Sunday, May 12, 2013

Finding beauty amongst the pain...

A wild flower, growing
among the dead leaves.

Mother's Day has come and gone (well basically)... once again I am forced to face the obvious, I am a grieving mother.  I am not like most moms... I am not like the mom I once was... I am new to me, I am new to this grieving process and I am trying to be the best mom I can be for my two little living munchkins.  Once upon a time, I enjoyed the 'typical' mothers day... getting dressed up for church in a fancy dress and going out for a fabulous lunch surrounded by loved ones. I got flowers and took pride in the family I had helped to create.  Since losing Dex, that isn't what my mothers day is like.  We attempted to stay somewhat traditional last night... church, followed by Old Country Buffett (fancy I know, but with kids, speedy wins out over luxury!).  However, for me personally today wasn't about me as much as it was about what I am, about what I have and what I have lost.  Today was about celebrating my journey, this terrible process I have been forced to live for the past year and three months.  It was about trying to find beauty in the pain... about looking for more than meets the eye and seeing the blessings that still rain down on me.

My day started with breakfast in bed with an omelet made to order, coffee just the way I like it and looky, looky... a flower and a little present on the tray!  Everything about the moment made me cry.  It was so obvious how much love we have in our often times chaotic home that I couldn't help but shed some tears.  We all hung out in bed, with only a few minor spills and then I opened my gift. Nathan and the kids had picked out a beautiful necklace in the shape of an angel.... it melted my heart!  I love it so much!!  What a blessing... even when it feels like there is nothing to celebrate....
 After breakfast, we went to a local park and spent the morning and afternoon exploring nature, looking for items from our scavenger hunt and trying to remember what we are all about.  When we first arrived we set out to see what was there, what miracles were at our finger tips... we ran into three older guys who were looking for wild flowers.  They looked identical to the brothers from Swamp People... first I was a little scared, but once they started talking to us I realized they were just EXTREME nature lovers! They pointed out a bunch of amazing wild flowers...  and the funny thing is until we ran into them, we hadn't seen any flowers.... makes me wonder if all we needed was a little help opening our eyes to those little beauties... after that we saw them everywhere!  After hiking for a while, we had a picnic and snacked on... what else... peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!  We soaked up the sun, talked about Declan, told jokes and laughed at nothing.  It felt so good to be there, it felt like we were doing exactly what we were meant to be doing.... like some little boy had a hand in making my day so perfect and special.   It's not always easy to see His blessings during the worst storm possible, but when I took time to savor the moment and look harder at what I've been given and still have, I am able to see the beauty amongst the pain.... I am able to grieve with the knowledge that even through this terrible loss... a loss that I will never forget... I have been richly blessed.

My heart melts for these two!

Relaxing and taking a break from our 3 mile hike today! 

Blessed to have a man that can stand strong for me when I am weak...

They may not always get along, but they love each other deeply! 

At the scenic over look.... thank goodness for the bench! We needed a break! 

Always on our mind... and lives on in our hearts! 

Your death doesn't change the fact that you made me a mother (again)... I loved you the moment I found out about you and I will love you until my last breath little man! 


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Being a bereaved mother... who would've thunk it?

It's hard to imagine that I am once again going to be living through another mother's day without one of my children.  Today is actually the International Bereaved Mother's day... who knew there was such a day?  I sure didn't.  But then... why would I've?  I have been introduced to an entirely new world since losing Declan.  A world filled with amazing people and extreme sadness... a world that understands that a smile or laughter doesn't mean your 'better'... a world that understands there is no such thing as 'better', only 'different'.  I have heard people say "I just want you to get better... to get back to the old you."  People always mean well. I know this to be 100% true.  Yet, I struggle with their inability to truly understand life through our eyes... and in reality I am jealous of them.  They say silly things not to be mean but because they have not been impacted by death's sting... they do not know that when your child dies... when your flesh and blood, a child you created is taken from you, there is NO going back.  Going back would be to pretend he never existed... is to deny who you are now... nope, once death has seeped into your life, you have reached the ultimate "point of no return" on the old you... and from our eyes, from our perspective that is ok.  I know I could not go back to the 'old me'.  There was nothing wrong with the 'old me', but who I am today is stronger, more confident, more compassionate, more empathic, more aware of the impact of my choices and the life I live than who I was.  Who I am today, on this international bereaved mothers day, is a direct result of one little man.... one little guy who I would give my final breath to see again, has changed my life completely and forever.  His impact on my life, and hopefully the lives of others, continues to strengthen me and give me hope for the day when I will arrive in His kingdom.  I believe that when you lose a child you come to a crossroad.... you can chose to let death defeat you or you can chose to let it teach you.   I have chosen to let it teach me and take me to places I didn't know existed.  Am I sad today... yes, always... but as I think about being a bereaved mother and all that has become a part of my life since his passing I am thankful that God allowed me to chose the path of teaching... because truthfully, letting it defeat me would have been a whole lot easier.