There’s a tree out in the back yard…

That never has been broken by the wind.

Our love, will last forever,

If we’re strong enough to bend.

This song has been burnt into my mind for the last few weeks. As we wrapped up our time in Boston and headed back to Kentucky I was overcome by the fact that although I would be going home, my circumstances would not change. I would still be in recovery. I would still be using a wheelchair and walker to ambulate. I would still be on 30 medications. My skin would still be a mess. I would still be bald. I would still be stared at with looks of pity. My children and husband would be returning to normal, but I would essentially be exactly the same. I would get no break from the demanding and draining fact that I was completely different. I remember sitting on the bed in Boston and just feeling broken. I had elation that I was going home, but was faced with the fact that this was not over. I wasn’t on vacation. I wasn’t going back to the life I had led. The life I had was gone. Even though I was alive, my spirit felt trampled. Beat to a pulp. Shattered to a million pieces just waiting to be swept up or blown away.

Our trip home really was lovely. We saw areas of the nation that I had always wanted to visit. The finger lakes of New York as so tranquil and scenic. I had not been to Niagara Falls since I was a child. It has changed a lot. I CANNOT WAIT UNTIL I CAN WALK IN THE PARK AGAIN. And HH got to a fulfill a childhood dream and visit Cooperstown, NY (I’ll let you look that one up). Day 3 of the journey. We only drove about 5 hours each day. But each day was VERY long. Since we are planning on traveling again next year, we hope to visit the Canadian side.

A little vacation as we go HOME SWEET HOME.

The following FB link shows our van as we approach our home for the first time in close to 8 months. Our church family welcomed us with open arms and hopeful prayers.

Welcoming the Goodrich’s

And then we unpacked. And unpacked and unpacked. This is the first time that I have not had a deadline to get things done. And believe me, I need this break. It took me about 2 weeks to unpack. And I decluttered and decluttered and decluttered. It was cleansing. I really have not been up to getting rid of children’s clothes or going through the piles of papers for a long time. I can finally see my dresser again. My Mom and I tagged over 100 things for consignment. And I cleaned my closet. I suppose every woman has her “skinny jeans” or an outfit that she wore for a special occasion that you just can’t get rid of. And then there were the maxi dresses, things bought at “Forever 21.” You know that impulse buy, that is just way too cute and you are hoping to have the courage to wear it.

As I entered the closet, I had the realization that I am now at least 2″ shorter and I have a roundness to my hips that just wasn’t there before. Even though I weigh less than I have in years any things just. Don’t. Fit. As I stood in the closet, all of the shelves are just a little higher. The bathroom vanity, just a little higher. I can’t reach the top shelf without a step stool. I just feel like I am in a home that doesn’t quite fit. Grief over took me. I would never wear these things again. They are not the me I am now. And I miss that old me terribly. I cannot imagine what it is like to lose a spouse; however, I feel that seeing all of those clothes in there with no person that could wear them is at least similar. The woman who wore these clothes looks at me from every wall. A woman who doesn’t know life like this, that doesn’t know this grief, that doesn’t know death and illness is in every picture and she mocks me. She looks at me as an inferior being . Her eyes say, “you will never be as happy as I am.” I sorted and discarded and donated all the clothes that made me feel pretty. I took down all the team rainbow glitter paraphernalia. It is ready for storage. I couldn’t stand the reminders.

That night I really let it out. I screamed, cried, hit, sobbed, yelled at the God who had made me this way. “Why? WHY? WHY?!?!?” What had I done to deserve this? What could anyone do to deserve this? The grief runs deep. The hurt is on the surface, so easily scratched. A hemorrhage starts with the lightest touch. When this all started, it was “they will be better off without you.” When I was in the hospital, it was “I just need to get to my family and things will be better.” Then it was, “I just need to get home and I will be better.” Now I am home. This is it. Fortunately I no longer have the darkest thoughts, but this is the better I have been searching for. Well crap. What a letdown.

As it states in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way so that you can endure it.” He may have given me more than I can handle. I would break if I were alone. I am not alone. My Father is always with me. I am designed to be like the willow. I am created as a child of God. And as my Father, I believe that He is teaching me. I must believe that. I do believe that. My God is merciful, loving and compassionate.

As time passes, my pictures have taken on a different expression. I no longer feel mocked by them. I am the woman in those pictures, even though my physical appearance has changed. My eyes no longer make me feel inferior. They are a believer’s eyes. They believe that I can do this. That I am rooting for me. That I am on my team and one of my biggest supporters.

I feel that it is good to put the items from my past away. Dwelling there is not going to change anything. This is my rebirth. This is my time. And I am treasuring every moment.

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