This post is a difficult one..difficult in many ways..Finding strength to continue living after Lydia passed was such a huge challenge for me during the first few months..Below is a picture of my hands…Hands that show scars that immediately take me back to that day when the wounds are so fresh. Not shown, a broken elbow and arm torn to shreds, stitched together with love and heartbreak from a compassionate doctor.
Is it painful to look at? Oh yes..But this picture also represents a beautiful and happy memory I had a few days before when Lydia painted my nails. I was never one to have my nails painted, yet this day, for some reason, I couldn’t say no. My aunt and I received beautiful manicures by my sweet girl touched with her creative style. Pink with blue dots in the middle, another one of a kind original. She was so proud and excited to be finishing up a wonderful weekend with family.
It was four days later when we had the car accident….Devasted, yet so glad I had let her paint my nails even though every time I looked down at them my heart would break over and over again causing tears to flow for hours. I tried everything in my power to make the polish last, coating my nails in clear polish multiple times each day, desperate to see them for one more day …I didn’t want to forget and was so scared. Losing the nail polish was a terrifying reminder that more time had passed without my girl leaving me empty and lifeless.
Has someone ever told you, “You are so strong” or “I don’t know how you do it?” I’m sure I’m not alone in this. I’ve heard it many times. Those who haven’t suffered the brokeness of grief probably aren’t familiar with the debilitating feeling.
We all have those times when feel like we are hanging by a thread. Of course at first I wanted to be with her and never thought I could outlive the pain. However, it didn’t take long for God to speak to me telling me it was going to be okay and to be strong. Soon I realized that being strong was the only choice I had.
Immediately, I pleaded to God to take my pain away and give me strength to survive. I knew I couldn’t do it without him..And you know what? I was right. By establishing a relationship when I hit rock bottom, He saved me and lifted me out of the darkness, planting a seed of hope deep inside.
Six years later, the hope remains, the purpose is slowly revealing and the pain is getting softer. And I haven’t had my nails painted since, something I’m just not ready to do. It’s one of those “last” things that we the grieving, cling to, like the “last time we were here together, or the last time we ate that food she was here, or the last time I had my nails painted, she painted them. May sound a little strange to some, but I know that you all understand where I’m coming from.
How do you find strength? What are your lasts or memories you hold dear? I’d love to hear.