Well Folks! Here we go again!
I really don’t know why . . . maybe it is because of the level of happiness in my life right now. Maybe it is because it feels like we have started over and are living a new life. Maybe it is sheer naivety! Whatever it is . . . I have once again been struck by the ‘mack truck’ of grief!
What am I naïve about? Well – tomorrow is the two year anniversary of Chad’s passing (October 7th), and I really thought that I could skate through this week without many tears! Ha! Boy, was I wrong! Proving, once again, that the beast of grief is a force all it’s own with a mind of it’s own AND emotions that do not always follow the course I think they should take!
My very sweet new Mother-in-law called this morning. She lost a son in a car accident 19 years ago – and so, has an understanding of this beast! She intuitively asked if maybe we could go pick out a tree today - that the kids and I can plant tomorrow so that we have a piece of their daddy here on the farm. What a wise and wonderful woman! What a gift!
I have wrestled with what to do tomorrow. . . last year was SUCH a big deal! We treasured every moment of it as a family. Everyone came (even my sister – all the way from Pennsylvania). I took the kids out of school for the day. We had a private and wonderful day which ended in me giving the kids our dog Miah (you can read about it on my October blog from 2008.)
The kids, of course, thought that they should stay home from school again tomorrow . . . to which I told them ‘no.’ I told them that we are alive this year – there are school pictures tomorrow . . . the boys both have football practice and Abbi has a basketball game. I told them that this year we are FULLY alive and that that is the way their daddy would want it.
But, at the same time, as their mama . . . I realize that it is MY responsibility to keep Chad’s memory alive for them. The reality is that there are two days a year that will forever be ‘daddy’ days. Two days each year that as their mama I really and truly have a burden to honor their daddy apart from all else. . . the day he died . . . and his birthday (November 27th.) You know what the truth is? October 7th will NEVER be ‘just another day’ to us! It can’t be! October 7th is a day that sticks out at the forefront of my life’s journey . . . and surely it does for my kids.
I will work VERY hard, as their mama, to keep tomorrow upbeat! To ‘celebrate’ their daddy and his life! To remember the good! But the truth is . . . is that in my private time – I have already and I’m sure will once again – weep! Last night I just couldn’t keep it together. Jim left to run an errand, the kids were all SIX in bed and sleeping, and I . . . crumpled in a heep on my closet floor and wept. It still amazes me that while the pain is truly so much further and farther between . . . when it HITS . . . it is still as deep and as painful as those horrible days when shock was turning to reality! Gut wrenching! Ug! Last night I thought I might puke my gut wrenched so bad with grief! What a beast it is! I have a wonderful new husband and wonderful new life! Where does this come from?
It comes from a place deep inside that my new husband once told me would always be there. If you have been following – you will remember that Practice told me on our first date that a part of my heart will always belong to Chad . . . I guess this grief comes straight from there! Most of the time, anymore, that part of my heart feels like just a sliver. But tomorrow . . . and last night and today . . . it feels enormous! You know what? That’s o.k.! There is SO much about tomorrow . . . so many emotions and memories that live only in MY heart and mind. There was SO much that happened to ME that day in particular – from the horrors of running a marathon in 100 degree weather with no water – having to pick used and trampled cups up off the ground just to get a tiny bit to drink . . . to searching frantically for my husband in 100,000 plus people . . . to ‘the’ phone call . . . to I.D.’ing his body . . . to knowing that I had to get home to tell my kids . . . to . . . to . . . to. . . to . . . Oh My! October 7th will NEVER be just another day!
Last week we had a special service at church – and as I sat there this blog entry came to me –
There has been a change . . . the air . . .the season. There is something about it – the smell of the air, the way the wind blows, the erie sound of the changing leaves on the trees. It is as if I cannot escape the memories. Almost as if they sit on my shoulder and haunt me. Most times of the year I can push them away. But through this season they are so profound. The await around each blink of my eyes or sniff of the air.
Tonight we had church – and let me tell you WE HAD CHURCH!!!!!! I worshipped and felt SO happy and free and full! So thrilled to feel whole again! I am amazed at how far two years has brought me . . . brought us! As worship ended I reached over and hugged my little Micah . . . and I was INSTANTLY on the front pew of the very same church with a six-year-old boy in a suit and tie and a very lost and confused . . . blank . . . look on his face as we stared at the casket with his daddy in it.
Then – with my thoughts wrapped around that memory of October of 2007 – the choir began to sing. Friends – the choir was away at the Brooklyn Tabernacle the weekend that Chad died. Right after hearing the news of his passing – some of the people in the choir being as close to Chad as family – the choir listened as the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir sang a song. It was a song that left an unforgettable mark on that choir and on many of them personally. Now, fast forward two years. On this particular Sunday night . . .the choir began to sing that very same song! There I was – wrapped in memories of October 2007 – but being ministered to by the timeless and precious body of Christ and the Holy Spirit! The words of that song began to wash over me and strengthen me!
I never lost my hope!
I never lost my joy!
I never lost my faith!
But most of all . . . I never lost my praise!
How about you, friend? Have you lost your hope? Have you lost your joy? Have you lost your faith? Oh, my! Have you lost your praise?!!!!
Truth be told – on days like today I sometimes ‘feel’ like I have! But I am thanking Jesus that He is so much more than my ‘feelings!’ HIS hope – HIS joy – HIS faith – and the praise of WHO He is are what sustain me even on the hardest days of my new life! God is good . . . PERIOD!