Monday, June 3, 2013

Moving Forward

Does not mean forgetting. It is not a button one pushes to fast forward and skip over the last two years of grief. It means I am making progress, and that is okay. I had to learn it was okay NOT to be in tears every day, sobbing and spirit crushed. I felt guilty for allowing myself some peace and even a smile.

After all, what kind of mother buries a daughter and continues to live any kind of life? I can answer that now without hesitation and guilt. The kind of mother who remembers her child each day and sends her love. The kind of mother who recognizes she has two beautiful living daughters who need her. The kind of mother who has been blessed with Eight awesome grand children who give her more than she ever knew possible. The kind of mother who has learned that the blessing was in the calling of 'Mom' when Shanny was with me. The kind of mom who can look at herself, mistakes and all, and know she loved as best she could,  an imperfect being with flaws. The kind of mother who wants to give and live and breathe and take in what this world has to offer, and to give back to this world what I can why I am still in it.

The kind of mother who has searched her heart and soul and is learning to forgive herself for her past. And the kind of mother that knows she does not live there anymore. The kind of mother that knows she has fallen and gotten up, and reached out to take the Hand that saves her every day.

Moving forward-is not a bad thing. It is a real thing that needs to happen a little each day. Even if it is only one step. Every journey begins with one step. My faith will carry me if I stumble and God will catch me if I fall.

 Fear is a hope without prayer and faith. It cannot claim my soul if I don't allow it. Today, I am stepping out in faith and setting my fears aside.

Allowing myself the opportunity to experience joy does not minimize my love for Shannon. It maximizes my faith in God and eternity. I believe Heaven is real. I believe Shanny is there and waiting for me. I believe that God called her home because her time here had been fulfilled. Something I never thought I would say out loud because when I see her children I cannot understand for one second how that could be. Now, let me explain myself further.

We are given the gift of free will. I do believe her time here was shortened by human error. We are imperfect beings living in a world with imperfect situations and imperfect outcomes. But God did not cause the error nor did He intervene for a different outcome. Why? Because that would negate His gift of free will. The human error was not caused by Him nor prevented by Him. It occurred and I have to accept the outcome, because I cannot change it.

Turning my back on acceptance will potentially prevent me from moving forward. I can get 'stuck' in the anger and resentment. It will not help me heal to hang on to it. Pain does not equate to love. It does not make me stronger and it does not define me. Pain is a reaction to hurt. There is no more powerful hurt than to lose a child. Because in that moment, I could not protect or save her. I could not trade places with her, because I do not have the power to control what happens in this world. Not even my world.

Working my way through a day means constant motion. Not the spinning my wheels kind of motion, but pacing myself and moving forward, using my energy to create and share and give back to the world something good. That is, after all, what Shanny would want. And if I am to honor her memory, then all of it is necessary.

 Feelings can sometimes get in the way and cause emotional upheaval. Feelings creep in to a memory and change the memory to fit the feeling. That is hard to understand and explain. When I look back into a memory, if I am feeling sad or angry, it can taint that memory, change it, distort it. That isn't fair to me or Shanny and the truth and innocence of the memory. I want my memories to be real and honest. Not all memories can be beautiful, but they all have beauty in their making.

I still grieve, that will forever be, I have lost a piece of my heart. But I am learning my heart still beats and is capable of love. It is in the moving forward that the picture becomes clear. The closer I get to my reality, the more clearly I see. The eyes of my heart still cry for what was, but moving forward I can now begin to look back without fear and without regret. I can look forward to the possibilities and I can take in the moment.

This is today, I will greet the day with a positive attitude and know Shannon is safe in the Hands of God. I will face what this day holds and take a step forward, small though it may be. It is progress.

And I will continue to pray, because I know the power of prayer and faith as a mother heals!