Jan 03

Twirl

So we like to have impromptu dance parties around here. William (3.5 years) currently does this move that looks almost like a football drill or something, and Mary Kathryn (19 months) marches her chubby legs up and down so fast and likes to put her hand on her knees and do this little squat thing. It’s all just too cute.

It’s still just unbearably cold here, and we have been inside a lot, so after dinner I had some music playing, and I was trying to get the pre-bed jitters out, so we started a dance party. William asked for the “oh my my, oh hey hey song”, which is a fun song that we like called Big Parade by the Lumineers. He said: Momma, turn it up real loud!” So I did.

The three of us began to dance. We held hands and danced in a circle, and I taught them how to twirl. Mary Kathryn in her cute little non-talking voice would say WOW WOW WOW!, and William couldn’t get enough of it, and from time to time he’d sing the right words on the song.

We all got dizzy and ended up all falling on the groud, and I hugged them both tight, and I took a mental recording of those moments. I almost grabbed my phone to document it, but something about holding their hands and spinning around, I just knew that I would never forget it. As I was squeezing them, and the music was still pretty loud, William said: I just love y’all. He said it completely on his own.

Melting.

As we continued to dance and twirl for a bit longer and then slowly start playing the airplane game where you  lay on the ground and hold them up with your feet, I began to look into both of their eyes and it just hit me. I love them both so much that it hurts, but the true revelation was this:

William taught me that I could love again.

and

Mary Kathryn taught me that I could be happy again.

After loss, I wasn’t sure that I could truly ever love again without fear, but on July 25, 2014 when William Daniel was born, I knew that  it wasn’t true. I loved again deep and real and hard, but the years following were still tough. Then on June 3, 2016, when I looked into those blue eyes, Mary Kathryn unlocked some joy in my heart that I hadn’t felt in a long time.

There’s redemption.

So I’ll tuck tonight away as one of the sweetest nights, and we’ll have more dance parties, and those two little blonde-hair, blue-eyed babies will never fully grasp how they help me get stronger every day.

They’re truly my loves and my joy.

Keep Walking.

Jan 01

New Years

Happy New Years!

I know everyone says this, but I truly can’t believe that it’s 2018. It feels like yesterday that we were worried that Y2K was going to shut down the world, and that was 18 years ago. 18. What the mess.

We don’t make a huge to do out of New Years around here, but we did manage to have some of those blow horns {why my mom got them when we have a 3-year-old… yeah… about that…}, some lovely plastic necklaces, oh and I made some chocolate pudding with whip cream. Dan was working ER, so I was alone with the kids all day and night, and needless to say we didn’t even consider making it to midnight! Well I guess D did, but he was in surgery ringing in the new year.

It’s oddly cold here in Alabama, and yesterday morning I took the kids to church alone. It was drizzling rain, and it was around 20 something degrees, and I was lonely and a little bored as I drove. I was playing some worship music from Spotify, and as I was thinking and driving, I happened to look up to see the funeral home that took care of Mary Anna’s body.

I burst into tears remembering those early days after losing her. Calling funeral homes. Debating cremation. Having her tiny body transferred to Auburn from Birmingham. All the haunting details.

I’ll never forget the owner of the funeral home not charging us a penny. He literally did it all for free. It is a gift that we could never repay, and he’ll never understand how that kindness will always affect us.

I’ll never forget walking in there in my late 20s, and thinking HOW THE HELL AM I IN A FUNERAL HOME SIGNING PAPERS FOR MY BABY.

We’ve been visiting a new church and driving that way to church for as long as we’ve been back in Auburn, but somehow I just noticed it yesterday. As I cried driving by, the rain was coming down, and the kids were hauntingly quiet in the back seat, and this song came on:

I cried a little harder.

I wasn’t there when the world was created, and I wasn’t there when he created Mary Anna’s body and chose the number of her days. Some days I think that I was, because I carried her and birthed her and she was mine, but I forget in reality that she’s not mine. She is HIS.

Although I had no right to ask, my God knelt and answered me.

I spent the rest of the day tearing up off and on, but my two babies are just used to seeing momma cry. And that’s o.k.

D walked in tired with bloodshot eyes this morning, and without me telling him about my day, he said to me: “New Years is just hard… I miss Mary Anna… It’s another year without her.”

We all carry around burdens that are too much to bear on our own. This year, I want to be more generous to myself with my grief and help others do the same. I posted this on my instagram yesterday morning, and this is my theme for 2018:

 

Keep Walking.