Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Gratitude during Grief

Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and I’ll admit that this season I haven’t felt much of anything to be grateful for. I am quite consumed with my grief of losing Kendall. BUT acknowledging the goodness and the blessings in one’s life is vital, I think, for mental and spiritual health and happiness, so I’m going to take a minute and list a few of the things I am grateful for: (And seriously these are not in any particular order because if semicolons were the #1 thing I was grateful for in my entire life, I would be really, really nerdy and more mentally invalid than I even am now.)

1. Semicolons. I’m not even kidding. They are far too underused. When I see someone use a semicolon correctly, it makes me heart them that much more! Good grammar makes me almost as happy as buying some really awesome shoes at Nordy’s or looking at Jillian’s hot eyebrows.
2. Diet [Coke/Dr Pepper/Pepsi]. Because it makes my life that much more enjoyable, you know, without me, like, breaking The Plan and doing something that might send me to hell or whatever.
3. My husband. I didn’t believe in soul-mates until I met him. But our souls do some major clickage and I know I’d be some crazy homeless lady with straw wrappers in her hair and Now and Laters in her threadbare coat pocket wandering around downtown SLC not eating if he wasn’t around. I am the pea to his pod, he is the salt to my pepper, he is the peanut butter to my jelly (only really, I’d like creamy instead of crunchy, and really I prefer jam. Oh and Boysenberry if you have it.) We mesh (and mash, hee hee) really well together. I love you, My Man.
4. Cade. Now that I have lost Kendall, I’ve realized how fragile life can be, and I treasure my remaining child that much more – because I realize he is a gift from God and I don’t want to EVER take that for granted again. So I hug C more, I kiss him and tickle him and just marvel at his long eyelashes and dimple on his left cheek just a little more than before. He’s starting to get really irritated with me, and on more than one occasion has said, “Mommy STOP KISSIN’ ME!” But I can’t. And I won’t. I’m so happy this little dude was expelled from my uterus and is mine for all of time and eternity.
5. Kendall. She is my daughter. And I love her. And I can’t wait to be with her again.
6. My sisters and mom. The day Kendall died; I told my mom I didn’t want any visitors, because I wasn’t ready for them. Well they all showed up that night anyway, with gifts and hugs and tears and love, insisting to me that they weren’t VISITORS, but rather SISTERS. There really is a difference, I learned. ;) And I love all of them for their quirks and idiocies (seriously, sorry, but it's true ;) and I love the bond we have that is stronger almost than anything else in the world. I love their kids and their style and the way they’ll tell me that my skinny jeans are ugly, and how I am so brave to wear them, but really I know they’re only jealous because they don’t dare to wear them! I love all of you. Every one of you. And I am talking about sisters-in-law, too.
7. And I’m grateful for all of YOU. I would say that I don’t know, nor have I ever met, about 95% of the people who read my blog. And the support and the emails and texts and Facebook messages and love and prayers I’ve gotten from you, (friends and acquaintances included) especially now with Kendall’s death, has been staggering. I have SO MANY of you tell me how strong I am, how much you admire me, and I only shake my head and think, “Whaaa--? Why would they think I am strong?” Half the time I am complaining to you about one thing or another in my life. And I will admit to you, my fun little friends and readers, that I didn’t have much faith in this world. Because there are people who are ugly to the core, and who mean you harm, and relish in others’ pain, and the world seemed dark and hopeless and ominous. But you, readers, are giving me trust in this world again. A belief that life can be good, that strangers can love and pray and have a camaraderie with a perfect stranger without any ill intent. You bring me hope that there is more good than bad in this world. And that is a precious gift. And I thank you.

I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving full of hope and joy and gratitude and family.
[And you all better actually eat, dammit. ;) ]


I'm A. said...

Gosh Brie...I like this here blog of yours a lot. Funny, smart and REAL. I think I love the REAL part the most. Thanks for writing and keeping it real. From one stranger who stalks your blog... have the happiest of thanksgivings and know that strangers out there are praying for your heart to heal a little more each day.

Just That ZombieGrrl said...

I am thankful for your inspiration. You inspire so many of us to appreciate and love life, not in spite of the difficulties but including them.

Thank you! *hugs*
(You better eat, too.)

Cammy said...

Awesome list. I am glad that you are continuing to write (it needn't even be for the blog, obviously, but I'm glad to be able to keep up on how you're doing) through this difficult time, that can be a huge help in processing complex emotions and situations like the ones that have been thrown at you over the past few weeks.

And I hope, as you think about all the things that you're thankful for, you keep in mind how many people are thankful for you too.

McIntyre Family said...

That was a beautiful post Brie and I gotta say you look gorgeous!! Hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Here's an address (I don't know how to do the link thing-my computer unsavvyness)It's a friend of mine singing a song she wrote about a baby she lost. Don't know if you'll like it or anything but I thought it was totally beautiful. Take care.

Lisa said...

Like I tell my four-year-old students - you rock my socks.

Much love, Brie.

tawny said...

I love love love your list.

It's sweet and so real. What I love about your list is that it brings us to what is MOST important in this life: family, hubbies, our kids, and LOVE!

You look beautiful in your pics... but you always do! Loves to you and Bran and Cade and Kendall...xo

p.s what's a semi-colon...? really you are amazin at your so much...I like calculus waaaaay better! But you, you got a gift sista! love to my diet coke and my poor hubby!

Katherine said...

Im almost positive I have yet to comment on here. I have followed this blog almost since you started it.
My sister and I (one out of the many sisters. I have a large family as well!) read your blog together. Or rather at first I was like 'yo Kelly check out this hizzawesome blog with this really funny lovely chica' and eventually it just became our thing to read it together.
You have inspired me in so many ways. And when I found out about Kendall I cried, prayed with my sister, and cried a little bit more. I suppose I didnt write in before now because I didnt want to seem like a sUpEr CrEeP~*~ since Ive read so long and followed your life in these pages and you arent aware of who I am. But I figured today was as good of a day as any.
You have a beautiful family - your own and your siblings/extended family. Cade is just the most adorable little boy I have ever seen.
I am still praying for you, you really are so strong and amazing to continue to be so optimistic. You will see your daughter again and Im sure she is sending you little baby smooches and love when you are writing to her. Im on the fence on whether or not that sounded totally weird. But Im okay with that.
To keep this from turning into a novel, I wish you the best Thanksgiving yet this year! And if my sister were home right now Im sure she would wish you the best as well.

Alexandra Rising said...

a] I stopped drinking soda in 8th grade. Until one day in early October, 2009. "Why not try a diet Dr Pepper? The commercials say it's good," I thought. I am not a diet Dr Pepper addict. It's sad, but I admit it. Seeing you holding the diet Dr Pepper made me go :D

b] I was just singing a song to myself that has a lyric, "I prefer boysenberry/More than any ordinary jam/I'm a "Citizens for Boysenberry Jam" fan." Coincidence? Or awesomeness? The song is called 'Punky's Dilemma" by Simon&Garfunkel and it's very cute.

c] I wasn't lying when I said you are beautiful! And look at your family! It's like a family of gorgeous! You guys have some fabulous genes! [And skinny jeans. Well, you do.]

d] I'm glad you wrote this. I noticed you kind of apologized in your last entry for writing about Kendall, but I see no reason to apologize. If writing helps you...then write write write! She will always be with you, and I'm sure all forms of writing [to her, to your blog] are helpful.

PS I started reading a new book a few days ago, but thank you for the recommendation :)

Alexandra Rising said...

*I am NOW a diet Dr Pepper addict [scratch out the "not"]

Stacy said...

I love your words..

your love and gratitude for life in general warms my heart.

I wish I could give you a hug :o)

I have a few friends who have dedicated blogs (private or public) to the little ones they lost before birth or shortly after. It is amazing to me they way they (and you) are able to express their feelings and thoughts for their little ones. I also know they are planning on printing a blog book. It just seemed like something in your rhelm of possibilities. Just a thought.

I am grateful that the blog world introduced me to you.
Have a happy day tomorrow with all the comforting yumminess.



Lisa said...

What a beautiful post. I think you are exactly right when you say that sometimes we need to take a step back and focus on what we are thankful for :)
Thinking of you during this crazy sad time :(

Brooke said...

Thanks for your post. I need to hear positive things right now too. I agree that our sisterhood is strong and quirky and weird, but wonderful.

Love you and I think the world of you and I'm so lucky to have you as my sissy.

t. said...

sometimes it can be hard to find the positive in life. it's wonderful that you've managed to do so. i wish you the very best.

Arielle Bair (Becker) said...

Same to you, Brie. Same to you. Much love.

Katannah said...

Miss ya, Brie.

Penny said...

I am sure that I am the oldest person ever to comment on your blog. So I remember the world before blogs! I definitely think that so many strangers (really) expressing concern and kindness and love will actually effect and impact your life for the better! And who in this world does not need positive love and affirmation in their life? You deserve it and I loved this blog and your heartfelt affirmations to the many who have tried to enrich your life too. I wish that I had read it before Thanksgiving. You helped me realize so many blessings.