Well, It’s Been A Bit

Hi!  2020 has been a whirlwind and has kind of knocked us on out in 100 different ways.  I wanted to sit down and write out meaningful and prolific words, but really I’m just stuck on the same words I’ve shared a million and one times since Everett died…life is weird and wonderful and sad and joyful and hard and lovely.  Every time I think I’ve gained 3 feet on my grief something happens and spins be backwards 6.  It’s this never ending game of grief and life moving on without him.

We’ve pretty much packed the beginning of 2020 out.  Josh Kelley and I have impeccable timing of course.  We came in hot off of Christmas and into Ethiopian Christmas, Chinese New Year, Solomon’s birthday, Winter’s birthday, basketball season, we sold our house, we bought a house and in March we’ll close on all the houses, take an international spring break and celebrate Amon and Harper’s birthdays.  Go big or go home…or go big and go crazy.  It’s bizarre because I’ve never really looked forward to the month of April, but here I am fully anticipating it like it’s Christmas.

2020 has brought up a lot of hurt and sadness I haven’t sat with in a long time.  Apparently when I stuff my feelings down they eventually come spewing back up.  Good to know. 🙂  We’re going to start back to therapy soon which I simultaneously look forward to and dread.  Therapy is hard work.  It requires a lot…time, money, emotions.  I have a lot of feelings about mental health in America.  #1 thing being…we should all have incredible mental health benefits…and yet, they are basically the worst.  I don’t understand it at all.  Taking care of our mental health should not bankrupt someone.  Health insurance companies shouldn’t make it so hard on therapists and counselors to file claims.  Health insurance companies shouldn’t suck!

December was busy and fun and decent.  There were hard moments…I think there will always be.  Everett was apart of us so it feels unnatural to keep living life without him.  There are moments when one of the kids will say, “This doesn’t feel right without him.” or they will get sad right in the middle of something fun and honestly I absolutely LOATHE those moments while I also absolutely LOVE those moments.  I hate they carry this sadness, but I love that they carry him.  In a world where I often feel so out of place because grief and death have stripped me of things others still have, Josh and my kids make me feel normal because they feel all of this too.  They understand how crazy it all is.

For an assignment at school one of our kids had to write about themselves.  When I read this part I cried…

Who feels loved, great and tired.

Who needs family, food and clothes.

Who gives love, respect and kindness.

Who fears loss.

Who would like to see Everest and Heaven.

I sometimes get so wrapped up in my own grief and life I forget how not only did I instantly change the moment Everett’s heart beat it’s last, but so did 7 others humans I adore.  Each of one us instantly became different.  Josh and I can visibly see the difference in our kids’ smiles.  But man, do they love big and they carry him so close in everything they do.  Several of them plan to get “E” tattoos when they are older and I cannot even tell you what those random conversations do for my heart.

 

Several several months ago I had inquired about some of Everett’s documents I really wanted to have from China.  It felt like a long shot.  It seemed a bit impossible and very unlikely the things we longed for were still out there or if they were that they’d find their way into our hands.  Then one evening in December Mr. Mike our mailman brought the largest cardstock envelope I’ve ever seen to our door.  I anxiously opened it and instantly began to cry.  I was immediately transported back to the moment when the nurse handed me my mom’s belongings in a plastic bag, told me she was sorry, gave me a hug and then I walked off my mom’s hospital floor alone.  I cut open the large plastic bag of Everett’s and began going through all the images and paperwork.  It was hard and sad and also gave us another little piece of our FuShuai we long for every single day.  You can guarantee some of these items will be framed and be apart of our home always.  We’re learning everyday how to weave him into our life without him physically being here.  It sucks and it’s also a privilege.  Gah I miss him.

I know the beginning of a new year usually is marked by re-caps of the previous year and fresh goals for the new one.  In 2019 I read zero books, met zero fitness goals, met zero business goals, I did not read through the Bible…actually only opened it once and only then because of my friend Jess Thompson.  I did not kick any unfavorable habits…in fact I added some…and I only kept one single New Year’s goal all together.  Our time is now forever stamped not by a new year, but by Everett’s death…the time before he died and the time after he died.  That can feel pretty crushing.  2019…year number two…was about surviving and that’s exactly what we did.  Another 365 days to be exact and I’m chalking that up to a win.  We carried each other and we made it another year closer.

 

Here’s to just trying to do and be a little bit better than last year.  That’s my goal.  Keep white knuckling my jaded hope and just do my best.  Love a little deeper, give a little more, be a little kinder.  And on days when I have a hard time even pulling myself from the bed, I’ll try and see my hope from a different angle.  Spin it a different way and never let go of that persistent, stubborn hope.

It’s good to be back. 🙂

4 Comments

  1. love love love to you

  2. This made me cry. I can’t imagine your pain of loving Everett and the pain of his siblings each and everyday. People tend to think it should be over after a year but grieving is a natural part of everyday when love is involved. Your tribe is AMAZING and fiercely loves. You survived another year, that’s HUGE. Be kind to yourself and know others care deeply and appreciate your updates. Hugs from WV.

  3. Kirstin jeffers says:

    Years ago a friend told me about the book “Feelings Buried Alive Never Die”. Your message today reminded me of it. I bought it, cracked it open a few times, know it has valuable insight, and also know I don’t owe another living soul to read it or not. So I’m sharing it with you the same way. I have the same view on mental health that you do, and I know you owe no one anything but yourself a little grace.
    I’ve been following you since before Amon came into your lives. I adore you and I ache and celebrate your journey.
    You’re the sh!t, Laura Kelley, and I want you to know it. Big love, mad respect, boundless admiration from me to you.
    I’ve missed you, but if I never hear from you again, I’ll totally understand. When I hear Mumford and Sons I smile because of you. When I see a rainbow, I give love to the universe because of you.
    Thank you for just rocking your junk. You matter, girl. You bless.
    Word up.

  4. Carrie Corrigan says:

    Thank you for sharing your soul with us. I learn so much from you with every blog or IG post. I’m going to miss your house because it feels like home to me since it’s so colorful and cozy but I’m excited to see your new home and all you do with it! Best wishes on what I know will be a difficult move for you and your family.

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