Tag Archives: Summer

An overflowing cup . . . a full heart.

Jason

Four years ago today, we were planning a celebration.  It was a home going celebration, a celebration of a life well lived. Four days earlier we were planning a different kind of party, a birthday party. A celebration of 30 years on this earth.

What a difference one moment in time can make. In the blink of an eye, in one breath not taken, the world as we know it shifts.

These last four years have been indescribably difficult yet they have been filled with such and out pouring of love from family and friends. I have heard people say over and over that just a few months after a death people disappear and grow weary of the grief. That they are told to buck up and get over it. (As if there is a chance of “getting over it”)

Today on Jason’s birthday I want to thank my family and friends for not being the norm. Not one time have I felt like you just wanted me to get back to “normal”, “to get over it”, to “move on”. I can’t tell you how much that means to me.

I love that you have let me experience my grief how I needed to experience it. I love that you have never left my side. How you have accepted this new me, because the old me will never be again.

Thank you for speaking of Jason, for reminding me of fun times you had with him. Thank you for telling me how much he meant to you, for telling me stories about him that I had never heard. Thank you for telling me you miss him too. This means more to me than you will ever know.

Thank you for being Jesus’s arms that have hugged me, his shoulder to lean on. Thank you for showering God’s love on me.

There are so many I could name here, but I won’t try and name names, there are too many. Two exceptions my daughter, Chelsey, and husband., Tim They have been my rocks, my heart.

My heart is full, my cup is overflowing.

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13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words. I Thess 4

What I have learned about grief

flowerGrief is sneaky. Out of the blue grief sneaks up on me. I do my best to prepare for the anniversaries, the times I know it will be hard. But it pops up, unwanted and unexpected.

Grief is strong. When grief hits it can take me down to the ground. Swiftly, I am out of breath and drowning.

Grief does not play fair. I make deals with grief, it can come when I am prepared, when I am ready to take it on, we have an agreement. Grief does not always abide by that agreement.

Grief is a thief. It sneaks in, uninvited, like a bull in a china shop, breaking our agreement and tries to steal my joy.

This is what I have learned about my grief. I say “my grief”, because everyone has a different grief visiting them, not all griefs are the same.

I have learned to give grief a time limit, especially when it shows up unannounced and bullies me into a puddle of tears. I give my grief  time and attention but with limits. I give myself permission to cry, a lot if I need to. I give myself permission to be sad, very, very sad, if I need to.

And then I invite grief to leave.

These are some ways I encourage my grief to leave; I go outside and soak up some nature. I listen to praise music, I read the psalms. I take a walk/run to get some good brain chemicals active. I count my blessings. I do something creative. I feed my soul. I pray.

I don’t always feel like I want to do these things, but I do them. I am persistent, I keep at it until grief finally gives in. Until it packs up it’s baggage and leaves.

So today, I am being persistent, grief swooped in yesterday and knocked me to my knees, but today I am standing. I am inviting grief to leave without taking my joy with it. Having cried myself to sleep last night in the wonderful arms of my understanding husband, I am sitting in my garden this morning. Worship is music playing, I watch the birds drink from the sprinkler, and the momma and poppa swallows try to keep up with the feeding of the littles. I am preparing for a prayerful walk/run with psalms of praise running through my mind.

I will not let grief overtake me. I have so much to be grateful for, I love my life, I will not let grief rob me of my joy.

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The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.  Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Ps 23

the day before The Day

Jason's garden

Today is the day before The Day three years ago. My first born, my boy, woke up dancing on streets of gold. I find myself with such mixed emotions, I miss Jason. Plain and simple I miss him. I have a peace that I will see him again, that we left nothing unsaid, that the last time I saw him I hugged him, told him I loved him. I am so happy for him, living with his new body, free from earthly cares, in the presence of our amazing God.

There is a family today, that is holding a memorial service for a son that had been disowned. Not a word had been spoken to him in several years. There were chances to offer forgiveness during an illness, no fences were mended and now it is too late. I can not imagine surviving this kind of regret and grief. I pray for them today and the days ahead, for the momma’s heart that must be shattered.

Today in the midst of the grief of not being able to physically hug my son, I am so grateful that I have no regrets, that Jason left this world knowing he was completely loved for who he was.

So through the tears this morning, I can smile as I remember the wonder of being his mom for the years I was allowed.

Kobe

I had a day

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I had a day last week that I have been pondering, still unsure of where it came from and what to think of it. Maybe if I write it down I can process it a little better.

This day I wanted to take a break, it was more than that, but I am even having a hard time explaining how I felt. I wanted to not be a mom whose son was dead, I wanted to not be a manager, I did not want to knit, I did not want to not knit. I did not want to take a run, I did not want to not take a run. I did not want to sit out in Jason’s garden, I did not want the reason for it. I did not want to cry, I did not want to feel, I did not want to be sad, I did not want to be happy. I did not want to do anything, I did not want to be idle.

Does any of that make sense? I have heard the expression “stop the world and get off” but have never felt it like I felt it that day. I was at a loss with what to do with myself, I was restless and lifeless all at the same time.

So, I put on my favorite Christian praise station, put on my headphones and made myself take a run. I really did not want to, and I really did not want to not want to.(Hope that makes any kind of sense.)

This is what I sorted out on my run, the fireworks tents started going up this week, these mark the beginning of Jason’s end. I also realized that my favorite season will forever hold some sadness, I am a summer gal, but it holds some darkness now. (I don’t really like that.)

By the end of the run, I felt like I had run to the arms of my heavenly father and he held me close. I cried, we had a long talk. Then I sat in the arms of my husband and he held me close.The world was okay again.

I am a blessed woman, my amazing daughter is just that, amazing. My two step children remind me every day of the love between siblings, and they make me smile. I cannot say enough about my wonderful husband, he makes sure I live the most carefree life possible. He makes sure I feel loved and cherished. And last but certainly not least, my heavenly father who is never more than a breath away.

Yes, the world is okay again, I have regained my balance. I am truly blessed beyond measure.

Is. 43:1-2, 4
Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.
I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God,
The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
I paid a huge price for you:
all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!
That’s how much you mean to Me!
That’s how much I love you!
I’d sell off the whole world to get you back,
trade the creation just for you.
MSG

My new life . . .

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A lifetime ago, I skipped my way through spring and ran toward summer, arms open wide. My hands in the dirt, anxiously waiting for those little green sprouts to peak up through the brown dirt. My excitement about growing things and being outside in the sun knew no bounds.

The Sea-1

That was a lifetime ago, in my new life, I run toward summer, but there is a sharp pain in my chest. I push on; I love this time of year. My heart hurts. I stop and take a deep breath; the pain does not go away. I push on, skipping, running. The pain is still there. I push on.

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I want to love summer in the carefree way I always have, but the reality is that I will never again skip through spring and run toward summer in the same way. There will always be the pain.

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In this new life I continue to look at the amazing things that spring and summer bring with a sense of awe and wonder; the sounds of hummingbird wings, the smell of honeysuckle, and the feel of the sun on my shoulders. I will still skip and run, but the wonder of summer is tempered by the pain in my heart, in this . . . my new life.

Letting go

This week has been a tough one. Even after trying to process why all day yesterday, I have  not been able to put my finger on any one thing. I have been moody, and tears have been just a  blink away. But I think I have narrowed it down.

The rain has started, after a long beautifully sunny summer and early fall. Thursday evening, we put summer away. Tim did what was probably the last mow of the season. I moved any furniture that was outside to the inside. I zipped up the swing. I cried. For some reason I am not ready, even yet, to put summer away and let fall take its place.

I have moved my weekend early morning routine to the attic. I love this space, but I miss the garden and the hummingbirds.

I realized yesterday that I have not taken pictures of this beautiful fall we have been having. I am already sorry for that, the colors have been brilliant. The leaves have hung on longer this year, probably because of the dry weather.

I know by clinging to summer I have missed some of the beauty of fall, but I don’t seem to want to let go. It feels as if something precious is being ripped from me.

As I finish this post, I am watching the most beautiful sunrise unfold from my attic window. I am sitting in my grandmother’s 70’s orange rocking chair, wrapped in a blanket made by her for me. It is kind of like a hug from heaven.

Today I will practice letting go, I will say good bye to summer. I will practice embracing this fall that will soon turn to winter. My hanging on does not change the fact that the seasons are changing, it just makes me miserable.
Today I let go, a little more.

Precious Nuggets

This morning I am sitting in the garden, I am realizing this may be one of the last mornings I will be here in this quiet place. It is a bit chilly. It makes me a bit sad. I love sitting here listing to the birds, watching the hummingbirds flit around. I will miss this routine.

A good friend of Jason’s posted this on his Facebook wall for his birthday. “She was no longer wrestling with grief, but could sit down with it as a lasting companion and make it a sharer in her thoughts.” – George Elliot.  She went on to write “Jason, you are missed. Not in storms of weeping, not in cries of pain, but in quiet ways on everyday.” – JW

I did not see it until yesterday. I am not sure how I missed it, but the timing of seeing it yesterday was amazing. I had just been thinking over this last week, that I seem to be having more sad days, not really even whole days but moments. I have been trying to figure out why. It dawned on me yesterday.

Tim and I took a drive to Tillamook, with the ultimate destination Lincoln City for a concert in the evening. Whenever I go to that part of the coast I can not help but think about the many times Chelsey, Jason and I toured the cheese factory there. How Jason loved cheese curds. When I am near there, I always want to stop at a little fruit stand near Beaver. We stopped yesterday, and as I wandered around I wondered to myself why I was there. This fruit stand is not particularly a favorite, the service lacks something. It is disorganized, and expensive. As I was looking and trying to figure out why I always have to stop there, I remembered. This was one of Jason’s favorite stops, not because he loved fruit or veggies, but they have a hot sauce bar with about 30 different sauces to sample. Jason loved this, he would stand there and sample and sample and sample. Eventually he would pick a favorite and buy it, but oh he loved his hot sauces.

I realized in that moment why I am having these moment more often. It is not just that this is the one year, it is that for many months as memories came to me I would wrap them up and put them away to be looked at another time.  Precious nuggets, to be dealt with later, I could not give them more than a quick glance. I was sure I would unravel.

I am finding now that I am unwrapping some of those memories, one or two at a time, looking at them, feeling them, enjoying them.  I will take these precious nuggets, examine them,  polish them, hold them in my heart, and proudly display them on the shelf of my mind. Yes, they will make me sad at times, but they are too precious to keep locked up. This is part of my healing.