Sunday, September 11, 2011


Life is such a journey. Grief is no different. It, in and of itself, is a journey. But it's a part of life's journey and growth. A lot of people today have been reflecting on the journey of the last 10 years since 9/11 happened. Yes, I remember where I was. I was at my job, childcare at First Baptist Church of West hollywood. I was planning my wedding. In fact, my mom had just flown home the day before(9/10), as she had been in to help buy my dress and be there for a wedding shower. How thankful I am that she wasn't on a plane that day on 9/11. i remember having that thought quite vividly when those planes were crashing.  I recalled that  thought today, as I also reflected on life over the last 10 years. 
 It has been quite a journey, to say the least. I would have a very hard time putting even a scratch on the surface of events that I've had the privilege and sorrow to experience. I also thought something to myself today, as a word repeated over and over was "grief". 
 Back then, I had absolutely no idea what grief was. Sure, I felt saddened and so many other things. But Now, I can relate to that in such a new way. I also understand that each person's grief journey is a different experience. Their loved one was taken away in an instant. Some didn't even get the chance to bury theirs. My mom died over time. I watched it happen. I was there the moment she died, even. I had time to say goodbye and other things I wanted to say. I'm really not sure that there is a "better" experience in a loved one dying-fast and instantaneous opposed to slow and time to say things. Neither is a good one. In the time that mom was dying, I really learned the value of taking it one day at a time, hence the name in my blog. Some days I wondered, "will it be today?" and then I'd waste time worrying if that was the last time I'd be with mom. Eventually I learned there was absolutely no value in that. It wasted time, really. And I began to take it one day at a time and did my best to enjoy that time, painful as it was to watch mom deteriorate. Today the phrase "one day at a time" hit me in a new way. Because now I am learning one day at a time to let go a little more. And that is part of a very painful process. For a person who hasn't walked through grief,  it really doesn't make much sense. Some tell me I should be over it. Some don't understand why I am still sad, knowing my mom is really in a better place. Some think I'm crazy for the ups an downs I have. And some still have absolutely no idea what it is like to love someone so deeply that life is dramatically changed once they are gone. I'm 29. Life as I have always know it is different now without my mom. 
 Yes, I was married 10 years ago, and left home. But mom was still mom and she was there for me for everything. It is so strange to not have her now. It's been nearly 6 months. It is still unreal some days. And then other days, it is so painfully obvious that I can do nothing but cry. The process of letting go does not happen overnight. It doesn't happen in 6 months, either.  
 Zig Ziglar said "If there were no love, there'd be no grief." 
 Mom loved me unlike any other person really can-a mother's love is different. And I know that for many reasons, but that quote stuck out to me. The deeper you love the person, the harder the grief is, I believe. My grief is really pretty private, as far as my tears and emotions go. But that is a funny statement, seeing as how I put it here for anyone to read. 
 My mom was so sick in the end. She wasn't able to eat or sit up or move on her own. I think I'm beginning to reach a point where i can recount some of those details more here in my blog. So you may catch some glimpses of what I actually experienced if you stay tuned into future posts. 
 I am not sad because I fear an unknown hope of where mom is. I have every confidence that mom rests in heaven, and is no longer sick and is laughing again, as she always did. She wouldn't want to come back here, and I wouldn't wish her back. My sadness is because I now have to find a new normal. I have to figure out life without mom around. I had her for 29 years as my support system. There is a lot of life ahead still. So that is a process I have to take one day at a time. 
 Another quote that's been given to me recently says..."Even though your heart is breaking and tears are clouding your eyes and staining your cheeks, God does give us something worth trusting in tough times. And that's Him. and Him alone." -Dr. Joseph Stowell. 
  and that is an aspect of life I also am embracing in a new way.
A year ago this weekend, I got my first tattoo. Mom was fighting hard, but hadn't yet taken a terrible turn. I got a tattoo of a running shoe with wings with the cancer ribbon in the center of it. The running symbolizes so much for me. The ribbon was for my mom. And the wings symbolized many things, one of which being God carrying me through difficult times. Today it's no different. It's just I'm learning to do it better one day at a time.

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