Monday, August 13, 2012

Life's list...

After feeling sorry for ourselves tonight, Nate and I decided to head out to the local winery... yes, a little wine can do wonders for self pity and deep wounded hearts.  We sat out in a secluded area, surrounded by trees, a creek and a few 1000 crickets... listening to the sounds of nature, occasionally crying and talking about life.  An old couple walked by, he was carrying a bag and he looked at Nate and with a huge smile said "she had too much to drink, so I have to carry her purse"... they both laughed and walked away holding hands.  I told Nate, 'that will be us in 30 years'... then I wondered out loud "what will our grief look like in 30 years?" How will this change us? What will we become? Will we still be so defined by our loss? How will the loss of Declan shape who we are as individuals and as a couple?  Our 'deep' conversation lead us to talking about living life like we were dying... and making sure we get the most out of every moment... and how when we tell someone that 'life is short and you never know when your time here on this earth will end' people say they understand, but they don't.  Only those who have experienced death's sting can understand how fragile life really is... so how can we live life the way we want... the reality is we both have to work, so traveling the world isn't an option... we could create a bucket list.... a list of things to do before you "kick the bucket"... well newsflash, tomorrow could be our day... is a trip to Europe really going to be my defining moment?  Is going to the ballet the most important thing I want to do before I die? I have put a lot of thought into my bucket list... and finally realized I don't want a bucket list... bucket list are for these huge plans that are unrealistic at this moment right now... I want to go to Thailand more than ANYTHING, but if I die tomorrow, like Declan did, will I consider my life 'unfulfilled'? No.  What is it that makes our life worthy and 'full'?  Tonight, over wine, Nate and I decided we have two list... a "Life List" and an "Icing on the Cake" list.  Our "Life List" consist of being as real as possible in our marriage, to be present in each other's lives every day, to be the best spouse we can be for each other... to have our kids experience life through adventures like camping, fishing, swimming at the lake, running 5ks for good causes, standing up for those who can't stand up for themselves... working a career that we feel passionate about and love, going to work everyday with a smile on our faces because we know we are right where we are meant to be.... giving our lives to Christ completely, raising our children to know Him.... My "Icing on the Cake" list consist of going to Thailand, swimming with dolphins, buying a house in the woods with trees everywhere... but if those things don't happen, they were only icing on the 'cake' of life anyway... what really matters is the type of life I lead while I am living...


  1. well said.....if i get my icing, it will be living in the dominican republic, running an orphanage. it is a really big dream right now and one i pray about daily. i hope that the Lord fulfills that desire of my heart. but if he doesn't, there are a whole lot of middle schoolers here in New Prague who desperately need love. and even though it can seem mundane, i know it is just as important as feeding and rocking orphans. i've come to the same conclusion as you. even if the BIG dreams don't happen, there are little opportunities to put big love into life every day. and maybe in the end, we'll find out that living out the daily commitment to love those around us was the icing all along. :) thanks for this read, friend

  2. Holle, you don't know me. My husband went to school with Nate and passed your blog along to me, and I've been weeping through it for the past week and a half. You are absolutely amazing in your grief and I admire you so. Loss is devastating, and although I hope to never understand what you are going through, I hope you know that I lift you and your family in my prayers each day.

    I pray that your "cake" becomes such a natural part of your life, and that precious Declan continues to be intertwined into it. And I pray that your "icing" brings new joys each day.

    I don't know you, but I love your heart, Holle. My heart aches for you and for your beautiful family.

    Amy Johnson

  3. May we all learn to live our lives as if this day is our last. Declan's passing has inspired me to do so. I think your lists are perfect!!

  4. Nate and Holle you are amazing!!