It's been a long time since I've written, I know! May was just such a rough month. I don't want to keep writing about sad times, but that's probably dumb, because of course they're going to be around for a while. I was gearing up for May, and actually felt like Jessica's birthday on May 4th was pretty special, not so sad. Lots of people joined us in planting pink flowers or donating inspirational books to their local library in her honor. I received some beautiful pink lillies and a keepsake Azalea....pink, of course!
It was Mother's Day that took the wind right out of me. The night before I watched the video of Jessica's life that we played at the funeral. I hadn't watched it since then. It was actually therapeautic...just to remember all the stages of her life, her smile, her beauty. Even her personality shines through the pictures.
The next day pretty much started and ended with tears and would've been all downhill, except for all the sweet things Mark and the kids did to make it special. But, I will say that Mother's Day took on a whole new perspective for me, even as I worked through my own pain of missing one of my children. I thought of the many others who find it a difficult day; all the mothers who know the pain of burying a child (or more than one), women who can't have children, mother's who lost their children serving our country, children of divorce who can't see their moms, children who never knew their mothers, children who lost their mothers early in life, etc., etc. When you think about it, it can be a very painful day for a whole lot of people.... It is always good to have your eyes opened to others' suffering.
My birthday was the following week, then Kayla's. Yah, we take care of most of our family celebrations in one month :). The good thing is that we now have a whole lot of "firsts" behind us.
The other difficult thing this month is our relationship with Cory. There have been things said, assumptions made, Facebook wars (which I try to stay away from and out of), etc. that just leave a very bitter taste. Making it more difficult is the fact that Cory doesn't seem to want anything to do with Christians or Christianity....that's a breakdown in our relationship right there.
None of us have any problem with Cory having a new relationship. In fact, I told him early on that would probably happen. I think the problems arose when communication broke down and we found ourselves in very different places in our grief, and felt like Jessica was no longer being honored or remembered, a little too early in the process for anyone to be okay with. Yet, somehow for peace, you have to accept painful situations and move on, and mostly...keep praying! The question I have to keep coming back to is, what does the Lord want from me in this? What can I learn? Where do we go from here? That is what we're all working on right now.
One of the "wake-ups" for me are that life is really moving forward.....and quickly! A death does not slow life down, even if you feel like it all has come to a screeching halt. And moving forward is a healthy thing, if you move in the Lord's timing.
So, how do you reconcile the past...a life you had with an additional family member....with the season of sickness, death and grief ....and now with the present and the future? It is actually a process that requires some solid decision making and lots of wisdom and prayer. But, I think, if you don't take the time to figure it out and process, someday it will all come crashing in on you.
We all know people who are letting the past keep them from their future...hung up on memories or hurts from their past. At the same time, it is the past and the people in it that mold us into who we are, flaws and qualities alike, so you can never really be separated from it. I want to find a healthy way to keep Jessica a part of our history and our lives, but also be able to accept that our lives here on earth with her are completely and totally over and we NEED to make the necessary adjustments to move forward. I tell you, this one is taking some time to work through. And I'm sure there's a grief book somewhere with a chapter dedicated to this issue :).
I am just so thankful that the Lord keeps opening our eyes to what is necessary and healthy. That He is so emotionally, personally, and deeply committed to us, to our pain, to our healing, to our futures. I can hardly comprehend such a love.....
Many good things continue happening around here too. We're finding the joy of working on our music is back and seems to be coming together in a fresh way. We had our first real social event at our house since the funeral (Alex's bible college graduation), the girls are both making plans to start community college this fall and we've already gotten a zoo trip in as well as a few beach days!
It's so good to feel the warmth of the summer sun and the salty breezes off the ocean once again, to watch my children continue maturing and finding their passions, to create new memories that will someday create a slideshow uniquely different from the one I watched a few weeks ago...there's a whole new chapter of our lives ready to be written and I think I'm ready for it.....