I'm heartbroken she is not here, but thankful she chose us.
Thanksgiving has always been a time to reflect for me - the highs and lows, the learning lessons, gains and losses, to spend time with family, talk about the things we are grateful for, some football, give back, and food lots and lots of food.
Since Ari's death, it has been different. As much as I tried to keep it similar for our living son, it is still different. I have figured out ways, supports, tools to come to terms with the grief storm that is bound to happen around the heightened emotional holidays.
But, just because it is different doesn't mean it has to be bad. I truly am heartbroken that Ari is not here with us, but I cannot express the gratitude I have that she chose me - chose us.
I'm grateful that we were able to meet her, spend 9 hours and 51 minutes with her, bathe her, read to her, kiss her beautiful face and lips, smell her baby scent, hold her precious hands, pray over her and get her...
Ragnar Trail Run.
Northwoods of Wisconsin.
Requires running into the dark.
Head down, heart racing, following a path into the unknown, in fear, to the things ahead I cannot see...
Falling. Bruises, cuts and scrapes. Aches and pains. Struggling. Continuing the race, broken and tired. But fighting until it is finished.
I think this is the metaphor of my life.
After the loss of a child, life is certainly a struggle. I recognize and honor that truth. And it is ok to struggle. But you have a choice every day to fight for more. In truth, that is not easy. But it is possible.
You can either let fear of the unknown slip into every other part of your life, inhibiting you from truly enjoying it. Or you can battle and fight, start to stretch yourself, take risks (even with fear, not knowing the outcome) and still fully experience the beauty left in this life.
After the loss of Ari, the things I once feared and thought that if attempted I would surely fail, I have conquered. I...