Seasons and death, and winter.
Guess what? Death sucks. I know that this is nothing new for those of you that have lost someone. I haven’t blogged about my Dad’s passing because I just haven’t been ready. He went to be with Jesus on May 19th.
When you lose someone you love, important days in their life serve as fresh reminders of the loss. I know my Dad is having a ball with Jesus, so I won’t feel sorry for him. But today, August 13th, is his birthday? was his birthday? In my mind, it will always be his birthday, so I’m going to stick with “is”.
It’s the first one without him. There will be no yummy burger joint to meet at, while watching Dad enjoy his favorite meal. There will be no gifts to buy him, laughing as Dad opens yet another blue plaid shirt (his favorite). There will be no birthday songs, or homemade cake. There will be no macadamia nut bark I would make for him every year. And that is sad. And it’s ok to be sad, and to grieve those memories. Just as long as I don’t stay there.
I just talked with my Mom to check in on her, and we spent some moments remembering Dad. His sweet tooth. His reaction when I got my first (and only!!) traffic ticket at 16. How he walked 10 miles home from work because he didn’t want to make Mom come get him with all the kids. How his birthday is no different to her than any other day… because she thinks about him every day, regardless. Heart wrenching. And, while tender and precious, it also has the very bittersweet aroma of sadness.
Death is painful for us folks left here. We can’t understand the full story, and our feelings are so big. Sometimes they grow bigger than the Truth. I think God is ok with that, because He knows we are in a process. He is a very patient Father.
And you may have never experienced death in the human sense, but you could be staring down the barrel of the death of a marriage. The death of a friendship. The death of a life dream that will never be fulfilled this side of heaven. The death of a relationship you thought would last forever. Chances are, death has found it’s way to you, in some form.
In fact, this year has been a grieving season for us. Death has crept into a few places in our life, and us Tolson’s have been frantically swimming to keep Death behind us. It seems as though Dad’s passing was, hopefully, and please Jesus, the end cap to a painful year.
Nichole Nordeman’s song “Every Season” is one of those genius-ly penned poems. You really need to hear the whole song, but her verse on winter and death has never failed to kill me. Ha. Not even joking.
“And still I notice you
When branches crack
And in my breath on frosted glass
Even now in death, You open doors for life to enter
You are winter.”
And if you are like me, or maybe even if not, listening to the song might make your heart squeeze a little tighter, and your perspective to shift a little. And obviously, the tears to flow freely.
Or maybe not. I write most of this blog as a personal journal anyway, so maybe this is just for me. 🙂
Here is something for you clients/readers though.. As a business owner, I have to reevaluate every year, and make plans. You know, good biz owner stuff. Which is the kind of stuff I’m not very good at. But seeing as this as been a heck of a year, we are changing some things up on the biz end. Most likely, I won’t be taking on photo sessions next year. I’m not going to declare retirement just yet, but we will see where God leads.
I have always said that my photography is part time, and my family is first. But this year, grief has manifested in my body physically, and my once manageable FMS/Migraines have become unmanageable, and my family has suffered. This isn’t a ploy to get you to BOOK.WITH.ME.NOW. Not at all. I only have a handful of openings left for 2013 and if they don’t get filled, I’m ok with it and I will rest. It may very well be that next year sees me grieving the loss of a 10 year old business. I don’t know.
I do know this, however. The very best news about seasons, and winter, and death is that spring always.always.always follows. Jesus is forever opening other doors. There is always something to thank Him for. Even when we think it’s too cold, and too dark, and too hopeless… Spring’s arrival draws near.
I’m hoping for a wildly beautiful Spring. How about you?