It’s hard to believe that it’s been 6 weeks since I last posted to the blog…….and as I reflect over that span of time I can sum it up with the words: “Real Life” has been happening. To be honest here, our life is not always the mountaintops, rah, rah years, but sometimes it is the season of the mundane in the day to day activities that build our character as much as those seasons of crisis. Through those mundane activities who we are as people shine through. And sometimes we witness some great character traits and sometimes quite frankly we see things we want to change.
I was forewarned that the second year of grief as a bereaved parent is worse than the first! When I first heard that, I thought there is no way that can be true! Now that I am in the throws of it, I’m not sure I would say it is worse, it is however; very, very different than the first year…….at least it is for me (and everyone’s journey is different). The shock has now worn away and the reality of your life without your child/grandchildren comes in full display of what a “new normal” is going to be like until we are called home to join them. It’s not so much the past memories that make this difficult, but the ones going forward I won’t get to experience. For example, the birth of Hayes, experiencing him crawling, walking, talking and growing up. Seeing Fischer and Ben go to Kindergarten, playing sports, learning to drive, getting their hearts broken from a romance, graduating, getting married, having children of their own and the list goes on and on.
So, 2014 is going to be a year of great transition for me. I feel like a snake that is shedding a layer of skin. There are days I am the one scraping off the old, and other days God is doing the scraping. It has led me to make some personal choices in this regard and I have changed my responsibilities at work (so very grateful for my boss and company I work for!) to allow me more time to focus on my healing, finding my “new normal”, establishing Elizabeth’s and the boys scholarship funds, and Grace Based Parenting opportunities. You see I have recognized that I no longer manage the crisis and stress well anymore and if I had any hope of thriving, I knew I needed to make a change. I went from leading an organization of 200 to a team of 10. I had someone tell me how courageous I was in making that decision to choose to walk away……but to me it was one of survival. I knew I wasn’t functioning well and the crisis management that I use to thrive in was now an incredible burden. Additionally, this shedding and scraping has also manifested in beginning the process of scouring the house from top to bottom to rid my life of unnecessary “stuff”. I have designated 2014 as 52 weeks of going through something….a drawer, a closet, a file. So today, I face another obstacle. Cleaning my closet. I tried to do this a couple of weeks ago and it was very overwhelming. Who would have thought that the simple sorting process of what to keep and give away was emotionally overwhelming. I know that may sound crazy to some, but perhaps to others you can relate? Through this process, I also found out something interesting about myself. I have an emotional connection to my clothes. I hope I am not alone here :). Our clothes signify events, moments, stages in our life. I would put something in the “get rid” of pile, only to place it back in the closet until I became so overwhelmed that I just stopped. So, I have an entire closet of business suits that I do not wear and haven’t worn in years that I am donating to military women coming out of the service and can use them. I have also given up wearing uncomfortable shoes (high heels!), but yet I find it hard to part with them. But today, I take another step, another transition…..no matter how small…..because I have found life is in the small, mundane, day to day and yes, their is significance in cleaning out closets of our past.
I shared with my daughter Lauren that for the first time since the accident, I had cooked dinner for 7 consecutive nights. Many of you may have the same reaction as Lauren did which was total shock! Yes, I have to admit in the last 18 months, I had finally gotten to where I had cooked dinner 7 nights in a row! For me, it was a milestone, albeit a small one, but a milestone none the less and I will take those small victories. I still can’t say that my feet hit the floor excited about what the day brings…..but as a person of faith I have learned not to depend on my feelings…..but rely on who God says He is and who I am as his daughter…..so, I continue to put my feet on the floor, one foot in front of the other and take each day, each moment as it comes holding on to God and his promises. I am also so blessed to be married to a man that doesn’t push me to do anything that I’m not ready to do. He loves me unconditionally and God knew I would need him for this season in my life when he brought us together. I am convinced more than ever, that one of John’s purposes in this earthly life was to be with me during this season…..my helpmate……my beloved.
So, I’m off to scrape off some old skin and clean out a closet!
Until next time!