When we moved to Tampa, back in 2007, we knew we hit the jackpot. Warm, sunny weather… check. Tons to do… check. Tropical paradise… double-check.
Samantha was only 7 months at the time, so this is all she has ever known. Molly and Clara were both born in the house we live in now. (Well, not literally. I can’t handle home birth. I like cable T.V. and 3 meals a day brought to me,including snacks, way too much.)
So when we got the news that we will be moving in June to a new assignment, well, my emotions were mixed. Excitement for my husband, as he has proven that he is a rock star in his career and is ready for a new adventure. Happy for Sam and Clara because they may have their first white Christmas. Ready for some change, as the walls in our home are not so white anymore and the carpet’s sanitation is truly questionable.
But along with these feelings came others. Dread. Complete and utter devastation. Sadness. Anxiety.
Can I just get real for just a moment?
Before losing Molly, I was just clueless. I didn’t get that there was a world around me that hurt, felt alone, or really were on the verge of losing it all. When I would meet someone who lost a spouse or even a child, I just could not relate to their emotions whatsoever. I hadn’t lost either. So my natural response was give my verbal condolences and move on, without a second thought. Because let’s be honest, feeling sad isn’t something very popular in America.
The thought of this happening in our new home somewhat cripples me now. Knowing that the majority of people we meet will not really care much about who Molly was, and none of them would have met her, breaks the very framework within me. I can’t handle it.
Sure, there are always going to be those around me who care, who heard her laugh, felt the warmth of her smile, and got to experience a true “Molly-ism”. But my everyday people will only know us as a family of four… oh, and they lost a daughter to cancer.
It’s bad enough that she will not be going with us, but that there will be new experiences and memories without her in them is heart breaking.
Yes, I know life must go on. I want that for us. I want my girls to enjoy life and carry on the many lessons that they have already learned to become the amazing young women I have no doubt in my mind they are supposed to be.
And my goal in life is not to make each new person I meet feel uncomfortable as I speak about my child that is now in heaven. But I feel I would do the world a disservice if I didn’t talk about her. Tell her story. Share her picture.
What am I getting at? Well, this is going to be one hard change. And I am totally, 100% not ready to do this. But when I said “I do”, I meant it. When Peter signed that paper to join the military, he was completely committed. (And I love that about him.) But neither of these things mean it will be easy. In fact, I’m certain it won’t be.
As I sat down thinking about these things, a thought came across my mind. When we are at our most broken, I mean down on the floor lying in a mixture of tears and snot (me the other night, no judging my ugly crying) that is when God becomes so real. Without me acknowledging my utter depravity and brokenness, I am just a confident person, walking around thinking everything is OK, that is until I am back on the floor. It is better for me to know this pain and weakness so that I can fully rely on Him and what He will accomplish.
My Lord knew a long time ago we would get orders to move… one week after Molly’s angelversary… and He is equipped to get us through this. I just need to let it happen.
So let this be my official announcement:
I, Julie Little, do hereby acknowledge that I am an utter basket case from now until the time determined by who knows what. Therefore, I will be gracious and kind to myself. I will say “‘no” when I need to in order to preserve my energy and sanity. I will participate in life when I can, and when I can’t, I will take a nap. I will focus all my efforts and energy on the tasks given to me, mainly raising my kids and loving my husband, nourishing relationships that God has clearly asked me to nourish, and all else will wait until another time.
So, if you see me, and I don’t engage in a full, deep conversation, you know why. And if I do chat it up and have some strength and joy, you can rejoice with me that God is doing a work.
Posted March 8, 2016