Two Years

Two years ago the shrill ringing of the phone
broke the silence of a peaceful night.
Quiet words were spoken and heart-wrenching sobs
came welling up from deep within.

Two years.
What are two years in a lifespan?
A minor drop in the bucket.
What are two years grieving a death?
The feeling of a lifetime.

T 3-07

Tris, we miss you still, we always will.
So much remains the same,
so much about us has changed.

We still congregate at Mom’s
because we love to be together.
We still sit around the table and talk,
catching up on each other’s lives.
We still sit around the fire outside,
but now we watch the sky, the moon,
knowing you are somewhere out beyond.

T 5-14

We still speak your name,
in a good memory, a loud story
or something we know you would love.
We laugh more, cry less,
but miss you just the same.
The ache in our hearts is still there
because you are still missing.

T 4-12

The children are growing, changing,
getting taller without permission.
They miss the kickball games, roasting marshmallows,
playing in the shop, and long bumpy jeep rides with you.
Tyson has a little girl now.
I know how excited you would have been for him
and all the advice and comments you would have had.
Your two girls are growing up, tall and sweet,
becoming beautiful little ladies.
And your son, He is so much like you in so many ways.
I know you would have laughed
and loved to see him in action like we do.

T 7-14

In the middle of missing you,
we are so grateful and thankful.
It was our privilege to have you
as part of our lives, our family.
We are so thankful to be the ones
who knew you best, the real you.
We smile when we remember your laugh
and are thankful for all our conversations.
Our lives would be so much less
if we had not had almost 33 years with you,
and for all those years, we are grateful.

T 6-15

Time keeps moving along,
often with us dragging our feet.
Some days it feels like we never move,
others we look back to the beginning
and see the far distance we have come.
We would not be where we are today
if it were not for Jesus.
He gives us grace to face each day,
courage to rise on the next,
and strength to put another foot forward
to keep walking this journey.

T 11-12

Two years ago our hearts were broken,
never to be the same again.
As we knelt at the side of that upturned dirt
we whispered, “Good-bye for now,
we’ll be there soon!”

Tris, we miss you still, we always will.

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Christmas ’16

Christmas this year bounces around in my brain as having hit every emotion in the playbook. There are sometimes in life that words cannot accurately describe and this is one of them.  So, it shall stay like that for you and continue bouncing around in my brain until I get it figured out.

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The grandkid status at Mom’s hangs heavy in the 3-7 year range and they are often B-O-R-E-D! We talked Madison into playing a game with a few of them.

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Mr. Jaxon was happy to eat instead of play!

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He is at a fun age right now and Dakota got a kick out of playing with him.

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These two goobers, they found my grandma’s old glasses and tried them on.

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Waiting. Maybe patiently, maybe not.

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A new Jeep shirt! We’re all about Jeeps around here.

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We had Katelyn’s name and about the time we started searching for the perfect gift, Sarita told me she had Reagan’s name and she had just bought her a vest. So with Reagan’s help, we “came across” this vest that was almost too wonderful to behold.  We bought it for Katelyn and when it came in the mail, she was just beside herself in love. We were all grinning when we watched her open her own gift to find a matching vest.

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Sometimes people open their mouths and say a lot of things and then get mysterious packages with no name attached. 🙂

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Tristan’s favorite song was “The Old Rugged Cross” and this song came true for him when he exchanged the cross for a crown.

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There were two oddly wrapped boxes with Sarita’s and my names on them. One was heavy and one was light. We had our guessing game going and found out that almost everyone (but us) knew what was in these boxes. In a weak moment, due to some well-asked questions, Nick opened his mouth to tell me but Max shut him off just in time. 🙂

Tys went above and beyond and made both of us something special. A camera for me and a little tricycle for Sarita! He is a welder by trade and it carries over into his hobbies. He turns out some pretty cool things from his imagination.

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The wheels roll, pedals turn and it’s just as cute as can be.

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The lens turns for a little manual focus and the front has a jeep grill and a cross in memory of Tris.

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The chain around the edge comes from a dirt bike and he listed all the other parts and where they came from, but I can’t remember. The flash on top pops up also.

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I don’t know what it’s called, but the round thing inside on the right rolls with a little push. I guess it’s a modern/antique and you use that to wind up your film roll.

Stop in sometime and I’ll let you touch it. 🙂

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I had Tyson’s name and wanted to buy him something in memory of Tris. Anyone who knew Tris knew that Jeeps were his hobby. He often roared around in an old red Willy Jeep, usually loaded with kids. I looked for a little jeep like this everywhere on the www. Everything was either over my price range or not very nice. I was almost ready to give up when this one popped up on eBay at just the right time and price. It felt like God had gifted me with this and in the end, it meant more to me than if I had found it as soon as I started looking.

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Later we all took a splat to the face with a little pie face game.
Well, maybe not quite all of us. 🙂

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We inhaled much good food, had lots of good conversations and all the while dealt with kiddos that kept passing the stomach flu around.
We talked about Tris, retold his favorite stories and missed him so very much!

~~~

My thoughts for 2017 …
“With God’s daily supply of grace, I am able.”

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Our Silent Companion, Grief

Things are different now. We are missing a family member, one has gone before us leaving an empty spot in our home and hearts. Yet, we have gained an extra member, one that we are not so excited about having along side us for the rest of life. Our new family member’s name is Grief.

Grief likes to reside in the corners and at the most unexpected moments, he will tap you on the shoulder to make sure you know he is still around. He is not a friendly sort of fellow and he chooses the least appropriate times to show up. He likes to come along to church and torment you in public. Sometimes it’s the oddest places, when you pass a certain vehicle on the road or when you see an item in the grocery aisle. He is especially bad when you think you are home alone and in his quiet little way he will usually come around. Grief follows our footprints everywhere we go, at home or abroad.

With the changing of seasons, Grief always comes to life. Christmas is just around the corner and you can expect that he will appear for that too. When we pull out the boxes stuffed with decorations and lights, Grief will sneak up behind us and remind us of the one we are missing who loved Christmas so much. Grief digs up the memories of years gone by, reminding us that Christmas will never be the same again.

When the carols start playing, bells begin ringing and a quiet Silent Night is heard, Grief begins to play his own tune in our hearts. He stirs in the soul reminding us of the love of singing and carols. A tear makes its way down our cheek because singing just isn’t the same anymore, the carols have lost their sweet chime.

The names have been exchanged and we are off to do shopping, but sure enough, he sneaks along for the ride. Sometimes we could almost forget that he‘s there, then we glance at our list and wonder, “Why are there not enough names?” And there is Grief, tapping our shoulders to make sure we remember there is nothing to buy them this year, all of our gifts for them have been given.

We cook and we bake and all the while we are thinking about which person likes these desserts and who likes those sweets. Pretty soon Grief starts stirring and our minds go to those special cookies, the ones he loved so well, and the desire to bake anything just disappears.

Members of different families gather and happy chatter fills the room, people calling hello and catching up. We look around and wonder who is missing and suddenly Grief reminds us, it will always be this way, there will always be someone missing.

We call our family together, the children rustle and squirm in their seats. We look around the circle and each one is there, save one empty chair. Grief wails loudly, bringing attention to the spot, the one who is missing, yet forever in our hearts.

This member called Grief is like a needy child, constantly wanting our attention, crying to be heard and acknowledged. At times he hangs out in the background, quietly allowing some peace, but relentlessly he will surface, unable to let much time pass without a reminder. We can refuse to listen to him when he starts calling, or tell him to be quiet, but he will eventually become persistent enough that we have no choice but to acknowledge him.

Grief is now our ever-present companion, always tagging along. Not only is he with us over the Holidays, but we will live with him for the rest of time. Each time the season changes, every birthday and each beautiful fall day, he will be there. With time, we will get used to having him around but we will always carry Grief’s weight. Carrying him is the price of love, all because someone we loved so very much is missing from our life.

grief

One Year Gone

One year ago, early in the morning,
had one stood still and listened,
they would have heard
the whisper of angel’s wings
passing through the dark clouds.

You were awake,
ready and waiting,
pacing back and forth,
wondering what it was
you were feeling.
Something was happening,
you felt a tug, a pull,
a pounding heart,
but what was it, really?

Suddenly you realized
it was the voice of Jesus calling,
“Come home, my son!”
Lifting your face to the sky you replied,
“I’m coming, Jesus, I am coming!”

As softly as a feather
they lighted beside you
lying prone on the floor.
Lifting you gently into their arms,
with a soft flutter of wings
they took flight,
rising through the clouds,
whisking you away
to meet the One
who had called your name.

It was at that moment,
time stood still.
For you and for us.

I have no doubt the last year for you
has been so much better than ours.

Yours has been a day that has only begun.
Beginning with that flight on angel’s wings,
bursting into the golden light surrounding the city
and passing through the gates of pearl.
What a beautiful sight
your blue eyes must have beheld.
The streets of gold, the mansions glorious,
such beauty of which has never been told.

And there before you stood Jesus,
his nail pierced hands outstretched,
waiting for your entrance.
He had been watching you,
waiting for the moment of your arrival.
His eyes shining with love,
He reached and with a single touch,
you were made whole.

Falling to your knees,
you worshiped in praise and adoration,
in a way our finite minds cannot imagine.
Your day of glorious praise has only begun.

On that morning,
our day began completely different.
Bent low with grief,
our hearts were racked with pain.
Our beloved Tris had flown away
and we were left behind.
We cried out in anguish,
“Why Jesus, Why?”

We have spent the year
fighting for breath,
wondering how we will be able
bear this pain another day.
Tears have flown freely through
many sleepless nights,
we lie wondering,
“Will we live to see the dawn?”

We have spent the year
in awe of our faithful God
and his ways of carrying us through this.
The comfort and prayers of friends,
calls and whispered words.
Sweet peace in the middle of the storm,
which one knows only comes from above.
Days of weary battle
end with a beautiful rainbow in the sky.
Quiet moments, verses of Scripture,
a message just for us.

We have spent the year
missing you dreadfully.
The ache, the hole,
just gets bigger and bigger.
So many memories you have missed,
so many family times
when we longed to see you walk in.
Birthdays, anniversaries, Father’s day,
all passed by missing you.
You lived life so big,
so loud, so full,
and you are missed
in the very same way.

If I imagine you today,
it’s standing on those golden streets,
dressed in a glorious white robe,
praising Jesus.
Your arms lifted high,
you sway from one foot the other,
singing at the top of your lungs.

I imagine when it is our time to come
you’ll be right behind Jesus,
waiting at that gate to welcome us home.
Until then, we’ll keep fighting.
See you soon little brother.

He has achieved

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Of Words and Grief

Tris was a quote collector.
His phone was full of all kinds of screenshots, photos, memes, quotes and you name it. Imagine everything from serious to funny and he had it saved.
I can still hear him laugh when it was a good one.

Since October I have screenshot, scribbled down and saved more things then ever before. Words that jumped out at me from a book, something that helped right at that moment, or something that was sent to me in the mail or by text. I was looking through them and the vastness was overwhelming for a post, so I just picked out a few that I have saved or created lately.

Isaiah-43-2

Without this promise, there would be no hope.
Grief-walking is a sad and lonely road, but Jesus never leaves our side.

Gone

A beautiful word picture I never tire of reading.

Family grief

We’ll send the rest of our lives missing him.

Christs Holds

There are days when everything would just swirl down the drain if it weren’t for Jesus.

duck

Never assume a grief-walker is really okay just because everything looks okay.
They may laugh and seem to have a good time, but underneath they are paddling with all their might to keep their head above water.

grief-changes-us

It changes you alright.
It changes so much about you, sometimes you don’t even know who you are inside anymore.
It changes the way you look at life, changes your perspective.
You become a different you.

Helen Keller

This is not a family any of us wish to be part of, yet as we are ushered in the door, we are surrounded by loving, caring and concerned grief-walking members. They come with open arms, understanding hearts and many tears, for our pain and their own. They know how we feel because they’ve walked this road of grief. It is ugly to relive grief, yet they allow that pain to wash over them again and again, just to walk along side the next person coming through the door. And so we are family now, no matter how much we dislike it, we are part of this grief walking family, for the rest of our life.

Hope

Even the tiniest sliver of light can be seen on the darkest night. hope.

I need help

Hope Heals - Katherine Wolf

This one is hard. I read and re-read and shake my head and wonder how it can be true.

notions of grief

If only grief were five tidy steps we could process and be finished.

Isaiah 4110

Robert Rogers - Into the Deep

This! This sums things up very well.

waves of grief

 These waves have the strangest way of catching us when we least expect it. I was at a garage sale the other day and there sat a Jeep in the drive. It was one of those waves and I just couldn’t stop the tears. I have wanted to call him so many times to tell him about something I saw, something interesting or something that would make him laugh.

you will grieve -reality

You will never be the same, all the price of loving someone.

WeMayFindRelentless

We cannot lose hope;
without hope, we have no reason to go on.

He has achieved

This best described him. This is who he was.

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Six Months Later

Dear Tris,

Six months after you’re gone
finds us missing you still.
If possible, even more
than we did the day you left.

Six months later we have moments
when we smile and enjoy life again,
but no sooner then we laugh,
we remember our heartache.
You are always in the back of our minds,
never far from our thoughts
the ache of missing you clings close.

In our finite mind we wish
for just a few more moments with you.
However, knowing where you are,
could we really wish you back
to this sin cursed, cold and dark earth
filled with pain and sadness?

Your day has only begun,
the glories are immeasurable around you.
Forever springtime, flowers blooming
and gentle breezes blowing through the trees.
Green grass, fields of wheat, infinite beauty,
a feast for the eyes in every direction you look.

Heavenly sky

A stroll by the river of life brings a smile.
So many people to greet, to watch, to talk with,
you are enjoying every minute.
Martyrs and saints of old,
stories come alive in their presence.
You listen, you ask questions and finally,
you have answers so long wondered over.

A child’s hand tucks in yours as you stroll,
you look down and smile knowing
exactly whose hand you are holding.

As you walk along the street of gold,
your legs don’t ache, you don’t get tired,
for perfect health is yours as you stroll for miles.
You swoop the child into your arms
as you continue your journey.

Far in the distance is the sound of singing.
You hum along and whistle a few bars as you walk
and the closer you get, the clearer the melody.
Praises to Jesus, beautiful, glorious music,
a new song unlike anything you have ever heard.
You join the group, standing straight and tall
and with your head held high,
you sway back and forth as you belt it out,
acclamation to Jesus with the choir as one voice.

You move through the throngs,
anxious to see the one whom you adore.
As the choir lifts it’s voice in hallelujahs
your eyes behold the King in all His glory.
His nail pierced hands outstretched to you,
welcoming you into his embrace.
As the light of the Son surrounds you with glory,
you kneel at His feet in worship and know,
you are HOME.

Sunset

Save a place for me, I’ll be there soon.

Life ‘Round Here

~
Some days thoughts and questions swirl endlessly through my head, so many I don’t know how to start putting them into words. Many of them get scribbled, scratched and tucked away for another time and place. Not many of them make sense, at least not enough sense to be spread across the world wide web.

So instead of scaring you forever by giving you too much to read, here’s bits and pieces of our life lately.

~~~

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And then there was this one time that they got along so well they read a book together.

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These two.
The big one doth mucho mucho spoil the little one.
I think it’s all to hear the little one say,
“Madison is my faborite!”

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Somehow when I wasn’t looking, Mr D grew up and was old enough to go to school. I declare he was just born the other day. We thought we weren’t ready for him to go, but my oh me, these days of peacefulness sure are a beautiful thing. In his very own words, “I bet there will be not as much screaming around here when I am in school!”
To be sure, he is correct.

~~~

We went to FL for Spring Break the first of March
and it was just what the Dr ordered.
Days of swimming, sand castles, and eating.

FL 16 (1)

This sky spoke to me.
It is the closest thing I’ve seen to the light of heaven.

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On an evening when photos were suppose to be perfection,
this Mother had a healthy dose of reality dumped on her once again.
She then remembered other years and the outcome of
photo-shoots with these very same children.
Why did she get her hopes so high?
Will she never learn her lesson?
Tune in this fall when she tries it again.

FL 16 (3)

FL 16 (4)

I sat on this pier mornings and wrestled questions, thoughts and tears into subjection.
Or I tried. I’m not sure any progress was made. Coming to grips with certain things takes a long, long time and a lot of question asking of God.

FL 16 (5)

One morning the waves were madly beating all around me
and it felt very much like life at the moment.
As I sat on the pier, it didn’t budge an inch,
and I was reminded that I must rest in the only One
who is firmly anchored in the storms of life.
Nothing will shake Him, nothing will move Him,
He is in this with me for the long haul.

~~~

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We were in Indiana a few days.
Grandpa landscaped one day with a lot of help.
Or rather he tried, but it turns out some help is overrated.

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Jaxon is getting b i g so fast.
He has the sweetest of smiles (when he feels like it).

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I played hide and seek with Libby and her blanket.

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It was just good to spend time with these people again.
These are the ones who just ‘know’ without words, what you are feeling.

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Sunday Mom made deviled eggs for lunch. The rule of the day was anyone who ate an egg had to put the whole thing in their mouth and eat it in one bite. This was in honor of Tris’ method of eating deviled eggs, one gulp and it was gone. For some it was no problem ^^ while others struggled a bit, but they sure were good.

“`

One morning Dad called Mom and said to go out and look at the sky.
There it was, the Easter message so big and bright,
hanging right over us, just for us.

Cross

When we are in the middle of the storm, fighting fear and despair, it is then God gently reminds us, “Yesterday I died for you, today I live for you. Hold on to me, I will be here for you, because I love you.”