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The Weight of Loss

The Weight
Almost 6 months after Mom passed away, a dear friends mother also lost her battle with Cancer.  At the time I still considered my own grief “fresh”, yet I was reminded of the sheer rawness of those first several days as I attended her Mother’s visitation.  My friend’s mother fought until the bitter end with grace and dignity just as mine did. The stress in caring for someone with an extended illness is a roller coaster and in the end makes you feel powerless. I felt like our love for Mom was so strong, we could somehow “love” her back to wellness.  The ups and downs…..”oh she took 3 bites of breakfast? She must be feeling better, things are looking up”, then finding out she ate nothing more the rest of the day…. I can’t describe the feeling of powerlessness trying to find hope in the smallest of things, only to be disappointed in the end. I think the most bitter pill to swallow was realizing our love was not enough to save her from the suffering. All we could do was put our best effort into finding the right doctors and treatments, pray, and make sure she was comfortable along the way.  The emotional weight of seeing someone you love so much suffer so endlessly is much like wearing a heavy winters coat in the middle of a lake.  It’s so heavy, you feel as if you are drowning in despair for any glimmer of hope, while discovering that no matter how much love you have to offer, you are still sinking. Slowly. Into a bottomless ocean of fear and uncertainty.

 

 I ultimately became resigned to the fact that the only true thing left to hope for was God’s promise of eternal life. For my Mother I began to hope for a peace that surpasses all understanding, hope for a life that could exist outside of this disease, a life that only God’s Grace could provide.  With that in mind, the strangest feeling took place upon her passing. The loss that shattered my heart into a million pieces, simultaneously made me feel like I was ready for a “no more pain” pep rally and elated with joy as my Mother entered into God’s kingdom. Someone told me that strange feeling is the true presence of God revealing himself, the sheer joy felt for someone during a time of great personal suffering.

 

Our “loss” will always be. There is no “getting over it” or “time heals” kind of cliches. The fact remains that our loss is ours forever. We simply adjust to the absence. That adjustment process is not for the faint of heart. There will be days when you miss them so much your body physically aches and your insides feel exhausted. There will be days when you feel strong and remember them with a warm heart. Then there are days when something will trigger you out of the blue causing you to feel the void a little bit more than yesterday. Learning how to carry your loss takes determination and grit. Understanding how the loss impacts you and what you want your life to be amidst the after loss can be humbling. But if you are determined to make a beautiful life for yourself you can learn to carry your loss with a grace that wonderfully honors the loved one lost……
This entry was posted on September 7, 2015. 1 Comment

Hello September!

 

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This time of year is always bittersweet for me. I absolutely hate to see the end of summer…..I love the long days, flips flops and warm weather. However, I do LOVE college football (Go Hogs!) so it all works out in the end. Plus, as the seasons change, wonderful colors are revealed and the smell of pumpkin spice fills the air. Who could argue with that?

If you pay attention, you will realize that life is in constant motion, always changing from one season to the next. Children grow up, and pets pass away. We live our lives in chapters and experiences from which we will never be the same. Our lives evolve through experience, yet it’s not always the “experience” itself, but the meaning we attach to it that has the most profound impact.

As you know, I am currently settling into married life after losing my Mother. It has been a battle to see beyond the fog of grief and despair to determine what this chapter of my life is going to look like. I have always been a student of life, so trying to learn the lesson out of my life’s greatest heartache has been challenging. While I am still figuring it out everyday, I have already noticed my depth for compassion and empathy has expanded exponentially. I will always miss my Mother, but maybe this is one of her greatest lessons – To increase my capacity for compassion and love, not just so I can understand others better, but so I can understand myself more.

The absence of my Mother is not a change I would have ever welcomed, but if you look hard enough, it’s during times of challenge and change that life often reminds us of its beauty and purpose. For it is by God’s Grace we are allowed to grow from the challenges, changes and heartaches. And because of that, we are all forever blessed……

For more Sassy Images like the one above, check out @PrincessSassyPantsAndCo on Instagram and Facebook.

 

This entry was posted on September 1, 2015. 1 Comment

Teal Toes For September

Before my Mom passed away, I never really got involved in many cancer awareness causes, even though I had lost several family members to the disease. I felt that so much of it was over done. The last thing Mom wanted to talk about Cancer (how depressing!), but during her battle she tended to agree and often said it seems like most awareness is about Breast cancer.  There was always a luncheon, cosmetic bag, or piece of jewelry ready to purchase for the cause. While I do believe Breast cancer awareness and research has done tremendous things in understanding women’s cancer, the “below the belt” cancers tended to be underrepresented in comparison, while just as deadly.

I also believe that my mother and her love were so much bigger than that horrible disease. However, the ache of her absence in my life reminds me all too often how Ovarian Cancer robbed us. What if there is a little girl growing up right now with a Mom just as loving as the one I was lucky enough to grow up with? Would I want anyone else to experience an awful loss just because they were unaware of early detection? I was fortunate enough to have my mother for 11 years after the initial diagnosis because she caught it early. So, since September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month I am participating by painting my toes teal…if the simple act of painting my toes an unconventional color will spark a conversation where I can raise awareness or talk about my beautiful Mom, even if it is just once, it is beyond worth it…..

 

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Some great Teal Colors to look for are Zoya-Selene, Butter of London-Henley Regatta, Pure Ice-Watch Me Go, Essie-Naughty Nautical, OPI-Teal the Cows Come Home.

See www.tealtoes.org for more information on how you can participate and raise awareness.

 

 

 

This entry was posted on August 29, 2015. 1 Comment

What’s In A Name?

This is my very first blog post …. yep, first one EVER! So, now that we have that out of the way, I thought I would share with you the meaning behind the name and give some insight.

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GLITTER has always been my favorite color.  Whether pink, green, blue or red, if it sparkled then it was automatically my favorite color.  It is only natural that I include Glitter on anything that pertains to me. Besides, we can all use a little sparkle every once in a while…..

Aside from God’s divine GRACE, Christian Author C.H Spurgeon once said “There are some graces which would never have been discovered if it were not for your trials”.  Grace has carried me here, and by Grace I will carry on.

GARDENIAS were always my Mom’s favorite.  Their heady fragrance and delicate beauty were something that she cultivated.  It all started when my Grammy rooted the gardenia blooms from her wedding bouquet and grew a row of lush bushes that still exist today.  From those plants, my mother was able to root some blooms and grow her own, all originating from the flowers in her wedding bouquet some 47 years ago. It was only natural for me to keep the Gardenia sent to her service from a very special friend. I have proudly begun to cultivate my own beauty in her honor.  Every time I smell a gardenia bloom, thoughts of my Mother rush through my mind, so its only appropriate that she is represented here as well.

 

As for the tag line – NO GRIT, NO PEARL – I think we all have to dig in our heels and suffer through some storms in life in order to become and discover the treasure we are meant to be.