A Leftover Type of Day

Happy Angelversary, A.G. Today, my leftover sadness, tears, pain, and outrage are being acknowledged – just for a moment – as I let them pass by on their way again. Today isn’t a day for a lot of words. Today is a day to get back in bed with all my clothes on and be comforted when my dog and husband join me – my Hollywood burying his face in me and my husband stroking my hair.

We aren’t taking all day, but just a little time to recognize what we remember, like leaving the hospital almost exactly 365 days to the hour without you. Like getting a big hug goodbye from the nurse, Kay, who walked us out to our car and was there with us 3 out of the 4 days and nights we stayed in that dark room where I faded in and out between reality and heavy, drug-laden sleep, missing you. When the tears stream down my face, I let them fall. When I can’t breathe out of my nose anymore, I take in the oxygen through slow, deep, mouth breaths.

These leftover moments have a place today, although life has moved on and my spirit has outgrown this as a constant place. Dear, A.G., thank you for teaching me my biggest life lessons and for making me grow more than I thought possible. Thinking of you with sweet mama’s love today and everyday, always.

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Hurting Hearts

Today, my friends’ hearts are hurting, and mine is hanging low, feeling only a fraction of the pain they are all feeling. Last night, a woman described to me as vibrant and always, always bubbling over with joy, unexpectedly met God. As anguishing as it is to write, so did her 15 week old baby tucked inside her womb. Her husband, also processing his mother’s terminal cancer diagnosis, will now be a single dad to their little daughter.

What was supposed to be one of the happiest times in this couple’s life did a 180 degree turn in a single afternoon. A moment of physical pain gave way to collapse, coma, and finality on this earth within a few hours.

I imagined this husband waking up this morning with the grief and unbelief capsizing his heart and soul in the first moment of light. Then, I realized how silly I am to think he even slept for a moment last night. I imagined him trying to explain to their little daughter that mommy will never pour her a glass of milk again, or tuck her in and read her bedtime stories. I questioned the logistics of navigating everyday life now (whatever that is) aside from the sorrow – going to work, playing at the park, doing laundry, and so on.

I imagine my sweet friend, 37 weeks pregnant, trying to enjoy this miracle time in her life without her bubbly friend. I imagine how she is going to turn this tragedy into compassion and appreciation. My hurting heart goes out to her as she and her husband process their overwhelming grief in the midst of their strongest joy, balancing polarizing emotions in the same breath.

I have never met this woman and, until this afternoon, had never even seen a photo of her. But, along with everyone else touched with these events, I cannot begin to comprehend what this means for her community. Her family will never be able to know how many people will pause, say a healing prayer, and will join them – even for a moment or two – in their sorrow.

Today, I pray for Renee and everyone she has affected with her too-short life. I send out nourishing energy to their souls and – with the knowledge of my own journey through the grieving process – stand tall with them as they begin this long and truly never ending journey of missing their girl. It’s not easy, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but – if you let it be – this grief and her life can be transformative for your spirits. Let her life serve the purpose of enhancing yours – not only with her memories – but with the lessons she gives you now and tomorrow.

The Calm After the Storm

I believe the storm may finally be over. It’s a dangerous thing to put in writing because, as soon as I think I know something, life will prove me wrong.

I am not pregnant, my job situation is still a mess, adoption is two years off by my best estimate, and I still have to baby my dog, Hollywood, in order to keep him healthy from meal to meal. But, for the moment, I feel the eye of the storm has passed and now I just have to keep moving through the aftermath, picking up all the windblown pieces of my life.

We got my genetic test back yesterday and my chromosomes are normal (enter little happy dance here). I am learning to love working part time. The adoption keeps steadily moving forward as I dream of learning how to braid cute, curly hair and nourish beautiful dark skin after bath time. I have continued to cherry pick moments in life that give me happiness…and happiness is surrounding me.

I feel more appreciative than I was able to feel most of this year. All year I felt an outpouring of compassion for others and a true spiritual awakening, but I am finally accepting where my life has led me in this moment. I feel joy bursting open in my soul from simply participating in my life.

As our dear Adam’s birthday approaches, I know my heart will never be whole again, but it may have grown deeper and wider. I am forever changed and this “new normal,” as I’ve coined it, is getting more comfortable, although laced with a sadness that I will always know. Through the sadness, though, space for the next chapter has finally been created.

I will revel in the fact that my deep breaths aren’t restricted with the anxiety and struggle that has been plaguing them for the last two years. I will continue to embrace the joy in the small, everyday moments. I will cherish the right-now, whether this truly is the calm after the storm or just a little break before the next blow. Either way, I have right now, I can breathe, and I feel peace.