How do you keep staying strong after something dramatizing happens in your life? If you know the answer please tell me! I love this time of year, just at the start of the season changing, when everything is a little golden at the edges. The afternoons getting a little darker slowly, more gloomy and deep as the sunset fades. These days the love of the season is mingled with a lot of anxiety and sadness in ways. Fall for me growing up was my favorite time of year. It meant cheerleading at football games and homemade tents with old sheets over my moms clothes line. This time of year, my dad would always stay gone hunting most of the time and so it was always just her and I. We would ride to town or best of all, stay at home doing nothing. It was in those times that our relationship would grow and become the best friend relationship it is today. My mom has always been the person that has made me laugh, cheered me up when I’m down and has kept me in line when I’m moody. Sometimes it weights on me how very unhealthy it has been at times to be so close, but never the less, today I’m feeling sad and maybe a little angry that imagining my life without her.
Doing everything in life without seems impossible and too painful to think about if that day ever comes. She tells me all the time, Kacie you don’t have a choice, you just have to do it. Carry on and enjoy your life because that is what I want and you have to listen to your mama.
But even in conversation now, Im taken back to the past words I spoke over her: “Lord, I’m not ready for this” just like I’m not ready to talk about conversations of living life alone. Learning to live without someone you love is strange. I’m feel like I’m constantly searching. Searching for my mom. Parts of her. Memories to hold onto. Other times I’m searching for myself. How do you figure out who you are without your mother, without a person you love and who loved you? Her guiding voice, so strong throughout my entire life, and sometimes (most of the time) I feel lost without it. Who am I without her encouragement and her laughter and her love? In “A Grief Observed” CS Lewis says the death of a beloved is an amputation. It changes your way of life forever and it takes a long time to acclimate to that change. The struggle is woven into my every day. I haven’t got it figured out yet. But I’m trying.
PTSD is an ever evolving thing. I’m learning to live with that evolution and accept the changes when they come. To accept the days when a memory can knock me over, breathless. And to also accept the days when those memories make me laugh until I cry. Honestly, sometimes that’s even more painful. I’m learning to pray for peace and accept it. To give myself grace when I need to wallow.
All I can ask for is the time I have with her and God is doing a pretty good job keeping us together as each change in the seasons.
all photos by: www.jocelynphillipsphotography.com