Wednesday, March 9, 2011

beyond painful memory

I feel a bubbling up of something in my heart, but can't quite check it's pulse. I'm yearning for more in life... can feel it reaching out with fury and wonder. Maybe these times of yearning are a response to whispers from heaven, messages to our very soul urging us to dig deeper and find a more fulfilling existence. To catch hold of God's purpose for each of our lives... that purpose which will leave a lasting impression on the world we will someday leave behind.

I want to create, to dance, to paint, to run, to hold, and to write...

The whispers have been speaking to me of seeking out God's beauty and his love in the world around me. To living each moment to it's fullest potential. To find joy in the everyday experiences we've been given. A friend who read my last blog entry (beyond busy), gave me a book called "one thousand gifts", in which the author describes her journey in learning a similar life lesson. I have a lot of the book left to go, but it is speaking to my heart and I feel God has brought me on the same road of discovery.

It's been 3 months since Grace died. Three months since I laid beside her in bed, cradling her head and kissing her cheek. Three months since I startled awake in her room. Knowing before I put my ear to her chest that she was gone even though she was still pink and warm. Three months of seeing her too still body lying on the bed, life and pink and warmth draining away beneath my hands. Each memory of it bringing an ache I cannot describe or even fully comprehend. Joe struggles with the memories of the final weeks of her life. Reliving the horror of watching her struggle to find breath, to suppress the torrential coughing. I remember, but for some reason don't live there. Instead, I am plagued by her final moment, although peaceful... the realization that she was lost to us. That our arms will be empty of her until we see each other again on the other side. That last day I was relieved that her struggle was over, but I can't get the picture of her on that bed... so still... so silent... out of my head.

The whispers of heaven to my soul... the yearnings of my heart for purpose... the seeking out of joy in each moment, so intermixed with grief and pain. I realize that when I think of death now, my first thought is of seeing Grace and having her introduce me to Jesus in the flesh. Fully alive, dancing and loud. The amazement of that moment gets me though any fear of one day dying. In the meantime, this earth journey continues as I look into the baby blues of Mae and Joy. The security found in Joe's arms. The peace I find in the art of a woman called Joy hanging on my living room wall. The beauty in the uniqueness of each snowflake creation falling outside the window today. The soul stirrings to look intentionally for the good and pure around me. So much to learn... but I am seeking and finding God's gifts of beauty beyond the pain on this journey.


  1. You move me. I wish I could do so much more for the four of you... but I know and respect this new journey you are on. Always remember... please do not forget... that each of you hold a place in my heart that nobody else does.


  2. Continuing to pray for all of you, especially through those hard memories of her last moments. Sending love.

  3. Annette,

    I want you to know that I am so thankful you are continuing to write about your journey. You are truly inspiring to all. It is nice to get a reality check from you when I read your posts. You are right about taking the time to stop and smell the roses. We all take so much for granted. I want you to know that I think of your family every day and still pray for you every night, for continued strength to get through each day moving forward. Thanks again for sharing.

    Brenda Bell

  4. JellyStone deal!