grieving with grace...most days...

Hello My Sweet Readers, 

Happy Easter! Thank you for the patience and kindness you have showered me and my family with over these last eight weeks or so. The prayers, notes and emails have been such a gift to us as we begin a new life without our Courtney. 

Lent was tough. Really tough. 

"ToughMother" is my new call sign. I can do all things because I have faced the worst nightmare any mother can face and survived. 

Summer 2014

My daughter is dead and I am not. I have spent many an hour sitting quietly with this grief of mine, wrestling with the sadness and loneliness that has seeped into my daily life since her passing. 

Our relationship was so unique. As unique as each of us were as people. It was also very physical, with lots of lifting, cuddling and snuggling throughout the day. I miss that so much. 

I miss the way she laughed and that when she did, the whole family would come running just to be in the moment with her. These moments were so very precious to us. The memory of them is no replacement for the actual events, but they are all we have. So I will have to be satisfied with that. 

We are all dealing with our grief in our own way. My guys tend to compartmentalize things and when the grief bubbles up to the surface, they meet it head on and we talk through it. There are tears and laughter all together. 

Courtney's presence is strong in our home and for that I am so grateful. I am so glad that I took so many photos and videos while she was still alive. They have helped keep her here with us for a little while longer. We need that for now. We really do. 

Life around us continues to move forward as we deal with our grief. Jonathan begins a new job on Monday and is prepping for his first computer certification exam. He misses his reading buddy but has such peace about where Courtney is now. She has become his prayer warrior from heaven. It makes my heart happy when he thanks Court for the help she gave him that day. 

You know what?? I have two really awesome kids. I don't know what I did to deserve them but I am blessed. 

Jerry has a new job as well. He remains with his old company but in a new contract. To say we are relieved would be the understatement of the century. He is adjusting to his new schedule as well as our new found freedom as a couple. 

We have actually gone to happy hour twice in the last three months. Happy Hour!! I mean who does that after almost 27 years of marriage. It's been fun. Weird but fun. 

Fall 2014

Due to your generosity and kindness, we have paid off all of Courtney's outstanding doctors bills, at least the ones that are not sitting on a credit card. Those will take time to pay off but we are determined to be debt free once again. 

First though, we need to save up to purchase Courtney's tombstone. Then we will go after the rest of the medical/daily care debt that's left on the credit cards from the past six years. It will take a few years of consistent budgeting as well as continuing our frugal lifestyle but it will be worth it for the peace of mind. 

Thank you, Thank you to ALL of you who helped us get this far. You are truly a gift to us. 

As for me and my new routine/daily life, it's one day at a time. I am now watching two little preschool girls two days a week. It's amazing what glitter, glue, sidewalk chalk and time spent coloring will do to heal the mind and spirit. They are a joy and I am grateful to have laughter in the house again. 

I am still working through all of my craft/sewing/art supplies to get organized in Miss Courtney's room. Again, it will take time to find a happy balance in that room, but I will get there. All of her belongings have been sorted through and either given to family or donated to charity. Big Bertha, Courtney's wheelchair van, is now blessing another family and I am driving a new to me used car that we purchased with the remainder of Courtney's life insurance money. 

It's weird not driving such a large car, but amazing that I can now park in a parking garage. It's the little things that bring joy. A parking garage on a rainy day. Joy...unlimited joy my friends. 

I am finally cooking again. It feels god to get back to routines again. All of us picked up a few (cough, cough) pounds over these last few months, so veggies and lean protein are the name of the game, with a few stray peanut butter cups thrown in for good measure. Thank goodness spring is here and summer close behind. Lots of yummy veggie variety to choose from. 

Jerry and I are still participating in Youth Ministry every Sunday at our parish. It's been a good thing to surround ourselves with life, even in the complicated form of teenagers. They teach us as much as we do them. It's an honor to be a part of their journey getting to know Christ on a more personal level. 

I have also started meeting with girlfriends and getting out of the house more as time permits. It's slow going and at times overwhelming, but one step at a time is how we roll. 

What the future holds?? 

I have no idea. I have decided to just concentrate on blogging. homemaking and re-establishing relationships for now. The memoir will come when the time is right. Our good God will let me know when that is. For now, being here with you, as well as taking the time to re-claim my home from the last year of clutter and sadness, is enough. 

So that's where we are. I pray your Lent was fruitful and your Easter filled with abundant joy. 

He is Risen! He is Risen indeed!!