to elly,

my baby.  i miss you fiercely.  right now i am pretending that you are merely in a different country, that the same stars and moon and sun that warm my life, warm yours.  that you are still feeling sand and salt and earth between your fingers and toes just in a different space.  sometimes it is easier to write as if you are abroad.

oh baby girl, my heart hurts for you.  sometimes it aches with not only the sorrow of losing you but it opens me up to the sorrow of every mother that has lost.  there is so much going on in our world right now baby, things you thankfully don't have to see or hear about.  we seem to have forgotten the value of life.  the inherent value of every individual that they have simply because they are here.

in that way, losing you was a gift that i never wanted.  when you have witnessed life lost- whether a slow fade or a quick snuff, it is not something that you take for granted easily in the future.  yet we have found ourselves in a society that does nothing but take life for granted.

oh elly,  my words fail me.  in my heart there are a thousand songs to sing to you, a thousand words to be spoken, a thousand looks to exchange.  in my heart there is the love i have for you with no place to go.  today i still feel those tenuous connections to you, the string that reaches between us, the very science of our molecules being forever intertwined.  i claim and honour that connection today baby.

elly there is not a day that goes by that my arms don't ache for you.  but while my arms are empty my heart is never without you.  and so, today like everyday

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

what you don't see

pictures are bizarre to me.  i almost think we were better off before social media started documenting everything.  it's hard to move on when you are so firmly rooted in the past.  

it is difficult for me at times.  we used to have family pictures taken every fall and then send out christmas cards.  i had planned on framing my christmas cards throughout the years.  planned on documenting in a firm and unmoving way, how our family and grown and changed.  i didn't see these changes coming though.  and it hurts to know there will always be people missing and it hurts to think that some people will look at future cards and see a replacement.

the truth is, that when you find love again, it doesn't fill those spots that the person before filled.  the space in my heart that jim loved was and is reserved only for him.  i will never again have those spaces filled.  our brains so often want to make sense and normalize it and so we look at things as substitutions, but it's not the case.  the difficult thing is, when you love and lose and love again, your heart has to swell, has to break open, has to create new space to be known, to be accepted, to be loved.  

being loved again does not replace my husband.  but i am thankful for a heart that has found itself big enough to swell.  i am thankful for a heart that has created more space.  for a heart that has said, "yes, i got hurt, yes i wanted to shrink, but i won't, i will fight through and i will love you too"  because the most profound beauty in life comes from love and i am so so so thankful to be granted the most insane beauty i have ever experienced in five different ways.  

a broken heart has created the most fertile and open ground for love to grow, and i remain thankful.
if year one was pain, year two is exhaustion.  it is weird being in these moments now, where everything is still so clear and fresh, and every moment is thought back as "this time last year, this is how much pain i was in still" "this time last year, i was doing this"

last year at this time, i was staring at these future moments with envy.  never in my life had i wanted to fast forward a year so badly.  and all of a sudden, i made it and like a marathon runner over the finish line, my body seems to have collapsed.  i have multiple health issues going on, my blood levels are off, i am exhausted at all times.  all of a sudden, my neurological and physical systems have caught up with my emotional and the battle is still brutal.

there is so much i want to accomplish, but these whispers of doubt are still finding their way into my head.
there is so much i can offer but i am exhausted running down avenues of sharing
there is so much i can teach but i still have to heal

i am still fighting the urge to run.  there is a huge part of me that no longer wants to make a home, anywhere.  right? when you've seen one burn to the ground it's hard to be like "well let's pour energy into that again"  there's part of me that wants to belong to no one, to be with no one, to live in anonymity.

i don't have a problem sharing my story with strangers, it's when i run into you again and again and again and i let you know other parts of my life.  like what i feel like now, how it looks when i parent my kids, the fact that i am struggling with my body image and gaining weight.  that's when it's difficult for me.  and now i am a year out, and the roots are starting again, and it's uncomfortable and disconcerting and scary.

and then i realize that i already belong to somebody.  and that i have been given two reminders on earth of that relationship.  addy and lane deserve a present.  they deserve a mom that can honor the past and hold the present close.  they deserve a mom that isn't running from ghosts.  they deserve a mom that can teach them to shut down the voices in their heads.  they deserve me at my best.

and let me tell you, if you scroll through my feed and my stories and you think "wow she is inspirational" let me tell you that's true.  but if you think for a second that there aren't days when addy has to come over and pat my hand and tell me "don't worry, we'll die someday and see them again," if you think for a second that there aren't times when my boyfriend has to hold me while i cry about my husband who is no longer here, if you think for a second that the pain is diminished, if you think for a second that i am strong all the time, you are sorely mistaken.

year two is here, but it is still a mother-fucking battle.