It’s been a long year. One that I never thought I’d make it through, one that I still at times can’t believe happened. It’s been a very dark year, a very sad year, a very painful year. I’ve hated it most days, wanted it to go away, wanted to remove myself from it. But…I’m here, and today I’m thankful for that.
I’m asked a lot how I’m doing, or how I’m feeling. I always try to be honest with my response and not hide what my heart feels. When I sat down to write this, I thought, ok Steph, how can you relay this last year to people. The word that came to mind over and over was BRUISE. Bruises are weird things aren’t they? You forget you have them sometimes and then other times they ache even when they aren’t touched. You can get them by gently bumping into something or by colliding with something. Some of us bruise easier than others. Some bruises last for weeks while others fade quickly. Oddly, some are really beautiful as they marble under our skin. Then there are those that are scary to look at. They can swell, and get hot. They can even leave a scar from the blood that stained underneath the skin. My point is throughout the last year, I have felt every one of those things. Some days, I’d go with out crying, others I’d be crippled with pain and all I could do was cry. Some days the pain was beautiful because I knew just where it was coming from, other days it disgusted me. Some days it was bearable, others I couldn’t move. I’ll never see a bruise the same way again. I think my heart will be bruised forever. I’m guessing that the painful days will spread out and the beauty will be seen, but I know that from time to time my heart will ache and the memories will flood me. I’m learning what that looks like and what to do when I feel bruised. I’m nowhere near knowing how to handle this new life and all the adjustments that come with it. Most days just getting to work is about all I can do. I do love when I can smile and laugh though. When I can be at peace and enjoy what the day brings. Those days are slowly increasing, and I know that Creeder is extremely happy about that. I know he hates when his mommy is sad and struggling. He didn’t like it when he was here. He’s my strength on days when I don’t want to move, when my bruises hurt too much. I think over and over, how would Creed face this day? I have quickly realized that he was way stronger than his mommy, but I’m trying.
This year has also felt like I’ve been walking in sludge. Thick nasty sludge. I know you’ve all seen a car or truck stuck in mud, tires spinning and getting nowhere. That’s me…stuck in nasty nasty mud. It’s been so exhausting. Nothing is easy and everyday is a reminder. When I can move at all through the sludge, I bump up against a million things that remind me just how different my life is now. Things that make my bruise hurt more. I’m a pretty observant person, lets be honest, it’s scary how observant I am. This year though, I can’t remember anything after Creed’s service. It’s like after that day my mind just shut down and has been in recovery mode since. The numbness and pain are all that I can remember. I feel like I’ve just been sitting in a pool of sludge and have just now gotten closer to the shallow end. I’m not out, but my feet can touch, and that’s better than treading.
Spring has been good for me. The flowers blooming and hearing the birds chirp. It’s somehow made it easier for me to breathe. I think mostly because this was the time of year when Creed was somewhat healthy. I have lots of memories watching him play outside when the weather started warming up. It’s reminds me of how beautiful things can be. It also reminds me that things can be good again. Something I never thought I’d be able to say. As I’m reminded of all the good things that spring brings, I’m also reminded of all the thank you’s that I didn’t say or send and I’m sorry about that. I honestly wish I could make a list of everyone who has done something for me, but because my memory has failed me, I can’t. So I’m going to say Thank You now. Thank you for praying for me, for loving me, for listening to me, for crying with me, for holding me, for feeding me, for bringing my trashcans in, for getting my mail, for making phone calls I couldn’t, for releasing balloons, for celebrating, for not forgetting the 15th, for painting rocks, for sending cards, for texting, for cleaning my house, for moving me, for singing at Creed’s service, for playing at Creed’s service, for speaking at Creed’s service, for planning Creed’s service, for beach houses, for flowers, for things I didn’t even know where done. I wouldn’t be here today without the love of you all and I don’t take that for granted or lightly. I know that when I couldn’t feel God’s love he sent you all to me so that I could. I have never known love like this and am reminded everyday that God is in control and he is still good. I’ve never doubted those things, but some days it has been hard to remember. I’m trying everyday and somedays I do and somedays I don’t. But I know that just because I may not be able to, that doesn’t mean He doesn’t. I’m still taking it one day at a time and continue to feel my bruises. Knowing everyday that this is all part of God’s plan and his journey for me.