Tuesday, January 13, 2015

When You're Gone

I've been taking a break from almost all things these days that do not increase my faith or give me joy. I've been trusting the process even though I do not understand it. I'm committed to the unraveling. Based on my experience, God's unraveling ends in the most beautiful, breathtaking redemption ever. {right?!}

A friend emailed me today to ask if I was still around. 
My answer "Still swimming over here with God's hand underneath me not allowing me to drown." 

True story. He {like always} is my anchor in this storm. 

I'm learning a WHOLE lot about life these days. I use to pray for wisdom, but more recently, I just pray for guidance and discernment. 

There are SO many things on my plate right now in addition to #superJace and chemo. 

I can't help but think about the decisions that were made prior to these days. The days when I try to make sense of the "mess." {oh, yes. I know God WILL turn it into an amazing MESSage}
I've been reading a "heart-punch" book called THE BEST YES  {Thanks for the recommendation @hastobepretty!}

Let me just tell you. It's not an accident I'm reading this book  during this exact time. Making decisions isn't easy. Making decisions during grief is very painful. Making multiple decisions with little to no information while grieving is overwhelmingly painful. This book speaks to me every single time I begin reading and it's helping me find a way right now. 

So, I wanted to write about these decisions and give you a child's perspective because the season has jolted me to realize the importance of our decisions. 

Leaving your kids is not something people like sit and ponder on and I think it's probably a very painful thing to talk about but as I pray for the lesson in this season of my life, this is one of the lessons. 

What legacy are you leaving your kids when you are gone? 

Unfortunately most of my relationship with my mom was watching, listening, and learning what NOT to do. We thought differently, we responded differently, we made decisions differently, we thought of health differently, we did relationships differently, we parented differently....

So, as I sit here in my late thirties looking at all of the decisions laying before me, I cannot help but wonder if it all would've been different if she would've just truly thought about all that she was leaving us. If she would've decided one day that despite the pain, the discussion was necessary and just might make our grieving easier. 

From the time I can remember, my life was filled with stuff. In the beginning, after my brother died, it was a way for her to connect with me. I grew up never wanting or needing anything, because it was always there. I'm pretty sure from the outside it all looked blissful . But after watching my mom during her last day and now trying to sort out the mess {because if you were sitting in front of me now and I told you all the details, you'd say it was a BIG mess}, I wish I would've pressed her harder, though painful, to make some of those decisions with me/us. 

See, the stuff doesn't matter. Sure it mattered years ago. The houses, the land, the trips, the cars, the clothes.... 

But I can tell you today it doesn't matter. Not one bit. She couldn't take any of the stuff with her. I can't manage all the stuff and I'm finding it hard to even find time off to sort through the stuff that I might want to cherish.

 We didn't know I would be mothering a child battling cancer when my own mother died.

We didn't know just how bad my dad's Alzheimer's was because even when we would ask or suggest help we would get angry reactions. 

We didn't know {and still aren't sure} how to help my brother just live and survive because when we would ask for information we needed to know, we were shut off.  

Here's the deal. There is a healthy way to approach all of this. I did not get to experience this with my own parents. There was so much I didn't know and new things I'm learning everyday. 

Some days I get angry for being left with all of it and having no clue about anything. But most days I am reminded of the lesson. 

Every decision you make will either propel you and leave a lasting, loving legacy or those decisions will make you fearful and strangle that legacy. 

Every decision I make is the legacy I leave these sweet faces. Those decisions WILL affect them no matter how old they are when we have to say goodbye. 

I urge anyone out there, who might be avoiding the discussion with their family to please remember that in the end, your loved ones will grieve easier if you've helped them to know what your wishes are, what needs to happen when you are gone, who gets what, who goes where. . . 

Most often the hardest things to decide will determine our direction and our direction will determine the legacy we leave. 

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