Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

That first glance of the gulf always takes my breath away; it carries me back to childhood days and our long summer trips from Kansas City. This year is no different, but now a lump swells in my throat  along with the exhilaration of the moment. Rob did not make it back to the beach like we planned last fall; we raced to the emergency room instead. I grieve that I could not give him one last look at this place that holds so many wonderful memories for our family.
But, I promised myself that our Thanksgiving at the beach this year would honor Rob...we would create new memories and find reasons to laugh and smile. I must admit I wore sunglasses a lot to hide the brimming tears as I missed him so deeply. I think we were all very aware of the great void of his absence, but we fought to make this first Thanksgiving without him enjoyable.
I purchased a hand blown votive to light on special days, a symbolic way to remind us of how he brought so much light and warmth to each of our lives and of his constant presence in our hearts. As it sparkled, we remembered with thanksgiving.
Dinner was lively with two toddlers; we needed the levity. Bobby brought a taste of Galveston to the table with his delicious, homemade seafood bisque and of course, we stuffed ourselves on all of the traditional dishes Rob loved so dearly. 
Then it was off to the beach!

We topped off the day with pumpkin pie, Texas A&M football, pop-up books and goodbye hugs! 
Bobby and I finished the holiday with a long walk on the beach and chuckles about not needing toys for the boys. The doggy gate seemed to provide all of the entertainment and mishaps needed for our two little guys! I enjoyed seeing Galveston through my son's eyes. He is quite the islander and makes visits really fun. We browsed through some new antique shops and even discovered E.T. resides on the Strand.
I leave with a full stomach, but a much fuller heart. 
Thanksgiving 2014 has been a wonderful, unexpected gift from God.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Happy Birthday. Sweet One Year Old!

Our little guy turns one today!
Our family is so in love with him.
We gathered Saturday to celebrate and thank God for the blessing of Matthew.
It was a day full of joy and at one point, I found myself grinning from ear to ear. I knew his granddaddy Rob could very well be smiling down on all of us and especially on his special little guy.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

My heart wanted to share in church this morning, but the lump in my throat kept my thanks from being heard.  I retreat here to my safe place to spill my gratitude.
A year of mounting loss leaves me bumped and bruised, but always covered in His blessing.  God has carried me through this year of heart wrenching grief on eagle's wings.  

And He will raise you up on eagle's wings,
Bear you on the breath of dawn,
Make you to shine like the sun,
And hold you in the palm of His Hand. Joncas

I love Mark Hayes' arrangement of this powerful hymn. Every time I hear it, I'm reminded that through snares and sorrows, He is the Lifter of my broken heart and sometimes, I even soar.
I remain thankful.

Friday, November 7, 2014

It's funny how the most ordinary things trigger such deep grief.  A man buying flowers...a couple about my age talking over coffee...beautiful vacation photos posted on social media.  
I feel deeply alone.
Maybe it's the looming anniversary of his death or the upcoming holidays, but I'm just swimming in darkness.  
I try my hardest to be upbeat and engaging, but after a few days, I just want to crawl back under the covers. I overcompensate for the depression and it backfires once again. I feel selfish; I feel weak; I feel defeated! 
I want to be like Rob, kind and giving no matter how tired or stressed or in pain he might have been. Did he even have to try or was it just part of his spiritual DNA?
Maybe I need less trying and more relying on the One who makes all things possible.