Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Joy Journey for July

Perusing through my blog made me realize how much I've slacked in writing.  And I miss pouring out my thoughts over the keyboard.

Yet I wonder, am I also missing joy?

On the sidebar of my blog is a handy view of all my past posts through the years.  A quick glance can see a steady decline.  My first year I wrote nearly 150 posts and I didn't even start it until July.  The next year was close to 200.  Every year since I've wrote less and less.  2015 was my lowest, not even clearing a post a week.  No surprise since it was an extremely difficult year for us.

But then again, difficult, hard to find joy was what led me to creating this blog!  There's been no other low darker and deeper than losing Austin.  If I could summon joy in the midst of that pain and write, then there should be no excuse now.

When I first began this blog, I challenged myself to find the joy in every day and write about it.  So for the rest of 2010 that is what I did.  And it forever changed me.

With the 6th anniversary of this blog approaching, what better way to celebrate than to re-challenge myself.  Some posts may be short and sweet but I'm going to do my best to write every single day of July.

I hope you will join me!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Ponderings of Pain

Hard to write a post about joy when the world seems so void of it.  But then again, that is what set me on this journey.  And what I found along the way is despite the pain that is always present somewhere, every day there is also joy to be found.

I know a lot about pain.  Both in the physical and emotional sense.

For the past decade, I've lived in chronic pain.  Though most days I get through it, and in many ways have learned to ignore it, there are times when it shuts me down.  No matter how much I want to do, everything stops.

It is constant but also comes in pulsing waves.  Pain on top of stronger pain.  Evenings and Saturdays seem to carry the most for me.  I stay so busy during the day my body doesn't have time to send the signals of pain to my brain, I guess.  But by the time I'm home and settled, it seeps in all around me.  And Saturdays are normally my body's way of saying, "Give me a break, woman!"  The pain is usually so present somewhere that, on a rare day there isn't any, it takes me awhile to process it.

Which is a lot like grief and loss.

The loss of a child is a pain unlike any other.  It is ever-present and sometimes even physically searing.  It also comes in waves, always when you least expect it and there is little to nothing you can do to stop it.  In the moments you are alone, when the day has ended or you awake to another reality they are gone, is when you want to shut down.  A random good day feels like coming up out of water.

For a moment, you can breathe.

And just like an old injury, you will always carry the pain from child loss with you.  As the years go by, it numbs a bit but is there if you press it.  Some days, certain seasons, it flares back up, filling your eyes with tears.

I started this post at some point this month, probably after something horrific on the news.  Sad to say I don't recall which story it was.  Because there are just so many of them.  Which is why most days, I avoid the news.  I've learned that to find joy sometimes means to avoid unnecessary pain.

Search for happiness, leave sadness.

To take one day at a time.  To step slowly, especially when the pain is tender.  To forgive yourself when you can't get out of bed.  And to relish the days you can.  To smile in the midst of pain because it is a reminder of what was before.  To remember the good and laugh when you share.  To know that scars are evidence of an adventure, a life well-lived, where love once was.  And is.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Fridays with Mom

Who doesn't love a Friday?  One of the best days of the week, Fridays are especially my favorite this summer.

I normally need to flex off on Friday, or work only a couple hours, so the bonus of this particular day is that it gives me free time. With Noah out of school, we've taken advantage of these hours to spend it together.

Between my weekly Bible study with friends and the start of his night shift, it gives us a lunch window and enough time to get out and explore.

With our crazy schedules and a mom who speaks quality time as her love language, any moments spent with family is precious.  But I've been extra grateful for this time with Noah.

He grows and changes daily, despite how much I try to press the invisible brakes of his childhood.  When we're out in the car and I'm watching him drive, I often do a double-take because where my baby used to I now see a man.

Soon, he'll have his license and not need mom in the driver's seat so I am soaking up each of our summer road trips, no matter how short they may be.

Lunch is always on our agenda, whether it be sushi, a picnic, or an impromptu meal at Grandma's.  Around our meal, we enjoy the scenery on back roads, while listening to whatever music playlist he's created.

Yes, I'm a cool momma who lets him crank up whatever he likes.  He shares my eclectic taste and it is fun listening to what he's dug up since our last outing.  Not keeping score but he has commented about how dad makes him change the tunes! (tee hee)

More than anything we share loads of laughs.  Side-splitting, silly for no reason, belly laughs.  I love to watch him smile.  There's no better feeling than seeing your child experience joy.

 And I'm glad, for now, he chooses to share some joy with mom on Friday afternoons.

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