Matt - We're going to Trout Lake camp for your birthday. For already a week now I've been dreading May 2, and with each new day on the calendar it keeps getting closer. I am glad, though, that we have the trip to Trout Lake planned. I know you loved going there. The Mansfield's are also going to remember your birthday by doing all the things you liked to do. They're going to sleep in late, play LOTR (Lord of the Rings) online, drink a McDonald's Mocha Frappe, and then eat a bowl of cereal at 10:30pm. Sounds pretty good, huh? Maybe I should remind Max to be his usual antagonizing self, too, eh?! LOL He was about the only one who could get you to really laugh and crack a smile. At least more than a smirk, anyway. :) To think you'd be 17 years old. I wish I could have seen it and I wonder what kind of cake you would have liked and what you would have wanted for your birthday. Oh, how my heart hurts. Keeping my eyes on Jesus, Mateo. Hope your praying for us up there. Love you, Mom.
Speaking of birthdays...My birthday last Saturday was horribly painful, yet I can't explain why. I did not want to celebrate it. I wanted it to be just another day like any other, and for the most part, it was. I had asked my friends - those who knew and remembered the 14th - to please heed my wishes and not say anything and they respected that. It meant so much to me! I guess I should have given my extended family a warning as well, but I failed to communicate that to them. (If only I had remembered the GriefShare advice from lesson eight of the workbook about "checking your expectations." I needed to remember that those who comfort me aren't mind readers!) I regret that, but done is done. *sigh* Lesson learned.
Another GriefShare lesson I've learned is that it doesn't have to make sense. Grief is unique to each person, and no one grieves perfectly. Grief is messy. Dr. Larry Crabb states, "Be whoever you are. Your own pattern of grief will be your pattern of grief." For me, this means I just roll with it, or at least try to. I cry when I feel like crying. I don't fight it or try to hold it back. And most importantly, I don't stuff it. It also means being honest with God. Ultimately, I know that He is the only one who will understand, the only one who will never leave me nor forsake me, and the only one who truly accepts me for who I am, faults and all. I love what Max Lucado says: "God loves you just the way you are, but He refuses to leave you that way." Thanking God for that!