Random ramblings of a Rose…

Posts tagged ‘Heartbreak’

Grief Beyond Comprehension

There are no right words.

I just spent over 30 minutes holding my 7yo (Squishy) as he completely, flat-out lost it. He cannot understand why the very morning he woke up, ready to leap out of bed and come ask me if he could visit his best friend because he had a hug to give him, I told him, instead, that his best friend had died. [For backstory, simply do a google search for the hashtags #hopeforhollis/#hopethroughhollis or the phrase ‘Hollis Doherty DIPG’…]

“I heard the words you were saying, but I was in shock. I was just completely shocked, and I didn’t know what to say. When I went to first recess, after I left daddy’s room and set my backpack down, when I was walking down the ramp to the playground, I couldn’t even think what to say or do. I wanted to lie down on the ground and cry until an ocean of tears filled up the school.”

He has ‘enough tears to fill the whole house’ inside of him every day, and tonight, when Mark Schultz’s He’s My Son came up on the iPod, it was too much for him to bear one second longer. After a half hour of sobbing, pleading, desperate questions, and anguish, he wanted me to squeeze him tight because his heart was literally in such extreme pain that he couldn’t breathe. And I’m not using literally when I mean figuratively. He was gasping and pressing on his heart, begging for an ice pack to take the pain away. All he keeps asking is why, why, why. And please, can’t he just have one more day because now that hug is wasted and has nowhere to go.

“If I could just kill myself right now, then I would be with Hollis and I would hug him and never let him go. Mom, you can’t understand how much it hurts because there aren’t enough words to tell you. You can’t comprehend it. It would go on for infinity, until the world ended and then the numbers would have to stop. But if I die, now, it won’t hurt, anymore. I feel like Saul [Paul] when he wanted God to take the thorn out but God said no and I’ve begged and begged and God won’t take the thorn out of my heart and I just can’t take it anymore!”

I knew this had been hard on him, but I didn’t know it was this bad. My heart is a lead balloon in my chest. My stomach feels like I’ve eaten glass.

Squishy knows that God is in control. He knows that immense and glorious connections were made throughout the entire world because of Hollis’s incredible fight for his most, best days. But right now, none of that is enough to satisfactorily explain to him any sort of answer.

“But why did God have to make him die? Why couldn’t His glory be with Hollis alive? Why did He have to take him away on the same day I needed to hug him? Why didn’t God know? What am I supposed to do, now?”

This post is a mess and I’m sorry. I haven’t said a peep on here in over 16 months, and I’m sorry. But my Squishy, my little sunshine – his heart is crumbling to pieces & I have no clue how to ‘fix’ it, and for that, I am most sorry of all.

forget-me-not

a tiny forget-me-not

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Well, it’s not June!

So, at the close of my last update (around 10 months ago) I hoped that my next blog post wouldn’t happen this June. Well, it’s not June! Oh, dear. I have such good intentions for journals, I really do. And I LOVE buying them, holding them in my hands, looking at them, etc. I’m just terrible at writing in them. I had hoped that doing something on the computer would be more conducive to regular entries, but apparently I was wrong. **sigh** Lol.

Well, here’s a little bit about Jose and Squishy, since they’re the reason I’m here!
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Jose is 7 and in 2nd grade now. He was SUPER anxious about going back to school this year (for the first time ever), but has really jumped into things now that he’s there. After the first day of school, he told Daddy, “Second grade is THE BEST!!! I still don’t want to be back to school, but 2nd grade is the best!” 2nd grade is also a lot tougher, come to find out, though he’s rising admirably to the challenge. Honestly, I think 2nd grade is going to be harder for us as parents than it will be for him, simply because we’re really having to start being active and proactive about making sure that everything is done and that we are assisting him in all the areas we need to be doing so. It’s not beating him down at all, but for me it’s being rather overwhelming. Huge, HUGE drawback to having two full-time working parents, honestly. Because, yes, that’s what the position I took last year has turned into. And I know it’s a God thing, but I’m questioning and struggling with how having this job is going to affect our family and especially Jose’s schooling. Back to Jose, though. He’s doing AR again, and will have the test soon to determine the correct level for him to be focusing on this year. This is also the first year that AR will be part of his reading grade. His teacher is a wonderful lady whose children I watched during my time at the YMCA and I am so happy he got her. He’s with his best friend again this year – another blessing. He’s also been seeing Dr. Beth off and on again to help with how the pressures of everything that’s happened in the past couple of years is bearing down on him. We’ve made behavioral changes, nutritional changes, attitude changes, etc. All in all, I’m pretty pleased with how those things have helped guide him back to a mental path where he feels more secure and able to take on the world with the correct reactions. My only issue right now is a strange lack of communication from Dr. Beth herself, which has never been a problem in the past. Working to resolve that now, but I’m worried that if this continues, it will be negative for Jose. But it’s in God’s hands and that’s where I’ll try to leave it. Outside of all that jazz, Jose has also taken up piano and gymnastics, both of which he has a great love and good deal of talent for. I don’t know where either one of those will take him, if anywhere, but for now, it’s enough that he enjoys what he’s doing. He’s also going to be taking the after-school art classes again at least twice this year. He’s currently enrolled in one of the fall sessions, and he’s planning to attend one in Jan/Feb with his best friend. The two of them are also participating in the school’s elementary art club which is in charge of several art installations which will be going up around campus.

Squishy is a bundle of energy and sunshine – in his 2nd year of preschool (actually considered a Pre-K class due to the material they’ll be working on) and will be having class half-day for the 1st semester and full-day for the second to help prepare for kindergarten next year. Life events have started to cause definite character formation in him, though he is still really working on discovering who he is. He is kind, sweet, and sensitive, but he is all boy and reacts in mind-boggling fashion sometimes to the world around him, lol. He is funny as can be, just like his brother before him, but sometimes a lack of filter gets him in trouble… One thing that has really developed and become apparent in him is just how deeply he feels. It isn’t so much that he wears his heart on his sleeve, but rather that his heart is an endless well, which honestly threatens to consume him sometimes. But, he’s only 4 and still has to figure out how much of himself to give to various parts of his life – right now he wants to give 200% of himself to everything and everyone, and that leaves him stretched really thin. Preschool is going very well and he’s having a blast! He loves his two teachers this year (Miss Michelle, whom Jose also had, and Miss Jen, who is new) and wants to do everything in his power to never disappoint them. He’s having some trouble with classmates simply because there are a lot of very strong personalities in the class this year, and he is one of the youngest students, but he’s really making strides in standing up for himself, knowing when to walk away, and knowing when to involve a teacher. Also (and this is a big blessing!) he’s been doing an EXCELLENT job of remembering to use his words instead of his hands to get his point across. For so long, when he was frustrated, it was simpler to just shove whoever he was angry with, but he’s maturing quickly in his kinder-prep environment and it’s amazing to see the difference between toddler and young man that’s rapidly occurring in him. Squishy is also a spiritual blessing for me. This isn’t to say that Jose isn’t, because he certainly is in his own way, but Squishy just sees things differently. He is very open and perceptive and comes to me with questions, statements, and dreams that often blow me away. He’ll talk about playing with Grandpa Bud (who passed away before Jose was even born) in the backyard, or come sit and tell me about when he was in heaven before he was born. He also has reoccurring dreams about what he calls his “alone house” where all sorts of events take place that are detailed and vivid and often include people he knows in various stages of their lives. It’s a little scary sometimes, honestly, but mostly, I just wish I could sit and listen to him forever before the weight and sin of the world squash whatever this beautiful and innocent spiritual connection he currently has with God out of him.

My two boys are so opposite from one another and yet so alike in sometimes terrifying ways. I wish I could protect them from all loss and hurt, especially since they seem to have experienced both in extraordinary quantities for ones so young. Yes, I realize they have lead charmed lives compared to the great majority of the world’s child population, but in that charmed life, there can still be pain. Friends coming in and out of their lives. Loved ones who are no longer part of their world due to the changing needs and relationships of those who first introduced them. The realization that girls and boys grow up and may not always be able to remain best friends, because of what life dictates (I can’t even listen to “Best of Friends” from The Fox and The Hound without tearing up.) Being teased by friends or family – such a simple silly thing to the ones doing the teasing, but such a blow to the heart of one who sees the world differently. Their aunt, whom they knew for such a short amount of time, yet fell so head over heels for, passing away from cancer this past February. Even simple things like their fish, hamster, or the mama bird at school dying. And there is so much more. It just seems to compound to the point of night terrors, lashing out in anger, and breaking down sobbing for no apparent reason until they realize what the root cause of their heartache is. They love the people in their lives with every fiber of their being and are intense and serious in that love to the point that rejection (even something as small as a roll of the eyes and a, “Really?” regarding a t-shirt worn with such pride prior to said reaction) is a devastating experience.

And my problem and dilemma is one my mother faced with me: Do I sit them down and explain the hard and hurtful truth that not everyone is going to love them or even like them and that they need to toughen up? Or do I allow them to continue pouring themselves out to those they care for, all the while knowing how much hurt that can bring them? Do I rip off their rose-colored glasses or do I let them find out the harsh reality as it happens in time? Do I strip away their childish innocence for the sake of attempting to protect them from further pain, adding onto the glimpses they’ve already caught until they are cynical and flippant, making jokes out of any and every situation? Do I allow them to continue as they are, knowing they’ll be called wimps, pussies, mama’s boys, and worse if I let them cry when they need to cry and allow them to fully experience ALL human emotions? Is there some sort of happy medium between these two extremes???? At least, when it was me, I was a girl so most of those thing were considered more “acceptable” and less likely to make me a target (though I still managed to paint a pretty large bullseye on myself without really being aware of it.) But I’m raising two ultra-sensitive, crazy, loving, neurotic, artistic, athletic, intelligent, inquisitive, passionate, silly, somber (and more!) boys in a world that STILL after ALL this time seems to have a very definite picture of what a “real man” is and what he is not. And I don’t know if I’m prepared to handle the heartache that comes from that.

Now that I’ve rambled quite far down a rabbit trail I didn’t even see I was on, in closing a quote comes to mind (out of context, yes, but the sentiment is the same, entirely):

“‘I can bear pain myself,’ he said softly, ‘but I couldna bear yours. That would take more strength than I have.'” ~ Jamie Fraser, Outlander

Dying From 10,000 Papercuts

“When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal.  Or take ships as an example.  Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants it to go.  Likewise, the tongues is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts.  Consider what a great forest is set on a fire by a small spark.  The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body.  It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue.  It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.  Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing.  My brothers and sisters, this should not be.” ~James 3:3-10

I have been embarrassed, humiliated, and saddened by things that have come out of my mouth – and this all under normal life circumstances.  When I pair my lack of self-control over my mouth with a stressful day, a cranky or unwieldy child, lack of sleep, fatigued husband, or any number of other situations that can be burdensome, the results are…  well…  extraordinarily shameful, to say the least.  As a parent, adult, teacher, leader, and caregiver I know right from wrong, how I should act/what I should say, and the consequences that can come when I fail to live according to the will and plan of God.  I am held to a higher standard and come under greater scrutiny before the Lord because of the influence I hold in my various roles and the fact that, simply put, I know better.  As someone who has been a Christian for two decades, my level of maturity (i.e. my ability to control my tongue) really ought to be higher than it is.

My tongue can direct, destroy, or bless.  Through the grace of God, I can claim to be someone who has a pretty good handle on using my tongue for appropriate direction of those under my influence and for blessing pretty much everyone in my life, in one way or another.  However, the destruction my tongue brings – especially to Jose and Squishy – all but outweighs the benefits it brings.  And this is terribly distressing to me because it is out of the overflow of the heart that the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34, Luke 6:45.)  Knowing that, if angry, hurtful, inconsiderate, cutting, bitter, biting, rude, careless, condescending, cold, insincere, unfair, and selfish garbage is what comes out of my mouth more than anything else, what does that mean about the content of my heart??  What is pouring into my heart and mind – the wisdom of the world, which comes from Satan himself, or the wisdom of God?

A single spark can set an entire forest on fire.  In the same way, little remarks, insults, words of disapproval, etc. are like tiny little papercuts to my children.  And I am killing them with 10,000 papercuts – the words from my mouth.  Do I make Jose and Squishy safe, worthwhile, and valuable through my words?  Or am I reckless?  Piercing them with words like swords?  What kind of effect are my words having on my children?  Yes!  I make sure there is no doubt in their minds that I love them.  I tell them daily, I show them through my actions, I praise and thank them, I build them up, I teach them the Word, I guide, direct, instruct, help, comfort, edify, and soothe them.  But when they lay down at night, is it the, “I love you”s and “You are so special!”s they remember?  Or is it the, “Don’t act so stupid!”s, the “Why are you so naughty??”s, and the “Would you just shut up!!”s????  I know for myself that I hold onto the negatives in life far longer than the positives – why would my children be any different?  I can’t dismiss the backlash my words have on others just because I am a woman and women are known for being harpies, bitches, gossipers, shrews, etc.  It’s not an excuse and it is not in line with God’s will.

So, what can I do?  I can pray, be in the Word, study alone and in groups, pray, seek the council of fellow Christians, upright leaders, and the Spirit, align myself with God, pray, and above all, pray!  Pray for heavenly wisdom – wisdom that is pure, clean, wholesome, selfless, peace-loving, considerate of others, deliberate and careful to take other’s thoughts and feelings into account, submissive (having a readiness and willingness to yield to others where I can when it is not against God), compassionate and merciful, empathetic, sympathetic, fair, sincere, and which reaps a harvest of righteousness.

“Is anyone among you in trouble?  Let them pray.  Is anyone happy?  Let them sing songs of praise.  Is anyone among you sick?  Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with the oil in the name of the Lord.  And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up.  If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.  Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”  ~James 5:13-16

A prayer life is the mark of a mature Christian, just as is control over the tongue.  And if I pray earnestly for the will of God (not just trying to get him to do what I want, when I want), he will work on my behalf.  The passage says that it is prayers of the righteous that are powerful and effective.  The problem is that the Bible also tells us that there is none righteous – no, not one! (Romans 3:10)  So how can my prayers change anything?  What is all that praying about my tongue situation really going to accomplish?  Where can I get the righteousness I need?  From Christ himself.  At the moment of my salvation, His righteousness was transferred to me – I need to pray on the basis of HIS righteousness.  God is not required or forced to do anything as a result of my prayer, but the earnest prayer of a righteous woman immediately causes God to act on her (my!) behalf.

So does this mean that if I pray through Christ for self-control regarding my tongue, I will immediately be given the ability to never again speak in anger, frustration, bitterness, etc?  Probably not.  Yes, God could do that for me, if it was His will.  But it is more likely that this will be a process.  I may not get exactly what I want, but God will move in new and fresh ways to bring about His will in my life – a will that includes heavenly wisdom in speaking to others, especially Jose and Squishy.  If I want to mature in my faith and gain control over my tongue, I must pray on the basis of Christ’s righteousness and patiently wait on the compassionate and sovereign God to move on my behalf.  I can’t run ahead of God’s time-table, despite my suffering for the things I’ve said and the pain I’ve caused (and will likely still cause) in the lives of my children, and others.  I must not give up on prayer – or use prayer to beat up on God – when I feel He doesn’t respond “quickly enough.”  God knows what He’s doing, He is pursuing the best for me, and I have to trust the work He’s doing behind the scenes.

Heart On His Sleeve

 **disclaimer: if you are mentioned in this post at all (you’ll know if you are), PLEASE do not let it make you feel bad.  That is NOT the point of this AT ALL. I just wanted to share some of my heartache about Jose’s heartache…**

My sweet little Jose...

I would never want Jose to be anyone but exactly who he is.  However, sometimes I hate that he is just like me.  Not because we butt heads (which we do), or because my mom laughs at me seeing that her wish for me to have a child like myself was fulfilled (which she does 😀 ), but because it means he gets his little heart broken all to pieces all the time…  😦

When someone new is introduced to his – how shall I put it – “circle,” he immediately invests his entire being in them, presumes that they do the same, and doesn’t understand when they disappear (whether semi or altogether) from his life.  At not-quite 5yo, the reasons behind their absence – however valid they may be, and they usually are – not only do not mean much to him, but they also don’t do a lot to relieve the ache in his heart.  I realize that people will always come in and out of Jose’s life, and that much of what he’s feeling currently will likely be forgotten over the course of the next few years (though will also just as likely be replaced with new and different experiences), but all that matters right now is that I have a little boy with deep hurt in his heart.  He manages to hide it (or even forget about it) much of the time, but it’s always there under the surface, waiting to pierce him again whenever he’s tired, stressed, worried about something else, angry, etc.

  1. He doesn’t understand why we can’t go and see his “friends” in Iowa and Michigan whenever we want to, and he misses them desperately.  The concept of how money works is so beyond his comprehension at this point, and he asks us to please just go get more from the bank so we can fly to see them.  Or just use our credit cards.
  2. He doesn’t get why his “girlfriend,” after whom he named his pengiun lovie and the subsequent book he published, went to a different school this year, after still being at his school the first week of this year.  Or why his best guy friend just didn’t come back at all.  The fact that their parents needed to put them in different schools for completely understandable reasons doesn’t factor in with him, he just knows that they aren’t with him anymore.  And though he’s started to forget them (which is, I suppose, a good thing), he still remembers them from time to time and asks if we can find them and go on a play date with them.
  3. He knows all the reasons why his uncle had to move across the country, but he prays for him every single night before bed and asks all the time when they can Skype again (difficult to schedule with two different time-zones and two very busy lives), and when he’ll be moving back for good.  I simply haven’t had the heart yet to tell him that his uncle is likely never moving back again, and probably won’t be able to visit very often either.  It’s because he is learning to be an excellent minister, and is actually going to be a Navy chaplain – something wonderfully exciting to which God has called him – but that is so hard for Jose to grasp.
  4. He’s completely at a loss for why his uncle “doesn’t love” (Jose’s words, not mine) his girlfriend anymore, and why – in return – that means that Jose himself doesn’t get to see her anymore, either.  “But I still love her, momma!”  She often features in his “God bless…” list as well.  And I know that his uncle and the girl would have done anything they could have to not have this happen – and that she does love and miss Jose as well – but once again, all Jose gets is that he’s lost another friend.
  5. Most recently, he’s had to find out that one of his all-time favorite adults (outside of family 😉 ) will be exiting his weekly life very shortly.  She has made the excellent and difficult decision to stay home with her baby girl, and I’ve explained that what she wants to do for her baby is the same as I do for him and Squishy every day.  He tells me that he knows that’s good, and that he loves having me at home, but (there’s always a “but”), “When will I get to see her?  She lives sooo far away!”  And really, in the grand scheme of metropolitan big-city life, she’s not THAT far away, but when we don’t see people we love on a regular basis, time just tends to slip away from us.  The majority of his brothers and sisters live w/in an hour of us as well, and how often do we get together with them?  A couple times a year???
  6. I don’t even want to think about October…

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