Friday, August 31, 2012

Feelings


I used to say that I was as shallow as a puddle. My friends would disagree, and I knew shallow wasn't really the word I was looking for, but I meant that I just didn't seem to experience things as deeply as others did. Sure, I cried at the drop of a hat from any perceived injustice-- an over plucked eyebrow, or another Friday night home in front of Falcon Crest-- but I also felt a steady undercurrent of hope and stability running through my life.

When I observed my friends, some of their highs were so high, their lows so low. They were SO! IN! LOVE! Everything mattered. They seemed passionate about guys, God, and life in general, which made me wonder, again and again, if I was missing something.

I never craved drama or excitement; in fact I tended to run the other way. Jerry Springer was certainly not a show I could watch...far too nervous-making. I felt like I needed an Advil and a Silkwood shower after seeing that kind of raw, shouting, chair throwing emotion laid bare.

Binge drinking, college drama, or jealous girl fights? No thank you. Just take the guy-- please-- it's not worth it to me.

I think I was drawn to an equally Steady-Eddie in my husband Tim, because although I was pretty sure we'd never wear each other's blood vials around our necks a la Angelina and Billy-Bob, or engage in all-night love fests, we were also unlikely to have all-night screaming matches or engage in name calling, unless the occasional whispered "Ass" out of earshot of the kids counts.

It seems weird to me that parts of my life story are dramatic.

But even in that drama, the way I've faced things remains pretty compatible with how I've always been. So, I often wonder, am I too restrained and repressed, or is this just how God made me?

Because I don't want to try to circumnavigate the pain of life by just quietly plodding through it! When my mom dropped dead so many years ago, I bought new pens and immediately started writing thank you notes. My siblings and I did not cry or moan together. We held it so far in as if merely saying the word "Mom" would transport us to a scary place of despair from which we could never return.

And when Jack disappeared into the creek, just seconds beyond my grasp, I knew I could scream and rail, but I didn't. Not really. Because what else is there to do as you sit in your dark kitchen with your friends, knowing in your heart that your son is dead, except put out cheese and crackers for your neighbor with low blood sugar because everyone missed dinner and it's going to be one hell of a long night?

Call it shock, call it denial, call it peace. I do not know.

I guess my biggest fear as an even-keel person, is that I will somehow plod, plod, plod through life like a robot. I DO NOT want to be this way simply because it is more socially acceptable, less messy, and quieter!

I want to make sure I let myself feel, if I even know how to.

At least on some level, I'm certain I do.

I know how it felt to have Margaret's dimply, toddler arms wrapped around my neck, giving my back an extra little pat because she knew I liked it. The world felt calm and safe and delicious. I know how it felt to mother Jack-- and how my delight in his depth and character made my heart grow larger in a way I can still feel when I think about him. How after 20 years I can still conjure a rush of love when I remind myself that a man who handles raw chicken for you, puts feta on your salads when you would have just settled for lettuce, and hands you two vitamins in the morning is far sexier than someone who lives life on the edge.

And I realize that writing is one way I let myself feel.

I may be doing ordinary things on a given day-- shopping for school supplies, doing time in the hell that is Abercrombie, working, or sweeping up dog hair in the kitchen (again!)--but through pausing and writing I'm letting myself "go there" in my grief.

It may not be dramatic. But it helps me. I just know does.

63 comments:

Anonymous said...

That was beautiful and I can relate to how you live your life and "feel", even if it isn't like a lot of other people. It's probably what is getting you through some dark days. And it's helping you help your family. You're the rock. God bless...

Mg said...

Your writing helps you, but it also helps the people you share your life with. It's so weird, but I was just thinking the same thing about myself today - does the fact that I don't lose it, that I just keep plodding along, when terrible things happen make me less feeling? No. Does it mean I'm going to go off the deep end from holding things in? I hope not, and I don't think so. I think it's just who we are - and while the world needs the passionate people, it also needs no-drama mamas like us.

SouthLakesMom said...

Anna, I took my daughter to college for the first time last week. On Sunday at church people kept patting me on the arm and asking, "so how are you *really* doing?" Umm...fine. She was ready, she's happy there, the chaos that swirled in her wake is now her roommate's problem...?

You gotta be who you are. If God had made all of us drama queens, there wouldn't be anyone around to actually pay the bills and sweep up the dog hair and buy the school supplies!

Still, in the middle of the school supplies, if you feel a need to EMOTE ... just warn Margaret and then let it rip.

You're entitled.

NanaDiana said...

I hear you, Anna. Many years ago my hubby and I went to marriage counseling. One of the things he said about me (as a positive) was that I was "even"...no real high-highs and no low-lows. His negative about me was that I thought I had a great sense of humor. He then told the moderator of this session that I thought everything was funny. She asked if that wasn't a contradiction of his assessment of me. He said absolutely NOT! I get my "feelings" out by writing, too. I used to journal but now blog instead. I think you have to be you and just deal with thing/emotions in a manner that is comfortable to you. Blessings- xo Diana

Anonymous said...

I use to crave -- and to frequently experience the extreme highs and lows -- but they can become an addiction and I successfully gave them up. Having had both in my life, I prefer the middle road. There's Fundamental Wisdom in the Middle Way.

Anonymous said...

Thinking about you and your family as we head into September. Prayers continue for each of you.

Theresa

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I understand this completely. I've never thought of myself as shallow...more like "not warm." I keep my distance emotionally. This makes my husband crazy.

But sometimes I sit down to write and all of the tears that I can't shed in front of people come out in words - I can talk about feelings that way. To have face to face chats about my fears and heartache is like looking directly into the sun. I can't. Words typed onto a screen are like reflections in puddles. A little fuzzy around the edges - sometimes distorted - but accurate enough.

Courtney {a thoughtful place} said...

The under the breath, "ass" comment made me giggle. I write to get my feelings out as well. I don't do it often, but when I do it's like the flood gates open up and it just pours out. I sense that from you as well. It's a great outlet. And as far as I know, you don't have to be on a roller coaster to enjoy and feel life. You can ride on the small world ride and still be enamored with the experience. xoxo

thesecretcomedienne said...

I am not a great writer but I too find it easier to write.
I feel as though I don't fit sometimes in this world.
I am thinking of you often again and again over and over and I am so glad you write it makes me feel connected.

OSMA said...

Girl, I have enough "feel" in me for the both of us. Have been searching for "even" since birth. Writing helps even me out but then I walk away from the keyboard and all the colors rise and fall again like the NYC skyline.

Taking a break from writing has forced me to find a way to balance myself out without my back door blog. I have always admired women who don't seem predisposed to highs and lows every hour. It is interesting that you feel while writing and I write not to feel so much. If we could combine the two we'd have one very well rounded woman, with a hankering for soup.

xoxox

Anne said...

Anna,
I can relate to this in some ways.A different situation totally but still I get it.We continue to pray for you all!
xx
Anne

Gigi said...

I get it. I so get it. My son once told me something that was pretty shocking. He told his dad later that I was very quiet after he told me. My husband reminded him that's just the way I am. And it's true. But I did come home and pour my heart out in my personal writing. That's the only way I can "deal."

The Empress said...

And it helps us.

Reading your words helps me, gives me, something to do FOR YOU.

I can't stand to just do nothing, but reading what you write, and feeling what you write, and praying over your words, helps me to feel that I am in my way helping you with this unimaginable weight.

I thank you for allowing us in.

God bless you, my dear friend.

Fiona, LilyfieldLife said...

You write so beautifully and with so much feeling, Anna. Don't try and change the way you are or worry about what you aren't. Your even-ness is probably a blessing for your family.
Fiona xx

Stimey said...

I'm so glad you have this space to be able to put your thoughts and feelings into the world. I'm that way too. I can write about things I could never speak about. I'm glad it can help you.

Laura at Ms. Smartie Pants said...

God you make me feel so normal! I keep wondering if I am doing this right? Am I suppose to be melting in a corner somewhere so distraught I can't breathe, because I'm not. I hurt, I long but I keep going, doing the next thing and the next. You once again, amaze me, you can just say it so well! You need to write a book on grief!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I'm glad your writing helps you because I can tell you that it helps us tremendously. ((HUGS))

A Speckled Trout said...

My daughter got married two months ago. Today somebody asked me about the wedding and if I was a basket case. I wasn't......not in the least. We love her husband and they are so very good together. But the one thing that catches in my throat every time I talk about that day is my hairdresser coming to our house to do Maggie's hair. This lovely woman, twenty years my junior, has tamed my curls and for nearly ten years has heard stories about my husband, my dog, my curb finds, my garden......and there she was in my house.

For the life of me, I cannot figure out why, of all the events of that day, that is the thing that does me in.

Meredith Self said...

okay. this seems totally inappropriate...but the only words lingering as I begin to write are, okay, here it goes...."cop a feel" I realize that meaning is without consent. And I just get the sense of without your consent, you are just exposed and vulnerable and forced to feel and even be felt.

Although the analogy falls apart in so many ways. I just tried to not write it and nothing else came out, so there. You know how that works for me and how I'm not to censor. Forgive me, please. :)

I'm way more up and down. I feel everyone and everything and yowsers. And I used to try to hold it in.Though things have evened out a lot in the last few years. All the feelings are there but they feel like gentle waves while I'm more the ocean, or clouds that go by as I'm the sky. Not so intense. And everything is temporary, so I don't ride it so hard. Still exploring...and loving you exploring.

Anonymous said...

Well I've been here for almost a year. I still think you are the most incredible woman and mother I have ever "met" - and just for the record, I think - on the contrary, you have an incredibly sensitive soul which enables you to connect your raw emotions with the reader, a true gift which transcends the need for drama and attention.
What I am trying to say is, you are the antithesis of shallow.
This blog should be published as a book. It would become an instant bestseller, and Jack would be touching the lives of millions. I know you are not interested in making money, but so many people could be helped as a direct result of your gift.

The Bipolar Diva said...

Continue to write Anna, continue to write.

Unknown said...

I am the opposite of what you describe. As my husband often describes it, 'I feel the world's pain and glory.' The injustice, the sorrow, the elation and the triumph. I often wished I could 'learn' to be more even - tempered in my responses. But I have come to know me and my ways pretty well. It isn't a failure to be 'shallow' or 'deep' - it just is. It is ok - more than ok that you react or don't the way you do. It is true to you... not a short coming, not a bad choice, not a failure. It is true - authentic and you. I almost feel you need to know that - to hear that right now. You did right, you did true. You did him no injustice by not losing your mind - running, screaming or ranting. Just as you would have achieve no different end, but been just as ok if you had -if it were you to do. Your truth in is who you are - as evidenced by all those you touch each day. BTW - if you ever want to learn to deliver the impassioned rant from a pro -- give me a call! I have it down.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry; about that night; about all of it. I wonder if you didn't cry because you felt so much that crying seemed almost...beside the point; if maybe you felt, deep down, that you could never cry enough tears; not for this; not for your Jack. (The semi-colons are because of him...)

I LOVE the whole section where you talk about baby Margaret's arms around your neck, etc. I will be keeping you all in my prayers over the holiday weekend. May God bless you.

PS I don't want to make this too long, but for some reason, the other comments on this are hitting home with me, as well...

Elizabeth said...

Your writing says you are as deep as the ocean. Every feeling you express I can imagine...almost.

Ellen aka Ellie said...

If this is the outlet that lets you let IT out, keep on doing it.

janzi said...

No, like all the others I do not think that you are shallow..Like so many and myself, you have been able to cope by putting all your thoughts online and also pushed the really heavy ones to the back of your head to deal with later.. your grief is not lessoned by so doing, just that you know as we all know too. that if you let go and fell apart, you would never stop screaming* Life can turn out so many awful things, but we each deal with it in our own way.. you have chosen to share as you do, and we all are there for you, but it doesnt mean you are shallow, its how you process things.. individuals are just that, different, in how they cope.. I cannot think of a harder thing to manage to do, to keep on going, to be there for the other child and your husband and handle grief as you do. We are all in awe of your strength, so its not shallow, its a deep strength that keeps you going, and besides, thats what your darling son would have wanted you to be like too.. god bless and hugs from across the pond. J

Donna Schaefer said...

wow, you just described how I see myself. My father passed away a few weeks ago and I muddles my way through it just as you would have. Am I missing something? I think I'm raising my children to be the same way? Is it a good thing to be so controlled? I don't know but I often wonder if it would all come spilling out if something "really bad" happened. Now I read your post and think, "probably not". I want to add though how much I admire you as a person and mother and I want to thank you. Your writing have blessed me and given me much food for thought. Wish I lived close to you, think we would have a lot in common. Take care

IrishRN07 said...

Anna,
Your writing helps and inspires so many. Your words are full of honesty, courage and hope. You wonderfully express your love for your family and your faith in the Lord... All of it ties together to make something beautiful and oh-so meaningful.

Colleen said...

Anna, Six years ago my then-3-year-old son had open heart surgery. Prior to that, he went through a day's worth of tests. I had to hold him down while they took vials of blood, scraped the inside of his nose, took his temperature, measured, poked and prodded. And I did it, because that's what a mom does. Even though it was killing me inside, knowing that he was looking into my eyes as they poked and prodded, as if to say, "You're in on this too?" But I stood firm. No tears, just whispers of "mommy's here. We're almost done." On our way out of the hospital, we stopped for takeout lunch. I ordered a salad. We got back to the hotel where we'd stay for a week through this surgical ordeal, and we (my husband, son and I) opened our lunches. I got my salad, but they forgot the dressing. THEY FORGOT THE DRESSING! I burst into tears. "Who eats salad without dressing?" I asked. "How hard is it to put dressing on a salad?!" My husband and son looked at me funny. Offered to run to the nearby Walgreens to buy dressing. "That's not the point!" I said to them. Obviously, it wasn't about the dressing. It was about the emotions I held in all day, and the fact that finally, in the comfort of some random hotel where only my 2 guys could see me, I could let it all go. Your writing is your way of letting it all go. We all have our ways. I cry over silly things like the previews to "the Blind Side." I eat too much chocolate. You have found a healthy outlet for some very real emotions. Soldier on. Don't judge yourself by others' perceptions of how you should feel. You're feeling and dealing the way you're meant to. Thoughts from the Midwest are heading your way this month.

Geri said...

Oh Anna, this is so beautiful and touching and I can so relate. One of the girls I worked with asked me why I wasn't screaming and kicking things after our son died, because that is what she would be doing. And I told her, I would never, ever be kicking things or screaming at work, that just wasn't me. And I have also asked myself, are you repressing feelings, are you too philosophical or as you said robot like, to really feel? And you know what? I am feeling it, I really am. And have felt other things. And not throwing a complete and total fit, and causing drama is really okay. Quietly plodding along doesn't mean we aren't feeling, oh hell yes we are feeling. But I don't think I have to throw up every feeling I have onto every person I come across. I surely have called close friends, late at night, sobbing hysterically, asking the why, questioning. I have sobbed until I almost threw up in my therapist's office, and in my husband's arms. But no, the world does not need any more drama, there is plenty in it. And I have to tell you, again, how much the fact you aren't a drama queen has made me feel okay, and how it ultimately helps so so many others. God's peace to you, dear Anna. What a treasure you are.

Japolina said...

I'm not a drama queen either. I like steady. My favorite auntie is a drama queen. Her highs are high but her lows are low.

IT's funny you mentioned abercrombie. I just wrote a post about how hellish it is!

www.japolina.blogspot.com

Lady Jennie said...

I feel deeply for others, but I have a hard time feeling deeply for myself. But through writing I am also able to feel things.

I think you're grieving and feeling just the way you were created to - at times crying over spilled coke at McDonalds, or gasping over tears outside of a pizzeria, and at times setting out cheese and crackers for neighbors in the dark.

Eventually it will all come out, quietly or loudly.

Christina Berry said...

You know, I see a lot of myself in the words you write. I don't know if it's intentional or not, but I always seem to keep my feelings reeled in. Two months ago, my 21 year old son had a drug overdose, and at one point my sister asked me, "are you really as strong as you appear?" I simply wasn't allowing myself to feel it. There was too much work to be done, my focus had to be on him and getting him well.

We're still dealing with the physical effects of the overdose (brain damage, partial loss of vision, speech delays, etc.), and only now do I feel like I can exhale. Only now am I allowing myself to really FEEL anything.

You are an amazing, strong woman. I admire you more than you know.

Mandy said...

Your writing contains such depth, is so considered and has such a huge impact (on me, for one) I can clearly see that you feel things deeply...loudness and drama do not always equal stronger feelings. Keep writing...I don't say it often but your perspective and clarity of thought has a profound impact on my life.

MissingMolly said...

Being a person who experiences stretches of days that are very even (bordering on the monotone) interrupted at regular intervals with highly emotional days, I see both ways of being.

So one side calls the other "drama queens," and conversely, the DQs label the even-keeled as "robots." Perhaps we do this to reassure ourselves that we're handling things properly, so as not to feel inferior? I will say that we live in a culture that views being stoic and even-tempered as commendable and which stigmatizes (for the most part) the highly emotional, often contemptuously labeling people who are particularly expressive as histrionic.

But neither way of coping is "better" than the other; it just is what it is, and we are the way we are. There is no one-size-fits-all for grieving or anything else for that matter. Thank goodness.

I appreciate your point of view--thank you for being open and honest about your journey. No justifications needed. <3

pansiesandsunflowers said...

More drama doesn't mean more feelings. Everyone deals with things their own way. The drama queens are just more noticeable.

L Carilo said...

I remember mentioning your story and adding a link to One Terrible Night in a post on my blog after reading The Bridge; it touched me. I'm grateful every now and then that another blogger unknowingly steers me to your blog again... glad it happened today. You are often in my gentlest of thoughts for peace and comfort of mind.

This is the post I wrote October 19, 2011: ahow-toguide.blogspot So what do you do.

Deb said...

i don't know. do you feel things less, or just show your feelings less? i bet it's the latter. i'm the same way, and i'd say there's no need to change it unless you feel misunderstood or disconnected from the people you need for support. but even then, you'd need to find your own not-so-dramatic way to communicate your feelings--like writing (which you've already said - i guess i'm just agreeing with you!).

Anonymous said...

Beautiful Anna! I was thinking about what makes your writing so much more enjoyable than any other blog I have encountered. It is the fact that is deeply moving and thought-provoking. Truly soul searching and vulnerable. You have a gift. Thank you for sharing the joys and struggles of your heart. Beautiful! Hugs and a prayer!

Recovering Church Lady said...

I think you are being you and the way God made you to be. Hubs & I are reserved compared to my DIL's family and she said it was so quiet and peaceful in our house, but she also missed the loud fun her family has together. I felt insulted at first but you cannot become different than God designed.
I get the fact that writing is your outlet. That's why your writing resonates with so many people, it is real, raw and beautiful. Keep on writing, it's a win-win.

Lesley T. said...

Anna, your writing is not "shallow" at all.

You are one of the most skilled, emotive personal writers I've ever come across through blogs or books. You have an amazing ability to connect with your readers, and I feel like I truly know you since you don't try to hide who you are and aren't afraid to talk about things that are devastatingly, impossibly difficult. But I admire that you aren't afraid to infuse your blog with humor and light as well. Your blog is truly a beacon and a warm, welcoming place for anyone who's ever suffered and survived great loss or anyone who has known intense, searing, all-encompassing grief.

I'll be thinking of you even more this week and next and sending your family loving, healing thoughts and immeasurable strength as you endure that painful anniversary.

I hope you continue to find comfort and solace in your readership, community, friends, and family throughout September and beyond.

You are loved, and I will never, ever forget Jack's story and his positive impact on the world. He has left an indelible mark on me, really, truly. His life was 12 years of wonder, sweetness, curiosity, and joy.

Anonymous said...

I am glad you have your writing as a way to express yourself. Your writing is inspiring to so many. It is such a gift. Some people "wear their heart on their sleeve" and others choose to be more private. I cry at commercials. And yet, I find I don't like to speak about my brother who is dying. People try to be supportive. But each day I find I feel different. Some days, I feel I will cry in an instant. Others I feel very robotic about it. I sometimes think people think I am cold or uncaring. I just need to deal with it in my own way. Just because it is your own way... doesn't mean it is the wrong way. From what I can read... you are doing an amazing job. I hope you keep writing and inspiring all of us.

Thanks, Julie

Dana said...

It is by pure randomness that I came across your blog (a facebook friend shared your photo of holding Jack) that I read your story. I cannot begin to imagine the pain you endured in losing your child. It brought me to tears...but your writing is amazing and beautiful - raw honesty. Thank you for sharing your words with us. My thoughts are with you as you remember Jack and "feel" your feelings. God bless you.

Sharon said...

You could be my sister, we are so much alike, it freaks me out! My thoughts and prayers are with you right now at what must be such a difficult milestone.

Anonymous said...

I can relate to every word you said. I am the same way and to have such dramatic things happen in my life like losing my ten year old to cancer, is not like me. To become the centre of attention was scary for me.

Chrisy said...

Write on, mama. XO

Marinka said...

I never thought of it in these terms, but this is just stunningly beautiful. I look forward to your writing every day. (No pressure!)

Ann-Marie Johnson said...

Through your blog, you have been sharing the very real journey of your life. The realness and rawness of your writing speaks Truth and is so deeply rooted in Reality. Truth and Reality can be real and raw.

As I walked with my son through the halls of Middle School during 7th grade orientation last week, I fought back the tears. My lips quivered. I thought of you and your family. My heart was breaking. How much more must your hearts still break? Real and Raw. Truth and Reality.

What to do? Be Real and face the Truth. Get myself together. Savor those around me. Reach out to you in tangible ways to be present with you.

I so deeply pray that each of you are embraced warmly by the presence of so many, uplifted, and carried through the coming days and years. I pray that the love is Real and True.

With love,

Ann-Marie

anymommy said...

I understand this perfectly and I think (in terms of feelings and grief) we are very much the same. I know writing helps and I hope you always know we are listening.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you and your family SO much this week. Sending you prayers and hugs from across town.

PeachPrenni said...

Anna,
You are perfect just as you are, wonderfully made. I do not see you pushing any of this down and I would never describe you as numb. You are navigating your way through this and you are dealing with it. Your emotions come through in your writing--there's nothing bland about it. Love you.
Annie

OSMA said...

With all these firsts coming your way this week just wanted you to know I haven't stopped baking. Maybe the choc. chip cookies (and brownies that Sparrow ate) will show themselves to be transcendent too. I sure hope so.

Sending warm hugs for you to tuck away in your back pocket.

xoxoxo

Laura said...

I keep coming back to read this one.
You are anything BUT robotic. (and I'm not just saying that because you have so perfectly described my 'lack of drama' / 'just keep swimming' personality. ;-))
Your calm, honest, matter-of-fact yet still full of feeling approach to life ~ with respect to both the good and crappy hands it deals ~ is most admirable. This type of attitude and thought process will not only help to guide you through your days, but will continue to inspire countless others ~ those fortunate enough to know you in person, and those of us who love to come here to read your beautiful words . . . and pretend like we do.
xoxo

befriendingfaith said...

Anna,

I know exactly what you are talking about. I've even been accused of not sharing enough with people - it's like they think I'm hiding my ups and downs from them. But the thing is, I'm just not having many of them.

I don't think we're living lives as robots. I truly believe that we are here to help balance each other out. Somebody needs to be stable in times of great stress. Somebody needs to be able to pick up the pieces when others are puddled up on the floor.

And, sometimes, when our lows get really low, as infrequent as that may be, those very same friends we have supported year after year are there for us too.

It works. It really does.

Thinking of you this week and missing Jack for you. We may not thrash around wailing when sorrow hits us, but we feel it just the same.

Blessings - Holly

Anonymous said...

You aren't plodding. You are strong, that's what that is.

Jana said...

Agreed. On how writing helps you FEEL. Total agreement. And I love your writing :)

Anonymous said...

During the darkest moment in your life, you remembered to put out cheese and crackers for your neighbor with the low blood sugar.

A plodder, you are not.

kimber said...

I love how you feel out loud. I process things through writing, too, but I have my outwardly dramatic, too. I hate it when I'm maligned unfairly and I wear my heart on my sleeve. My kidneys are strategically placed right behind my eyeballs. Seriously. Watch out. Those puppies squirt out at a 90° angle from my face.
I am thinking and praying for you. So very thankful you are covered in prayers this year. Enduring the suckaversary with you, friend. {{hugs}}

Heidi said...

Writing is good for that - to articulate those feelings. I often find I don't how I'm feeling until I begin to type. It's a great tool to have. And not only is it a tool for you, it's a gift too. You are a lovely, lovely writer.
I come from a family where there is much drama, so I enjoy even and calm. Scott is supremely calm which is one of the things I love about him the most. I might not be the most even person, but I certainly appreciate it. And need it.

Sharon said...

I'm with you Anna. No drama for me either please! I've come to understand that with the bad/sad/scary feelings (that I try so desperately to avoid) comes the joy (that high, that rush, that connection with life and others) and so I choose to live my life with hope. Knowing that there will be rough times, but always looking forward with hope and joy that can be found in most situations. I think it's called resilience and you've certainly proved your mettle!

Amy said...

Have been thinking of you and your family extra often this week, and am sending up extra prayers today.

And I know it doesn't make it any better, but I wanted to tell you that I'm living life differently after knowing your story. Instead of thinking "I wish I could help" during times of need, I'm just doing. Writing a card to the grieving mother of an old classmate who died too young. Sending a box of Omaha steaks to a family we were stationed with, who just found out their 6 year old has a (curable!) cancer. Believing that We Belong To Each Other, and trying to live in a way that says so.

I would trade all that in a heartbeat to bring back your Jack of course, but since I can't, I'll be doing my best to live in a way that honors him. And honors all the mothers who have lost so much.

Anonymous said...

It makes me "feel" good to see someone else write this...this is very much what I'm like, and have always wondered if there's something missing in me, too...a wire that did not get connected or something. I think it's just me and that it's not necessarily a bad thing, but on the other hand, I also think it's valuable to consciously make the choice to "feel" things - if that makes sense? The head and the heart need to go together. I've learned that - painfully - in this life!

meadow rue merrill said...

Your writing is lovely, your story heartbreaking. I lost my own daughter, 7, just over a year ago to a condition we didn't even know she had. I'd taken her to dozens of doctors for her related CP, but not one had warned us of what took her life. I wrote when I could--mostly in a small journal--sometimes poems. It helps--not just for the writer but those who follow the rabbit trail of words through the woods of grief.