Unconditional Love…

“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother”

~Abraham Lincoln ~


Unconditional love…

Never ending support…

Patience to endure…

Healing hugs…

A balm to my soul…

Ceaseless words of encouragement…

A legacy of steadfastness, love, wisdom,

soothing words, gentle nature…

Commitment to withstand the severest storms of life…

Strength to protect beyond comprehension…

My best friend…

Believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself…

Never a doubt…

Always selfless… All ways there….

One word…



It’s time to introduce the most influential and incredible woman in my life…my mom. Penny…thewhyaboutthis.com . She is my hero and my biggest supporter throughout my whole life, and even through the pitch black valley myself and my children have been through for the last two years. She stood witness, she cried with us, she fought with us…she was/is always an incredible source of inspiration and comfort when we need(ed) it most.

We each started our own blogs for different reasons…it was never intentional to keep our relationship from our precious new friends here. We never dreamed we’d be able to meet and cherish so many so fast. For reasons which will soon be made clear…I wanted to share with you all, newest friends and those who have been with me when I was only brave enough to post a famous quote…then a quote with a picture….then writing poetry (prose)…which I never dreamed I would be able to do…at all!

This has been an incredible adventure…becoming connected with bloggers around the world. Your outpouring of love, concern, and support has filled my heart, made me cry tears of joy, and inspired me beyond what I ever dreamed could be possible.

Mom (Penny) and I decided it was time to share this information because she has a done a few posts about each of my children and now one of my journey through the unimaginable torture of the last two years. Not just grief, but what was intentionally inflicted on top of that grief.

Please visit www.thewhyaboutthis.com and read today’s post “and then she waited…” if you are interested in my story. As a gracious loving mom and grandmother…she has shown me the true meaning of unconditional love…my whole life…but even more so during the last two years. If I am half the mom to my children that she is/has been to me…then I am blessed with the greatest of gifts.

I love you mom…wouldn’t have made it this far without you!

Thank you for always being you, always being there, and for not running away at the repeated insanity thrown at us…

Your most grateful daughter,

Christina ~

Copyright © 2012 Christina Brownlee

40 thoughts on “Unconditional Love…

  1. Love has to be expressed in so many ways but still remains largely unexplained. The honest and sincerity in all kinds of love is what solidifies its base and creates the emotional and celestial medium to interact.

    To all the Moms ! 🙂 Love you all !!!!


  2. Congratulations Cristina for coming through with your kindness and goodness and integrity undamaged. There is a blessing: ” may you be happy, may you be free from suffering, may you come home to your completeness”, and I send it to you and your children..


    • Valerie, thank you so much for your sweet blessing!! I do so appreciate it! It’s been a hard road…guess I had two examples before me…one was the bitter, selfish, self-serving type and on the extreme opposite was my mom with her gentle nature and unconditional love! I chose the love and gentleness! 🙂

      So so appreciate your sweet thoughts friend! Blessings!


  3. I just said on your mum’s post that I didn’t realise you were related. The story she told had me in tears, either with the sorrow of what you went through, or with rage from what you were put through. How you handled yourself, I think Duane would have been so proud of you with not flipping out. I believe he would also have been seriously disgusted with his parents. Reading that and thinking of “You Said” made it all the more powerful.

    Thank you to you and Penny for sharing what must have been extremely difficult things to write.


    • Thank you so much Mondrak! It has been an incredulous journey through the desert. I’m more than appreciative of you sharing your thoughts on this difficult past potpourri of insanity.

      A lot of my earlier poems were very angry ones…and now the reasons why (who they were directed at) are out in the open. While those were difficult to write and this last piece by mom (Penny), they are also healing and freeing too.

      To be so well thought of and cared about by so many here is truly such a precious gift! I consider all of you blessings to me…see how selfish I am? 🙂 I saw a quote recently that I love “Use your smile to change this world. Don’t let this world change your smile.” Blessings sweet friend!


      • Having gone back and read all of your poems now – and they are all uniquely fantastic. I have read them knowing (now) their direction and that made it clear the hell you were put through.

        Your friends will always be here for you, in one sense or another. You have a wonderful gift being able to place your feelings into print as you do.

        “Use your smile to change this world. Don’t let this world change your smile” I suppose the only way to let it is to make it bigger and better.

        Thank You Christina


  4. like the others, I also didn’t realize that you and penny are related. being both bloggers and in constant interaction here at wordpress makes your relationship all the more beautiful and enviable. your closer relationship with penny now is Duane’s lasting gift to both of you.

    thank you for sharing this and for letting your readers into your lives.


    • Neil, thank you for taking your precious time to read this chapter in my (our) lives. I know it’s not pleasant, to say the least. I am grateful everyday for my mom for the amazing woman she is and the incredible influence for my children.

      No one knew we were related, wasn’t that we intentionally wanted it that way – it just sort of happened. Then after writing a post on each of my children she wrote one about me we knew it was past the time to share with our friends who we are.

      The beautiful part is that with each “piece”of this ‘ick’ that gets out (through writing) and away from us…from me, I am feeling freer and freer to move forward with life and begin to live, laugh and love again.

      Thank you so much for joining me on this journey…I do so appreciate you! 🙂


  5. Your poem once again is so heartfelt and so beautiful. I lost my mother at age 14 so this was particularly touching to me. As I read below your poem my mouth dropped open as I realized who your mother is. It makes perfect sense! You both write from a place deep inside. Your mother has obviously taught you well! I will be rushing over next to read her latest post.


    • Thank you so much, you always make me smile with your sweet praise! I am truly sorry you lost your mom at such a young age.

      Mom (Penny) and I had no idea what would happen when we started these blogs…and now we, both of us, are daily blessed with such amazing people like you!

      We are coming out of the desert and you each are a like a beautiful tall glass of refreshing, rejuvenating of water! Thank you for being part of this journey ~ Hugs and Blessings sweet friend!


      • Your story touched my heart and it is clear that the emotions felt while reading your poems comes from a place deep inside you. Obviously your writing is great therapy for you. I pray for continued healing for you and your family.


        • You amazing care, concern, and encouragement mean so very much…I wish I had better words than thank you! This has been so very healing and a godsend really…blogging at this time when we are safe and secure, new amazing supportive friends. My cup is overflowing 😀 Lots of and blessings to you sweet friend!


  6. My sweet friend,

    From the day Duane was ushered into the presence of his Savior, the day that you and all your friends started getting those terrible phone calls… through these long 2 years of agony… Jack’s birthday… VBS that summer… your birthday… that first Christmas… even today, watching you grab hold of this new life God is aiming you towards… you’ve been a constant source of amazement and example of strength for so many of your girlfriends. You have no idea. You just will never know.

    The grace with which you have handled the poop-storm that has been thrown at you during (what should have been) your time of grieving is something I can’t even wrap my brain around. I’m so thankful for your sake that your mom has been able to be with you this whole time. What an amazing God we serve, to bring Penny here when we *thought* Duane needed her, but He was actually bringing her to you *before you* needed her. To have that constant tangible hug-from-God, real-time presence is such a gift, as I know you are already aware.

    I feel sorry for all these nice folks who haven’t had the benefit of knowing you in real life. To be able to sit at a homeschool meeting, pen and paper in hand, ready to catch the wisdom when you finally speak up, because you don’t speak unless you have something to say. You’ve inspired me to be a student of my children because each one is like a snowflake – each one different from the others. To watch closely and make adjustments for what will help, what will reach the heart, what will *bruise* the heart.

    You’ve inspired me to be more willing to forgive. You’ve forgiven the unforgivable. And when your girlfriends around you can’t seem to find the strength to do the same (some of us still haven’t), you forgive us as well.

    But most importantly, you glorify God in your journey. Time and again you’ve turned us to Him. Always, always back to Him. “Don’t turn away from Him! Without Him, I can do nothing. Without His strength, where would I be? Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” Your example has been quietly powerful. We all have stored that example and taken it on board.

    Thank you, my dear sweet friend. I love you.


    • Oh!! You are so amazingly wonderful to write such incredibly awesome praise! There are so many jewels in this comment I am left speechless sweet friend. You are right…I had no idea…none.

      Quietly powerful…wow. I’m so so very honored! Thank you so very very very much to share this with me, here. I cannot share how much this is appreciated!! How much you are appreciated! For always being there…listening and encouraging and always loving, empathetic…you are a true blessing…and I do so cherish you! Huge hugs! I love you too sweetest friend!!


  7. Wow, I have been following both you and your mom, Penny, and had no idea you were related. No wonder you turned out so good! My bond with my mom hasn’t been that good but I am doing my part as the grace is given. But my daughter ( 12 yrs) and I are so much closer than I knew mother/daughters could be. It blesses my socks off to see that both you and your mom share the passion for blogging. It gives me hope when I see such good mother/daughter bonds! I’ll go on over and read her post now. ~ Wendy


    • We didn’t intentionally hide our relationship…we each started blogging in our little ways and bam…everything happened so fast! In such an amazing incredibly fantastic way! After her posts on each of my kids she wanted to write one about me so we knew it was time to let our cherished friends here know of our connection.

      We had a couple rough years when I was a teenager but other than that have always been amazing friends! It is for that very reason I work so hard to establish that with all three of my kids!! It is such a blessings for the child and the parent!! 😀

      I’m so glad to hear that you’ve already laid the foundation for an awesome relationship with your daughter…it is such a blessing!! As are you to me sweet friend 🙂


  8. Oh wow Christina…just did a lengthy post to “Mom Penny” 🙂 and I’m sure she will share, but am filled with so much emotion learning you two are Mother/Daughter. I knew a strong bond existed, but for some reason never thought she was your parent… I am soooo happy to know!

    Your post/poem here is so touching and very beautiful – a tribute to a wonderful Mom that she is…You both have both meant a great deal to me since finding you here… and somehow I felt comforted knowing Penny was part of your real world… as knew she provided protection and support I only wished I could offer you sweet friend.

    You have endured so very much – and now can see you are healing “from the inside out” ~ you will get there — you will SHINE … I know it… Your children are blessed to have such an amazing pair of women in their lives… and despite the horrific tragedy and loss that saddens me so much to think about, I know you will all emerge and thrive – stronger than ever before.

    I am just reading these 2 posts now… and have my next post for later slated and ready to go since yesterday — but I think you will see it can easily be dedicated to you.

    Much Love and Hugs —Tears and Happiness too … xxoo Robyn


    • Robyn, I absolutely cherish you! You are such a beautiful soul and have come to mean so very very much to me! You’re sweet praise just fills my whole being up and makes me smile to know you are an important part of my journey!!

      I know I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating….I just am so in awe of you, your loving light and and insight, your generous nature and encouragement just makes me feel so very blessed!!

      Thank you for being beautifully you, for always encouraging me, for being empathetic to my sad history and not only seeing but reminding me that there are bright days ahead to look forward to filled with so much more joy than I could imagine possible.

      You are a treasure to me and I am sincerely grateful for you sweetest friend! Sending so so much love!!! xoxoxo

      P.S. Gonna go check out the link you added and your post!! 🙂


  9. Oh, Christina! You are such a survivor!!! Such a strong person. I already knew these things, without knowing your complete story. But knowing what you have gone through the past few years, demonstrates the beautiful kind soul you have shared with us here is who you are in “the real world”.
    I know we’ve spoken about the amazing mother daughter relationship, and its a wonderful thing. Your mother sounds wonderful! And it even seems that your brother and his wife sound pretty amazing too 🙂
    Sending you love and light 🙂


    • Thank you so much Michelle! You are so sweet to say so many wonderful things! I do so appreciate you, your praise and your encouragement. You are the strong one to me!! 🙂

      My mom is amazing…and my brother (and his wife of course!). I know I couldn’t have done this without their amazing support. I remember you and I talking about moms! Sounds like your mom is pretty darn incredible too! 🙂

      Sending lots of love and healing hugs your way sweet friend!


  10. dude…..dude….I guess I should get used being surprised like this. I’m gonna tell you my reaction when I was at your mother’s website because same thing applies here, “Gee, that picture of that one lady looks really familiar”. You think I can put 2 and 2 together? lol

    Your mother is defnitely awesome and she raised some great children! the result is in the pudding 🙂


    • LOL…It was so unexpected when we started our blogs (about the same time, different reasons) that we would connect with so many amazing people so fast. Then we felt we needed to share our relationship because she had written Ah-mazing posts about my amazing kids! She is truly incredible and has always been my hero! 😀

      My brother…he’s my knight in shining armor! I am blessed indeed!! 🙂 Like I said, if I can be half the mom she was to my kids…then I would be the bestest mom in the world! 😀 We help each other remember to laugh as often as possible!!


  11. Hi Christina,
    Thanks for introducing us to your Mum, and for your great poem about her.
    She, like her daughter, is a special person, and I can see where you get your talent from 🙂 ( Coincidentaly on of my sisters is Penny too! )

    Thats a great picture of your mum with Jack and Emma.
    Jack is the spit for his dad, and every time you look at him he must remind you of Duane.
    Your mum’s filling in of ( some ) of the hardships you’ve been through is heartbreaking.
    To lose the one you love so suddenly and terribly, and to have to go through all the strains and stress that you have, without being able to grieve properly must have been so so difficult, my heart goes out to you and your family Christina.
    What on earth Duanes parents were thinking, I can’t imagine. I know grief affects people different ways, but the envelopes with the eviction orders in is just mean and spiteful.
    You are a truly inspirational woman Christina,with a great family who all look after each other, the one good thing to come out of all these trials.
    Take care my friend,
    keep safe and well
    love n hugs and blessings to you and your family,


    • Seadog, your sincere genuine concern and rightful outrage means so very much to me! I’m grateful to share who my mom is…I’ve always known she was brilliant (seriously she can do/write/make anything!!) and it is such a HUGE blessing to see her thrive here in this beautiful blogging world and meet likeminded people. I’m very very happy for her!!

      I think about the ex-in-laws are moving to another state in a few weeks and I actually feel giddy with joy at the thought!!!! Gonna have a big party I think 😀 !!

      And now there are all of you incredible fantastic friends whom I have come to truly love and cherish!!! Sorry this got so long…I’m just so very appreciative for your love and concern!!

      I have a handful of friends who are still here, still check on us. Mostly though life goes on and people get caught up in their own stuff. I say that to explain my analogy to you of the tall glass of ice water after being in the desert, that’s what you all are and I feel so very blessed for each of you!! 🙂


  12. Your mom is no doubt amazing…knowing you are her daughter further proves it. Hugs and much love. This is a beautiful tribute to a well deserving mother. You are blessed to have her Christina. And I must say your kids are amazing, I read their posts on your mom’s site a while back. Future writers :)!!!


    • Thank you so very much boomie!! I so appreciate your sweet praise…my mom is amazing! I am so very glad that my appreciation and love for came through in what I wrote. I try to tell and show her all the time how very awesome she is 🙂

      Thank you for reading the posts on my children and sharing your kind thoughts…they are my world…my reason for all I do. I thank God for them. They are what got me up and going from day one after the tragedy and they still keep me going. 🙂 I must say I have a most excellent example of how to be a fantastic mom! 😀


    • Thank you! My Mom did a reciprocal post for me (more of my story)…it was quite incredible. When we started our blogs no one really knew we were related (we had quite a few mutual friends/followers). So this was sort of our coming out party…with a sad story to go with it. She is a perfect example of the kind of mom I hope I am and will always be 🙂


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