Memories, Music, and Down Days

 In General

Memories, Music, Down-Days and This Wonderful World: Daughter, Dog, and Dragon. Dragon in a Dollhouse. This what creatives taking a down-day looks like in our home. That and pajamas all day. Grief caught me off-guard. This week has been really productive. The apartment we are moving to looks AMAZING with a new coat of paint (before and after pics to come).

We start to move this Tuesday and Wednesday. (We are moving in stages throughout April). And Easter is tomorrow. I feel thankful and overwhelmed.

I also miss my father. I just realized today that my father shielded our little family after widowhood from spending many holidays on our own.

I think this is possibly the first Easter my girls and I will spend on our own in eleven years. What a gift my father gave us with his presence and love.

The eleventh anniversary of Jason’s passing is in two days, on Monday, April 2nd. I thought the eleventh year would not hurt as much. Total surprise. Because my father shielded us with his presence, there are now new places for me to trust God to shield us with His presence. Still hurts. When grief comes I’ve learned not to fight it, but accept the emotions and invite God in that space with us.

Our lives are changing, in beautiful ways, actually. But it’s still change.

When a day like today comes, I just let it pass through me. Like a wave, no sense in resisting it. Instead, as a family, we stop and rest. Play together. Get quiet. Watch movies. Even photograph our lizards. Laughter is important.

We let the day unfold. We cry, laugh, and tell stories.

And then, as I’m finally changing out of my pj’s to go to the grocery tonight, Arie, my almost 14-year-old, walks into my room and says, “You know you are an amazing person, Mom, and I love you so much. You are God’s prize treasure.”

I was in stunned silence for a moment, smiling at the beautiful heart of my teenager.

We needed food for tomorrow, so I went to Whole Foods for a few items tonight. There was a singer/musician playing live jazz in the dining area at WF. When it came time to check out, this singer, rather seasoned with time and life, started to sing “It’s a Wonderful World” by Ray Charles, which is the song that was played during my father-daughter dance at my wedding.

It’s one of my favorite memories.

My tears came right at the check out counter, though I tried, I couldn’t stop them. This WF store is a pretty cool community, and my friend Theresa was bagging my food while the music played. I knew this moment was a Papa-gift. Theresa gets grief, having lost her sister recently, and she knew about my father, so she just gave me a big hug.

How lovely to be real and be met with real friendship.

After I checked out, my girls and I just stood in the dining area while the musician finished his song, me quietly remembering that dance with my father, my girls just letting me have the moment.

Life isn’t perfect. But it sure is beautiful. “When I am weak, He is strong,” the apostle Paul says of God’s power. Resurrection power in my life doesn’t play out like I imagine at times. It’s better. More authentic. More inclusive. It’s Unstoppable Love which joins us in our weakness and gives us the strength to move forward together, one minute, one hour, one day, at a time. Thank you, Jesus.

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