Waiting for Godot…

My husband and I finally went out to a gathering last Saturday, a first get-together with people not in our close circle. The party was good fun with wonderful people with whom we played gin card games.

As I watched my husband finish his hand at one point, I noticed the slight droop of his shoulders and his well-worn smile that had a slight hint of sadness to it. It brought back to mind the long journey we’re traveling together. It’s a sorrowful journey yet loving and meaningful. We still have our other kids, yet one will always be missing. So deeply missed after almost three years.

In the three years, my youngest girls grew more than a foot each. We’ve made changes to our home just to break the mood and keep us busy. We’ve learned who are our real friends, and we’ve focused our energies.

Each step each day will forever be painful. I think there were just a handful of moments in the last years that I didn’t think about Allie. She is just my bright light, and I miss her every moment. I cry and plead for her. I want to find her, and I know where she is I cannot go yet. Sometimes I hope I get sick so that I can be with her. I’m not suicidal, but if death comes knocking, I won’t fight it.

Then I see my sweet kids, and I try to be brave. Bravery is such an understated character trait. It helps define you if you find that will power to do and be better. Standing up to fear is so very hard. Facing your frailties is sometimes unbearable.

Yet I must be brave. My kids deserve to live as fully and as lovingly as they can. I have to make their lives as meaningful as they can be. I have to show them that in between the deepest depths of our despair is love, light, God, Allie, redemption and joy. Pure joy.

I have seen that joy. I’ve felt it, even if it was fleeting. I do know it will come again, and I want my kids to know and hang on to that hope. This joy and love comes in different faces and ways, so I have to show them where to look for them. They are all gifts from God, and we cannot ever say no to His gifts.

God bless to each of you reading this. We are all brought together because we’re all looking for an answer. It’s an answer that can only be answered when we shed our physical side and embrace the spiritual. This is not a literal translation, even though we do this shedding when we pass away. It is in the now that we will find it. I’m going to keep looking, for these gifts and my girl.

To one’s true self…

Love is patient;

love is kind;

It is not jealous;

It is not pompous, it is not inflated, It is not rude.

It does not seek its own interests;

It is not quick tempered;

It does not brood over injury;

It does not rejoice over wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.

It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never comes to an end.

I fall silent when I think of my daughter, who seems like only yesterday was alive and here. It’s been 2 1/2 years, and I can still imagine and pretend that she will walk through the front door to say “I’m home!” I walk by pictures of her in our home, and each time, I find her beauty and spirit breathtaking yet painfully so.

I think of what I have done in the past with her, lamented the times I was not patient, and upset that I can’t do anything more with her. It’s not helpful to do this, but it’s human nature. It’s also still a struggle to be a better parent with her siblings, despite knowing what happened to Allie.

When I use my name in the prayer above in place of the word “love,” I find myself deeply examining my relationship with God, my family and my circle. I see my shortcomings, my frailty, my inhibitions and sometimes, my bests. This prayer from the Corinthians is an unbelievably crucial gift for checking ourselves, for examining one’s conscience, and being vulnerable before God. Reminders to step back to look at one’s life once in a while is an important step to remember who we are and what we believe.

God believes in us, that is so perfectly true. Our belief in Him, however, is tested each day. It’s because we are only human. God is merciful and kind. He wants us to always come to Him and to think of Him in all we do. I am at peace in believing He has my daughter. He had seen her pain, how she was not in her right mind when she took her life, and wrapped her in His warm embrace. I know this because I’ve felt it. I know it because I feel Allie is content, happy and at peace. I know it. I believe.

Give love…

What is love? Unending, no-holds barred love? It is pure, sincere, non-judgmental, and asks nothing in return. It is God in all levels, and our spirits yearn for His love. We each try to find that love on earth, and we fail because no one else can give that kind of pure love. But if we expect no perfect love, but love that at least exists with a sprinkling of respect, honor and patience, there is plenty of love out there. Love isn’t for the weak-hearted. It isn’t for those who don’t want to give. It requires you to give despite any pain you will receive. And it requires you to give up your arrogance and narcissism at the door. There’s the love for our friends and neighbors. There’s a love for those who don’t agree with our politics. It’s not the same kind of love, but it is love. It’s similar to tolerance and openness. That is a kind of love. Love is for everyone. Everyone deserves it. Treat kindly, thread softly, and don’t test love. You will know it when you feel it.