“Together Forever”

I had a busy weekend cleaning. In the midst of continuing to try to move my belongings from the last 22 years I came across so many reminders of you. Not that I needed them, I always am thinking of you, but for some reason I do always find great comfort in the pain that comes from grieving over everything that reminds me of you. Maybe because it’s the biggest reminder, proof and evidence of what I shared with you. It helps to calm me and relieve my soul that it isn’t empty and lonely because of what I was able to have with you. I am so grateful for all the memories. All the hidden treasures you left behind for me; every little piece is so sacred and could never be replaced.

There were many tears today and even though I think the world thinks I may have found my strength, that I have somehow found a way to “move on” I know its not true. I still hurt, I cry, and I still scream, for you. How could I not? Look what I’ve lost. Even after a few years, I don’t think I believe in moving on. Not from people you love, the people you’ve lost. Not from the friendships you share. I am not good at moving on. I hold on. I appreciate and value the depth of what I’ve shared with the people I love and it just never goes away. I think that is both a gift and a curse. It is hard because there are many emotions involved with holding on.

I found a note from you today. Your handwriting, so beautiful and neat, just like you. The note ended with “Together Forever.” Those words never hurt so bad, mom because I needed you here with me… I suddenly felt angry and rejected. It wasn’t fair; it will never be fair… I finally led myself over to one of my favorite books.

My devotion today… “I AM YOUR STRENGTH AND SHIELD. I plan out each day and have it ready for you long before you arise from bed. I also provide the strength you need each step of the way. Instead of assessing your energy level and wondering about what’s on the road ahead, concentrate on staying in touch with me. My power flows freely into you through our open communication. Refuse to waste energy worrying, and you will have strength to spare. Whenever you start to feel afraid, remember that I am your shield. But unlike inanimate armor, I am always alert and active. My presence watches over you continually, protecting you from both known and unknown dangers. Entrust yourself to my watch care which is the best security system available. I am with you and will always watch over you wherever you go.”

I am thankful I opened my devotional this evening. After a rough day, I felt defeated. I felt hyper sensitive to my surroundings and desperate for all the things I once found comfort in. Exactly what I needed was a reminder from my God that all I truly need is him. It is so easy to become distracted, to get off track. To stray away from him, from who you are and make mistakes. I have been there many times. My heart now cries for the glory of grace and the endless care from the presence of Jesus Christ. Maybe that’s why I can’t learn to move on. Maybe he has taught me to love like him, unconditionally.

 I miss you tonight, mom, as I miss you always. I wish you were here to share this evening with me, but I know you are so close and will always be within my heart. One day, we will be together again, forever and ever. I hold on to that day, it gives me hope and peace. I rejoice in being “Together Forever.”

Trust Yourself

I debated on exactly how in-depth I wanted to get with this post based on my own privacy, I suppose. After giving it a lot of thought for a few days I decided to just begin writing to see where my words would take me.

My thoughts begin with the word honesty. If you can’t be honest with yourself, how can you ever expect to be honest with anyone else? For those who know me well, they understand one value that I hold incredibility high is trust. It is impossible for me to be involved in a good friendship or even more so relationship without the feeling of mutual trust.

Your word is only as good as your actions.

Trust can be very complicated. It takes a while to build, but can be broken within a matter of seconds.

Throughout the past five months I have been dealing with debilitating pain. My body has felt trapped within a state that feels extremely unhealthy. I have felt fatigue, along with an assortment of chronic pain that has been capable of controlling my life both physically and mentally.  And at times it has. However, I’ve felt determined to overcome this sick feeling no matter how much it would take out of me.

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I had to trust myself. I would remind myself of this daily. There were multiple times I recall crying out to myself or some of the close people in my life… “Am I crazy?” I wasn’t even sure if I was asking myself or if I was waiting for someone else to declare it. I had to be crazy. I’ve felt physical pain before, as losing my mom took over both my mind and body for a while, but this was something much different. I almost felt in some ways like I couldn’t manage to function.

I knew something was going on with my body, I just wasn’t sure what it was. As I went from doctor to doctor, I would find myself in tears recalling the same story. I would read my journal to them where I kept tabs of what I ate, how many hours I slept, the medicine/supplements I would consume and what I was feeling. I took multiple tests where minor abnormalities would pop up but nothing explaining the deep and controlling pain I knew I was experiencing. It quickly became a nightmare.

I could feel myself losing patience; but that wasn’t even the worst part. I could also feel people, who meant so much to me, pushing away from me because it began to consume me. I wasn’t fun, I sure wasn’t happy and it’s very possible, it was quite difficult to be around me.  People at work began to recognize I was in pain. They would complement me with how well I was coping. They’d even make mention of my positive attitude and devoted energy to my work. But inside I could feel that it was fake and draining me. I was giving it all I could just to make it through a day of work. One day at a time.

Finally one night I was absolutely hysterical. I was crying out to my father and friend, “I am in so much pain, I can’t do this anymore.” And in spite of what they may of thought, I truly felt this way. I was losing hope because I was trying desperately to find some sort of answer and relief. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t happening.

Very shortly after that night, I think God heard my cries and answered my prayers. I met with an extremely talented and generous doctor. For once, in this journey, I felt that he actually wanted me better as much as I did. I knew he was determined to help me and lead me to recovery. Within a few long months he connected me with a very special lady. She was a specialized in the area he felt I needed to be connected in. He was right.

Within a month of my first visit with her I was getting put to sleep for surgery. I went into the surgery nervous, but anxious with some sort of excitement. I was looking for answers that I so desperately needed. My first memory after recovery was the voice of the sweet lady doctor. She held my arm and said “Randi, my dear, you are not crazy.” It turns out something had been taking over my body and was causing me intense and terrible pain. If they wouldn’t have found it, it would have only gotten worse for me and could have resulted in a lot of permanent damage that would have been devastating for me.

I am still recovering, I have a long ways to go, but I know now how important it is to always trust yourself. You know your own body and needs. Don’t ever sell yourself short by not acknowledging what you feel. Be your own advocate and fight with every ounce of hope that no matter what you are facing there are better days ahead. Healing will come for those who believe.

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Two Years

Two years.

I wondered what today would feel like. I started to really anticipate this day when my calendar hit April. But long before then was I anxious for it. As soon as I had realized she was not coming back to me I became scared for this day because I wasn’t sure how I would make it two whole years without her next to me or if I even cared to. If this sounds dramatic than you may have never lost someone that you loved with ever piece of your heart; A person who made each day a better day for you. The person who made your life feel complete. That was my mom.

Which brings me to explain to you how I am feeling… You wait for the calendar to hit the 26th day of April. Like you need some sort of reminder that she’s gone, that you’ve lost her life and that it’s been two unbearable years without her. But do you? Of course not. You don’t need those reminders because you live with them each and everyday. The reminders are constant and it doesn’t take a certain day or time. They aren’t planned and even if they were it couldn’t possibly make them any easier or anymore difficult to cope with.

Everything feels still. There is no motion around me. I sit in silence. All sounds are mute to my ears. There is simply one thing I desire to see and one noise I desire to hear. It is her. But the reality is, two years ago on this very day was the last time I could wake up on this earth to seeing the beautiful face that I desire so much. It was the last time she would walk around talking to me and distracting me as I was trying to get ready to run out the door for work. I loved our mornings. It was always so hard to leave her. We would get into conversation and sidetracked easily. It became a bad habit that I would regularly leave the house late and speed off to work trying to make it on time. I wouldn’t trade those moments for anything.

If I could go back in time I would make each one of those moments last longer. I would squeeze her a little tighter, listen to her words more closely and embrace all the wonderful things that only she could give me.

I have learned throughout the past two years that I have not faced this time without my mom. That in her own special way she still gives me the guidance and love I desire. It may not always feel like enough because I know what I have had with her but it is something and for that I am extremely grateful.

I look up at the sky and talk to you. What I wouldn’t give to hear you talk back. But sometimes if I am patient and I closely listen I can feel you in my heart guiding me in the direction you believe I should go. You send me messages of comfort when you know I need them the most. But you have also helped me to not only rely on you but to build my own strength so that I know I can do it without you. Because as painful as it is, we both know I have to. I miss your voice. I miss your laughter. I miss your crazy (but awesome) dance moves. I miss everything about you. I wish you could teach me to cook. Someday tell me how beautiful I am in my wedding dress. Help me be a mother when I have my own babies. I am so scared for all of those things without you. But I believe the love between a mother and daughter is forever and that everywhere I am there you will be…

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I truly feel as if I am the most blessed young woman in this world because you are my mother. Words cannot express the love I have for you mom. I hope through the way I continue to live my life you will see. The sun is shining for you today. Just maybe I will see a butterfly and if I do, I know it will be you.

I love you mom.

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