I don't have the words today. I hesitate to post anything when these anniversaries pass; I don't want it to look like a ploy for attention, I don't want to look like I'm dwelling in the past, I don't want it to look like it's about me at all... it's not. I still find myself constantly mentally penning... a hundred different avenues of thought. Six years. This year is the day on day do-over of the anniversary of my Aaron's last day. The Thanksgiving in the hospital. The seeing the writing on the wall. The paralyzing fear of leaving the room because every single moment suddenly felt so heavy and valuable and precious. The wanting to shield our children from what was happening, but the knowing that they deserved these moments with their daddy. The actual heart-wrenching of seeing it unfold, seeing your person slip away, seeing their family crumble inward. Black Friday, indeed. For this man, we prayed; for this healing, we prayed; for this family, we prayed. Moving forward after Aaron felt like a necessary evil. Yes, I felt guilty. I still have the capacity to feel destroyed by his physical absence. I'm coming to terms with the fact that I probably always will. BUT, I have been given the opportunity to speak into others' pain too. This is temporary, that is eternal. You can feel the pain, but you must, you MUST, move into the places that will let you heal. I was shattered when Caleb died, but there wasn't time to be shattered, we had other things to focus on. I was completely broken when Aaron died, but Aubrey and Aidan need a mom who can show them that you can have pain and still have life. You do the best you can. Quit making excuses. Show up. GOSH, show up. You get one chance. I get physically choked up when I'm watching people get distracted with the temporary in front of them instead of learning to shift into the moments that will matter. I'm not saying it well... the stresses of the maybes instead of the right-in-front-of-you moments. I guess cancer taught me that. I got the courage to ask the oncologist after Aaron died how much time he would've given him after surgery. Six months. Six months. I'm so glad we didn't ask. I still stressed, for sure, but we got three years. Thankfully, I learned a bit in those three years to enjoy the moments instead of stressing the maybes. Our babies were 4 and 7 when Aaron passed away. He didn't get enough time. They didn't get enough time. Please, please, please use the time you have. Feel the bad stuff, but then get up and do the things. Lay down the grudges. Shut off your phone. Play a game. Go outside. Laugh. All the things they tell you are true-- when you look back, your evaluation won't matter. All I'm saying is do the things. Hug the people. Spend time with those who matter to you. Don't try to prove you're right at the expense of doing the right thing. I'm really bad at being awesome, but I know some things deep down to my soul. Things some people never get to truly know. Some things that I wish I didn't because I'm stuck in a 38 year old body with the perspective of an 85 year old. Do the things. I guess I was wrong... I have all the words today. I love my Aaron. I 'm thankful I get to keep him. He was, and continues to be, more than I deserved. I love my Brandon. I'm thankful God makes beauty out of ashes and that he found me/I found him/we found us. I worried constantly that love would feel like a competition, but it doesn't. They stand separately and I'm so blessed that God gave me both. I love my babies. They are exactly what Aaron and I wanted. I love my bonus babies. They are a gift I never saw coming. I love my family. They hold me up in ways I can't properly thank them for. I love my in-laws. God blessed me with unconditional love all around. I love my friends. My cup literally runs over with blessings. The tapestry... "Those gorgeous creations so skillfully woven into such beautiful designs. One day he was in a shop where those rugs were on display. He walked behind one that was hanging on hooks from the ceiling. Looking at it from behind, he was shocked to behold a confusing array of threads that led nowhere. Such beauty on one side, total disharmony on the other, but both part of the same plan. It was then that the message became clear to him. In this life, we only see the back side fo the rug. We don't know how or why our unspeakable hardships are part of a beautiful design. That is why having faith is so important."
A wife, a mom, a widow, a librarian, a sister, a daughter, a girlfriend, a teacher, a God-follower, a coach, a snarky huss, a lover, a confused party, a favorite, a decisive chick, a real person, a hated person;). These thoughts won't be pretty and I will contradict myself a lot, but they are my thoughts, in the moment, in this life.