If you have just discovered Endless HOPE…you may want to start by reading OUR STORY up top, and posts 1-16. Welcome…
Tuesday January 28, 2014 – Wow today was a long, busy, crazy day! Ten hours straight of spreadsheets & formulas, writing/editing communications and giving presentations…all at a neck-breaking speed, plus 2.5 hours of commuting. Totally exhausting, but at the same time somehow I’m feeling very thankful to even be able to make it through a day like that again, when needed. A couple of years ago after suffering tragedy, I found the wind taken out of my sails and simple things that I would usually breeze through in 20 minutes were taking me 2 hours and were still a total fail! I’m here as living proof that time, and purposeful processing through tough wounds, does heal. Everyday now I feel like a healed woman, some moments within each day I’m faced with the harsh reality that it’s still a work in progress, but most times I feel “okay” again. So thankful. There will continue to be ups and downs. There will always be tough situations that will come and will have to be worked through, but I know that healing is possible, so I go forward with life – life and routine does somehow keep happening in spite of everything.
At home, I have about a hundred things on my to do list (actually there are several lists, a binder of to do’s and a whole basket of miscellaneous paper and projects! gulp! lots to catch up at home). One item I’ve highlighted this week is to get the cell phone I share with my daughter replaced. The glass on the screen has been pretty badly smashed (like about 25 cracks of different sizes), and the screen itself has blacked-out across the top eighth screen and along the side a bit…pretty challenging for seeing what & who you’re texting, so that has caused a few hilarious situations, etc. Well, I can’t say all that damage happened recently – no, it’s been at least a year in that condition. We have coverage to get a replacement…but I’ve been dragging my feet on it. It was all the memories tied up in it. I finally managed to get the pictures and videos downloaded now…but then there were still these voice note recordings that I couldn’t transfer over. I have known I needed to transcribe them – but they’re just unedited, scrambled and precious thoughts in the moment – bits of processing that came out as I drove to work, the few times I hit record. I haven’t listened to them since – wasn’t sure I wanted to hear what may be my bleak, teary voice – but tonight is the night. Maybe you have heard or felt similar things through your hard times? Raw as these recordings may be, we’re all in this thing called life together, so read if you wish…
Sept 20/12 – Thoughts at 1 Year After
“This morning is one year…and it still feels like…Why did this happen? So horrified that this has happened. It feels so strange that it was even our life that it happened in. It feels surreal that he was even ever in our life….and that we saw what we saw that day…”
Oct 18/12 – 13 month meltdown
“Today is uh…Thursday…October 18th, 2012 and I’m just driving to work, and (sigh) just having a meltdown today. It’s been really hard – I just uh…can’t seem to get that bad picture out of my mind. And oh, the groan that came out of me today as I drove – missing Brandon so much, and even though I know there was nothing that we could do…just the wishing…wishing that it hadn’t gone that way I guess.”
Oct 18/12 a few minutes later…Part 2 – Advice for meltdowns
“And also just now, I thought, ughhh, it’s just so hard God. I don’t even know what to think about (as in positive things). Well I know for sure some verses of encouragement from the Letter to the Phillipians…but even that was having a hard time coming to my mind. My dear friends, you would do best by thinking on things that are good, noble, true, pure, of good report, things that are beautiful not ugly…things that are…oh I forget now…ya, stuff like that…the best not the worst, things that are of good report, if anything is praise-worthy, think on these things. So I know what to think about, but man, my mind can sure go blank on the stuff that I know. Though I know that I know that I know, it can sure go blank when you’re in a tough moment. Today, when I think of things that are pure, I think of just a white sheet flowing in the wind, or maybe on a beach or somewhere beautiful, a white waterfall, something so pure looking. Then thinking about noble – I remember glancing over and seeing Sam (our oldest son) just giving his girlfriend a rose, and sitting next to her, so gentlemanly. Then thinking of good report – I recall Amy (our youngest daughter) saying the other day that she had the “epic-est” day ever – it was so good to hear. Then when I think of the best, not the worst, I think of Cam’s (my husband) dream he had, where Brandon was so healthy and happy and ripped with muscles, up in heaven building houses for us – that’s the best picture, instead of the worst I usually think of – I have to focus on the best. If anything is praiseworthy – well that makes me think of God, and how amazing He is – and think about the amazing-ness of Him I feel, when I am in tune with Him – and I need to go to that place. Think on these things, and then the God of peace will bring you into His most excellent harmonies. I do know what to think about, God remind me to go there when I’m stuck.”
(Note: Whether we each believe in God, or like Him or not, most humans seem to talk to Him in very tough situations…whether shaking a fist, or asking why/how, or begging to help us get out of trouble. For me I have experienced God to be like a good father, who cares, protects, guides, can see the troubles ahead that I may not, and wants to bring comfort when I’m sad. If you’re hung up and turned off by anything that sounds like “religious talk”, it’s over now, so just keep reading :)
For me, I’m thankful that even in the dark moments, there still are positive things to focus on and be grateful for. Meltdowns are now rare and shorter, but I don’t want to avoid or shut out the difficult emotions or feelings that bubble up. There is something healthy about bringing things to the surface and dealing with them. It’s just like our physical body – when we have a wound, we have to get in there and do the cleaning and disinfecting, even though it makes it sting more in the process. We must let the infection or foreign object causing the issue to come up to the top and be removed – we can’t let it fester and expect quick painless healing with no scars. Ok that analogy just grossed me out, but you get what I mean. I can’t bottle up my issues, I do need to allow moments to face things head on, think about it, realize it – clean that laceration that is still healing. But I also can’t stay stuck in my issues 24/7 either, so must then turn my attention back to the present and the good – dress my wound, leave it for a bit, allow it to heal some more.
Through ups and downs, realizing I have so much to be grateful for…this is a life lived with ever-increasing purpose, determination, resolve…to at the very least pass on to others some of this endless HOPE… pass it on…