August 02, 2010

Silver Linings

One week ago today I came here to share with you the single worst thing to ever happen to me. I'm amazed at how long a week can actually be. I'm amazed at how many emotions you can go through in a week's time. I'm amazed at how blessed I am. Really, truly.

My mothers death was unimaginable. Each day brought with it more trauma, most of which I just don't have the energy to share with you right now. It was day after day of despair. Then something happened. Somehow in the midst of all that despair, hope and joy began to grow. We heard from friends and family we have not spoken to in years. This horrible act brought people back together, reinforced bonds that seem stronger than ever and gave everyone a renewed sense of how important we are to each other.

At the beginning of this year when I wrote about Choosing Joy, I could not have imagined how that idea would be challenged. But here I am today, living proof that it can be done. Don't get me wrong, I have difficult moments and I will be forever changed, not just by my mom's passing, but by the way she passed, but I am choosing to use the experience as a positive influence on my life. We are not guaranteed a tomorrow. I hope you will join with me in making the most of this day.

I would like to take a moment to thank every person that left a comment, said a prayer, called, shared our story, brought us a meal, came to honor Mom at her Memorial, sent us a card, email, flowers or good thoughts. You all were my lifeline during this time.

50 comments:

  1. I will enjoy this day with you and keep you in my thoughts as I travel through it.

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  2. Joy..wow..I had forgot about how you had designated that word for this year!!I will try to remember your words today..as I go thru my weekly life!! Joy..to look around me and to say thank you..to share my affections with others...to smile more often..to show true Joy in living!!

    Thank you Jen..and always in our prayers!!

    Cindy from Rick-Rack and Gingham

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  3. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us. I've been checking back several times a day in the hopes of hearing how you are doing.

    Many are survivors of tragedy; not as many are able to learn and grow from the experience. I am so pleased you are one of the latter!

    You and your family remain in my thoughts and prayers.

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  4. It's true the amount of people that can be brought back together when a passing occurs. My Mom had close to 200 people at her funeral, on a week day afternoon, a work day at that. Friends, family (all 19 of her grandchildren), old friends all gathered to pay tribute. It was amazing to me! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

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  5. What a lovely post. You are a very strong gal!

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  6. Jen, I know how hard it is to stay strong when faced with tough times but you are right, there IS so much joy in this world, it always all around us. We need only choose, to see the JOY. Keeping you and your family in my prayers, Nan

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  7. What a blessing to be able to find joy in the midst of pain. Continuing to keep you in prayer. Jackie

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  8. Jen,
    Your posts have brought little doses of joy into my life for the past year or so, and now, I wish for you a dose of comfort.

    I was saddened and shocked by your tragedy; I'm glad you have so many good friends rallying around you and as we all know from your blog, you have a warm, supportive family to lean into in the days to come.

    You're in my thoughts...

    Kris

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  9. I will enjoy and rejoice in today!
    You and your family will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers...
    My hope is you have a day filled with JOY!
    I also want you to know, that so many of my thoughts and posts are on joy, living life to the fullest and being happy and thankful for TODAY...so I am off to enjoy and be thankful!!

    be blessed,
    mel

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  10. I went back and reread your post on choosing joy. Isn't it wonderful how our loving God prepares us for the most hurtful situations we will face. In His kindness He cushions us against the most painful times. What a blessing that you have found joy amidst sorrow and that when looking back, you won't dwell on the horror of this, but on the sweet peace and joy that His presence brings.
    Bless you and please remember that you are in my prayers.

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  11. I have thought of you every single day since this happen. I will continue to pray for GOd's tender care to surround you.......

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  12. So sorry to hear of your mom's passing, Jen. Your strength and grace are truly inspirational. A friend of mine lost her husband two days ago - suddenly, completley unexpected - and although I know it will take time to recognize it, I hope she is able to find the love and joy that you have. All the best to you and your family.

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  13. What an amazing strong woman you are. It truly is a blessing to have the {family} together again.

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  14. Jen, I'm so sorry. My prayers and thoughts are with you. My Mom has been gone for 12 years. There have been many times in the last few years I have wanted to talk with her about my girls. Get her feed back. She also was a great influence for me. We were lucky to be blessed with great Moms!

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  15. Keep choosing joy even on the darkest day!!
    I can tell you that the grief will catch you in the most unexpected moments but it is okay because the joy will come and each day will get a bit easier.

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  16. Oh Jen. (((((((((((( Jen )))))))))

    I cannot begin to tell you how very sorry I am...my tears are pouring for you. I have been out of town and am just now learning of this terrible tragedy. Your words are so lovely...what a special person you are. I am so sorry for the pain you are experiencing right now and will hold you in my thoughts and prayers. Love you sweet cottage girl...

    Sally

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  17. Jen - you know you have been in my thoughts and prayers everyday. So glad that you are seeing the silver linings. Love you.

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  18. Just wanted to let you know that I have been thinking of you and praying! You have the right additude which will help you in years to come about your mom's passing!

    Rondell

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  19. So good to see your words upon the screen. A prayer of Joy and Praise was just sent on High...
    ~G~

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  20. Dear Jen - your ability to see the silver linings of life is a huge part of what makes you who you are. Your perspective and ability to see what's truly important in life is so refreshing and encouraging to me on a regular basis. As I told you, it is no surprise to me that you are able to look at the ripple effects of this extremely difficult situation and see them in a way that allows you to choose joy in the midst of despair. I'm so glad to have the priviledge of calling you my friend.

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  21. I'm so happy to hear this. I want to share a Beth Moore quote that another blogger recently shared with me: "A bruised heart that chooses to beat for God in the midst of pulsing pain and confusion, may just be the most expensive offering placed on the alter" Beth Moore

    Love you!

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  22. Jen, I'm so, so sorry for your loss! I must have missed that post somehow, but I hope you continue to find comfort in those sweet little silver linings life throws our way just in time. My thoughts and prayers are with you =)

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  23. Dear Jen,
    I have been away and missed your post...I am so very sorry about your Mom's passing. It is hard to imagine what this pain feels like...although since my own Mom's diagnosis I am beginning to understand as we are losing her slowly. Choosing joy is something we have spoken of often these last weeks...embracing her illness and accepting all that life brings us. I am keeping you in my prayers and sending much love...Laura

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  24. Oh, I am so sorry to hear about your Mom's death. I will have to read down on your older posts? My MIL died in Feb. and although it was not totally unexpected it was sooner than we expected. Even though she had alzheimer's she was treasured and is missed. We think often of her and have so many memories. I am thankful that God brings the good memories up to our hearts and minds. I am also thankful for the hope of the resurrection and the reuniting with loved ones.

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  25. Thank you for sharing you week with us. I know it was a difficult journey to travel. When my mother was sick with cancer, I had a little plaque that stated "Tomorrow Whispers Joy." It helped me get through the difficult days.
    Hugs,
    Connie

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  26. Your strength is a real tribute to your mom. I pray that you will continue to be blessed with the love and support from everyone who loves you.

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  27. Hi Jen,
    I've been thinking about you a lot this past week. I do believe that good comes from bad and your post today proves that. Praying for you and your family.

    xo
    LeAnn

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  28. It is during times like these that we need others to hold us up. The love of family and friends makes all the difference, I am so glad you had that. I continue to pray for peace for you.

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  29. Jen, I'm so glad you have
    been able to find some joy
    in this time of your life.

    I went back and read your
    "Joyful" posting and it has
    made me think about what I
    have to be joyful and thank-
    ful for. Thank you.

    I know we have never met but
    reading your blog, I feel as
    though I know you. I wish I
    could do or say something to
    help you during this difficult
    time in your life. With that
    being said, please know that I
    am thinking of you and your
    family and praying for all of
    you.

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  30. I have thought of you often since your last post. I hope you are healing a little each day.

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  31. Your Mother would be so proud of you and how you are handling this heartbreaking event. I know I am.

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  32. Like others, I too have thought about you and your family every day and will continue to do so.

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  33. what an awesome post... choosing joy.. a lesson to all.
    Prayers for you and your family Jen.

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  34. you are inspiring, as always. thank you for the reminder to 'choose joy' -- i needed that.

    thinking of you and sending warm thoughts

    xo
    elyse

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  35. Wonderful to hear from you. You've been in my thoughts. I'm glad you are doing okay. - Peace, Kathy

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  36. choosing joy cannot be easy at this point, but you give us all hope. you have been on my mind and in my heart all week. {{hugs}}

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  37. there's that Jen we kind of know, and definitely LOVE. chin up, foot forward, and embrace life........we are all always here for you!!!

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  38. Thinking of and praying for you dear one. You have a beautiful heart and it comes through in your writing. As it's said ,For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
    Blessings,
    Elise

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  39. May God Bless you & your family as time goes on. Your beautiful spirit will carry you through the darkest times.

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  40. Oh Jen, I am heartbroken for you and your families loss. Linda (restyled home) emailed me alerting me about the news knowing that you were one of my first and favorite blogs I started following. I will keep you in my thoughts during this difficult time.

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  41. Jen...I am SO sorry to hear of your mom's passing. I know how hard it is to find the moments of joy in the day after a loved one passes away...my 21-year old son passed away just 10 months ago. You are so right when you say we aren't guaranteed a tomorrow. "This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it." Blessings to you...

    ~Melanie
    www.comfyhouse.blogspot.com

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  42. Dear Jen...Sending you hugs and prayers for strength and comfort.

    Thinking of you,
    Michelle

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  43. You have tremendous stregnth and will carry on and the good memories will overcome the tragedy.
    Take care.

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  44. I'm so glad that you are getting through this time and that so many people are supporting you.

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  45. I am so sorry that you have had to go thru this... Your positive attitude will help you greatly but it is difficult to find that new "normal". Hugs to you and your family. karen....

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  46. Dear Jen,

    I am glad that there has been some joy to find for you and your family. You are still in my prayers.

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  47. Jen:
    I just am getting caught up with your blog after being on vacation. I am sorry. There are no words. I will pray for you and your family...that you will continue to find JOY!

    Sheila
    (Soleil)

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  48. So sorry dear girl to see what a Summer you have had! I am no stranger to grief and know it has stages and almost seems fluid at times. I pray this day finds you well and Of course from your most recent post, I can see that you are "choosing Joy" Good for you! Good for your entire family!!!Blessings and Peace to you sweet Bella girl:)

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Thank you for taking the time to say hello today! I always love to hear what you have to say.