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 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 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,
Apples of Gold

Helene in Between


  1. agree with you, you can't be afraid of people judging you. great post, thanks for linking up!

    1. Thanks Helene! Thanks for the link up :) :)

  2. Wow!
    This was heartfelt and really drew me in... You have such a way with words and made such a sad story sound so poetic in so many ways.
    I'm sorry your mom is not around and you have to explain that your little ones. I don't have any idea how that feels, but I know I will someday and I know it will break my heart.
    I'm with you on not worrying about what others think of you. I say put that tree up and forget what people may or may not think. It's awesome that you've tried to find a way to make this day not so miserable for you.
    That's important not just for you, but for your family. In you they'll see someone who doesn't allow the trials of life to totally beat her down. Instead she rises above the trials and makes the most of the moments she has left with her loved ones.
    Thank you for sharing your heart with us and thank you for linking up!

    1. Thank you for the beautiful reply. I love what you said "In you they'll see someone who doesn't allow the trials of life to totally beat her down. Instead she rises above the trials and makes the most of the moments she has left with her loved ones." Words of life spoken right to this heart. Thank you. I cherish your words.

  3. Oh I love you Mary Beth! Love the passion in your post. I remember this day ten years ago. It was a Wednesday.

    There really are no words to offer you. I think you said them all so well. I'm just praying for your heart to have a deeper healing.

    You are amazing.

    You are beautiful.

    And why isn't the tree up already?


    1. Oh Rhonda, you are right. Wednesday night, 10:05pm is when she passed away. I remember going to Youth Group, and the Berean family just holding us, crying with us, praying with us.

      Thank you for the prayers...

      The tree...ahh the tree...Trevor had a surprise meeting at work, and so it didn't happen. The night isn't over yet...

      Love you :)

  4. My dad died suddenly on November 13, 2001. A date close to both of our hearts. Thank you for sharing Marybeth =)

    1. Aww Jamie, thanks for sharing that with me. <3 We should hang out sometime :)

  5. I hope your Christmas tree is officially up!! :) It is so important to be true to yourself!! This was such an honest and brutally truthful post. It was so touching. You are right. It is so important to live each and every moment to the fullest, chase our dreams, have no regrets!! Thanks for sharing! Stopping by from Let's Be Real link-up, have a blessed day!!

    1. My tree was put up that night! Life got busy that day, but I decided at 10:30 to just do it! Thank you for this comment, I really appreciate it!

  6. I must say, because I didn't get a chance to on Saturday, that I was delighted to see your tree up. I remember last year, I believe, you had mentioned something about doing it on that date and why, and I thought it was beautiful. I think it's something I would do for my mother also, because my mom loves to put up a Christmas tree.

    I think, in a way, it is a wonderful thing to have up at Judah's birthday. I mean, it's beautiful, and some day, maybe he'll realize that it's a symbol of Grandma being there with him, celebrating his very special day. I think he will think that's awesome, because he's special by having his birthday so close. I hope that is worded in a way that makes sense.

    It's never too early to have the "distraction" from the sorrow in a way that makes you not only remember your mother, but also add something beautiful to your home in a way that seems to honor her.

    Love you.

    1. Awww I never even thought about how it would make him feel...but you paint a lovely picture Nicole. I love this. A lot!

      Thank you for the comment friend. It really blessed me!


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