In process

Disclaimer: I realize many of my posts at the end of the year were about being busy and busy-ness… and I also realize we are all busy because that is pretty much how life goes. I am overall just a busy person as that is part and parcel with being a full-time mom and full-time business owner, I am not whining or complaining (and hopefully haven’t come across that way) but this space is also my outlet about what I am thinking, what is weighing on my mind and how I’m dealing with it. Also, in this post I’m going to talk about death, just so you know. </disclaimer>

I’m not normally one of those introspective, new agey people who needs time to process things that have happened. Normally, things happen and I feel what I feel about them and can (typically) recognize the impact and keep on moving. I’m a roll-with-the-punches sort of gal. The past 6 weeks (and perhaps the past 6 months) have really put me through the ringer with one thing after the other; and since we booked our tickets to Australia, I just kept thinking in the back of my mind, “I’ll deal with this, that and that other thing after we get back.” In the meantime, we made the decision to move our business before Christmas (good choice overall, just bad timing) which meant on top of normal life being off kilter, work was also out of whack and all sense of normalcy was out the window. The minute the holidays and the move were over, we boarded a plane to leave the country for three weeks which is a whole lot more off-kilterness (totally a word). And as I noted yesterday, while we were gone a third of our tree fell down and smashed our car and fence (thankfully not our house with its new roof), certainly a best case scenario thing for if that was going to happen since wonderful (times a million) friends took care of a bulk of the immediate problem with that incident. Perhaps God is trying to get my attention, or Simon’s, or both (that’s a post for another day).

So now we are back and while life should be back to normal, I’m still feeling a little lost, like I don’t know where to begin or pick things up. The three weeks in Australia were a bit of a whirlwind, though we stayed primarily in one place and didn’t have an overload of plans, they were still full.

Outside of the last time we were there and had to say goodbye to Simon’s dad, I don’t know that I’ve ever had to say goodbye to someone, knowing with great certainty it would be the last time I would ever see that person this side of heaven, certainly not someone I love, respect and cherish. There is not an easy way to do that, but I think we did it the best we could, despite what anyone else may think or how they would have done it (we all have our ways). There is no exact formula or right way to say goodbye but I have great comfort in knowing that we all know God and have Jesus in our hearts so it truly is a “see you later” scenario. It still doesn’t make it easy and it still hurts my heart for my husband and his mom, and for my kids and myself, along with Simon’s family as a whole. It’s impossible to be the people leaving as well as the ones left “behind.” Death and dying are pretty sucktastic if you ask me, but being sick and suffering are not great alternatives.

I’m sensitive to not making this about me because I am “just” the daughter-in-law and in reality have only met my mother-in-law in person a few times, but I think in being sensitive to that, I’ve pushed back some of my feelings on the matter and held back, thinking that I am not entitled to be overly upset or emotional about it. Plus, it’s less painful to be slightly detached and to be the stoic one – but I’m going to allow myself a moment here.

I dearly love Dorothy and feel so blessed to have been given the time with her that I’ve had, the chats and insights into her life. I love that the boys have had time with her and have loved on her as much as they have (they were wonderful with that, btw). We are lucky that we were able to go there. My heart breaks for them, anticipating the day I have to tell them they won’t be seeing their grandma again and while Jack won’t understand, I know that Liam will and he’s going to be so very sad. My heart breaks for my husband because while he says he’s at peace with it, because he is after all pragmatic and straight-forward with how he approaches things, it’s still his mother, his one constant for his entire life and she will be gone. My heart breaks for Simon’s family, especially my sister-in-law, who is left behind dealing with everything after the flurry and excitement of all the visiting family. See, it’s sucktastic.

I have a hard time calling our trip a vacation because that was not its purpose. I wish we could have been somewhere that wasn’t a place everyone wants to go, because that aspect of the trip was so small compared to the bigness of everything else. Which is not to say that we didn’t have fun or loads of awesome experiences, we totally did and tomorrow I’ll talk about those.

So bear with me, I’m still processing it all and trying to find normal again. But I thought you should know, I need a little gentleness and understanding. Don’t we all?

And as long as I’m laying it all out there… two other things weighing on me are:
1. Acutely feeling the loss of having my husband around after a month of his not working. After two years of his working second shift, and our tag-team parenting, this month of togetherness has sort of ruined me for our “normal” and I anticipate a little depression in relation to that detail.
2. Feeling out of touch with my friends – my sounding boards and often my sanity – this is very normal for this time of year, as each winter, after the holidays are over, I feel this way. The snow often comes and keeps everyone inside, and people are recovering from the holidays and school breaks, and we all take time to regroup and it often feels like forever until we can reconnect again. The timing of our trip magnified this feeling for me because I missed seeing friends in general along with a MOPS meeting (thanks to a school delay, I only missed one, I might be the only person in MOPS who was glad for it to be cancelled). But the good news is, I have some gatherings to look forward to – plus a Friday date with Sandy at my house! And I promise not to be a needy mental case when I see my friends, scouts honor.

And just so I don’t leave you with all gloom… a photo from our seeing Rod in Wollongong, I ran ahead to get a photo of the guys with the brood of children. I love the disapproving look on the woman’s face behind them – total photobomb. And would like to note that Rod’s children were bundled in heavy jumpers while my kids were complaining of being too hot in long-sleeved t-shirts. And, God bless Rod and Leann because they have three-and-a-half-year-old twins!


10 responses to “In process

  1. Love you, friend! Praying for you as you transition back into “real life” and process all that you have been through… I’m so sad we need to wait a whole week for a coffee date- ’cause I miss you! Also- we need to get another evening play date on the calendar… although unfortunately, maybe not until we get back from FL. (that darn busyness again…)

  2. HOORAY!!! Friday night date! I can’t wait! Seriously wanted to hug you through the web cam last night!

    Also, I’m totally up for you if you need to be needy and gloomy a bit. Lord knows I leaned on you in my gloomy moments. That’s what friendship is all about, lady! Lots of love. 🙂

  3. You don’t sound totally complaining- just honest. It’s a tough time of year and with loss on top of it, I might have tip over the edge of reason…You’ll be in my prayers as you process and chip away at the things awaiting you. I laid on the couch for a week after new years, exhausted, sad…and yes probably depressed. I was so overwhelmed with where to begin. I got a happy light (S.A.D person that I am) and just started somewhere….I have no idea how or when but God has graciously helped me chip away at all I had neglected and I am staring in amazement at a “to do list” that is now so short and…gasp…somewhat manageable. I hope you find the same!

  4. Pingback: Notes from a Big Island, Part Two | ememby

  5. Oh Michelle…Thank you for your honesty. So heartfelt. You have my blessing to be a “needy mental case” all you want – So looking forward to seeing you next week. It’s truly been way too long! Love you.

  6. love you, friend. can’t imagine being in that situation-and you both handle it so beautifully. i can relate to entering back into real life-and a new normal. hopefully we can get together sometime soon! miss you!

  7. Pingback: You know what happens when you make plans… | ememby

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