Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

If you live in the Midwest then you can 100% relate when I tell you that last week was by far the miserable and depressing week of the year we've had so far.  It rained for days...and days....and days....and it didn't just storm, it rained continuously for days and days and days.  By Friday, I thought I might just lose my mind if I was stuck indoors for one more day with my kids without a ray of sunshine entering my windows and beaming upon my face.  And finally, as if the universe realized that we couldn't take one more day of rain, it stopped.  Mother Nature finally decided to get on our good side and friends the sun once again began to shine.  I remember driving that next morning to an appointment and literally just basking in the sun as it came through my windshield and warmed my face and soul.

 Coincidentally, (or not), this move in nature's hand coincided so very much with where my life in grief is right now.  Can I be totally honest with you all? These last few weeks have been really dark times for me.  Other than when we initially lost each of our children, I can't remember a time when I've cried so frequently and so deeply.  Like those gut wrenching sobs that come from your very core. Those cries that you are afraid to let out because you aren't sure if you will ever be able to stop them. Friends, there's been a lot of those tears in the last 2 weeks.  With Mother's Day approaching this Sunday and Benjamin's due date only a few weeks away, I've had a lot on my mind.  Couple that with the struggles of parenting two toddler boys, one with some special needs, and you've got a mess on your hands.

The thing about grief, or even just life, however, is I've been here before.  Maybe the grief didn't look just like this.  Maybe there were less tears and more anger.  Maybe it didn't last as long and possibly I hid my struggles better, but I've been here before and I'm going to guess that you have too.  Not all of you reading this have lost children like I have, but many of you have lost a loved one.  Many of you have struggled with a child and weren't sure how to parent them despite trying your damnedest to.  Some of you have gone through divorces with spouses and break ups with friends.  You may have had to watch a family member or friend suffer with an illness.  Perhaps you yourself have struggled with depression and anxiety.  The bottom line is we've all been here in this spot before.  And although you may not know what it's like to lose a child (thank God for that) you do know what the dark days feel like and let's agree, those days aren't good.

The good news is, because I've been here before in some sort of capacity, I know something else too. I know that I won't be here forever.  One day soon, just as the sun reappeared this week, I will resurface again too.  The tears will dry up for awhile, the bags under my eyes will get a little lighter, and the smile on my face won't be forced or pained.  Just like that, the sun will shine again in my life.

Sometimes when we have been in the darkness for so long, reentering the light isn't always easy.  Just as if you've been in a darkened room for awhile and suddenly someone turns on the light and instead of being refreshing or welcoming, it's blinding, painful, and uncomfortable.  But eventually, your eyes adjust and you learn to walk in the light again.  You learn to embrace the light and remember how good it feels to let it fall upon your face.  And because of the darkness we learn to better appreciate the light.

None of us like the dark times.  We all wish that we could have the joy of heaven here on earth.  But one thing I have learned is that because I've been in deep, dark pits of despair, I have come to greater appreciate the joy of the good moments.  Because I know darkness, I know greater joy.  Because I know darkness, I appreciate the good moments.  Because I know darkness, I've learned to love with a deeper love than I ever knew possible.  Because I know darkness, I know light.

So friends, I pray that by sharing a piece of my darkness with you today, I am encouraging someone somewhere who may be finding themselves in my shoes to hold on for one more day, one more minute.  Your darkness and mine is only temporary. We will know joy again.

And just like Annie promised us...betcha bottom dollar that tomorrow, there'll be sun!