September

It’s been a while since I updated.

After my adventures with roller coasters (I promise to write about that soon), my life became this huge whirlwind of change. Long story short, right after my trip I got a job, gave my two weeks notice, packed up my life and left Arizona. I’m finally  back in Fresno again. Yay. My new job doesn’t start until October 7th, so I have a LOT of free time.

Forgive me, my writing is a little off. I’m in a weird probably shouldn’t be writing mood, but need to post this.

I went to Monterey yesterday to spread my mother’s ashes. It was time. I’ve had them for about three years and it’s something I’ve wanted to do since she passed away. September is her birthday month, and although I missed the chance to do it on September 3rd, I knew I had to do it before this month ended. I borrowed Laura for support, as well as to have someone tag along so I didn’t get horribly lost, and headed to Monterey.

I went into this adventure thinking it would be a happy trip, filled with fun memories with my family celebrating my mother’s 50th birthday. It was, but I didn’t expect to feel the amount of pain I felt when we arrived. I felt the tears wanting to come as soon as we hit Fisherman’s Wharf.

Oh no you don’t” I told myself as I walked along the pier sampling clam chowder. I couldn’t understand why I would feel sad.

I scolded myself again. “This crying business is not happening here.”

I don’t cry in front of or around others.  I want to be able to, but right now my body goes on lock down. So, instead of crying, I stuffed my face with plenty of crab, tilapia, clam chowder and salad as I could fit in my stomach.

After we ate,  we rolled ourselves into the car and drove to the beach.  My intention was to find the spot my mother took us to after the aquarium and spread her ashes there. I asked God to help me remember the spot. As we climbed out of the car to take a few pictures of this gorgeous park we found, I looked through the trees and saw this:

There it is :)
There it is 🙂

I remembered the stair case.

I remember carefully climbing down to the bottom with my mother yelling at us that she was going to fall because she was in heels.

I remember running along the shore, playing in the waves with my sister while my mother watched.

I remember my mother coaxing us to move further back into the water to pose for this picture:

We had no idea a massive wave was coming.
We had no idea a massive wave was coming.

I remembered the spot.

We were too afraid to do the same to her. We knew better.
We were too afraid to do the same to her. We knew better.

Unfortunately, that spot was heavily populated and I didn’t want to freak anyone out spreading my mothers remains. We decided to hop in the car and find a secluded spot along the beach nearby.

Ten minutes later, we spot waves crashing in the distance and select our spot.

IMG_20130924_154651_903

Laura asked if there was anything special I needed to say before I let her go. I didn’t really know what to say or have much to say. I walked out closer to shores edge, waited for the waves to come in, and threw her remains into the ocean.

IMG_20130924_155601_886
Beautiful spot.

Her ashes turned the water a pale pink as they collided with the waves. Then they were gone.

The waves were getting pretty big at the spot we chose, so we decided to hop in the car and find another spot just to enjoy the ocean.

I spotted this sitting area on the beach, excused myself, put on some head phones and let the tears come.

IMG_20130924_163852_546

I realized why Monterey brought so much sadness. When I was here six years ago, life was good. There was no cancer, no sorrow, no thought of death. Life had just started to get good.

In  2007, my mom finally found her dream job, started being successful and was finally happy. We were all finally happy, finally stable, finally rooted.

Little did we know that in October of that year what we all thought was just a simple bladder infection was actually cancer.

You guys, I grew up watching my mother struggle over and over again to make ends meet. My mom would finally make it, and literally get hit by a wave that sent our family spiraling. This was all I knew. My life was one big ocean wave, building and crashing. I would pray that we would finally have some sort of stabilty, some safety net that would break this constant cycle. My mom moved to California from Georgia in 2001, and the cycle continuted there for a bit until 2005 when things started to improve. Then she got her teaching job and was the happiest I’ve ever seen her. Then, from October 2007 to July 2010, I watched cancer eat away at my mother, my family and we lost everything.

Me: Things had just started getting good…and we lost everything. My mother lost her life.

God: I know.

Me:  She was so happy. She finally made it and she  got cancer.

God: I know it’s hard to understand. I know her loss hurts.

Me: What’s the point? Why look for happiness?  Why put yourself out there when you could lose everything? Why open yourself up to that much pain and disappointment?

God: You aren’t meant to be alone. You can’t hold others away because you are afraid you’ll lose them. You can’t run away because you’re afraid of loss and you can’t be afraid to be happy.

Me: So God, what if I open myself up and become vulnerable to others and I lose them? What if I find happiness and I lose everything?

God: Even if  all that happens, I am still God. You still have me.

In the heat of that moment, in that conversation I realized how true that is. He is still God. I still have Him. I have nothing to fear because I’ll always have Him.

When my mom died, a big part of me died as well. I lost my ability to trust God and built a huge wall around myself designed to keep others out. Why be happy? Why try for the things you love if you are just going to lose them? It’s not a way to live, and frankly, it’s a lonely, fear-filled life.

No one is meant to live that way. (1 John 4:18)

Tears truly cleanse the soul.
The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears and the sea.

No matter what happens, He is still my God. Yesterday, today and forever.

I walked away from that spot ready to open myself back up and tear down the walls I’ve built for three years.  I am tired of waiting for the other shoe to drop, fearing the worse. I am ready to start letting others in/loving others again and stepping out in faith. It won’t be easy, but now I am ready to at least try.

4 thoughts on “September

  1. I am in tears!!! I have been looking for you, waiting to hear about your adventure this summer. I am so glad you are back, and so proud of your strength in this leg of your journey. I cannot imagine how hard it was, but your words are a beautiful tribute. Love you bunches!

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