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Finding the freedom to share

February 12, 2018

For a numbers girl, I don’t even want to look back and count the days since I last wrote a blog post.  Oh, it would be easy to blame the dogged pursuit of the jaunty chapeau, signifying earning my doctorate or better yet the never ending demands on my time as a momma, wife, and educator.  But in my heart I know that while those items do take a toll on my day to day energy, the real reason for my absence has a much more profound rationale.

Each year, for the past few years I (and sometimes we) have chosen a one-word theme for the year.  Even though it was the word a few years back, joy will be a relentless pursuit for me for all of my days.  When a portion of your heart lives in heaven, finding joy is always a delicate balance.  Yet, the word I chose as a follow up to 2017’s contentment seems so fitting to many different avenues of my life and it is this new word chosen for 2018 that is helping me to break down the walls that have prevented me from being able to write again.

This year’s word is free which speaks volumes to areas where I have been challenged in the past.

After much internal agonizing and wrestling with the pain that stole my peace, I finally feel free (enough) to write about my blogging drought.

To do the story justice, I must explain that I have always been a numbers person.  Sometimes, I remember the phone number better than I do the name of a business.  Numbers have always fascinated me, which is why I marked a date on a calendar which would mark a passage in time that I never wanted to experience.  I have said it before and it could not be more apt here . . .

Time stops for no momma’s heart.

Making the story more profound was the trifecta of events that came together to stir up a turbulent storm of sadness which brewed in my heart.  Saturday, August 19 marked the day that we took our Sister to college.  There was joy (much joy) that she became a third generation college student at our family’s alma mater, but her journey snuck up on us and we felt woefully unprepared for her to launch into the world. (She is and was then more than ready, but as her parents we weren’t ready to see our not-so-little ladybug ready to chase her dreams.) The day before we laid to rest one of our dearest friends whom I miss every day and whose love for others continues to blow me away.  On our sweet friend’s first day of chemotherapy a month previous, Sister had her monthly hive infusion treatment at the same cancer center.  They were placed in rooms right next door to each other.  Even though our friend was fighting for her life, she cried tears of sadness that Sister would have to deal with a diagnosis that could possibly have a lifelong impact.  Losing a friend who gives from an abundant well-spring of love is not a hurt that eases quickly.

But then there was that date – August 19, 2017 – etched in the calendar of my heart.  I held it together for Sister’s sake, but at some point later that night at our aunt’s lake house, I went into the shower cried more tears than the shower poured forth because on that very day our little Sally turned exactly one day older than Reed ever lived.

When the baby that Reed couldn’t wait to hold every single day of his life turned older in earthly days, it was as if my heart experienced an electrifying and stupefying shock. Every day. Every single day that we have had with her since is a bittersweet reminder of the days we didn’t have with him.

It took me a long time to share what has really been going on, because even though I tried I simply wasn’t ready.  Just like the beginning of my writing journey, the knowledge that my words have helped others compelled me to sit down at the computer tonight.

Sitting here writing the words of my hidden sadness, the tears flow clouding my vision, but just as I suspected, God is collecting each one in his bottle and while he does I am sensing my heart’s burden lifting, comforted in his love.

Earlier today, freedom was found in a divine messenger. I heard the cardinal sing, serving as a reminder that while the tentacles of grief linger on earth, heaven’s love is only a song away.


Wearing her biggest brother Reed’s shirt to Twins game last August.



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