Every October I feel like I get on a train that calls me to "hang on!" The train takes me through many holidays, family traditions, birthdays, the darkest day, and finally delivers me just beyond Brock's Birthday in March.
The ride is extremely intense as it seems every few weeks brings about a special day for our family. I would say we are a Fall/Winter family as it seems we have more birthdays and traditions that occur during that time. Each "What a great day" is punctuated with "Man, I miss Brock." These "high and holy days", as I call them, are truly a foretaste of heaven. Yet they often leave me with an aftertaste of wanting more. Wanting more of Heaven. Wanting him....
it is a time of walking slowly on the inside while my feet seem to be running with the crazy pace of life. I have to deal with my emotions of grief, or they will surely deal with me.
Thank you for dealing patiently with me as I have been a horrible blogger. I have no excuses except to say, I am sorry. I have missed you. I have been either overcome with my feelings of grief or overwhelmed with the preciousness of life that I didn't want to pause for fear of missing something. I pray that by being so immersed in life and not writing it down in cyberspace won't prove to be my not tasting it again:
"We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection." -- Anais Nin. So in my attempt to catch up my blogging, I give you some of our "Happy" days:
Happy Fall -
We made our annual trip to Burt's Pumpkin Farm. This was our 14th year. It holds so many memories of taking all our Lil' Punkins there.
This was Lila Jane's first trip.
She acclimated quickly as yes, that is a pumpkin stalk she is chewing on.
We ache to see Brock's precious smile and round face atop the pumpkins. We often visualize him in our pictures like he should be 'right there.'
Even the silo screams his name.
When we get the pumpkin home, our tradition continues. We have a night where the boys carve the pumpkin while we read The Pumpkin Patch Parable by Liz Curtis Higgs. This great book reminds us that while we clean out the slimy squishy pulp from the pumpkin and give it a new face, Jesus did the same for us. He took the dark mire of our sins and gave us new life. And He placed His light in us to shine before all men.
No! We did not adopt a teenage girl - that is Asa, dressed as a...a...a slumber party girl. It bothered me at first, but then some of his friends that are girls called to borrow some football stuff for them to dress as boys. Oh well! Mason was a cowboy, Barrett was a 60's Dude and Lila Jane was a pink poodle!
Happy First Birthday -
Lila Jane turned ONE on the 11th of November. She was truly the princess of the day.
My parents came up to help us celebrate.
We sang Happy Birthday, and then watched her get into her own cake.
As her day approached, I kept voicing that I felt like I had been caught in a time warp. There was no way she could be one.
She still feels so new...the day of her birth still so fresh in my mind. I was a bit sad to surrender my "baby" into toddlerhood. Each day has been so precious. So healing. She has been all of our baby doll. She is truly "beauty from our ashes."
Happy Thanksgiving -
Every other year we gather to give thanks with Drew's family. This year the Meadows clan came to our house. Here is the coveted Adult Table.
21 of us listened to the story of the first thanksgiving, read psalms of praise, and sang songs of worship, all led by Drew's father who intentionally reminds us of our country's heritage of faith.
Happy Birthday to Me -
In the late days of November, I celebrated my next birthday. So grateful to the Lord for allowing me another year to be a part of His beautiful world.
Happy Birthday Asa -
Asa celebrated his birthday with a group of friends down at the SEC Football Fanfare right before the SEC Championship.
This is our forth year to celebrate at this event. A few days later he took his drivers permit test and...passed.
This is all so strange for me. Is this really my life?! One that is learning to walk, and one is learning to drive. God is able to do far more than we could ever imagine! Now Asa drives us around everywhere.
Happy Christmas -
This year's Christmas card was not my favorite. It is the first year since Brock's death that I have not included him on our card. I felt like I didn't have time to be creative to figure out how to include him. With a tight budget and limited time, I came to the point of get it done or not do one. One night after coming in from the kids' programs at church (we all had decent, festive clothes on at the same time :) ) I set up the tripod in front of the tree and called everyone to gather. We took the picture on the time release feature of my camera. I could not believe Lila Jane's expression. I know it is a little late, but Merry Christmas from our home to yours.
Happy New Year -
The end of December brought about mixed emotions. It caused the passing of a mark in time that I have been dreading since Brock's death...
the day when he would be gone longer than he was here.
Oh it hurts to type it. 2010 was truly a year of a dance to a strange rhythm of grief and joy all pulsating from my one heart.
We welcomed the New Year with friends.
As a family we claimed the 2011 New Year to be a year of Words. A year where we will read more words, write more words, be more careful with our words to one another, hide more words in our heart, and know The Word, Jesus, better by walking with Him daily.
The blanket of white that covered our land a few days after New Year's seemed to remind us of a beautiful clean start to 2011.
Brock's Happy Day - January 31, 2011
The 3rd anniversary of Brock leaping into the arms of Jesus. The day of his arrival in heaven. The day he stepped into eternity. He is more alive now than we are!!!
This is the next stop on our train:
We remember Brock.
We remember the beautiful things the Lord has done for us.
We remember the sacrifice Jesus made so we will one day be with our precious boy again...
God has been close and comforting. He has brought sweet reminders of "Brock stories" over the last few weeks. We are forever grateful for your prayers and sweet thoughts. We thank you for being Christ's hands and feet and lovin' on us.
Ahh, it feels good to be back. Thanks for making it comfortable for me to pick up where we left off.