Friday, November 17, 2023

Another Emotional Day

Ah, MAN! This has been a tear-filled, emotional day. We are realizing some days we're up and some days we're down. 

This is Michael's birthday. His first one without Josiah. We weren't sure if he'd want decorations or not. It turns out he wanted to sleep in - and that works. 

Allie and I decided to jump back into Bible Study. It was hard good. Revisiting our answers from 3 weeks ago, adding to them from this perspective, seeing how God was preparing us to walk out truths in a deeper way...It was hard, it was good. 

I wondered as we arrived if the staff would know about our loss and why we haven't been around for a few weeks.  I am usually in the cafe at least twice a week for one-on-one studies; sometimes more. I guessed a waitress would say they had missed us, and I was trying to decide how much would be appropriate to share. We walked in and the manager came out of the kitchen to hug me and voice condolences...and we teared up...she was great. Another waitress told us she prays for us daily. 

We came home. Allie studied. Stacia and I dug her car out and shoveled around some cars. Allie came out and shoveled the ramp. Michael got up and we headed out to another restaurant for his birthday lunch.  I'd not warned him what may happen. Sure enough, the waitress came over and told us how she heard about Josiah's death. She sat and cried when she was told one day at the restaurant it was our son who was shot and killed in Anchorage.  We teared up again. 

This showed us two things. We live in a small town where people really do care for one another.  And, honestly, if you're avoiding mentioning someone's loss because you don't want to make them remember, feel bad, or cry....THEY ALREADY DO REMEMBER AND FEEL BAD. I was remembering meeting Josiah, Carrie and Liv after ice-fishing on another winter day as we walked in.  I KNOW HE'S GONE. I MISS HIM.  It's not going to crush me if you share a bit of the weight...even if I tear up, I'm thankful you care. Being comfortable enough to speak up and deal with any resulting tears shows you care. It will be awkward if you don't address the elephant in the room. 

The family dropped me off at CoRielle's after lunch. I was set to watch Charles. The rest of their family were going to the docs for an ultrasound, but Charles doesn't care for small, confined spaces.  Charles wanted to read. He loves to have me read to him, and I like to do it. I told him to get his best, favorite book. He brought this one over...I'll Love You Forever....

Are you familiar with this book? I used to read it to my kids - often. On hard days I'd read it to remind myself life moves on; I WILL love my kids forever and like them for ALWAYS.... the refrain is one Michael spoke into Stacia's Daddy Bear when he was deploying. 

"I'll love you forever, 

I'll like you for always, 

As long as I'm living

my baby you'll be."

I knew I was in trouble...but I had PROMISED him his pick. I began voice wobbled, my eyes leaked...the boy in the book grows...and then he's an adult and Mama dies, and he goes home to his baby and repeats the refrain his mama had always shared with him...and it was all too much. Josiah will never again say it to Liv or ever say it to Josi and I totally lost it. As I read the book, I'd read to Arielle, to her son...

Sweet Charles looked at me, took the book and said, "Bachan, let's put this away. Let's read the heart book." 

Y'all CoRielle have worked over a year for Charles to show empathy for other's feelings, for him to begin to understand emotions. The "Heart Book" is one that talks about how our heart's feel...sometimes happy and light as a balloon...sometimes sad like an elephant is sitting on your heart... sometimes angry...Charles was NOTING my emotions and RESPONDED to my feelings...he thought the heart book may help. 

Michael's gifts haven't arrived, but we gave him cards and told him what will be arriving in time. 

Allie, Stacia and I wrote memories of Josiah in a journal. Olivia wants memories...and we're trying to collect them. 

GG went to bed, and we pulled out the small ice cream cake for tonight. The big one is for tomorrow's celebration - GG shouldn't splurge that much two days in a row. 


1. Supportive community - even when it's awkward at times. 

2. Sweet time with Charles. 

3. Good memories. 

4. Another year well-lived for Michael. 

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