|Courtney and me...September 2014|
"Time heals all wounds."
If I had a dime for every time someone has said that to me in the last eight and a half months, I would be debt free and living on a small island in Jamaica.
I have learned many things since my Courtney went home to Jesus and one of them is that times does not heal all wounds. I have spent the last two weeks going through every closet, every box, every cabinet, every drawer, every trunk and storage bin. I have read sympathy cards, scanned in old photos of my sweet daughter, sat with my husband and shared story after story of our girl, all while cleaning out, straightening up and purging big time.
There have been some very hard days, but I feel like I have lost ten pounds.
I haven't but my heart feels lighter and my mind a bit clearer. As Jerry, Jonathan and I continue to navigate this new world without our Courtney, I am amazed at the power of grief. It can be a brutal beast some days and others it's as if nothing has happened. It's strange.
Some mornings I wake up and their is a spring in my step, and a determination to complete the "to do" list of the day. I feel creative, have energy and can see joy in all the amazing blessings that occur over the course of the day. Then there are days when it feels like an elephant is sitting on my chest and I can't catch your breath.
Most days are somewhere in between.
As I was going through those photos of Courtney, I cried and laughed and cried some more. Golly I miss her. I miss her so very much. Time is not going to ease those feelings. I will always miss her, every single moment, of every single day for the remainder of my life here on earth.
It doesn't overwhelm me anymore. It's a dull ache in my heart that will forever be a part of me. I have accepted that. I have told God that however He wishes to mold Courtney's legacy, I am all in. I have said "yes" to whatever he needs me to do.
This is not an easy "yes". It scares the hell out of me. For twenty-two years I knew what to do. Everyday, I knew what my job is. Right now let me tell you the stretching and pulling and daily unease is insane. He is asking BIG things of me y'all. BIG things and I am terrified to fail and disappoint Him. There is still a big 'ole tunnel right in front of me, that is pitch black and the only light is the one Christ is shining at my feet encouraging a deeper relationship with Hi, a deeper intimacy, a deeper trust in this new journey without my girl.
I have no idea where that tunnel will end up and for the planner in me, it's creating a wee bit of anxiety,but, I here my girls voice every once in awhile saying, "You can do it Mama. I got you. Let me be your sunshine. Just keep going." So I do. I put one foot in front of the other, walking in confidence that He has never abandoned me or left my side.
I am clinging to His promises that He will never abandon me. Clinging my friends.
As I walk through these next few months and we make our way through the one year anniversary of Courtney's death, I know that the elephant will come and go and I will struggle to find my breath and fight for that joy that is at times elusive. There will be tears and laughter, heartache and peace and there will be love, so much love for the gift of my Courtney Elizabeth.
I thought being Courtney's Mama and caretaker was the hardest job in the world. I was wrong. Letting her go and learning to smile without her here was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.
Every single day, I have to let her go a little more, to make room in my heart and mind for the life God is calling me to now that she is home with Him. It's a necessary part of the grieving process, the struggle to remain in the present and not stuck in the past.
I think this is the biggest challenge of losing a loved one. Mental and emotional land mines aside, the decision to smile again, to seek joy and laughter everyday, to remain present to the loved ones who are left behind with you...this will be part of my life's work.
It is a choice every.single.day. to remain here and keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Time does not heal all wounds but God does. He reminds me that there is a "future and a hope" for me and the life I have yet to live, all while my Courtney watches over me and encourages me from above.
Two weeks from today, on September 25, I will turn 48. I feel every single one of those years. I want to stand on a mountain top and start singing Destiny's Child "I'm a Survivor" at the top of my lungs. I have lived through a mothers worst nightmare and am still standing on two feet. This is not hubris. This is grace my friends and grace alone. I am simply amazed that I have not collapsed under the strain of it all.
I am standing on two feet because of your daily prayers and God's faithfulness to never abandon me. I am standing on two feet because my Daddy taught me to never quit and never give up. I am standing on two feet because I had the honor and privilege to marry the most kind and loving man and with him care for two incredible souls.
To be Jonathan and Courtney's mother has been the most challenging, most difficult, most joy-filled and wonderful job a girl could ever wish for. I would not change one moment...not one...even Courtney's birth into eternal life.
For God is good, ALL the time.
Labels: Courtney's World, grieving, loss of a child, motherhood