The Baby

Change. It’s not easy. We all get into a comfortable routine where everything makes sense. This is how we do life. We have traditions that we have created with our own family. Wyatt and I were married and had to find a way to fit both of our families together for holidays and birthdays and family gatherings. Then we had JT and things became more centered around him and the dynamics change and we found what was comfortable for us. A way that we can fit both families together yet create our own traditions as well for just the three of us. Time marches on and you grow and people move away, people die, people go through ups and downs and if your family is anything like my family you fight. Yes there is fighting and hurt feelings sometimes but we seem to always find our way back to eachother because the one thing that doesn’t change is the love we have for each other.

It’s Christmas Eve and I find myself really struggling to find my place. Everything about my life has changed. I’ll be honest, I really don’t like it and earlier I felt like having a little pity party for myself. So many things have changed at one time. Can we not do this step by step? Change is hard enough. Why God can we not ease into all these things? Even if the change is positive it can still be an adjustment because it’s different. You are introducing something new into your life and figuring out how to make it fit.

I feel like everything hit at once. My Dad passed away, JT moved out, my Mom moved in, JT started dating someone serious (which as a Mom can be hard to become the #2 when you’ve been the #1 in your son’s life for 18 years) and then here comes the holidays. Nothing about Christmas Eve, nothing about this Christmas season has been the same. Now obviously not all of these are bad or negative changes. My Mom moving in is a good thing but is still a change for her and Wyatt and I. JT finding someone is a good thing and I like her so that’s a plus. It’s just a lot of changes. It means doing things differently like sharing JT with another family when he has been all mine. It means not getting to ride around and look at lights with my Dad. It means not getting to exchange Christmas presents with my Dad. It means for the first time in 18 years JT won’t be here when I wake up in the morning. Like I said, change is hard and as much as you want to try to force it to stay the same sometimes you just have no control. Life happens and we must figure out how to reshape ourselves into the new mold.

As I sat tonight crying off and on having my private little pity party I thought about the Christmas Eve service I had gone to earlier and the message. Today is about the baby. The baby Jesus. It’s not about watching Christmas Vacation and eating KFC. Side note, KFC closed early and I was not able to get my chicken which is a Christmas eve tradition we do every year. Just so you know, I cried. Back to the matter at hand. Today is not about me and my pity party because my traditions are changing. The baby Jesus. He’s what I should be concentrating on and if anybody should have had a pity party it would have been Mary and Joseph. Can you imagine. Mary the virgin is pregnant and Joseph still decided to marry her and then they trek off with Mary pregnant as can be on a donkey and can’t find a place to stop except a stable for her to give birth in. Jesus is put in a manger. We like to romanticize this scene and make the stable all clean and tidy but I bet that stable was, well a stable. Dirty, smelly, animals around making noise, scratchy straw. I don’t think it was as pleasant as we like to picture it in our books and plays. That, is some change for ya. 9 months before I think she was probably just living as everone else and then an Angel visits her and boom, the changes just kept on coming. I’ll bet Mary and Joseph could have had a pity party or two and maybe they did but with God’s help they reshaped themselves to fit the new mold.

So as I think about all these changes, yes I am sad. I do miss doing things the way I have done them for the past 18 years. I do miss my Dad being here for the 44 Christmas’ before this. If it means doing things differently then I guess it’s time to create new memories and new traditions, like joining my Mother and Father in-law and going to the Christmas Eve service together. Wyatt and I visiting our neighbor last night and sitting and talking with her and making a promise to myself to visit more often. Maybe we’ll eat Popeye’s chicken on Christmas Eve. (I don’t know guys, KFC is my go to. Popeye’s had to step in and it wasn’t KFC). We will have to play Christmas morning by ear and just find our place in it together until JT and Kaitlyn get here. All I know is even in this time of change and the ups and downs I can be so very thankful that 1. I am not pregnant and on a donkey and 2. God was willing to put on human flesh and walk among us and then be crucified for my sins and yours so that we may have eternal life. That is something that can never and will never change. Merry Christmas Everyone. I hope you all enjoy your families today and remember it’s about the baby today.

Struggle To Marvel

It is a struggle. I’m trying to act like it’s not but my heart just isn’t all the way in it. I’m ready for January to be here but I’m not sure a new year will be any easier. Getting through the holidays when you have lost someone is hard. It’s hard enough just doing life on a daily basis. We all have struggles we wake up to every day. Pain in one form or another has me debating whether to put my feet on the floor each morning when I open my eyes. Dealing with the physical pain is enough to make me want to shut down and then my brain kicks in and tells me all kinds of lies to make my struggle even harder. Near the top of the list of coping skills is pulling the covers over my head and not facing the day. I won’t think about that today. I’ll think about it tomorrow, after all tomorrow is another day my dear Scarlett.

I found myself on Thanksgiving wanting to fast forward to the end of the day. It just seemed like a chore. My Dad was not there and you could feel it. There was just that certain something that was missing. I keep trying to think about his pain and how thankful I am that he is not in pain anymore. It’s very hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that he is in Heaven. That may sound weird. I know that’s where he’s at but that’s something we talk about. That’s where we are going to go when we die if we believe in Jesus Christ. If we have accepted him as our Savior. It all seems so very far away. Death seems so far away. For me at least. I know some people have experienced loss all to often and you truly don’t understand that feeling until you experience it yourself. We talk of dying or what will happen when we die, to our possessions, to our bodies, to our loved ones and what it will be like in Heaven. It’s such a different conversation when someone so close to you dies and their physical body is not here with you anymore. It is just so amazing and grand for my mind to grasp that my Dad has moved from his physical body on this earth and is now in the presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!! He is in HEAVEN!!! Maybe that doesn’t strike you the same way but it has me in complete and utter awe. When I think about my Dad that way I can’t help but smile. I can even laugh out loud because I am overcome by the joy he must be experiencing. Sometimes I cry being overwhelmed by the feeling that comes over my whole being of pure happiness. Happiness doesn’t even describe it. I don’t actually think there is a word that can describe what I feel when I think of what my Dad is experiencing up there in Heaven with God. Whoa! Electrifying!!!

It’s here on earth where I miss him. I miss him being here for the traditions our family has created. I miss him being here to complete us. He is our leader. Our Big Giant Head. (Third Rock From The Sun joke) He is our touchstone in our family. I don’t think January is going to make things any better. I don’t think you ever get over losing someone you love. I think you learn how to live better with it. There is no magic time frame that will make this not hurt. There will always be a hole where my Dad should be. It’s a bitter sweet hole filled with the longing of wanting him here but the knowledge of knowing where he is and that I will see him again.

During this Holiday season I get it now. It’s like a club. Not a club you want to be part of. When people would post on social media or speak about missing someone they had lost and how hard these times are my thought was, “Awww that’s sad, so sorry for your loss.” Moving on now. You can’t understand how that person truly feels until you are in the club. It’s ok. I thought I got it. I thought I understood how sad that must be. I pray you are not in the club this Christmas but if you are I pray you laugh at the memories and good times you shared, marvel at the mystery of the Heaven they are experiencing and most of all, top on your list, share Jesus with those around you so they too can be certain of where they are going and you’ll be able to marvel at the mystery of Heaven that each one of you will experience.