Three years in the quiet middle.
Three years of waiting for the beginning.
Three years of waiting for the end.
Three years of surviving.
Three years of living.
May 18th marked the three year anniversary of Kory’s death, my husband of almost 18 years and companion for 25 years. A significant loss not only in my life and for my family, but for all who knew him. For such a strong and healthy young man to be struck with such an aggressive and deadly form of brain cancer was unimaginable.
The first two years were a juggling act, keeping all of the balls in the air, and trying not to let anything drop. I’m “OK” would be my standard reply to myself and others. Having no idea if there was any truth to that statement in the moment. It really didn’t matter. I just had to keep going. “Just keep swimming…Just keep swimming…”
Keep on top of the kids’ homework and sports.
Keep appointments and commitments.
Keep the facade that I have everything together.
This year’s anniversary hit me differently. I cannot put my finger on the change exactly. Maybe it was the feeling that life could swallow me up at any given moment, or the exhaustion of always running one step in front of the wave that could come crashing down, caused a mental shut down and shift. Weekends that had been bustling with activities quieted to a slower, less hectic pace. Last minute regrets and cancellation of plans became more and more common. Pairing down to what needed to be done and what could wait.
My writing slowed. My blog posting became nonexistent. The list of drafts, half finished thoughts, essays, book ideas started to pile up. Even this post was first conceived over three months ago. I had to slow life down. Take a breath. Rest. Hit pause.
No longer having the energy to wear my busyness as a badge.
I wish I could look back and say that these past four months have been restorative, blissful, and therapeutic. That life was full of peace, and I found the meaning of true joy. One of the drawbacks of becoming less busy is that you have more time. Sounds like a wonderful problem to have, but for those of you in a season of change know that the quiet can be terrifying.
It is in the quiet that the demons come out. It is in the quiet that you cannot hide from your fears. It is in the quiet that we are faced with our true selves and the reality our life. There are no distractions, no relief. I believe that it is the quiet times in our lives that we are the most frightened. We seek to divert our mind, body and soul away from quiet with distractions: drugs, alcohol, food, work, exercise, TV and plain old busyness.
Yet, it is only in the quiet times in our lives that we can face and work on dismantling the darkness that has taken hold of our hearts and our souls. It is the wrestling and struggle that can produce victory and true freedom.
DOUBT was my sparring partner during this period of quiet.
just a mom
just a woman
just a single parent
just a widow
Who am I to
have an opinion?
I was watching an interview last week with Glennon Doyle Melton on her newest book “Love Warrior”, and something that she said struck me. She explained that when one experiences a life crisis it is like sifting sand on a beach. You watch all the pieces of your life fall through the cracks, and what you are left with are the truly important things in life.
Hope, Faith, and Love
Crisis makes you stronger. It makes you sift out the less vital parts of your life. You become aware of what you need at the core to survive, which in turn takes the power out of fear and doubt.
The word “JUST” is my weakness. I use it as my battering ram to my soul. I use it to disqualify myself. If I let my doubt fall away like sand and learn to stand strong in my hope, faith, and love, then I become “JUST” what I was intended to be.
a single parent
If my words help to heal, bring hope, make someone feel less alone, then my silent struggle has been a victory. Let’s continue to sift away the darkness of fear and doubt. Let’s step in to the light of hope, faith and love. We can then sit in the quiet middle knowing that we are just exactly, absolutely, perfectly where we are supposed to be.