August 2, 2014

365 Days

I’m a sentimental fool. I have always been one who loves to celebrate anniversaries and who has a strange penchant for remembering (and therefore celebrating!) random dates. Anniversaries of our first date, anniversaries of our first kiss, anniversaries of the day we met… you get the point. It is fun, it’s weird, it’s just who I am. I also find myself often reflecting aloud with Cole, “Do you remember what we were doing a year ago right now?” With these last few years chock full of change, it is fun to remember and reflect on how much can change in a year.  For example, on our wedding anniversary this year, we were marveling at the fact that we spent last year’s anniversary in Hawai’i watching a tropical storm buffet a beach full of palm trees while crew teams raced the waves in the distance. We’ve looked back and marveled at how our family has changed in a year – new babies, new cousins… all sorts of new additions.

This penchant for remembering is all well and good and actually kind of fun for things like that. Then, July 22, 2013, happened. And sometimes, that same penchant for remembering is not such a blessing.
My grandmother went in for a routine surgery from which she never recovered.  And thus began a two week flurry of emails, texts, phone calls and tears. And then, one year ago today, my grandmother's faith became sight, and the heavenly chorus gained one heck of an alto.

So, these last ten days have been full of very hard “Do you remember what we were doing a year ago today?”s. They are full of memories of uncertainty, fear, deep sadness, and long, dark nights. It amazes me how all the feelings can come flooding back without a moment’s notice. Grief is a funny, fickle thing.

We've now lived 365 days without Grandma. The gravity of it all is sometimes so overwhelming. I’m still not used to Grandpa arriving for dinner solo. I’m still not used to receiving mail signed only by Grandpa. I still have “Gma & Gpa B” programmed in my phone and my heart does weird flip-flop things when I see it pop up on my caller ID.  I can still occasionally smell her perfume in their house. Even after 365 days, I’m still not used to life without her.

I suppose such is the process of grief.  I have heard it said that the hole in your heart left by the absence of a loved one does not shrink with time; rather your heart grows with time to where the hole is still very present and certainly no smaller, but it no longer feels so big, so consuming, so cavernous – slowly dwarfed by the passage of time, the presence of life.  They say the first year is the hardest. (Whoever ‘they’ is) And this year has, in so many ways, been so very hard. There is so much that has happened in my life that I wish desperately to share with her. And, in many ways, I still can’t quite believe that she’s gone.

I suppose it will get easier as time continues to go by, though I’m not sure I want it to. In a way, the pain of grief still feels like a way to hang on to her, to make it feel like she’s not really gone. Though we do not grieve as those who have no hope, we still grieve. It’s hard to believe that it has already been a year and it’s hard to believe that it has only been a year and it’s hard to believe that we have so many more years to live without her. So tonight, I’m going to pour myself a glass of Chardonnay, splash two ice cubes in it, and sit at the piano and remember her incredible, beautiful life and the blessing it was to bear witness to it for nearly 25 years.

August 2nd will never be the same and I will never be the same.

Just Us

We will also remind you that this is just a BLOG…just the highlights. We don’t sit around happily smiling for pictures all day long. Our life is far from perfect: we are imperfect people serving a perfect God. We do strive to glorify God, but we fail miserably and find comfort in knowing that our debts have been paid and we have been set free.

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