I look forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas every year, I always have. I love most everything about the holidays. I enjoy the colors, the warm drinks, the festive decorations, the gift giving, yummy food, twinkling lights, all the carols, and most of all the family time. Although this year the holidays have brought a new set of challenges I was not expecting and with those challenges an odd feeling of melancholy. It could be that I’m to busy, could be that I’m not really that excited this year. But mostly there are too many distractions, too many burdens. Our building project is nearing the end and our moving date is looming over us. Every day has been one big decision after the next. Picking out flooring, wall color, bathroom fixtures, tile, door knobs, cabinets, deck configuration etc etc. All the fun stuff. I have never felt so anxious! I think I’d rather go through labor again then make all these decisions. Those of you that know me know I am probably one of the most indecisive people especially when it comes to permanent fixtures. I can be indecisive about weather or not I am actually indecisive. I often times know what I don’t want but I cant always tell you what I do want. Even the most exciting things can still be stressful.
But maybe beyond that this Christmas is shadowed with sadness. It will be a year on December 20th that Jack passed. I can feel the sorrow of my husband and his family, the heaviness that surrounds them as they think about that dreadful day last December. I am sad and I grieve but I do not understand the depth of sorrow that they go to bed with every night. I see it in Dustin’s eyes every day. I don’t believe there is ever a point in your life when you are “prepared” to lose a parent. They are a constant in your life, a safety, a comfort that you have always had, always known. When that corner stone of your life is ripped from you, your foundation rocks. There are days when it feels strong, maybe even happy and joyful. Then a wind blows and suddenly you feel like at any moment all the stones in your tower will crumble to pieces and you are grasping for someone to pull you from beneath the heap. I do not know this grief and I don’t wish it on anyone yet my dear ones are haunted by it daily. I pray that they will have strength, that they would find peace, and emotional victories would be on the horizon for them. It will get better, but not this year. This Christmas is more about survival than celebration, and that’s ok. I think I would be more worried about them if they were all acting like everything was just fine. To struggle is to absorb your pain and through that you are able to more forward.
I was rummaging through old boxes today cleaning and organizing when I came across an old letter I had written to Dustin in 2004 before we dated. It was a note of encouragement.
It’s funny that I”m writing to you with a pencil. I never use a pencil but I’ve turned this house upside down looking for a pen only to find a million types of pencils. I wish we could write our life using a pencil. Then we could do away with regret because we would know that at other end of this piece of led, that is recording our words, there awaits an eraser to fix our damnable mistakes. But if that really were the way it was, then we wouldn’t need grace nor experience the vulnerability of suspending your life in His hope for us. “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for. But the spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words we cannot express” – Romans 8:24
If I could plant a garden where answers could be grown I would spend forever on my knees tilling the ground. Stay on your knees, its impossible to stumble there. Be encouraged my friend. Thinking and praying for you. With everything that is simple, Christy
Its funny how I wrote that letter 9 years ago to a boy to encourage him and now here I sit encouraging myself with those same words. I felt like I was writing to myself from the past. The words I wrote in that letter were more powerful as I read them today then they were 9 years ago. The longer time goes on the more I discover how important it is for me to pen down my emotions, I find great solace in it. It gives me peace to write out my heaviness and my hope. I remember when Dustin and I were only friends and I would write him notes all the time. I would leave them taped to his car, stuffed inside books, or just scribbled on school note pads. I was always trying to impress him with my wit and words. I think he has always been my muse. Gaining his attention with my writing was a challenging, still is. I still love to listen to him articulate with his words. Every letter or note he has ever written to me has been framed and hung in my room. I treasure them more than a painting in a museum.
I hope my words always impact him, always reach him. Lately I’m not convinced my words are reaching him. He is distant and buried deep beneath his grief, trying desperately to cope and distract himself. I miss him. But he will return to me. I get little glimpses of his charming flirty mischievous self every now and again and I am encouraged. I have to hope for things I do not see. I hope he will once again find joy, excitement, and fulfillment in our life. That I would be able to comfort him again. That he would tell me stories of things that inspire him and I will hang on his every word.
Some times the ebb and flow of life is easy and peaceful, and sometimes it is raw and sad. I am thankful for hope and I am thankful for words. Let my words be filled with encouragement and wisdom. Least my heart fail me I will not turn from this grief because through my own yearning I will find my husband again. Wrestle with your grief and healing will come.