Friday, December 3, 2010

10 months and counting

Today marks the 10th month since we lost Jesse. It marks 9 years and 10 months that my friend Jill lost her niece, Elizabeth. It marks 289 days for my friend Bryan who lost his wife, Amy, exactly one week after my Jesse. I will never forget getting condolences from Bryan and Amy only to have her ripped away just one week later.

One year ago today Tracy and Deja were ripped away from this world by a heinous act of murder. I did not know them when they died, or in life. Months after their death I learned of a benefit for domestic abuse put on my Tracy's sister, Lisa. I knew both personally and professionally that I wanted to help this family. Their pain impressed upon me how fragile life is - it was the closest I had ever come to truly empathizing with pain. But at the end of the night, I still went home to my "whole" family and still had a normal day. They didn't.

Shortly after the event they held a check presentation and I felt compelled to bring my kids to meet this amazing family - to see that there are other worthy charities besides curing type 1 diabetes - out there. I introduced my kids to many. Weeks later Jesse was gone.

At Jesse's memorial I will never forget turning around and seeing Lisa's entire family there - to support me. Proof that what we give to this world, is given back. I stood with them without words and just literally "felt" the pain and anguish that coursed through them - which was now coursing through me. They knew.

Tonight I lit a candle for Tracy and Deja in my dining room. Some of you already know that Jesse has a way of kind of hanging out with us and he tends to have energy that is palatable in our dining room. Its happened to me on many occasions. I preface the rest with "NO I have not completely lost my mind, no I am certainly not a Jesus freak I just know now from my own experience that Jesse still exists and I can't ignore that and have just a little bit of peace knowing there's more to this crazy ride than some of the shit handed to us on earth." :) With that said I lit the candle quietly. As I stood the energy changed in the room - something I would have not noticed before Jesse died - and I watched the bright candle go down to the smallest flame. No draft, no wind just me and the room as I watched the candle once again flicker brightly and felt the energy move on.

It is times like these, I can trudge a little bit forward. It is bittersweet to hang the stockings (including Jesse's) and to find joy in the holidays (and not beat some cheery-butthole buying presents for their kids), but I am doing my best. (what?! I would have said something like cheery-butthole before this happened, I'm still ME for God's sake!)

Tonight I wish peace to the Judd family, to Bryan, to Jill, to Bob & Jen, to Charlie and Mel (and little Ella), to Jane, and Deb and to the rest of you who I hope more than you can ever know, never feel what we feel.

Love to all and if I don't get to another blog post, peace and love through the holidays.



Kelly said...

I think of you often Michelle, not because I know you or your family, but because you lived a life I am living with know all of us people/parents with Diabetes are one!! Y

our story is captivating, you are an amazingly strong woman with an outlook that continues to awe so many....especially right now...through this post.

I cant imagine how difficult this year has been for you, and although its different grieving for a parent this first Christmas as you are for Jesse, its still the same in some ways....

I'll be missing my Dad (T1 for 30+years) this holiday season just as you are missing your Jesse, I will have you and yours in my thoughts and prayers. I hope you find peace this holiday season...keep the candles lit and Jesse close to your heart. ((HUGS))

Unknown said...

Oh, Michelle.

You and all the families who have lost their sweet children this year remain in my hearts and thoughts everyday.

Every morning I wake up and realize that we don't know what waits. Every day has potential to end drastically different than it started.

Because of your willingness to share...because of Mel and Charlie's willingness...I have gained a greater perspective about the importance of living intentionally.

God bless you're family, my friend.

Hallie Addington said...

I agree with Kelly and Wendy. I don't know you, Michelle. I didn't know Jesse. But I think of you - every day. And not only because of tragedy - because of love. Because of perseverance. Because of a shared passion. Because of HOPE.

As the parent of a child with T1, I thank you for your work towards a cure. I thank you for sharing with us.

I love the story of the energy.

May God bless you with peace and love... and energy this holiday season and beyond.