This past Sunday was one of ‘those’ days. You know the ones I mean, the anniversary day circled in red on your calendar and around your heart. October 2 marked eight years since Dave had died. Yes, life has gone on, and we are doing well, but there is still something about ‘the day’ that makes me want to mark it in some way, both for me and for my girls.
A trip to Disney – his favorite spot- seemed a great way to remember as well as to escape daily life. The plan was to write messages on a Mickey Balloon to release in front of Cinderella’s Castle (yes, this family of girls is all about the dramatic presentation!)
· I realized that our season passes were still in the hotel room. Drip. Drip.
· Waiting to park, we watched a parade of happy families (with daddies still intact) walk by laughing. Drip. Drip.
· So happy to be at the front of a parking line, just before our car, they started a new row…50 cars down . Drip. Drip.
· Add to this not enough sleep, sibling stress, and a momma who hadn’t taken time for quiet time in the morning rush. Drip. Drip.
As the sadness of the past collided with the frustration of the day, tears began to fall. Misty memories quickly avalanched into a big ole ugly cry-fest. It kind of took me surprise – I mean, it’s been eight years after all. Still, there in the parking lot of the ‘happiest place on earth’, we sobbed for what was and what would never be. But as you well know, you can only sob for so long! As the sobs subsided to sniffs, we sat in our quiet car holding hands, whispered a prayer and decided to play the thankful game.
From the 16 year old…well, at least we’re not in the last parking spot!
From the 10 year old…we get to go to Disney today, Daddy would like that.
From me…well, at least it’s not raining, the sun is shining and our Florida weather has finally turned cool.
Two hours later, we stood in front of the castle holding our balloon covered with messages scribbled in silver Sharpee. And as a family we said a prayer and took a deep breath and released it all one more time...the sad…the memories…and the tears; then walked away in the sunshine to ride rides and eat ice cream and live.
That’s the thing about grief, it’s there and it’s real. This whole thing is a process that comes in layers, it’s not like we are ever ‘over’ it. I believe God brings us to a place where we need to face some of those deep emotions. He meets us there, holds us when we cry, then asks us to release it to Him. Again.
And then go out and live the life He has called us to live.
Here is Paul’s perspective: ‘Yes, I will continue to choose to rejoice, for I know that through prayer and the help of Jesus, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will have sufficient courage and that now as always, He will be exalted in me’ Phil 1:19-20
How about you? Have you found that your walk through the valley is not always a straight path but more a winding journey of facing and releasing? How have you gotten through your ‘red’ calendar days?