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Amanda, you've been gone from this earth for 9 months, 270 days, 3/4 of a year, 3 seasons, one collegiate year, the length of time spent in a mother's womb and yet it's still hard to wrap our brains around it.
There are moments when it seems like you were just here, for your bridal shower, we were just on the phone talking about the reception, or the flowers or the registry. I was just texting you about something silly, you were sending pics of your latest wedding finds, we were laughing hysterically about what happened to my zebra pocket book. It still seems like you should be walking through the back door with open arms and a great big hug saying "Mehhhh!!!" Or you should be calling me, "Mom! Guess what?!" And then, there are movements when it feels like you've been gone for 9 years. It's been so long since we've spoken, texted, hugged, kissed. Every day is another day without you, another day to push forward and try to mend our broken hearts. There is no rule book for grief, no definitive ending, no appropriate amount of sorrow. I can tell you that it changes everything and affects everything. And when I say everything, I mean everything, from your outward facade to your innermost feelings, your health, your well being, diet, exercise, emotions, thoughts, feelings, the list goes on and on.
I've struggled and continue to struggle in some of those areas, as life has taken on a whole new meaning or maybe lack of meaning, at times. Importance, priorities, everything changes. And how couldn't it? Your whole life has been turned inside out, upside down, you name it.... and it will NEVER be the same, for any of us. Amanda, you will always be part of us, you will be at Garrett's graduation in May, you will be at your friends' weddings and bridal showers. You will be there for every moment for the rest of our lives. But you will be there in a different way. We need to remember you are never far away, we may not see you but we can still feel your presence and know your kisses from heaven are real. As we walk into the final season you were with us last year, I have a huge lump in my throat. So many things about spring remind me of our family and you ---flowers esp hyacinths and purple flowers, Dad' s bday, the smell of lavender you and I love so much, Easter and dying eggs, Mother's Day, your birthday, our 30th anniversary, hummingbirds (yes, I know I'm obsessed with them), robins, cardinals, butterflies and Father's Day. It's so difficult, this journey of grief. At times the only thing I know to do is to cry out to Jesus. I know he's there and I know he's watching over us, guiding, helping and loving each one of us. And so, that's what I do, just like the song by Third Day---- "To everyone who's lost someone they love. Long before it was their time. You feel like the days you had were not enough. When you said goodbye. And to all of the people with burdens and pains. Keeping you back from your life. You believe that there's nothing and there is no one Who can make it right. There is hope for the helpless. Rest for the weary. Love for the broken heart. There is grace and forgiveness. Mercy and healing. He'll meet you wherever you are Cry out to Jesus. Cry out to Jesus"