Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. It is a day to reflect on what you are thankful for. Everyone has something to be thankful for. Even those who are experiencing difficult times. There is always something… it could be something as simple as being thankful for having socks when it is cold out. Or maybe people who cannot afford to cook a meal on Thanksgiving, they can be thankful for people who volunteer their time and money to cook for them. There is ALWAYS something.
It is hard to remember this throughout the year for me. Sure I have my moments of reflection where I can sit back and think “wow… I am so lucky”. Because I am. I really, truly am. God has blessed me with so much. I have a loving husband, 5 beautiful children, a beautiful home, a job that allows for us to have fun experiences such as camping in a travel trailer and, this weekend, going to Disneyworld.
My cup runs over… 10x…
But no matter how grateful I feel; no matter how blessed I am; I still have a huge hole in my heart where my Morgan Avery has left this physical world. I long to see her tomorrow at Thanksgiving, refusing to eat her Turkey and begging me to let her have dessert first. I desire to see her brown pigtails bounce happily as she opens gifts from grandma and grandpa who love her so dearly, and who will spoil her just as much as all our other kids whom they love so dearly. And I suffer knowing she won’t be falling asleep on the car ride home, where I will need to carefully move her ever so quietly to her bed as to not wake her, as we all know a tired 2-year-old would be like hell on wheels.
I am not grateful that she is not here. I am not thankful that she passed away at just 3 months old.
But I am beyond grateful that she was, and always will be, mine.
Living the life of a bereaved parent is complicated stuff. Never in my life have I felt such emotional pain and suffering in the midst of feeling tremendous joy. Each day presents a unique and challenging balancing act of emotions. I think many of us grieving parents should win Oscars for our performances each day. Especially years after losing our child – the world is less forgiving of your pain and suffering. The expectation is to “move on” when that is a completely impossible task. I didn’t lose a wallet. I lost my child. My family lost a daughter, a grand-daughter, a sister and a niece. She lost a life full of experiences, love and joy. She lost the ability to experience overdosing on sugar at Halloween, ripping through presents at Christmas, making a snow angel, riding a bike, or meeting the princesses at Disneyworld with all her sisters. I grieve so much for HER LIFE… her beautiful lost life.
We still love her and take her with us everywhere. We speak her name. We tell people about her. She is not just our daughter who died tragically, she is a little baby girl who fought battles that most adults never had to fight their whole life. And she was happy. Through it all she brought so much love and joy into our lives that there is zero doubt that God chose us to be her parents.
And, that, I am eternally Thankful for.