I sang a song – again.
I sang a silly song today, it went a little something like this…”chicky-chicken nuggets, cheesy-cheese cubes. Peas and car-rots, peas and car-rots, yum yum yum in the tum tum tum.” Obviously, Kanye will defer to me as the “musical genius” from now until the end of time. I have mad skills, yo.
The song was silly and goofy, and initially, I sang it without thought as I fed my almost-11-month-old rainbow baby boy his lunch and my half-day kindergartener sat at the kitchen counter eating hers. She said, “Mom! You’re singing the silly song.”
“It’s my kitchen and I’ll sing if I want to, sing if I want to, sing if I want to…You would sing to if…” (You get it. She totally didn’t find it amusing. Whatever, she’s six.)
We giggled, we ate. A few minutes later I started to sing another silly song about putting away the dishes. Kindergarten Kamden says, “I missed the silly songs.”
“What do you mean? I sing silly stuff all the time.”
“No, not for a long time. You sang this to me when I was little!” And then…It hit me. This might actually be the first time I’ve randomly broken into silly mom-duty songs in a very, very long time. I didn’t know that I could do this anymore – be happy. I didn’t know it was ok to be, much less possible for it to happen. God can do that. Make the impossible possible.
Here we are on “the other side of tragedy”, the loss of a child and I am singing silly songs again. I. Just. Didn’t. Know. Psalm 23.
Stay with me a minute…I swear this will make sense. If you know me, my maternal grandmother, my Mawmaw (it’s a hillbilly thing, I own it), was very special to me. She passed in 2013. Aside from being the sweetest and most talkative person you ever met, she me to my faith, to church. She strengthened my beliefs and encouraged my love for Christ. Her very favorite verse was Psalm 23. It has always held a special place in my heart.
|Public Domain image
It came softly into my mind and stuck there long enough for me to figure out why. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…” I have walked that valley. I more than walked through it, sometimes I feel like I pitched a tent and built a fire to stay a while. I camped in the valley mourning the loss of John Karl, trying to understand, trying to make a purpose, trying to humanize knowledge that just can’t be fathomed on this side of heaven. The valley is dark, and cold, and sad, and painful, and awful. It is how I forgot to be happy, to be me. The me that God created with all purpose and planning and love.
“Then You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” I wrote about this a while back too. I titled the blog “Bring the Joy” and boy, did he ever.
My pregnancy with Koen brought a whole new roller-coaster of emotions: fear, anxiety, confidence, faith, panic…all of them, all the feels. I felt everything during that pregnancy. “I will fear no evil for You are with me.” I repeated this over and over. Along with “let your faith be bigger than your fear”, it became my mantra for a very long 37ish weeks. I just wanted to get through it. Through the pregnancy. Through the sadness. Through the negative emotions, the fear, the anxiety to be on the other side of the crazy, emotional mess of a valley I was stuck in. But I didn’t want to forget my boy. I didn’t want to let one tiny ounce of his memory fade. So it was hard. The climb was tough and sometimes I find myself slipping back into the valley again when I just want to be on the other side of the mountain.
Everybody has thing…a thing they want to be on the other side of. I promise you, because God promised…He will be there on the other side. Eventually I realized, He was there the whole time.
What is it? What’s your thing? What are you desperate to get on the other side of? What crushed you, broke your heart, flipped your world upside down, made you think your life was over?
Say it, say the thing out loud. The more you say it out loud the more it becomes a real thing, and not a surreal thing. The more you say it out loud, the more you find people who can relate, who can help, and who care deeply about you.
I will always long for John Karl, I will always wonder about life with him in our home. But, here I am, in the kitchen singing silly songs with my kiddos again. My cup overflows…You are with me. On the other side.