I love this time of year, but the past couple of years just haven't been the same. It's been a little rough this year because now that the season is changing and that feeling of fall is "in the air", it's bringing back memories of what we were going through this time last year. For a couple of months straight last Sept. & Oct., we were waiting on "the" call any day from the nursing home in Sparta, TN where my grandmother was living. She was going downhill so quickly and I just couldn't really get into the holiday season and enjoy it because I had a huge knot in my stomach every single day worrying about my MaMaw. On top of it, my Uncle Everett also was not doing well and we were waiting on "the" call concerning him as well. I just kept waiting for the minute I had to hurry and pack Mason and me up to travel with my family for funerals. My Uncle Everett & MaMaw ended up passing away within one week of each other. We travelled to North Carolina for Uncle Everett's funeral after he passed away October 12, and hurried back to Sparta to spend a couple of days with MaMaw because we knew those would be our last. I was so thankful that I was able to be with my MaMaw when she took her last breath early Thursday, October 23, 2009. My brother, Mason, cousin Cathy, her daughter Makena, Aunt Tizzie, and my mom were all packed in her room just holding her hand and talking to her. We sang songs and read from the Bible, two of her favorite things! I will never forget those last moments with her because it was a time in my life that I've seen God like never before. The second she took her last breath, color came back into her face and she looked more beautiful that I had ever seen her. Her had was as soft and sweet as ever. She looked so peaceful. Her Alzheimer's of 12 years was gone. Her vision was made perfect. She finally went to be with her Jesus and so many people she loves. No more suffering and pain. I have to be completely honest though, it was the best and worst moment of my life. Out of selfishness I did not want her to go. I wanted all of my children to be able to meet her. I wanted her to be at Mason's birthday parties and to meet Jody's first baby. I wanted Mason to really know her. I wanted to hear her silly stories and see her funny faces for the rest of my life. I just wanted to know she was still alive. But, I know in my heart of hearts that God knew what he was doing when he brought my MaMaw home.
I was also so sick during that time and could barely get out of bed the morning I was supposed to speak at her funeral in Shelbyville, TN. I was thinking I was pregnant and was so disappointed when I found out I wasn't. I'm guessing it was just nerves, stress, and that my body was just worn down physically and emotionally. I'm also sure that that stupid progesterone hormone supplement I was taking to prevent miscarriage played a huge part in my sickness. God took care of me though and gave me strength when I needed it most.
The night before my grandmother's funeral was Trunk or Treat at Harpeth Hills, the church we attended when we lived in Nashville. Since we were in Nashville anyway getting ready for the funeral, we took Mason so that he could enjoy a little bit of Halloween. I just felt so awful not really getting into the "spirit" of fall last year and really enjoying all the things you typically enjoy with your children that time. I remember Marc and I did take Mason to Jackson's Orchard in Bowling Green last year, but I had to choose between that and going down to Murfreesboro to spend some time with my Uncle Everett, who was in the hospital there. We chose Jackson's Orchard and Uncle Everett ended up passing away just 2 days later. I regretted that decision so badly, but also wanted to go go to JO for Mason's sake. That's something I'm still trying to deal with.
On top of all of this, we had just moved to Bowling Green and we were trying to adjust to this new place as well as Marc trying to get in the swing of things with his new job. It was just a really stressful time. And to make it even worse, I was longing for another baby so badly that my heart was breaking. I was so sick from the hormones each month and Marc and I were trying to decide what our next step was. I was just so sick of negative pregnancy tests each month and didn't think I could face ever taking one of those tests again. I thought that finding out I was pregnant could at least take away a little bit of the grief I was experiencing. I thought that knowing a baby was growing inside me would kinda be God giving us that miracle at the same time MaMaw and Uncle Everett were leaving us to go to Heaven. I just thought being pregnant would make it all okay. I realize now that God's timing is perfect and that He had some wonderful goodies in store for us.... we just had to wait a little bit longer.
But, it didn't stop there. Thanksgiving came a few weeks later and our friend, Misty, passed away. Right when I thought I couldn't handle ONE more sad thing! If I'm feeling like this now, I cannot imagine what Misty's husband, children, parents, and family are going through. Holidays will not be same for a long, long time for them. My heart continues to break for them. The devil was really stealing the joy away from so many people. I have talked to several friends lately, and we're all feeling that this fall just isn't the same because of losing people we love this time last year.
I know that this is a new year; a new Fall. I should be so thankful and so excited and wanting to do so many fun things; hayrides, football games, pumpkin patches, drinking apple cider and eating chili, and dressing Mason up in his costume just for the fun of it. I WANT to do all of that, but I just can't get into it very much. I also should be soooo thankful for this sweet little girl growing inside my belly and should be out there enjoying my pregnacy and doing as much as I can with Mason before it's not just him anymore. I see all of these "I love Fall!" status updates on Facebook and I'm thinking, "I should be the mom writing that!" I pray that from this day forward, I will enjoy every day of each new season with my friends and family and that the excitement will come back with full force! I have always loved, loved holidays and get so into decorating, going to different shin digs, and hanging out with friends and family just celebrating. I know it will be like that again soon, especially with a sweet little soul joining our family very, very soon, but for now I'm still grieving and healing from things that have happened this past year.
I don't mean to steal away the excitement and fun of this new season that a lot of you may be experiencing. I'm just trying to be real since this is MY blog! :) We have a fun week coming up... Mason's costume party at school, the Goblin Fest for kiddos at the L & N Train Museum, Trunk or Treat at our church, a special dinner for Marc's work honoring new physicians, and Mason's very first time to trick or treat for real in a neighborhood! So, it's not too late for us to have some real fun this Halloween. :) There are some fun costumes hanging in Mason's closet waiting to make an appearance... I'll give you a hint, one of them involves ketchup! Thank you. So I'm gonna have some fun with my sweet little boy.
I pray that you all have a safe Halloween and make so many special memories this year! I feel so thankful and blessed, even though it seems as if I am grumbling and complaining! :) We LOVE living in BG (our friends, church, home, neighborhood), Marc's job is wonderful, Mason is healthy and we are just IN LOVE with him, we're getting ready to go on a super fun vacation to San Fransisco, AND... we are FINALLY getting our Mallory Jane we've been praying for for SO long!
Okay, the next post will be MUCH more pleasant, I promise!! Pictures to come of some of the adventures we have had! Love you all!
Here are some posts I wrote around this very same time last year. I just wanted to reflect back on what I was feeling at the time and the lives of MaMaw Thomas and Uncle Everett...