Friday, December 14, 2012

good grief

Alright, so I promised more honesty would be heading your way.
Well, buckle up, here it comes.

This week I finished off my last week of school.  It was my final time taking classes on campus.  The next two semesters will be spent in elementary schools.  So I worked out in the gym for the last time.  Walked through all those familiar hallways for the last time.  Rode the light rail for the last time (well, for the purpose of going and coming to school - I'll be utilizing my free pass in the months to come).  And man it made me happy.  I feel like I am closing the door on an area of my life that wasn't filled with much joy.

Three years ago, after my first semester of college, dad was diagnosed with cancer.  Dang.  Three years!  I can't believe it has been that long.  But at the same time, it feels like a life time ago.

When I think back over my years at that college - the time spent on that campus - it all feels heavy.  Dark and heavy.  I don't really remember many fun times (although I know there were some).  I actually don't remember much from it.  All of it seems like a blur.  A dark, heavy blur.

But, there are a few things that will be in my memory forever:
Finding out the tumor was cancerous.  Getting told it spread to his lungs.  Trying to decipher the doctor language of the fax that came in, then sitting there on the floor with the words "mass" and "cranium" repeating over and over in my head.  Crying on the roof late at night.  Sleeping in the ICU waiting room.  Speeding to the hospital when his lung collapsed (followed by getting pulled over...).  Holding him as he seizures and thinking, "God, are you gonna let him die in my arms?"

Goodness, so much has happened.  SO much has changed.  I mean, how did it go from having my dad - with everything completely normal - to this?  How did we get to this point?  From walking to barely able to stand.  From having deep conversations about life's problems to barely able to answer a yes or no question.  From being the big, strong, comforting dad to being weak, small, and needing comfort.  From him being consumed with my life to me being consumed with his.

Alright, so I don't tell you all this to make you sad and to feel bad for me.  Truly, that is not the reason I'm writing this.  Mostly, I just need to say this - for my own benefit.  I need to get it all out, think through it, process it, and just....get through it.

I was thinking about what has really encouraged me over the years and I realized this: it's your stories.  There have been a few people who have shared their stories of similar hurt in their lives.  Let me tell you, that made all the difference to me.  All I wanted to know is that someone else was or is feeling the same way I was.  I wanted to know I wasn't insane for feeling the ways I was feeling.  So really, this is just me putting it all out there for people who need to hear this.  I don't know what that really means or what that looks like.  But, my hope is that it will help someone....anyone.  I really believe God gave us each other to "share our burdens" with and I am finally realizing that is exactly what I need.

"Grieving is good.  You've gotta get it out.  It's normal.  It's expected.  And it's no wrong."

Has anyone ever said that?!  I don't know.  If they have, I've never heard it.  But there you have it.  I said it and I hope that helps.

Things are really rough right now with dad and we could all (my whole family) use lots 'o prayers.  So, many thanks and love to you all, and to all a good night.

Monday, December 10, 2012

let's be honest

I have not been good about writing on my blog.
It's true. 
But let's be honest: life has been insane lately.

I've been challenged (by a few different people) to not only write on my blog more, but to really tell my story.  To give the unedited version of my life.  My initial response was to laugh.  I thought, "  That would be no fun to write nor read about."

But really what I was thinking was, "That is scary.  Be completely honest with what has been going on in my life?  No.  That's too close to my heart.  An area that is still too raw to talk about.  Maybe down the road I can share what has been going on.  Maybe I'll heal from this and then I can talk about it."

What I realized is this:

telling your story is part of healing.
When I think I am protecting myself by not confronting what is going on, I am doing myself a disservice.  I have to talk.  I have to work through things.  I have to let people in so that I can let all this out.

I love it when people are completely honest with me.  I encourage it.  I in fact ask people to be 100% straight forward with me.  However, I realized I don't always return the favor.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not going around lying to you all.  Haha, that's not what I mean at all.  What I'm saying is that I realized I have become very good at giving generalized answers.  I'm basically pro at giving a vague answer that does not require me sharing my feelings about what's going on.  I stick with the facts and move along.

But that really doesn't help at all.  Granted, I'm not going to pour out my soul to every person who asks about my day.  That would just be awkward.  But, in the end, we all have emotions.  We all have feelings.  We all have our junk, our hurts, our joys, our fears, and our loves.  And they need to be shared.  That's why we have each other- why we have community, family, and friends. 

Alright, so let's all join hands and talk about our feelings, okay?  Haha just kidding.  That sounds awful.  But in all honesty, this is where I'm at.  This is where I'm going: being honest.  Opening up.  Healing up.  And maybe, in a way, giving up.  Giving up my weird ideas that being open and close with people is scary. 

Sheesh, okay.  That's all the honesty I've got for the night.  More to come, folks, more to come :)