I am not going to lie. The last couple of months have been pretty rough. I will admit that I have struggled to look life in the eye and stare it down. A few days ago, I had the chance to talk to a man that I see at work every once in a while. He helped me to see things a little differently. I don’t even know his name.
This man told me that he lost a 3 year old brother. He shared with me how his mom feels about losing her little boy. That although time had allowed the pain of the loss to fade, become softer, her heart still remembers her little boy. It has been 50 years. This man told me that his mom likes to think about the loss like this: It is like having a drawer in her dresser full of all the memories of her son. Everything is tucked away in this drawer. Sometimes, she pulls the drawer out and goes through the things. Then she shuts the drawer again and goes on with her life. The drawer is always there to open when she needs to. There when she has to pull out those memories for a little while. She knows where they are. And when she needs to open that drawer, everything will still be there.
Laney, Kaden & Alyssa on a trip to Gettysburg
I really like that analogy. It expresses how I feel with amazing accuracy. I have to put my thoughts and memories away. If I didn’t, I would be a mess. A puddle on the floor. But I am not going to lie. Today, I opened that drawer. And she was right. Everything is still there.
I have been thinking a lot about my dad the last week or so. This week, on November 28th, he will have been gone for 2 years. It kind of hit me yesterday. A memory of my dad that made me smile. And makes me proud. You see, my dad was a veteran. He served two tours in Vietnam. Of course, I was just a very little girl, so I don’t remember much of that. One thing I do remember, though, is his footlocker.
Footlocker similar to the one my dad owned
Seems like a strange thing to remember, right? I remember that he had his green footlocker with our last name stenciled on it. He always kept important papers in it after he retired. Saturday, I was at our local good will (In UT,we call it Deseret Industries) and ran across someone’s awful attempt to paint one of those footlockers. It was fortunate for me because I picked it up for $6. There was no way that I could go back to the army green color, nor would I want to. So I painted it black. And then distressed it.
My dad had Alzheimer’s. He was only 73 when he passed away two years ago. I had the privilege to be his main caretaker for the last six months before he died. One thing that he always remembered was that he was in the military. He loved serving his country. He loved being a military man. I have always wanted his personal footlocker. It still contains his important things. Like his pictures and his important papers. But I will take the one that is just like it, and remember him every time I look at it.
So this post is in memory of my dad. Missing him very much this week. I will always treasure that time I had to serve my dad.
The last few weeks have been really tough. I don’t even know where to start. Just when I thought I was doing okay, we get another trial of epic proportions. This trial again rocked the world that I used to see with rose colored glasses.
People who are close to us and know what we are going through wonder at the additional trial that we are faced with. Some comment on how well we are doing. I don’t feel like I am doing well at all. Now, anyone who knows me or has read my blog knows that when I say that I am hanging in there, it literally means that I am really not doing that well. Hanging in. That’s all I am doing.
When the doctor told me that I seemed to be taking “this” remarkably well, I told him that I wasn’t really. He told me I had a really good poker face, to which I replied that I have had one for over a year now. And I have. It is how I function. How I get by minute to minute, day to day.
But here is the thing that I have to keep telling myself: God knows what he is doing. He is guiding my ship. It may not be going in the direction that I thought it should be going, but He is at the helm. I can only move forward, trusting that when all else fails, I will still put my faith in the One who sees the whole picture. I know that He is in charge and knows me better than anyone. So if things aren’t working the way I want them to, I will still trust in Him. I will follow God’s plan for me.