Friday, September 24, 2010

Ahhh, the joys of Summer....

 It's the simple things in life
that make this heart smile

Sunday, September 19, 2010

3 years...

*This is a post I started writing March 26th.  It may seem a bit redundant to the previous post, but I feel it perfectly illustrates what life has been for me the past 3 1/2 years.  .....a tug of war back and forth.  The all-consuming grief vs. the overwhelming desire to not allow myself to be defined by the pain.  I'm ready to break this cycle...or for the sake of the illustration...the rope.*  

It's been 3 years.

It's been three years.
Three years.

Wow. It just doesn't seem real, no matter how many times I say it. It seems like yesterday. I feel like I've been {stuck} in that moment this whole time.

It's hard.

I would have thought 3 years would have made more of a difference than it has. But it hasn't. It still feels so fresh. So raw. And honestly, I don't know what to do. The tears still flow, the heartache still stings. I can't even bring myself to finish this post in a timely manner. (over 6 weeks now)

March 18th was the day.

It's a day that has marked so much in my life. And it's only been three years. It's amazing how that day was such a defining moment. That moment has only affected 3 of the last 27 years of my life and yet it feels like those three years have made up my entire life.

It's all-consuming...

Do I want my life to be {defined} by that moment? By these three years? There's so much more to life, right? So much more that what the last three years have been. I mean, sure, that was a HUGE, monumental, life-changing moment in my life and yes it has rocked me to my core. It has changed so much about it {who} I am. (and probably rightfully, justifiably so)  I know I won't ever forget that moment.  And I will.not. ever forget her.  But I don't want my life to be defined by the pain that moment caused.

*And that's where it ended.  Again, easier to stop writing and go on pretending than to face .....anything.   Regardless of the fact that I want to break this cycle, these words are still true.  It's still very raw.  {If I let myself go there.}  It's so all-consuming at times it's suffocating.  That day 3 1/2 years ago is still monumental.  Still life changing.  But I still don't want my life to be defined by the pain of that moment.  So, yes, these words are still true and they probably always will be.  And that's okay.  Yep, I said it.  It's okay that these words still ring true.  

You see, I've had it all wrong.  I got so caught up in this game of tug of war that I lost focus.  I've been focusing on the two opponents.  Grief vs. Fear.  For so long I've struggled with balancing the grief of the situation with not allowing myself to be defined by the pain (or grief) of the situation.  I didn't understand how to do one without the other.  I thought they went hand in hand.  If I grieve the loss of my daughter, I allow myself to be defined by that grief.  At least that's how I saw it until now.  See, it's okay to grieve.  It's good to grieve.  I should be grieving the loss of my daughter.  But that doesn't mean the grief itself will define me.  I could let it, if I wanted to.  But that would be a miserable existence.  Trust me, I know.  

I've had it backwards this whole time.  For so long I've associated Ellianna's situation...Ellianna herself...with pain.  It seemed as if they were one and the same.  Shame on me.  Kids change us.  They do.  They change who we are {woman to mother}.  They change how we interact with those around us.  They shape us, help define us if you will.  Having Ellianna did change me.  That moment when I realized she was gone did define me.  That moment.  Not the pain.  But her.  God.  The faith she allowed me grow in; it changed me.  In that moment, when I knew she wouldn't breathe a single breath on this Earth, that was the closest I've ever been to God.  He did change me.  

It was in that moment I was given the rope.  This whole time I've struggled with it.  The weight of it.  The roughness.  The blisters it wore on my hands.  The opponents.  I threw it into a game it was never meant to play.  I danced from end to end trying to win.  Pulling and tugging until I didn't know what else to do.  Wanting to properly grieve and wanting my joy back.  Pulling and tugging, Pulling and tugging.  The poor rope; that's not what it was for at all.  Rather, the rope was there as a gentle reminder of Ecclesiastes 4:12.  "...A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."  The rope held me together when two sides of me were waring against each other.  It served to remind me that with God as our center, my center in this case, it would not be easily broken.  I'm thankful for the rope.  I'm thankful for the bond it represents.  I'm thankful it went along with my antics until I was ready.  Now my focus is on the rope.  On God, my Savior, who holds all the pieces of my broken life together creating a beautiful masterpiece.  

Tonight, I'm thankful.*

As previously stated

I've been a horrible blogger.  I mean, May?  Really, May was the last time I posted?!  Crazy!!  I guess I've been a little busier this summer than I realized.  Summers are always busy for us, but seriously....M.A.Y.

Actually, if we're all going to be honest here, I just haven't felt like blogging.  :/ It was easier not to go there.  Every time I would log on and sit down to start writing, I just couldn't bring myself to go to that place of vulnerability.  So instead, I just shut my brain off and started catching up on other blogs.  {It was easier.}  I didn't have to think.  I didn't have to go to that wounded place.  I didn't have to hurt.  I didn't have to cry.  I couldn't even bring myself to write a light-hearted blog about Kinnley.

Weird, I know.

Good grief it's taken me almost 3 weeks to write this one. {oops!} (not to mention all other unfinished posts dating back to March...)

And I'm not sure why.

I know that writing will help to heal the pain.  I know that it brings me complete and total joy to write about my little miss sassy pants.  And yet, it's all seemed too hard.  As if writing about McKinnley was wrong.  Well, wrong isn't the right word, but frankly I don't know what is.  Sometimes it just feels like if I write about the things that bring me joy, if I go on living, then it's as if Ellianna didn't die.  {Not as in she's still alive, but that I somehow must not be grieving enough.} ....but if I stop living, then her death, HER LIFE, was in vain.  And I will {not} let it be in vain. 

I know that the devil would love for me to believe that if I go on living, and not just living, but living joyfully, that I must not be honoring her.  I know he would love nothing more than to have me wallow in self pity and be miserable.  I also know it's a lie.  One that I refuse to believe.  Refuse!  No longer.  How does my being depressed {sometimes to the point of not being able to function} honor Elli?  My family?  McKinnley?  More than that, how does that bring honor to God?  Well, it doesn't.  So forgive me.  Please.  Forgive me for not living life to the fullest.  Forgive me, at times, for just simply existing. 

Yesterday marked 3 1/2 years since Ellianna went to be with Jesus.  Three and a half years.  Unbelievable.  So much has happened.  So much has changed.  But it's time for one more change.  Me.  I'm ready.  I'm ready to find myself again. 

Here goes nothing.....