I can't believe it's been so long... I don't know why blogging has me sad right now. I guess I just need to put the hard stuff out there so I can continue with the fun, lighthearted blogs. It's been 2 weeks tomorrow since my favorite (and by favorite it's because I see him the most, know him the best, etc) uncle passed away.
We had a really great fall, went to the arboreteum for his 60th birthday, got him well enough to come to Thanksgiving at our house with our families, and hung out with his brother, my other uncle (both mom's brothers) again. Then things just happened so quickly. For that I'm thankful and for that I'm still shocked.
My Uncle Steff was diagnosed with lung cancer four years ago. Nope, not a smoker, thank God. The journey could have been very different had that been the case. He and my aunt have this beautiful relationship, very real, but very loving, always so openly appreciative of each other even when the other wasn't present. For that I chose not to toss my bouquet at my wedding, but rather present it to my aunt. I'm so lucky to have her, she's an inspiring woman. Loves yoga, her husband, her son, and my favorite thing of all --- she always makes you feel like you're amazing and so special. God, even as people called and came over to visit my uncle in his final days and hours, she took time to tell each person how special they were to my uncle and to the family and something unique about themselves. Anyways, words can't say how in awe I've been of her. I'm lucky to have her among my role models.
Cade came with me to their house two weeks ago to be with the family. This child has pulled us through the neck deep mud that has been our grief this year. He's our hope and our light...He's our concrete proof that life is good. God is good. Good things do continue to happen in this world. Even when you can't make sense of the bad, and you want desperately to hate God and blame Him, you can't. You can't deny that God is good when you look at a baby. Life just sucks sometimes... I have to find ways sometimes to teach that to my students. I know that sounds insane, and why the hell do I have to teach that...but that's just the first part of the lesson, the little part that once you can get past you have to teach and practice the second part, which is "Move along". The journey doesn't stop. One of my favorite songs is "Move Along" by the All-American Rejects...The part I have to repeat to myself is "When all you got to keep is strong, move along, move along like I know you do. And even when your hope is gone, move along move along just to make it through". And after you get past that step, you continue to step 3, which is to Find the Good. Find the Good starts with going through the motions, living in denial for awhile, then accepting the truth behind the grief (don't get confused and accept the grief, that's not okay...you need to accept the TRUTH. My uncle died) At the core of that truth you find your peace. You find why that truth has to be okay for you. And having Peace is the key to opening the door to Good. Find Good again. Feeling good, doing good, having good times. Sure, the sad times are going to come back. Yep, you'll be surprised and it will take your breath away, then you rinse & repeat the process. (um, okay, I don't get too deep with the explain when I'm working with students through their problems. We do Step 1 - Move Along, Step 2 - Find the Good)
I lived this process so soon after Cade was born it was almost dangerous. My beloved, my beloved grandmother, the woman I called my idol died five days after Cade was born. Easter night. I was pretty pissed that I didn't get to bring Cade to meet her. But in the weeks that I muddled through this process, all the while Cade pulling me through it in fast cycles of Finding Good and falling back into my grief...I learned. I learned that the longer I can Find Good, the sweeter "New Normal" becomes. I could go on and on, and I'm no expert on this...unfortunately 2009 made me learn how to handle the death of a loved one.
So to end this sad note, and before I sign off to go to bed, I turn to music again. I put on Elton John's "Blessed" and I make a promise to myself and to Cade "to be blessed, to have the best, to pick a star from the sky.... to be blessed...." Tonight I turned off the tv, I held Cade til he slept and stared at the Christmas tree. Its colorful lights in the dark room the perfect illustration for the darkness of grief and the brightness wonder of what the future will hold. My grandmother had made a pillow that my mom had, and that I took to college with me, and which now rests on the rocker in Cade's nursery... "The Best is Yet to Come", as hard as that is to think about, I have to hope...Because the past with my family was pretty damn awesome, I can only imagine what God has in store next.
peace, hope, and blessings to you,