my unending love for Lindy, my darkest moments after her death, miraculously meeting Julie, and now the miracle of June, it leaves me speechless most days. I sometimes feel frozen, and I pick my jaw up off the floor every morning I hold June. Even four months in, I am still in a state of unbelief- unbelief about how she got here and who she came from. I look into her blue eyes, like Lindy’s, and just all I can do is stare, cry, and sing to her. I love this little girl beyond anything I have ever felt, but it leaves me sad that Lindy will never get to physically hold her. It makes me sad that she will never get to kiss her and be here to see her grow up and blossom. I am just beyond words to describe the state I am in most of the time.

When June smiles (maybe my next song title 😊 , Thanks Julie, for the suggestion), which I seriously think she is always doing, even in her sleep, it melts my heart. Some may or may not know that my mother, a very devoted and Godly woman, passed away unexpectedly last year. She journaled a lot (I guess I get that from her) almost every day of her adult life. Long before Lindy died, right after Lindy and I created who we now know as June (she was conceived through IVF on Lindy’s birthday on November 24th, 2009, by the way:), my mom had written in her journal that God showed her that Lindy and I would have a child. She also said that God showed her in a dream that this child would be a little girl and that she would have a healing nature about her. After Lindy died, my mom wrote daily that she was distraught and mad at God. My mom was depressed for months after her death and struggled that God didn’t heal Lindy, thinking He showed her we would indeed have a little girl together. 

One year after Lindy passed and a year before I met Julie, my mom wrote in her journal, on May 4th, 2014, that while she was praying an altar call during Sunday morning church, God told her about the child promised to Lindy and me. She wrote that afternoon in her journal that God told her this child would still come about unbelievably. I still didn’t have legal rights to the embryos at this point and wouldn’t for five more years. I also promised Lindy our child would have a mother. What He showed my mom that day was impossible. Between the not-going-so-well fight for my rights to the embryos and the fact that I had no interest in dating again, it seemed I had a better chance of living on the moon! 

As I sit here and write this, I get steady streams of tears every few words. Just thinking about how it all unfolded and the feelings that came with each event puts me back in a frozen state, much like June’s frozen state for 13 years, I imagine. (I owe her birth in California to Julie, being the most caring mother ever, she decided that after being frozen for 13 years, June deserved some sunshine when she came out)!

Julie was no doubt sent to me by God and, without question, the most significant piece to all of this. I couldn’t be who I am without her through all this. June wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her love of me and June. When we first met, and Julie heard about the embryos, she said, “the hopeless romantic in me hopes you find someone who would want to have them with you someday.” It’s unusual for a woman to truly feel this way; suggesting, encouraging, and participating in it is non-existent if you ask me. But watching her pregnant with June and becoming her mother throughout this journey has me in total awe of Julie and places her in the Mother Hall of Fame, if there was such. Julie was meant to be June’s mother. It has been inspirational to watch Julie care for June. Julie is an amazing mother, so strong and confident in who she is, and I pray that June will inherit those beautiful qualities from her. I love Julie with every ounce of my being, and I thank God daily that she is my wife and, better yet, June’s mother. June will also know Lindy’s courage and optimism. June will see my mother’s faith through this continuing journey and learn all about Julie and my faith in Jesus. But on the 10th anniversary of Lindy’s passing, I pray most that Lindy is watching with a smile that is as big as June’s perpetual smile! I pray she knows we will always honor her memory and her courageous sacrifice to conceive June. We will think and talk about her often in the fondest of memories. Lindy was a wonderful, one-of-a-kind friend, wife, and now Mother in Heaven. We all miss her, me more than most, but I know she touched everyone she knew, and now her offspring, June Lucette, will continue her journey with the two most loving parents she could ask for on earth, and one amazing Mother in Heaven.


In memory of 

Lindy Lucette Bullock-Cox

November 24th, 1972 to February 6th, 2013

10th Anniversary of Her Passing

7 Responses

  1. Mike, I’m so thankful that you found Julie. I knew how much you were hurting when lindy died from what Leah was telling me. I prayed that you would find peace. It just gladdens my heart that you have Julie and now little June in your life to be your forever loves. I never met Lindy but you always talked about her with such love. I know she’s very proud of you and your little family. Love ya!

  2. Oh, Mike, I cried as I read this. What a beautiful tribute to Lindy and to Julie. I felt all of your emotions and your feelings about Lindy’s death. But I also feel your joy that you are still alive. I love you, my friend. And now, I love Lindsay and Julie. Kisses to you, Julie and June. 😘

  3. Oh Mike… You and Julie are so blessed by the birth of June. I can’t imagine what it must be like to see Lindy’s eyes every time you hold and cuddle June. Lindy was a one of a kind that left her footprint on your heart. I know because it happened to me. May Lindy’s heart always shine through. ❤️❤️❤️Cecile Brownlee
    Your blogs are wonderful.

    1. Thank you so much. I fall in love all over again every day with June and to see her carry on Lindy’s legacy has zero words to explain how I feel. I know you know what it means 😇❤️

  4. Good Stuff, Michael, I am glad you keep this going in Lindy’s memory to honor her, and to tell your “BUT GOD STORY”, which is continuing to unfold everyday. Baby June, is most definitely a miracle baby and God definitely has a plan for her. We love her so much and we are praying and watching what God does in not only her life, but you and Julie’s as her parents. We love you , thanks for sharing.

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