no, i have not abandoned you...

Hyannis Port, MA - 2016

Hello Dear Friends, 

No,  I have not abandoned you. I am sure you have wondered where I have been or what I have been doing. So much to catch up on and share with you guys. Life has been craziness central and I feel like I have been put into a blender and whirled into a oblivion. 

Nothing bad mind you. Just moving through the next stage of grief and settling into a life without all the "first" reminders that my daughter is dead and I still have a life to lead. God still expects big things of me and of my family. It has taken me some time to really wrap my head around this and when I am in a battle I tend to be quiet and the words that I would put here, dry up like leaves in the fall. 

This is the longest time in ten years, other than Lent 2016, that I have been absent here. I missed you guys. I really did. I hope you missed me too. I pray your lives are going well and they are filled with laughter, joy, hope and relationships to treasure. 

What have I been up to? 

Well, I have been working full-time (some weeks overtime) as the Director of Liturgy for my home parish. There have been several funeral liturgies to plan and carry out for some of our beloved older parishioners who served the Lord so lovingly for many decades. It was an honor to be part of their goodbyes. I am amazed at how joyful I am when planing these liturgies. I thought it would be harder for me, but I am so honored to be of assistance to these families as they are so weighed down with that raw new grief that I remember so well when Courtney died. I get it and I want them to know they are not alone. I pray they do feel guided and comforted for my small efforts to make it all OK.

I have been traveling for the first time in a very long while. Jerry and I went to one of my BFF's sons wedding in Cape Cod, MA. followed the next weekend with a trip to Peoria, Illinois to attend the "Finding Your Fiat" conference that my sweet friend Bonnie Engstrom put together. I will share more on those this week.

In the midst of these events I have also been moving through a little tunnel of grief. Grief is something I am learning to live with. It has no timetable. It will never leave me and most days it hangs as a back drop of my life. Then there are moments, that come in a flash, knocking the breath from me, making my heart break all over again, as the pain rolls over me in a fresh wave after wave, knocking me to my knees, holding me there with the sheer weight of my loss. I miss her beautiful face, her smile, her laugh and her fierce fighting spirit. I miss the bouncy curls and her long fingers holding my hand so tightly. I miss the weight of her curled into my body, snuggled close as I sing another round of "You are my Sunshine". 

I know she is never far from me but that physical separation is hard most days and then there are days when it's overwhelming and feels insurmountable. It makes me stop and sit in prayer and allow myself the hot heavy tears that lead to the ugly cry. Then when it passes, I once again remind myself that by the grace of God we will be together again one day. Until then, I have work to do. 

I also have some news in regards to the series "31 Days with Mary; Love letter from One Mother to Another". I had published up to Day 23 and then everyday life swooped in and took over. Your response to this series was so wonderful that I have decided to listen to the emails and text messages you sent. In honor of this blogs tenth anniversary in October, I will be editing the posts and adding in the ones I have not published yet here,and self-publishing a little book this fall. I pray that when the project is complete, it will bring you fabulous readers a little bit of comfort and  encouragement.

After all, that's what you have done for me this past decade we have been together. 

I look forward to our time together this week. Until then, go hug your kids and tell them they are the best...because they are!

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