I have learned so many lessons over the past year.
Hard lessons. Good lessons. Painful lessons. Beautiful lessons.
I’ve learned things about myself and what I am capable of, and I’ve also learned where I fail miserably. I sometimes wonder if grief has changed me in ways that will be changed forever, or if some of these changes will lessen with the grief as it slowly retreats back to the ocean until the next wave.
I’ve learned that the people we think will always be there for us… aren’t. My husband isn’t here for me anymore. My mother. Some friends. Funny how people like to say they are here for you, but… where are they?
I’ve also learned about an entirely different world that exists out there. A world full of compassion and love and support. People who grant me the grace I need when I screw up. People who look past my selfishness as I’ve been so focused on my own survival and that of my children. This is the world I have needed.
But as the fog continues to lift, and my mind stops spinning so much, I find that as wonderful as the loving cocoon is that has been created around me in my community is thinning. And that’s OK and natural. My cocoon was what held me together and carried me though, but it’s a temporary covering.
And maybe, just maybe, a butterfly will emerge…
March 22 hit me like a ton of bricks to the face. Eleven months. The last time I will be counting in months since he passed away. Soon, it will be counted in years. I’ve been whirling in a stormy sea of grief, as if he’s dying all over again.
When I laid next to him as he slowly slipped away from me, I watch his face intently. Would I see a miracle? I silently pleaded with God to breathe life back into him and heal his body. This was the moment, God… but God missed the moment… or did He?
I will forever remember that moment. Just like that, he was gone… In that one moment.
But that was just one moment. Our lives are full of moments and I’ve missed so many this last year. But every today we are given is a new day with new moments. Seize them. Cherish them. Hold them close to you.
God doesn’t miss these moments, He holds them in His hands, along with us, and carries us on to the next moment.
One of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn, aside from RV plumbing and letting go of homeschooling, was that I can’t make anyone love me.
That’s a hard one.
The heart is a funny thing. Capable of so much more than I ever imagined. Stronger. More resilient. More tender.
I want you, you know who you are, to know that I forgive you for not showing love to me. You still don’t see how you’ve hurt me and I’m guessing you never will. But I forgive you anyway. Not for you, but for me. My heart is letting go of this hurt. Hurt is a heavy burden to carry and I need to lighten my load. There is a scar left behind, but no longer will I carry this hurt around with me.
I want you, you know who you are, to know that I am so sorry for hurting you. I have been selfish and wrapped up in my own world and uncaring about yours. It was unintentional but nonetheless my actions still have consequences and I will accept them. I will try harder all of the tomorrows I am given.
I want you, you know who you are, to know that I’m so very thankful for you. Not in a public, shout-out, telling the world what you’ve done for me kind of way, but in a quiet, eternal, you’ve changed my heart kind of way.
I want you, all of you, to know what maybe I’m still closer to a worm than a butterfly, and I still feel like a hot mess on a freezing day, but your kindness, your support, your encouragement, and your love are not unnoticed. I’m learning. I’m living. And someday I hope to be part of your cocoon.