Morning by Morning (3/31/18)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The opportunity to christen a child yesterday, which was even more meaningful as the father was a single dad who manages two kids including his medical special needs boy. Reading Psalm 139 and Romans 8 and anointing him was just a gift!
  2. Dinner at Velvet Taco with Megan last night. Fantastic queso, fantastic tacos, and loved hanging out with Megan and her dog Mowgli!
  3. Blood donation, as a way to give back for all the great kids who have blessed me at Texas Children’s Hospital.
  4. Getting to spend a lot of time chatting with the PICU nurses during the last two days and trying to listen to their stresses and worries and be an encouragement to them.
  5. Being in Houston with our current sports teams! So exciting!!

Morning by Morning (3/30/18)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Aiden, who I am missing these days. A great boy with a great sense of humor!
  2. Tranquil mornings while I walk with Bailey.
  3. Playing cards with the Lucas’ last night.
  4. The healing power of play.
  5. Budgets. I am appreciative of the help and clarity they are bringing during this time.
  6. Caprese Salads!

Morning by Morning (3/29/18)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Spending an evening at home with Ryan. We didn’t do much last night but we had a good time and had some good laughs and just stayed in.
  2. Southwest Central Church, which has provided me home and support and lots of hugs since 2009.
  3. Running water.
  4. The excitement that potty training may soon be done!
  5. Storytellers.
  6. Vulnerability, as the gift of intimacy and love come from it.

Morning by Morning (3/28/18)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The privilege of supporting, encouraging, and caring for the nurses in the PICU. Yesterday I got to hear about how some de-stress and it reminded me just how stressful the ICU nurse life is.
  2. Providing a space for debriefing and professional growth for critical care medical residents. They are such a pleasure to serve.
  3. Kathy Salvati, and her humor with me, as well as her support.
  4. Trent, a PICU nurse who always make me laugh.
  5. The way God is working to recreate my heart and life now both as a father and a single person.

Morning by Morning (3/27/18)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Playing sand volleyball last night! Lots of fun with new people and lots of fun to play volleyball again.
  2. Ryan learning his numbers.
  3. Fruit snacks, which keeps Ryan happy and solves almost every problem for him.
  4. The amazing work of the Pediatric Chaplains Network Advisory Council.
  5. The encouraging and educational value of the wisdom/skill sharing between pediatric chaplains on our listserv.
  6. Having a consistent and reliable job. I am grateful for having a job period in our current culture.

Morning by Morning (3/26/18)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Truth. It speaks profoundly when we can’t, whether it is about our culture, people, relationships, or self.
  2. A quality weekend with Ryan. He is ever becoming my partner in crime.
  3. Laughter at work.
  4. All the amazing fun activities and people I am enjoying these days, including learning curling soon, playing sand volleyball, swimming, and surfing lessons.
  5. Disc golf at Evegreen Disc Golf Course and getting to play a pretty course on a pretty day. I birdied the two hardest holes (but tripled two others…yikes)! And though I lost a disc, it had bad memories associated with it and I am okay losing it to the water!
  6. Prayer, and especially bring prayed for.

Morning by Morning (3/24/18)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Going to a birthday party today for one of Ryan’s new friends at school. We can’t wait to go hang out at the park!
  2. Sleeping in this morning after a long week.
  3. A fun dinner with Ben and Nicole last night.
  4. Being a part of Team SuperMax and supporting one of the great kids I know as he goes through cancer treatments! He is so encouraging and always brings a smile to my face!

Morning by Morning (3/23/18)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Jon Burdett, a good friend who is a great listener and who always communicates how much he cares for me. I loved getting to talk to him last night!
  2. Listening to Ray Charles this morning as I relaxed before work.
  3. March Madness and the fun of college basketball!
  4. My coming weekend with Ryan. Father son time!

Morning by Morning (3/22/18)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The people who are my sounding boards.
  2. The smell of coffee in the morning, which I never thought I would say!
  3. Journaling and blogging, which helps me share emotions in ways that I can’t verbally.
  4. Morning snuggles with Ryan.
  5. The young couples at church that are serving the neighborhood through play on Wednesday nights, Sunday mornings, and throughout the week in subtle ways. Ryan and I got to go join some last night across the street and I love the idea of Ryan and our other kids engaging with other kids that are not immediate friends.

Grieving When Others Have Moved On

Recently, I attended a continuing education session on grieving when everyone else has moved on. Like when we are 7 months removed from a hurricane but you are still getting insurance going on your houses JD no one wants to hear your feeling devastated still. Or when you are still hurting for your parent 8 weeks after the funeral and supposedly that’s not okay. Or when you’ve lost a job and you are still trying to put the pieces together months later. Move on, grieve well, but move on, as though hurt is controlled and managed like a modern day manufacturing plant.

But it’s not.

That session connected with me. On the whole I feel I am doing okay post separation from Elana, but most others have moved on because it is not their journey. But it is mine, and there are moments where I want to explode or internally combust trying to either make sense of life or out of sadness for choices made or disappointment for who some chose to be in all of this. These are typical emotions, and shocking if not felt just 2-3 remover from the events. Divorce sucks, and it sucks with kids and it sucks in general because it just does!

But…I feel guilty talking about it and venting when I need to. I don’t want to sound like a broken record. I don’t want to be the guy who just talks about one thing and everyone gets tired of it. I feel guilty because I believe that I can’t fully vent without claiming my own failures and weaknesses and that makes me feel worse!

I feel like a failure if I talk more about this stuff or vent. It looks like I am not moving on, or that I can’t handle emotions. I know that is bad culture talking and even know that I work in a career that seems to do the opposite. But I feel like I am failing if I bring it up in a negative way- shouldn’t I always be positive and hopeful and feel good about the future? I actually do feel positive and hopeful and good about the future, but I want to vent my frustration once in a while and know that I’m heard…without judgment.

I also feel lonely when I vent or feel these things when others have moved on. It’s in these times that I recognize the key people in key roles who are not there anymore when I need to talk. And let’s be honest, some people have either moved on or have no clue what to say or how to listen. It’s in these times that I find myself seeing what parents who lose a child experience- no one can quite walk in your shoes in your experience. That’s one lonely road when one is hurting.

So I grieve and hurt from time to time, but I do it while most others have moved on, including some involved. This grief requires one step at a time and intense alone time that allows one to face the shadows and walk away a wounded warrior. This grief almost requires a self effort that seems impossible at times. It’s hard. And it’s made all the harder because naturally and for good reasons, others have moved on to live their lives and not yours. Just know that when others move on, we who still grieve can be left in beautifully desolate places, places that offer joy and pain in the same hand.

To everyone who might read, I will be okay. God will walk me through. But God has to, because I still grieve when others have walked on.