What is this?

What is this? I don't really know, other then a continuation of my updates and writings that I was sharing previously on Caringbridge of this journey through cancer and now widowhood and single parenting.

Maybe it won't end up being anything at all, or maybe it will be a glimpse into my heart, my life, my current situation, my testimony.

Whatever it becomes, I am touched that you are interested.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

"Be like B"

"Be like B" is a phrase that repeats in my mind often.  It's a term coined by a friend in response to how Brandon so gracefully and faithfully clung to God's promises during the most difficult journey of his life.

When I am feeling lost and like my world is spinning out of control I think back the last months of his life.  I remember things in visual snapshots and I am so often taken back to this one:

It was August of 2014, Brandon was in the hospital yet again, and the news was not good.  I had just returned home from there to an empty and dark home, a rarity in those days since I was surrounded by so much support.  Aria was napping and I sat alone in the dark living room on an exercise ball weeping because I had just prayed the hardest prayer of my life.

It was simply worded, but so profoundly impactful.

"Lord, if you are going to heal him, please do.  But if not, please make it fast.  Not my will, but Yours be done."

The same words that days before Brandon had admitted to me that he prayed for.

When he told me that was his prayer I was so mad.  I never let him see that, but I felt like he was giving up and I was not ready to do that.  I am a fighter and WE are going to fight this, not surrender to it!

But his words and the peace he said them with stuck with me. Slowly I came to see that in reality he was not throwing up the white flag to cancer.  No, instead he was surrendering his life to God's plan, regardless of the worldly pain and outcome that may come.  That was not cowardly, it was brave.

When I realized that, I knew that I could not pray those words unless I truly was willing to release him to God and accept the peace beyond understanding that comes with surrendering.  And on that day, I did.  It was the hardest thing I had ever done, and was only possible because of Brandon's impenetrable faith and his shining example before me.

To keep Brandon's memory alive, and to continue to raise support for Aria, a loving friend had it on her heart to create and distribute "Be like B" reminderbands.  If you would like one, please visit this GoFundMe page to order.

I hope that when things get difficult, as they will, you too can remember to "Be like B" and know deep down that God's got it under control.

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42

I hope you all have a lovely Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Where have you been?

Where have you been? How are things going? Are you OK?

Honestly, I don't even know how to answer those simple questions anymore.

This journey is the hardest most confusing path I have ever walked in my life.

They say there is no right or wrong way to "do grief". 

There is no formula for how to do this. 1 therapy session a week + 1 support group + 3 self help books = healed! Nope. I wish.

Instead you fumble your way through each day, each "phase", each trigger date, each milestone of months passed and wonder, did I do that right?

We each do what we need to do to get through, but in grief we are often very critical of ourselves and it makes it even harder. But the reality is that I have no idea how to "do this", other then to survive it.

I really was doing it well for a while there. But I knew that one day that would come crashing down, I just didn't know when and I didn't know what it would look like. And then it happened. I spiraled into darkness and chaos for a while. 

Slowly I've been finding my way to steadier ground but not without some battle wounds, however I'm pretty sure that's just how life goes.

So where have I been and how are things going? 

Honestly, I've been searching for myself. Not only did I loose my spouse, but I lost myself, my identity. Two became one, so when Brandon died I felt like I lost half of me and all of my future.  He was my security and my confidence and truly my better half. And at the same time I have to also adjust to the new role of mother...actually single mother. 

I've spoken with numerous other widow/widowers and this is very common to not only miss our spouse, but miss ourselves. Yes, I miss me too. I want to find her again. I used to like her. Now it's like I am desperately searching for someone but I don't even know who I am looking for.

I have been trying to rest in the fact that God knows who I am, and I am not my grief, my insecurities or my mistakes. I am simply broken, and I am loved for exactly who I am. A child of God who is hurting and finding her way through this loss, and that is OK. I am loved and covered in grace. 

So wish me luck as I continue to "find my new normal", "put the pieces of life back together" and "keep on keepin' on", "one day at a time" - and all those other cliche (but true) sayings.

*I want to share some beautiful moments from Brandon's birthday and first Angelversary soon, so be on the lookout for another update soon (hopefully!).