After Noah died I could never imagine myself thinking or acting on anything that didn’t have eternal value or a world changing after effect.

Engaging in the day to day was a difficult task, not only physically but emotionally and mentally. I had difficulty having trite conversations or giving a rip about petty pursuits…yet at the same time, because I live on earth, I would have to embrace those pursuits like laundry, grocery shopping, filling the car with gas, even dusting gigantic creatures out from behind long neglected furniture or caring about the PTA.

I hated it! I resented that day to day existence didn’t have more of a “POW” or “PUNCH!” I still had to make dinner and my kid was still dead.

Continuing on, not “moving on” or “getting over it”, but continuing on is one of the most difficult steps of grief. I’m no grief expert, but I sure as hell know what I’m talking about when it comes to my own grief. Sometimes, in order to get through another day without the person you loved, you just have to not care what the heck anyone else thinks and allow your heart and mind to be somewhere else…somewhere trivial…somewhere not centered on loss and despair…because that will always be there.

Going there may cause feelings of guilt, but there is no ONE WAY to grieve…and I personally advocate escapism when it comes to grief…and I could sure use a dose.

Grief sucks because as long as we’ve lost someone we loved, we’ll always grieve. We will never NOT grieve. Even with time, which for me personally has helped bring some healing, we will still miss those people…wondering.

No, I won’t and don’t spend every single day missing Noah. But there hasn’t been a day in 4 years that I have not thought about him. Days and dates come and go that hold significance for the short 7 months he spent on this earth…

One day in particular was the day Noah was admitted to the hospital…for the rest of his life. It was August 2nd, 2006. Four years later, on August 2nd, Jason and I spent the day with friends we love like family…in a hospital here in Colorado, where we all said goodbye to someone we loved very much.

And yet, somehow in the days leading up to the guys’ surgeries, we were living life just like the next guy…dropping Em off at camp, surprising her with a “TWEEN” room makeover, running here and there, nesting for “Baby Nacho”.

And then life stopped. Literally. At least for a lot of people who loved Ryan.

And then the part that sucked is that life started to continue…but for us, just as it has affected our lives since Jason’s dad’s death, Noah’s death and now Ryan’s death, life will include some trivial, but it won’t be trivial. There will be a “norm”, but life will be anything but “normal”.

Just like the tag line for the retreats my non-profit organization hosts states, we will “find the extraordinary in the normal”.

Picking up Em from camp…she informed us it was the first and last time she’d be going there.
(So, it did not go quite as we expected…)
Em’s favorite color is aqua…somehow I caved and decided to paint her room that color…she is completely OVER pink and so INTO aqua.
Above is a 200+ year old sleigh bed I slept in when I was a girl (less than 200 yrs ago, of course). I found “TWEEN” bedding that incorporated all the colors she’s currently “into”.

Em and Lady loved the room and she, at 8, now thinks she’s pretty old and cool!

And, for whatever reason, this hideous thing made it into the room because she was given a dollar at a garage sale to buy whatever she wanted…I think when I was a girl I had glass swans with liquid in them and paper mache clowns from Mexico…sorry, Mom! What a decorating NIGHTMARE!

Lady loved the new look. She pretty much just loves Em and likes to snuggle her and follow her places.

For those who recall, I painted those glow in the dark rings and circles for her original pink little girl room. They still glow so I’m not touching those.
That’s Em’s little “vestibule” in her room where her mirror is now face height so she can apply clear lip gloss.

And those are 50-60 year old baseball mitts that were my dad’s when he was a boy…they are a glimpse into the trivial I’ve been working on since, in the midst of all the last month has brought our way, we still have something very monumental and extraordinary on the horizon…and it’s the anticipation of a sweet baby boy’s arrival into this world. I’ll let you see what I’m doing with them in another post.


6 Responses

  1. Love Em’s new room!
    Baby Nacho is by far the best “in utero” baby name I have ever heard!

    *I have thought and prayed for your family often since August 2nd. I am sorry that your heart is sad and that you are, once again, having to continue on.

  2. What a beautiful room! Seriously-want to come decorate at my house? Oh wait…you’re having a baby!!!!

    Thanks for your honesty on your journey. I am greatly blessed by what you have to say and what the Lord speaks through you. I continue to pray for you and Jason and for the Arnold’s, that the Lord would hold all of you in His Hand and that He would give all of you just what you need during this time.

    Love from Minnesota,

  3. As someone who is bittered by the trivial as well, you reminded me that big parts of my life have become nothing more than that. Even the other day I was on the verge of tears, remembering our baby Morgen, and then turned around and continued on… I don’t spend enough REAL time with my kids, even tho I am with them almost 24/7… I don’t treat my mother with the respect she deserves, and I waste the time I have with her… no, she’s not dying, but what if? Right?? Ryan didn’t waste his 34 years. and I feel like I have wasted so much of mine… thanks, again, Adrienne!

    and Emily’s room?? forghettaboutit! you knocked it out of the park! way to go.

  4. “Sometimes, in order to get through another day without the person you loved, you just have to not care what the heck anyone else thinks and allow your heart and mind to be somewhere else”

    I love this statement. I have found in my own life that I’ve felt the need to act a certain way because “I’m a Christian” after all. I spent way too much time stuffing my emotions down deep and dying inside because I didn’t want people to think I couldn’t handle the pain. I’m glad to say I’ve learned a thing or two along the way and got rid of that stinkin’ thinkin’.

    L*O*V*E the room! My mom did the same thing to my room when I went off to camp. Came home to an aqua room as well. I’ll never forget how proud I felt to have a grown up looking room. Em’s is adorable!

  5. Loving Em’s room soooo much! You are seriously THE BEST DECORATOR, ever!!! I remember seeing pics of her’s and Noah’s room at your old home and loved them as well…don’t know how you managed it being 9mths preggers!! Supermom! Your family has been in my heart since the very first time I came across this blog..I believe it was 2 weeks after Noah went to be with the Lord. You all touched my heart, my soul and my entire being by pouring out your feelings in this blog and I am so grateful for that. I have yet to be so emotionally rocked by anything else. The courage it took for you to even be able to get up everyday and share your heart with us all is something I can say I wouldn’t have ever been able to do. I have been checking your FB for updates on Baby Nacho and I almost feel like a family member is due with a new baby for us to love and cherish..LOL Then I have to step back and say to myself, “chill out Paula, Ade is gonna think your a crazy person!!” LOL Either way, I would like for you, Jason and Em to know I am so thrilled beyond words that God has blessed you with another perfect baby boy and I just can’t wait to start seeing pics of all of you together…Baby Nacho and Em have to be the luckiest kiddos in the world to have such amazing parents and I’m sure you feel the same way about having them as your children!! Lots of love!! God Bless!! xoxoxoxoxox

  6. Thanks for being so open, Adrienne. Love the new room. I’m not a good writer like you, so although it might sound cheesy, I’m glad we have the upcoming eternal hugging & snuggling Noah & our little Watsons someday. Till then, they’re up there cheering us on & playing & waiting.

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