A New Year!

A New Year!

As I sit here thinking about 2018 I’m reminded of how freaking hard it was. It was hard y’all. My Uncle had a liver transplant in January and died in October. I haven’t experienced a loss quite like that. My great grandparents passed away in 2010 when I was 21/22 but they had lived long and full lives. Do I miss them? Everyday! But I could rationalize it. Ya know? My Uncle still had a lot of life to live.. I’m shocked that I’m even saying that he died. He.DIED.

However, there were SO many blessings wrapped up in this year and alongside his illness and inevitably the loss of him. So many. God really is so good! BUT, I am so thankful this new year! The possibilities, the positivity, the newness, the wonder, the goals, health & happiness. It’s funny that a new year could invoke so much awe but it does. For me.

This blog began as a way to document my adventures with Jack but a part of me was sad because we didn’t go on many this year. I felt like a fraud almost and unworthy of writing. I’ve come to realize that we did in fact have the biggest adventure of all this past year and that was soaking up every last second with our Uncle. It wasn’t the typical mountain adventure or nature walks or really much of anything outside. Instead it was an adventure of life (and death) which created a dialogue rich in context about heaven and God and angels and Jesus and family and how toxicity doesn’t belong in our lives period not just not in our food and home. It was an adventure of self discovery and realizing just how strong I am… even when I had to peel myself from my sheets some days & that crying in front of my children IS okay.

I am happy to close the door on 2018. So very happy. I look so forward to 2019 and all of the adventures life has planned for us. I am thankful that I learned some lessons like life really is too short to have people in it that don’t care & that negativity is something I can get rid of. I’m thankful for the people in my life that do care unconditionally. I’m thankful for the time I had with my Uncle up to 6 hours before his passing and that I got to tell him everything I wanted to say even if he couldn’t hear me. I’m thankful for even the really awful moments w/ him in the end.. ones that haunt me even BECAUSE what a privilege it was to take care of someone that took care of me.

My hope for us all is that 2019 is kind to us, we have health and happiness, our prayers & dreams come to fruition, we receive grace and give it, that we recognize negative people and things before they wreck havoc in our lives and that we are able to live each day as our last. That we learn to say yes and no after careful thought in terms of our best interest, that we may be a glimmer of hope to someone, and that we have a ton of adventures!

Happy New Year!

“My cancer is back” …

“My cancer is back” …

My uncle (was like my dad) had cancer in his liver and some lesions in various other areas. He did treatments over the course of a year or so and it went away. Yay, right? Yes! But then, because of the treatment and other issues leading up to that in years prior, he needed a liver transplant. This wasn’t incredibly shocking because we new he would eventually need one but what was shocking was when we received a call last December saying “You’ve been moved to the top of the list, we think we have a match and come in now!” That’s enough to make your head spin in and of itself.

We went in 3 times, he was prepped and at the last minute the match wasn’t a match after all. But in January he was matched. It was a miracle. A hard one knowing that someone had to die for him to ultimately live but a miracle none the less. They anticipated he’d need to stay with me for 6 weeks post op. He defied those odds and stayed at my house for a WEEK and was released. So amazing! An answered prayer.

Of course there were some issues with meds and figuring out his new normal but he was healthy and continued to surprise not only us – his family – but the doctors. The first 3 months are the scariest and he was passing with flying colors. But then he started not feeling too well; he was getting more and more tired, he’d have unexplained pain, etc. but again we just thought this was part of the process and didn’t expect what was coming next.

At his 6 month follow up in July he underwent an mri. And that’s when life changed. He called like usual to fill me in and said “Well, the cancer is back, my liver is covered and has metastasized to vital organs like the lungs, etc.” WHAT?! How can this be?! My heart broke in that moment and 3 and a half short months later he died. Today is the one month anniversary of his funeral actually.

Death is odd. It can be beautiful for sweet old souls that pass in their sleep and then there’s the ugly; babies dying of cancer, horrific accidents, etc. The thing the two have in common are infinitely knowing you won’t see that person again earth side. And although I’ve had my fair share of breakdowns am I forever going to remain in a state of disbelief?

Have you ever been so lonely when you’re in a crowded room? I have. About 10 years ago my heart broke for the same uncle and I was so angry and desperate for God to help him. I cried out and pled and even though I knew in my heart that God does things in His timing my heart was shattered anyway and I was angry at God for about 2 years. Two loooooong years. I forced myself to pray, I had honest convos that went like: “God, I love you but I’m so angry at you. I don’t want to be but I am.” “WHY won’t you DO SOMETHING?!” And then some convos that conveyed my mastery in profanity. 🤬

I refuse to do that this time. I realized that God was with him every step of the way and He did help him in His time. And now this. I’m clinging to God with all of my might because if I don’t I can’t be the mom, friend, family member, human that I need and want to be.

So…. how am I dealing with this death that seems so unfair? By watching Christmas movies with my love bug and putting up my Christmas tree w/ enormous lights of course. 🤣🎄

I’m fully aware that Thanksgiving is weeks away and I give zero effs. 🤷🏼‍♀️ The holidays will be hard this year. This year has been hard. So if Christmas decorations bring us happiness then I’m down. I’d love to hibernate in my bed until I feel “normal” again but I refuse to. Instead I will honor him by taking care of my health even more so and by being the best me I can be because anything less than that wouldn’t be fair to my family, friends, him, and myself.

If you have had a loss and feel all alone – I see you. If you are angry at God – I understand you. If you are trying to find your happy in the midst of a storm – my heart is with you. ❤️

Somethings you just can’t plan for.

Somethings you just can’t plan for.

As a parent we are usually going 90-nothing. Whether it be SAHM’s or working moms we are always thinking of our littles. We do the best we can and hope and pray that our precious babes aren’t going to be in counseling later in life because we screw them up. I mean seriously can I get an Amen?!

We are loving, nurturing, put our needs last, rarely get to pee by ourselves, teach our children, hope we make them laugh, dance it out when we are having hard days (I can’t be the only one that dances to Elmo, etc.) We pray for and over our children and ourselves. And when we slip up we hope by the Grace of God that we make up for it 10 fold.

Our toddlers have BIG emotions and can’t yet verbalize them. So we have a lot of patience and loving arms and soft laps to protect them, guide them, and try to help them make sense of things. But what happens when we, as parents, can’t make sense of them?

Today, my friend of 26 years lost her first baby, her dog. He would have been 12 this summer so he had lived a wonderful life. He passed away peacefully and even though we saw it coming no amount of understanding can prepare you for a loss. Especially when children are involved.

I went to pick him up this morning to come to my house while my friend worked so that I could monitor him. Jack was excited to see him. She was relieved he wouldn’t be alone. It was supposed to be okay. Only it wasn’t. I walked in and he was gone.

I had to call her at work and tell her. I broke her heart into a bazillion pieces. And that broke mine. Luckily Jackson didn’t come in with me (and before we call DHS he was completely safe ☺️) but I did have to return to the car and tell him too.

I rarely cry. That’s not because I don’t have feelings I’m just super great at bottling them up. 😬 But I was crying and there was no hiding it no matter how badly I wanted to. I wasn’t prepared to talk about this with him. And as a mom I try to be prepared for just about everything. But today I didn’t feel the mom guilt for crying because I want him to not only know but see that it is OKAY to cry and BE sad and NOT understand. I want him to have empathy.

This post isn’t about me and Jackson or shouldn’t be but about my friend and her loss. Not only did she need to grieve BUT she had to explain to her 3 year old what happened. While holding back tears, she took him for ice cream and then had to explain that when they got home a piece of their puzzle was no more. He knew he was sick and she’d been subtly trying to prepare him but how much preparing can you give to a child especially when you as the parent aren’t prepared yourself?

Last night, her precious child “read” him a book to make him feel better. I think it worked. ❤️ And gave him some extra love…How precious are their hearts?!

This is life and bound to happen but these are the kind of days that break my heart for these babies. Not to mention his momma! 💔

Today’s adventure was a somber one. But it’s real and I don’t want to just show our ‘perfect’ days. We can learn from both kinds, grow, and learn to be okay with doing our best even through tears.