Six long years ago...
Six short years ago....
Six years. How long it's been since our lives changed so suddenly. April is the month, for us, that is full of emotion and remembrance.
Last year at this time, we were busily preparing for a major change in our families life, in a move over seas and leaving behind the two oldest as they began the journey of life as young adults with out mom and dad near by. There was little time to sit and reflect on this significant time in our life, but through each day, I felt clearly the weight of each day and the different things that were reflected over the month, but had to keep pressing forward with a very busy time in our life. I was very aware of the significance of our sons 5th birthday, that he wouldn't be heading off to his first year of school, or being a part of a T-ball team, no doubt running us around and around in fun. The heaviness was there, the sting less painful than it had been before, but there were still tears that soaked my pillow as I would rest.
This year, six years. A 6th birthday on April 11. We were traveling, just the two of us. Celebrating our sweet lads life, and our 22nd wedding anniversary. While we were away, God blessed us tremendously, and for that we are grateful. Our hearts have continued to heal, but we still miss him with a desperation we cannot explain. As we pulled into port in Greece on a very beautiful day, we remembered him, and celebrated him the best way we knew how. My heart still felt the empty space as we spoke his name and whispered little things about how we missed him, and wished things would have been different, but it was less broken than the years before. We grieve for what we miss, for what would have or could have been. A sweet smile we never were able to see, and a giant bear hug and one last smell of his hair after a bath. In those things, we know what we are missing, but for us, in these little two that have blessed us beyond measure we receive an abundance of the things I just spoke of.
Six years gone, April 19. He was here just a short time, too short. Six years, he's been whole, free, and living beyond what we could have dreamed. It still stings. I suppose it always will since no amount of time or things or people replace a loss so great. So important to us still and always, our John Carter. So missed, so loved for 6 long, yet short years.
22 Years of marriage, just a few days ago. We feel our years and yet at the same time, they've also rushed by so very quickly. We've stuck together through the hardest imaginable times any marriage can endure, especially after what loss does to us. Worth it. Every day, it's worth it.
April 26, the day we finally were able to lay our son to rest. A beautiful day, I remember it like yesterday. So incredibly heartbreaking, but so amazingly beautiful. I still thank God for little reminders of his nearness that day, for remembering us, and faithfulness to our hearts.
Thankful for family that remember him, and take the time to show they haven't forgotten. It means so much, especially when we are so far away and unable to do what we would like in remembrance for him. Not that he cares, but we do, and it really is touching when others show this love.
And finally, last but not least, I go back a little bit to April 13, 5 years ago. Just a year and two days after our sons birthday, we learned our sweet Claire was gone just 23 weeks into my pregnancy with our twin girls, that just 3 weeks later would again change our lives in a very significant way. It was a very hard hit to our family, once again.
What I've learned in our years of parenting have dealt some pretty big lessons, in many many ways. We do our best, raise them in what we believe is right, teach them to love and respect, guide them, guard them, and still the rain may fall. We can't control all things at all times, and there are days and weeks, months and years that we do hard things that others may not understand in order to reach them where they are at. We pray, and pray that they will be protected, independent able bodied adults that will find their way in a hard world that has already dealt some life altering shocks that at times feel like they sucked the life right out of you. We expect them to make (mature) adult decisions (many time before they are prepared to) and be ready to provide for themselves and later a family in a very tough world. Sometimes we get it right, and sometimes painfully wrong, but we keep moving forward no matter the mountain in front of us, and pray that eventually we come to the peak of that mountain and see clearly on the other side the things learned along the way. It's a process. Grief is a process. We don't all learn things the first time around, and some of us need some whops upside the head along the way, but we don't give up and we fight for our family that we love desperately and hope an easy future for them even through uncertainty.
I've learned a lot in 6 years, 22 years, 5 years, 20 years, 19 years, 17 years, 4 years, and finally the last 2 years with the little rascal speeding around my living room. Point is, none of us knows what lies ahead, and we are all just doing our best to do what right for our families, when the sun is shining, and when the rain is pouring so hard we can't see the steps we are taking to get through the storm. We live, laugh, love and find our way when we are willing to learn from the things in life that weren't planned, where we tripped, stepped in it big time, or when we've just been still and found ways to love others despite the hurts that overwhelm our hearts.
It's been 6 years since we greeted our son and then said goodbye. We've lived more life in these 6 years than we knew was possible. It's changed us. There is a love and compassion far greater than we knew was humanly possible flowing within us. Sometimes it breaks our hearts, but we know this journey continues on, and we continue on with it, wherever it may lead us.
Apr 24, 2016
Six long years ago...
at 5:01 AM