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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Seasons

This has been a year of internalizing the concept of seasons. It started just over a year ago; we didn't know yet that we would be moving and I told a friend, "I feel like this is such a season of ease, a season of peace. It feels like a time to sink my roots in deep and savor the goodness of life. I know it won't last forever so I want to savor this time." And then, in the blink of an eye, we had a baby and we were moving before she was 6 weeks old. We started settling into this new life and then, on December 26th, we woke up to the moment we'd known might come but had hoped never would. Anellah had her first bleeding esophageal varice. As we lived through that hospitalization we knew it was the end of a season. It was the end of the "watchful waiting" season and we knew we would need to pursue further treatment for her liver. We did not know, as we do now, that it was the beginning of the end of her life, but we knew it was big.

I drove back from the hospital in Spokane in tears, I grieved the loss of the season. I told my mother in law how much I was hurting and she wisely advised me to sit with my grief. To really feel it and process it rather than push past it.

The months from January until April, when Anellah passed, never really regained the vibrance they had had before that moment in December. Of course, you may say, I see that now, but even in the on Easter my Mom mentioned, "Anellah really never recovered did she?" Something just wasn't right. She just didn't feel well and we all felt it as a family whether we wanted to admit it or not.

I have had the joy of being able to have a garden this year. I almost failed as I spent the crucial month of April with Anellah in the hospital. A month when I should have been planting and applying compost and weeding. But after I got home, the garden moved higher on my priority list than it had ever been. It is my time to think about life, my time to think about Anellah, my time to process the season. It has been hot this summer, and the days are much longer here than in California or Texas this time of year. I have enjoyed spending the evenings in the cool air when it is too hot to be inside after the kids are in bed. Daniel works on his truck, I work on the garden. It is a rhythm we've created.

This season has brought much joy along with the grief. We have a lot of freedom now. It feels odd having a family of 4 again. It feels small. But it means we can do more! I can go take a friend's kids for a day so that she can unpack after a move. We can go places at the drop of a hat as a family and not have to worry about missing appointments or medication refills or forgetting to pack something medically crucial. I don't feel utterly exhausted at the end of the day so I can garden! I have also had the opportunity to go back to work. I am so happy with my new job, it is just perfect for the season we are in right now. I will work one to two days per week and I will work with people who are at Snoqualmie Valley Hospital because they want to be, because they LIKE working there!

I think about the fall, the time when we will pick apples. I think about the winter when the days are shorter and I will do more indoor activities. And then it will be spring again. And a year will have passed since Anellah passed. And I will be thankful. Thankful that I have learned to savor the season. To live in the moment that I am in.


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