Now this is the second part of my thoughts. I want to reflect on the last year and all I've learned and grown, I want to remember all the beautiful memories I have with my mom and remember all she taught me, and I want to celebrate all she was and all she left me ....
I also find it appropriate that today , March 20 , the year date of mom's death, is the first day of spring. I find it appropriate because it's turning a new leaf. It's a new season. The trees are blooming beautifully already (early, I may even add), and the weather is beautiful. It's time to move into a new season of warmth and joy. It is time for mourning to turn to dancing. It doesn't mean that my sadness is gone or that grief is totally over. It just signifies to me a new season: life is changing and moving forward and I need to do so with it as well. It has been "winter" for me for far too long. I'm not totally sure how to go about being "spring" now, but I am sure giving it my best. And it feels good and right. I am so excited to see what God has in store for me and what the next year may hold.
The last year has been the hardest of my life. I have cried more tears than I ever care to remember. I am, to be honest, totally exhausted from emotion alone...let alone all the regular duties of life. I have said goodbye to my best friend, one I've had my entire life...my mom. Life didn't change a little bit: it turned upside down. After mom died, Michael and I went on opposite schedule to make things work with the kids. I have had to go about being a mom with out my mom....that is a challenge that has not been easy all the time. Mom was my one steady, "always there", constant support and encouragement....God has taught me in some extremely difficult ways that my dependance in that lies in Him alone. That has probably been one of the largest voids mom left and one of the largest gaps I've had to let God come in and fill...and sill have to remember to let Him do that sometimes. It's a one day at a time, again and again lesson I have to learn. But I am really embracing that truth for the first time in many years. I don't say that to praise myself in any fashion...itis by His grace alone I can embrace that. It's been a terribly painful lesson. I have had to learn how to laugh again. It took me a very long time to do that after mom died. Generally I laugh the hardest at work. (Not because we fool around all the time, but because we just genuinely enjoy each other.)I remember the first really hard laugh I had...it took place with my coworker, TW, and I laughed so hard I had tears. I hadn't done that in months, and I remember when it took place it being a marker for me. I actually stopped after the fact and really took in what had just happened. I have had to learn to love in new ways because I haven't always had the love in me. I have sometimes functioned on total auto pilot because my heart hurt so badly, I was in such a fog. I'm now beginning to really purposefully do things again. It's not that I didn't do things with purpose all year long....there were several things I did do.. What I mean is, I'm beginning to move forward and not be so stuck any more. Spring is becoming more and more a part of my season right now. Family has taken on new meaning to me. Trust has new meaning. Purpose has a totally fresh , new meaning. At mom's viewing , there were over 500 people who attended, and I am not exaggerating that at all. Mom's life touched thousands. I have really taken that in and thought of my own life. Purpose has a new meaning to me.
Life is so fleeting. Mom's was over too soon, if you ask me. But yet she lived it to the fullest every moment. Death makes one think about life even more , I think.
Heaven has a new meaning. Man, I cannot wait to be there one day. It is so much more real now. This is not my home...it's temporary.
LIfe is just totally different. Being a mom, being a wife, being Rachael....it's different now than it was a year ago in really every single aspect. It would take me several blogs to cover that. It's been a year. A year I have only made it through by the grace of God and with the help of some very precious friends who 've stuck by me through every difficult moment, every tear, every painful experience. I am grateful for those people. I've made mistakes. I've hurt. I've cried. I've learned. I've laughed. I've grown up. I still have depression ...the anxiety attacks are getting less....but I am a better person ultimately. It is really hard to say that. I"m not better because I don't have my mom. I am better because as God promises in Romans 8:28, He will use bad for good if we love Him and if we let Him. It took me a very long time to arrive to letting Him. But now, He is showing me so many things. Not for my glory, but for His.
I have an ache without mom. I always will. I hurt still. I still grieve. But I am moving forward. Into spring. I love music, and i always have. Mom did, too, really. But there is a specific Steven curtis Chapman CD that spoke volumes to me in the time of mom dying and has still since she died. It's Beauty From Ashes. One song stands out to me really powerful right now. It's called "Spring is Coming" and it's so appropriate to include for where my heart is today.
I will move into spring. And I will continue moving forward one day at a time. With mom always in my heart and mind. And God by my side.