The memory garden

We stumbled upon this garden in the fall. It’s called a memory garden. In the center of the garden is a curious little tree with strips of ribbons hanging off it. The strips have peoples names on them. Or they would if the rain hadn’t washed them into illegible smears of ink. You put the name of a loved one who has passed away on the strip of paper and hang it on the tree. Seen through the little gazebo below.

We did a photo shoot here, featured in this article: How to thrift store shop like a pro 

I’d like to go back and take another look at it. Maybe put my moms name on a piece of paper or ribbon and tie it to the tree.

I must say, this grieving stuff is hard. There are days I don’t want to get up and go out the door to work. And others where I get up and get going just fine, only to get there and want to turn around and leave within the first few hours. I keep wanting to stop and get a whole bunch of lottery tickets so I can win the lottery and not go in ever again. Nothing against the place I work. I just don’t want to be there lately. Staying home and wallowing in my grief a bit longer sounds good to me. Maybe it’s better I don’t, but I want to all the same.

I’m finding that I’m feeling angry at God. They were singing a song about the God who saves at church last week. I was pissed off. God didn’t save my mom. I stopped singing and started having an angry conversation with Him in my head. Why didn’t He save her? Why doesn’t He bring her back? I sat there crying angry tears. Perhaps he did save her. It just doesn’t feel like it from here.

I tried to look up the song they were singing last weekend. I hadn’t even heard it right. The chorus goes like this:

You’re the God who stays

You’re the God who stays

You’re the one who runs in my direction

When the whole world walks away

You’re the God who stands

With wide open arms

And you tell me nothing I have ever done can separate my heart

From the God who stays

Wow. My head is such a jumbled up mess right now I hadn’t even heard the words right. The song is titled ‘The God Who Stays’ by Matthew West. So I had to have another cry because He is the God who stays. Despite my pain, my hurt, my sorrow, my anger, my grief. He’s the God who stays.

It’s really hard to tell what will trigger grief. I started crying on the way to work a week ago when the song Maybe it’s Okay by We are Messengers came on. (mentioned here.) I wanted to pull over and turn around and go back home.

My sister and I are both trying to be okay with not being okay right now. This grief thing is a process. It may never be all the way okay again. Or at least not the same. There are moments when I’m okay. And moments when I’m not. There are moments when my B.S. tolerance level is down below zero. Watch out. She-Hulk may emerge when this happens.

Grief sucks… I miss my mom. I want her back already!

To my mom: I know you’re in a better place and free of pain. But I most certainly am not.

Til we meet again in that garden in the sky…

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Maybe it’s okay if I’m not okay

I’ll be honest with you: I have not been okay at every moment this week. Sometimes, the newest news on my moms cancer leaves us reeling. The last news we got was that kind of news. Not good. The tumor on her ilium bone is about the size of a small tennis ball and was described by her doctor as looking like it was ‘bursting out of her bone’. She’s in a lot of pain and has started radiation treatment just for that spot. So far she’s reported it feels worse since she started radiation than before she began. Hopefully this changes as they start shrinking it down. Keep her in your prayers. Pray the trial drug gets approved through a patient assistance program so they can afford it. Pray for a miracle. There is no cure for this kind of cancer. Just a trial drug that buys time.

So, suffice it to say, I haven’t been totally okay. I couldn’t smile my way through this photo shoot last weekend, even though some smiles were caught. And that’s okay. Sometimes, it’s okay to not be okay.

I’ve been playing this song over and over: Maybe It’s Ok by We are Messengers.

Maybe it’s ok if I’m not ok
‘Cause the One who holds the world is holding onto me
Maybe it’s all right if I’m not all right
‘Cause the One who holds the stars is holding my whole life

Brown 3/4 sleeve blazer, Ross, zebra print skirt, gifted to me, similar here, brown OTK boots, Shop Girl Consignment, Kate Spade New York handbag, gifted to me, bronze earrings, Kohl’s, floral statement necklace, gifted to me, brown metallic watch, Ross

Let’s talk about this skirt, though. Zebra print. So cute! Loving the zebra print fad. I paired it with a chocolate brown blazer I got at Ross a few years ago, chocolate brown OTK boots I found at a consignment shop in Gresham last fall, bronze jewelry and a bright pink Kate Spade handbag gifted to me a couple of years ago, which adds a nice pop of color as well.

As always, thank you for stopping by and thank you for any prayers for my mom.

*This post contains affiliate links. If you click through on them, I may receive a small drop of money, at no extra cost to you. Enough to keep a light bulb burning in my home. Thank you in advance for helping keep a light on in my home!

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~ All photos were taken by Calvin Hodgson.  You can find his work on Flickr and on his blog.

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