(not so) ordinary life

My favorite picture of Jeremy with our precious first born

And so the countdown begins...

In 56 hours or less (not that I'm counting or anything), I will be holding a new little life in my arms. One small person I helped create. One tiny little reminder of what life is really all about.

My sweet little baby boy has no idea what his life represents already in this world. In a place that can be so cold, sometimes stabbing, unfair, and down right hopeless...my little miracle is a reminder that life can and will go on, and that it can and will be beautiful again.

This afternoon, I was watching my 7 year old concentrate so hard on her homework, trying to write sentences. As I watched her expressions, the curves of her face, the movements of her body, I was in awe of the fact that she used to be this 6 pound little miracle that introduced me to motherhood. I felt her daddy beam with pride at her inside me and I just couldn't stop taking her in. Memorizing all the pieces that are just her - how did she all of a sudden evolve into this beautiful young lady?! I had several of these moments today with all of my children. Maybe it's hormones, or maybe it's the clock ticking away reminding me that once again I will hold a new baby and blink an eye and he'll be 7 years old....but whatever it is, I'm trying to hold on to as many moments as I can.

I continue to be reminded of what bittersweet really means. The life of a widow seems to be plagued with this word. But maybe it's the bitter that makes us appreciate the sweet. And maybe we can only experience real bitterness because we've tasted sweet. 

One of my favorite quotes is "time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life." This epitomizes my journey. The moments that I remember and hold most dear in life really aren't the grand ones (although those are great too) but they're the ones where life stands still for just a moment and I'm able to observe and appreciate what life still brings.

I honestly cannot wait to start memorizing all the details of my son's features, hold his tiny hand, and soak in every moment I can before they slip away.  I'm excited to watch my used-to-be-broken family put one more piece back together. 

I'm ready to live out the rest of this not so ordinary life.


Ready. For now.

After hitting the 3 year mark on Saturday, I feel like a heavy weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Grief never really leaves, but I think the experience alone in a new place, along with the fear that I might have the baby before I got to properly grieve and get through the week left me scared and hurting in new and different ways. But, like always - and sometimes without my consent - I survived.

I watched most of my friends and family grieve from afar, over facebook. I watched some people forget. I watched my kids write sweet notes and hand prints on lanterns and their faces lit up when we let them off in the sky. I watched the clock, remembering every moment of the day 3 years before. I watched my phone, looking for the names of people I care about to pop up. Some did, some didn't. And I watched for signs that somehow, somewhere, someone made a mistake and after three years, this wasn't still real.

Now, I feel ready to go back to facing the life that Jeremy wanted for me. I know I'll have plenty more days like last week, when the weight of everything seems too much, but for now, I have some clarity. I have contentment. I have the desire to make him proud and love the way he taught me how. I feel this urgency to not waste the short life I had with him and to continue to love and appreciate what I have now. I was gifted with another reminder of how short life is....and to see that as a 'gift' is no small feat. I can feel a piece of Jeremy's heart beating through mine and through the hearts of the 3 little miracles we created together. And I see more pieces in his sweet family that means the world to me. I will hold on to those pieces and take them with me along the way.

I'm ready. For now. Ready to face another day, ready to live, laugh, and love. And most importantly, right now....I'm ready to have this baby!


When words are not enough

This Saturday marks 3 years since Jeremy took his last breath.
How can that possibly be?

Every year, I am in awe of how crazy it seems that so much time has passed, and yet how far away it seems when so much life has been lived in between. I have truly experienced more in the past 3 years than most people do in a lifetime. Since Jer died, I've bought 2 houses, purchased a new vehicle, traveled all over the country, lost and gained friends, dated and remarried, blended a large family, moved out of state, had a baby without his daddy, and am preparing to have another child with another man. Surely these things couldn't possibly describe MY life...

And yet, no matter how much life has been lived since I've seen Jeremy, the weight of the hole he has left in my life is still so evident, and still a very painful reality I face daily. The last several weeks have been especially hard for me. Part of it is because I now grieve so far away from his family and friends, far away from the life I shared with him, and far away from where I can feel his presence. I feel so far removed. I ache to hold on to pieces of him during this season. Part of it also is from the fact that the closer I get to delivering, the more terrified I feel. Pregnancy hormones alone could do me in, but the sleepless nights remembering a piece of my grief that I never thought I'd have to face again is sometimes too much. My anxiety level is high, to say the least.

I was texting with a friend this weekend just about how crazy it is that it's already been 3 years. And I realized how much I ached just to talk to someone about it. To let it out. To have someone actually ask me. She had no idea how much that filled my heart up. I confessed that it's been hard to feel like I have no outlet lately. She asked me if writing was no longer an outlet. I had to think about that for a minute....

Writing has always been my way of expressing emotion. Words are my ally and my weapon of choice. They help me sort through my own head when things don't make sense. And being able to write about my grief journey has brought me more healing than I could have ever imagined. But I found myself at a crossroads of guilt. Guilt for feeling like I couldn't talk about the depths of my pain without somehow sounding ungrateful for the life I have now and the blessings that come with it. And guilt for being too grateful for the life I have now and feeling like people think it means I'm just ok and don't need to talk about Jeremy anymore. I also just don't like feeling like I'm seeking out attention. Writing makes people think they know me and therefore the personal connections are lacking because they think they know where I'm at. They can watch from a distance.

The truth is that words sometimes are not enough. Most of the time, I really don't have much NEW to say. I've run out of ways to express how much I miss Jeremy, how much my heart longs for him, how hard it is to watch my kids grow up without knowing him.......it really never changes, just evolves. I want to scream from the top of my lungs just how much grief sucks still sometimes. I want the world to know what an incredible husband I have now, and that how deeply I cherish him has no impact on the amount of grief I have and will continue to carry through the rest of this life. I wish I could find the right words....words that connect with everyone. But, I can't reach everyone. All I can do is write what I know, what I am living.

I keep going back to an analogy I heard shortly after Jeremy died, I think in a book I read somewhere. It painted a picture of train tracks, one track representing grief and one representing joy: both running side by side on the same path. They both exist together.

This week, I don't have the right words. Just a jumbled mess of emotions that seem to represent my heart these days. My words are not enough. But just remembering to put one foot in front of the other is sometimes all I need to do.


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