Sunday, May 14, 2017

Love Always Wins

Hang tight folks, I have no real good idea where this is going. I generally have a good idea what I need to say or what the point is. This time, I have a lot in my head so I'm not so sure where this will end.  I just know that I got this feeling earlier and decided that I had to write.

The problem is, that feeling wasn't such a good one. It also wasn't such a bad one. And that; that is what has me so conflicted right now.

I don't know if I've ever felt so loved and so alone at the exact same time before. 

I was able to sleep in a little bit today. I woke up before my alarm, watched the sunrise through my bedroom window and may have just laid there for an hour before actually getting out of bed. OK, I didn't just lay there, I shopped on Amazon. But that's beside the point. It was a relaxing morning. As I got a shower, the lights went off. The kids were now up.

Last night, Genevieve wanted to make breakfast for me, I told her I'd compromise since she'd never made eggs at home alone. She could do the work and I'd supervise, just like at a chili cook-off. She agreed, yet when it was time to make it this morning, she said no. She wasn't interested. Off I went to make breakfast for everyone.

We almost made it to church on time. Almost.

Today is Mother's Day. It's hard to say why, but I seem to be bothered by it this year. My mom has been gone for 13 years. I certainly think about her, but we weren't extremely close, so I don't think it's that. Ghon never really did anything for me for Mother's Day. He was usually too busy working or missing his own Mom to be bothered by the Hallmark holiday. I did get a hat a couple years ago...

Thanks to my wonderful friend Laurie, the kids were excited on Wednesday when our mail came and they could declare that they pranked me. Laurie bought them each a card, had them sign in while we were in Connecticut without me knowing, and dropped them in the mail. They thought it was hilarious. I found it incredibly touching and thoughtful. Thank you, Laurie.

The rest of the week through today at church, more homemade cards and notes arrived. Jonathan called me a star and asked to sit in our hammocks, Genevieve said I was the niceist in the world and could I please take them to Texas Roadhouse for dinner. Two roses from our church. Paper plate signs made while I cleaned the porch and they continually avoided cleaning their rooms. A message from Eric. Things don't mean anything - I don't need more things. I'm constantly giving away things. The notes, the messages, the drawings, the words from their little heads - those are priceless.

My friend Heather and I met as a result of our widowhood. Following the sudden loss of her husband in January, I reached out to her offering my support. Strength in numbers. Months before, she lost her mom. I checked in on her Saturday, knowing today might be a double whammy hard day. In the end, she saved me. As we do, she wanted to make sure I was OK today too.

Facebook bothered me today. It was full of love and happiness for sure, but, it just made me feel lost. I don't have a lot of pictures in general of my Mom and I, and those I have aren't handy. My kids aren't posting. I almost felt like I was watching everyone else live their happy memories through a window. On the wrong side of a door where I didn't belong.

After days of rain, the sun felt amazing today. Once I finished the porch, I decided to just sit. Sit on my porch, listen to the birds, watch the cars, and be still. I thought about how lucky I was to have great friends and wonderful kids. That I may feel alone, but I never truly was. And no sooner then I had these thoughts, a car slowed down, and turned into my driveway.

Carrying a card and flowers, two beautiful young ladies and their beautiful and amazing Mom came to say hello, Happy Mother's Day, and check on me. To make sure I knew that I was loved. I don't think I knew how much I needed that. And Heather, you don't know how much that meant to me. Your friendship is such a blessing; a wonderful light that shines through the darkest times. I love you and your girls!!

My wonderful Mother's Day cards, flowers and...paper plate signs.

After our quick visit and relocation of our chickens, our friends left and the kids went back inside to continue to pretend to clean their rooms. I settled down on our stone walkway, determined to pull as many weeds and grass from it as possible.

And as I sat, I suddenly felt so alone. I know I have a few people that truly mean it when they say they will listen when I need to talk. That really will be there when I need them. But today, it just doesn't seem like the day to call and say, I'm lonely. That I'm nearly in tears while pulling weeds. I just felt alone. Yet at the same time, I know how loved I am. I have wonderful kids that love me. I have some amazing friends, as witnessed above, that have gone out of their way to show me that I am loved. I know it, I feel it, I believe it. But I couldn't shake the feeling of being so alone.

Normally, I'd have music pumping into my ears as I worked. But today, I worked in silence. Scratch that. I worked to the sound of road noise, chickens and a guinea hen, and the wild birds. I'm writing this after dinner, back on the porch to the same sounds, plus the sound of a steady current from the creek beside me, full from all the recent rain. I hear the crickets; an owl in the distance. The hummingbird feeders are out. A cardinal flies by. Jonathan comes out to give me a status report on his room and tries to pee off the front porch. This, this is my life.

My life is incredibly full. I stay positive, I work hard, and I try not to burden others with my struggles. I give thanks and I pray. Yet there are moments that are harder than others. Times I feel more alone than others. Perhaps it's because of Mother's Day. Perhaps it's because I am days away from the 11-month anniversary of Ghon's death and am planning a one year memorial service at request of the kids. Perhaps it's because this morning, I asked our friend to help clear the lower road on our mountain and show me the spot I know of but do not know well. The spot that will become the resting ground for the majority of Ghon's cremains. Perhaps, it's because I opened the door to his truck and decided it was time to clean out the junk.

Right now, all I know is I'm still on the verge of tears. That moments like this, when I can't control my own emotion, my patience wears thin. My hands ache from digging in rocks and pulling weeds without gloves, but I was determined to finish. I start too much without finishing, a behavior of Ghon's that drove me crazy. I filled several bags of trash and moved bigger items to my trash pile. I pile I will later pay someone else to haul for me. I feel accomplished and content with what I was able to get done at the house. Heck, I even cleaned the mudroom floor! Yet I can't quite shake the empty feeling.

Despite this odd, conflicted feeling, it really was a great day. How can you complain when you can sleep in, watch the sunrise, receive flowers and a wonderful message at worship, get the sweetest gifts from your kids, a couple nice text messages, surprise visits from friends, a promise to visit from another, and the chance to be outside all day - and get stuff done? I know I can't. I'm so looking forward to the rest of the sunshine this week. The warm air. So many exciting things coming up for us this week. Just like any other time, this feeling will work it's way out.  My chin is up. My heart is open. Love always wins.


  1. You mean so much to so many, and you touch so many with your words and your deeds. Thank you for sharing these moments.....the good and the trying. You are an inspiration to many, and I for one am grateful to have met you and to call you my friend.

  2. I posted yesterday, but it didn't load. Try 2. They are our guys. They always will be. My theory is that Mother's Day is about family and Our guys are a cornerstone in our family. The absence is huge and thus, Mother's Day hurts...deeply. At least this first year teaches us where the visceral pain is. Mother's Day is one. Next year we have a date. Let's make it lunch. We know ahead we will hurt. Maybe it will be a little less....hugs.

  3. You post has brought tears to my eyes. This is so heart touching. You are such a lovely person who deserved to be loved. Bless you!