Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Grief is not a nice friend

Grief is a fickle friend.  It quietly arrives leaving you wondering how you'll make it another moment and, quietly still, it moves away-but always with the notion it will make a return-unannounced and uninvited. 
 I despise this friend.

In 14, sigh, 14 months, I have said hello and good-bye to grief.  I've learned some of it's calling cards and try to brace myself for the inevitable sadness that will pursue.  Mostly,  I manage.  In fact, up until today I've navigated through some tough days fairly well.  It's the sneaky attacks that make it so much harder.  A small comment from Jake during our visit to Daniel's spot; friends dealing with death; changes in the season and missed moments with Daniel; the 19th approaching; it all quietly adds up until I find myself trying to drive through tear dampened eyes.  I want to push back and insist grief cannot make a home in my heart, but welcome some on the intrusion because without sadness, I cannot welcome back happiness and find joy in what precious gifts I still have been given.

Today is another day in a long line of days that will inevitably pop up.  And I will deal with them.  Some days I will make it just fine.  Some days, like today, I will cry and feel the ache in my arms and in my heart.  I will hold close to me those that are most precious in my life and I will not worry about the outside world.  I will be kind to myself tonight because I know the tears are not done falling.  I will miss him even more tonight and grieve over lost memories but I will prevail in knowing I have forever and ever and ever with him eventually.  

Monday, September 17, 2012

15 months...

..and also my 100th post on this blog.  Wow.
You are something else.  Since turning a year you have just exploded into one huge ball of energy and joy and sound.  The noises that come from your mouth can rival any megaphone.  You laugh hard, scream harder and make so many words.  Currently you can say "outside" "bird" "dada" "mama" "car" "muah" "ca-ca" (for coo coo) "ju" (for juice) "shoe" "yeah" (and shake you head so cute when you do say it) "kaka" (kitty cat), "dis" and "cup". 
Long lost is the docile infant.  You are now a force to be reckoned with.  You can easily match strength, energy and eating with the big kids.  Jake can honestly be frightened of you now.  I've never had a child bite when he doesn't get his way and then a second later ask for a kiss. 
You're a climber.  On everything.  People, couches, rocking chairs (a favorite), hills, slides..the list is almost endless.  But you love to be carried. You could be the fussiest child and as soon as someone picks you up, it all turns off. 
If ever for a moment I thought you would be similar to your big brothers, I was only right in a small sense.  You love music like Daniel did.  Especially "Pontoon".  You dance and jump all over the place.  You also place your hands over your ears and listen to the sounds that you make just like Daniel did.  You enjoy driving cars and make such funny sounds while doing so.  You have temper that can rival Jake's. (I wish that wasn't a similarity between you two :)  You have a quiet sense about you when you meet new people simiar to Daniel; it's like you're sizing them up but you can just as easily jump in and play with others which makes it fun for Jake at the park. 
You have started to come into your own fast and furious, though.  You love goats and chickens; pretty much any animal in general.  Sometimes you don't know your own strength though, so we work really hard on being gentle.  Books. You love books.  But you rather sit on someone's lap and flip the pages yourself.  How dare someone try and read the book to you. 
I think my favorite part about you is your eyebrows.  They are so dark compared to your hair. (And your hair is a close second to one of my favorite parts of you)  You can show practically every emotion you're feeling just with those eyebrows.  OK, and your smile too.  Such a large, happy smile.  It melts me.  And your excitement when myself or Daddy comes home.
If you don't play football in school, then I've read you all wrong.  Your body was built to throw down.  The endurance and strength you have is astonishing for someone who is only 15 months.  People double take at your size. 
Raising such a big, boisterous little boy does have some challenges.  It's often that I pray you use your voice to speak honest truths and your strength and size to build up and not break down.  You were meant to be a special person in our lives and the lives of others and I pray your abilities touch the hearts of many.  I know you've undoubtedly touched my heart in a special, special way.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Thank Heaven

Just when I think I'm losing touch with Daniel, God places gentle reminders of his life into my view for me to grasp hold of and renew my heart for my son. So very thankful for little boys and husbands that mention their brother and son and resemble their older brother. (This post is purely for a reminder to myself that when I think I can't fit Daniel into my new mold, his presence finds a way in. How amazing is that?)


Some may see fall as a season to start tucking away for the winter; but not I. This season has always lifted me, renewing me from the inside out. Some of my most perfect memories have been woven into my heart during this season. This weekend was no exception.
In the midst of some heavy changes, Ryan, the men and I were able to step away and come together as a little family and make some deeply rooted, sweet memories. For a little while I was able to shake off cloaks of impatience, worry, stress and grief and focus on some special people in my life.
It was so much fun.  It was made even better when Ryan kept exclaiming over the weekend how much fun it was.
Things I learned:
Having Andrew as a sleeping partner is not good.  How can one little body take up so much room?  He literally jumps to his next spot to lay in
Andrew does not have night blindness.  He was quite capable running back and forth between the beds yelling like a madman
Andrew looooves goats and chickens
Andrew can reach ear splitting levels of screaming when he's done riding in the car
Jake makes up really funny stories when he's having his police car chase his Mustang
Jake is obsessed with bridges
The alarm accidentally went off at 6:15 and Jake popped up from bed, ready to go. Let's hope it stays like that during school
Jake's favorite animal currently is a mommy cow.  He learned about baby cows and daddy cows.  Still doesn't think the bull skull is a bull and not a goat.  I lost that battle
My hair can in fact smell like the hotel sheets.  Faint smells of some heavy bleach
You can still see Bison in Missouri.  Ryan had to back up to see it again
Ryan knows a ton about outdoors stuff
Andrew can still dance in his sleep
A shower makes everything better
Ryan feels most at home in scenic settings
I didn't constantly have to take pictures to remember our time-and I'm ok with that

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


I've been so grossly neglectful on my blog recently. At first, I thought it to be because of lack of time or convenience but lately I feel it's more to do with some growth within myself. Before, when I've had a thought or problem or praise, I'd want to turn to the computer keys and pound out my words. Lately, I've been relying more on my prayer and personal conversations with God. It's been a deeply personal time in my life; possibly more so than when Daniel died. Then, it was so clear cut. My emotions, my self, could be so much more clearly defined. I knew I was a Mother, a wife, a person dealing with a really hard situation and trying to get by day to day. Now, so much more surrounds my being; more multifaceted decisions, more faith, more trust, more frustration. A give and a take back from God. And then another round of give and take-of my problems, that is. I still can't ever just let go; there's always something I think I can fix better than Him.
I was thisclose from a breakdown today that I could metaphorically feel my nerves starting to bend to snap. I needed something fast. I prayed wisdom would fall on me soon as hit play on a cd Janet gave me. As the soothing words played and I darted in and out of rain clouds, I could feel a release start to come over me and then I glanced out farther and saw His promise startlingly bold in my face. And in those moments, nothing seemed as impossible as it had just seconds before. I pray for peace and help and release from stress and He shows me He hears and wants to help as long as I'm hearing my words too. No more give and take. Instead, trust and release and steadfastness in casting my worries on Him. I'm slow, but I'm getting it. I'm less worried and more grateful for the lessons I'm learning and the comforts-however unconventionally but perfectly right for right now-I have to be thankful for.

I'm learning my ways just make decisions harder.  I plan and write and rewrite and worry about the future when all I really need to do is lift up my worry and listen to instruction from Him.  And focus on the today.  I found a really good quote on Facebook the other day and it made a lot of sense. 

“Trust the past to God's mercy, the present to God's love and the future to God's providence.” --Augustine

He's got me plain and simple.  I've definitely had to strengthen and work out casting all my cares to him this past week but the burden already feels lighter.  
So, no matter my situation in life; the new packages the same worry presents itself in; I have a God who will seek me out and make His presence blindingly clear if I chose to search for him.

Here are some versus that have really helped these past weeks.  I hope they can give you some clarity if you're also dealing with some hard times right now.  Remember that no difficulty is too difficult for him or too small to fix.  He wants them all.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  Seek His will in all you do and He will show you which paths to take.
Proverbs 3:5-6

Give all your cares to God, for He cares about you...after you have suffered for a little while, He will restore, support, and strengthen you and He will place you on a firm foundation.
1Peter 5:7;10

God has given His promise and His oath.  These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie.  Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope the lies before us.
Hebrews 6:18

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under Heaven
Ecclesiastes 3:1