Sit in sadness, Stand with Love

Our last walk together.

So many things to say, and yet speechless. Words I can’t put together to express the weight.
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Weight of loss, and so much love.
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The silence in this house, without his presence, is deafening. His middle of the night footsteps on the floor, checking on the boys, coming to rest at the end of our bed. His howling. His excitement in the morning to go outside, tail moving wildly, his body trying desperately to keep up. All of this, gone.
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Otis and Vixie, our other 2 dogs, keep checking the front door, waiting to see him. They don’t know what life is like without Eddie, and to be honest, I’m feeling the same. 14 years.
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He was the first being I took care of. As a young, newly married, student teacher. I brought him home to our 1 bedroom 1 bath apartment. Micah, me, and Eddie.
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Looking back now, Eddie and I had a lot in common. Both needing love and attention, both learning how to cope with anxiety, both loving car rides and walks in sunshine. Both needing one another to get through some of our messy past. He was not just my first fur kid, he was my first therapist. He carried a lot for me, for a long time.
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I know that this grief will sit for awhile. My eyes will feel heavy, I will wake up in the middle of the night at a loss. And eventually, with time, I’ll be able to sleep. I’ll be able to reflect with gratitude. But today, I’m just sad. And it is ok.
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This year, death has taken 6 of our family members, 1 beloved student, and now my first pup. But it won’t take my love. It won’t take my appreciation for those beings. It won’t win.
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Today I choose to sit with sadness, but in the end, I’ll stand with love.

And I know Eddie is beside me.

Life lessons continue

Grief is something I’ve become all too familiar with this year. I’m tired. I’m sad. A lot.
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My dad, my grams, my cousin, my aunt, and one of my students… each one left an imprint on me. Each one taught me something in their life, and in their death. Each one left this earth, this year.
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This week Micah and I had to face the reality that death and grief is not done with us.
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We are going to have to make decisions in the next month with two of our beloved dogs Eddie (13 yrs) and Otis (11 yrs) who are both declining quickly.
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The past few days I’ve been crying, trying to brainstorm how to make them better, how maybe we have more time.
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But we don’t. Their bodies and their minds are slowing. Their days are spent sleeping. They are preparing to leave us.
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Thankful my god reminded me today, we have a choice.
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Today, I choose joy.
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Joy that as of today, they are still with me.
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Joy that they both have been great companions, they’ve lived good and long lives.
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Joy that they’ll be joining my dad in heaven (because yes, I believe animals go there too) without pain and without suffering.
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For today, I am going to focus on joy.
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Because I have a choice.
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And my friend, so do you.
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Whatever life is throwing at you, you have a choice in how to respond.
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There are times for all the feelings….
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But today, in this moment, what will you choose?
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I pray it’s peace, love, selflessness, kindness, forgiveness,
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and joy.

Buckle up.

We’re all searching aren’t we?
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Miles, he’s searching for Waldo.
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Me? I’m searching too, but what it is I’m searching for, isn’t as easy as a man with a striped red and white shirt and glasses.
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At any point in life we are trying to figure out: what’s next, what do I need to change? What can I do to make __ better/different?
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This pandemic has made a lot of people (self included) wonder; is this a time to pivot? We search. We question.
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I wish there was a magic place to find all the answers. I wish there was someone who would just say “This is what’s next”.
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But instead, I feel like I’m being told to buckle up, keep my arms in at all times, and enjoy the ride… without being able to see whats in the distance.
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It. Is. Scary.
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But if there is one thing I continue to learn, it is that we are never alone. Even (and especially) in the midst of uncertainty.
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He sits with us in the quiet, in the still. He gives us community in friends and family. We aren’t meant to go it alone, ever. It is up to us on who we do life with. He hopes he can be part of the equation, but he also gives us choice in our community.
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We are all searching. Maybe, it’s for life’s next chapter, or maybe it’s Waldo….
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But whatever the search, remember this; You. Are. Not. Alone.
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So buckle up. Arms in (or out, because let’s be honest, rides are more fun that way) and enjoy the ride.
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Don’t shut your eyes. Keep them open. And if it gets scary, hold the hand of the one sitting with you, and give a squeeze.
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You got this.

Dirt.

I have buried deep in the dirt for awhile.
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Floods have been rampant (years of pain, denial, anger, abuse)… I’ve been buried really F***ing deep, not quite ready yet to see what’s happened and why.
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I’m learning all the things that make me, my life, and my purpose beautiful, no matter how messy my past.
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I’m putting in the work to unlearn all the lies that have been said to me, pushed on me, and imprinted for far too long on my heart.
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It. Is. Hard. Work
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But I’m realizing like a seed that needs time, water, and sun, or a flower that’s stem strengthens with every storm or wind…
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I am growing, I am withstanding all that’s blown my way, and I will continue to. My roots are deep, my faith shielding the adversity that’s trying to knock me down..
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And I will be better for it.
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A better follower of Christ.
A better wife.
A better mother.
A better friend.
A better servant.
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My prayer for you today is that you don’t give up on yourself. Beauty awaits… be patient. Put in the work. Gods plans for you will be bigger and better than you could ever imagine. No matter how ugly the past.
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It’s a beautiful thing.
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❤️
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Seasons of life

Big is 6, little is 4. Time is fleeting, watching a morning ritual slowly fade.
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One boy, then the next, waking up from their deep sleep, to come crawl in my lap.
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We talk about what dreams we had, what’s for breakfast, what should be accomplished in the summers day.
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Then they hop down, 1 quickly, while the other (typically little) stays to snuggle a little longer.
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Eventually there will be a day where this stops. No more hops in the lap, their legs will stretch and surpass mine.
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It makes me sad sometimes.
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Then, I remember, as with everything so far in parenting…
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There will be new traditions, new ways to find joy and gratitude in the different seasons and phases of the boys growing up.
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But for now, I’ll sit in the beauty of two little boys with their summer feet, snuggled up in my lap. Dreaming of what adventures we’ll take on today.