Painful Todays

The past month has been painful.

There have been triggers that I can point to that take up mental and emotional space. Which is already limited for me.

But I think a big part of it is: a settling in and a question.

In my mind this is what I’ve allowed myself to think:

Rory has moved on.

My baby girl passed away.

But I’ve expanded my verbiage to include:

My daughter is dead.

Those all mean the same thing. Different words. But words are important to me and I haven’t allowed myself to use that word much.

Died.

Dead.

They’re final.

My daughter will never walk through my door again.

Done. That’s it.

It’s not a new thought! I’ve been living with it for one year, seven months, and nine days.

What I’ve been getting stuck on is this.

How do I live the rest of my life with my daughter being dead?

It feels endless. The pain. The waiting. The getting by. It’s endless.

How do I live a whole life with my boys when I’m broken with pieces missing?

People do it.

Bereaved moms have reached out to me. They’ve survived decades now without one of their children.

I just struggle to understand how I’m going to do it. My ultimate hope of being with her again is death.

That’s what I’m straddling. My life here with the boys is important. I want to be here! But the life I hope to find in Heaven with Rory is equally important. I want to be there!

I have one foot planted firmly here on earth, loving my family. And one foot ready to jump to the other side.

It’s overwhelming.

I’ve been trying to take a step back. To focus on today.

Love today.

Care today.

Hug today.

Give cuddles today.

Spend time today.

Serve today.

I can make it through today.

Then tomorrow I’ll start again.

I’ll put that on repeat.

Though, I’m broken and not the mom or wife or woman I once was, I love my boys and husband with all I have left.

I can’t foresee the struggle between the two worlds ever changing.

But I’m working to bring a little Heaven to earth.

To include Rory in my work from day to day. To serve and love with her and for her.

Jesus Christ is my Hope.

He lives.

She lives.

With that hope, I’ll make today count.

And tomorrow.

And every day I’m gifted after that.

My Hope Because of Him

The week after Rory’s death, there were so many hard things.

One of the most painful was her viewing. Seeing my baby girl. Lifeless.

I took her precious hand between mine for the last time. Her hands that touch my cheeks. Her hands that picked up and loved baby chicks. Her hands that wrapped around my leg when she was scared. Her hands that wrote her name and mine.

But she was empty.

There was no light.

Her spirit was gone.

The girl that beamed and was full of life, was a shell.

But this is where we welcome the hope of Easter.

Our Savior was crucified and His body lay in a tomb.

His body, a shell of the amazing man He once was. His hands that performed miracles. His hands that washed disciples’ feet. His hands that held up children. His hands that brought people to Him. His hands used in service and love.

His hands that are still scarred from the sacrifice He made for me and you.

When Mary went to the tomb on Sunday morning, His body was gone.

His body and spirit were reunited.

Giving me hope.

Rory’s body won’t remain lifeless.

Her body and spirit will be reunited again.

Our Rory will be whole.

Because of Him.

I Arise

I looked up the history of St. Patrick today. I wanted to learn more about the man we celebrate every year.

Among the things I learned, I ran across St. Patrick’s Breastplate. It’s a prayer. A beautiful prayer.

I love that it’s called a breastplate. The idea that our prayers are armor for us.

In the prayer, he repeats, “I arise today…”

Those words are poignant to me.

There are days that staying bed seems easier.

That getting out and facing the pain seems like too much.

But, I arise.

Everyday.

I arise.

And in the breastplate prayer, he details the ways he is given help.

“I arise today, through
The strength of heaven,
The light of the sun,
The radiance of the moon,
The splendor of fire,
The speed of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of the sea,
The stability of the earth,
The firmness of rock.

I arise today, through
God’s strength to pilot me,
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s shield to protect me.”

I have felt that.

I have felt my prayers and the prayers of others lift me. Guide me. Get me through days that were too painful to get through.

I’ve been inspired on how to help my boys.

I’m grateful that even during the times of my deepest despair, I have never felt utterly and completely alone.

Prayers and armor.

I think the two go hand in hand.

The Lazarus Miracle

Still taken from a beautiful bible video: https://www.lds.org/bible-videos/videos/lazarus-is-raised-from-the-dead?lang=eng

When there’s loss, especially unexpected, I think Lazarus comes to mind.

The miracle.

Lazarus was dead for days but came back to life.

We want, and secretly hope for, a Lazarus miracle.

I’ve read those verses more times in the last year than all the rest of my life.

The verses have new meaning.

Jesus Christ is separated from Mary and Martha at the time of Lazarus’ death. He was out doing His Father’s work.

Four days after Lazarus’ passing, Jesus Christ arrived to visit their family.

Martha heard of His coming and ran out to meet Him. She said to Him:

“Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.”

Martha demonstrated beautiful faith. In response, Jesus Christ said:

“Thy brother shall rise again.”

Again, she exercises faith. She believes! And went and to get Mary as instructed

When Mary saw Jesus Christ, she fell to His feet and cried. Repeating the words that Martha had said to Him:

“Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.”

Seeing Mary and Martha in their grief, mourning, the scriptures say that Christ “groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.”

The women take Christ to the tomb. There, “Jesus wept.”

Jesus Christ knew why He was there. He was there to raise Lazarus from the dead.

Not only did Christ have a perfect eternal perspective, He knew that in minutes Lazarus would be with them again. Breathing. Alive.

In those moments He didn’t entice Mary and Martha to have an eternal view. He didn’t say to just wait a minute and things will get better.

He cried with them.

He talked with them.

He mourned with them.

He loved them.

It’s okay to be sad in our trials.

Jesus Christ was.

It’s okay to mourn when loved ones die.

Jesus Christ did.

It’s important to be there for others when they need you.

Jesus Christ was.

It’s important to have faith in Christ, like Mary and Martha. Like them, it’s important to find hope in Him.

And like Jesus Christ, it’s important lift up our eyes in all circumstances. To talk to the Father.

“Father, I thank thee that thou hadst heard me.”

The Father hears us.

In our anger and frustration. In our despair and grief. And our moments of absolute joy.

He is there for us.

He loves us.

Always.

**These references come from the King James Version of the Bible. John, Chapter 11.

My Heavenly Father Loves Me

From a very young age, we ask why.

It’s a question that gets asked over and over again.

I think it’s human nature. We want to find meaning. We want explanations.

When something painful, something horrible happens, we want meaning. We want purpose.

It can’t happen for nothing.

This pain.

This suffering.

There has to be a reason for it.

I’ve heard reasons for Rory’s passing. There are a lot of platitudes out there that try to give meaning.

But here’s the problem with all the reasons.

Rory is still gone.

Reasons can’t bring her back.

And that’s all I want.

I want my daughter.

But.

Resignation.

That’s not going to happen in this life.

I can’t answer why.

I don’t have reasons. (Other than a malfunctioning appendix.)

But.

I’m a woman of faith.

This is what I know.

This has been the answer to my life-long search.

That continues to be my answer.

I have a Heavenly Father that loves me.

Not having answers is painful.

But I feel God’s love for me.

My anxiety rises as the questions swirl.

I cling to the knowledge so tight, I know God loves me.

I don’t have all the answers. I don’t even know how I’m going to get through everyday.

But I do know that I have someone in my corner. Someone that cares for me. Someone that looks out for me. Someone that makes sure I’m not doing this all by myself.

I know that my Heavenly Father loves me.