After A While

I have mentioned once before on this blog that when I was 17 I placed a baby for adoption.  It was a terribly hard experience and comes into almost a tie with my dad’s death as far as grief goes.  I am glad I did it.  It was the right choice.  I wouldn’t change it.  It has taken a long time to get over it though.  This is the first year I haven’t felt really sad on her birthday.  That could be because it was 9 days after dad died and 2 days after his funeral.  Or maybe it just takes 25 years to get over something that difficult.

The reason I even bring it up (because that is not what THIS blog is about)  is because my grandmother (my dad’s mom) sent me this poem in the days after I had the baby.  It has been a favorite of mine over the years, and has taken on different meanings in different situations.  Today as I was making dinner part of the poem popped into my mind and it was comforting to me.  I knew I wanted to post it here on this blog.

After A While

After a while you learn
the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn
that love doesn’t mean leaning
and company doesn’t always mean security.
And you begin to learn
that kisses aren’t contracts
and presents aren’t promises
and you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes ahead
with the grace of woman, not the grief of a child
and you learn
to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow’s ground is
too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way of falling down
in mid-flight.
After a while you learn
that even sunshine burns
if you get too much
so you plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone
to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure
you really are strong
you really do have worth
and you learn
and you learn
with every goodbye, you learn…

Veronica A. Shoffstall

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After – 5 Months

Out of all the “firsts” so far I think the 4th of July has been the hardest.  Weird.  It isn’t like it was my birthday, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or Memorial Day.  Those days sucked, don’t get me wrong.  But the 4th was especially hard for me.  One reason was because a year ago at this time I just prayed and prayed he would still be with us this year.  You can read that post here.

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That empty seat next to my mom made my heart hurt.

Another reason it was so hard is because it is my oldest son’s birthday.  He was born on July 4th 22 years ago.  This is the first birthday of my dad’s oldest grandson/granchild he has missed. It was all a little melancholy and emotional.

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This is the last picture we took with my boys and dad.  It was 17 days before he died.

I really don’t know what else to say.  I’m angry and sad at the same time.  I felt like I had come to terms with all of this, but then WHAM my brain says “No way, you need to cry about it for another BAZILLION years.”

Thank heavens I have an appointment with my therapist today…..