Wednesday, June 4, 2014

May 2014

May 2014 was one of the longest, most emotionally draining months of my life. Losing Grandpa Albert has created this void that some days seems entirely consuming. They say time heals- but I'm still stuck in the part where it's getting harder before getting better. The grieving process is different for everyone, but despite knowing without the shadow of a doubt that I will one day see him again, I find myself feeling lost more often than not. I guess I didn't even realize all the things I relied on him for and each day seems to bring more questions I need answered, and my go-to person is gone. This empty darkness easily pulls me in and makes it hard to remember that even though Albert is gone, we still have so much to be thankful for. This loss has brought my family even closer together. It's hard to imagine that's even possible. We still have family. And I'm thankful in this family- we have eternity.
Though the month brought much heartache and even more tears, we have had more than our share of good moments as well. Shelly was able to come visit for three weeks, which has never happened before! Three whole weeks. Jackson and Hailey both celebrated birthdays during this time that we made a point of making special. It was really nice to have everyone together. It felt right. Even though each day has brought our moments of sadness where the reality of our loss hits us all over again, we've gone through this together. Truly together. We've cried until we've had no more tears to cry, but we've also laughed until our sides and cheeks ached. And some of us may have peed our pants, just a little. And honestly, the good moments have been some of the best we've had in a long time.
We played laser tag as a family on Jackson's (& Albert's)  birthday. It was so much fun. I had never played before and I am indeed AWFUL but who cares. We even got Mom to play. Honestly it was the first time in two week's time I think any one of us had laughed and felt at least somewhat carefree. Life throws moments at you every now and then that you'll remember and charish forever. They may not even seen special or extravagant at the time, but they are. This is one of mine.
I am beyond happy that my kids are born into this family. Just Chase for now, but I know he won't be our only. I believe it takes a village so to speak to raise a baby and it's so true. He is surrounded by grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins that love him, and he will grow to love them too because that's just the kind of family we have. Even those who don't live nearby- Chuck, Michelle, Trish, Grandma and Grandpa Lanman... we are just so lucky to have the family we do. So much love.
Cousins are special. They are like special friends that come built-in to whatever life you have. I've got great memories of looking forward to summertime when we'd come to Utah and stay with Grandma and Grandpa and play with cousins every day. That was so much fun. Chase won't have to wait until Summertime! I have loved so much watching all the kids play and interact. Sometimes more harmoniously than others as they figured out their dynamics with those Texas cousins thrown in the mix. (Really, they need to be here more often. My life especially needs more Lexi in it. Seriously. Are you reading this Shelly? Move to Utah. Pronto.)
We also finally made it to the zoo. I've lived here since 2009 (save for a few months in Vegas that I'd like to just forget ever happened!) and still hadn't made it. We all went- all the siblings and kids, and of course Grandma Sharlyn. Growing up with the world famous San Diego Zoo being our most local zoo, and this being my first time at any other it was just a tad dinky in comparison but still a good time. The kids especially had a fun time. Chase didn't care much about anything I tried to show him but I didn't expect anything else with him so little. I do hope he gains a love and appreciation for the world's animals like I have. At the very least, I will teach him to respect all living things.
At a time when the monster of sadness lurks in every shadow ready to pounce at any given moment and fill my hear with an empty sorrow, I'm especially thankful for these good moments. It's so easy to get lost in... well, loss... and I'm trying to remind myself just how much we have to not only be thankful for... but to be excited about. I get to caught up in the fact that my kids won't have Grandpa Albert memories. How then can they even have a good childhood?! But... their childhood is not mine, and they have something different and equally amazing. They have Grandma Sharlyn! (on my side of the family. Several amazing Grandmas on Jon's side as well!) They will have cousins that live close by to play with. Chase will have his own buddy in Dean.
Life is different now. SO many things will never be the same. Boating. Father's Day. Sunday dinner. Renovation projects. Gardening. Memorial Day. The entire month of May. Tacos. Gravy. They're all different now. But that's OK. At least, it's going to be OK. Because family is eternal, and life is beautiful. And sometimes things happen that we don't understand. I don't understand WHY Grandpa had to leave us. I don't understand it, I don't like it, and I'm sure as hell not happy about it. But I am confident that we will find a new normal, continue making new memories, and in the end we're all still together.

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