My kids are rock stars.
They are the kind of humans who wake up, do awesome things just by being alive, cope with heartache, look stunning, and give back to others.
They are the kind of kids who don't deserve to be hurt (because what kids do?) but keep, somehow, getting slammed by every little possible thing in the world that could destroy a person. They endure loss after loss, time after time and do it with a whole lot of grace.
And I help them cope with a whole lot of grit.
I hope that when they feel the loss of someone they love, even a friend, that they understand that the depth of that loss is the price of love. And loving deeply is always worth the risk of someone walking away or being taken to soon.
I read a children's book recently that talked about death as being a constant companion in our lives, even as young children.
Essentially the philosophy behind the book was, if we can imagine death as a being; one who walks with us, eats with us, ushers us to school, follows us back home, sleeps with us at night and rises again at our side the following morning, then maybe just maybe death doesn't seem so scary when death actually, finally ushers us away into the air for good... one day.
I loved the book and think the kids would like it too.
Death and life, the constant pull between the two--it is just as it is with light and dark, happy and sad, hungry and full.
Every part of it is meant to be explored and felt in order to carve out from within us exactly who we are meant to be.
This week my kids experienced yet another really traumatizing life loss; another drastic change.
Sometimes the loss of someone who is still alive is much more painful than a death, especially the death of a very sick sister who we now believe is well and whole.
There isn't much closure when people who are alive change the course of your life and many times, there is nothing you can do about it. Over time, I have learned that the only thing I can continue to do is support the kids through these changes and explain to them that people will always, most certainly, make choices that impact them. In doing so, I hope that I can encourage them to think through their decisions very carefully. More than anything I want them to grow up and lead lives of selflessness and service to others.
Summer days are quickly sneaking by. We are swimming, napping, and eating popsicles like it's our job. We are also anxiously counting down the days until we leave for our family vacation in Northern Michigan where we will spend 2 full weeks with Chris' family in the farmhouse where dreams come true.
We are aching for Mabel, as we always do.
I checked the date on the calendar that holds our busy schedules and as I realized that her (and Nora's) birthday month is here, I also realized that I'm doing ok.
It feels like another lifetime that I lived with her. It feels like I just held her in my arms. Sometimes it feels like she's just laying in the other room and I haven't gone in to kiss her just yet. It's still, and maybe always will be, a bit of a trickery for my mind to establish that she really, truly is not here.
I have decided to take a break from working for awhile. I have signed off of facebook (possibly for good) and have made some other life choices in the past week that will hopefully help me de-clutter my mind and decompress my heart. This grieving business is not for the faint, though...
we do all have to do it in one way or another.
And sometimes many.
As Nora and Braden begin to grieve yet another part of their life, I wanted to be fully available for them in whatever ways they need me. As yet another friend grieves her marriage and adjusts to her new normal, I wanted to be available for her as she walks through that.
I have never, not ever, had to do any of this alone and I will not be so preoccupied with other things, that I am not wholly myself in giving to others when they need me.
It's just who I am.
All I really have to give is more of me.
This weekend we will celebrate our country and all the freedoms we enjoy.
I'll do that with my friends, and family and I'll give thanks for all the many blessings I have been given. I continue to be in awe of God for the way He works in my life. He is incredibly patient, mindful and good.
I'm praying comfort over the hearts of the people I love who are hurting, and that includes you, if you are.....