January 3, 2016…
A day that leaves a lump in my throat & tears rolling down my cheeks; A moment where time stood still, and changed the hearts of so many.
Kristen was a mother of three children, a wife, and friend to many. She had a smile that would light up a room with her presence. She knew no stranger and brought great joy to those among her.
Kristen Vernell Northam, at age 49, was pronounced dead on the scene. With her vehicle parked behind a storage unit, she was lifeless. The scene was horrific, like a bad horror film that didn’t seem real. Still to this day I can remember the pictures so vividly and will forever. It consisted of a dryer hose that reached from her exhaust pipe to the passenger back window. Taped with silver duck tape with almost perfect space in between them to make sure the plan was fulfilled. But that wasn’t even the beginning of it…..then you open the door of the vehicle, there she was my mother, lifeless, cold and blue. There was knife cuts vertically cut down her wrists, blood soaked into the seats of her Ford Explorer, and the knife that punctured through her skin, laying on the passenger front seat.
My body just fell to the floor, it was like I was inside my own dream but I couldn’t pinch my self to wake up. My heart racing like I just finished running a marathon, and couldn’t catch my breath. My legs buckled and hit the ground. How am I going to tell my brother…..
Sitting there blaming myself, how could I have prevented this? Why our Mom? How could she dot his to us? I think God got more questions that day then he had gotten in a long time, not only questioning him but questioning my faith in him.
It was a feeling of emptiness that I couldn’t and can’t ever shake it was like a flood of darkness took over me.
Where do I turn…? How can I get passed this? Why her and not me? Simple questions that a young adult shouldn’t even fathom but it happens way to often in this day of age.
It was something I never want anyone else to face, not even me…Something I knew one day would hit me straight dead on in the face if I didn’t start to understand or cope with the circumstances. But knowing that I did the exact opposite, I started to blame God, my parents, get into a relationship that wasn’t right for me. I started to get sucked into the Devils Hole and I didn’t even know it.
Fast Forward about 6 months after my mother had passed, I fell into depression, having suicidal thought, letting the devil take over my stomping grounds..which if you knew me growing up, I was a very happy overall human, (yeah their was behind the scene stuff but who doesn’t have that) soccer was my life (eat breathe soccer lol), never got in trouble (Parents would say I was the easiest growing up LOL), and loved being with my family (aka home body). Never would I of thought, I , McKina Michael not wanting to make it passed 22 and for my dad watch me get married and have kids of my own, or fulfill my career in the medical field. (because if you ask me in high school, I was going to be a missionary in Africa, or as a child a doctor like ER…)
Mental Illness is something that consumed my mother, not just at the end of her life but she battled it since she was a child. It was something that we turned a blind eye to, with pushing it under the table and saying its just a phase. Well I’ve learned through not only watching her face it, but also my own personal battle. Its a disease that if you don’t fight the battle it consumes you. Making sure you feel like a rock on the side of the road, not being good enough and always thinking others are better off without you.
Well I’m to tell you I have had angles watch over me everyday since January 3rd, not knowing truly how BIG OUR GOD was till truly this passed November…
Remember that Brother I was telling you about, well his name is Chantz, after my Mother passed his father after many years came back in the picture to be a “father,” but it didn’t last longer than 6 months. (hints to why there is a quotation marks around it) I received full custody of Chantz in August of 2017, but started the court process a year before. So those angels that I was talking about, Chantz was a true angle. And here’s why….
I was giving up and letting the Devil win, letting him rule not only my mind but dictate my life, and tell me I’m not worth to be loved, and no-one here needs me on this earth. Well I was in a hotel bathroom because I just couldn’t do this thing called life anymore. Holding a tiffiny blue glock in my hand and ready to pull the trigger at 22. Tear running sown my face thinking about my family, my dad, my other siblings. Then my phone rang…
It was God.
Chantz’s dad had been taken in for domestic violence and I was alerted by his now ex wife that I had 24 hours to pick him up.
Like a roar of a lion, I gathered my things, gasped for air, knew i was just given a second chance a this thing called life. And soon to be something no 22 year old would think would happen, but become a mother figure to a 11 year old.
This is just a glimps of the struggles I have faced, I still have demons that try to kill and destroy but I know my God has given me a chance of life, and to do greater things in his name. And that’s when God planted me with the idea of Soulfully Rooted Foundation. The seed was planted during alter call during a Sunday Church service. I just stepped out of a horrible work environment, and I wonder what was next for me…Well let me tell you God takes you out of something that you thought was great (money) and turns it into something greater and gives you a purpose.
I began forming ideas, calling individuals, meeting with a former client from the gym talking and telling them about my idea. It sounded great and all but how was it all going to come together, seemed to big for a 24 year old to pull off.
Sitting in a Walmart parking lot with thoughts and ideas still buzzing through my head, I received a message from one of my high school friends, it was a message about one of my best friends growing up. Something its still hard to shake today, and not knowing why and the reasoning. My best friend since I was 2 had passed away from Suicide. It brought back that dark, cold, and heartless feeling again. Life God why I just getting on my feet, this can’t be happening.
I stopped right then and prayed for not only peace but peace for the family that was my second family, whom I spend almost every other weekend at. Because I knew how my mothers death took a toll on me; I couldn’t watch a family that I loved dearly fall in to the Devils hole. Then I got peace over me, words that still give me chills to the bone. “I have planted the seed of Soulfully Rooted Foundation in your hear, trust I am a faithful God, and will do above and abundantly. Stop this horrific epidemic and reach my people. they need your strength to overcome our greatest enemy that comes to kill and destroy.”
Just typing that chills ran down my spine.
I knew i had to step in and plant a seed as big as Blair’s personality, because its all because of her that I received that message from My Heavenly Savior, and that this foundation has to come to life.
I have made the Foundation in memory of her. I have big shoes to fill because she could blow away with her smile, laugh, and she made it a point to make anyone’s day.
I will forever be grateful for her amazing parents for letting me use her light to help shine someone else’s.
But…then there is a God who has been forever faithful.
There are days that I still struggle, and I can’t promise you , you won’t have bad days, but know we have a God that will always out way the bad.
This is just a short glimpse of my testimony and the struggles that the Devil tries to consume me with.
Ger ready for more struggles and how to cope, more testimony who have been affected by suicide, and more!!!
KNOW YOUR NOT ALONE!
Saving One Soul. One Root at a Time.
Your Chief of Soulfully Rooted Foundation,
Suicide….who even created that horrific word.