Father My Father was actually started in 2011, and was put on hold at the end of 2016. I have missed writing here, but like anything else, breaks are necessary.
It is now 2018 and it seems as though nothing has changed and everything has changed. In 2015 I was very very stressed, angry and judgmental of myself and everyone I loved, feeling unloved, and loving others poorly. We had gotten ourselves into debt and were struggling to confront that reality. By October 2016 I had learned to forgive and love even when I didn’t feel like it, but was still judging and defiant, self-reliant and lacking trust. We had just had our fifth child, a sweet sweet boy who was born 8 weeks premature and had finally come home from the hospital, growing well and perfect. We loved him so much, but we were not ready for him. We were learning and growing… we were starting to adjust and get attached to him, but on November 3 God took him from us. He was not even four months old.
It was awful. It is the scariest, most life-changing thing that has ever happened and I hate it. Everyone handles tragedy differently, and it turns out that I completely shut down all emotion. Even anger was gone. Completely conscious of the attention, I refused to cry. Completely aware of the fragility and weakness around me, I forced myself to be the rock – calm, loving, giving light and strength. I focused on the tasks God gave me to do; choose the readings, the songs, the flowers, the outfit. Call people, tell people, hug people, check on people, thank people. Get through this moment with grace. Fake it that you have your act together. For a while it was if the whole thing had happened to someone else’s family.
The first few days I was petrified and didn’t want to be alone. But after a while I was so relieved when the people went away. When they stopped bringing food and sending us their sympathies. I wanted to be alone… to process and cry.
I think we realized immediately that our family would either fall apart or grow together. I couldn’t bear to lose everyone else too, so every day has become a chance to grow together. We are more patient and forgiving. We are better at discipline, more consistent and calm. We care about each other again. We are trying as if this is the only chance we have to do it right.