Breath Taking, not in a good way

It’s breathing taking, not in a good way.

It is heart stopping in the worst possible way.

My first born and his first born. Her ashes to be laid to rest in his coffin when his time has ended. His ashes to be laid to rest with my ashes when my time has ended. It doesn’t seem real but it is our harsh reality.

Life is so much meaner than I ever expected. The unfairness has elevated to cruelty.

Whenever “the whys” and “the why me’s” and “the what did I do to deserve this” cross my mind. I do my best to remember Ecclesiastes 9:11–

“I have seen something else under the sun: the race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time an chance happen to them all”

The universe did not call me out, time and chance happen to other people too. Cruel, misfortunate, heartbreaking, gut wretching things happen everyday to lots of people. I have not, in fact, cornered the market on pain and agony.

I have often heard that fact is stranger than fiction. I am fairly certain that fact to also more horrifiying. Fiction allows you to lay down the book or turn off the screen. I have no such luxury, the grief and pain are relentless.

Zachary Donovan Vaughn

Mandy Dawn Thomas

Gone, never forgotten

Breathe Easy

Breathe easy, they say, relax, don’t worry so much, you can’t live in constant fear.

I agree; I don’t call what I am doing living. I call this survival and it is killing me.

But all those words from well-meaning people do nothing to help me. Don’t tell me what I should do, tell me how to do it. Literal instructions on how to breathe easy, relax, not worry, and not be fearful.

Tell me how to breathe easy when I live in a world where children die; a world where I have an urn in a bedroom where my child lived. And a second urn in the same room because my son would be ok sharing a memorial room with his sister.

Tell me how to relax when I live in a world where I have 3 daughters and 1 daughter-in-law that will probably use the hashtag me too for one reason or another in their lifetime; a world where a woman is sexually assaulted every 2 minutes in the US.

Tell me how to relax when I live in a world where my only living son is young and impulsive and prone to dangerous recreational activities; always feeling a need for speed whether in his truck, or his boat, or on his ATV. He is just young enough not to think through wearing seatbelts, lifejackets or helmets; but old enough to know better.

Tell me how not to worry when I live in a world where my brother-in-law died from falling out of a chair marketed to the elderly as a helpful item. A lifting recliner for those with legs problems or arthritis that literally stands you up to assist you. Not a good thing if you fall asleep, touch the button and get dumped out in the floor face first causing fatal head trauma.

Tell me how not to worry when I live in a world where my grandchildren go to public school and face danger every weekday from things like bullies, drugs, and school shootings.

Tell me how not to fear things to come when I live in a world where spouses have dementia and you are waiting for the day they don’t know your name. If other health problems don’t take them away from you first; you will be widowed in spirit when they see you as a stranger.

Tell me how not to fear a global pandemic. I don’t want to suffer from COVID even mildly because I personally believe I have suffered enough already. I have never been a vaxxer but I want the COVID shot like yesterday but have been unable to get an appointment.

Yes, please someone send me the step-by-step guide on how to be carefree and light-hearted. Please tell me the secret to not letting life weigh you down. I am listening with an open mind and an open heart. For those who want to tell me to give it all to Jesus—just don’t. I know Jesus, I am saved and baptized. I lay my troubles at the foot of the cross multiple times a day, I just don’t know how to refrain from picking them back up.

I don’t really believe that I will ever breathe easy again in the world I live in.

Zachary Words Project Completed

I previously posted about a project I was working on involving words that describe Zachary. I finished it and I am satisfied with the results.

The picture doesn’t actually do it justice. It is difficult to photograph without a reflection or glare on the glass.

I placed it in his room, next to his urn and the collection of things that people have given to me.

It looks good, I only wish I didn’t have an urn in his room nor a collection of things surrounding it. I would give anything to have him in his room. I would give anything to hear him playing the guitar or swearing at his video games.

If only . . .