This is for me. This post is for me.
The wind bites bitter, cheeks bright red, nose searing pain. Tears frozen on eyelashes heavy with yesterday's mascara. Heart heavy with the judgement and opinions of others, welcomed or not. Heart heavy with internal struggles I've been carrying around for much too long. Just one thought surfaces, "I need to get away. I need to be by myself."
The baby cries and the little girl on the inside is crying, and 10 years ago there were 3 little girls crying for their Mama, crying for a life they never had, never would have. And there is something so surreal about your children asking who that "girl" in the picture is, and then you telling them, "That's my Mommy. Your Grandma. She died...and is in Heaven with Jesus." And you can't help but cry when you say the words out loud, because you are so young, they are so young, and it doesn't seem fair or real. And I hold them a little tighter, knowing how fragile life is, how fast things can change, and death is friend to no one, sparing no one, taking all.
On this day when she left for good, I'm missing my Daddy. I should be missing her, and I am, so much my eyes sting and my throat constricts with the tears I won't shed. But I miss him too. And the baby is back at my feet, stuffing puffs into his mouth, and I'm still unsure why he won't sleep, why he won't stop crying. And there is a mouse in my laundry room that is just seeking solace in a warm house, away from the bitter cold. But he is not welcome here and if I could find my inner warrior, somewhere underneath the exhaustion and heartache and fear, I'm sure I could muster up the strength to squash it like a warm grape on the sidewalk in summer.
We usually put up our Christmas tree on November 13th of every year. A tradition started by me, when the sadness of this date became unbearably sad and depressing, and I wanted to have something fun and distracting to look forward to. But the fear of other's opinions weighs heavily on my shoulders, making me question my every move, a feeling so familiar to me. "Is it too early? Thanksgiving is still more than a week away. Judah's birthday party is this weekend and everyone will see my tree. If anyone comes. What if it's not pretty enough? What if they think it's too early for my tree to be up?"
The thing with being afraid of other people judging your every move, is that you end up living everyone else's lives. You do things based on what others would like, and you live a hundred different lives that leave you empty and not knowing who you really are. Being true to yourself, at the expense of everyone else laughing at you and talking behind your back, that is worth more than you could ever imagine. Than I could ever imagine. Being true to your own life, who you are really are, the likes and dislikes and choices only you have to make in the end...you will have a life full of real memories and character shaped by the current of a life really lived. That is what you will be left with. People will always find something to complain about. So what if it's you? So what if it's me? At least you stood up for something. And standing up for yourself is no simple feat.
My other children are starting to wake up. And I leave you with this...life is so short. You are not guaranteed tomorrow, or even the next 5 minutes. You know that dream you have? Start living it. You know that relative you are on bad terms with? Talk to them. Life is too short to be lived unfulfilled. Take the risks. I think, maybe, there is a fate worse than physical death. Spiritual and emotional death, all the life sucked out of your soul, leaving you a shell of what you could be, while your heart still beats within your chest. Beating towards the same fate that reaches us all in the end, whether your rich, poor, healthy, sick, old, young, Christian or pagan.
And maybe I'm the only one who got anything good out of this post, but that's okay. I still like you, and I'm still grateful to you if you read the entire thing. Thank you, friend, for reading my heart.
All my love,