Whether I like it or not.

Tomorrow, the sun will rise.  And tomorrow, by my count, Grace will be 12 years and 115 days old.  It will be the first day she will be an age Andra never was.

It is both extremely sad, and divinely hopeful for me.  It is new territory, where I have no expectations, and nothing to compare it to but old memories from the edge of the 80s when I was a girl.

I had fabulous perspective, and joy, and rationalization for a few months after we lost Andra, but then I got lost for a while.  I didn’t take notes, I didn’t write, and I didn’t blog.  I didn’t want to hurt, or to hurt other people.  I have shared with many people, been supported by many people and given many people shards of my pain in ways that may or may not have been particularly kind, but nonetheless was what I had to do.  For that, I am truly sorry.  I haven’t been myself. 

The reality, however, is that I will never be myself again. 

I have done a lot of good things.  I have done some bad things.  I have dragged my feet, and then gotten way ahead of myself.  I have had a bigger picture focus, while seeing alot of little, tiny things, right in front of my face that I didn’t notice before.  I don’t want to do anything, somedays, but then I want to do great things – HUGE THINGS – for Andra, in spite of Andra, and because of Andra – but also for Grace.  And for me.  And for Phil and for you. 

And I will.  This new version of me will do great things. 

Starting tomorrow, I will breathe a sigh of relief for 12 years and 115 days.  I will be thankful for that day.  I will be thankful, every day, for Andra.  I will love Grace anew each and every new day.  I will try, as hard as I can, I swear it, to embrace this broken, wonderful me and what she has to give the world. 

Tonight, as I drove up our street into the sunset, where I have my briefest moments of perspective each evening, I looked into the pink clouds that reminded me of the pink index card I found in Andra’s room last week that says “My favorite color is pink, I like movies with talking cats and dogs, and I love shopping.  Andra” 


(Sidebar – Grace knew I had doubted whether pink was Andra’s favorite color although Grace was insistent, so finding this proved Grace right.  Apparently, Andra had her back. )

At that moment, the chorus kicked up on the radio, and Grace and I sang along.

“Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.”

I am changed.  And while it causes a violent and visceral reaction to say it, I WILL be changed for good.  Both meanings intended.

Whether I like it, or not.


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3 Responses to Whether I like it or not.

  1. Misty says:

    I love you…whether you like it or not! M

  2. Michelle says:

    Hang in there, looking from a distance you have handled this with remarkable courage and grace. Keep your eyes forward and know that you are loved and kept close to my heart… all of you 🙂
    Hang on for the teenager years, its’ about to get crazy with some fun sprinkled in.

  3. Phillip says:

    I read your post with a tear in my heart. All I could think was no matter have much the death of Andra has changed us, it does not even compare to how the life of Andra enriched us. I love you Grace and Jenine.

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