Life is brutiful

3/15/16 Back to reality.

I just got back from a long weekend in Florida.  A long overdue- once in a decade getaway.

I had had enough.  I needed some sunshine.  I needed a change of scenery.   I needed to GET AWAY.

So two weeks ago I got on the computer and booked the cheapest flight I could find and said “Hubby, we are going to Florida.”

The beach was gorgeous. The scenery was stunning. The sun and sand was warm and inviting and just…delicious.  I love sun.  The thing about sun is it makes you feel alive. It makes you feel like the earth’s very energy is pumping into you.   There’s a reason they call wonderful things a “ray of sunshine.” I’m so glad I went.

However my life was still waiting for me when I got back.  It was still waiting for me as I sat in the airport terminal and one of the stupid timehop things popped up on facebook.  I keep forgetting to turn them off.  I’m not even sure I know how.  A collage of pictures of Lucas I had posted last march… the last pictures that exist of him. He had taken selfies of himself with someones ipad in class.

I couldn’t breathe. I literally could not breathe for like… a whole minute.  I’m sitting in an airiport terminal with hundreds of people around me and I had tears running down my face like a torrential rain.  I tried, I really tried to pull it together but the tears kept coming, kept coming…my nose was running, I was so embarrassed.  I thought, who does this? In an airport? Little kids that’s who does this. My grief made me humiliated.  It made me want to hide.  It made me feel like a little girl.

That’s how I feel a lot.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to just bawl in the grocery store or at school or at the gym…but I stuff it down.  It is a whole lot easier without a picture of him staring me in the face I can tell you that much.  But so many times I just wish I could wear on the outside what I feel on the inside. Not pretend to be fine all the time.  I can’t live in my grief constantly- it would destroy me.  But when things come on, so many times I just have to put a happy face on and pretend everything is normal.  I’m brave.  I’m strong.  I’ve got this.  I can be a Mom and a wife and a friend and most of all- take care of my kids and make sure they grow up happy healthy well rounded wonderful children.

Most of the time I just want to sit in a corner with a blanket over my head and wait for the apocolypse.

When I woke up this morning it was to me sweet little towheaded three year old chirping “mommy! mommy! mommy! I found Lucas’ boat! I want to play with Lucas’ boat!” I think I heard the words Lucas’ boat thirty times before I made it downstairs.  When Lucas was about ten or eleven he got a ginormous remote control boat.  I think it stopped working a long time ago but it was still in his room and guess who found it…

Right now it is sitting on the floor in Rich’s office a few feet from me and looking at it makes me want to crumble.  I had to go into Lucas’ room to get it out because Brady was having a meltdown- he couldn’t carry it out.  As I went into his room I saw bare walls.  A stripped down bed.  Nothing anywhere.  Just a bed and a dresser.  It made my knees go weak and my heart jumped into my throat.  Someone emptied his room.  No more pennants and baseball pictures on the wall.  No more trophies on the dresser along with his various parephanelia no more clothes in his closet and things on the shelves, no familiar comforter and pillow on his bed.  Nothing.  It is no longer his room it is just a room.  I’ve been robbed.

The room where he had pet gheckos and his collection of pins from OM, where many baseball uniforms hung ( and laid on the floor of course.) No more little desk in the corner and picture of him holding his baby sister Brooklyn on the dresser.  I want to see that room again.  I want to go in there at my leisure and feel “him.”  It was his space.

I recently read a book by Glennon Doyle Melton called Carry on Warrior.  I think, hands down it is one of the most inspirational books I have ever read.  She describes life as “brutifal.” Part brutal, part beautiful.

Spot on…  So much brutal-ness.  An bleeding aching heart that both feels empty and so heavy at the same time.  A child ripped away from his mother.  A mother having to bury her child.  A mother constantly tormented day and night by relentless longing for that child.  Unable to fully comprehend his absence. One year and two months later.

Life is beautiful.  Creation is beautiful. God is beautiful. Three sweet funny loving mischievous little girls and a gentle smiley precious boy- all beautiful.  Lucas’ legacy of love, kindness, and encouragement.  Being able to be So Proud Of That Boy.  So Very Very Very Proud.

Knowing that of LiveLikeLucas will grow- although it is a slow, arduous, sometimes painful process. It will get there. We have a beautiful goal- to empower youth to spread kindness.  In world full of hatred and racism and classism- where teenagers kill themselves out of their sheer pain and loneliness- we need more kindness.  This past year starting a non-profit has been a trial by fire.  But you live, you learn, and you get better. You get smarter. You grow a thicker skin.  You figure out how to make things happen.  I still have an undying passion that Lucas’ legacy make a difference and I will not stop.  We have a 5k coming up- June 25.  We are looking for sponsorships for the race.  This is the hard part.  If you know any businesses who might be remotely interested in sponsorship (basically giving money to have their business advertised on our race materials) please please let me know! info@livelikelucas.org.

Life is and will always be brutiful.  We just have to keep fighting for the beauty. Show someone that beauty- do a random act of kindness today.

You have never really lived until you've done something for someone who can never repay you


4 Responses to Life is brutiful

  1. Jennifer Bieda says:

    Hi Melissa,
    It was so nice meeting you on our flight home! Your story touched me and I will forever keep you & your family in my prayers.
    Jen

  2. Nikki Addington says:

    I love your message. I know that your road won’t always be easy, but it will be worth it.

    I wanted to let you know that you can probably ask about donations at D&W and Forest Hills Foods. They have done donations for gatherings I have done previously.

    We continue to pray for you and your family.

  3. Arlene DeYoung says:

    Melissa, Your writing is so AMAZING and BRUTIFUL. 🙂 I LOVE Glennon… Check out Brene Brown. Happy to share books if you want them. Looking forward to 6/25!!
    -Arlene

  4. Pam Topolinski says:

    Oh Melissa I read your posts and every single word is what I feel. It has been nearly 6 months since my Joe died in that tragic car accident. I gave his bed to his sister who moved to New York, and his room has become the “band room” for my younger sons’ & friends amateur cover band. Joe’s things are in boxes in the closet. I washed his sheets and comforter, finally, after about 4 months, so they no longer carry his smell. I turned off his cell phone today, finally, after getting it back from the police 2 months ago. It is one of the last things to do for him. His tax refund went to our joint account a few weeks ago. . I have been crying all morning but still folding laundry and making the grocery list, and trying to keep on going like everything is normal, trying to fool everyone, including myself. I think I have not had time to grieve. He died in October and then came the holidays and getting his sister off to her new life in New York, my fiancé and I went to FL for a week (I agree, the sun is like a magic prescription. .) so now I have nothing on my agenda. I think it is time to grieve.

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