What a summer this has been! There have been many times I have thought about sharing what has been going on, but there just never seemed to be any extra time to do so. Yesterday, we celebrated Felicity’s 5th birthday. Although she does not “officially” turn 5 until Tuesday, yesterday was when family could all be together, before the crazy schedules of fall begin! Last week Felicity stayed with my parents so that I could have the flexibility of getting prepared for the start of school and her party. Although I was appreciative of them watching her, I missed Felicity so much! Walking into an empty, quiet home brought immediate flashbacks to the night Jaime died and I had to walk into a quiet, empty home. I was excited to celebrate Fee’s birthday, but the thing I looked forward to the most was getting a hug from my little girl and hearing “Daddy” again. That made yesterday extra special.
Getting ready for Fee’s birthday was a huge challenge. I got home from school, Friday night, close to 7PM. – just in time to mow the lawn and begin making her birthday cupcake cake. At 2AM, I was exhausted, I still had so much to do, and the cupcakes I had made turned out horrible. While I mowed the lawn and ruined a batch of cupcakes, I continually fought off the bitter thoughts of feeling sorry for myself that I had to do “EVERYTHING” “ALL BY MYSELF!”. Like I said, my cupcakes turned out horrible (Tip – don’t mix too much when making scratch cupcakes!). I was angry, said several things I shouldn’t and literally threw the tray (full of cupcakes) over the back hedge (I can’t believe I gave cupcakes to the deer who have been eating my pumpkin plants!). I sunk in the chair on the porch and once again thought, “If I had some help this wouldn’t have turned out this way!” I didn’t really want an assistant, though. Down deep inside, in the depths of a healing heart, I wanted something that isn’t possible. Jaime and I used to talk through everything. Now, it’s just silent…painfully silent. So, I have had to adjust to that and rely heavily on prayer and the brain I was given to accomplish this task of life. I woke up and decided that I wasn’t going to allow these “things” to ruin my daughter’s special day. Like everything else we have gone through, I knew that if I could show Felicity how to respond to the bumps, she would be just fine. So, I went and got a cake from Walmart, almost broke my ankle falling off the curb, I got stung by a yellow jacket on the inside of my hand, and poured hot grease from the grill on my arm. And you know what? I could care less! My daughter smiled, laughed, was excited, and enjoyed her birthday cake and party spending time with all of her family.
I was tempted to complain. I was very tempted to share my frustrations. And I found that if I just pushed through the wave of challenges, there would eventually be calmer moments. I am not sure who reads these entries. I certainly hope that those who do need the nugget of truth I attempt to share. Challenges and pain are as much a part of life as those moments we smile and wish could last forever. I don’t want to be that person who walks around feeling sorry for myself or sharing everything that is wrong about my day. I don’t need someone feeling sorry for me, either. Neither help get through the challenge. I need the reminder that the only way to get through pain and the challenges of life is “through”. You will get stung and burned, you will fall of the curb (possibly break your ankle), you will make a batch of horrible cupcakes here or there, but the hugs and love from those who are here and the memories of those who are now gone will give you the strength and support to face each temporary trial.