2015, A New Year to Find the Light

It’s 2015 folks! Crazy, right?

Turns out, it’s actually a whole 11 days into this new year, ELEVEN! How on earth did that happen already?

I can honestly say that these days have dragged on but also flown bye. It’s so weird to think such a drastic dichotomy can exist in a single day, but alas it does.

Day one of 2015, I spent a little over an hour crying on and off. We were on our way out of town to visit Thomas’s family to celebrate Christmas, which is a good thing, but my heart was so heavy. I kept fighting back tears while riding in the passenger seat, and when I couldn’t hold them in any longer and some began to fall, I completely took Thomas off guard.

Silently, he just grabbed my hand and held it for a little bit. Then, when the tears continued, he gently asked, “What’s wrong babe?”

“It’s the new year. It’s 2015. This is the first year where I won’t have any memories with my mom. She won’t be a part of anything we do this year.”

And there isn’t really anything to say back to that, so he just held my hand and let me cry. I was thankful the boys were behind me where they couldn’t see and that Hazel was asleep.

So that was day one of the year. After that, I began to take the majority lead of prepping my mom’s house to put on the market. At one point, my brother thought that he would want it, but after seeing what the market is like, noting it’s a house of large square footage and he has a solo state (read no wife, no kids), and his 100% travel job, he figured 2 acres wouldn’t be a good fit either. My other brother lives thousands of miles away, so he didn’t desire my mom’s house, and I just don’t have a heart that wants to live there……so selling the house it is.

That conclusion lead to about four solid days where I did absolutely nothing but clean out her house (more days have occurred and more exist, but these are the number where I did absolutely nothing else but clean out). I sat down only to nurse my baby and to drive junk to Goodwill. I did so much hauling out that I would load my three kids in the car and then add in more stuff for the dump or for giving away. It was maddening, exhausting, frustrating, lonely, and sad, but also a bit therapeutic, cause every item that left was a step in the direction of closure. Not the type of closure that means I forget my mom and move on, but the type of closure that means I no longer have to worry about a house that is full of stuff but empty of a person. She was a keeper of things, for better or worse.  I literally feel like many days I can’t take a full breath due to the burden that all her stuff puts on me. I kinda have lived in a place of anxiety over her cats, her plants, her mail, her HVAC system, her plumbing, etc. A vacant yet occupied house poses worry all on its own. Being rid of the house will also help me be rid of some of those pressures and strifes.

While walking this journey, I realize that not everyone grieves the same, and that is truly okay. For one of my brothers, the idea of keeping everything the exact same, museum style, is comforting. For another, breaking ties and not dealing  much at all seems to be the way of coping. It’s truly hard when 3 people are left to decide and all 3 have different opinions, hearts, lifestyles, and abilities.

Mostly, I just seek to be able to have my head out of water again. I consistently feel like I am drowning. It’s been an unimaginable year. 2012 wasn’t easy, combining a unexpected move, a miscarriage, two job changes, and Thomas entering grad school and beginning his own business. 2013 was worse, providing my wreck, two surgeries, two months of food through a straw and wired jaws, 6 months of no driving for me, financial gridlock from my loss of job due to my injuries, and my mom’s diagnosis and chemos. 2014 dealt much as well, with the adding of baby Hazel, two more surgeries for myself,  Thomas’s intense final months of grad school, mom’s radiations, chemos, hospitalizations, and the worse blow yet, her passing, which lead to a whole new set of challenges. I even left stuff out of that list folks. It’s incredible really, and not in the exciting type of way.

I keep a lot of this floating through my mind often. It’s just so much, and Thomas and I find ourselves saying often, “This can’t be life can it???” We’re ready for a nothing at all awful happened type of year, to say the least.

Then, today, I encountered two things that I think I will cling to in 2015. Oddly, one is a Rocky clip. That’s right, Rocky Balboa baby!

If you don’t actually watch it, let me just clue you in to these lines:

Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward.

Well said, Rocky. Well said.

I just have to keep moving forward, cause that’s what I must do. I am better than that. As Rocky said, “if you let it…” so I am just not going to let it. I’ve been called to walk in Him, no matter how tired I get, even in the messes of life. It’s my faith journey. As put forth by writer Ann Lamott on Twitter:

Faith includes lots of mess, zits, bewilderment, cellulite, separation & limbo, & letting those be there until a little more light returns.

2015, a year for the light to return. I pray it happens.

Can I get an “Amen!”?


5 thoughts on “2015, A New Year to Find the Light

  1. I remember cleaning out my mom’s house like it were yesterday and not going on 15 years ago… I’m so sorry you are going through it and hope your daughter and sons provide you much comfort and happiness through these hard times. Wishing you a 2015 full of light and love! Xoxo

  2. Amen, my sweet, sweet Summer. I am so sorry we are so far away. Right now, as tears roll down my cheeks, I send you love. That is all I can offer as you meet your sorrow every day. I know what it is like to empty a mother’s home, as I was part of that when my mom died. Soak in your mother’s love as you move through her home to sort and disperse. Lean on others. Say yes to every person who offers a hand. Accept all offers for meaningful help. On days when you can not find the light, put a flashlight and a prayer in your pocket. I love you Summer, many people do. You are never alone.

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