Extra time on your hands?

There is something on my heart that I want to share with all of you in the midst of the crisis we are facing.  It is not political, and it does not include any statistics.

It is about you.

I created this blog, this place to write, this place to share my heart, my story, my healing journey, about two years ago.  The journey began from the pit, my unhappy self at the bottom, waiting to be pulled out.  I was waiting for something to happen, and I wanted to be rescued.

I looked up, cried out, and then waited.  I had extra time on my hands, waiting, so I decided to start unpacking the imaginary bags that were with me in that pit.

If you have read my posts for the past two years, you know that many of the bags held people.  People I had to recognize, forgive, sometimes let go of, and always love.

I found myself struggling with all of it.  I experienced many setbacks.  I felt like I was standing at a wall, bags unpacked and strewn all around me.  I found myself trying to escape.  I was so ready to move on and put it all behind me.  Something was hindering my escape over the wall.

I sat back down and examined the steps I took, and I determined that I needed help.  I realized that this is not something that could be accomplished on my own.  I started reading “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality,” by Peter Scazzero.

I learned that I was living in the 10% of myself that was above the surface.  The idea is that most people bury themselves, the tough parts, and choose to live above them.  It is easier to forget the hard parts, and just move past them.  Eventually, the hard memories  rise up, no matter how hard we try to keep them below the surface.  They can strangle us if we don’t take the time to work through them.

So, there I was, at that wall, ready to overcome whatever I needed to overcome.  The book I was reading mentioned the wall as “a number of events piling up one after the other.”  I started to see writing on the bricks of my wall.  There were names of people, there were bad experiences, haunting memories, and sadness.  The author states that he tried to go around, jump over, and dig a hole under his wall.  He finally went through it because the “pain of staying felt unbearable.”

His words hit home.  I wanted to go through my wall too.  How???

I continued reading, and then I felt like I was led to two more resources that were necessary to find the answer to that question (how?).

The first one was called “Healing Prayer,” from Donna Winship.  I sat in a room with several other women, eyes closed, and imagined myself back in the first hard place that came to mind… rocking a baby to sleep.  The baby was not mine.  Confusion, anger, feelings of unimportance, and feelings of being replaced welled up inside of me.  The feelings were wrapping themselves around me, like deep waters I could no longer tread.  Just as I was going under, the woman who was leading the meeting said, “now picture Jesus there with you, in that moment.”  As tears fell, I pictured Him there, next to me, next to the rocking chair, smiling, hugging me.  Through prayer, I released it all. I released the feelings, the lies I told myself about myself, and I released others in forgiveness.  The woman leading the meeting told me to receive the truth, and walk in that truth.

That experience was life changing.  It was the answer to “how do I go through that wall?”

I continued, on my own, throughout the next year, bringing tough memories back to my mind.  Picturing Jesus there in those moments, feeling His loving arms wrapped around me, and releasing it all to Him.

Each memory that built that wall, as I released it, faded.  Eventually, it was gone completely.

The only thing left was love.

The second resource I stumbled upon was Donna Winship’s husband Jamie Winship on YouTube.  He spoke about knowing our true identity.  I was intrigued because I had no clue what that meant.

Identity.

Jamie informed me that I am unique, and that I was called to do something that no one else was called to do.  He informed me that my purpose is unique.  No one else can, or was called to, do the things that I was placed here (at this very moment, in this house, neighborhood, workplace, mission field) to do.  As I listened to these words, I felt my heart grow.  I was excited to jump in and do whatever it was that I was supposed to do.

I closed my eyes, as directed, and asked God to show me the identity that he gave me.  I wanted to know my unique purpose.

It did not happen instantly.  I read more, listened more, and sought it as often as I could.

I had to realize who I was not in order to see who I was supposed to be.

I no longer wanted to be an angry, insecure, unworthy, unimportant, struggling, and ill-equipped person. Once these false identities were acknowledged, and swept out of my mind, I was able to see what remained.  My mind was filled with truth, and my identity became daughter, leader, healer, conquerer.

Some days I live in my true identity.  Some days I fall back into my false identity.

The secret lies in knowing that my false identities can creep back in, but also knowing that I hold the broom.  I just have to sweep them back out and exchange them again.  Seems so simple, yet it took a long time to figure it all out.

I created this blog to share my journey with others who want to experience the same healing and freedom.  I hope that these words that I felt nudged to write today, in the midst of this crisis, bring hope and healing to you.

In these moments when our world seems to be falling apart, we can rise up and live out our unique purpose.

 

The sinkhole

The past four months have been a blur.  Some days flew by me at a pace I could not keep up with, and some days I was sinking slowly into sadness.

My peace was gone.

The sadness felt like a sinkhole.

I was covered in guilt and shame.  It blinded me.

Daily, on my own, I fought to keep my head from giving up and joining the sadness in the sinkhole.

Until… TODAY.

Today, I realized that it is impossible to fight this alone.

Right now, TODAY, I am reaching out.

As soon as I ask, I see this loving hand reaching down.  It reminds me of the day I fell in the lake on my 5th birthday and I saw my grandpa’s hand reaching down, miraculously, gently, and lovingly lifting me out of the water.

As my body emerges from the sinkhole, I am surrounded by love.

The sand disintegrates, and every grain is replaced by love.

His love was waiting for me.

I realized, today, that His love will never leave that place of waiting.

He will meet me there. Every time.

The sinkhole disappeared as I walked away from it.

Stronger.

And healed (again).

I am ready to place my feet on the new path.

Hoping to stay on the right one.

 

 

 

Coffee Talk

We met every Wednesday morning for about eight years. We, about 8-10 women, brought our kids to play together while we talked, ate delicious food, and drank endless amounts of coffee.

I don’t think we realized how crucial those Wednesdays were at the time.

I needed these women.

To breathe for me.

Some days.

My oldest child was two when we met. My second child was about six months old. I was pregnant with my third child, and two years later, I had my fourth.

I drove over there five days after my fourth child was born, because their love was more important to me than the risk I took driving. That was the moment I realized how much coffee talk meant to me.

Our kids loved it too. They begged to have play dates every day in between. They became superheroes fighting for the world, costumes and all. They learned about friendship, playing in the mud, being kind sometimes, and what it feels like to have lots of mommies who love you.

We named ourselves, the women who loved each other’s children as if they were her own, and our meetings “coffee talk.” It was such a simple title, yet, the love that poured in on those days could be felt for almost the whole week!

For me, it was about survival. Raising children, and trying to stay married.

Our weekly talks gave me the fuel I needed to get through the toughest moments of my life.

We prayed for each other too, as big giant tears fell down our cheeks.

We were all struggling with something. We brought it in with us, talked about it, received advice, and always left feeling ready to conquer it. The transformation was truly amazing.

As I reminisce, I miss those days. I’m thankful for the moments, but more than that, I realize how important it was for us to be together.

I wish I could publicly call out each one of the women at coffee talk who kept me alive back then. I’d hand them a ribbon, or a trophy. Or, maybe just clink my coffee cup against theirs and say THANK YOU.

How have I raised 2 adults???

Most days I feel like I am flying through life holding onto an imaginary rope that is pulling me.  I have to hold on tight, since it is the rope that is allowing me to be a part of life.  Most days I feel like I am just holding on.

Life is just going by so fast!

July 20, 2000, I became a mom.  I’ll never forget the moment I looked at the little human that came out of my belly.  He looked up at me like he knew me.  His cries immediately ceased when his skin touched mine.  We were connected in the most amazing way.

I couldn’t believe that God would choose ME to be his mom. I felt so inadequate and so thankful at the same time.

January 25, 2002, it happened again.  That connection.  The pain that I went through for hours prior to that moment instantly faded. Our eyes met, our skin touched, and I changed again.

December 3, 2003, and February 28, 2006.  3rd and 4th experiences of becoming a mom again. Each time was unique, each connection just as powerful and amazing.

The four days that I became a mom will always be the BEST DAYS OF MY LIFE.

Two of my four children are now adults.

I thought maybe if I typed those words they might seem more true, more real to me…

Nope.

Somehow, the magical age of 18 does not make them adults in my mind.  They will always be my babies.  I will always see them the way we saw each other that first day.

I will never let go of them.

Yet, I have to.

I have to trust that everything I have done so far, and everything that everyone who has influenced them so far, will be enough.  I have to believe that they are capable of being adults.

Yesterday, my most recent adult drove us to Ann Arbor (over an hour away).  As I sat in the passenger seat, silently trusting her every maneuver, I realized that this is what I must continue to do…  Let her “drive.”

She did great, and I was impressed.  I looked over a few times, at how comfortable she was behind the wheel, and how much she no longer needed me to help her navigate.  I realized in that moment, that she has the “wheel.”

She has control.

She will be okay.

Letting go must be a process.  I am only beginning to understand how it all works. Maybe that imaginary rope that I am holding on to most days, is now theirs.

I hope that these adults I have raised will do more than just hold on.  I hope they can let go sometimes, without the fears I had, and just live.  I hope the world doesn’t pass them by the way it sometimes has for me.

I hope they will always know how much I love them.

I hope they never forget our connection.

 

Validation – what have you done to receive it?

This is a tough question for me.  I am ashamed of who I used to be, and what I used to do to receive validation.

I ran into an old friend recently who asked me what I’ve been up to for the past twenty years. Part of my answer, for some reason, was that I turned my life around.  I have no idea why I said it, but it prompted him to ask me what that meant.

He knew me when I was at my worst.

The conversation led to us discussing validation.  I admitted that, when I was in my early twenties, I used to crave validation.  I remember feeling like I wasn’t worth anything to anyone unless I was giving them what they wanted.  This mentality caused me to be taken for granted in many situations, but I know it was my own fault.  I kept doing the same things over and over in order to feel worthy of the attention.

Some of the things I’ve done still haunt me today.

I remember, vividly, being in certain situations thinking, “Why am I doing this? This is not me! I hate this! I hate that I keep doing this!”

I knew who I wasn’t, but I did not know who I was.  

I wanted to stop.

Stop being the girl with no identity.

I remember the first time I met someone who liked me for who I was. I wanted to know the person they saw. I wanted to meet her.

If you’ve ever seen the movie “Thirteen Going On Thirty,” being with this person was similar to thirteen-year-old Jennifer Garner waking up as her thirty-year-old self. When she saw herself in the mirror, she was forced to see who she had become.

I looked at this new “mirror” friend with confusion. I was showered with acceptance and affirmation for no reason.

I met more people like my mirror friend.

And then, I met their source of love.

It didn’t happen immediately. It took a long time – about twenty years actually – to truly feel the depth of it.

I started to value myself.

My identity emerged when I finally allowed the love to overtake me.

Nothing I did, or could do, would provide true validation.

Only His love.

My big crazy family

She walked in, glowing.

She hugged everyone with so much love flowing from her heart that we didn’t want to let go.

As I watched, I was overtaken with emotion.  I held in the tears, I thought.  They didn’t fall down my cheeks, but they watered my eyes.

She walked over to me and said, “you look like you are ready to cry!”  I told her why, and she cried. And then I cried. And then everyone who saw us crying, cried.

It was in that moment that I realized how much love this big crazy family has for each other.

Our love gets lost sometimes. It gets mixed up in the busy, and feels distant with the miles we have to travel for those hugs.  It feels far away until those hugs round it up again.  If we gathered up all of the love, and tried to bundle it into the biggest Santa Jan bag, it would burst at the seams.

Christmas at my grandparents house was the event we looked forward to all year. The aunts, uncles, and cousins eagerly gathered to celebrate. It was never about the gifts under the tree. The memories we share include laughter, love, hugs, lectures we hated hearing but took to heart and allowed to shape us.

The aunts and uncles would smile, and actually look excited to see us, when we arrived.  The cousins would jump up and down, eager to play outside in the driveway, on the hill, “accidentally” adventuring over the forbidden hill in the creek at the bottom, in the basement under the stairs, on the slot machines with Grandpa’s quarters, or just be.

Together.

My aunt kept all of that tucked inside over the years. She knew she was missing it all those years, and did whatever it took to join us this year.

The tears we couldn’t control were evidence of the love we share.

I wouldn’t trade anything for

my

BIG

cRaZy

F❤️mily.

 

 

I walked right past her…

I was out shopping a few weeks ago, searching for a winter coat.  My white coat finally retired after eight cold Michigan winters full of sledding, shoveling, shivering, and a little bit of skiing.  I haven’t thrown it away because it is still storing some memories.

The store was fancy.  People seemed frantic.  I walked right past her.  I didn’t even see her sitting there, alone.  My friend Karen stopped, smiled, and said the friendliest “hello” to the little old lady sitting alone, on the edge of what must’ve been a very uncomfortable square block shared by the mannequins behind her.

At first, the little old lady looked startled. Quickly, she smiled back, and her heart filled up.  I saw the sweetest transformation!  Her heart filled up and she smiled right back! Karen made her day.  She noticed this woman that I flew right past.  She saw her, and connected with her.

Karen’s smile and “hello” must’ve brought the little old lady back to a time when that was the norm.  I see it happen in all of the old movies, so it must’ve been the norm.  Waving to people as they pass, stopping to say hello, or just a sweet smile.  Making people feel… important.  Valuing them.  Seeing them.

I wonder if the little old lady went out that day, with her daughter perhaps, just so that she wasn’t alone at the nursing home.  Stuck in a small room, silence as loud as a deafening concert.  Loneliness screaming at her.  I wonder if she knew she would get tired of shopping rather quickly, but she’d rather share a mannequin’s uncomfortable square block than hear the silence.  I wonder if she felt the world passing her by.  I wonder if she gave up on people saying hello, waving, and smiling at her.

Whatever the reason, Karen’s gesture was exactly what the little old lady needed that day.

Karen taught me something that I was able to teach my daughter this past Friday.

We went to the gym to play tennis.  Sometimes, the people at the gym aren’t very friendly.  This past Friday, my daughter had a bad experience with a staff member who who was very stressed out, and not so nice to her.  As my daughter relayed the story to me, I tried to explain all of the reasons why the staff member might have been overwhelmed: the tennis area was busy, several people were demanding things from her, we were a few minutes late for our court time, we didn’t know how it all worked, and we had a lot of questions…

My daughter was still very upset about how she was treated.

I thought back to Karen, and the little old lady at the fancy store.  I told my daughter that we will experience stressed out people almost daily throughout our lifetime.  We can either take it personally, or we can be merry & bright. I know it sounds fluffy and fake, but it works. When we want to respond to negativity with negativity, no one wins. If we respond with positivity in the form of a smile, even in the midst of the figurative arrows that might be shot right at us, we might just make someone’s day.

I hope that the little old lady returned to her home a little bit happier that day.

I hope that, even in the midst of the negativity that this world brings, we never forget that we have love, and hope to share.

There is darkness in the world, but it has been overcome.  There was a battle, between good and evil, and good won.  There has been a victory.

An endless love pours out over us, allowing us to be

Merry & Bright.

 

A room full of tears

My grandfather’s brother’s wife passed away this past week.

I went to her funeral today.

It was the first funeral I’ve ever attended where tears were shed, by every single person in the room.

The room was large, and the tears that fell filled it.

This woman, my Aunt Betty, left a great impression on everyone she met.

I’ll never forget the way she looked at me with kindness, smiled at me with love, and affected me with genuine care. Even though my Aunt Betty had 10 children, and several more grandchildren, she still treated me like I was the only one in the room when she spoke to me. Her heart, and her smile, made me feel special.

I have to believe that every person in that room today had a similar experience with my Aunt Betty. I have to believe that every tear that fell held a similar memory.

She was a devoted grandmother to the young young boy who knew she’d read to him every time he requested a book.

She was a mother who “worked hard at loving all of her children,” according to one of them.

Her daughter found this poem, and read it to her before she passed away:

Aunt Betty held a torch. She held it when she married young, when she fought to marry the man she felt was worth fighting for. She held it when she lost that man several years ago. She held it even when she was ready to go.

She passed the torch this past week. She passed it to all of us.

We will do our best to love the way she loved, to look at people the way she did, and to make people feel as special as she made them feel.

2 Timothy 4:7-8: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

Divorce (through a child’s eyes)

When my mom and dad were together, my world was full.

I was not fearful.

I felt protected.

I loved when we all smiled together.  We played at the parks, we flew kites, we jumped the waves in the ocean, we climbed trees in Washington D.C., and we looked out for each other.

If you saw us, if you were walking behind us, you would have seen this great big heart around us, with small hearts above our heads – full, and flashing.  That’s how you would’ve known we were a family.

One day, the big heart broke, so the little hearts above our heads were empty.

My dad left.

My mom changed.

I was scared.

I felt like I was out in the middle of the ocean with no boat, nobody nearby to help me, and nothing holding me up.  I was just floating, alone, waiting for everything to go back to the way it used to be.

Sometimes my mom would pop up, but her eyes didn’t look at me.  She saw me, she made sure I was still alive, and still floating, but the heart above her head was still flashing, still empty.

We left our house behind, and moved to a new house.  My dad picked me up every other weekend.

I kept trying to find that big heart that used to surround us.  I wanted to fill my mom’s heart up, so it would fill mine again.  I was tired of floating, alone.

I tried to make new friends at our new school, but I just felt so… lost.  I didn’t think anyone would understand what I was thinking.  They all looked like they were swimming laps like pros while I was still out in that ocean trying to figure out how to swim.

My mom started dating someone new, so now she didn’t pop up as much.  I wasn’t even sure if she saw me most days.  She looked happy, but the heart above her head was still flashing empty.

My dad started dating someone new too.  He still picked me up every other weekend.  He looked happy too, but the heart above his head was flashing empty too.

Why couldn’t they see me?  Why were they acting like their hearts weren’t empty?  How could we get back to climbing trees in Washington D.C.? How long could we exist this way?

My questions started screaming at me.  The water I was floating in felt bigger, and scarier everyday.  I felt like I was running out of air.

“Mom!”

“Dad!”

“Someone! I need help!,” I yelled, out to the silent sea.

At school, I walked around with my head down.  I tried not to let my tears escape, but sometimes they did.  I could feel the other kids wondering what was wrong, but I wouldn’t look up.  I wouldn’t let anyone in.

I came home from school one day and I noticed that my mom’s heart wasn’t flashing empty.  It started filling up, just a little bit more each day.  I didn’t know why, or how it was happening, but I loved it because she saw me again.  When I asked her what was happening, she told me that God was helping her.  She said that God protected us, and provided for us when we were out in that ocean.  She said that without God, we would have drowned.

I didn’t see God the way my mom did.  I was thankful, (if what she said was true), for the protection.

I’m glad we didn’t drown.

My mom kept changing, a little bit each day.  She was becoming the mom I used to know.  Her heart was pouring out into mine, and it never seemed to be empty.  I couldn’t figure it out – how could she pour so much love into me, but never run out?

When I asked her, she told me…  “God’s love for me, and for you, is so big that it never runs out.”  She explained that God’s love is like a great big barrel, bursting:  “As it bursts, and flows out over me, it is so full that it flows out over you.”

It didn’t make sense to me at first, but as time went on, I felt it.  I accepted it.

I still wanted to climb the trees in Washington D.C. with my family and that great big heart around us, but I know that the great big heart is with me even though my mom and dad aren’t together.

I’m not scared anymore.

I feel protected

I am loved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

All the good times

I am hoping that if I write it all down, it will leave my brain, and leave my memory.  I’ll only share the good times.  I don’t want to erase them, I just want them to stop revisiting me daily.

It started like a sweet romantic movie… our first date began with breakfast at a little country restaurant on Van Dyke.  The conversation was light, easy, and fun.  The plan was to spend the whole day together if breakfast went well.  Our next stop was the shooting range.  We both enjoy shooting, and I thought it was a unique “date” idea, so away we went.  He taught me more about guns than I could have ever learned from a class, a book, or even YouTube.

Around noon, we made it the sledding hill.  I brought my plastic green saucer, he brought a large concrete mixing tub.  I volunteered to go first.  He pushed, and spun, my green saucer so fast I couldn’t see where I was going.  All I could see was my hair flying around in front of my face, and the world flying by.  And trees, off to the right, lots of trees.  I panicked and threw my feet out from under myself, my heels attempting to make contact with the snow.  I flew off the sled, onto my belly.  The world was still spinning but I managed to get up, all non-graceful like, and attempt to walk up the hill. The couple in the sledding lane next to us must have panicked too, because they were silent, and staring, and no one was sledding when I stood up.  I smiled, they smiled, I laughed, they laughed.  I looked at my date, and he looked proud, and… maybe a bit surprised.  He was either shocked at how fast I flew down the hill on my green saucer, or at the fact that I was still alive.  Either way, we decided to try to fit in the concrete mixing tub.  We did, sort of, wedged in, and cozy.  The couple next to us had a go-pro video camera that they offered us.  I wore the helmet with the camera, and he held me as we flew down the hill straight toward the huge bump at the bottom.  We flew over the bump, soaring high into the air, and then diving back down into the snow with a huge THUMP!  We laughed, hard, for about 15 minutes after that stunt.  That was probably THE BEST sledding experience I’ve ever had.  I still have the video of the spinning saucer and the flying concrete mixer tub.

Next item on the agenda: lunch.  We drove to Red Robin.  Yum!  The day was still going great. The conversation was still light, easy, and fun.  I didn’t want the day to end.

Ice skating was next.  We found a man-made rink in downtown Utica.  He laced up my ice skates.  The moon was bright.  We raced, I fell. We raced again, he fell, on purpose – he wanted to win so badly he threw himself, rolling, into the hay bails that surrounded the rink.  I wish I had that on video too.  It was hilarious.  I remember hoping he was going to kiss me in the moonlight.  Our first kiss would be so romantic out there, skating, in the bright moonlight.  He did not kiss me.  Not yet.

“Let’s go to this delicious dessert place in Rochester,” he said when we decided we were done skating.  “Ok!”  They had every flavor of cheesecake I have never thought of – even fruity pebbles.  I ordered a blueberry coffee and a slice of plain cheesecake.  We sat, ate, drank, watched people, listened to a guy playing his guitar, and smiled.

When we were trying to decide on the best sledding hill to go to after the shooting range, it was a tie between the one off of Avon Road, and the one behind the church.  Avon Road first and then behind the church at midnight.  Deal.

It was midnight.  We were behind the church. He sat on my green plastic saucer sled.  We left his in the truck.  I sat on his lap.  It reminded of when my best friend and I  played “spider monkey” on the swings back in sixth grade.  We flew down the hill, laughing all the way.  And then, he kissed me, at the bottom of that hill, in the moonlight.

The next morning we went ice fishing.  He threw all the gear (the fold up tent shanty, the driller thing, fishing poles, and little canvas chairs) into the concrete mixing tub.  We drove to a lake near where he grew up.  We didn’t catch any fish, but I loved it anyway.  It took me back to when I was five years old and my uncle took me ice fishing.  I LOVE watching the fish swim under the ice.  I know they are cold blooded, but it just blows my mind seeing them swim in that ice cold water! They look so calm and peaceful just swimming back and forth, under the ice.

Three weeks later, we went skiing.  I fell, hit my head, felt a little dizzy, but kept on skiing.  We had a late dinner at a little hometown restaurant that served morel mushroom soup. I wish I could describe the flavor of this soup. It was bursting with the best flavors that ever hit my tastebuds.  I have never tasted anything like it!

One week later, I decided I had to tell him the secret I was keeping from him.  My divorce wasn’t final.  He was pretty angry.  He stopped talking to me.  He told me to call him when it was final.

Four months later, I called him.

All the good times happened from day one to day 1,095.

Here are the highlights that haunt me:

Making meals together – scallops, nachos, every kind of lasagna I’d ever wanted to try, crab legs, lobster, shrimp, and lots of chili.

Playing football with all of our kids.

Roasting marshmallows and popping popcorn in the fire.

Searching for painted rocks and geocaching.

Hot Air Balloons.

Shooting at clay targets we placed in the hill at the gravel pit.  Shooting at old license plates we placed in the hill at the gravel pit. Shooting at empty glue tanks hanging from a tree out in the country.  Shooting at paper targets – bullseye! – at the shooting range on our first date, and several other dates afterwards. 

Traverse City.  Petoskey stones on a hill. Fossils everywhere. Rushing waters. Pretending we were rich, walking through downtown with our imaginary fancy canes and umbrellas, saying “tsk tsk” and “poppycock.”

Skipping rocks in the creek with all of our kids.

Hiking uphill nine miles to see all of the falls at the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon.

Hiking in the Redwood Forest in Northern California.  Best adventure yet.  It is still difficult to look through all of the pictures.  The moments hold so many great memories.  Why is it so hard to let go of them?  I wish I could go back to those moments and just stay there. Maybe I should revisit this favorite place of mine and re-do the trip with my kids? Maybe then the rest would fade?

Playing on the rocks in the ocean.  Pretending to be voyagers looking for treasure in a new land.  Climbing, balancing, and just “being.”

I wanted the great moments to continue, and the story to never have a last page.

It had to end though.  Our lives just weren’t meant to be lived together.

I cherish all the good times, and I’ve let go of the bad.  I wouldn’t be me if I hadn’t met him.  I have no regrets.  I don’t want the memories to leave me, I just don’t want them to revisit me daily.

Maybe my heart let go a year and a half ago, but my mind took a little longer.

I bid them farewell.  I know they will never leave me, I am just hoping they will stop visiting me daily.