This past Wednesday came and went.
All day, and for a few days before, I’d fought for words and thoughts and prayers, trying to find some way…any way…to put it all into something that made sense.
I felt obligated to mark the day with a blog post, and yet as the words didn’t come and didn’t come and didn’t come some more, I knew it wasn’t going to happen.
It bothered me all day long that, as a writer, I couldn’t find words.
You see, Wednesday was a year since July 22, 2014…the day we lost our sweet baby, Carly. And all I wanted her to know was that we think of her. We remember her. Every single day.
I’d only carried her for several, too-short weeks, and yet the loss was crushing. I remember lying on a bed in the ER, shivering under a blanket, wondering how we would ever go on, how there would ever be joy again.
To be honest, in the days and weeks that followed, there wasn’t a lot of much. I remember the moments of forcing myself to just do what came next, even if it was the most necessary thing like getting a drink of water for my daughter or taking a shower or making ourselves walk outside.
Trying to just live…it was harder than I’d ever expected it to be. But I kept doing the next thing. We all did because we had to.
And all of those next-things somehow added up…and we found ourselves at a year later. My hubby and I were talking about how it’s hard to pinpoint any particular event that happened this past year…it all feels like a crazy, sad blur and tangle of emotions and life.
It wasn’t where we wanted to be, and in many ways, I feel like it was a wasted year. But it wasn’t.
Life still went on.
Our sweet Mae went to PK4. She made new friends, had new experiences, learned so much, made some wonderful memories…and thrived.
As a couple and a family, we managed to walk grief...and even if there were some hard, hard days, we grew closer together instead of letting it tear us apart.
We said a hard goodbye to our sweet doggie boy, and we found ways to keep going after that, too.
We kept following Him, and though it was tempting to walk away sometimes, we chose to trust God and the plan He has for us even if we don’t see or understand any of it.
We found strength in community…in those who loved us well and were willing to laugh, cry, and sometimes…just be…with us.
We found ways to love and laugh and grieve and hope…and to let all of those happen at the same time because sometimes life just has to look like that. And we also decided that it’s ok when life does look like that.
And at the end of Wednesday, I looked back at my day and realized something.
I’d fought for words all day. In between the early morning Bible reading and trying-to-write at my picnic table, the coffee at that same table with a friend, lunch and a long, heart-chat (yep, at the table!) with another dear friend, in a meeting, in a stop at the store, in painting a huge flower on that table (more on that later…) in letting go of Carly’s birthday balloons at the river, in eating cupcakes and singing a sweet, sad, Happy Birthday…
I’d been trying to write.
And, instead, I realized I’d been living. We’d been living.
Despite the pain, God is giving us the strength to live our lives…and live them well.
Maybe it sounds small, but I think just living…it might be the best way we can honor her. Remember her. And let her know that she’s still a part of us.
Happy first birthday in heaven, sweet Carly Kristine. We love you and we miss you so much.