Do I have a few days (maybe weeks) of pent up emotions to write about.
I’m not even sure where to start, or where they came from to be honest.
It is probably the normal October build up that started when Uncle Rick died. I don’t know.
Then it was fueled by watching the Joey & Rory saga that is unfolding as she battles cancer. I read Rory’s blog fairly regularly, and the writing is magnificent. It is also reminiscent of when Dan got sick and we all huddled together as we watched him cross over in to the unknown that is death. Whether you believe in an after life or not, it’s a difficult bridge to cross. I was remembering the last few moments with Dan, and how that changed me forever. To be able to sit with someone as they take their last breath, to hold their hand, to comfort them…I’m not sure there is a greater gift than that. Or a greater way to pay them back for all they have done for you.
A local 16 year old’s suicide fueled my emotions this week. No news stories. It traveled word of mouth, for whatever reason. But it weighed heavily on my mind as I watched my own teenagers go through their normal routines and the weight of that family’s grief felt like a ton. Because I can’t imagine the living hell of a nightmare they are adjusting to. I found myself in tears for no reason other than, how so very fucking lucky I am that I live in a home with 5 children that are totally awesome. And how grateful I am for my time with them.
I fell asleep two nights ago praying. I didn’t realize it until halfway through my next day. I FELL ASLEEP PRAYING. What a wonderful thought that is.
I don’t often pray for myself. I pray for those around me, my children, M, and my family. Sometimes I pray for far away families when I hear of a story where I think my words might have some weight. Sometimes I just talk to God. Sometimes it’s a whisper, and sometimes it is a loud scream in my head. I don’t pray selfishly. I try not to anyways. At some point in our world, for someone to be spiritual and speak openly about it, it became narcissistic or you’re “new age”. Only when you speak about spirituality and it involves the Bible, or spitting out verses at the rate of a freight train does it seem to be okay. I don’t know. Praying for me is cathartic. It’s a way for me to recognize my blessings and to be in touch with the empathy that lies beneath the surface. I internalize tragedy that I see, and then I pray. I pray for strength, I pray for patience, I pray for comfort for those who might need it. I pray for the right words to come to me in a time of need. I pray that I do not take another person’s tragedy and try and lighten it in avoidance of allowing them to be vulnerable and uncomfortable. I just think we need to be able to see and feel the emotions of another person. Sometimes when I drive to work, I say “thank you” out loud to God. Is he listening? I think so. I don’t think it takes a huge chapel, or a screaming pastor, or someone shaking in the aisles for him to hear us. It’s simple. It can be quiet. And it can be where ever you are comfortable talking to the big man upstairs.
We recently moved to a nice, big home out in the country. It is so beautiful. The environment has truly had an therapeutic affect on the M & I, and the children. The internet runs slower. I often find myself leaving my cell in the other room. No emergency has happened yet that I couldn’t deal with an hour later. I often think of the days before cell phones and instant messaging, and we got by okay. Prioritizing my life and offering myself a little bit more quiet has been a blessing. But the home itself is a blessing, it was an answer to a prayer.
I’ve thought a lot about why I get so upset and sad sometimes when I hear something. I worried for a while that there was something wrong with me and I realized this week that there isn’t. It’s just that I feel. A LOT.
More than some, less than others, but that it’s what makes me really focus on gratitude as well. I truly do try and live my days as if this might be the last one. Maybe not by bungee jumping, or screaming endearing love notes from the top of a mountain, but I reach down, deep within, and focus on a few moments throughout my day and just admire what is happening. It’s obviously harder when you’re having a “bad day”. But you just learn to do it. Because if I have a really shitty day, and I get to lay down with my head on M’s chest and fall asleep hearing his heartbeat, well then, I should be grateful for that.
We took the kids out on Halloween. I didn’t take my camera, which I realized later, maybe I should have. But anyway, as we were walking with our old neighbors, the kid’s silhouettes were dancing in front of me. It was just a moment that was worth recognizing. It was already dark, and the street lights had their shadows dancing around us and they chattered and were swinging their treat bags. We had gorgeous weather, which originally was suppose to be a wash out. M and Shannon were chatting about projects. These people, these people… God gave to me. Fleeting moments of gratitude often spark the best ways to really make the most of a situation, and to revel in the simple beauty.
17, 15, 12, 10 & 8. That is the order of the ages. Lucas spent Saturday night with his brother and his cousin. Three teenage boys hanging out on a Halloween that fell on a Saturday. The fact that the three of them made each other (and their family) a priority is something that amazed me. And the little ones were just so good. They were polite and patient with one another. They worried about each other on the walk. (And some of you know how K & E fight…) As a parent to bask in the sight of their dressed up silhouettes in the autumn air, and to hear their melody as they asked for treats and the thank yous afterwards…it was just beautiful. It goes back to the blog posts when we spoke about moments and how important recognizing them is. When I went to sleep Saturday night, I prayed. I prayed and said thank you for being able to recognize important moments.
Pray tonight. Even if you’re exhausted. Even if you don’t even know where to begin. Just talk to God. Don’t worry about getting to church on Sunday, or whether or not you’re worthy of God’s love. Just pray. You can read a thousand bible verses, you can sit through a thousand Sunday services, but until you are truly ready to talk to God and allow him inside your own head and heart, it’s all just “meh”. There is room in heaven for those of us who don’t pretend to be someone we are not. There is room in heaven for those of us who are scarred and imperfect and aren’t afraid to admit it. Most importantly, I believe that those might be the ones that God loves the most. Because if we are truly created in his image, then that just might explain why I love them so very much.
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