Mourn with Those that Mourn

There is so much pain in the world.

On Monday my mind clouded, thinking about the knock.

The knock that every military family dreads.

Their serviceman or servicewoman wasn’t coming home.

Within the minute it takes them to answer the door, their life will never be the same.

Then, on the same day, George Floyd’s last pleading words are caught on video as he was murdered.

Last words.

Some of his last words were very similar to Rory’s last words.

I’ve thought a lot about George’s family.

Their haunting minutes, the ones that forever changed their lives, are viral for everyone to see.

Their pain is everywhere.

George was a father. Son. Brother. Friend.

I mourn with them.

And I’m listening.

Not only to their pain but to those that share their same fear. That because of the color of their skin their loved one might not come home safely.

I hear you.

I’m sorry.

I love you.

Faith Over Fear

I’ve seen the statement, “Faith over Fear” mentioned quite a few times on social media.

When I see it, I take a deep breath in. Then exhale exhaustion.

Do they know what that entails?

I walk on the edge of faith a lot of days. I put one foot in front of the other, working hard to stay atop the faithful mountain.

But the truth is: if I side step, I’m falling into the abyss of fear, doubt, and despair.

Having faith means keeping an eternal perspective.

Having faith means searching for hope.

Having faith means understanding that come what may, we’re able to say, “Thy will be done.”

The importance is where our faith is grounded.

Do people have faith that their family will be protected?

Do people have faith that their leaders know what to do?

Or do people have faith centered on Christ and that no matter what happens, they’ll be able to close their mortal eyes and open with eternal ones.

In my experience, the first two have failed. And the third is essential but isn’t easy. It’s continual work.

But on most days I’m able to steady myself on the edge and cling onto faith.

Today, I’m choosing faith.

If the World was Ending

I wish I had a different life.

I just wish life was easier.

Those thoughts have been scrolling through my mind the last week.

I want Rory here.

I want to feel complete.

I want to feel hope.

It takes a lot of effort to get out of that headspace for me. Daily effort. Sometimes multiple times during the day effort.

Yesterday I was listening to a song about if the world was ending.

It removed my mind from the wishful future to the present.

If the world was ending, what would I think about my life right now? What would I wish I was doing differently? Or more of? Who do I wish was here?

One of the side effects of Rory’s death was a change in priorities.

Things that seemed important, lost their importance.

Time was a precious commodity. I had no idea how precious and limited it was.

But I’m left today with a better balanced present. (Well, COVID-19 has left the balanced skewed.)

If the world was ending, I’m exactly where I’d want to be. With the people I want to be with.

The future is so uncertain. The things I planned for, hoped for, work toward, feel out of my grasp. Like reaching for a raft that keeps floating farther and farther away.

But today. Today! I’m going to make it a goal to enjoy being in the water with those I love before I look toward the raft again.

If the world was ending… What would you want in your life?

What Would I Give?

I did something that I haven’t had the courage to do in the years since Rory passed away.

I googled, “What’s the mortality rate of appendicitis?”

Answer: 0.2%-0.8%.

Ugh. We were so unlucky.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot as numbers and words have been thrown around about COVID-19.

Proportional response.

Economics.

The chance is so small.

It’s only affecting really old or immunodeficient.

Man, what I would have given for instructions to keep Rory safe.

For knowledge I didn’t have then.

For a longer time to diagnose.

For symptoms more synonymous with appendicitis that would have lead to testing.

The mortality rate is higher for COVID-19.

I don’t have the luxury of feeling like it only happens to someone else.

I breathe through the fear daily that this virus could snatch away someone I love.

I don’t let it overwhelm me but it is in the back of my mind.

So I’ll stay home.

For my husband.

For my boys.

For my parents.

For all my extended family.

For my neighbors.

For my friends.

For their kids.

I’ve felt the improbable loss of about 0.5%.

I’d sacrifice almost anything to hold my baby girl again. Jobs. Money. Downtime. Heck, even some freedoms for a few months if I knew it would have kept her safe.

I’d do those same things to prevent someone else from having to experience this loss as well.

Finding Rory

This picture didn’t quite to the purple coloring justice. At all.

One way that I keep Rory with me is to find her in the everyday.

I look for things that remind me of her.

One of the biggest ways I see her is through the color purple.

As we were waiting for our Sydney flight at LAX, there were these big pillars in the city that lit different colors. When we stepped out into the terrace they were all a gorgeous bright purple. They stayed that way for a few minutes until they turned to half blue, then all blue. (I saw you too, Tommy.) I never saw them turn that bright purple again.

The next morning as the sun was coming up on our 15 hour flight, light began to show through our shaded windows. The whole plane was glowing purple.

What a beautiful color Rory shared with me. I love looking about our world and finding her through this color.

Purple is majestic and powerful.

For me, it’s love.