We survived the one-year mark and as expected, the anticipation of the day was worse than the day itself. At home we planted some beautiful sweet olive bushes from Aunt Christy in memory of our sweet Olivia and some beautiful pink trailing snap dragons at the cemetery. Thank you to all of you for your visits, notes, food, cards, and special gifts - they helped make a really awful day a little brighter.
I've started this week with a renewed sense of hope. Part of it is relief over getting through November 6th, but because we missed her the same that day as we do on all others in truth, it was just like any other day for us. But I guess the day looming ahead of us was hard, so I'm glad to have it in the rearview mirror for a while.
This brighter outlook has made me realize that I may not be painting the entire picture of our life here on my blog. You see, I've discovered that I tend to write most often when I am sad and anguished. I have always loved to write, and doing so is cathartic when I am feeling down.
I want you all to know that it's not all bad. There are still moments of great happiness and joy in our day-to-day lives.
Parrish cracks us up at least 10 times a day with his witty remarks and out-loud thinking. Example-he and his friend were playing at our house the other afternoon and decided to have a pretend wedding and the convo went something like this:
P: Kaden, Do you want to be the girl?
P: Well, do you want to be the boss?
P: Well then, you have to be the girl.
Other "good" things:
-Cannon loves me so well...he is supportive and loving, trusting and thoughtful. We have walked through this fire together and our love and respect for each other has only grown.
-Family who would move mountains for us and hurt with us.
-Friends who distract us when we need distracting, make us laugh when we need laughter, or just listen when we need to vent.
-Complete strangers who have walked similar paths of loosing children who have reached out to us in such specialways
-Olivia's light shining bright throughout this world.
Every day there are highs and there are lows. Sometimes it's minute to minute, sometimes day to day, and sometimes week to week, but we give ourselves permission for that. The main thing I want you to know is that we still have joy. We are still blessed. We are down, we long for Olivia, but we are not out. We still have hope for our future. We are not Job, although at times it has seemed like it. As we move toward Thanksgiving we are counting our losses, yes. But we are also counting our blessings.
I think it is sometimes hard for people to imagine how we still "live our life." I know I've had similar thoughts about others who have suffered great losses. But really, what choice do we have? We have to live - the choice lies in HOW we live. Whether we live crushed and bitter or we live in hope, love, and complete trust that "he is before all things, and in him all things hold together." Colossians 1:17 We know nothing good can come of bitterness taking root, so we choose to live the latter.
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.