Deep breath…this has been a hard year and today, the very last day of 2015, did not make it any easier. Today my grandfather died – my third grandparent to pass away in less than four months. I am raw – still grieving the last two deaths and now trying to process this one. Honestly, I am not sure what I feel any more because this has been a year of feeling all of feels…intensely.
2015 has been a busy year, a draining year, a life giving year…a roller coaster ride. I have posted very little because, frankly, life as a mom of two preschoolers and a full time school counselor is, well, exhausting. And then there’s everything else.
This year has included some great times for our family. I am still getting over the fact that my “babies” are now 3 and 5 years old. Josiah started preschool on his third birthday and I was not without a tear (or several) as he suddenly seemed all too big. I still give in to carrying him around almost every time he asks because I am just not ready to give that up yet and I know that before I know it he will be taller than me. I’m just not ready. And Eli is turning more and more into a little boy every day. I love seeing his passions grow and develop. Want to see one of his drawings or a video of him performing with a class at school? I am ready and armed with just this material at a moment’s notice. I am a proud mama to say the least.
This summer we flew from our home in Mexico City to Dallas where we visited with family. We had one last, lovely visit with my Popoo before he passed away in September. He played catch with Josiah and Eli taught him how to the use the ipad. I am still reveling in those memories; trying to soak them into the depths of my mind as far as they will go, for fear that they will fade with time.
From there we spent time on Dave’s grandparent’s farm, soaking in the Oklahoma humidity and the deep greens and browns of the earth. We experienced another part of the family and remembered the life they have lived there for many decades.
We stayed in Memphis, Tennessee for a night, ate barbecue slathered in thick vinegary sauce from a hole-in-the wall “restaurant” that looked like it belonged in a scene from House of Cards.
We drove in pouring rain straight through to Dave’s parent’s home in Maryland and a few days later down to the beach in Hatteras, North Carolina. This is an annual pilgrimage, followed by days of soaking up the sun and salt water, finding sand in every crevice of our lives, chasing ghost crabs with flashlights and making s’mores over a fire on the beach.
We left the kids at Grandma and Grandpa’s house and Dave and I began a little road trip to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. First stop – Brooklyn to go back to the first year of our marriage – sweet memories of city life. From there it was off to Newport, RI to see the bygone lives of wealthy New England families and eat a delicious meal at Stoneacre Pantry. Go there, order the creamy polenta with wild nettles, thank me later. Then it was off to Bar Harbor to gorge ourselves on lobster in every form, hike, and stare out at God’s amazing creation.
After this we drove back to Maryland and then flew to Reno, NV where we visited with my parents and grandparents as well as some wonderful friends. The kids spent quality time with their great grandparents, cuddling, laughing and sharing some of their favorite things.
All of this before heading back to Mexico to continue the regularly scheduled program of our lives. Little did I know, that program would be interrupted by the death of my Popoo in early September, my Grammy at the end of September, and today my Grandad.
A year of ups and downs, highs and lows, and so many more memories I could not even begin to list them all.
And yet, in the midst of it all, I am reminded of Lamentations 3:22-24:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.
I am waiting on the Lord to see what this new year holds, not for fear that 2016 will be another difficult year, but in confidence that He is by my side. He brought me through the last year. He blessed me in all of the highs and held me in all of the lows. He was new and sufficient every morning.
In those difficult nights before the morning comes Ellie Holcomb’s Night Song has been on my mind, reminding me that He is there by my side through even the most difficult times.
And He is teaching me a new song – a song about remembering not to take any moment with my loved ones for granted. These beautiful moments are so much of what life is about.
Here’s to 2016 and all of the moments and memories yet to come. The good and the bad – they make us who we are, and I want my moments to grow me and make me a better person each day.