Today, at 3½ years, life doesn’t feel particularly easier. It’s just different. It’s that “new normal” I hear so much about. The spring sun is a little less bright, the summer sky a little less blue, the autumn color a little less crisp, the bitter winter wind a little more inviting. Some days, I’m accepting. Some days, I’m angry. Some days, I’m content. Some days, I’m sad. Some days I’m happy. Some days, I’m numb and grief-stricken all over again. Some days, I’m laughing. Some days I’m all, some, none or other. I never know what innocuous comment, or song or smell, or particular green of a blade of grass will set my mind and emotions adrift. I miss his unique “Iloveyabye” at the end of a conversation. I miss his hugs, a six-foot, warm, hairy, grown-man-boy-smelling blanket, suffocating me in a bear hug. And I miss his voice, his cocked-eyebrow Cheshire Cat smirk teasing me, “Hey, Mom, can you still BREATHE?”
Cody’s story didn’t really end; it only changed here on earth. For some time after he died, I agonized over every day that passed, the world living its own life, my son becoming a distant, fading memory for it. Then one day, no day in particular, I realized that I looked forward to the days passing, every day bringing me closer to seeing Cody, not farther from seeing him. And I CAN see him, curling his toes on the edge of heaven, just as he balanced on the edges of cliffs, grinning his Cody grin, calling, gleeful and daring, “Hey, check this out!”, looking out to the distance that I can’t yet see. Cody lives here on earth, in the hearts and stories and purpose of all who know him and in the swagger and expressions and flirtations of his little boy, Cody Case.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV), says, “’For I know the plans I have for you‘, declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” Interestingly, verse 7 before it advises, “…Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” God is telling ME that I am planted in this city even if for a reason I cannot fathom, and that He will sustain and use me just in the very fact that I AM here.
I arrived at HHP’s Journey group on the recommendation of a friend who knew I had absolutely no interest in sitting in a room of strangers, baring my tortured soul, and who also knew I desperately needed just one person who might understand what I had no words to describe. About being an Aggie, I have heard, “From the outside looking in, there’s no understanding. From the inside looking out, there’s no explaining.” For me, HHP is the place where someone understands with no words, when I have no words to bridge the universe between what I feel and what I’m able to express