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Fight Like mIKE - We are ready

When Obstacles and trial seem

Like prison walls to be,

I do the little I can do

And leave the rest to Thee

And when there seems no chance, no change,

From grief can set me free

Hope finds its strength in helplessness,

And calmly waits for Thee.

S. Chadwick

Do I sink back into the shadows of Mike’s death (in fact the death of many loved ones this year)?

Or do I keep living in the light of their love.

Searching for the light .

I am learning to believe it is honoring both.

In the first months I saw no way out of the shadow of death.

It is as daunting as it is described by all those who have walked in it before.

But light.

And love

They are still there.

They have a way of over powering the dark shadows of death.

When you allow it.

It is true.

I have felt it.

Yet still on many days I am

living in between.

And I imagine it might always be that way.

A choice to lean toward the light or the darkness.

I think Living in the in between

Is the most torturous

You are living in fear .

Fear of feeling deep sadness, regret , hurt.

Fear of feeling what might happen in the future

The mind creates this fear.

I am not in the present moment.

And maybe it’s similar to purgatory.

Should I send the kids back to school?

Or do I keep them home?

They want to go.

They are ready and choose life.

And as much as I feel we need some separation.

The thought of not having their laughter and whining in the house all day makes me afraid too.

Will it take me back in the depths of shadows?

Do I clean out mikes stuff ?

Or do I leave it ?

Maybe somethings?

Maybe the medical supplies and hundreds of pills.

They are leaving me in the shadows.

I know it.

I said I would do it at 3 months , 6 months, ok 9 months. And now we are at a year.

Mike for sure is shaking his head at me. Haha

So I emptied the all the drawers and put them in a bag. And tucked them in his closet. Baby steps out of the shadows.

I think I hold on to these things because they are my last attachments to our life in the cancer world and my role as his care giver.

And I will have to mourn that loss too.

At least my head and thoughts are telling me that.

My ego is strong.

We have spent the year , the most painful and beautiful year

Finding all the ways to feel him , find him , and know he is with us.

To feel the sadness of missing hime

But being permanently stuck in the shadows is not where he wants us.

I know that because we took a trip to the beach and Disney world at the beginning of the month.

And our room number was of course 29.

He pushes us to the light.

And is showing us how proud he is when we take those steps back to life , light and love.

It’s the in between that’s the torture.

It’s living in my head where I feel the most agony.

When I allow myself to really feel it.

In my body.

When I allow myself to cry.

Sitting in his closet.

To really feel the pain

In the presence.

Or when I allow myself to feel joy watching the kid’s so excited running and playing on the beach .

When I feel the magic of Disney world watching them point out the all the army men in Toy story land at Disney while saying- there is daddy.

Or when I am running along the shoreline as the sunrises or

I am actually enjoying my cup of coffee with loved ones.

It is in presence.

In the feeling.

The dark pain .

In the emptied me.

or the greatest joy,

I feel peace.

I feel light.

It is here where I know Grace is a real gift from God.

There is no explanation.

It just is.

And both of these present moments lead me to the truth.

That only when we are living in the presence will we believe that we are taken care of by God.

Only when I am still.

And quiet.

Do I find the truth.

My truth.

The truth that God

That God is nothing but love.

Nothing but love.

Which aligns with mikes truth.

I hear his voice the very most.

When I am quiet

The quiet whisper from him to fight like him everyday.

And to trust God with the rest.

When I’m quiet ,

I know the kids are ready.

Ready to enter back into the current of life.

In my fears , I want to keep them safe in our cave of grief forever.

Making sure this year was the worst pain they will ever experience.

But that thought ,one- will never be true. I will never be in control of that. I would never let them go if so.

But two , it does not feel right.

We are meant to experience life together , with others.

We are meant to live with faith.

Even a little Boredom might do them some good 😉

They are ready.

They have worked hard.

They have learned to find the joy with the sadness.

Death became their reality. And they were forced to face it head on.

They experienced so much loss this year that , Celia and Kate had a ceremony for a dead baby bird.

They had the ceremony in Mikes memorial garden.

Celia then told Kate -we have to make a “small” buffet... small because she said the bird was small.Tiny pieces of cheese , mini crackers , and tiny cut up pieces of fruit. Because that’s what you do after a funeral. You have a delicious buffet, she said .(thankful for the angels who prepared the buffets for us this year)

Whelp…there is one lesson learned by Celia this year. And I couldn’t help but laugh really hard.

Probably inappropriate to disrespect the bird , yet Mike taught us best , the importance of humor.

Celia’s ability to seek out the good with the bad is an inspiration to me every day.

They have learned how to bring Mike with them in their hearts , souls and minds.

We have found him in the number 29, crescent moons and cardinals.

Flm skies, rainbows, sunrises, sunsets and clouds in the shape of angels.

In rubix cubes, bluebell vanilla ice cream , yo-yos and songs.

They know he is with us when the lights flicker in our home and when a Zac brown song comes on the radio.

The year has offered us this time .

This gift of time to really find him

And really feel him with us .

And I pray with all I have, that they will never forget these ways of finding him.

On most days they point me to him.

They have been sad and so angry

And voiced their regrets.

But they have felt happy , excitement and love.

We have cried ourselves to sleep on the mattresses and couch in our living room.

We have celebrated and honored his miraculous life on special occasions.

They have known they are loved because of each of you.

And I am forever grateful.

They have also given me an unbelievable amount of Grace.

Allowed me to sit outside and watch the birds and cry for as long as I needed.

All the while telling me , “ I miss him too , you know where he lives right ?! “ and point to my heart.

They have allowed me to sit with coffee while they made their own cereal or toaster waffles.

They have allowed me to go to Accupuncture , talk with my therapist , and go for countless runs and walks.

As the load of being a grieving mom was too much. They have allowed me to grieve too.

They have given me grace.

And so as the voice in my head tell me that I am not enough for them .

That I wasn’t enough for them during this impossible year.

I’m learning info to give myself that same grace.

And my wish for you is that you would believe you are also not your thoughts.

That you would give your self the compassion and grace other have offered me.

We have to believe we are enough and that we have done the best we can.

And so I go in to this next year of healing, looking for the light.

I pray that I can be more present for them this year.

And really believe , we are doing the best we an each day.

The hero’s for me have been their teachers. Their ability to adapt and willingness to make this as easy on the kid’s and the parents as possible was a gift to me.

They have been incredibly kind and basically prepared them for their first year of college. They can do a PowerPoint better than a freshman in college. Hah

But my gratitude for them is beyond words.

However , most importantly Jake , Celia, and Graham have mastered how to find their daddy and know he is with them wherever they go.

And I could not be more proud.

So although my mind lives in between with every change that comes.

I’m going to do my best to allow these three brave kiddos ,

to keep bringing me to the light and the present moment.

Shadow of death

And light of his love.

We honor both.

They are ready.

We are ready

They are brave .

And today.

We choose light.


We will always Fight Like you did. You taught us how to do that.We know we will be knocked down but we know it is in the getting up that matters most. And.. when we have done all we know to do . We will surrender. And like you did the very best, We will TRUST GOD WITH THE REST. We love you 29.

“If we allow grief to do its work, the love that lives within it becomes ever more clear and present to us. In time , the love has a way of overtaking grief, so that our loving rather than our grieving , becomes our primary bond to what we have lost. It is love that holds our cure. It is love that is our cure.” Jan Richardson.



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