Thursday, February 21, 2008

Happy Birthday Superman!

Ryan is 7 today. Can you believe it? I can't. Seven years he has graced our lives with his laughter and love. Do you remember the pictures Annette posted last September of him in his Superman costume? He is larger than life! (Does that phrase even make sense? But I still like the sound of it and even if the phrase doesn't make sense, I still think it applies to Ryan!) Ryan, you are loved by all of your family, always have been and always will be, now and forever. Have a wonderful day!

Ryan had a Pirate Party last Saturday with 25 of his closest pals! The kids wore costumes and ran around like pirates after too much rum! Ryan looked so cute in his swash-buckling pirate costume. The black around his eyes is make-up. He also had a great pirate ship cake. What a fun day the kids had! There was also a magician who kept the kids entertained for over an hour (as all the adults breathe a sigh of relief!)

Oh, and it only took me 3 hours to upload the pictures on my dial-up! (Kidding, but close!)

Here We Are

We are here. We are quiet. Quiet and contemplative, I think. Reality is setting in. The road into the valley narrows and deepens, at least for me. Two months. It seems like it has been so long since I've talked to Annette, and yet it seems so fast. Two months can seems like such polar opposites; so fast and yet a lifetime ago. The same can be said for Grief. Some days (some moments...), it is managable and the large picture is so evident. Other moments, it is heavy and never ending. The light at the end of the tunnel seems like a pin-point at best. I am learning to ride the waves and experience each emotion as it comes. Because I feel good today, does not ensure I'll feel that way tomorrow. Because I feel so down today, does not mean I'll feel that way tomorrow. Such is the journey we travel.

I am an avid reader and have read several books on grief. It is good that someone has charted this journey for me and told me which landmarks to look for. I find that immensely helpful. I like knowing what to expect, although I know everyone grieves differently. I take hope and comfort in knowing I am not the first to travel the road.

Someone close to me shared an analogy of her grief. To her, grief is like a cloak. Some days it is a heavy cloak to bear, ever present and cumbersome. Other days, it is like a light spring cloak, still there, but easy to carry. I long for the days when the spring cloak will be on my back on the majority of my days.

We continue to covet your prayers more than ever as the journey becomes more difficult. Your friendship and love help carry us through and help to lighten our cloaks.

Monday, February 11, 2008

In Memory of Meta

At some point during her treatment, Annette sat in the cancer clinic waiting room. Another patient and she began small talk. It turned out that this co-patient belonged to the same denominational church as Annette in another city. Annette felt compelled to share that Ryan had Down Syndrome, which she normally did not share in the course of small talk conversation. It turned out that Meta had a foster sibling with Down Syndrome. The two felt a strong connection after finding so many similarities about their lives and developed an immediate and strong bond. At the prayer service last fall, Annette was very committed in her desire to also pray for Meta and Marisa. Meta was able to attend the service and it was moving to see the two women in such similar circumstances embrace each other in tears and love.

Meta made the trip to the visitation after Annette died. I know it was an effort filled trip. I told Meta how much her friendship meant to Annette and she also proclaimed the same. She then told me that she was even a little jealous of Annette that now her pain was over and she was in heaven.

Meta finished her fight and now is pain free in heaven. I'm sure they had a wonderful reunion together. Tom was able to visit with Meta one last time the week before she died.

We think of her husband and children as they journey the valley of grief and pray for their peace. Meta was 53.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

The Horizon

I am standing upon the seashore.
A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.
She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud on the horizon.
Just where the sea and the sky come to mingle with one another.
Then someone at my side says, "There, she is gone."
"Gone where?"
Gone from my sight. That is all.
She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side,
And she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her.
And just at the moment when someone at my side says.
"There, she is gone," there are other eyes watching her coming,
And other voices ready to take up the glad shout:
"Here she comes!"
And that is dying.

Henry Scott Holland