Do you remember the 'oh bla dee' show? That's what my brother and I always called it anyway. I think it was officially called 'Life Goes On'. Anywho...I supposed it could sum up life around here.
Sunday was the anniversary of my mom's passing. 14 years ago. It is generally a huge trigger for me so I made the commitment in my group beforehand that I would not eat after 8 (since that is usually mindless, emotional eating) nor would I have any ice cream (my major comfort food- largely because I associate it with memories of my mom) for the week. Lemme tell you.... it was HARD. I did, however, discover that cups of crushed ice are a glorious substitution and will do quite well to satisfy. I found myself thinking about my mom a lot this year. Maybe it is the journey I am on. Maybe it is the nearing her age, sort of. Maybe it is my children being the age my siblings were when she died. I really don't know. Maybe it is that one of her best friends from her childhood passed away recently and I've been talking with her daughter that is my age. Amazing how those feelings and memories can so quickly be recalled if you choose. The passing of time does not remove the ability to empathize with a heartache so deep. Being that the 4th of July holiday is so close to her death, I find that it brings up a lot of emotions for me as well. I survived it all though and didn't use food to cope. I had a very nice experience at the cemetery. It was a perfectly beautiful and humid day. It was humid the day we buried her. It had rained in the days before. It had started raining the day she died- continued until the morning of the funeral, as though the world wept with me. It wasn't busy there and the grass seemed greener than usual. Someone had left bright flowers. Silk flowers, but those last longer. I have a sneaking suspicion it was my Grandma Douglas. For 14 years I have visited my mother's grave. For 14 years I have always found new flowers there, never looking wilted or sun-faded. It's such a comfort. I suspect my Grandma is the one to do it because many many years ago she once commented about going regularly...she was apologizing to me for there not being pretty flowers on my mom's grave when an upcoming holiday had just passed (maybe her birthday or something) and she was worried I went to visit and there wasn't anything. I had no clue before that. They weren't even super close or anything, but it is such an incredibly loving thing to me that small act of service. This Sunday I found myself comforted by comments from others who told me how much that day stayed in their minds, how much they missed my mom still, how much they loved her still. It's strange that I would find comfort in that but it felt good knowing that others were as impacted as I. I said a prayer as I left the cemetery and was overcome. I had a special experience unlike any before and I was so grateful for that special blessing.
So what's weird is that I did really well all last week leading up to Sunday. I have been wiped out since. I guess it's a little like I didn't realize how mentally or emotionally draining the experiencing of the hard moments and making good food choices in a major trigger time would be....and I didn't even realize it until after the fact when it all sort of crashed down. I wasn't prepared for that. Yesterday wasn't a particularly great day. There are a lot of things going on this week and rather than face and deal with them, I absorbed myself in work and didn't eat and then was tempted to gorge later. Thankfully I filled myself up with healthy foods when I did finally eat. I came to all this realization at the end of the day and determined today would be a much better one.
I was awoken today by a text from a ward member/neighbor/friend. Another neighbor/friend/ward member had lost her son to suicide. I am in the Primary Presidency and this woman is one of the most amazing primary teachers. She is my son's teacher in fact and her daughter is one of my kids' friends. My heart broke into a million pieces thinking of her and of her children who would have to figure out how to process their brother taking his own life and that missing part of their family. Then I pulled up the news on my computer to find that the fire that has been raging in the the mountains outside the valley had gotten even closer to our family cabin. My heart sunk a little more. Here I had determined that today would be a better day and I was feeling dragged down and down. I grabbed a couple of Pizza Hut chicken wings out of the fridge that DH had brought home yesterday. Okay, I ate 3. I knew the things I should do but I really did not want to do any of them. At all. All desire and life was sucked out of me. I walked down and gave her a hug because it was all I could think to do. I still didn't feel like doing anything. I'm happy to report that I finally did get out of that funk thanks to some support from my group and some tender mercies from the Lord. What a difference that can make!
There is still so much going on and so much to share but it has gotten late and I truly need to sleep.