My Memory Chest

Over the past two years Karmin has been working on a book documenting Grants life…a book allowing up to three hundred pages telling the story of an amazing person inside and out.  When thinking and looking back at memories whether we knew someone all that well or not photographs tell a story.

Yesterday once again I brought over an arm full of memories, notes he wrote me… repeating I love my mom… to I rode my bike to the store, be back later…to photographs that revealed a glimpse of Grant in each one of his nieces and nephews.

Karmin sat there with me as my heart flooded with memories of all four of them, remembering outfit, laughing at hair style,  reminiscing through pictures that brought back a whole day of memories that made me cry and for the first time a few that made me laugh.

I have 31 years of those special memories, many envelopes of hair that are dates, special cloths they wore, school projects, report cards, journals he wore in grade school,  belly buttons wrapped in plastic and photographs upon photographs that documents 31 one years of the best little people I call my everything.

Yesterday as I sat by one of my boxes full of memories… not a shoe box… a wood box the size of a chest… I sorted through the best years of my life and I don’t regret one silly thing I saved.  The things in that wood box are the only material things that matter; maybe losing Grant has lead me closer to the understanding of what really is significant in life….  The colorful pieces of art that hung on my refrigerator are really what mattered when I look back; not the material things that others may have envied.  I cherish what I have saved, because I don’t know if I appreciated the important things in the past as much as I should have.  I look back and wish only that I wouldn’t have spent so much time wanting …..But embracing what I had.

As Karmin continues documenting Grants life she has started a book for her very own baby girl, something already so beautiful, not a moment forgotten… this little girl’s arrival has been documented since before the photos of a positive result stick…

Each day since losing Grant I remind myself of the things I am thankful for…. an emotion very hard some days, feeling happy as I knew it was a sense of feeling whole. I struggle with that.  I struggle with grieving so hard I can’t enjoy the things that also matter all around me.

Looking through my box of memories was not just about Grants past,  digging through the photos and drawings and special clothing was about all four of my every things… digging through that box of my treasured past I found my thankfulness, I found importance,  I found the best part of my life, and for that I am thankful.

Grant left a gaping hole in my heart, a hole in all of our hearts that without future only memories can fill.  I know when I am blessed with this book of my boys life I wont look back at the things I wish I would have done or wish I would have had. I look back at a life I am so thankful for, a life I was so blessed to have held.

I Love you Grantie

Mama

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Balcony… A Little Closer to Heaven

This past weekend Steve finished up yet another project at Grants’ Place… The deck, and yes the yellow signs sent from above chose the color and style. I call it a deck, Steve calls it a balcony and I’m pretty sure Grant would call it the best deer stand ever.  It looks over a piece of Heaven on Earth. Most of this project has been a pile of composite decking in our garage since last winter along with a garage full of what I like to call my yellow hello’s from Heaven.

I imagined it and Steve somehow always makes it happen :)

2014-07-29 deck

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GPS

This past weekend I traveled to a wedding near Siren Wisconsin. One thing about weddings… very much like most events in my life;  I’ve learned I’m not the one in control; they have the last say in the itinerary and God knows I can’t control the weather. I’m there to capture the day as they planned and still each moment in breath-taking photographs.

I’d never traveled the roads or seen the tiny towns I journeyed through this past Saturday. I felt lost for moments of the drive. When the sun is high I have NO sense of direction. I have to put all my faith in this little gadget commonly referred to as a GPS. Trust me I have not always had faith in it and the girls would laugh and agree because it never fails when I am all alone in my car “in a location that feels like the middle of nowhere familiar to me” I panic!!  Knowing that about myself I tend to arrive hours early because I lack the faith in getting there in a timely manner; another thing Grant and I have in common. No one called/calls the girls more often about feeling lost than Grant and me. I’m sure they have many stories of our panic and lack of trust in our global positioning.

This past Saturday lead me to thinking a lot about feeling lost and afraid. I had lots of thoughts thinking that it would be nice if my life could just be punched in to this little gadget that warned me to turn right in 500 yards and in 100 feet take a quick left to avoid disappointment. This little device could show me the way through life avoiding all the construction that would send me on another detour I don’t want to go through.

Pride has always told me I can do it all by myself, that I know a better way, that if I fight hard enough I will win the battle. With Grant’s addiction I thought for a long time I could control it, that if I prayed hard enough God would listen. I think somewhere in my bible it said “Moms always fix things.” Looking back I think I really thought that I could always fix the problems life through at my family. I think I thought that I could take the wheel and control the out-of-control. I could love him into sobriety. When he died I failed at the one thing that meant everything to me… being the best mom.

I’ve had to find trust, not my own intuition to get me to my next destination. I find myself with this oh so familiar voice always saying “relocating” over and over again much like the little gadget in my car. We all struggle with it except it’s not Siri talking it’s the whispers of the Holy Spirit that I believe will guide me through this valley and it’s not a green on button.

We all have parts of our lives that seem out of control… addiction isn’t a word just to describe the abuse of drugs. It describes something in all of us… addiction is the word that describes a habit, compulsion, dependence, a need and craving. Addiction is something we all struggle with. I would guess that’s the detour in our global positioning that none of us can avoid. Over and over I hear that voice echoing the words “relocating” because on any given day I beat myself up because I’m not smart enough, I’m not thin enough, I’m not good enough or the words that haunt me I wasn’t a good enough mother to save my own son’s life.

Before losing Grant I was ashamed of drug addiction. How the hell could this happen to our family? I was mad about it. I was embarrassed and I couldn’t understand how this could happen to our family. Why our boy?

So as always I looked deeper. I guess to find some global positioning to what life has dealt me… trying to find peace and understanding for why hardship and hurt happen. We all struggle with what life dishes out. And we all seem to take the detours and the short cuts knowing full well we would eventually come to a road block that would send us back down the same road we just traveled.

When I arrived at my wedding I referred to my GPS as my God box to unknown locations. God’s GPS, the bible teaches us that we are to be filled with the Holy Spirit, walk in the Spirit, yield to the Spirit, be taught by the Spirit, and relocate back to the Spirit.

My GPS lead me to the destination that at times I had little faith in arriving. But much like life that day I made wrong turns because I trusted the arrow “not my God box” that lead me to think on my own. On this road leading me home I would have to slow down to wait for a cow to lead a calf off the road. Much like life the real road would lead me to brake for two deer that much like myself  I ignore the thoughts to yield. I witnessed that even a good turkey mother leads her babies across dangerous roads with no intentions of harm, and that even the bear running in front of me thought for a moment he could out run me… all the things that my God box didn’t warn me about.

Before losing Grant I didn’t listen all too well to my God Box, my Holy Spirit… in fact very much like my GPS I shut it off. I had a better way. I wanted the control because I didn’t trust anyone, not even God with my son. I had a better plan. I trusted the one in the mirror more than anyone. I worried more about the eyes of others and how they seen me and even more how they saw my son. I’m learning to listen to the voice that I too often shut off. I was and am a good mom. My friends love me for who I am not the trials I battle. My God is a compassionate God and forgives my angry days.

Addiction is many signs in life. We all have a description of one hanging around our neck. It doesn’t define who we are inside; the sign just describes our own enemy.

fears

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Happy Birthday Grantie

Grant never had enough time on this earth to celebrate his 26th birthday but for our family July 8th will forever be just as, if not more, important a day to celebrate. Perhaps the act is selfish on our parts, but to many of us it is the grieving process. We release lanterns, led balloons and yes had a cake with 26 candles flaming away which the kids were excited to blow out in Grant’s honor. Friends and family came and went over the weekend celebration of Grant’s life on earth, most who knew Grant and some that did not or were too young to remember. Something a little child said made me take a step back and think. She innocently asked “who’s birthday is it?” When the other children said “its Grant’s birthday” I saw her look at her father and say “but I thought Grant died…” My heart melted and I could only have gentle compassion because it is hard for the old to understand our ways much less someone so young. For me it’s more comfortable to speak of Grant as if he is in a better place. Whatever I want to fantasize heaven is like at the time and the moment. Sometimes I do tell myself the dreadful words “Grant died” or worse yet “Grant’s dead” because over two years later I still can’t believe it could be true… because to me he is still alive. I know he is not on earth but in my heart, in my memories, he is forever alive, just in a better place. I don’t know how others celebrate birthdays of loved ones lost but for me I will always celebrate Grant’s Birthday no less than when he was here on earth to blow out his own candles. To me July 8th will forever be the day I celebrate the birth of our son, brother, uncle, and friend. July 8th is our day to celebrate a life that has forever changed us. 26 years ago I held in my arms but forever in my heart… I Love you Grantie…I love you so much, Mama

 

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Cart full of laughter…

Each person processes grief differently. We all seem to find our own unique way of getting through the days and months. Losing a child is something you never get over… it’s something, by no choice of your own, you’re forced to learn to somehow get through. The pain will always be there and the only way I can describe how it has changed over the past two years is that it has softened a bit.

Since losing Grant I have my own strange sort of relationship with him. It’s hard to accept that he’s gone. Having conversations in my head or out loud when I’m alone help me feel close to him and if being honest about the fact that I talk to the dead leads others to think I’m crazy or that believing in signs to be biblically incorrect?? well so be it I guess. I’m okay with that and I think God understands my heart. 

I find that most of my signs from Grant make me laugh, just as he would want.  For those that knew Grant you may have similar stories to mine. Grant was a tag along. He loved going anywhere someone else in the room was venturing off to especially a trip to Target. I guess it was the early learning that there was a chance I’d buy him something from very early on…. and I always did.

A recent sign that made my heart flutter was a pair of slippers that mysteriously appeared in my cart. There was nothing else in the cart but my purse so I know it was not a mistaken cart that I wandered off with. To me these slippers were a funny hello from Grant. Grant was always a bit mischievous. I guess we both were but Grant loved to humor himself and make others laugh in the end… even if only himself. I adore the memory of his up-to-something smirk which went everywhere with him.

Grant loved to embarrass me all in fun, he loved to tease, and above all he loved to make me laugh. I’m sure the girls could tell hundreds of their own stories too of their memories and that contagious laugh. One of our frequently shopped stores was Target. Grants humor in that well mapped out store explain the slippers in my cart.  When Grant would see someone he knew, a neighbor lady or a friend’s mom, he would sneak around staying out of sight and toss things in their cart when they were turned away and just roll with laughter from a far. When they would finally noticed the random items in their cart he would dart back to me laughing that laugh that I so miss. I miss his contagious laugh. I miss the days of something in my shoe, a fish head behind my gas cap, the manikin’s head in the bed, scary things in the drawer. Grant may not have lived a long life but he gave me a life time of humor and fun to reminisce. These are the things I never want to forget about him… the never-ending funny humorous stories I could tell. So when the slippers were in my cart, an area of the store I never wandered by it was a reminder he still makes me smile, that he is always with me and to listen for the wise words that will forever ring in my ear reminding me that life should be fun, that he is okay and at peace and when days grow hard and I feel weak to listen for the message he is giving me. Grant is a part of who I am. He is the good part of who I am… He is and will forever be the better part of who I am yet to be. He would say Ma… just Let it Be.

I Love You Grantie.

mama

 

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Living in Bygone

I struggle to begin journaling these feelings today… my heart flooding with feelings and emotions I’m not always sure how to deal with. I go through waves of feeling strength just to find myself once again drowning in emotions that I don’t know how to find order to. I can’t even find the words to describe it. I have feelings that become more difficult to find peace with because as the days continue to become clearer they also bring a lot of scary emotions.  We prepare ourselves throughout life to let go and embrace change; a new car, saying good bye to the house we first brought our new born child home to, letting go of the clothes they grew out of. We allow ourselves to let go of these things because honestly they are just material things and what really matters are not the things we purchase or covet. I get that…but when you lose someone… their things… their material things… are all you physically have left of them.

 

Grant is always in my heart, he is always on my mind. I just want to hold him again, if even for just a moment. I want him to hear me say I love you, that I couldn’t have asked for a better son, and that he is so loved.  I feel broken that I never had the chance to say good bye. I never said goodbye. Words no one ever prepares themselves to say to a child. While I feel robbed of the fact that I never was able to say goodbye I would be naive to think anything about his death would be any easier if I were able to.

 

Steve and I never really became empty nesters before losing Grant; someone was always home. It seemed as if throughout college years our kids came and went but someone was always filling our house with laughter and life. As parents of young adults we all know they never really move out. Children take what they need for their adventure and leave us parents with all their… Stuff… from the skate board, GI Joe dolls, a closet full of shoes, even the collection of half used products they kept in the bathroom vanity.  It all becomes our stuff that we beg them to take or throw away as time passes. In a matter of 6 months Karmin and Grant were missing from home. Home as I knew it was different. Karmin married and moved and shortly after Grant’s presence, laughter, and sarcasm would never fill our home again.

 

This leads me to journaling the feelings and fears I have been having (not for pity)… I just have to write and sort my feelings for my own sanity and healing and maybe someone else reading that is on this rocky road of grief might relate. For months after losing Grant I didn’t even want to clean my house, some may have thought the reason was I didn’t have the energy … not … truth … I didn’t want to touch anything that he touched. Not his shoes that still remain in our family room, not the towel he dried off with that morning…  I slept with that towel for two years. Not the clothes in the laundry because they still smelled like him.  I would spray his cologne on myself just to have a scent of him that I missed. I felt like if I wiped things clean I was washing him away. I know this may sound crazy to some but for those who have lost deep I know you know. I have written over and over again as I journal that each step in this journey is raw, even the steps to come years later I am sure. There is no end date to grief. I don’t want to ignore it. I want to embrace it. Missing Grant will never go away. I will forever wonder what life would have been like and grieve his absence in our life.

 

The baby steps of 2 ½ years: Since losing Grant I have stayed busy, with Grants Place, weddings, and work.  Anything to keep me from feeling still… still is… hard. Being alone is… hard… (especially at home.) Our home is a capsule that holds memories of Grant. Every inch is a memory. The world continues to change. Everything from new roads, stores, new technology to clothing styles and trends. I remember feeling guilty for upgrading my phone to one that he would have liked. Everything continues to go on, as it should and always has, but that doesn’t mean change comes easy. But home, Grant’s home…  All of my adult life I have enjoyed change and one of my loves for change was in my house… I loved new bedding, lights, furniture. I loved rearranging and hanging the newest latest photos of my children on the walls… but since December 3rd, 2011 my home has stood still. I know for those who have lost a loved one you understand. I can’t replace my bedding because his drool is a stain on my duvet that I cherish, the furniture remains in its place because I imagine him still sitting there. Updating the girls’ photos would be a reminder my boy’s life is still. To organize coat closets would force me to decide how to arrange his shoes and to open his bedroom door would remind me of the worst morning of my life. The door remains closed. I say I love you as I walk by and I never go in. I’m not ready for that step… baby steps….

 

Over the past few weeks I have been talking with a friend at work about the things l’d like to do in my home and yard…. Oh and the yard! I woke up one day this spring and asked Steve…. Literally… what the hell happened to the back yard … Did I not look back there the past two summers? I guess not…. There were a lot of things I just didn’t care about … things that mattered to me in the past and that must have been one of them. Back to Karin and my conversation… as we talked about some of the things I like and complimented her projects she asked a question (one that would seem to have a simple answer)… “why?”… “why don’t you?”… My only answer was… “It’s hard.” It’s hard to erase anything that I fear will wipe away my memories. I have thought a lot about my answer. I think a huge part of healing is expressing fear… not keeping it bottled up. Maybe in my rambling someone will feel less crazy and know they’re not alone.

 

I miss you Grantie, Mama

GS (90) GS (121)

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Fear

August (my last August with Grant) he shared with me one of his deepest thoughts. I hear his words every day as I try to find less fear in my life… I may have mentioned this quote in a blog many entries ago but as each day goes by I continue to process my thoughts and fears… it’s baby steps.

Grant and I were sitting on the steps at Serenity Village and I was telling him my feelings of fear, relapse, and all that goes along with his disease… I was crazy with fear. I remember the look on his face and how my heart hurt staring into those sad eyes. I remember the tears streaming down his face, his fist clenched over his heart. “Mom, I’m not afraid to die. I’m afraid that I may live the rest of my life like this…” Very much like grief addiction never goes away; we just learn to live life the best way possible with it. And somewhere in that mess we must find peace. Grief and addiction, much like other diseases, control you with fear… God doesn’t fill me with fear, earth does. In trusting God I will find the peace that will lead me to fear less.

“Fear never wrote a symphony or poem, negotiated a peace treaty, or cured a disease. Fear never pulled a family out of poverty or a country out of bigotry. Fear never saved a marriage or a business. Courage did that. Faith did that. People who refused to consult or cower to their timidities did that. But fear itself? Fear herds us into a prison and slams the doors. Wouldn’t it be great to walk out?”
Max Lucado, Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear

      **Thank you Athena for leading me to read this book.

I was reading something about pain and suffering that someone wrote… “I’m more afraid of the pain in living than death.”  Those words lead me to thinking a little deeper. Daily I have these thoughts since losing Grant that I’m not afraid to die. I am more afraid of living without Grant than I am of death. I have been promised life after living with pain, suffering, grief. I deeply fear the unknown of how painful life can possibly get. The fear of pain and suffering and the guilty fear of ever being happy again.

I think Grant had an understanding of all of this. Grant knew the Lord… I think better than I did or do. Being a Christian did not make him perfect. He’d be the first to say he was far from being a Boy Scout. I remember a doctor visit like it was yesterday: Grant’s funny humor went right along with the tough stuff. We were with a drug counselor evaluating Grant, after listening carefully Grants reply was simply “Doctor, I don’t know what boy scout camp your from but this is hell.” Grant never stopped seeking help. He never stopped seeking God. He never stopped craving God. I believe addiction made him seek even harder.

Grant was blessed with an amazing upbringing in the church. He had amazing friends, teachers and role models. God put those chosen in his life not to teach him how to live the prefect Christian life but how to feel loved by Christ even on the most unlovable days of life.

Grant was blessed with the perfect Christian role models…. not perfect as in no wrong…. but perfectly imperfect Christians. They were honest with their young class room of boys about their own journey with God and how faith brought them through the tough times. They taught my boy that God is a loving and compassionate God. I know Grant always felt God’s love. He may not have always loved himself but I know he knew he was loved. He knew Steve and I loved him, he knew how loved and adored he was by his 3 sisters and he knew God loved him above all.

I remember when Grant was in 5th or 6th grade Sunday school, he had two male teachers that were very open about their past and how it related to faith. They spoke and ministered to the boys about the mistakes they made in life. How even in the times they drifted away from God he loved them and never left their side. They ministered to those boys in their honesty of being “imperfect” and that God’s love for them was no more or less on the good days or the bad days. These were the  teachings that gave my son hope and strengthened him on the weak, dark days of life.

I like that …The Perfectly Imperfect Christian

 

“Christ-followers contract malaria, bury children, and battle addictions, and, as a result, face fears. It’s not the absence of storms that sets us apart. It’s whom we discover in the storm: an unstirred Christ.”  ― Max LucadoFearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear

 

As I continue this path set before me I walk with a little less fear each day… with a reminder that this life is but a blink of an eye.

Love, Mama

Sometimes we must hold on and trust the one who holds us, even if you are afraid….upsidedown

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Guardian Uncle

Sometimes I think that conversations I had with Grant in his short life on Earth were not for that present moment, but for all the days in my grief. It is almost like we needed to have those conversations to make life without him feel as if he is still here or to give me the message/advice I need today. I have so many memories with Grant, but I have a select few that stand out so vividly to me because God knew I need those words of comfort in the days to come.

I remember one conversation that is very significant to me… And now that I am expecting my first baby I think about it even more. It was about him protecting my children. He told me that he promised he would make sure that my children never had the struggles he had. He promised me that he would instill fear into them and teach them to never make a poor decision of experimenting with his demon. He truly wanted the best for them and he didn’t even know them yet… They didn’t exist, but he was telling me he will always be there for them. I truly believe that Grant will be the most amazing Guardian Uncle to my baby. I believe he will teach and guide just as any wonderful Uncle could on Earth or even better. He will be with us as baby takes its first breaths and the day this child takes off on its bike for the first time. He will be the proud wings holding them up in their times of trouble and the beaming sunshine in their moments of joy.

After we lost Grant a friend of mine who didn’t know Grant met him in a dream. Grant awoke him with messages to share with me through a song. One of the verses sings this:

To my nieces and nephews and my future ones too
Be happy, take pride in all that you do
Know I am with you wherever you go
I’m your guardian Uncle, I’ll help you to grow

These beautiful lyrics touch my heart because for the last few years it’s really bothered me knowing Grant won’t be on Earth to welcome my children. I’ve felt like they won’t know him and they won’t be able to see for themselves what a wonderful, caring, loving, and thoughtful man their Uncle Grant was. I know I will be able to share stories and talk about him so they feel they know him, but that physical absence in their lives is very emotional to me. I want them to know how much I love Grant and how his death has affected me wholly.

I believe that Grant has already met my baby and was the first to know its beautiful soul. I believe God and Grant made sure this baby was perfect; loyal, honest, giving, and so much more. Grant always told me that Dan and I would have the most beautiful children. As this baby continues to grow I know that they made sure it had the most perfect beating heart and the most radiant little nose. I know that this baby’s Uncle Grant held him/her first… and I know he will help them to grow.

-Karm

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My Easter Thoughts

For over two years I have searched for peace and acceptance of Grants death; it’s a hard step knowing that as I heal and find peace I stray further from an imaginary place I would rather stay. My imaginary place consists of pretending he’s really not gone from this earth and life as I know it. I think when someone loses a child a million “what if’s,” and “I should have’s” go through your mind constantly. I guess blaming myself is easier than holding resentment against others or even worse in my mind blaming Grant or someone else for my sadness. Did addiction steal my son? Did Grant steal my son? Did the young man who gave my son the methadone that evening steal my son? These thoughts run through my mind daily, they can consume me for hours. I know Grant would be sad that I waste precious life searching for answers that won’t change anything or holding grudges against actions that were never meant to intentionally harm my son.

 

I know Grant would want me to be happy and live life with joy in my heart, not tossing and turning up the past over and over again. If I can forgive Grant for the choice he made that evening I need to learn to forgive myself for all the “what if’s” and find forgiveness and extend grace towards the young man detectives identified as ultimately the one responsible for Grants death. It’s hard because being human I want to blame someone for robbing me of my child but also understanding the human ways I deep down do know that no one intentionally tried to harm my son in the actions that were taken leading up to his death. Before I write about forgiveness I’ve felt I had to find meaning and then ultimately understand compassion. I would be naive to say I won’t have a lot more bitter feeling in my days ahead but I am working on the road to forgiveness. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions but I wanted to write about it because journaling helps me get through the steps and this is one I need to give to God.

 

I think about the Easter season and the days leading up to Christ dying on the cross, and I think that the reason for his pain and suffering is a good time to reflect. Christ suffered to forgive my sins and as much as I would like to say my suffering is too painful to do the same and that it’s easier to hold a grudge on something or someone this would ultimately rob me of peace and the healing Grant would want me to find. Losing Grant will forever ache my heart of hurt and sadness but that’s different than anger and bitterness.  I believe heart ache can lead me to being a better person but anger and bitterness will rob me of love. “Mix bitter with sweet” and the bitter takes away all the pleasure of sweet. I realize there will be obstacles in letting go of my resentment. I have to learn how to forgive with gentleness and grace. Forgiveness, love and peace are qualities I taught my children but I guess this is an “easier said than done” effort for me this time. It is a hard thing to hold a grudge against yourself, you spend each day with yourself; you can’t avoid yourself in a target aisle. The “what if’s” will creep back into the mind without the help of God to help control it. I also have to realize that an act of forgiveness can be given without an apology and that forgiveness is not the same as reconciliation. I have to ultimately forgive, by that I mean I have to forgive and let go with nothing in return. It won’t bring Grant back. I can’t expect an apology. I have to forgive and let go for my own peace and happiness so I can focus on the sweet… my sweet memories, my happy days in the past and those to come. Forgive the past so that maybe someday when I see a picture of my son I can replace the tears on my face with a smile. Easter: Christ died with me in mind. He died so my sins would be forgiven so I have to ask myself how I am going to better understand forgiveness. I have to learn to forgive myself, forgive addiction, and forgive the young man who I believe had no intentions of bringing harm to Grant.

 

I don’t’ believe Jesus is asking me to say that it’s okay. Forgiveness isn’t saying that what was done is by any means okay. In fact I think forgiveness assumes that it was not okay. Jesus is not asking me to necessarily understand why somebody did something wrong, or even assume that the deed was done to intentionally hurt someone else, but that it may help in letting go of my hurt and bitter feelings. Forgiveness is choosing before God to let go of the offense, even if I will never in this life understand why. Forgiveness truly is deciding that I won’t get even, that I won’t punish someone, including myself. Jesus is not asking me to pretend as if the hurt has completely disappeared or gone away. I will forever hurt. My healing, I know will take time and my forgiveness is a part of that. My forgiving is giving the bitter hurt to God and allowing him to heal my heart of holding grudges, and hopefully heal my mind of the “what if’s.” Forgiveness is scary… it means taking down the walls that protect me and some days I’m afraid to. I can only lean on God and the whispers of Grant to empower me to forgive.

 

God made the ultimate sacrifice for my sins. He forgave me of every trespass that I have made, intentional and otherwise. How do I forgive a disease? How do you forgive addiction? How do you forgive cancer? I guess I think maybe if I can forgive addiction I can feel free of a hate that consumes me.

 

My Easter thoughts… I love you Grantie,

Mama

 

Easter Version of Hallelujah:   http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=0E02FMNU

 

 

 

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Introvert

I’ve been thinking today about small talk… I have to admit I’m not really one to start up general conversation with people I don’t know, but for some this is a gift. For myself, I wonder why they would have any interest in knowing my life? I mean for whatever reason; attending the same meeting, placed at the same table, paying for items at Target. Maybe these people are more outgoing/extrovert than me. I mean, what do extroverts think of introverts? Are they more intrigued by introverts, because “I’m thinking” by nature an extrovert likes and is comfortable sharing and by all means has the best intentions when inquiring about your life.

Five years ago it didn’t bother me a bit for people to inquire, ask questions about my life, my children, my job. Even though I would consider myself an introvert I was open to talking about the prides of my life, but about five years ago I found it very difficult when people ask questions that I thought where leading me to a corner I didn’t want to be backed into. The candy coated stories that weren’t mine to share. We all have them as our children become adults. We as parents have to take a step back in what we share because their business isn’t always ours to share any longer. So how’s Grant? Is he still in School? Where’s he working these days? I began to be very good at keeping myself safe in my bubble… Yes bubble, no corners… I learned how to glide myself politely away from people. I knew that they had all good intentions asking. I myself had to think about the questions I asked because I very quickly learned. I found myself thinking twice about how I related to people
Whether you’re in a checkout lane at Target or passing someone in the hall… I mean let’s be honest your problems not going to get an honest answer from a stranger so you say fine or well.

I thought two years ago I’m never going to ask someone how they are unless I really want to know. It’s such a general question and a lot of the time it just forces us to lie. I know in my gut all was well intended, but boy…. When life isn’t going so well and you find yourself in this invisible corner that you would sell your soul to get out of you really start to think. I’m sure many can relate to what I’m saying as I sit among a table of amazing people.

“Hi I’m ……. “ “Hi I’m Kim.. So you live in Andover too? Yes, so do you have children? Yep; shoveling in a large portion of food…how many? 4 ‘ Shovel … boys or girls? 3 girls and a boy, shovel… Oh does your son play sports?… and heaven rang the timeout bell… The Angel across the table finely distracted her onto a different subject as I prolong swallowing my foods just so I could avoid answering any more questions… God bless her and I truly mean that… How would she have known??!! The extrovert is now interacting with this introvert who at first felt safe at this table of conversation. Everyone at the table knew Grant and myself except this one couple. These situations happen often and I have struggled how to answer and hold back tears. Backed in that corner I keep finding myself in. I’m learning how to gracefully trust that the two walls won’t cave in. I’m slowly learning to accept that Grant is gone. For over two years I have been consumed with missing him. I could talk about him all day. Grant being the topic of conversation is a comforting happy moment for me. However, when caught off guard by a sincere question/conversation I am not only forced to say the words My Son Died, but I have to feel bad the innocent question made someone feel bad for asking. Then the wonder in their face how. if I could say my son died of cancer or in a traffic accident I could feel less shameful. But when that since question of “how did your son die” it’s hard to say he overdosed because it is so misunderstood. For some they think its suicide, for some its considered????? I think even for my own mother it was hard to answer that question over and over again… There’s no pretty way of saying someone you love is/ was an addict without negative thinking of others. Not all, but still far too many think it’s???? We all struggle with demons…some more earthly accepted then others. But when it comes to our children we love them no matter what. Losing a child hurt more than any pain on this earth… How they died? It doesn’t matter.

On the worst days we love our children no less than the good days. It’s the bad days that make us aware of just how much.

I Love you Grantie
mama

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