26 Mar Grow Through What You Go Through – ? Tell it all Tuesday ?
When people would ask my mom how she did it, how she kept going raising her kids after her husband died, she often said “What do you do when you have no other choice? You just keep going.”
…And that’s exactly what she did.
She kept us all moving forward, even though the days after the funeral were hard. She had to deal with angry, moody teens that were grieving the loss of a parent. She had little kids who were missing their bedtime stories. And Sue had to deal with just life in general after a severe loss. She put one foot in front of the other, and as a result, so did we.
It was bumpy sometimes.
All the anger that comes as part of the grieving process was aimed at the only parent left, my mom. I’m not sure even if she’d done everything 100% right, we would still have been able to see and understand her efforts, let alone try to comfort her in her time of excruciating sorrow. We were too consumed with the loss and the hole that was left.
I’m still not sure to this day how she did it..
“You just keep going when you have no other choice.”
My mother Sue is pretty tough. We were able to visit with her this weekend. I was lucky enough to get some video of her talking about my dad.
This is my favorite part…
Going back to school with my friends and their normal routine didn’t seem fair, even though they were supportive. Their world kept spinning even though mine felt like it had stopped.
Most of my teachers were incredible, understanding and kind… except one.
My 9th grade Honors English teacher was rigid and harsh. While my other teachers waived the busy work and gave me one or two things I had to do to pass the quarter, which ended a week after I returned from burying my dad, my English teacher showed no mercy.
She made me write every paragraph of every single item I missed, and finish every worksheet journal entry. She knew I wouldn’t be able to do it before the end of the quarter so she gave me an incomplete and told me I’d have to make it up.
I’d never had an incomplete in any subject or grade. With two weeks gone from school and two funerals to attend, I now had an enormous amount of make up work from just one class.
She was unfeeling and had the attitude of “well you better just get over it because this is your life now.”
I barely passed that quarter in English and hated everything about grammar, punctuation, and writing for the rest of my high school experience. Even to this day it remains a mental block for me, so thank you for reading this and giving me grace in my writing.
This, with everything else going on, set off some severe anxiety.
The combination of watching my dad die and burying him, coupled with a teacher not giving me the grace I desperately needed in the absolute worst time of my life, ended up causing an emotional storm for my 14 year old self.
I’m not sure why, except I just felt that nothing was ever going to go right again, no matter how hard I tried. I learned then that there was no pass in life.
But maybe that ended up being a good thing?
I had to learn that even when it’s hard, you still have to keep going. You have to get tough and decide what you want for your life despite what’s going on in it.
You decide where you want to be at the end of life, and then take the steps to get there, even if they are little steps.
Eventually those little steps will add up and life will get better.
You are in control of what happens to you and where you end up, no matter your circumstance or what you’ve been through.
What does that look like to you?
If you hadn’t had to go through an awful experience, or something similar, or just something you’re struggling with, what would you want your life to be like?
Head that direction… It won’t be the exact version you imagined, it will probably be better!
Just like this story I told here, you may not end up in Italy, but Holland is just as beautiful. Enjoy your time there.
As part of my own journey I started journaling after my dad’s death and it helped immensely to get my thoughts and feelings onto paper. Journaling helps you to work through the grief process.
As part of that, I have been working on a grief journal for adults and kids, filled with writing prompts to hopefully help those working through the grief process like it helped me. This has been a giant project and my passion and I want it to be great! It’s taking longer than I anticipated and hoping to have the finishing touches done by next week.
Until then, keep going! Keep moving forward a little at a time… You’ve got this!
Grow through what you go through. For where a Wildflower blooms so does hope.