This photo of @grouchy_historian and our daughter Courtney, was taken 8 years ago today.
A year before she died. A year before everything in our world tilted on its axis and changed our forever. A year before my heart shattered in the moment of one breath. A pivot that was unexpected and unwelcome, yet one we had to make.
I look at this photo and I see peace. I see Courtney’s trust in her Daddy to protect her at her most vulnerable moments. I see love, pure and simple.
I see a reflection of Gods love for each of us in all its beauty and all its challenges. Grief is an untamed beast that howls unexpectedly in the middle of the night shaking you to your core. Grief is a tsunami of emotions that can shatter your peace and throw you into chaos. Grief can also be a gentle wind reminding us quietly of what has been lost.
8 years later and we are getting ready to pivot as a family once more. This time the pivot is welcomed, even celebrated, though there is a tinge of sadness for me as a mother. Instead of tube feedings and sing-a-longs, we are assisting Courtneys big brother and his fiancé in making floral choices for their upcoming wedding. We are making sure the restaurant is reserved for the rehearsal dinner and the wedding suit has been ordered. Each day we navigate the wave of emotions that come and go when thinking about letting go of another child, to celebrate his new beginning all while honoring where we have been as a family, making room in our hearts for where God is leading us.
Grief is a hard thing I face everyday, but I am reminded time and time again that death does not win. Love does. Love Always wins! .A lot has happened in 8 years and I wouldn’t change any of it. Thank you Courtney for the reminder to stay in the present moment and celebrate the hell out of today. We can do hard things because you taught us how.