It’s been more than a year since I have typed a word on this blog. I always assumed that writing through the aftermath of Phoebe’s and our family’s tragedy would be cathartic, but it has not proven so. What I didn’t anticipate was the all-encompassing fog that grief wraps around the mind. Cohesive thought becomes a luxury, and the ability to remember dates, appointments, or conversations might as well be a super-power.
Articulating the roller-coaster ride without flying off the rails into raw, unbridled emotion has also been difficult to master. It has been more simple and less dangerous to just be quiet. Trying to assign words to my pain requires that I give focused attention to it, which is difficult when so much of one’s energy is spent trying to avoid that very thing. So, I come back today, hoping that you’ll forgive my silence as it pertains to grief. I don’t yet know what I want to say about it, but I imagine that what I need to say will soon make it’s way to front of my heart and spill out here.
I don’t want to wait until all these messy feelings are neatly packaged and wrapped up in a tidy little bow to then present them as some type of accomplishment. I don’t even think that’s possible this side of heaven. My goal is to be authentic without being disturbing! Ha! I have been so encouraged by friends these past few months that I need to write again, so I place full blame on them if the writing here is found to be something more akin to the rantings of a mad-woman than the musings of my former self.
We are two years and 3 months past the loss of our Phoebe. Thatcher is now 15 months old and walking and screeching and cutting four molars all at once. I had forgotten about molars and the total upheaval of life they present for the parent of the unlucky toddler. His usual disposition is sunny and bright and extremely affectionate, just like his big sister. It’s in those moments of being hugged so hard by him, that I feel him living up to his name “Yahweh has comforted.” He is such a gift.
Benjamin is now 13 and in 8th grade. He loves to read, play soccer, hang out with friends, play board games with his dad and brothers and bake with me. He is so helpful to me. Averic is 11 and in 5th grade, he also loves to read, play football, and is a Star Wars fanatic. He is the out-doorsy, animal lover of the bunch and wears his heart on his sleeve. Deacon is 8 and in 2nd grade this year; he loves math, exploring, playing in his tree-house and board-games. His heart still hurts as the fullness of his understanding of our loss comes to him. He was only 3 when Phoebe was diagnosed and it was all very confusing for him.
Nathan continues with the Agriculture and Appropriate Technologies ministry through YWAM Tyler. The last year has been focused primarily on building training systems at the YWAM Twin Oaks ranch, appropriate for training missionaries and for replication in third world settings. I will post pictures soon that will give a better overview of their work.
I am gearing up to speak at the first Ziglar Women conference since 2012, and since losing Phoebe. It will be held in Odessa, Texas at the end of February. I am still home schooling the boys and taking opportunities to speak at local MOPS or Moms 2 Moms groups when I can. On Monday night I attended my first-ever writers group. I left feeling so welcomed and encouraged and I look forward to continuing. The first few chapters of my long-neglected book have remained untouched for over a year as I have navigated some treacherous waters. Sometimes feelings are TOO raw and unchecked, and they don’t help anyone except the author in some type of purging mode. But this is not the stuff for books, it is the stuff for diaries with little key holes on them.
Mostly, I need to practice giving shape to my thoughts again through written words. Kate DiCamillo said “Writing is seeing. It is paying attention.” And that’s what I long to do again…I long to see through the fog, to pay attention again, and to write.