Too…

 

As January rolled around, I had the very best intentions of writing in this space more regularly. I won’t apologize for what appears like neglect because the truth us that I am present in my life and the reality is, certain seasons of life are far more heavy and consuming than others.

When my mother was far younger than I am, she buried her brother Ben, who died in Vietnam. From that point on, she avoided all things funeral, military and war. A devout lover of classic movies, she reacted to anything dealing with those mentioned topics with complete shock and re-immersion into that dark season of grief. Some of us make the conscious decision to house our hearts in the places of deep loss and grief forever. I have tried, in my forty-three-year-long journey NOT to be one of those people. This isn’t because I feel I am better than them as much as I personally believe the sunshine exists beyond such sadness, and my fair-skinned-heart longs to live in the sun, even if it burns sometimes.

In February I sat underneath the New Mexico sky, beside family, at my beloved uncle Phil’s graveside service. As I sat, dressed in black, heart full of tears, I admitted that military services could possibly be all of those things my mother avoided, in one. Though a beautiful tribute, they are also all-at-once devastating… I made a mental note, deliberately ignoring the reality that my son is a soldier, to not attend another veteran service for a long, long time. (I apparently have strong beliefs in my power, I am also a fool.)

Last Thursday I sat underneath the rainy Kentucky sky, beside family, at my father’s graveside service. Also dressed in black, I found myself deeply swirled in awe, sadness, gratitude and loss as the military shot rifles and meticulously folded his flag.

Too soon…

Too much…

As uncomfortable as the shotgun sounds, the sadness and the hard may be- I am so grateful to have been there to honor each man, I am so grateful that I knew and loved both men. I am blessed to have been loved by each of them, and so proud and filled with gratitude that our country belonged to them too.

This year has been equally as uncomfortable regarding sitting through the hard things and clinging to the grateful… In so many ways, for so many, it feels like too much, too soon. Too… These months are feeling too in all of the bad and sad ways. Here in the season of too though, there is growth, or at least there can be. We can choose to be among the ones who sit in the big dark sad and hide from the sun, but we don’t have to be. This too shall pass, things will be ok- this is not cliche’, this truth. It is important that we remember though, that though the sunshine will come again, so will another dark season. It is what we learn to face this time, that equips us for that one. It is also that brave, unconventionally beautiful growth which helps us love the sunshine so much more.

Take my hand, forward we go…

 

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