Like clockwork, the marking of “lasts” begins. The intricacies of grief. The tangled mess, racked with agony and pain. Unplanned, yet very much part of my life.
The ugly cry, the sobs, the wails – shrieking through my broken heart…loud as a siren, yet a silent muffle for the world around me.
Do you remember that today was her last appointment? Do you remember that today was her last meal? Do you remember…?
Do you remember…HER?!
If I would have known! If I would have known!
God, I would have held her tighter. I would have lingered longer. I would have…
Four years ago, I sat next to your bedside. I wondered, are you in pain? Do you know what’s happening? Do you know I am here? My gut stuck to my spine, wondering how much longer you’d be “with us”? An odd numbing within, which now I see as amazing keeping grace. Your life ebbing through my hands like liquid, with absolutely no way to contain it or keep it from flowing. The memory is as vivid as the day it happened.
Today, I will sit with the memories. Today, I will not rush past the pain. Today, I remember that four years ago you began your journey HOME.
Today (ALWAYS) I remember you, My Precious Girl ❤
Sitting in the waiting room flooded by memories of my girl. It’s an interesting phenomena that I never know from where it’s going to come.
The thoughts of those first visits where so much unknown lingered, to those “final” visits where she could barely keep herself up. In fact, there’s the one where she was literally slouched in her wheelchair not even able to open her eyes. My goodness what a journey!
Today I sit, by myself, waiting for my body to be put through prodding and pushing. No anxiety of the outcome. No wondering what’s next. Simply sitting here flooded with the memories of my girl.
Heading into her fourth year that she went to glory, yet the images are of “today”. Vivid, gripping my heart to a degree I thought wasn’t possible – again! Sometimes I wonder if the pain of her absence will subside, then these days happen with a brazen reminder that the gap in my heart remains wide open.
And, so, the testing and the prodding left me bruised and achy. But this physical pain will subside. It’s outcome is already in the hands of the One who holds my every moment in His hands.
The waiting room will come again…I know. For now, I will rest and recover. For now, I have peace because the God of peace is with me.
What if I had been born into another family?
What if my Mother was my best friend?
What if my Dad was my hero?
The perfect parents…the perfect upbringing…
BUT who, what dictates “perfection”?
What if I hadn’t been sexually abused as a child?
What if I hadn’t been beaten by my protector?
What if my parenting was flawless?
The fairy tale life…the life worth emulating…
BUT where do we find “perfection”?
Not excusing, but not demanding answers either. I’m transported to the last doctor’s appointment of my daughter’s journey. The Doctor said to me, “Why didn’t you bring her here sooner?” That sharp dagger that I had been wielding, was plunged into my soul by another. Speechless, lost in the barrage of accusations that already invaded my soul. Yes, if only…and, the what ifs…
We are a peculiar people. We swear that we will never. We demand our rights. We all want something better than Eden. There’s eternity in our hearts. There’s a sense of right and wrong. There’s a longing desire for The One who alone is perfect. Who alone loves perfectly.
“O soul are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see? There’s light for a look at the Savior And life more abundant and free
Turn you eyes upon Jesus / Look full in His wonderful face / And the things of earth will grow strangely dim / In the light of His glory and grace…”Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus by Alan Jackson
It comes in waves
Waves that relentlessly pound
Waves that smash you into a wall
One picture…one memory…is all it takes
The reality that a warm hug is not an option
that she’ll never walk through the door
that she’s gone – forever!
The emptiness of her absence brings
a sting that doesn’t subside
a deep ache that permeates my very soul
Say her name…please say her name
Remember her…please remember her
My beautiful girl, how I miss you…
Thinking it is a good idea to attempt something normal…familiar. Hey, they are safe. They love me and I love them. Venturing out of the home-made shelter to test the outside world, only to be thrown into spiraling thoughts that assault the mind with unending questions. How stupid of me to think it would be “ok”!
Everything has changed! It’s ludicrous to think otherwise. For sure, I am a totally different person. My ragged edges cut and hurt. Not an excuse, just a fact.
Walking on eggshells, I don’t do. My masks shattered by sorrow and pain…not apologizing for this! Filters annoy me. Primp and proper, I am not.
Being around me is incredibly difficult! The sharpness of my ragged edges cut and bruise. I think I’ll crawl back into my home-made shelter where everyone will be safe😢
“…I couldn’t imagine confessing the anxiety which whispered white noise in my ears. What would fellow Christians think about the black dog of depression often barking louder than the voice of God?…” ~ Steve Austin
I’m floundering. I don’t fit in anywhere. Too “holy” (haha!) for the world. Not “saintly” enough for the church. In God’s providence (yes, I still believe…) I came across Steve Austin on Twitter. No, no magical story, he “just” turned up on my feed. I’m not completely familiar with all that he proclaims, just this quote just hit me raw.
So, we don’t have a “home church”. Since we came to faith we have always “belonged” somewhere. Crazy how that high school mentality of belonging continues even as adults. Yeah, we don’t belong to the popular crowd…anymore. We are outsiders. Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s tons of people that would love for me to be in their “group”. I’d be an amazing token to show off what God can do! Sexually abused as a child, raped, domestic violence, alcohol abuser AND now, the cherry on top, the death of her daughter to cancer. Can you read the BOLD letters on the billboard? But no, I’m just a used up, discarded “saint” that has disappointed the masses. No victory story here.
Just this Sunday we visited a church. It’s a small crowd of smiling welcoming people. Maybe this one? I thought. After service they were having lunch together. We were invited. I panicked. We rushed out. Once in the car, I felt “safe”. Where they mean and snotty? No! Far from that. But my brain went to all kinds of scenarios. Some, real and others, well, made up…I guess.
Back in my “corner” with thoughts of how messed up I am and wondering how in the world I got here. And, thinking this is how it’s going to be…sigh😔
Ya’ll still here? It’s been a L-O-N-G “minute” since I last posted. Goodness life just tumbles through, doesn’t it?
My laptop has taken “ill” so I am attempting to type on an IPad…yeah, not working as smoothly and speedily as I’d like, but I was itching to get back to my writing routine.
An update (in summary): I’ve been “down”, pretty crazy how dark it can get. Made more changes in the pursuit of caring for my mental health. We moved. Adjusting to a new town. I lived in the same town since we came from Mexico in 1975, so theirs tons of adjustments. One being trying to reconcile, in my chaotic brain, that I haven’t abandoned my daughter since the cemetery where her remains lay is further away. Yeah, working through things that might be “normal” to some, to me seem like huge unsurmountable mountains. But learning and trying is the name of the game, and, at the moment, I’m ok with that.
”Routine” is my friend, but it seems to be hiding. And, again, learning that the dictates of my brain, at times, need to be silenced. Trying not to be so hard and rigid so as to flow and enjoy those blessed moments of sanity.
OHHHHHH, guess what? We are expecting our first granddaughter in February! Oh the joy! Yup, the sweetness of a life bringing us lots of sunshine! Hearing her heartbeat for the first time was surreal.
Our life journey continues. Whoever is still here, I’m glad we are walking together. Your companionship is a gift.
“I thought by now you’d be better” and so began a conversation that is often avoided. Already riddled with anxiety, the body responded with further tension and frustration.
‘Thinking before speaking’, what a concept! It has been said, “if you have nothing good to say, say nothing at all.” Is there a ‘mute’ button anywhere? Maybe the “walking-dead” is not such a far fetched concept.
My Grieving Friend has said, “it is a constant teaching moment.” Somewhere along the line I would like to stop teaching, please!
If I’m in a good-place, I might simply smile or even mumble a cordial reply. However, if I’m already depleted from fighting my own personal assaults then I’ll yank you right into my struggle. Verbal punches and blows will be thrown…be forewarned. Then, I’ll either walk away victorious having dodged another bullet or I’ll continue the barrage of self-hatred due to my inadequacy of properly handling another encounter poorly. Yeah, people encounters are just not “my-thang”.
I am constantly told that isolation isn’t good for me. Ha! Are you kidding me?!?! At least when I am alone my opponent is one not a multitude. I am seriously contemplating a bungalow in a deserted island…just sayin.
Defending…trying to make people understand…is
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.
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.