Saturday, November 3, 2012

'Tis the Season

Halloween came and I saw three of my eight grand-angels. Dressed like a Ninja, a Cardinal Fan and a 1950 Rock and Roller-they were adorable. I shared the evening with their dad and Mi-Mi and a few others to round out the night. It was bittersweet. My heart was happy to see the grand kids getting along so well and enjoying the night for what it was, and I was saddened by the hole that was left by Shanny being absent from the family pictures, the excitement of the activities and our lives.

Tis the beginning of the Season, I suppose. For the next couple of months, I get sad a lot. I see young moms out with their kids-I think of Shanny running all her errands. I see a lot of young families out shopping for the holidays-and I think back to years before when Shannon would be frantic with lists and stores and gift ideas, and "just one more quick stop.."

Sundays are tough. I wonder if the kids see what I see in church. Moms and dads with their families. Ours is different. Dad and kids and MeeMaw. Somehow, it just doesn't add up or seem fair. I am amazed at how Jason seems to cope. We giggle a lot about church behavior some days. But really, some days it seems that's the best we have to give. The kids are there and they are enjoying church, just maybe not the way it was solely intended, but they are participating. With a little help from our friends, we get by. I look at it like this, the same people sit by us week after week; if it was really that bad-they wouldn't keep sitting by us. 

Now, it's going from Halloween right into Turkey time and then before you know it-Christmas. I never used to view the holidays like this. It used to be a great time of year for me. One I really looked forward to throughout the year. I want that feeling back. Well, part of me does. The other part wants Shanny back and knows the only way I will ever feel true holiday spirit again will be when I see her again.

I am praying hard for deliverance from this dark anxiety. God is so good and blesses me daily with wonderful family and friends. He gave me my health back and brought me to a wonderful group of women in church to fellowship with that I met at retreat. I received a great review at work. I really have a lot to be thankful for this day, this year. But I am being truthful and honest with myself. Grief happens on the inside and the outside. It changes people.

When I start to feel it get a strong hold on me I pray for strength and courage. Yes, I know it will be two years in February that Shannon went to Heaven. Grief has no expiration date. I will tell you this-I miss her as much, maybe more-today, right now-than I did when she first passed.  Probably, because I am aware of her absence in my life now. Early on, God protected me from the raw pain of the loss.  Now, I think God is helping me to adjust to a life without her. He is asking me to forgive myself for whatever it is that I am holding  on to. He has given Shannon a forever peace and love that I was never able to give her. I am still learning to love unconditionally, and He is guiding me daily in the direction I continue to seek.

I have to learn to trust-in Him. To turn myself over completely to Him. So that when Thanksgiving Day comes and my family is gathered, I will feel the presence of My Heavenly Father and My Sweet Shannon at the table as we gather hands and pray.

And when Christmas morning arrives, I will bow my head in prayer as the birth of the Christ Child warms my heart, and a joyful hymn of praise is sung-Glory to the Newborn King; because My Angel will have heard on High!

Shannon would always sing her heart out in church. Neither one of us could carry a tune in a bag, but I do know the power of prayer and faith as a mother grieves.