Last night we so enjoyed our date night. It was way over do. Great friends. Music. Humidity induced sweat. No children. Good food. I even got to see my cousin Emily and her fiancé Adam…we always run into them at concerts. It was a good night. We went to a free concert in Nashville…two artists being Wild Cub and The Head and The Heart. We love music. Josh Kelley, you will be shocked to know, can really jam on a bass if he wants too.
Since Mom died sometimes I have these really emotional moments at concerts. Sounding a little crazy?!?!? I remember at a NeedToBreathe concert I cried so hard when they played These Hard Time. Every morning for 8 days when I pulled into the parking garage at whatever hospital Mom was in, I would put my earbuds in, hit play on my iPod and march through the hospital towards her room with this absolutely blaring in my ears. It was my anthem. It was my anthem on Mom’s behalf.
“Give me motivation. Give me all my hearts desires. Show me something gorgeous. Show me till my eyes get tired. Give me all the drums and show me how to play them loud. Show me how to move when I can’t feel that you’re around.”
I’m just 3 months out from the 3 year mark of her leaving. It does get better, but it gets hard in weird ways…in ways you never saw coming. And actual time changes. Once I thought three years sounded like a long time, but when dealing with grief…time loses a bit of its weight. Weeks felt like minutes. Months felt like weeks. And years shorten up real quick. You think to yourself “Surely at the one year mark my heart will be healed” and at least for me I found that not the case at all. Things just changed. Around the 2 year mark I began to notice the differences in the places I had been in my healing…the points God had brought me through…from point A to B to C to D and so on. He had been ever so slowly healing and moving me…sometimes me going on my own with His nudges and sometimes He had to just carry me. It’s a hard journey. One which is still not easy, but it gets better…more manageable and I’ve learned to dwell in thankfulness for where God has taken me and grown me and healed me, the hope I have in Him, where I’ve seen unmistakable true beauty in the ashes, instead of camping out in the self pity and as if the world owes me something for my heart ache. I’ve learned gratitude and compassion and empathy and deep thankfulness. Do I still have bad days? Yes. Absolutely yes. It’s going to happen.
We’ve had a few teary moments lately with sadness about school and changes in our house and missing people. One night Harper was weepy and I laid beside her in her bottom bunk and asked what was wrong. She began to cry and tell me, “I don’t remember how to to get to Grammy’s house. I used to know and now I can’t remember.” This is the grief territory were in now. This place where time is passing and now you realize 3 years has gone back to being a long amount of time when someone you love is missing all which is taking place in that time frame. We’re forgetting and things are becoming foggy and hazy. I spend more time than I’d like to admit trying to remember exactly what she was like. In some instances she seems clear as day and in others like a dream, not real. So we’re working on supporting and loving and reminding. I laid in Harper’s bed and with my pointer finger in the air drew her the map to Grammy’s house…talking the ride out, noting landmarks along the way and describing her house with the sloped down hill driveway they ran down to reach the Easter eggs she hid in her backyard the last Easter we spent with her, to the weeping cherry tree beside her front porch with the deep red front door.
Last night when The Head and The Heart started playing their song Rivers and Roads I had one of those moments…those sentimental moments. In a sea of strangers on a plot of grass in the Tennessee humidity around some of my favorite people I sang in my heart and soaked up the moment. I listened as the crowd sang and for a moment just closed my eyes tight.
“Rivers and roads, rivers and roads, rivers till I reach you.”
And I thanked God for where he’s brought me…for not leaving me where I was, for where He’s brought our family and how He keeps after us…taking, moving and carrying us from place to place…reaching after us…for healing and reminding and comforting. I thanked Him for the assurance I will see her face and hug her neck again. I know another year from now I will look back in gratitude again for how He’s changed me yet again. He is so good. And merciful. And hope-filled. And love. And does not leave us where we are.