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It’s been almost a year and you would think it gets easier right? That life goes back to normal. That you don’t think about calling them or hoping they like your new boyfriend, but I don’t know if it does. All I could think about for a while after you passed was I have to be strong for mom. I have to be there for mom. You would want us to be strong for her and I hope we were, I hope we are.

I have this picture of you hanging in my apartment and I’m sure you just love that everyone who comes over sees it… and I’m sure you love even more that I’m sharing it here, but what can I say it makes me smile. It makes me think of all of the amazing things you gave me.

Grandma

You gave me everything grandma. You gave me love, you and grandad paid for my private school, and you gave me something no one else could give me… baking skills 🙂 You gave us bravery and showed us what grace looked like. You let me know I always had somewhere to go. You provided a family when family seemed broken. You gave me Wednesdays and Sunday mornings. You helped build my faith, by showing me what it looked like to love.

They say the holiday season is always the hardest when you lose someone and I’m trying to convince myself that October 30th isn’t some cursed day, but again this year it will prove to be one hell of a day the only difference is last year I didn’t know that I would forever remember the day before Halloween more than I would remember Halloween.

I’m crying and smiling while writing this because all I can think of are the inside jokes that I could put in here and have no person understand (Mom and Jenny, “Who’s insane?!).

I miss you. I miss your laugh, your smile… but there is so much of you in all of us, so much of you in mom. You were so much stronger than I ever knew Grandma, you were so much more than I ever knew and I wish I had told you that down here on earth.

You. Were. Amazing.

I love you. I’m thankful for you. I’m thankful for the life you gave us.

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I don’t know if I will ever feel whole again, if the numbness will ever leave me. They keep saying time, but what can time do, but dim a mind? It cannot heal all wounds because some wounds run too deep. We keep saying it isn’t good-bye; we cling to our hope, our faith because what else is there?

I cry when no one is looking, so I can be strong when all eyes are on me. “Am I okay?” they keep asking and all I want to do is say, “would you be okay?” What is okay? I am sleeping, eating, breathing… I’m alive. Does that make me okay?

I find solace in knowing pieces of them will never leave, pieces will be passed down and down and down. Her famous red velvet cake that we have had at every celebration, his story about what can happen if you eat too much of said cake… I sit here and laugh, but want to cry. I knew when I learned the recipes that this was why.

I knew when I listened to the stories, kept the drawings, cherished the words written that this was why.

I knew that I couldn’t hold on forever, but here I am trying to hold onto anything I can.

I know these words are nothing, but a cry that I won’t let escape. I type them and re-type them, but nothing sounds right.

And just when I thought I wouldn’t know how to end this with a smile I hear a voice that says, “turn on the radio.”

That was all the reminder I needed. We are in better hands, she is in better hands, and while I feel as if the world should stop with me there is hope, there is faith.

Smile.

 

I have lots of time to myself lately, which is good and bad. It is good because I am starting to realize the important things without being clouded by what is going on around me. It is bad because I tend to over think.

Tonight when I was getting into bed I looked at the pictures I have lining a window behind me. There are two of my grandfather and I thought to myself that is how I want to remember him, happy. I want to remember him when he remembered himself still. I want to remember him before the disease took over. I hate that people judge him for how he acts now and just wish they knew the man I know. I wish they could hear the stories I got sick of hearing.

His writings are everywhere… and now even the writings are sad. When I was last there he had a note out saying… I’m out smoking about all I can do. Before his writings were filled with such passion and things I’m not sure I want to know about the war, about his feelings towards my dad, or about life in general.

It seems so unfair that we can live in this world a lifetime and then lose it all, but our lifetime not be over. It seems so tragic. It makes me wonder what is the purpose of this illness that rots your mind? Is surely isn’t for the person who is “lost.” Which means it is for those of us they leave behind. What is the lesson? And does that lessen the blow?

I ask this question, but have no answer. I wish I did, I wish I could make this all easier and better, but it isn’t. This is the hand God dealt my family. This is what brings us together, this is what makes us stronger.

Today I am smiling for the love my family has.

One day you wake up and you realize that there are people in your life that care more about how they portray themselves than about how they treat you. One day you will wake up and realize you have spent hours trying to help and be there for someone only to get left in the dust for people who were never there. You will realize that you prepared the feast for other people to enjoy. These people live their lives on Facebook and the amount of likes matter more than the people who are doing the liking. They think more about making everyone feel okay than about actually being okay.

And one day when you find one of these people, trust that they will hurt you. I am not saying it will be on purpose, but they will because there is no way to make everyone think you’re okay all of the time without taking all of your anguish out on one person.

You will allow it, make excuses for it, think progress is being made, but you are just preparing someone else’s feast. You don’t want to be someone’s release. On this same day you will realize that the people you thought would be there for you, aren’t. Don’t let these people break you, let them make you stronger. Walk away smiling because you know who you are and even if you don’t you’re on the journey to find you, not everyone else.

Besides when the world fails you, remember God has your back.

Today I am smiling because even though I am learning tough lessons and about to embark on a crazy adventure I am starting to remember what being happy feels like.  And I know it’s because I am finally putting my trust in the right place.

“Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again – my Savior and my God!” — Psalm 41:11

I feel many of us recent graduates have a problem once we graduate. Some people have trouble finding jobs, others have problems moving past the “college-life,” and than there are the rest of us who have no idea what to do because many of the people we love are still in school. We are in different phases trying to pretend like we aren’t.

I am afraid. This separation between the “next phase” and the college phase is sometimes too much. It clearly proved that way. I hope that whoever stumbles upon this rant needs as much help as I do. I hope that I am not alone in this in-between phase of belonging. Maybe others find it easier and maybe that makes me weak. For the first time I am okay with being weak.

The point of all of this is that I am trying to get my life in the right direction. I am trying to meet new people that will propel me forward. I hope each day that I am making strides toward a better tomorrow and a better me.

Today I am smiling for moving forward.

I often find I ask too many questions and over think almost all of my actions, but this past week and a half has really knocked me off my feet.

It’s as if my whole world exploded and I’m scrambling to grab the pieces, praying I remember where they all go.

I feel I’ve gone through a fair bit of rough patches in my life, but this one is so unique, so unfamiliar.

I couldn’t imagine any of this happening, each blow came just as shocking as the one before. I pray all the time. I feel His answers, I swear I do, but then I question if what I feel is simply what I want to happen. What if I’m only fooling myself?

I recal verse upon verse saying for me to trust the Lord and to accept what he’s saying, but I keep getting pulled back into what-ifs.

I need courage and strength, but really I would give all mine away right now to my mom and family. I need wisdom and guidence, but again I would give it all away to the person I think needs it.

Life and death, it makes you reconsider what is important and it certainly makes you realize who is
important. It really makes you realize what you’ll be okay with and what you just won’t accept.

So again I send out my ramble…

Today I am smiling for my family, in good and bad health.

I am one sick person right now. I can’t remember the last time I was this sick, to be honest. I do know that my mind is not even that concerned with what is going on with me though. My mind keeps wandering…

I want to have the perfect thing to say. I want to have everything the way I pictured, but life isn’t black and white and sometimes you have to work hard, harder than you ever imagined for something you want. You have to fight like hell for it.

I am so confused. I need courage and strength. I ask for those things every time I pray. I also pray for the ones I love and the ones I know need guidance.

Sometimes the answers come and other times I am left to wait and see what will happen. I am trying to become a more patient person. I know it is a virtue and God is always looking for us to become better people.

When I went to write this blog I thought I was going to write about how life is complicated and how we may not always have a clear path with answers scattered around us, but clearly that is not where my fingers led me.

I do believe my path will be cleared in time. I will get stronger everyday. I will get healthier everyday, but today I am smiling for the path before me even if it is not what I thought I wanted.

Have a Little Faith In Me

I am so sick today.

In every way, I have a broken heart, a messed up back, and I am SICK!

I am trying to remember I have plenty of people who love me and want to take care of me.

That is my reason to smile today.
I hope each of you is having a better day.

Smile.

Today is one of those days that is hard to smile. I keep telling myself to be strong. Worse things have happened, but sometimes you need to be down which leads to my over-thinking and writing it out.

Normally, I would spill my heart out on a sheet of paper never to be seen by another sole. That isn’t what I am looking for though. I am looking to feel alive. I am just like every other 22-year-old trying to find their way in this world after college. It’s different and hard to be away from people you love as you all end up scattered around the country.

It’s hard to have the comfort taken from you. The walk is scary and stressful and it is easy to lose yourself on that journey. It is EASY to run and hid. It is EASY to become scared of growing up, but I have always been “beyond my years.” I have always looked to the future and tried to find people that compliment my path to success.

The problem with that is sometimes you let the people who mean the most to you forget that they mean anything at all. I forget that I need to remind people how special they are and important. I make mistakes. We all do. Sometimes these mistakes twist and turn your path into things you weren’t expecting.

So here I am. Trying to lift my head and smile, to not be defeated by pain. I am trying to fill the holes that I didn’t know existed. As today I am thankful for the people who listen to my cries, pains and troubles I am also fearful of what I am losing.  So today I leave you with advice that I wish I could scream from the tops of mountains for all to hear:

 “Be mindful what you toss away, be careful what you push away, and think hard before walking away.”

I also ask for everyone to take a moment and be proud of who they are no matter where their journey has taken them and no matter how hard the path may get keep your head high.

“I am confident because I can admit who I am, what I’ve done, and love myself for who I’ve become.”

I will find my smile again. I have smiled today, but for now the dark side wins. It happens and sometimes we have to accept that.

In life you are bound to come across people you don’t understand, people that are nice to your face and not so nice behind your back. It will be these people that let you learn who you don’t want to be. I have learned that I would rather have people hate me for me being exactly who I am then have them like me for putting on a fake smile and being nice. If we aren’t meant to be friends it’s not meant to be. Now, that does not mean we have to be nasty and fight, but it just means we don’t need to fake an interest in each others lives.
Growing up you realize that there are more people in this world who are hoping you fail than those who want you to succeed. You can’t befriend all of these people and hope that they change their minds. No, you say well that’s lovely now watch me. This is the same for people whom you don’t get along with. You say, no I don’t want to have tons of people in my life whom are there for appearances, but I want my handful of people I can’t live without.

Today I am smiling for not being fake friends with anyone.