My name is Jami Yeats-Kastner, also known as the Crazybutterflylady, for reasons which will soon become apparent.
Who am I? Well thus far in my writing I suppose I am first and foremost a Mom. (although in my own world I like to to think I am first and foremost Jami). So I guess I write about Mom things, but not always in the ordinary way. My writing is not all about fun crafts I have learnt to make with my kids, nor gluten-free recipes to cook together. Although there certainly is some of that.
The one’s I need to speak to with this blog, and this story, are not necessarily the Pinterest winners doing everything right. I need to speak to you, the broken ones. The damaged parents and tired hearts just getting through it hour by hour, day by day. You, exhausted but smiling, saying yes when your soul is screaming no, running your way through the day. There is another way, you know, life is not a race.
Believe me, this is a lesson I am still learning. Bit by bit. Day by day. But I learnt some very serious lessons through some fucking painful stuff, and I really need to share them.
We lost our youngest son, you see, in 2013. The most beautiful blue-eyed wonder boy (oh my God Sam I miss you every single day, every minute, every second, my heart has a giant gash in it, it holds so much love and so much pain in there that sometimes I can’t breathe) of only 18 months who drowned in our pool at home while friends and I sat less than 5 metres away talking and laughing and how was the gate left open how how how and how did he get past us that is what I have to live with every day of my life.
So you see, that is the day that broke me. I have had to rebuild myself and my soul. Bit by painful bit, to rebuild our family of four (five, Sam, we’ll always be five) and to find a new normal. Today I can honestly say I am happier, more joyful and grateful for every single thing than I ever have been. I love harder, I feel deeper, I am forever changed.
One of my steps to healing has been finding purpose and meaning in what happened, and in everything that happens. Our oldest son, Jack, has special needs. Undiagnosed/Global Developmental Delay/ Autism Spectrum/ blah-blahdibla. He has Jackness, which myself and everyone who meets him has come to see the blessing in.
In 2015 we opened a school for special needs children here in our village of Stanford, Western Cape, South Africa, The Butterfly Centre. This is in honour of Sam, and he is the guardian angel of the project (yes, really).My soul purpose is to help these children to reach their maximum potential and for society to learn to celebrate their uniqueness…you can read more about it on the Butterfly Centre tab on this blog.
We have another son, Alex, now 7 years old and completely typical and smart as they come, which brings it’s own challenges.
Oh, it’s a complicated situation alright. Our family ain’t gonna win any prizes for normal. But what I’m learning more and more is that normal is completely fucking overrated anyway. Life is for living, not for others, but for yourself. Surround yourself with those who love you and want the best for you.
I hope that in sharing my story I will help others to heal their own pain. That is my purpose with writing.
Thanks for taking the time to listen.