Friday, March 20, 2009

How Am I? How Are We?

I have to admit that I have been avoiding my blog the last week or so. I'm not sure exactly what the underlying reason is, but I have. I guess my mind has been all over the place...so I haven't been able to focus on what to say or how to say it. Ok, so a small reason has been because of my schedule....I have been pretty busy...I have had quite a few birthday celebrations this past week. Brad has always poked fun at me for my ability to celebrate my birthday, not only on the 17th, but for the entire month of March. I know that in his eyes, this month is no exception :)

So, I will try to answer the question that seems to come up most frequently right now. How are we doing? How am I doing? I think, as a whole, we are doing as well as we can under these circumstances. Right now we are visiting Granbury with Sandra & David. In this new environment, Zeke has certainly been more anxious and VERY clingy to me. He is my little shadow & if I leave his side for a moment he is instantly calling for me. I actually expected this behavior to come immediately after Brad's crossing over, so for it to only appear now, in a different place, is a big blessing.

Little K is the same....just as crazy as ever. She is still asking, "where daddy?" and I am still struggling to find a way to tell her where he is. She is her brother's copycat...so right now if he is calling for me/wanting me to hold him...so is she.

As for myself, I miss my friend. The hardest part of this experience is that as I struggle, the one person on this earth that I reveal everything, is not here to hold and to pour my heart out to. Brad had an unbelievable way of showing me how to let go of my fears and to give it to God. I had such a calming influence on him and in my more difficult moments...he always had the same effect on me. On one of his last night's here, he was fast asleep in our bed and I was crying my eyes out all over him....literally all over him. The poor guy was sound asleep and I couldn't seem to pull myself together to keep from waking him up. He woke up for a moment, stroked my hair gently and told me everything was going to be alright. He then quickly directed me to have a glass of wine (his prescription for me anytime I couldn't sleep.) :)

The physical pain caused by the grief has also been surprising to me. No matter how much I keep moving forward and try to reassure myself, the grief pain is still there some days and cannot be ignored. I find this pain to be very similar to the emotional pain that Brad had the last few days. There was a point that he reached in which there was nothing I could do to distract or take away that pain...he just had to go through it. And that is where I am right now...I know that it will get better...but right now, I just have to move through the pain. Face it, feel it and move through it.

In these moments, I am especially thankful for my children. They have such a sweet innocence that keeps me focused on what is important and true. Zeke and I have always had a close connection and through this emotional struggle we have come to be even closer. He has an amazing way of verbalizing thoughts about his Daddy and these thoughts seem to be brought up at just the same moment I am thinking them too. Even though he is only five, he has such a tender heart and a sweet spirit...I am so blessed to have the opportunity to learn from him.

Tonight the kids and I were able to take some time to go down to the river and play in the water. They found such joy in throwing rocks, scooping mud, and splashing each other. There is something about nature that brings me right to God. I felt His presence and felt that I was also able to connect with Brad. I kept thinking about what Brad would have been doing if he were there with us....I'm sure that we would have had Bucky and Brad would have been throwing the ball for him, into the water so that Bucky could retrieve it. I'm sure that Bucky would have clumsily run over the children, knocking them completely into the water and I'm certain he would have shook water all over Brad. Brad would probably have shown Zeke how to skip rocks. I tried to show Zeke, but I must confess....I'm not a very skilled rock-skipper. In fact, during my lesson, Zeke held the record for most jumps by his rock with 4....my best was 2. I know, embarrassing.

In a quieter moment I was able to sit back, watch K & Zeke play and take in the beauty of my surroundings. The sky, the water, the cool evening air were all so calming. The simple pleasure of that moment gave me a sense of peace as if Brad were telling me again, everything is going to be alright.

33 comments:

Lisa said...

You are in my daily prayers - and Z & K. You are an amazing mom and an amazing example to your kids.

Bobbie Brodsgaard said...

God bless you, sweet Jenny. It sounds like you are working your way through the grief process. Finding joy in simple pleasures is such a blessing. Be still and know that I am God.

Rebecca Jo said...

I've been wondering how you all have been... you are such a strong woman!!! And yes, it will be alright!

Tricia said...

I also have been wondering about you...thank you for updating your blog, even though I know it was hard. You are amazing mom and I continue to pray for you daily.

da momma said...

thank you for sharing your heart. Happy Birthday sweet momma! Cant wait to hug you today! Its such a blessing that you have Z & K to be apart of Brad and you...to carry on the good looks and the strength both of you have showed us! Love you!!

Kristin said...

Jenny,

I don't know you, but I do remember Brad from Lee. I just wanted you to know that I am praying for your family. I don't know what it's like to lose my spouse, but when I lost my Mom I had the same feelings that you described about not being able to talk to the one person that you always confided in when things were tough. I pray for peace for you and that God's strength will overshadow the physical pain of losing your best friend.

I just wanted to tell you that I have heard from several friends about how Brad's story has made them want to be closer to God, because of the joy they saw in him and his love for the Lord, so I hope that in some way that will bring you comfort.

God bless you and your little ones,
Kristin

Justin and Julie said...

We are praying for you daily...

Matt, Kara, and Hank (plus Teej) said...

Thanks for the update Jenny. While we wonder daily how you all are doing, you deserve as long a 'blogging break' as you want. But KNOW that even if you aren't updating the blog as frequently, you are still all in our hearts and prayers.

Matt

Ryon and Rachel said...

It's good to hear from you! I've been thinking about you a lot and checking your blog frequently. Take all the time you need...while it is a blessing to hear from you...it is completely understandable that right now you need time (to deal with a crazy schedule and to deal with your grief). We are all here for you if you need to talk/type. This whole big blogging community loves you very much!!! Thinking of you and praying for you constantly!!!

Much love,
Rachel

Lynn said...

Beautiful. You have been in my thoughts often these past few weeks. I knew that your journey through this would be filled with God's hand leading you and the children. You need to write a book for others going through the same. Just copy your blog by chapters.......what a book of inspiration.

Jennifer Gordon said...

Well, Happy Belated St. Patrick's Day Birthday from another St. Patrick's Day Birthday Gal! I hope you all wore green and had a nice day. I had no idea we shared a common birthday. It put a smile on my face and brought me joy. Have a wonderful birthday month; I like celebrating for a few weeks when it comes to anyone's birthday.

I am really glad you are able to find a moment or two of quiet and peace. I hope and pray that over time you will have more good days than hard days. Much love sent your way.

Perks said...

Dear friend, I love you. Your children are so blessed to have you. You are constantly in our thoughts and prayers...

Anonymous said...

Jenny, you are my inspiritation. The bible says the older women shall lead the younger women. You have already achieved "older woman" status in your spirituality. Although your heart is breaking, you continue to show such strength. Thank-you for being the example of a true daughter of the King. You are loved and prayed for often and by many.

Shirley Cox said...

Jenny, you are my inspiration. The bible tells us that the older women shall lead the younger women. You have surpassed many older women in your wisdom and spirituality. You are a true example of showing what a daughter of the King looks like. Please know that many are praying for you and lifting you and the kiddoes up daily.

Mary Anna said...

Glad to hear from you. Not a day goes by that my heart doesn't ache for you, Z and K.

This morning, I was explaining to Mitchell how sometimes God sends us something to take our minds off what's going on around us. For us today, it was a red-headed woodpecker when we were trying to leave for school. We were just getting in the car when we should have been walking into his classroom, so chaos was all around. But, there was that little bird, working away at the tree by the driveway. We stopped our rush and watched it for several minutes.

When I got back in the car, we said a prayer thanking God for taking our minds off the craziness of the morning and showing us that little bird.

May many, many little birds fill your days!

Anonymous said...

I continue to pray for your family daily. You, Zeke and K are amazing. I truly see the footprints of God in your wirtins and in the moments you share wabout your children. Brad is in the midst of your family. Prayerfully, Peggy

Thibodeaux said...

Jenny-
Thank you for updating us. May God continue to use you as a witness for Him. We are still praying for you, your children, and yours and Brad's families.

Nellie said...

Sweet, precious, Jenny! It is so good to hear about how you all are doing; however, please know that we all understand your need for time "away" for a while. I love that you can share your heart so openly. We know that God is continuing to hold you up, and I can just see Brad tugging on God's "robe tails" every day reminding him to take good care of all of his family. :)

We love you and pray for all of you daily!

Camille, Blake and Pierce said...

I am so thankful to see your blog today... we have been praying for you and just to hear your words here help me know how you are doing... Happy Birthday sweet sister.... you are an amazing mother and daughter of Christ... I strive to be more like you today.

AKat said...

Jenny, y'all are in our prayers.

Matt, Kara, and Hank (plus Teej) said...

Jenny - I am sorry for your loss, but glad you are finding some peaceful moments. When I lost my mom, I remember I wanted to sleep a lot. It seemed like I could forget about things when sleeping. My least favorite part of the day was the morning, when I would wake up. There would be a split second in which I would assess my situation (I guess I do this every morning without realizing it - where am I?, what day is it?, what am i supposed to be doing?, etc.). And in that split second I would remember that she was gone and feel it fresh all over again. It took a while for that to stop - for life without my mom to become my new "norm," which eventually did happen whether I wanted it to or not. And the Lord was kind to send me new sources of joy. Anyway, I'm sure it's even harder to deal with the loss of a spouse, but I know that somehow God will carry you through and I pray that He will send you encouragement and joy in this difficult time.
-Kara

Tiffani said...

Jenny
You don't know me but I was one of Brad's (or as we knew him, Mr Wims) students from when he was a teacher at Creek. I just wanted you to know that you and your family are in my prayers. He was a fun teacher and a great man. I remember he had so much faith in God and it was truly an inspiration. I can hardly imagine the pain you're going through right now, but be comforted by the fact that he's singing with air in his lungs and dancing with his renewed body before the Lord this very moment! All his pain is gone. You can both finally breathe.
God Bless You!

Anonymous said...

Not a day goes by where I don't think of you all and pray for you. I miss Brad terribly, and I ache for you, the family, and your friends in the Houston area. I will continue to pray for you as you are led through your pain. We love you so much, Jenny!
Scott S.

Kari said...

Simply amazing! It's so hard to understand life and how God works and why things happen...so many questions. This I know... you have been blessed and your children are so blessed by you and Brad. I know that you will keep memories of him alive for your children. I think Zeke will grow up to be just like him from all I've read. How fun is that to think about?? Such joy and happiness Brad brought everywhere he went. You are a light to all who know you and such a souce of strength. You and your precious children are in our prayers. Love you much..Kari Harris

debralynne said...

You are such an amazing woman. I'm glad you are all doing well. May God continue to wrap His mighty arms around you.

MeBelieving said...

I'm a friend of Michelle May. She asked for prayers for Brad for some time. I'm so sorry for your loss. I do not know what feels like to lose a soul mate. I do know what it is like to lose a loved one at a young age. I lost my mom when I was 24. Take each day one day at a time. Some days it is minute by minute. God is carrying you each step of the way. After 13 years I still struggle with the void but I remember how much my Mom loved me. I also think she is dancing on the streets of gold with Jesus. How sweet! I am praying for you and your adorable kids. Thanks for sharing your life with us! Many blessing for you!

HeatherJ said...

I continue to pray for your family's strength and courage through this hard time. You all continue to be an inspiration. Always remember that there are many people praying and thinking about you all each day.

jaime s said...

Jenny--

Thank you for sharing your heart. I am continuing to keep you in my prayers.

I am a friend of Tammie Shelton. She asked me to pray for Brad after his diagnosis. I have done so and have enjoyed getting to know you and him through your blog. When you posted a picture of Brad with his cousin recently, I couldn't help but think that I have met you all before. This might be a long shot but since you are Aggies, maybe not. Did you and Brad go on an AFCO trip the summer of 1998? I was an intern from ACU in Chiang Mai, Thailand that summer and I remember a couple being placed in "my group" that really reminds me of you two. What a small world if you guys were that couple!!!

I ache for you and what you are facing daily. I wish there were words to say to take your pain away. Prayers continue.

Sarah said...

Sweet Jenny, Happy Birthday! We were in Granbury last night...wish that we would have been able to see you guys. You are all 3 in our constant prayers!

Renee said...

Know that we still stand beside you in faith as you face each new day.

Praying without waiver.

Linda said...

Jenny, I know the pain you are feeling. I learned you do need to feel it and go through it to heal. I know it's hard and seems it will never go away, but it does numb with time. I've been thinking of you and your healing and your sweet beautiful children...I'm so happy you posted. Sending much love and prayers for hope and peace.

Linda said...

Jenny, I know the pain you are feeling. I learned you do need to feel it and go through it to heal. I know it's hard and seems it will never go away, but it does numb with time. I've been thinking of you and your healing and your sweet beautiful children...I'm so happy you posted. Sending much love and prayers for hope and peace.

Anonymous said...

Jenny, I learned of your blog through Mindy Muse. I am so thankful you and your children were able to get away for a few days. Your family needs that alone time. As many others have said, thank you for sharing your innermost feelings. You truly are an inspiration to others. Prayers are being offered for your family-by complete strangers to you. "What you have done for a complete stranger...lest you have done for your Father in Heaven.