Lord, my brain is mush. I don’t know if it’s a coping skill or if it’s simply just the way it is in grief. I’m kinda numb. I’m here to chase thankfulness because I want to feel something. And, in gratitude, I find hope and joy.
It’s weird… It’s not hitting me that this Thanksgiving is any different than the last one. We had Titus last time though. And the fact is, this time we are missing our party of 4. We are checking in as -1 and I don’t really know how I’m supposed to react to that. I’m not worried about what others want or need to see from me… but I’m not sure what I’m supposed to feel to help my heart grieve… or process… or move forward.
It’s been more than two months since I’ve seen and held my boy. He left us. He actually had the strength and courage to leave us and face death. He held on as long as he could and I’ll always cherish those last days and moments. My heart held so much anguish, love, admiration for him in that final week. And now, my little boy is gone and perhaps what hurts the most is the admitting that here wasn’t the best place for him. That there – with you, Lord – is the best place. I know that. And it aches in my tightened constricted throat. In the quiet tears and nose gone runny. In the muscles flexing in my abdomen to keep the sobs to a minimum… Oh, I don’t know why I hold those back.
I cannot kiss the top of his head to show my love. I cannot sing silly songs and twirl him in an uncoordinated dance. I can’t even seem to dream about him… at all.
But what I can do… what I can summon the constricted throat and hot teary eyes to see and proclaim is thankfulness. One little piece of “Thank you” at a time.
Thank you for our neighbors who surprised us with flowers and cookies.
Thank you for time with friends who give us joy and provide a safe place to just “be”.
Thank you for sweet fruit from our tangerine tree.
Thank you for amazing smiles in the pictures Titus left behind that still ignite a smile in my soul.
Thank you for a husband who has chosen to love me through the ugly parts.
Thank you for the subtle lean of love I receive often from Ely.
Thank you for giving us such an incredible support system who, in this Thanksgiving season, we get to surprise a few with our tradition of Thankful Baskets.
Thank you for football, parades, and chocolate chip pancakes to enjoy with those close to my heart.
Thank you for a man who loves to cook holiday meals!
Thank for an opportunity to treat Ely in hopes his course of Batten will be halted.
Thank you for all our new Ohioan friends who surround us with love and support.
Thank you for redemption.
Thank you for love, compassion, grace.
Thank you for filling our empty buckets so we can pour them out again.
Thank you for power to live through brokenness with the Holy Spirit.
Thank you for holding my son.
Thank you for the way a yellow rose or sunflower gives me a gentle reminder that you love us and are with us through it all. That even when broken- to pour even more out and we will be full. That when we are on our last thread of our broken stem, we still know without a doubt that you are good, Lord.
And you are enough.
And when that day comes that my stem fully breaks, and this earthly body is done, I will be with you, restored to beauty that reflects your glory… no more brokenness in sight. Just like Titus. Thank you for that promise, Lord. The very essence that is the fullest weakness and defeat in death actually becomes the vessel that fills us to the most completeness. Thank you for that kind of love.
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials; for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. – Romans 5:3-5
And here, as I chase thankfulness, I learn to just be. That right now, in this moment, this is ok. To be numb, to feel hurt, to give and be given to… it’s really living. All of it. And so I sit in it and I move in it and I rub my eyes clearer to see in it. This life… it is all a sign of your love. And I feel my soul showered free. Free from expectation. Free from idealism. Free from the need to hide. Here I am Lord… you get all of me. Not just the accolades, the accomplishments, but you get the anger, the cursing of this life that leaves my lips, the spewed words that come out in hate. All of me is all of you and because of that, I know that no matter what, I am enough because you are enough. And for that, I am most thankful.
Thanks for listening,