A Tortured Soul

It’s been said that the eyes are the windows to the soul. Your windows have been closed shut forever. I remember a few times in our lives that you dared to crack them open, only to slam them shut as if it was the most stupid thing you did. Agonizing pain tortured your soul. Why couldn’t anyone help you? What kept you shut in your pain? Once again, we are left with a myriad of questions and regrets.

Two memories of you as a teenager come to mind. I was only a child. You were raging mad, like a caged animal who had been brutally hurt. You lashed out only to be beaten mercilessly. And, so, the brutal assault upon yourself and others continued. Your manipulation was masterful. I wonder if your poisonous spews were to keep us away, in an almost protective kind of way. Warped? Yes, but is that what you learned?

You were a son, a brother, a husband, a dad, a grandfather…a human being. How did you slip from our hands? How did you end up alone in your last hours? And, selfishly, I ask, “did you know I loved you?” You were always on my mind and prayers, and now you are gone. A horrid end to a spiraling life.

I wish I could say, “you are now at peace”, but…

So, as many times before, I will rest on the fact that God is God and I am not. That He is merciful and just. That this side of heaven, my questions may never be answered. I will hold on to Him and His promises, and when I have no strength to hold, He holds me still. Like a weaned child, I will rest upon His bosom…there I find comfort and a peace that surpasses all understanding.

Be still my soul, and know He is God.

Storm in May

Look up in the sky! Can you see them? Can you feel the rumble? Dark ominous clouds are approaching. There’s a frigid chill in the air. It’s a-comin! No way to stop it. Preparations are in full effect. However, the storm’s unpredictability is a huge factor. And, although it’s intensity and force cannot be gauged, it’s good to prepare.

May is here!

May is the month my daughter went to heaven. Another anniversary is approaching. The passing of time continues. Although, this will be the second year marker, I’m learning that these dates can be so unpredictable. I remember My Grieving Friend sharing with me her journey in the land of a bereaved mother. Such a gift to me. She’s twenty years into her journey. She said, “each year is so different”.

And, so we are “preparing”…as much as we know how. Flexibility is the name of the game. The day will come and it will go. One day doesn’t make the grief worse or less. It’s another second without ANGIE. The longing to hold her will continue until the day I hold her once again.

Mourning

Mourning began the day of your diagnosis, and so it went…

your body, your face…changing before my eyes. somber faces all around, unable to tell me what I “knew” was coming…BUT had no idea the train wreck it would be.

oh, there was laughter and glimmers of hope, BUT  sorrow and grief were waiting at the door. Ah, the tsunami that would soon engulf me…no way to prepare.

your body, a shell of what it had been. your face, tiny, ashy. your eyes, sunken, shut. your mouth…no more sounds. how? why? ugh!!!

Mourning continued…BUT, oh what awaited, who can prepare?!?!

cold, horridly cold…a shiver shaking my body…that hasn’t stopped

relentless reel playing over and over…your little body placed in a bag. a dark, cold van. a white box – why?!?! how is this even possible?

AND then the inevitable. You know it’s coming, BUT…

the white box, that contains your earthly shell – so precious – is lowered, covered AND you are forever GONE!!!

Unraveled! Undone! Short Circuited! Forever Changed!

Almost twenty-three months…mourning continues…

it will continue until the day we are together, AGAIN ❤

Unwelcome Friend

Ah, my unwelcome friend, you’re back!

Your unannounced visits can be so aggravating,

the length of your stay unknown.

The continual task of learning to welcome you, to embrace your presence

can be exhausting and debilitating.

Your mysterious character unravels me

I don’t understand you! I can’t figure you out! I can’t defeat you!

Accepting your presence; embracing your constant companionship

…is…well…healthier…I guess…

Dare I ask that your visits be less often? shorter? or none at all?

AND, so, I sit with you, my unwelcome friend…

in acceptance and surrender

learning to simply be…

Stuck

The path has been riddled with puddles of quicksand. No warning signs, no brights lights signaling its upcoming presence. Step, step…STUCK! Step, step…STUCK! In my clear, unstuck moments I’m aware of those that “turn-on” the light and give me a hand, or literally carry me on to the next step…even when I am “done”, with no fight in me.

♥⇒My husband. how? why? does he get tired? will he get tired? gentle, quiet…my man! 35 years and counting…what grace!

♥⇒My Son. he needs his Mom. I need him. he is dealing with the loss of his sister and a Mom that often, checks out. what goes through his mind? does he feel like he’s not good enough to keep me going? is he pressured? is he afraid? my gentle giant! my boy! 34 years old and counting…what grace!

♥⇒My Son’s Girlfriend. loves me. respects me. cares for me. makes me laugh. cries with me. makes me feel so incredibly important. drops everything and sits with me as I spiral, vomiting chaos…AND she is simply there. her presence settles me. her hugs squeeze life into me. how? why? she doesn’t have to? Counting the days, months and years…what grace!

My friend who dropped everything and sat with me at coffee. That roller coaster conversation, with deep lows and huge highs. Sparks, tears and laughs. No judgment. No pat answers. Just grace. My Grieving Friend who spends hours with me on the phone, because distance prevents us from sitting with each other. Twenty years into her journey, which scares the poop out of me, because I can’t even fathom the thought of being without my daughter one moment further. Yet, she speaks Angie’s name, remembers her, talks about her and allows me to talk and talk, and repeat myself over and over…cause one cannot say the story enough. She does, however, remind me and shows me that “it” does get softer. My massage therapist, who is a gift. She not only takes care of this “balled-up-crackly” body, but speaks life into me. As I was leaving from my massage she held me and told me, “You matter! You bless me! Don’t give up! I’m praying for you!” She squeezed me and held me. What grace!

♥⇒My Lifelong Buddy. goofy and all, she demonstrates an unwavering strength of love and loyalty. she doesn’t retreat. she doesn’t stay away from the ugly. she barges in and stays. she constantly puts soft “sponges” on the sharp edges of this porcupine.

God shows up everywhere, surrounding me with these amazing humans. Showering me with love and care. Oh, mercy and grace to sit here and type and breath and take one more step♥

~ Spring always follows Winter  ~

Beyond Grateful

My daughter was in the autism spectrum. Her comprehension could be difficult at times. Remember the Love Boat🖤🌹? This time of the year was one of great difficulty. It was cruel on her heart and mind, because she thought “everyone” had a special someone. She felt she was the only one in the world without a valentine. Oh, how she cried! She thought that because she was ugly and “different”, nobody wanted her. We had many conversation, where I’d try to make her understand differently.

My heart wells up with gratitude at the thought of two men who took the time to make my beautiful girl feel as special as she was. They didn’t have to. They weren’t told to. It came from a heart of love.

♥My son (Angie’s big bro) took her on a special date for valentines day. She was besides herself. She had me help her pick the perfect outfit, doing her make up,  and helping her with her hair. She felt like a princess. She talked about it, and talked about it. Such a special day for her, and him.

♥A family member brought her fresh flowers every Saturday. We would place them where she could smell and see them. They would brighten up her days. Even on those horrid treatment days, she’d smile when she would see her beautiful flowers.

Just two examples of love and kindness. They might seem small, but they were enormous in a my daughter’s eyes. And, this Momma is beyond grateful.

We decorated her grave…that’s just what we do. But, the memories of love shown to her on this earth are engraved on our hearts.

Can you think of someone that might need a little extra love? Take the time. Your love and kindness lasts beyond the grave🌸✝️