Thursday, December 1, 2011

Fa la la la la?

If the truth be told, I am having a rotten time of it. I often said that the second year, in some ways, is harder than the first after a loved one dies. I don't think that it's as intense, so that part is past. During the first year you are numb, depressed, surviving from one moment to the next clutching your way through the day, the night and the drudgery that comes along with the long minutes of agony.

During the second year, a little of that black cloud lifts. There are longer periods of time between "normal" and bad days. It's not every minute. However, you are not as much on guard of your emotions. When the bad days come, they hit you like a ton of bricks. You feel more and with your guard down, you remember more.

I'm not saying that this is bad. It's just hard. It's a pain. And I don't want to go through it, AGAIN! I'm trying not to have a pity party over here. But I want to scream "IT'S NOT FAIR!!!!!"

I get so annoyed with myself when I feel this way. I don't know what to do with myself, so I berate my thoughts. I hear of all of these wonderful things happening in the lives of my friends, co workers, family. I hear of struggles and trials through the same circles. Yet I find myself feeling, 'what about me?' 'Why can't I have that?' 'Why did they get to take their kid home?' 'Why couldn't my babies have something that medicine could heal?' There are miracles happening right around me as people I know and love struggle, suffer. I KNOW it's a miracle. I SEE it happening. I KNOW that there are friends out there whose children could have died, but didn't because we live in a place where medicine is easily accessible and curative. Don't get me wrong. I am grateful for all of these things. I am grateful for the blessings for these people. I'm just a little jealous that it didn't happen for us, twice.

There's been flash backs, memories. Feelings of guilt that we didn't do for them more than we did. It's nothing to solve. It just is. I always feel sad when I look at our surviving children and see their heartbreak. Emily is having memories of the night we told her her sister died. Alexa broke down when we donated her tricycle (at her original request) because she had a vision of having Ava ride it someday. Elaina hugs Ava's picture and simply states that she wishes that Ava could come down to us again. They want to hang a stocking for Ava and Eric. It kills me to do so. They play baby all day long. They are playing out their need to love a little one. They wish they could have a little sibling. We can't do that anymore. Little things that pierce my soul, some days more than others.

I look at our Christmas Decorations, I think about why we celebrate. I think about smiles on little faces. I feel removed from it x6. I was thinking about about how I am seeing a lot of social media about remembering those who have a hard time during the "holiday season". On my drive into work last night I realized that of course there are so many who have a tough time this time of year. As we age our lives move from the child like innocence and wonder to reality. Reality is that we live in a sinful world. We are sinners in the world. Sin is a bundle of bad choices, ugly thoughts and feelings, negative actions, even death. Part of our humanity wants to sweep it under the rug and 'be happy'. That's not how it works. We are all touched by a form of grief in our lives. So of course there are those who have a tough time around the significant markers on the calendar. The longer you live, the more people you love have endured suffering.

So what do you do? As a grown up you enter a quagmire of sadness. Living is hard. Do you try to keep on keeping on and show your children the joys of the season? Do you squelch the twinkle in their eyes as they gaze are the decorations, as they plan surprises for those they love? Do you try to ignore the festivities because your heart is heavy? I want to. But I can't. The Bugs have unbridled joy. I don't want to be the Mom who makes this season harder on them, because my heart is broken and I am suffering from my sinful thoughts.

There is a little thing called Grace. It comes from God. He gives you what you need, when you need it and you don't deserve it. It's how I keep moving on. I know that even though I feel a layer of film exists between me and the festivities, I can enjoy something. Sometimes it feels like the cloud will never go away. Then I see grey skies, and sometimes there's blue trying to peep through. I try to take delight in those little twinkly eyes. I try not to squelch that. They have a whole life to live and plenty of time to deal with whatever comes their way.

God gave us Jesus. I know that some of you don't understand that, or don't believe it, or don't get it. I struggle with that often. I struggle with how to get someone to understand the depth of joy and hope you can have, even in the dark and more sinful times, when you really really allow God to be the captain of your ship. I know that each person will have their own relationship with God, just as we relate to our family members in a different way. The operative word in that sentence is relationship. It's not a static thing. It's something that you work on every day. It changes and sometimes it's good and you are on a high. Sometimes its low and frustrating. But it's always there and always based on love.

We get mad if a loved one hurts us. We turn our backs and wonder how could that person love us if they did THAT to us. We push the person away. We want nothing to do with them anymore. But the problem is that when the anger subsides, a thought sneaks in. We still love the person on some level. So we make ourselves angry and fuel that feeling so that we don't have to actually FEEL the true feelings of the infraction. Walls walls walls go up and suddenly you look at your fortress and you are trapped. We do this with God too. But with Him you can't build an impenetrable fortress. He's the one who made you, me, my broken children, my healthy children. He created everyone on this earth. We are here for His purpose, whether we are born to what someone thinks is a "deserving" family or not. Each person born has a purpose and the capacity to love, themselves, each other, God.

You see, even though we are down right now. We know there will be an up point. We know that God loves us. We know that God loves us. We know it, but we need some Grace to feel it, to roll with it and to move to the next step. We need His strength to climb out of the pit we find ourselves in so that we can see the Blessings right in front of us. Those pits are deep sometimes. 'But His grace is sufficient for me, His strength is made perfect in weakness.'

I hate death. I love a death with hope.
I want 5 kids in my house. I am glad two are healed and no longer suffering.
I want "that big thing" that will make me feel better. I know that there may not be a 'big thing' that is tangible. But God loves me and hasn't forgotten about me. He will make me get to the next day, and the next, and the next.

For Christmas this year, won't you try to see how God loves you and Blesses you when you are down and don't feel in tune with Him? It's hard. I know. It's really hard. But I bet you will be surprised.