Wednesday, December 19, 2018

In Our Heart

It hits you when you least expect it. 

It takes your breath away, every single time.

This week I've missed Charlie terribly.  I always miss him, but this week my heart physically hurt.  At one point I was begging for him to come back.  I was close to falling on my knees and begging Jesus to let him come back.  And then I had to be a parent to my other two children regardless of how sad and sorrowful I felt.

So on Monday evening we made plans to go to the Festival of Lights as a family on Tuesday after school.  We have been swamped at work for the majority of the past two months and after taking the time this weekend to finally catch up on a few things around our house we felt like it was important to do something fun with the twins.  We wanted to be free of distractions and take the time to spend some quality time with them making fun, Christmas memories. 

And then I woke up on Tuesday missing my boy.  It was almost unbearable.  I was grumpy and short with people around me.  But as the day went on I decided to pray and ask God to take the burden.  I didn't want to ruin my families evening out and I knew I wasn't going to be able to find joy alone.  After asking for His help it ended up being the perfect night.  We did all the things everyone wanted to do.  We snuck in a few snacks including a family favorite, cotton candy.  We even stuck around to ride the train.  Every single thing we did I kept thinking, what would this be like with Charlie?  The whole trip was the epitome of joy and sorrow coexisting.  What would it be like?  But look what we have!  What would he look like?  But these two beautiful babies...  Would he have special needs?  The twins are learning so much and sharing their hearts with us. 

I am thankful we knew Charlie.  I with be eternally grateful for the time we had with him but nothing changes my desire to have him back in my arms.  Nothing.

As Christmas approaches most rapidly, take a minute or two to recognize that there are people in your life that are missing loved ones.  Say their names.  Remember them.  Their part in our lives is not over.  Let them be here this year for Christmas if no where else but our hearts.         

Thursday, October 4, 2018

What We Wish You Knew #2

This evening at grief group someone shared something with us that was so very wise.  I felt like I needed to write it down and keep a record of it because I believe someone may need to read it to better understand another intimate part of the grief they or a loved one is walking through.

When someone you love dies or you experience another type of trauma in your life you are forced in the center of a newly formed grief 'circle.'  Just outside of you and your significant other is another circle that includes your immediate family (mom, dad, brothers, sisters, etc.).  As you move to the outer rings of the grief circle you find people that are not as closely impacted by the loss but may still be grieving (friends and other family).

When my friend was explaining this circle she said it is important to "dump emotion out" and never in.  As the person in the middle you need to grieve and pour out your heart and emotions to people on the outside of your circle.  As someone in the outer rings of the grief circle you also need to also reach out, not in, when you need to express your own grief regarding the loss.  If people follow the rule of dumping out and not in you as the person most closely associated with the loss will not have to comfort or carry the pain of your loss as well as the pain you see the people around you experiencing.  This simple idea keeps everyone supporting and loving one another well without putting someone in a position to carry too much.  It is called the Kvetching Order and it is explained much better in this article in the LA Times. 

We put a caveat on this tonight in our group.  We believe it is also important not to completely ignore the people in the same circle and/or the circles inside of your own.  There needs to be a balance in order to appropriately empathize and show emotion while still being strong for your loved one.

That's our nugget of knowledge for today.  It's what we wish you knew.  Comfort in.  Dump out.       

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Charlie is Running With You

Last night I spent the evening with Charlie.

Johnny wanted to take the twins to the Highlands football game and I decided it would be good for me to stay home.  I needed some time alone.  I needed to unwind from a long, difficult week and an intense grief group just one day prior.

I ran a few miles at Rossford and then laid on Charlie's bench for about 30 minutes.

It was perfect and much needed.  It was good for my soul.  I am thankful I am learning how to listen to the holy spirit say, "Slow down.  Rest.  Be good to yourself." 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Teachable Text Tuesday (The Little Red Fort)

This week as I was preparing and planning for my students, our amazing librarian, shared a book with me that was going to be perfect to help me model sequencing to my first grader students.  The book is called The Little Red Fort by Brenda Maier and with it's already familiar story line it brings just the right amount of suspense to my first graders as we uncover how to sequence a text while still using our metacognitive strategies to become better readers.  

The little girl in the story asks her three brothers for help when she wants to build something.  Each time she moves to the next step in her project she gives her brothers another chance to join her.  The story continues similar to The Little Red Hen but with a twist that makes you feel happy for all the characters involved near the end.

This evening as were laying in bed sharing special moments about our days, Macy stopped to share what they did in library today.  She began retelling this thrilling story about a little girl that wanted to build something and she continued her retelling all the way through to the end of The Little Red Fort.  She said she loved the ending because sometimes we all need a second chance.  I was kind of astounded because it was one of the first moments when talking and analyzing a book that I didn't have to prompt or share or teach.  It was a moment that she held on to a story (in her mind) that she loved, retold the story perfectly, and then made a connection and shared what she learned with me.  It made my teacher heart happy! 

So, if you are looking for something to do with this text or any other book for that matter, all you need to do is read it.  Talk through normal and natural conversations that are spurred on as you read and take the time to reflect when you are finished.  You don't have to do anything earth shattering to teach your little ones to love reading, except READ.  Give your people lots of choices and lots of time and show them that you love to read too.  I can almost guarantee that Macy's love for this book grew from her teacher's passion and love for this book.  It is a big responsibility sharing a love for books but sometimes thats all it takes to create lifelong readers.  

If you want to purchase this book you can find it here.  Happy "Teachable Text Tuesday!"       
Images by Freepik