Being Brave, Being Who You Are

People felt close to Rory.

If you were to ask me, she was a mama’s girl.

If you were to ask Lance, she was a daddy’s girl.

If you were to ask Chiler, Xander or Dax, each of them would probably say that he was her favorite.

Here’s the thing:

It’s all true.

When she was with one of us, we were the most important person.

In my book club this month, we read Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown. It made me realize something about Rory and how she was able to do this.

In Braving, Brown says:

“True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.

Rory was authentic.

Rory was brave, in that she embraced who she was and just loved people.

It enabled her to engage freely with others.

She didn’t sit back, she put her sweet hands on people’s cheeks and made sure they were present in the conversation as well.

She truly belonged with each of us. And we felt it.

What a gift she gave us.

A place where we always belonged.

And Then They Sang

This memory keeps coming back to me. Usually it means I need to share it.

The night that Rory passed away, Lance and I gathered our boys and went to my parent’s house.

There were a lot of people at the house. In the family room and in the front yard.

A lot of hugs.

A lot of questions.

A lot of disbelief.

A lot of sorrow.

A lot of falling tears.

In the middle of this tragedy, the three boys started to sing a children’s song from our church.

Their voices broke through the sorrow.

Their voices united them in their brotherhood. In their fear. In their strength.

As I was just trying to process what had happened. They were already searching for peace. In the best way they knew how. Music.

These are the words they sang that night:

Heavenly Father, are you really there?
And do you hear and answer ev’ry child’s prayer?
Some say that heaven is far away,
But I feel it close around me as I pray.
Heavenly Father, I remember now
Something that Jesus told disciples long ago:
“Suffer the children to come to me.”
Father, in prayer I’m coming now to thee.

Pray, he is there;
Speak, he is list’ning.
You are his child;
His love now surrounds you.
He hears your prayer;
He loves the children.
Of such is the kingdom, the kingdom of heav’n.

My boys face pain. Everyday.

The life they are living is different now. It’s harder. They carry a burden they can’t quite process and don’t fully understand.

I think back to that moment and tears instantly begin to fall.

They are light.

They are love.

These boys are my hope.

Family Prayer

When we would pray together as a family at night, many times we would stay in a circle, holding hands.

Lance or I would say, “Time to pray.”

Crickets.

Crickets.

No sound of feet running our way.

Then we would say, “Someone else is going to hold mom’s hand.”

Mass running.

Children falling over each other.

Hands grasping at mine.

If Rory didn’t get there first, tears would fall.

Until one of the boys relented. And they pretty much always did.

Rory was a spoiled princess. And it wasn’t just by Lance and me.

During our church’s conference today one of the leaders said the above quote. “Families that prays together, ARE together, even when they’re far apart.

What a wonderful thought.

Our Rory running to the room, racing to reach my hand.

Even when she’s on the other side.

Living Through Grief- Captain Marvel

We went to see Captain Marvel as family a few days ago.

We loved it. We’re big fans of the Marvel Universe so connecting all the story lines is fun for us.

As we do things as a family my thoughts always go to: would Rory have liked this?

Rory sat through movies. But she required popcorn, candy, and a drink. Then she was happy to sit there and enjoy all the movies.

I think she would’ve liked Captain Marvel. Carol Danvers was funny, tough, and kind.

Memory- Pancakes

Rory loved breakfast food. Well, our whole family eats a lot of breakfast food.

It’s not just for the morning!

When I would make pancakes, Rory would sit across the griddle from me and wait for the tiny pancakes. The little drips that happened as I poured each circle.

But Rory didn’t say “Pancakes”.

She said, “Pampakes.”

I remember Rory with each accidental drop.

Love you, baby girl.