Worn – Tenth Avenue NorthI’m TiredI’m wornMy heart is heavyFrom the work it takesTo keep on breathingI’ve made mistakesI’ve let my hope failMy soul feels crushedBy the weight of this worldAnd I know that you can give me restSo I cry out with all that I have leftLet me see redemption winLet me know the struggle endsThat you can mend a heartThat’s frail and tornI wanna know a song can riseFrom the ashes of a broken lifeAnd all that’s dead inside can be rebornCause I’m worn
Fall is hard. I’m coming to realize this, as I try to figure out my feeling of exhaustion and heaviness, now that the busy-ness of summer, and fundraising, is slowing down. Fall is a beautiful changing of seasons but I’m having trouble getting past what it now reminds me of. As, I drive through country roads, I see these winding streets draped with colorful leaves. But what I immediately think of is deep grief and pain. Last fall, I was driving down the same streets streaming tears. Last fall, I was grieving. This fall, a year later, I am grieving. It’s been over a year since we lost Nate and now when I speak of the grief it becomes plural in years. It becomes the reality of which fall was it that Nate was here. Winter is coming. The days are getting shorter. It’s getting colder and we are outside less. The holidays are coming. Nate’s birthday is coming. It’s happening and fall means it’s all closer than I want it to be. That hurts.
This past week, I was talking to Justin about the house and how old each appliance was. We moved into this house when I was pregnant with Nate. So I’ve always been able to easily spout out how long we’ve lived here based on Nate’s age. Well, last week, when I was confused on how long we’d been here I got mad at myself. I had to stop to think about how old would Nate be this year? I’m sorry, would? Not, how old will Nate be but how old would Nate be? That hurts. Nate would be 7 in December. Then I immediately turned to grief of wondering what would Nate be like? Would he be exceling in sports and at school? Would he love school? Would he be getting in trouble at school with daily reminders or be the star behavior student? Would he have lost teeth? Would he be reading chapter books and learning math? How much would he have grown? What size clothes would he be wearing? Would he still love trucks or be growing into bigger boy things? What would he have chosen for his Halloween costume? Would he have sat with his friends on the Halloween hay ride? Would he have led the pack? Would he have taken Kaylee by the hand and led her to each door step to say trick or treat? Would he be scouting the Christmas toy magazines circling toys? Would he check the mailbox each day to see which new catalogue came? Would he be sitting on a Sunday afternoon to watch “Lorax” with Kaylee and Drew or would he be outside on the trampoline?
Time. It’s an interesting thing. I don’t feel like time heals all things. It just doesn’t. But time does change it. Some of the immediate pain and grief from last fall has changed to wonder this fall. I want to just hug Nate. I want to smell him. I want to hear his laugh. I want to run my fingers through his hair then kiss him on the forehead. I don’t want to forget these things that I loved. One of my biggest fears is forgetting these things. So, last week, when it took me more than 1 second to figure out how old Nate would be… that’s scared me. Kaylee is so much like Nate in so many ways. Sometimes I wonder if it’s us just making it into more but then there are times I will hear her say something with a certain authoritative tone or give me a stink eye or crack up laughing and I will have to look twice. It’s Nate exactly. It makes me smile to see so much of him in her. It helps keep the memories fresh.
My kids are my world. All 3 of them. They are my everything and I will always do everything I can to protect them, teach them, love them, encourage them, raise them, and just have fun with them. As a mom, I want the best for them. I’ve always parented pretty confidently. But the walk of parenting children who’ve lost a sibling… there’s no right way to do that. I pray daily that we are making the right decisions. I want Drew and Kaylee to grow into adults that know Nathan and remember what they can of him even if it’s through countless pictures. I want them to feel confident talking about Nate. And confident to tell us when they have worries, fears, and are sad. There are days that I want to trap them in a box and never let them go. I want to protect them from everything. But I know that also isn’t possible. I want to raise well rounded, easy going, capable children and if I trap them in a box they will be robbed of experiencing all this world has to offer them. I want to always make sure they know how important they are to us and how loved they are by us. I never want them to feel that Nate’s legacy overpowers who they are. They are equally important in our eyes. I never want them to look back at losing Nate as the day their mom changed forever or say “My mom was never the same after Nate died”. Tears well up and the lump in my throat rises as I write that but that is one of my biggest fears. As I wake up each day and make the choice for hope and happiness for myself, I also wake up making the choice for hope, life, love, and fun for my family. I don’t want to be scared of this world. I don’t want my children to be scared of this world either. I want to embrace it. I want to live it. I want to love it. I want to cherish every day here until we all meet again in eternity.
All My Love,