Friday, June 8, 2012


Holly, Becca, Priscilla, Stormy - THIS one's for YOU! Biggest love and gratitude for your honesty about your losses. 

Some might say I talk about gratitude too much. Some might say I talk about grieving too much. Some might say I talk about healing too much. They might be right. 

If you have read any of the blogs or pages here at "On the Wings of Gratitude," then you know why there's so much gratitude talk. You know why we discuss grieving those we have lost. You know why it is important to heal. 

Today my brother (shown below at around 3 years) would have been 30. Thirty. When I say that out loud it is even more unbelievable than I thought it would be. 

It is ironic that every year when I really focus on my book, the one he inspired, it ends up being the months of his birth (June) and his death (July). Those months are very difficult for me. Some years are more difficult than others. 

Today, I woke up just like always. Scratch that. It was not just like always. We had an extra kid with us after a sleepover and the day started off pretty fast and furious. After our sweet extra girl left, we got ready for our first library visit of the summer. The 2 year old was not happy about his attire and was struggling with his independence to express himself with superhero t-shirts while I was struggling to dress him the way I wanted for once. :) 

So, we finally made it to the library. (If you only knew the 3 day journey it took us just to get there.) 

Little J and I were on the front row for story time while the big girls were scouting and checking out their own books. We sing songs, get our "wiggles out" and sit criss-cross-applesauce waiting for the first book to be read. 

The name of the book escapes me, but it was about a caterpillar who couldn't fly with his friends. Then, one day when his friends came to visit he flew around them. Oh how surprised they were! Oh how the little toddlers gasp at the site of the butterfly puppet! Oh how the chills ran up my arm. It was in that moment that I realized what day it was. June 8. His day.
I realized that butterflies once again made their appearance in my day, especially today. 

This was my last Sunday with my brother. Two days later he was gone. That was 24 years ago. 

I would like to tell you that you get over that loss. I would like to tell you that the pain goes away. I would like to tell you that everything will go back to how it was and that you might feel the peace you did before

After I got home, J had called to say he'd be late from work. The girls were gone to their dad's. I felt SO ALONE. I found myself alone on my bedroom floor, in a heap. Crying. Abandoned. Something about his death, the events after his death made me feel so abandoned. 

When we grieve, many of us find ourselves alone mostly because we all grieve differently and at different times. But there was something about everyone being gone in that moment that made all those "alone feelings" come rushing back. 

Life isn't fair. Life disappoints us. Life is taken away from us in the blink of an eye and it hurts. It especially hurts when it wasn't OUR life that was taken. People disappoint us. People don't understand. People want to help but don't know how. Life CAN be one big giant ball of disappointment. 

I loaded up my little J man and went for a drive. I plugged in my iTunes. 

First song that came on? "Piece of Heaven" by Go Fish 
A great friend passed this along to me several years ago (Thanks, John!) 

His wife died and he sings about his frustration, not wanting to feel better, and not wanting to say goodbye.

Next song? 
"Cause You're the Rock on Which I STAND" 

In that moment, I remembered (with God's help and those songs -not coincidence) that my future is secure with Him. I am not abandoned with Him. I am not disappointed by HIm. He does understand. He does know how to help. He will never leave you nor forsake you. NEVER. 

There is so much to be grateful for if I would just look up! 

Why am I so full of #gratitude? Why do I try to help those who grieve? Why do I encourage people to heal? Why am I writing that book? It is not about me, my story, or my thoughts. 

It is simply because I know, know, know know without a shadow of a doubt that when you allow and welcome His light into your world, your days, your heart, your soul, and your hurt he will ALWAYS soothe and fade that pain like nothing else you will ever try. 

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