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🌸✝️

The Day After

Made it to the other side. The fog has cleared. The tightness released. Now the Grief Unchained and the Unfiltered thoughts are released…brace yourself!

My God has not shrunk. My faith has not been diminished. In fact my faith is what keeps me from ending it all; from escaping this world that seems to be vent on adding vinegar to my wound.

You telling me that Angie is on your heart and mind, doesn’t diminish my pain and envy that you are celebrating your daughter’s special day. Do I always have to take the high road? Do I always have to think nice happy thoughts? Can you allow me to be real and honest about my sorrow and grief? Does it always have to be kosher?

So there’s a timeline? But it has already been x-amount-of-days! Oh, excuse me, I didn’t realize that I’m not on your timetable. I didn’t realize that my grief had an expiration date. Don’t you know that one second without my daughter is an eternity? Don’t you know that until she’s in my arms, I will ache to hold her? Don’t rush me! Don’t patronize me!

You can’t handle my “thoughts”. The continual horrid movie playing, nonstop – unrelenting. My daughter wasting away, until she’s only skin and bones. My daughter vomiting her insides. My daughter looking at Mommie, asking for help. My daughter crying, saying she doesn’t want to die. AND, I, unable to grant her wish. That body bag! That casket! That deep hole!

My Reality! My Journey!

Just another day in the life of a grieving mother😢💔

Losses

Today you are having breakfast with your daughter,

while I eat alone with only memories of mine.

Today you will talk & pray & help your daughter with her wedding attire,

while that desire sharply stings in my empty arms.

Today you will kiss your daughter as you enter the sanctuary to witness her vows,

while I envy the sound of that voice.

Today will be a fairy-tale wedding with sights of flowing gown and veil,

while the sight of a white casket lingers in my eyes.

Yes, it is a joyful day – for you!

As I am sorely reminded and grieve what will never be – for me!

Unpredictable Waves

~ wave after ~ wave ~ after wave

how to prepare? how to brace?

unpredictable, unseen, unexpected

laid out, crumbled…yet, fighting to breathe

screaming, punching, tearing at my flesh

numb yet fully engaged…quiet yet horribly loud

the spirals that comes from nowhere

the feelings that are everywhere

once again, it hits…AND there’s nothing to do, but…

Just Breathe…