I spent a week in Florida with my sister friend, Kristine. My favorite thing to do at her home is just be. Most of our time is spent soaking up the sun, laughter, conversation and just relaxing. I wrote three different blog posts while I was there and did not publish any of them...yet.
Maybe I should have led with this post in the beginning but I am still figuring this blog thing out, there is so much I want to share, many things that are too sacred to share, and keeping my post in line with my purpose. I spent a lot of time figuring out just what that purpose is this week. I had a particularly hard day ( no day has been easy, but some days are harder than others) I listened to the introduction of a video series by Davey Blackburn, Pain to Purpose, just a side note, please check out his blog, Madi's story will be featured October, 24th. I will include the link at the bottom.
I went on a run and a memory came back to me. I was running through the Veterans Home in 2004, the year we moved to Sandusky and had such an overwhelming burden to help others that are suffering and in pain. I remember asking God to give me an opportunity to help others. Now, I want to be clear, God did not take my Madi so that I could help others but I believe and know with all my heart that because he knows all things, he knew the only thing that would help me survive losing my girl was to find purpose in that pain. I will share in future post the tender mercies and support God set up to help us through the most unthinkable trauma a parent can face. Fifteen years ago God placed a passion in my heart to help others in pain so that I can navigate this loss. He loves me so much that he gave me a purpose before I even knew the reality of my own pain.
Having a purpose makes publishing much easier. This is my checklist I go through before hitting the publish button.
1. Is it fear of Madi being forgotten? Write it in a journal and read it over and over again.
2. Is it to capture a memory for Adi and Brenton? Then think about it for a few days and come back to it.
3. Is it to let others know that we are still suffering, we are hurting? Look around at the friends that have chosen to be in this inner circle, call one of them and spend time with them.
4. Am I just missing Madi more than I can handle and I need an outlet? Then sit and feel the pain, cry and talk to her, embrace the pain. Remember this pain is born out of love not tragedy.
5. Is this something that I feel God is speaking, that will help others? Again, I wait a few days, think it over, write a draft and then think about it more.
Balance is still difficult. I do want to be vulnerable but I do not want to illicit emotions of sympathy and at the same time I do not want people to think I have this all figured out. Madi faced this same struggle in her own writing and I refer back to it often.
it’s not an easy feat to stay grounded while in the presence of chaos and uncertainty. I have found it is so much easier to look at others and see their adversities but also recognize how they're powering through. However, we don't see the tears they shed in private or the many moments of begging God or asking God WHY?! So, for me, I always want to disclose that it is no easy thing, so that when you are in your hour of need that you don't think "This is so hard, I am praying and obeying but I don't see the benefits... where is God? Why is he so evident in other's lives or troubles?" ~Madison
My girl was wise beyond her 25 years. I continue to be in awe of her as I read her journals and her blog. I find comfort in wearing Madi's jewelry. For my birthday and Mother's Day one year she bought us mother/daughter Alex and Ani bracelets. The daughter bracelet is engraved with the words, "Blessing, Friend, Possibility". Madi, I know your life was cut short, you had so much more to do, but you did not waste even a bit of your potential and you continue to inspire so many people. You are such a blessing and I miss you my daughter and friend. The second daughter charm is engraved "infinite love" I don't think I need much explanation with this, my love for her will never fade but only continue. The other bracelet I love to wear is the sunflower charm, it was a gift from her Aunt Val, Uncle Dave and cousins, Jessica and Allyson. The sunflower is such a true representation of how she lived her life and how I want to honor her in my own.
"I want to be like a sunflower so that even on the darkest days I will stand tall and find the sunlight." ~ Unknown