A Christmas Promise

I keep telling myself that life is what you make of it and you get to choose how you handle difficult times. It’s not an easy thing to do but taking this type of ownership provides you with power. By leaving your experience up to anything else is to hand over control of it. This Christmas was about taking my own advice.

Dear Bella,

It’s Christmas Day. The second Christmas you spend in Heaven… It has been so hard to prepare for this day as celebrating without you is unimaginable. Christmas has always been my favourite holiday but not having you here leaves us with emptiness where love used to reside.

Except this year was different than I expected. Yesterday, I found love in your brother. I looked for it. We spent time alone. We laughed. We sang silly songs. We acted as we used to when you were here. We talked about you and I secretly thanked God for giving me the gift of our memories. There was some sadness, but gratitude held me up while love and joy filled me.

We went to church and even though the second last time I was there was to celebrate your short life, I purposely remembered happy memories that took place in that space. I remembered both your aunts weddings and I pictured myself walking down the isle with Dream Daddy. A Christmas Eve wedding… Memories not yet created but they brought joy and hope. I focused on your brother; his affection towards me throughout the service kept me grounded. I listened to him sing and held on to every moment. He reminded me that you were there with us; he put his ear to my belly then told me you were singing too. ❤️

Because of your brother, I didn’t let my grief steal Christmas from me. It took effort, but the reward was priceless and now I have new memories to hold on to.

Christmas morning, I was the first one awake and I kept listening for your brothers. When they finally came to get us, I was eager to give them their gifts and excitedly got out of bed. Hudson opened yours; I’m sure you don’t mind. Thank you for sending a helper for Santa this year. It really saved the day! I lost track of how many times he said it was the “best day ever!”

It’s definitely a Christmas I will never forget. Leave it to Dream Daddy to turn it into something else. I had visions of marrying him on Christmas because I was looking to replace the pain of missing you with the love of the most incredible man I have ever met. His love heals me. He didn’t marry me today, but he will marry me someday soon and that promise of forever makes me the luckiest girl in the world. Leave it to you to find someone so wonderful!

I promise to always include you in all that we do. I also promise to not let my pain of missing you take me away from important moments. Thank you for being with us today. That rainbow hello you sent was received and I know you had a part in all the miracles I witnessed today. Thank you for the many gifts you continue to send. Please keep them coming as they remind me to #StayStrong.

Merry Christmas in Heaven, my sweet Angel! I miss you lots and love you more.

Love Mamma ❤️

Shadow of Grief

It’s a cool December day. I stand on the beach staring at the sun. I feel the warmth of the sunlight on my face. Behind me, the wave is building. It crashes onto the shore. My shadow hides it and I cannot see it, yet I am aware of its existence. I choose to ignore it and focus on the warmth that kisses my face.

The waves become rhythmic and I feel the vibration in my chest. As the vibration gets stronger, it becomes difficult to ignore. A drop of pain escapes from the corner of my eye and rolls down my cheek. I lift my head higher begging the light to erase this pain. But I know the impossibility of this as it engrained in every cell of my body. 

Pain is now a part of me. At times it is easily forgotten, yet it is never gone. Nothing can alter this path of heartache. In order to recede it, I know I must feel it, yet I refuse the confrontation. Not today… 

I walk away, facing the light. I leave the waves in my shadow.

Avoiding the waves causes them to build stronger. A storm is developing. The longer it goes ignored, the harder the rain will fall. But I simply don’t have the energy to battle this today.

The light brings the illusion of peace. This path is easier to walk. But the darkness will only fade when you shine the light upon it.

 * * *

Today I choose to be strong so that I can prepare for Christmas. I’ve postponed it long enough and time is running out. It’s amazing how many ways we can procrastinate when facing something head on is so painful. But I choose to put my son first. I will risk fighting a bigger storm later and do what needs to be done so that I don’t let him down. 

No one knows the battle within me; I hide it so well. This mask isn’t meant to be deceiving, it’s meant to protect me. Under the skin of every grieving mother is pain that never goes away. Holidays have a way of making that pain surface. This is our reality. 


Signs from Bella

Leaving dance class tonight we were in our way to the car. Hudson stopped in the middle of the street and looked up. I told him to get off the road and then he pointed up at the street light and said “look mom, a rainbow!” There was a huge rainbow around the light. As I’m buckling him in he says to me “Bella cuddles with me every day. She’s not here right now though.” I said “Oh, no? She didn’t come to dance class with us? That’s strange.” He said “No, she’s at home with Tommy. She never comes to dance class. She likes Tommy more.” I told him there is no way she likes Tommy more but he reassured me that she loves him very much. 💕 On our way home he said he saw another rainbow🌈

Understanding Hurtful People

The sad truth about humanity is sometimes when people are hurting, they feel it is necessary to cause pain to others. People who come from a place of love have difficulty understanding the motives of such persons. When one becomes a target of such behaviour, how can one cope while remaining in the light?

I have always believed in the power of understanding. By putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes for a moment, our eyes become open to their perspective. Whether it be real or imagined, this view IS their reality. In order to do this effectively, you must open your mind and disengage from your own reality. 
People either act in love or in fear. Ask yourself: what does he/she fear? Is this fear rational? If the fear is not rational, ask: what is happening to cause this misperception? 
One of the most difficult components of conflict resolution is one’s ability to recognize the misperceptions of others. It’s easy to judge; it’s challenging to understand why others see things the way they do. By identifying the fear (which is the basis of their behaviour, the catalyst), we can then use our own judgement to determine whether the fear is logical. 
Often people will act out without awareness of their fear. People who do this are in an unconscious state. Practicing presence helps keep us grounded which prevents us from reacting on impulse. Remember this when dealing with someone who has hurt you and remember to practice presence yourself.
Next, ask: how does this fear involve me? Could I have said or done something that may have been misinterpreted? Could I have neglected to do something? Accept responsibility for anything you may have done, consciously or unconsciously, even if it was misperceived. If you can’t identify anything, remain open to the possibility that it can exist without your awareness. 
It is always possible that the person’s fear is internal and they may be projecting this fear onto you. This is a way of refusing to take responsibility and is a form of manipulation. If you suspect this may be the case, be cautious!
Once you identify the fear and understand the person’s perspective, how should you react?
Never REact. Always own your wrongdoings and take responsibility for them. Accept that your actions may be misperceived. The need to react will likely vanish once you see the bigger picture. By reframing the situation, the need to react dissolves. This is how to stay in the light. Reactions are like fuel being added to the fire. Instead, look within and forgive. Discuss the issue in a calm way while remaining present. Be mindful of your words, tone, and body language. ACT with LOVE! Then stop and observe what happens. It may amaze you.
How do you handle the manipulator? By accepting them for who they are and choosing where you want them in your life. You can’t change these people but you don’t have to accept how they treat you. Love yourself enough to walk away and remember their actions are not a reflection of who you are. 

Love Heals

Perspective is everything. No matter what has happened in the past, one should never allow history to set the precedent for the future. Nothing is ever a guarantee. 

Outcomes cannot be predicted; we can only do the best we can under the circumstances. How we handle a situation is our choice, and every choice made inevitably affects the outcome. 
I have learned that as long as you react with love, everything works itself out in time. Patience plays a vital role as it allows us to be mindful and stay present. This awareness nurtures the soul and enables us to make thought out decisions rather than react in animosity.

All beautiful things take time to grow. Flowers take time blossom and we must experience the storm before the rainbow appears. Be patient and you will witness the miracles life has to offer. 

The greatest gift in life is that of true love and I accept this love with open arms and an open heart. A love so honest and true, nothing can alter it’s majestic beauty. I promise a life of patience and presence. I promise you will always be a priority. I promise nothing but openness and truth. I promise to stand beside you no matter what stands before us. Not only until the day I die, but until the end of time. 

Nothing can dull this sparkle and as we choose to step into the light, the shadows of anger are unable to touch us. We act in love. We practice patience and hold on to faith that all will come full circle. 

Love heals. Love is. We.