For those in the know, you will be very glad to hear, with a title like that, this is NOT a post about how the entire family is recovering from the stomach bug...although, let me just say, the past few days have been motherhood trial by fire. I passed...but just barely!
This is more about what has been going on inside my head these days. Last week was, for whatever reason, a week where I was teary. I give myself a hard time about that, about being sad. But we lost Rip a little over a year and a half ago. I try to think about what my reaction would have been before I was this girl to hearing that someone else had lost a child a year and a half ago, and I am sure I would be horrified and wondering how they were still dragging themselves around! People who hear about me as "the girl who" probably feel the same way (although, if you are going to talk about me behind my back, you may also want to mention that I know everything there is to know about Great White Sharks, just to add a little dimension).
Before we lost Rip, I always expected good. I've noticed some of that slipping away and I don't like it. I hear sad stories on the news or in passing and they shake me to the core. I find myself questioning God, not really that He is, but how all of this bad can keep happening. I know there are answers, a fallen world, a plan we don't understand...but that's hard to remember sometimes.
It takes me really coming back to God, to prayer, to get my head on straight again. And I truly do feel peace...I will be very honest, without my faith I have nothing. No hope of my child in heaven and no hope for the prayers I whisper daily for my child on earth. I believe, with all of my heart, but it isn't always easy.
So what to do about the negativity I have found slipping in to my old "glass half full" self...
I said after Rip died that I was still the same person, the same Anne "with an e" girl that I was before, and that is partially true. But you can't go through something life changing without being well...changed.
I said I wanted my life to be a celebration of Rip's life.
And, maybe most importantly, I said I wanted to be the same mother to Gracie that I would have been two years ago...but, I think that is not true either...I want to be better.
The closest I can come to answering any of this is my favorite Bible verse from childhood, I found it when I was about ten and worried about one thing or another (my poor parents) and used it many times since...
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
I think the problem I've been having is that I have forgotten to think about such things. I'm not talking about burying my head in the sand, not acknowledging anything painful or sad...but remembering the good that comes with the bad. Realizing that bad things happen, but not to the exclusion of expecting good.
What goes in, must come out...what I put in my mind on a daily basis, the thoughts I choose to concentrate on (and most of the time, at least now, it is a choice) if those are pure, lovely thoughts...maybe that glass will start to fill itself up again (maybe even a little over half full, that is certainly how I like my wine glass anyway!) And maybe all of those things I want for my life, my little Anne "with an e" who celebrates her firstborn and rocks mama-hood for her second, life...those things will be just as lovely and excellent.