Life Lessons

Loss.  I’ve been through it a lot.  At, what some call, a young age of 27, I’ve gone through more than I should have.

At 18, in my freshman year of nursing school, I learned that a girl whom I graduated with died unexpectedly in her sleep.  This was a girl who I shared homeroom with for the 6 years that we had homerooms.

A few months later, another friend from school, a close friend, committed suicide.  His mom babysat me off and on when I was younger.  He too, shared homerooms with me.  Though, I’m still embarrassed to admit, even as an adult, I had a huge crush on him for much of my elementary years, and then again, in high school when our lockers were right next to each others.

The same weekend he died, my roommate was in a terrible car accident.  She broke her leg, but her boyfriend at the time, was in REALLY bad shape.  A guy who hung out at our apartment, another friend.

Again, another few months later, a friend was admitted to the ICU for over a week for a very scary medical problem.

Fast forward another few weeks, and my boyfriend breaks up with me.  Though, that same boyfriend is now my husband, so that worked out ok in the end.

In the next few years, my favorite pet, Punkin, had to be put to sleep, a cat I had for over 15 years, all of my childhood.  My grandmother, whom I was very close with, passed away pretty unexpectedly.  Friends had moved away, taking my heart with them.  More pets have died.  Family has walked out of my life, without looking back.  And even more close friends have died, one such friend died only 2 months ago from brain cancer.  He would’ve been 30 this Sunday.

To say I’ve had my fair share of grief and loss is an understatement.  I’ve been through the ringer and back.  I can’t say that it is any less painful each time another one dies too young, but it does get easier.  Since I’ve been through it enough, I know what to expect.  At 27, I shouldn’t be able to have the wisdom to say that, but I do.

C on the other hand, hasn’t gone through much.  Grandparents dying of old age is tough, for sure.  But not near as bad if you’re not that close to them.  When a close friend passes away, well, it wiped him out.

I’ve seen my husband cry a few times.  He looks like a tough guy.  He IS a tough guy.  But he’s sappy when it comes to people he loves.  Tears of joy spilled out when our daughter was born.  Tears of fear escaped at a prayer vigil for our friend with cancer before his coming surgery.  And, though he held it together for that same friend’s funeral, I saw him at home.  I saw the confusion, then the rage, then the sadness.

The steps of grief I had been through so many times.  Except, this time, it was him.

Yes, I was hurting terribly from our friend’s passing.  But I knew what to expect.  I knew that eventually, this too shall pass, and I would be able to smile in fond remembrance.  But C didn’t know that.  And if I could ever take anything away from him, I would’ve taken that pain.  I gladly would’ve carried the burden.  The hurt.

But, at 30, he’s now starting to learn what I had to learn at 18.  That life passes.  God puts us here for a period of time, and when our job is done, He calls us home.  And when that happens, though we respect God and love him for relieving those earthly duties from close friends and family, it still hurts.  Unfortunately, it’s a life lesson.  One that we all need to learn on our own.  And one that God choses when we learn on our own.

He must’ve thought I was pretty badass and could handle it at 18.  Which, I did.  I didn’t have any choice in the matter.  But He knew, that one day I would have to help C through it, too.

And that I did, in September of 2014, a few days after our 3 year wedding anniversary, and a few days shy of 9 years of being together.  And together, we will help each other through whatever else life has to throw at us.  We’ll get through it.  Because now we both have scars to show for the pain we’ve gone through.

❤ Erin

 

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Vegetarian?

Have you ever kind of sat back and looked at a situation in your life and thought (to quote Alanis Morisette) “Isn’t it ironic?”

I don’t eat meat.  I guess I never really have.  Don’t hate on me.  It’s just something I don’t really like.

My dad was a hunter.  I married a hunter.  I have friends (including girls) that hunt.  I, myself, have a bow, for archery.  Though I’ve never officially hunted and shot an animal on my own, I have no problems with it.  As a child, my dad hung his deer on my swing set to butcher.  All the while, I’d be playing in the sandbox.  Right beside him.  And his dead deer.  It didn’t bother me.

Fast forward about 10 years, we’re in nursing school, and we have to dissect a baby pig.  I can’t tell you how many people in my class gagged, threw up, cried, etc.  Not me.  Call me morbid, but I thought it was kind of interesting.  I guess that’s why I became a nurse.

A couple years later I married my husband.  A hunter.  We have our barn set up so that he and any friends or family that harvest deer, can come and butcher in our barn.  It’s a team effort.  Often, I’m right there beside them, especially if it’s after A has gone to bed.  I’m the ‘clean hands’.  The one who goes to get drinks and snacks, hands out paper towels, controls the soap dispensing, etc.  I’m the gopher.

I’m sure it’s kind of odd to some that I don’t eat meat.  I can’t really explain it.  I just don’t.

I should probably just give up and commit to vegetarianism by now.  It might be easier to explain.

I’ve been reading a book, Eating Right 4 Your Type.  It chronicles how different blood types came to be, how we as humans have evolved.  And, subsequently, we’ve formed these 4 different blood types, because of our ancestors.  When I read the section about my blood type, it hit the nail on the head.  My particular blood type doesn’t digest meat proteins as well as plant proteins.  It’s sort of a ‘poison’ in our body if you will.

DING DING DING!  We have a winner!

Again, I haven’t officially committed to it yet, it’s kind of hard to say you’re a vegetarian when you are surrounded by hunters.  Maybe that’s what has held me back.  Too often I hear people hounding vegetarians for being ‘tree huggers’.  Then, too, maybe it is easier to just give the long version of the story, rather than just saying I’m a vegetarian.

❤ Erin

Why do you write?

I write because it’s my release.  We all have special interests.  Whether it be in cars, collecting magazines, baking bread or running marathons, we’re each drawn to something.  I can do many things, I dabble a lot.  Up and until now, I’ve thought that knitting was my only thing.  Consciously and honestly I will tell you, I am a pro at it.  At this point, when I go to a class, more than half the time I am helping the instructor out of a bind.

I could tell you I’m good at writing, but I’m not confident enough to admit that yet.  Truthfully, it’s something I merely stumbled upon in recent years.  Others who know me would tell you I’ve “mastered the art of putting thoughts on paper”, but I’m still finding my way.  Either way, it’s my release after a long day, after something stressful, after something joyous, in anticipation of something new.  It’s a way that I can release my emotions to the world (without talking).

I write because I can.  Speech eludes me.  When I was created, I was not given the rite to oral communication.  If I had been asked point blank on the street “Why do you write?”, my answer would have gone something like this: “I, well, you know, I mean, I guess, well, it’s just something, like, maybe it’s something that I guess I’m good at?”  But to have a pen and paper or my quick tapping away on a keyboard, comes easily.  Naturally even.  I can write and get my point across.  Just don’t ask me to talk about it.

I write because it’s a gift.   I can’t pinpoint a specific time that writing came easily for me.  I’m not saying it’s hard for me, it’s just that it’s always been easy for me.  Only recently have I stumbled upon the realization that this is one of my gifts.  And truly, it took many others slapping me across the face for me to look down and see what was put in front of me.   I’m humbled by this gift God has laid on me, and I don’t like to brag about any of my strengths.  Though, I think He is sitting up there in Heaven smiling down on me saying “FINALLY child, you’ve realized the gift I’ve given you.  Use it.”  He’s not yet given me a sense of direction to where writing will take me.  But in time, He will.  He always does.

I write because it makes others feel good.  We recently lost a close friend to a long battle with brain cancer.  I wrote a post the night he died.  The words just flowed that night.  I barely edited it, it just came out of my fingers onto the screen.  I posted it because of my emotion at the time.  I didn’t realize how far it reached.  People at his funeral came up to me asking if I was the one who wrote the blog post for Jared.  With tears in their eyes, one by one, people told me how it touched them; how much of a tribute and testament it was to Jared.  Though it still hurts that he’s gone, I was able to put into words what so many others were feeling and needing to get out.  Together we grieved, we rejoiced in the time we had with him, and we happily remembered the person he was.

❤ Erin

 

I’m starting down a new path, few of you know the actual path itself, but this is part of a writing prompt in walking that direction.  Please pray for me if you feel compelled to do so.  If you have any input, please provide it in the comments, if you have negative commentary on this or any of the following posts, please edit it yourself.  Constructive criticism will help me get far.  Meanness and judging will not help, and those comments will not be approved.