Hard Things, Milestones, Scenes From the Weekend

A Weekend of Both Loss and Celebration

I won’t deny that 2017 has been a turbulent year for us so far, full of joyous highs and terrifying lows, sometimes within mere hours of each other.

This weekend was another such indicator that our lives can have both joy and sorrow simultaneously living side by side, and it’s been a 96-hour period marked with both tears and laughter, sadness and triumph, uncertainty and hope.

On Thursday afternoon, we received the news that Matt’s maternal grandmother had passed away.

While not unexpected, we had made plans to go see her one last time on Friday night while we were down in the area, and we both felt a great sorrow that we hadn’t been able to make it down in time to visit with her before she passed. While I have lost all four of my grandparents, this is only Matt’s second grandparent to pass away, and even though we have a bright testimony that she is in a better place and much happier, it is still hard to go through that process of grief and pain.

On Saturday, we welcomed home Matt’s dad from the hospital, where he’s been for almost two looooong months. He came home without one of his legs, but we’re still giddy with relief that he came home at all, and that he’s been doing so well.

It’s still a long road of adjustment and recovery ahead, but we’re praying that the worst is now over (since I’m not sure how much more our family can take).

 Raven had a one-track mind the whole time we were cheering her grandpa’s safe return—all the balloons everywhere. That’s one great thing about having kids is that they remind you that while you may suffer loss and sorrow, there is always something in the present worth being happy about and grateful for.

Additionally, it was my stepdad’s 60th birthday this weekend, so we held a surprise party for him at a local restaurant (and about jammed it to capacity with how many were in the group). Though loud and noisy and a little chaotic, it was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate my stepdad, who has always been so generous and so kind and so good to us.

(It was also my younger brother’s birthday that same day, so we were kind of doing double-duty with the celebrations!)

Then, as if that weren’t enough, on Sunday we held yet another party with my side to celebrate ALL the March birthdays in the family, which includes my niece Zoe, too. (This is a relatively new tradition we’ve started this year of getting all together once a month to celebrate all that month’s birthdays rather than trying to congregate together for every separate birthday occasion.)

The time we had to just relax and eat tacos and play games and visit was a nice (though brief) respite from everything else that’s been going on, and we were glad we were able to make it down.

That wasn’t all the weekend held, but I’m saving the rest for tomorrow’s post, and I figured that with all this, you had enough to be getting on with.

One thing’s for sure—despite the ups and downs of the year so far, I feel immensely grateful for the goodness of family and friends and neighbors who consistently show support and love and thoughtfulness. There’s a lot of good in the world that often goes unnoticed, but I’ve been reflecting a lot this weekend on the fact that there’s a lot to be thankful for right this very moment, hard stuff and all.

Hope you all had a good weekend.

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