Thursday, September 19, 2013

walnut fall.

Soon after Daniel left, right before the change of winter into spring, I wrote a post titled, "walnut winter."   In this post I talked about my favorite tree, large and full of life, and how it failed to produce any falling walnuts in the autumn of last year.  It was as if the fall didn't want to hint to me that a figurative, looming 'winter' was coming.  Fall, as my friend, allowed me to just enjoy the changing of it's leaves and the crackling of it's skies.  Fall didn't whisper or tease to what would lie ahead in the weary days to come because fall knew that I was finally happy.  I had moved forth from grief and was experiencing a connected life once again.  Fall allowed me to just 'be.'
I lived in the world of unknowns for two years with Mabel before receiving a diagnosis.  I understood what it meant to not know how life can spin, alter and change quickly and drastically. Still, as I sit outside in my front yard lately listening to each walnut falling from the tree I am reminded that I had no idea what was going to take place in my life this time last year.  I had no idea that my marriage and my whole world as I once knew it would come crashing down. 
I was finally at a place where I not only knew, but understood and accepted that my youngest child was going to die due to this fatal disease, probably sooner than later.  I was in a good place; a place of clarity and strength.  And then suddenly, winter in all of it's truth and bitterness emerged into my home and into our lives.  It was a cold reality, one that I was not expecting but somehow, was ready for.  I had long been prepared for the trauma and shock of what was about to take place, really without even knowing that I had been.
Mabel has had a terrible week.  She is crying constantly and with calls in to two doctors, I'm waiting to hear what our next move may be.  Her seizures are more frequent and much 'larger' than usual.  She is vomiting again and her irritability is at an all time high.

The truth is that it would never have mattered what was taken from me in this life; not my marriage, not my home, not my dignity or reputation-
nothing compares to the importance of making sure the Mabel {and her siblings} are taken care of the best way that I can take care of them.  And that's the truth. At the end of the day, all of the trivial things that happen in this life are fleeting.  They are tiny and they pale in comparison to the responsibility that God gave me to mother these children.  Mabel, especially, requires much different care and it is essential that I give that to her.  
 In many ways I feel completely numb to life since Mabel's diagnosis.  Tragedy could hit me straight in the face and it would always come second to the fact that my child is going to die.  When you face a reality like that day in and day out, everything else seems to become minimal in comparison.  In many ways this protective coping mechanism is a beautiful form of strength.  In other ways it can make me appear cold and aloof to the very real and sad things that have taken place in my life over the past several months.
Issues that stir normal people literally seem to roll off of my back. 
Issues in a church, gossip, divorce, financial woes; they all seem so small in the very true bigness that is my life.  It isn't to say that they aren't important or that those things don't matter.  They are a huge cause of stress and much more serious issues for people and I completely understand that.  It's just that I feel like the very worst could happen to me at any time and it would still not catch me off guard at this point.  It still wouldn't compare to knowing that each day with my baby could, at any time, be my last.
Yesterday I sat outside and I listened closely as the walnuts fell from the big tree in the front of our home.  They bounce from the top of the roof and some land swiftly in the grass while others end up traveling to the driveway where visitors, by the many, will run them over.  They will leave very visible reminders smashed into the crevices of my driveway that everything, in this season, is happening how it's supposed to be happening.  Everything is falling into place exactly how it should.  Life, like the walnuts, has resumed in a way that is natural and refreshing.  It is comforting to know that fall, my sweet and genuine friend, is allowing my heart to be healed by it's constant preparation of winter; only this year it's giving me a pleasant peek into my past and a wonderful glimpse into my future.  One is behind me and one is before me...
...Which is exactly how it's supposed to be. 
Before and after.
Ahead and behind. 
Past, Future.
We are supposed to be very present for it all.  I do not believe we are to dwell in those already-been places and I firmly believe we are not to worry about those haven't-been-there-yet places.  Life, in it's days and nights and passing seasons will help guide us to exactly where we should be going.  The Lord has allowed those things for a purpose and if we are just aware, in tune and focused on the spirit and on our hearts, I promise that He will make it all beautiful once more.  And beautiful to come.
Thanking God today for a walnut-fall.  A yard full of beautiful reminders that life goes on and on and on.  We are incredibly blessed.  People always say that 'everything happens for a reason.'  I won't elaborate on my take of that statement tonight but I will say, with certainty that absolutely everything happens for a season.  Only a season. 
So whatever season you are in today, let it refresh you.  Let it grow you.  Be in it.  And some day you WILL come out of it.  Make sure that you know the ins and outs of the season you are in and appreciate that journey.  It is yours, after all.


Ashleigh said...

This is by far my most favorite post that you have ever written. You have such a way with words and they touch me so deeply. I read the last bit of this post about 5 times last night and I just felt a sudden sense of peace with something that has been on my shoulders for 8 months. Thank you. On to a new season...

CJ said...

I love your writing and what it conveys. After losing my child, I am immune to the things others lost their mind over. And I am often grateful they don't "get it."

Mo said...

I love reading your writing. This gave me such food for thought on this Friday. Thank you and welcoming fall here as well.