When I was a little girl, I almost drowned. The kickboard I was holding popped up, out of my hands, and I still remember a blurry picture of struggling up and down in the water.......the tree fort in the distance.....and Gwen Gregory running to my aid.
Grief is very interesting. I have grieved the loss of so many I love. I have "grieved" when my grief was primarily for someone else's loss. I have grieved losses that were not deaths. There are patterns to healthy grief, but really, the ways we process loss are endless - and very personal. I know for me, and many others, it comes in waves. Big, giant overwhelming and smothering rushes at first that crash over you and bury you.
|Waves on the Hobe Sound Beach|
And then later - they come in smaller waves at unexpected times. Sometimes it's a smell. Or an object. Or a phrase that triggers a memory....
I had one this morning. I picked up a family DVD for my sick kids to watch. It had never been opened, and when I saw the Overland Park, Kansas address on the back of the package I realized that it probably came from Grandma Parsons. Crash. A little wave hit me.
|Hobe Sound, FL|
Unbelief that she's really gone. That I'll really never be back on her front porch again drinking coffee with her or walking hand-in-hand through the Christmas light display. She won't hold the rest of our babies to come.. I'll never kiss her again until heaven.
|Grandma Parsons was there for Corin's birth - July 22, 2009|
And I did what you do when a real wave hits you - You start reaching for something. Something to hold on to that might hold you up - to keep everything from slipping away.
Memories are the kickboard we reach for. I want to grab all of the memories up into my heart and hold them and keep them close for when the next wave hits and I need them again.
Please understand - This isn't morbid melancholy. This is real life. Everyday life, for many. Some of you understand more than others, I know.
|Rachelle, Grandma Parsons, and my our cousin Alexis - Festival of Lights - Cincy, OH|
|She just makes me smile....|
But it is such precious bittersweet. It keeps eternity almost constantly present. It keeps love in front. It only takes one of those waves to wash away life's clutter and remind you what matters. Love. Loving Him, Loving Others. That's it. That's all. Everything else is details.
|Precious time - my kids and Grandma Wolf at Mom & Dad's in Cincy|
I remember towards the end of Grandma Wolf's years living in Cincinnati with us, when her care became increasingly difficult and overwhelming. I remember reminding my tired mom that she was doing the right thing. It was worth it. And now how we miss her.
|My last visit with Grandma Wolf in Fort Scott before her homegoing. She kept saying...."He's my baby boy"....about Dad. Her joy at being with him was beautiful.|
This time here is precious. My blurb-blog-book is precious. The husband I argued with this morning (and made up with) - is such a gift. The three sick, feverish babies in my bed - priceless.
I'm not sorry for one happy memory made, don't regret one day of giving forgiveness, wouldn't take back one moment of love invested. Not one.
|The kids getting a ride behind Dad's tractor.|