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.


13 thoughts on “When You’re Hanging By a Thread

  1. A lovely post. I have several I hold dear with our daughter. We just went through (Saturday) the ten year mark of her being gone. That was a hard milestone. But like you, I cherish those things that make me feel closer – the pair of earrings she gave me once…… and the memories. They don’t fade.
    ❤ thank you for sharing.

  2. My sweet Jonah passed 8 months ago. His birthday is this Friday the 16th. He would have been 15. Here in NC you can get your permit to drive at 15. He was sooo looking forward to this. Right now, I pretty much cherish every single thing. The last time he kissed my cheek, the last time he told me he loved me, the last conversation was so incredibly special!!! Continually relying on God’s Grace and Strength!!! Thank you!!!

    1. Oh Amy I am so very sorry you are here with us. At eight months, everything is so so new and fresh. I wish I could take your pain away and tell you some magical words to make everything better. You are so right to cherish every single thing. Please, please write down all these memories so you won’t forget. They will mean the world to you as the years pass. I know they have for me. Having them in writing gives me peace of mind that I won’t forget. God’s grace is for sure amazing and our first line of defense. Prayers for strength and peace for you my dear. Hugs…

  3. Cate-It’s amazing how fast time goes by. I can only imagine ten years, five was really hard for me. You are an inspiration showing us that it can be done and the importance of cherishing those memories. Thank so much for sharing. Love and hugs….

  4. Oh, my friend, this is absolutely beautiful. Your story continues to inspire and bring me hope. This morning I found myself staring at a photomontage of my Pete from kindergarten to 12th grade, and I realized I was channelling his mother, the heartbreak she must have felt and is still feeling as a result of his loss, knowing she was helpless. Thank you for giving me some insight into her experience. It means so much.
    sending you love and prayers.

    1. Oh my dear, thank you once again, your encouraging words. I so hope that others can gain something from my loss. I’m glad you are able to see a new perspective, possible a glimpse into the heart of your mother in law. We can learn amazing things from the testimony of others. This new life we are given can be wonderful, yet heart breaking at the same time. I’m sure she will soon find, if she hasn’t already, what a wonderful, caring daughter in law she has.. xoxo

  5. Strength? What else would I do, could I do? That Philip is here gets me through. He talks to me, he guides me – he even helps me find parking spots! It’s utterly amazing. But I find it so hard to be alive, and he keeps telling me that no matter what I hear from him, if I don’t live, all of it is just words.

    My niece died from cancer when she was four. A couple days before, I spent an evening with her. I polished her nails, and what I kept thinking when she died was that I got to polish her nails for her, a piece of me was with her.

    Thank you for this. You see, you are another way I get through.

    1. Denise, thank you for sharing. You are so right, they are always with us and they do get us through.I’m very sorry for your losses. There are never any words to say. I try to remember how Lydia would want me to live which helps me keep focus. What a precious gift you gave your niece. Indeed, she has given you a wonderful gift as well. Priceless.

      Our loved ones and the promises of God are enough to sustain us and lead us into a life of purpose and passion. We just need to be aware of those everyday blessings they give us which will make each day a little bit brighter. By leaning on one another and sharing our struggles and joys, we will have all the support we need. Hugs to you. I’m here with you…

  6. That was a rare and precious time with Lydia. Beautiful manicures. Dinner preps. Our walk around the block. Willow leaf “tickets” for her next song and dance performance. Concerned talk about the welfare of neighbors. Unforgettable and sweet. I loved her.
    Aunt Meredith

    1. Oh, thank you Auntie M. Indeed those were such precious moments. She adored you and loved performing for everyone. Her last and greatest performance. So glad we could share it. One of a kind..

  7. Being strong is the only choice we have … well said. My daughter was our first and only child. I decided at some point that I didn’t want to hold another baby until it was a sibling. I am not sure when, I just kind of decided. I think it is a way for me to connect her memory with any siblings God blesses us with.

  8. Those scarred hands are absolutely beautiful, Daphne. Just like the heart I see in you. You continue to amaze me. Thank you for allowing me to come on this journey with you and see a tiny glimpse of your heartwrenching story.

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