moving up.

I’ve been a hermit in my shell for the past week and a half. To the point where it’s started to feel like the new normal. And most days I don’t know how to get out of it. I can count on one hand (quite literally) the number of people I have talked to outside of my family during the last week because I’ve been scared to reply to the questions. And I still am in this moment. I’m scared that with each reply, the pain will be as severe as it was that day. But I feel a tug at my heart to respond in some way because our little family has been completely overwhelmed at the number of people who have reached out to us. Local and across the country.

To the friends who have texted or messaged me four or five times and have not expected a single response. I hear you and I LOVE YOU more than you will ever know. Thank you for being there for me when I needed you the most. From the texts checking up on me to sending me silly things that are going on in your lives. It has meant everything to know that you are still going to be there when I am ready to break the silence. Truly. Truly. Truly. Thank you. And to the friends that messaged saying “I know we haven’t talked in a while” or “I know we don’t know each other well”, you are forever a piece of my heart. Please know that.

You are the angels on earth (as we call you in this house)—that have been there to carry us through. From the texts, the messages, the cards, the dinners, the flowers, the groceries, the prayers. Our cup has been filled by YOU. And we will never forget it.

A week ago, I was so upset at the idea that life could still move on. That others could be experiencing joy, while I was truly suffering a pain that I had never felt nor could describe. But, to be honest, that is what has helped me cope the most. Life doesn’t stop for anyone. Not even the mourning. We lost our sweet baby on Wednesday. That following Monday was the 11th Anniversary of my mom’s passing. Tuesday was Valentine’s Day filled with class parties and Valentine’s Day boxes. And this coming Tuesday is my sweet Peyton girl’s 2nd birthday. These events were going to happen whether I chose to participate or not. And maybe it’s supposed to be that way. The upcoming events showed me that I would have things to look forward to in the future. That there was normalcy outside of this trial. That I could find joy in other things and smile again.

And we have smiled. In our house, there have been lots and lots of tears. But also lots of laughs and smiles. Last Saturday, our little family went to my in-law’s ranch to get away. The fresh air and sunshine was so good for our souls. On Tuesday, we celebrated Valentine’s Day on as we’ve done for the last 7 years: a family fondue night. I can truly see the Lord’s hand in this trial as I reflect on the past few days. We’ve had this Valentine’s Day dinner as a tradition since P and I were first married. It’s super simple because we were super broke then. But, nonetheless, a tradition that we love and look forward to and expect each year. I needed this tradition so close to this trial to show me that other things would still be there for me. That my world had not completely fallen apart to the point of not being able to recover. We are coping and we are moving. Not moving on–but up. Thank you for sticking with us despite the silence. I was listening to a podcast last night and the man said, “silence isn’t a luxury, but essential.” And I couldn’t agree more. This temporary silence has been essential for my soul.

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