Sunday, January 16, 2011

Shrapnel on the Heart

My intended journal entry changed at the last minute......I will eventually add it to this blog but something wasn't right about me posting the particular entry I was planning on doing.

As I was reading a book the other day a word in it caught my attention. The word is "Shrapnel". Most people associate that word with the military and bombs.

The actual definition is "Fragments from an exloded artillery shell, mine or bomb.

So you ask "How does this relate to anything about Jess?" Well I'm glad you asked.

On June 26, 2010 a mine went off in our family. It scattered shrapnel on our lives but only so far.....

On Novemeber 25, 2010 a bomb followed and this time the shrapnel went everywhere.
The bigger the bomb the bigger the damage. The bigger the bomb the more shrapnel.

I will warn you if you dont wanna be sad at the moment then dont read this. I have just had a kinda sad day and this is what I feel like writing. No day really is every filled with great joy. I think of Jessi probly every minute of every day. Its just part of this whole process. People always say that the grieving will get better as time goes on. Maybe......I tend to think that it wont really get easier, it is a matter of coping with the grief that is what will get easier because the grief will always be there. Some days alot and some days a little. You can't take part of who you are and never totally miss it. Jessi is part of who I was and so therefore part of me will always be missing. Forever.

So like artillery shrapnel that explodes that is what happened November 25.....Jessi's death left shrapnel everywhere. Many of us did not expect this outcome. I know I am one of them. Alot of us are left wondering how could this be? I wish I knew, I ask myself that everyday. I did learn something though from shrapnel. As much as it hurts it also it leaves scars to never forget what happened. Jessi left shrapnel that really really hurts. At times so much its almost unbearable. Like for instance when I go to the store there are pieces of it everywhere. Things the average person would never consider. We went to Best Buy today and even that store is hard to go into anymore. Jessi always wanted a mini frig in her bedroom. Way before cancer and hospital stays. But when she wound up in the hospital she wanted a mini frig in her hospital room. We never did get her one. So today we saw them at Best Buy......And of course IPod accessories.....Rock Band.....and the list goes on. I was at Panera Bread and Jess loved smoothies, well I have a reward card and the cashier informs me I have a free smoothie on my card wood I like one....Smoothies don't sound so good to me anymore...Racetrack Gas stations for icee's which where her favorites....It's hard to drink those too...
Thats the painful shrapnel that is hard to deal with. It is literaly scattered everywhere and appears when I least expect it and usually with no time to prepare for it as I never see it coming. The kind that brings you to tears right in the middle of the store.

But then there is the shrapnel that gets left on my heart. Kinda like Jess's best friend Hannah, someone I love dearly and think the world of. The same Hannah who spent most of her summer at the hospital with Jessi when she didnt have a game. And tried to come and spend every weekend she could when school started..........Jessi's wantand desire
to spread the Love at Christmas to give to others......the messages I get from her school frends about how much she changed in their lives......the youth room dedicated to her.......youth fundraisers at church in her memory........prayers for me and her dad.......stories about Jess that I didnt know about her......There is so much.....All these good things are what's putting my heart back together piece by tiny piece. There will always be one piece missing. Kinda the same result when a bomb explodes, there is no way you would ever find every piece and put it back together. You just have to do the best you can with what u have to work with. And hope it works..........

And old Nursery Rhyme that everyone knows is:

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
All the Kings Horses and all the Kings Men
Could not put Humpty together again

Yea so sometimes I feel like Humpty Dumpty, sometimes I don't. Tomorrow is a new day. None of us know what the future holds. None of us.

I just hope and pray tomorrow is a day for Shrapnel on the Heart........

But the Lord said onto Samuel, "Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the Heart. 1 Samuel 16:7

Monday, January 10, 2011

"There are no Re Do's"

Those are the words I remember in a converstion I had with a very very close friend of mine a day or so after Jessi was called Home.

These words have resonated in my head since then. They are incredibly true. That goes for good times and bad. You can't Re Do either. So I think back as I write this how many things I would Re Do if given that option.......My mind draws a blank. I realiize there isn't anything I would want to Re Do in my life. Initially when Jessi passed, I, like most parents start to think of things I should maybe have done differently or maybe done more. But the truth is there really isn't any more Bud or I could do for Jessi. She had a Great Life! She got to go to many places and see and do many things. Even as a baby 17 days old we went to the Swamp Buggy Races in Naples Florida, she won some gift for being the youngest person at the event. Jessi went on 2 cruises before 3rd grade which included destinations such as Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Mexico. She flew on a plane. Lived on an Island for 9 years and was born in Key West Florida, The Southern Most City in the United States. We traveled 2x a year back to the Florida Keys where we used to live. She went to the hills and hollers of Kentucky where a big part of her family is from to be a part of several family reunions. We spent a wonderful summer in 2009 at Myrtle Beach with my very fabulous brother and his family boogie boarding, swimming, playing board games and she even brought along her friend Ashley. Jess went skiing last January with the youth from church in North Carolina. This past summer she had the very best vacation ever in Panama City Beach with her best friend Hannah. We bowled, skated, camped, hiked, biked went horseback riding. You name it and Jess pretty much did it.

I look back on our timeline since Jessi's birth, I know that God has been directing us because in 2007 we decided to move to Georgia. For a few reasons. One, we wanted a simpler life and for Jess to experience more things. Little did we know at that time God was preparing us for this very time. I believe that with all my heart. He sure knew what He was doing. In the 5 years we have been in Georgia we have made a tremendous amount of friends and got in involved in a Vibrant Spirit Filled Church. I know are relocation was in preparation for Jessi's illness. We were fortunate enough to be able to spend the entire time with Jessi during her stays in the hospital, 4-6 week stays at a time, from June through November, 24 hours a day. Then, we where home between hospital stays we where always together. Valuable, priceless time. Not something you can Re Do. Especially now.

My sadness and grief now are for all the things Jess will miss. I see things everyday. Knowing the things she wanted to do and accomplish. That is a very hard thing to grasp. She had her heart set on a teacup chihauha and in October she was actively looking on the internet to find breeders. She had one all picked out. So, when I see chiahuahas , it saddens me that Jess wasnt able to fullfill that desire. She was wonderful with animals. Theres alot more things but I won't go on because I get a sad ache in my heart when I start to think about these things. I'm trying to teach myself to look at all the good and remember how Jessi just laughed about everything and did not take anything seriously. Her Dad always called her "Mikey" from the American Choppers show. She was definatley a Mikey. I smile now as I write this because that is a great memory....

But, back to Re Do's........If you could Re Do something in your life would you? Could you? If you can I suggest you not wait and do it. Escpecially if it is Re Do Able, and you have the opportunity, many things are not.

My life with Jessi is not Re Do Able. But I am learning to try and accept the fact the my life, and what's left of it, is Do Able....So much so that I will make this statment....

One of our band members from church, Billy Garrett, sings this song "I'll Go, I'll Do, I'll Be. The words go like this " I'll go where You want me to go, I'll do what You want me to do, I'll be what You want me to be, I'll Go I'll Do I'll Be. It's a song about God, and it's my song to God.

So God.......Here I am....Take me as You find me, my only way to get through life is with You, I'm asking You to use me for Your Glory. Guide me and lead me to do what it is you will have me do. I'm ready...........

And all the people said............ "Amen"

Monday, January 3, 2011

Open Windows........

On Jessi's first visit to the Dr. she had the biggest compliment about her eyes. That would be the beginning of many many references to Jessi's eyes through out her life.
They say the "Eyes are the Windows to your Soul" I so believe that. Now more than ever.
Jessi didn't have one color to her eyes. I had always wondered when she would get her drivers license what we would list as her eye color. Let's see.......brown,silver,grean,blue, name it the colors where there. That very first Dr's visit in Key West Florida in October 1996 her Dr. said this child has like seven different colors to her eyes. The dr then handed me the thing you look into the eyes with and I saw how very right she was.
I can't help but believe that was part of who Jessi really was.....Not all of us have many different colors to our eyes. Mine are blue, her dads are hazel.........Most people have brown eyes.
Several weeks back our youth leader called and wanted to know the color of Jessi's eyes. I couldnt list just one color....Our church dedicated the youth room in memory of Jessi (how I hate that word memory!) and painted a character of her, they gave her blue eyes which is fine with me because alot of times of course depending on the color of clothes she wore some colors would show up more.
So many times during around journey in and out of the hospital just about everyday someone would compliment Jessi on her beautiful eyes.

I say this probly cause I'm her mom but I believe that her beautiful eyes where just the beginning of what was really inside of Jessi. The eyes where the beginning. Kinda like the Prologue in a book......And as you read the book, if it was really good, you couldnt put it down and each chapter just got better and better. And you didn't want the book to end it was good you wanted it to go on forever, or maybe there would be book 2.

Unfortunately in life there is an ending and there will be no book 2 or 3....

I wish this whole ordeal was a book, and I could put it down, and be done with it. Because this isn't one of those good reads. But every night I go to bed thinking I have to get up and do this all over again.

Then morning comes (or mourning)........The sun comes up and the day starts. The days are very long.

Jessi's book never got finshed........her story wasn't was just beginning.

Some days are more bearable than is an unbearable day...