Hand in Hand Through Life
As many of you know, my sweet cowboy man was in a terrible work related accident July 4th. We have received so much support, sweet messages and love from those we know and even those we have only met through this lovely space called the internet. 

Today I was thinking about all the struggles of the last month and how even though things have been tough... they are no measure for all the myriad of issues and challenges we have faced as a couple. We have literally gone to Hades and back and by the Grace of God we are still standing, facing life with hope, love and a sense of wonder. 

I was looking at all we have faced today, and I just sat there... thankful for everything we have been through... which in itself amazes me. When Seth and I decided to make two families one, we faced so much opposition! There were very few who saw the wisdom in joining our hearts ,lives and families(thank you Mama, Ms Bridgette, and my sister Jenn for believing in us!) . Most could only see the struggles and mountains we would face and did not hold the optimism of love and hope we shared. We did not take this endeavor of combining lives lightly. At one point, with everyone telling us we should not go down this path, we set down and wrote out our goals and ideals in a mate. We objectively looked at the challenges and differences and still chose to combine our hearts and families. We new we had to decide to jump in or cut bait! We decided... hand in hand to face life together... as a family!

Seth and I have chosen to never embrace the idea of steps, halves or wholes. It was sink or swim with us in our situation. We knew that the children we brought into this relationship needed  and deserved our hearts.. wholly, fully, and completely. There was no way to accept it any other way for us in our circumstances. 

No sooner had we exchanged vows, and life threw a curve ball... seemingly asking... are you sure you are ready for this? My sweet young brother had died two years previous, when not too long into marriage, a new baby blessing our lives, and my father passing away, we experienced a horror no newly married couple should ever face. When Lil' Bit was five months old a nasty custody battle turned to a place no one would have ever thought or believed it could go. On the night of our son's birthday, an undercover agent met us in the driveway to let us know Seth's ex, mother of his child, and her mother, allegedly, had hired an under cover agent to kill my sweet cowboy man. There are no words which can express the shock and horror of something which should be a movie plot and not real life for a newly married couple. 

After celebrating our son's birthday we returned home to learn our lives would forever change. As we were driving down the driveway, a truck, with it's lights off, followed us to the house. Having received a call from the boys biological mother's recently ex boyfriend, we were nervous. He had called that morning warning us that she and her mother were seeking someone to "kill Seth" and had asked him to do "the deed." I am sorry to say I judged this man and his character and did not take his warning seriously. 

As we drove down the driveway, we began to worry about his warning. Seth had all the kids take off their seat belts and instructed us to RUN into the house, call his mom, and prepare ourselves for the worst. I do not know a Montana household that does not possess a gun, and I went in and prepared to defend my home. I know this sounds extreme but when you live in the middle of no where and your children and home are in possible danger... you will do things you would never believe are a part of your character. I quietly put my children to bed, and sat in the rocker, my newborn baby nursing at my breast, with a gun nearby. Eventually, I went outside to see what was going on. I asked "Hey babe, is everything ok?" He sternly told me "Get back in the house" I was about to argue, but I knew he had never "dismissed" me and there must be something serious occurring. I had to trust my spouse in that moment, a task given my history, did not come easily. I chose to trust and went back inside. 

What seemed like ages later, my sweet cowboy came in. His face was as white as a ghost. He was shaking and his face possessed a look I had never seen. Sheer terror crossed this brave man's features. What I remember is sitting there, nursing our young baby, the whole world ahead of us, and seeing him drop to his knees and tell me someone had hired an undercover hit man to take his life. He was told the perpetrator of these acts stated : I don't just want him hurt, or his legs broken... I want him dead... d.e.a.d. DEAD." His ex's mother, the grandmother of his son's had paid money to have his life ended. We held on to each other. We cried. We worried. We thanked God for placing the right people in the right path to prevent this from occurring.

See, when the boys' biological mother (allegedly) sought out someone to kill my cowboy, she mentioned it to someone who was trying to get her life straightened out. This person remembered what a GREAT dad Seth was and went to her AA sponsor. This sponsor then set the wheels in motion to save our lives and our family! I still chat with her on Facebook and every time I am thankful for her bravery and honesty... she saved my husband's life and it is a debt I could never repay! She is a true hero in my eyes. 

Weeks went by. Phone calls were made nightly by the offending party, asking if Seth was home, how we were doing, if I was worried about him out hunting? The boys bio mom had never called so much! I finally reached my limit. I called the state and asked them to end it! I went to my mother's house with my children and hid out... trying my hardest to never let on what was about to occur! She loved us through the hours of worry! A mother's love is something one can never measure or understand. I am thankful for all she did as we faced something beyond understanding. My husband was taken to an undisclosed location. His glasses and personal effects were taken to his ex's mother by the under cover agent. After seeing his broken glasses, she then paid the "blood" money as she believed the "deed was done." 

One would think this would be the end of our struggle, but months later we were still facing the challenges of dealing with this crime which was committed against our family. The boys  biological mother fled the State. The maternal grandmother had decided her plea for mercy to the court and in the realm of public opinion would be that of accusing us of abuse to her grandchildren. The "big city" paper decided to print her accusations without ever talking with us, which The Missoulian eventually rescended after an emotional phone call from me.. in a small paragraph on a back page. I had faced abuse and it angered me that the man who showed us love, patience and safety was being accused of hurting anyone!

We had to fight hard to make sure a message was sent. The defense wanted the boys maternal grandmother to see no jail time. The prosecuting attorney was no help. We felt alone in the world. Public opinion swayed between feeling sorry for us and her. After a lot of work on our part, a settlement and plea was reached. My sweet man sat in from of a court room expressing what we had gone through as a family. She (the maternal bio grandmother) plead guilty to "felony solicitation to commit homicide." She was sentenced to 25 years, 20 suspended, and was out of prison in 18 months. She never admitted her crime nor asked for forgiveness. She justified her actions to the very end. The boys biological mother fled the state and we have never heard from her. I am thankful for the gift of two sons she has given me! Though  they are not of my body... they are of my heart. 

No one can express what is like to have your children return from school, not knowing other families would discuss your lives over dinner, scared out of their minds from learning at school, their "daddy" was almost murdered. No one can express the horror of seeing your names in black and white and learning that "blowing up the propane tank in front of your house" was discussed as a means of murder. No one can understand what it is like to be a newly married couple, with a newborn child and six other children under the age of seven, and face this kind of terror! No one can understand what it is like to face the loss of everything that is dear to you. Yet, still we held on. We loved each other... we parented our children... and we held on to each other and to the hope things would some day be better for us and our little family!

So, as I look at my poor wounded cowboy, facing weeks of challenging physical therapy and his life once again being spared, I can tell you this is not the hardest thing we have faced. We have been to places few couples have experienced. It has made us strong, secure, and thankful in the knowing there is a plan for us. We have been to Hades and back and it prepared us to be strong during times of trial. 

I am thankful every single day for our family and all it means. I am thankful for the strength that our trials have produced in us. As we walk hand in hand through life, we know we are blessed beyond measure in spite of our circumstances. We have faced much much worse and come out on the other side still holding on to faith, hope, and love. What more can one ask for?




New Horse Mom
08/06/2012 19:38

Beautiful, I absolutely loved it!

08/06/2012 19:55

I am so thankful! :)

08/06/2012 19:39

I have never read a story so candid, so honest, so touching, and so absolutely horrifying. I continue to be amazed by your willingness to share, your ability to cope, your love and faith. You continue to inspire me. I'm speechless. Hugs to you and your cowboy. xo

08/06/2012 19:56

My only hope is that through our "craziness" others can be blessed! I am so glad you read it and it inspired you! xoxo

08/06/2012 19:44

well, I hope the rest of your lives are very very boring....

08/06/2012 19:57

Oh amen! From your mouth to God's ear! Love ya Babz! xoxo

Linda McDonald
08/06/2012 19:59

Beautifully written, song of the heart. Peace be with you always

08/06/2012 20:01

Thank you! xoxo

08/06/2012 19:59

Thank God for your love, Thank God for your faith, Thank God for your children, Thank God for Each Other!! Thank God he was watching over you and taking care of all of you. Even though it has been some time I am sending prayers of thanks to God for all of you.
What doesn't break you only makes you stronger. Much love and blessings......unless you have traveled in your shoes no one knows what you have endured. Blessings to all!!

08/06/2012 20:02

Thank you Debbie! :) Through it all my main feeling is... BLESSED! :) hugs!

08/06/2012 20:45

You are so strong and so blessed.

08/06/2012 20:55

I truly feel blessed! Thank you! K

08/06/2012 20:56

When I first heard you two got together I was shocked, I can admitt it. ;) But now I can see God had written a beautiful love story for both of you. You guys are a true inspiration to others...and you ROCK TOO!! Love you;)

08/06/2012 21:34

Lol! Love us back! xoxo

08/06/2012 21:02

Tonight thought it was a good time to start reading your blog. Nothing prepared me for the story you told. It just gave me chills. I am so grateful that you and your family are ok. I am so enjoying your FB page; your happy and lovely things you post; never would have imagined you have gone through such challenges. God Bless to you all; and to continued recovery to your Cowboy!

08/06/2012 21:38

I am so glad you enjoy the FB page! It is so much fun to share lovely ideas and thoughts with people. So glad you read the blog tonight :) Thank you for your well wishes! xo, K

08/06/2012 21:10

How are you able to feel safe now, if the former MIL is free, and you don't know where the crazy ex is? That is such a horrific story, and I'm so sorry you all had to live it. Bless your sweet family

08/06/2012 21:42

Hi Debbie
It took a lot of years to feel safe. I didn't talk about the years that followed... calls to the parole officer to keep her out of our lives! She is on probation for the 20 years that remained. I follow VINE which gives us updates on her where abouts and I believe she still must check in with a parole officer. I just have to have faith we are safe! I also learned to shoot a gun and there are safety precautions we always take :) When you go through something like this it changes who you are and how you "do business" but you HAVE to find a sense of normal and sense of safety. It has been over ten years sense this happened so time has passed and we are able to now share it. Bless you right back! xoxo

08/07/2012 06:01

Kimber, you brought me to tears. I am so sorry that your family had to go through this. I can only hope that the legal system makes sure that your family will stay safe! I hid from an abusive ex husband for years. I finally felt safe the day that he died (isn't that a horrible thing to say?)

Sending lots of prayers your way.


08/07/2012 06:36

Thank you Karen! U2 seems like a lifetime ago. A lot of time has pissed and it is an experience we have healed from. Those were some dark days and we feel safe. I'm sorry you experienced abuse and I understand your sentiment. I pray you have been able to heal and experience some closure! I'm glad you now feel safe! Thanks for the prayers and kind words! K

08/07/2012 07:23

Oh Kimber, I knew there was something that drew me to you and your Cowboy but reading this took me back to the early '80's and lived through my dark days nothing short of a miracle...God has blessed you and continues to...thank you for showing there is always light at the other end. much luv and prayers.

08/07/2012 10:03

Blessings and hugs to you Pat! xo


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