Every parents dream?

If you aren’t familiar with Elf on a Shelf you might think this picture is a little odd. The idea is that you use the elf doll and tell your children that the elf is watching good boys and girls for Santa. Now the elf moves at night to a different location to further convince your kids he is real. Sometimes this little elf will even play tricks at night while children are asleep. An example would be you find him on the kitchen table with your cereal ready, or maybe he picked out your clothes while you slept. You get the idea.

Now this sounds like great fun BUT most parents start this little game around Thanksgiving and it’s played up and until Christmas. This can be troublesome in many ways. Trying to come up with different ideas as to where to put the elf while the kids are asleep and what trick or new discovery the elf might create. That’s a lot of work! Or heaven forbid the parent is to tired to do the elf relocation one night, then you have to come up with why the elf did not move. The worst or maybe best idea is the elf is partially eaten by the dog, hence the picture.

Holiday Healing

My family members, as it happened, passed on or near holidays, Christmas time, Fourth of July, my wedding anniversary, New Years Eve, my birthday. It’s not like they planned their deaths to occur on days that would be a constant reminder of their deaths that’s just the way my road in life lead.

I had children that I was raising so I kept my thoughts about this “holiday passing” to myself and refused to let the holidays be anything but happy for my family. It was hard, but not painful to the point I couldn’t function, that would come later.

It’s funny how we can fill our lives and our minds to distract us from our troubles. I told myself that I was a strong person and that I carried on for my kids and their happiness, after all you can’t walk this earth wounded very minute of every day, right?

This is what I learned the hard way…..

Distractions are just that, they keep you busy but you don’t heal. I woke up one morning and my kids were grown and thriving in the world and I looked around for someone I knew and that’s when the grief and pain of losing everyone came down on me like a wave of nausea. It was Christmas time and I fumbled through crying to myself everyday and not understanding why. Grieving, although it might make others uncomfortable, is necessary part of our human function. When we grieve we are aware of our loss and the changes it will make in our lives. When we choose to be the strong soldier our grief will find its way out of our bodies sometime in some form whether we want it to or not.

If you are grieving then carry on and don’t worry so much about others feeling uncomfortable around you, you can always apologize later if you want. Distractions are just that – distractions – not because you are super human or emotionally untouchable it just means you are choosing not to deal with something at that particular moment.

Grief will come, it’s just part of who we are as humans.

Veterans Memorial Park Wichita, KS

The Veterans Memorial Park in Wichita KS shows community pride as well as gratitude to all that have served for our country. This park has awinding walkway lined with beautiful trees, amazing monuments, and personal memorials. These pictures are only a small fraction of the memorials in this park. If you live in Wichita and you haven’t seen this memorial park you need to go. As I walked along the river and the walkway that winds through the park my heart began to swell with pride for the community of Wichita and the history to be learned is plentiful. Best veterans memorial in the Midwest!


Holidays and πŸ’”Healing πŸŽ…πŸΌπŸŽ‚πŸŽƒβ˜˜οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸ₯‚πŸΎπŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸ’ŒπŸŽ

Now that the New Year is here we can all reflect on the year past. For some of us that year was riddled with the pain of losing someone in our lives that we loved. That loss created an enourmous hole in the year that can’t be repaired. The first year after a loss every holiday is a painful reminder of that loss.

My personal experience is just one example of holidays and grief. My oldest brother died a few weeks before Christmas of 1980, my middle brother died on my birthday in 2004, my youngest brother on New Years Eve of 1999, and my stepfather on my wedding anniversary of 1994. There have been other losses ( mother, grandmother, father ) which had nothing to do with any particular holiday but there wasn’t a “holiday reminder” of their date of death. In other words the date they died would go by each year and I would forget the actual date of over time. When you lose someone you love on a holiday or date of celebration it changes that holiday or celebration date forever.

At first I actually thought the holiday date was about me and what I had lost. I now see that that was such a ridiculous, self centered way of thinking. I made of choice of celebrating their lives on the holiday or celebration date they died. I couldn’t change what had happened, and I couldn’t change the date of my birthday, Christmas, New Years, or my anniversary but I could change how I celebrated their memory on those days. I could be grateful for every holiday spent with them and I could be grateful for the opportunity to keep them alive in my heart on those days, and grateful for my own life.
I couldn’t change dates but I could make a choice as to how I honored my love and memory of their lives. Maybe that is why although I have never been a huge fan of New Years Eve but a loyal fan of a New Year. A new year to begin again with memories of their lives not their deaths. A grateful heart for having them as part of my life story.