With only one OS now at home, as long as I don’t think too much about it, I’m ok. Those moments when I go “there,” I start to panic. Having Aaron far away in Chicago can overwhelm me. It’s like when I was jumping into the deep end of the pool last summer. If I ran quickly off the diving board and just let gravity do the rest, I was ok. But the minute I paused, my toes gripped the edge of the board. I contemplated the depth of the water, the possibility of death, the certainty that I looked completely stupid and that’s when I became frozen with fear.
In a similar position, I must put one foot in front of the other and dive into this new season of life. I must sell soap nuts, write, sew, serve Jesus and others. Not in a bathing suit though!
Today was the first Sunday at church without Aaron sitting beside me. A few people sweetly asked me how I was doing and I truly appreciated their kindness. I marveled at my ability to not burst into tears which is not something I usually do.
And I found a way to have all my OS by my side. Here was my strategy.
1. I sat next to Ike and we didn’t fuss at each other as we are sometimes apt to do. Oh how I loved that my orange hair, freckle face OS let me hold his hand frequently and spontaneously. He also enjoys pretending to crack an egg on my head and knee and that was welcome affection even if it’s weird. And when Ike was needing a break from me, the Hubs let me curl up beside him.
2. I wore my West Point necklace which was specially made by another WP mom. It’s custom designed and is so dear to me. One of my charms has a favorite picture of my boy when he was a little toe-headed guy chest puffed up holding a plastic knife in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. I instantly felt close to Nate who’s in officer training at Fort Benning, Georgia. Click here for info about this wonderful jewelry! I’m going to order more charms so I have all my OS nearby!
3. When it was time to sing, the rest of the congregation made a joyful noise reading the worship songs on the screen. I, however, took out the hymnal my OS compiled and sang using it. I choked back a few tears and clutched the hymnal to my heart. Aaron’s spirit felt nearby.
With one Sunday down and facing my first week without Aaron, I press on and am thankful for any effective coping techniques I can find! If you have any, please share! I know I’m not alone!
Ask me in another 12 days.
We will need to sew our butts off then. 😉
I don’t have any great tips. It hasn’t been any easier this year than it was last. My tears flow at unpredictable times, like when I see her favorite shampoo at Walmart, or when I see someone with an Asian baby (Lauren wants to adopt someday). On days I’m really missing her, I just go in her room, lay on her bed and pray for her and give thanks for all God is doing in her life. Then I let myself cry, but they are mixed tears of thanksgiving, joy and hurting heart all at once. I guess that’s my best advice, let your pain drive your intercession. You get healed and the child get’s covered in prayer- win, win! 🙂
I walked into Aaron’s room the other day. I need to adopt your ideas the next time I do that. I just touched his bedspread and sighed. You are such a sweet and loving mom and friend. I’m sure your recommendations will bless others who read this. ❤
This is precious. I have no advice, but I do love Carrie’s idea of letting your pain drive your intercession. The thing that always blesses me about your boys is that they are not prodigals- even though they are physically away from you, they are never away from Him, and you are joined with them in ways that distance cannot break. (I pray that I can say the same about my children when they start leaving the nest!) In my prayers for you I have been praying that in the new dynamic of home your time with Isaac would be especially sweet. I am sure it’s hard for him, too, to go from being the youngest to being the only at home, but what a sweet opportunity for you and Mark to really pour into him while he is still at home. (And to really emphasize to him the importance of going to college somewhere in the the Triangle for Pete’s sake!)
Thank you Jenn. I love your perspective. It is far more important to my guys to be close to Jesus than to be close to me geographically. It’s difficult but a blessing to give my OS the freedom to live their own lives. Mark and I need to thrive in our own lives because that gives them confidence to experience life. I am careful not to try and sway Ike to go anywhere but where the Lord wants him but yeah, if it were nearby, I wouldn’t be hating that! Thank you for your lovely words. You are a younger mom and you have imparted wisdom. Love you! ❤