I just had the hardest moment that I’ve had since Alex’s funeral almost two weeks ago and I really wasn’t prepared for it. Last week Cheryl came and picked up Alex’s stroller, car seat and bath chair to pass on to other children. I was completely, 100%, okay with that. I was happy to pass it on instead of letting it collect dust in our garage or sitting as a reminder in my truck. The week before that I packed up 10 flats of Pediasure and shipped them to a family whose child needed it. That, too, I was 100% happy to do. So, what was different about today? I had offered the remaining Pediasure to anyone who needed it and last week Cheryl let me know that the preschool could use it for a few kiddos. I offered to load it up and deliver it, so today that is what I did. I also put Alex’s computer (along with all the accessories) in the truck to pass along to a particular person in need. Here’s where things were different…
I pulled into the preschool parking lot. Cheryl’s truck wasn’t there, but I saw Heidi’s truck, so I went to the therapy building. I got a stare down from one of the workers who was also headed to that building and that felt really strange to me. I had to remind myself that Alex had been receiving her therapy at home for the last year and a half, so many of the current preschool workers didn’t know who I was. It’s only appropriate for them to be suspiscious of a strange vehicle in the parking lot and an adult who is walking around like she owns the place. I did make it into the therapy room, but didn’t find Heidi. The therapist I did find told me where she was, so I walked to the other building. Nobody was at the desk, so I walked in far enough to find someone and asked for Heidi. Someone found her for me and, boy oh boy, was I happy to see someone who knew I wasn’t loitering. You also have to remember that for the last 8 years I have seen Heidi at least once a week. It’s been strange not seeing Cheryl & Heidi on such a regular basis and I miss them. They were Alex’s therapists, but they loved her and became my dear friends. Heidi helped me to carry in all the donations and then, on the last trip inside, I found myself with tears in my eyes. All I could do was hug her and say, “I have to leave. Love you.”
I couldn’t get out of there quick enough. I really didn’t even cry, my eyes were just blurry with tears and my breathing sounded like a good cry was on the way. I hadn’t prepared myself for feeling like that and it pretty much sucked.
I had halfway considered going to the gym after that, but the way I was feeling told me to head home. I am so very very grateful to God for the sunshine and mild weather over the last couple of weeks. The current temperature is 59 degrees and the skies are clear and sunny. What an incredible blessing this sunshine is.
I chose to sit down and write all of this because it is so therapeutic for me. Also, I think that it might make a few of you feel better to hear that there are struggles and what they are like. To some it may seem a bit strange that Drew and I are handling all of these changes with such grace. Let me take a moment to define what I mean. By no means am I referring to something that either of us possess. Grace is simply this… God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. Grace is not something that i have, it is something that God fills me with. He doesn’t do it because I’ve earned it or I’m worthy, He does it because Christ paid the price for me long ago. Back to what I was saying… To me, how we are handling things is simply what it is. The only strange thing would be grieving in the way that you think you are supposed to…. or dare I say, the way one “should”. We’ve been through the loss Emma and dealt with it completely differently than we’ve dealt with the loss of Alex. It seems our grieving process for each of our girls is as different, and also as complimentary, as each of our girls were in life. It’s a sorrowful, joyful, humbling, merciful and blessed painting that only our Lord could create. It’s bizarre and also strangely familiar. It’s terrifying and also blindingly beautiful. The life I’ve lived so far feels like the most perfect example of the artist that God is. He doesn’t start at the beginning and draw a straight line. I honestly believe that his artistry is more masterful than you or I could begin to comprehend. Are we His brushes? Perhaps. I don’t really know. I can’t pretend to know how it works or to find metaphors to encapsulate Him. I just know that this canvas that is my life has been colored with strokes that can only be credited to God and the picture that I can currently see is magnificent… the joys and heartaches, alike. After all, how could we really feel and appreciate one emotion without the other? How could we appreciate the light if we had never known darkness? We couldn’t.
Well, I really didn’t expect to type any of that. I thought I was going to share about my emotional struggle at the preschool this morning and now look what’s happened. I’m actually hesitant to even reread it, for fear that I might remove or edit something that needs to stay as it is… flawed, but honest.
Now that I’ve gone and gotten all serious on you, I’ll end on a lighter note. Drew and I got up early this morning and did our T25 workout before he went to work. We totally nailed it and it was a great way to start the day. Like I said, today the weather is beautiful and I am about to put down the computer and take my sassy self outside with a basketball. After all, tomorrow the highs aren’t supposed to be above freezing!