You are welcome here.

I cannot believe my last post was more than two years ago. I thought about what I would post a million times in my head, but never returned here to detail my thoughts.

What a two years it has been. I’m still incredibly lost without my grandfather. June 2016 marked 4 long years without him.

I have experienced more tragedy than I ever thought possible. Since 2012 I’ve lost my cousin and grandpa in horrific car accidents. In 2013, I lost my Grandmother after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. The next year my cousin lost her sweet baby girl a short while after she was born. Later in 2014, my husband and I lost our sweet second child we were expecting at 10 weeks. That same November my Uncle was diagnosed with liver cancer and died in March of 2015. I just 4 short years, I have lost 6 loved ones. How in my 27 years have I lost this many close loved ones. It doesn’t seem fair.

I had been so naïve. So innocent. It is unbearable at times. I want nothing more than to give up at times. To throw in the towel and linger in my sorrow.

I’m alone in the house today. My husband and son are out and there is nothing but stillness. Last night I had a dream. A dream in which my Uncle was healthy, happy, alive. It was such a beautiful, overwhelming peace for just a few moments. I wished it were true. I wish all my loved ones were still here today.

So much has changed since I started detailing my thoughts four years ago, yet so much remains the same. My heart is still broken. Still lost. I cannot help but weep thinking of how much has changed. You know how much I despise change.

I wouldn’t have been able to survive without my trust and hope in the Lord. He has sustained me time and time again. Although there have been times where I’ve wanted to scream and shout at Him for my brokenness, it is He who has carried me through. I never thought I’d recover from the loss of my own sweet child, but I am still standing. Never moving on or forgetting, but moving forward knowing He knows what’s best. I hope each and every one of you knows the Lord. Loves Him the way He loves you. Unconditional. I still struggle with my faith. It seems easier at times to forget it. Let it go by the wayside. It’s easier to give up. However, He has not given up on you and never will.

“Holy Spirit you are welcome here. Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere. Your glory God is what our hearts long for. To be overcome by your presence Lord.”

God help me. Help me remember my loved ones. Help me to remember all the love we shared. Help me to keep them a part of me, always. Help me to always be cognizant of the time I have left on earth. Help me to make the very most of every moment you give me. Of every breath you give me. Help me to share your unconditional, overwhelming love with others. Help me to be more like you and less like me. Lord, I love you. Thank you for everything. Thank you for giving me all the years with each of my loved ones. Thank you for giving me 10 amazing weeks with my sweet child, growing inside of me. God I trust in you. And in you alone.

The world is filled with so much hatred, anger, and violence. May we hear your voice above all the noise, and be still for just a moment to appreciate the good around us.

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Another year gone by…

Two years ago today marks a day that will be forever changed. A day that will forever plague and haunt my dreams. I cannot believe that two years ago today I watched my grandpa breathe in and out his last breaths. I can still hear the shrill cries of my mother and aunt as they collapsed over his body when the nurse pronounced him dead.  The weeping and sobbing of a grown man over the phone as my aunt delivered the news to my cousin. 

It seems like it’s been an eternity since my world came crashing down, yet it seems like it was just yesterday. Two years and yet I still feel stuck. A part of me wants to bury myself and hide away from the world, while the other part of me tells me to keep pressing onward. 

I wish I could visit him. I wish he was buried so I could have an actual place to go. I sometimes feel as if he is slipping away. More so now than when he actually did slip away from this earth. I know it’s been awhile since I’ve written…life gets in the way. In February on his birthday, I took a walk in one of his favorite parks. And on that cold, wintery day, I felt him in the breeze and the trees. Telling me that he was still with me always and forever. 

I haven’t cried today…I don’t think I will but the day is not quite over. I thought for sure I would. I don’t want it to seem as if I’m moving on and getting over his death. I’ll never be over this! I will never allow my heart to accept that he is truly gone forever. It wouldn’t be fair. I can only become more accustomed to his absence. They say you never get over something like this…only learn to live without. 

I cannot believe two years ago I said my final goodbye. I know it’s not forever but it’s hard to get up each day knowing that I will never see you here on this earth again. I could really use a hug right now grandpa. Won’t you visit me tonight? 

As tears well up in my eyes, I’m reminded of your love and peace. And I know you are home. 

Until we meet again. All my love. 

-LC

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One Year Later…

I have been dreading this day. Dreading this journal entry. For one entire year, I have thought about this moment. Cried about this moment. Dreaded this moment.

One year ago, I was helplessly watching my grandpa die. June 13 of last year, he was in a serious motor vehicle accident that left him badly broken. June 20 of last year, we took him off life support and watched the man we all loved and adored, slip away from us. June 21 of last year, after fighting strong for 17 hours, my grandpa breathed his last breath at 10:01 AM.

It seems like it was just yesterday. I’m back in the corner ICU room overlooking the church with the pretty cross on top. I’m holding his hand and stroking his face. I’m cracking jokes to hide the pain inside. I’m breaking down when I see my dad cry. I cannot believe that it has been one year already. So many years still to go until we are reunited.

At the same time, it feels like an eternity. It seems forever ago that I was getting the call that changed my entire life. It seems like forever ago that I held his hand and sang to him. It seems like forever ago when I saw him for the last time.

I find myself thinking of him everyday. My thoughts of him cannot escape my mind. I never want them to escape. I never want to forget my grandpa. What he looked like. What he sounded like. His laugh, his chuckle, the raspy-ness of his voice. I never want to forget what his hugs feel like. Or his kisses, even if he had popcorn stuck to his lips. I never want to forget the unconditional love he had for me. For my sisters, cousins, and for his children.

I cannot believe this day is upon us. Today for most people is but another day. A day that comes and a day that goes. Nothing special. Today is a day and the past few days are days I will never forget. I will never forget the last images I have stuck in my head. I’ve never watched anyone die before. I’ve never seen anyone take their last breath. I’ve never heard the shrill cries I heard from my mother and aunt. I’ve never heard a man sob the way my cousin did when he received the phone call that changed his life.

There are so many things I still wanted to do. So many things I wanted to say and to ask. Grandpa, I loved you so much and you were truly the best grandpa to us. You loved each and every one of us and always did everything you could to make sure we were taken care of. Thank you for picking us up every Saturday morning and taking us to the tractor museum. Thank you for letting us go crazy and play in your house. Thank you for having goodies, especially your iced oatmeal cookies, in your house. Thank you for hiring Santa Claus each Christmas when we were little. But especially grandpa, thank you for your love. You taught me what it means to love someone completely, 100% unconditionally. I am so proud of the man you were and respect what it took to get there. You have left me, you have left us a legacy that must be carried forever. I carry you in my heart. I carry you in my thoughts. I carry you in my love.

You will not see me,

so you must have faith.

I wait for the time when

we can soar together again,

both aware of each other.

Until then, live your life to

its fullest and when you need me,

just whisper my name in your heart,

I will be there.

Grandpa, I need you. We need you.

Until we meet again. Always in my heart. Love you more than anything.

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Another Glance

I saw my grandpa. I was at the mall with my husband and son and saw him. I had to take a second and third glance. An older, skinnier gentleman sitting across the way looked exactly like him. I about broke down in tears. What I wouldn’t give to have another glance at him.

I’ve been obsessed lately with the song “Dance with my Father Again.” My favorite version is a little boy signing his heart out. It can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQMeeIvSsDw. Trust me, it’s good!

The lyrics are completely my heart. What I wouldn’t give to get another chance, another walk, another dance with him (although we never danced). If we did dance, I certainly would play a song that would never, ever end! What I wouldn’t give for another opportunity to see his face light up, his smile, his chuckle. I for sure knew I was loved. I never thought he’d be gone from me, forever.

Tuesday was 11 months since he slipped away from us. 11 months of agony, fear, shock, grief…the list goes on. It seems as if it only gets worse with time; Not the other way around. My heart longs for him. I long for him. I feel as if I cannot face this world without him. He was our rock. Our protector. Our dear old grandpa buck.

Next month will be the one year anniversary of his death. What I wouldn’t give for one more dance, one more moment, one more glance. I miss you.

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Happy Birthday.

Wednesday would have been my grandpa’s 77th birthday. I originally wanted to write Wednesday night but my thoughts still can’t seem to wrap around how he’s not here to celebrate. I shouldn’t have to write about my grandpa’s birthday because he should be here to celebrate. He’s not. He is never coming back.

Every birthday my mom always reminded us girls to call our dear old grandpa and wish him a happy birthday. Our conversations consisted of me telling him happy birthday, him asking how i’m doing, me asking how he’s doing, and him finishing by telling me to come visit. I should have visited more. I should have spent more time with him. Now i’m alone and he is gone. I miss him. I miss his voice. I miss being able to call him. Now I only have two voicemails he left on my mom’s phone the week he died.

My family put flowers at his crash site on Wednesday to remember him. I drove by there today. I drove by his old house today. I think the major reason I cannot seem to move forward is because I’m stuck. My grandpa didn’t die at the crash site. He died in the hospital. My grandpa wasn’t buried. He was cremated. I don’t have a place to visit him. To remember him. Not that I need a place, because I know it was his wish to be cremated, but I need a place. I can’t just waltz into the hospital room where he breathed his last breath and remember him.

His house is vacant. A window is broken. His last name is still painted on the mailbox in his silly handwriting. I don’t think of it as his house much because he had only moved there a few years ago. I still pains me that my family had to let his house go. He wouldn’t want his gate open. He wouldn’t want his house, there, completely vulnerable. He always protected what he had. Took pride in what he had. Worked hard for what he had.

Tomorrow our family is getting together to celebrate his birthday together. I am wrapping myself up with baking goodies to keep my mind off the pain. I would rather stay home, alone, and wallow in my sadness and grief. I hate crying in front of people. I hate seeing my mom cry. Oh the pain she is in. I worry about her.

Grandpa,

I love you more than anything. I am sorry for the lack of time spent with you these past few years. Thank you for always being the best grandpa to us. You helped in so many ways and I will never be able to say thank you enough. I hope I made you proud of the woman I have and am becoming. Thank you for loving me unconditionally. I’m sorry that I didn’t always show my love to you. I know you are having a blast in heaven and causing trouble. Oh won’t you visit me in my dreams? You’ll always be more than just a memory. I love you from the bottom of my heart.

Happy birthday grandpa.

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Another Year

Wow. It has been over four months since my last post. I’ve needed to get back on here as a way of healing. Writing my words and thoughts allows me to heal…or at least thats what I think. So much has happened over these past four months.

The holidays. My grandpa was always a huge fan of the holidays. Mainly because of the food, but also because of the family gatherings. He would always get absolutely full, talk with everyone for a few moments and then go home. He was such a character. It was weird without him this thanksgiving. We made the most with what we had and the entire family got together, which was nice. There was still a piece of each of us missing and everyone knew it, but no one said anything. I felt so bad for my mom. She is full of pain and brokenness and I wish I could take it all from her. She’s not the same.

Christmas..again, we all got together but it was missing. Missing his chuckle. His raspy voice. His digging into the food before anyone else. His gifts. He used to get me and my sisters and cousins gifts every year for Christmas. It could be anything from $2, to a baby doll (black of course…his girlfriend was black), or a box of stale chocolate covered cherries. Oh my word. We’ve started to celebrate every event with chocolate covered cherries. I hate those things. They are so disgusting but anytime I see a box, I’m reminded of him and his thoughtfullness. I bought a huge box after Christmas and am saving it for next Christmas…so it can be stale like the ones he gave us. Oh how he made us laugh.

I’ve been doing ok. Pretty much at a standstill. I still have my moments but they are becoming far and few. Mainly because life is so busy and hectic, I feel like I don’t have time for it. I hate to admit it because it’s nice not being depressed and crying all the time, but at the same time, I feel like I’m letting him go. I miss him so much and what I wouldn’t give to have another chat with him. Or to see him laugh and play with my son. I miss him so. When I actually sit down and focus my thinking on him, of course it becomes an emotional time (as I type this of course i’m tearing up).

2012 came to an end and I am so thankful for that. 2012 was one of the worst years. I lost my cousin in a tragic car accident in April and lost my grandpa the same way in June. Life is so fragile. Tomorrow is never guaranteed. 2012 forced me to realize that life is so precious and the relationships you have with others is so important. Cherish every moment. Laugh with your loved ones. Tell them you love them. Tell them often! Visit them frequently. Take your picture with them. Frame it. Hold it close to your heart.

2013 is but another year for me. I’ve never been into making resolutions or goals or whatnot. In 2013 and all the days of my life I want to love God deeper. Further His kingdom. Hold close the memories of the ones who have gone before me and cherish the time I have left with those still here. Day by day it gets a little easier. Day by day it gets one step closer. One step closer to seeing those who have gone before me. I cannot wait for the way I see my Grandpa again, but for now…for 2013 and the rest of my life…i’m going to live life to the fullest. Cheers to you and yours.

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Losing

Everyday is a battle. Every day I wake up not knowing whether or not it will be a good day. tI seems like lately I’ve been going through the motions just to get me through. I look back on each day as I lay my head down and everything is a blur. I have to function to continue moving on, but I can’t do this any longer.

I’m alive but I’m losing all my drive.

I’m losing this fight and I can’t take it anymore. I can’t bear the pain in my life. I can’t bear the thought of losing those around me. It’s been so hard even with my Grandpa, but I know this isn’t the end of loss. I hate this part of life. I hate this part of growing old. Of course I couldn’t sleep tonight because I replayed those last moments in my mind. I wish things could have turned out differently. I can’t stand the sight of seeing those I love in pain.

I wish I could take it away. I wish I could take this hurt and brokenness away from the ones I love and from my own life. I can’t. God, take this pain away. I can’t bear it any longer. I’m breaking, beyond my brokenness already.

That’s what I love about Jesus. That he takes all our pain and suffering away from us, and then some. I am saved by His Grace and His love. Lord, help me to overcome this pain.

My attitude has been so negative and critical. I don’t know where the turning point was. I never used to be this way. So much has happened in my life that I wish I could reverse and do it again. I can’t stand the person I’m allowing myself to become. I don’t want to be this way, but I’m losing. I battle against myself day after day and each day I continue to lose. I want people to see God’s love through me and see the kind of man my Grandpa was. He instilled so many great qualities and ethics into our lives.

I feel as if I’m falling apart and at any moment, I’m going to end. I can’t live my life like this. I want to get away but I don’t want to keep running. I know i’m rambling and this probably sounds crazy and as if I’m not even making sense. I wish you could see my thoughts, actions and motives. I feel as if no one understands. I know God understands my heart.

I hate the way I act towards people, especially my family. I’m not angry or upset with any of you or anything you’ve done. I’m just angry all the time and I don’t know why. I act like I’m better than others, when I know I am most certainly not. I judge people based on how they act, look and talk. Who am I to judge? Why am I acting this way? I’m not a child anymore.

Today at church, we talked about surrendering our lives and living as a living sacrifice. That’s what my dear Grandpa did. That’s exactly what I need to do. God help me day by day to allow you to control my day. I know I’m a control freak but please Lord help me to give everything to you. I can’t live my life this way. I can’t take the pain, the anger and the hurt anymore. I don’t want to do this anymore God. Please Lord help me.

Help me to overcome this battle going on inside of me. Lord, don’t let me drown in this sea of pain. Help me to live like you and be a living sacrifice to you. Help me to live the way my Grandpa did. I know he wouldn’t want us to be hurting and cry over him. I know he wants us to cling together as a family and love each other unconditionally, always. Help me to start that.

I know that I cannot escape the end. I know the end is inevitable for all. I know that someday the ones I love the most will be no more. I know that someday I will take my last breath on this earth. However, I do also know that the end is not the end. I may lose my life here on earth, but I know that when that day comes, I will meet my Grandpa and loved ones again in Heaven. I will rejoice with my Savior at last. What a glorious day that will be and I know that because He lives, I can face tomorrow.

Romans 8:38-39

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Chaos

I can use one word to describe what life has been like since my last post.

Chaos

Life has been so chaotic lately. Life is always going, going, going. I’ve been meaning to write here since I’ve had a lot on my mind and I’ve had a lot of really bad days since the last entry. My son is turning one this month (which is so crazy to think about) and I was mailing his invites to our family. I started to write one for my Grandpa and realized, “Oh, yeah…I can’t do that.” Gosh, it’s so unbelievable that he is really gone. For those of you reading this, you’re probably sick of me talking about this and constantly going back and forth. I feel like I get a couple great days and take a few steps forward, only to be hit with something that takes me miles back. It’s a lot like the patients I see at the hospital. I feel for them. They have a great few days, getting healthier and stronger, only to see them regress and move back into the ICU. I feel like that daily.

I’ve been going through the motions lately. I feel as if everything and everyone around me is moving at super speed and I cannot slow anything down. I’ve come to the realization that I cannot control anything. Life is continually happening all around us and it’s up to us to seize every moment we have. Life is precious, emotional, amazing and we only get one chance.

I’ve been keeping all of my grief and emotions inside, locked away so that only I can get to it. My husband keeps telling me I need to talk about my grief to heal. I know this is true, but I feel that if I talk about it, I will be letting go.

Letting go of him.

I don’t ever want to lose the memories I have of my dear Grandpa. He’s the only Grandpa I ever knew. I don’t want to forget his scent, his voice, his laugh or his smile. Gosh, he had the nicest smile. One of those from the corner of his mouth, almost like he was about to play a trick on someone. He was so loving.

This blog continues to be an outlet for me to vent my true feelings and for that, I thank each and every one of you that reads this. It’s like I can share my Grandpa’s memory with you and the rest of the world. I wish you could’ve met him. You would never forget him and he’d never forget you were his friend.

I’m taking each day at a time. Day by day; step by step. That’s what I tell my patients. You can’t magically resolve things overnight. They take time and as much as I hate time, right now it’s on my side.  I must make the most of every moment I’m given on this earth because someday my time on earth will run out. I cannot wait for the day I meet my Savior and am reunited with my family and friends. Until then, I will work on being “quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” James 1:19

I will work on loving one another with a deep, meaningful love. I will work on not judging others and saying hateful things about others. I want my family and friends to remember me as loving all unconditional. The love that my Grandpa had for everyone, even if he just met you. I want my son to know what his Great-Grandpa was like and only his mommy can show him that same love. For each person reading this, know that God loves you and so do I.

Afterall, love is all you need.

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The Inevitable

Again tonight I cannot sleep. Not, though, because my mind is racing but because I am full of hope tonight.

Today was a good day. A good day in a really long time. It felt good for once to rejoice all day. I’ve been trying to draw closer to God through this whole mess and haven’t always felt near to Him. Today our pastor preached on change.

Change is inevitable. Our response isn’t.

I’ve been so caught up in change that I’ve allowed it to consume me. Consume my life. I think I’ve been having a pity party for myself because of how busy, stressed, and emotionally broken I am. I’ve lashed out on the ones I love and wouldn’t allow myself to experience joy anymore. Today I allowed God to break through the barrier that I’ve allowed to overcome me.

I know my grandpa wouldn’t want me to not move on. And I’m most certainly not moving on, just moving forward. I know he wouldn’t want me to sit around and pity myself with grief. He would want to me get up, shake it off and experience life the way he did. To its fullest! That’s the kind of man he was. The type who wouldn’t let change overcome him and be consumed with fear. He’d look change right in the eye and mow it over with his scooter. Oh yes he was a scooter man. He loved riding his mopeds. But that’s for a later time.

He wouldn’t allow change to overtake his life. He would move forward and keep on keeping on. That’s what I am going to do. I am allowing myself time still to grieve, to be stressed and just to have bad days every now and then. However, I can and will change my response to the change. Lately, as I’ve stated previously, I have been so consumed with anger that every little thing has made me blow a fuse. That’s not the type of person I want to be. When I die, I want people to remember me as a loving person. Unconditional. Just like my grandpa.

Yes I have a busy life. And yes I have days where I don’t even have a minute to breathe, but don’t we all? Why am I so privileged to act in a negative way as the result? I’m not! From here on out, I will change the way I respond to situations and others.

I want to live out my grandpa’s legacy and what better way to do that than by moving forward? I may still look back every now and then, but it will only be on memories. I will no longer let the fear of change consume me and keep a chokehold on me. I will respond with unconditional love, just the way grandpa did.

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Downward Spiral

Again I sit here, typing this entry at the wee hours in the morning. It’s 1:29 my time. Again I cannot sleep because my mind races. Welcome to my life. Welcome to this nightmare.

I feel as if my life is flying by and going in a downward spiral. I feel as if time has become my own worst enemy. Why do we allow time to become masters of our lives? Of the universe? We have strict schedules and deadlines and when something goes off the course, we crash. I feel as if I am going to crash. With time always on my mind, I feel as if I will shatter at any given moment.

I hate it. I hate this stupid feeling. I hate time. My grandpa’s time ran out and I keep thinking about mine. There are so many things I want to do. Things I want to see, but time has become my worst enemy. My greatest fear.

I think i’ve always been afraid of death. Deep down. I don’t think I admitted it and still to this day, it is rare that I speak outloud about this topic. I get anxious and start to panic when I think about my time running out. Oh gosh, I can feel it already. The panic in my mind. My heart racing. Why do I let time and fear govern my life? My grandpa didn’t. He lived his life so rich and full, you’d never know his time was running out. Neither did I.

It still is so crazy to talk about him. How he used to be. Why can’t it be how he is? Why can’t he be here now? Doesn’t he know that I need him? That we all need him? I’m at a breaking point. I’m so angry all the time. It shouldn’t have happened like this. Not now. Not here.

It’s all that I think about. It’s constantly on my mind. I cannot escape from my own reality. I keep expecting something to change. Something to snap me out of this and make everything go back to normal. I know though that from this point on, nothing will ever be the same. I’m scared. I only know that as time goes on, the ones I love, will run out of time.

Hug the ones you love a little tighter. Kiss them more often. Let go of the past and of any hurt they may have caused you or someone you love. Forgive them. Tell them you love them as many times as possible, because you never know when the time is up. Yours or theirs. What I wouldn’t give for another day to share with my grandpa.

I love you grandpa. Until we meet again…

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