One Sweet Day
Sorry I never told you
All I wanted to say
– Mariah Carey feat. Boyz II Men
I have been absent for a bit.
I needed a break.
I needed to take a breather and focus on some things that were weighing heavily on my soul.
On Friday, while at dinner with Kristen, I unloaded months worth of secrets onto the table between us. Little things, and big things, and important things, and good things, and better things, and potentially life-altering things… they all just tumbled out of my mouth one after another. My best friend sat across from me, a grin stuck on her face as she impatiently waited for the next bit of news. “Tell me more!” she’d exclaim, “I want to know everything!”
It was then – that very moment – when I realized why I had suddenly stopped writing.
I am happy. So, so, so very happy. Happier than I have ever been in my entire life.
And I feel guilty about it.
On Thursday, October 13, 2016, my sweet best friend lost one of her twins.
Luke was a beautiful little boy. His eyes were every bit as blue as his Daddy’s and his hair was white as snow. He was a fighter. He fought every single day of his tiny little life.
Luke was an inspiration.
We miss him all the moments of each passing day.
I have never known a loss like this. I have never known pain, or hurt, or frustration, or an anger like this. I have never felt so helpless.
How do you mend a mother’s broken heart? How many prayers does it take to bring peace to a grieving family? How do you justify going on with life when you know a loved one is suffering? And how can I know I am being the best friend I can be for her?
We were never prepared for this kind of situation. We were never told what to do in the event a tragedy were to occur. We were never provided the tools needed to support one another during loss, or death, or pain. We were never warned friendship would be this kind of hard.
I feel ill-equipped. I feel awkward. I feel lost. I feel like a child dressed in women’s clothing.
We are too young for all of this.
We are too young to be living in hospitals for weeks at a time. We are too young to be bedridden, picked, prodded, and scanned. We are too young to be carrying the burdens of brain bleeds, and ventilators, and c-paps, and eye disease. We are too young to owe hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills. We are too young to be sending our children off to heaven.
We are just too damn young, aren’t we?
I think back to a few months ago – June, maybe? We were children. We were children playing house. Nothing was real. Nothing was truly irreversible, or earth-shattering, or frightening until Tay’s TTTS/TAPS diagnosis.
Now, I feel like I have lived a thousand lives.
I cannot imagine what Tay and Bradley are going through.
My first prayer every single night is for my precious baby Owie. I pray he grows strong, and big, and smart, and healthy. I pray he feels nothing but every bit of the love and well-wishes being sent his way. I pray for Luke. I pray he is watching over his Momma, Daddy and little bubba. I hope he is healed, and whole, and happy, and no longer in pain. I pray for my very best friend and her husband. May their hearts find peace and strength.
This year, my thanksgivings are simple.
I am thankful for the health, happiness, and safety of my loved ones.
I have been supremely blessed with a beautiful life.
I have a wonderful family unit – the kind of family some only see in movies and television. Not a day goes by without a phone call to my parents, my siblings, or someone in my extended family. I cannot put into words the amount of support and love I receive from these people. We are truly a team. A unit. A fabulous, fun, fierce, foul-mouthed family and I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world.
My friendships are every bit as precious and important to me as the relationships I have built with my family members. The loyalty, trust and love – the bond I have created with people I do not even share blood with, astounds me. I have molded a very specific kind of relationship with each friend in my life. Friendships that meet each one of our wants and needs. Friendships with purpose. I refuse to let people in if they do not serve a purpose – if their purpose is not good, or pure, or positive. Life is too short. Too short to spend time with people who try to pull you off your path. I thank God every day for the individuals I have in my life right now – right this very moment. For each person crowded around my inner-circle is on the same journey as me.
And when I fall?
When I grow weak, or weary, or when I veer off course… I find comfort in knowing someone will always be there to help me find my way again.
I struggled for several years. Every day was a physical, mental, and emotional battle. My life was not my own. I was lead down a path not meant for me. I was lost. No one will ever understand how deeply affected I was by the negativity I had allowed into my space. I spent the better part of my twenties drowning in sorrow.
But as I write to you today, my life could not be filled with more joy, more light, more goodness… more love.
This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for all I have had, lost, given away, and continue to hold onto dearly. I am thankful for great opportunities and a promising future. I am thankful for the power of prayer. I am thankful for my parents – they raised me to be a hard-working, independent, humble, loving, respectful, good person. I am thankful for my puppies and the constant laughs they bring to my world. I am thankful for very few bad days.
Finally, I am thankful for the hardest of times.
Because without the bitter cold winter of life one could not fully appreciate the beauty of spring.
P.S.: Please continue to pray for baby Owen, Tay, Bradley, and their sweet angel Luke.