Today marks the one year anniversary of our second daughter’s wedding. June 1st. And yet, I totally forgot. I woke up to a text from one of our best friends reminding me of it.
I quickly shot out a “Happy Anniversary” to our newlyweds in New York. Our dearest friends are definitely carrying me these days. They store so many of our precious memories for safe-keeping until I can find my way back to them.
What was actually weighing heavily on my mind was, ‘Today is June 1st – I need to make sure Jimmy’s company received my first COBRA insurance payment or I’m screwed.’ I can’t believe I’ve actually been reduced to worrying about health insurance.
What a difference a year makes.
Do you recall back in 2006 when a book hit the best-selłer list called “The Secret?” Oprah recommended it on her show, so my mom couldn’t buy me a copy fast enough. Of course I devoured it.
The premise of the book, in a nutshell, was that we “get back” whatever we send out to The Universe. I’m doing some serious paraphrasing and condensing here, but the gist of it was promoting positive-visualization.
I was kind’ve excited about it and shared the concepts with you. I think your exact response was, “Bull Shit!”
Lord, you could be terse. And not exactly oozing positivity either…
After I finished reading it, I took from it the parts I deemed legit, helpful and in alignment with our faith, dismissing the rest. Personally, I agreed with you that it can be a slippery slope to imagine that everything good-in-life or everything bad-in-life that happens to us occurs because (in your words) we “thunk on it too hard!”
For instance, I don’t believe the Jews brought on the Holocaust by overthinking Hitler and genocide. I think that might’ve been your point. With that said, I do believe in the power of positive thinking and throughout my life I’ve pictured a lovely existence for myself in the world. And I’ve fantasized constantly about alł the things that I wanted to see happen for me.
Starting with you.
And they mostly did happen.
In honor of Mollie’s anniversary, I couldn’t resist watching the video of you and her dancing at her wedding. It was self-induced pain and of course I bawled all the way through it. But, that’s what reminded me of that book and the power of visualization.
Ever since that misty grey September morning in Houston when you drove me to the hospital to have our second, I always dreamed of you and her dancing at her wedding to the song, “September Morn.” Throughout her young life, every single time I heard that song, I would always think to myself,
‘Awwww..here’s Mollie and Jimmy’s Wedding Dance song…’
Remember how crushed I was when our engaged couple said they would prefer a smalł wedding with no dancing? We started pushing hard for the traditional Daddy/Daughter Dance. They eventually and graciously complied.
And even though watching that video is like being stabbed in the heart by the blades of a thousand knives, it’s also one of the most precious things I have left of you.
Unlike a few of the other Blanchards (myself included…okay, myself especially) limelight-seekers and show-stealers, you and Mollie are a bit more reserved. I must’ve been prescient because the lyrics of the song fit her perfectly:
“I can still hear you crying in the corner of your room…”
That’s how she is and always was. Low key. Not big on a lot of attention. So, I’m so very grateful y’all had that dance together, even though the video is upside down and sideways.
Speaking of upside down and sideways, we are, all of us, working diligently every day to survive without you. I read a book on Monday night that said “acute grief” lasts 4 months. I counted backwards and it was exactly 4 months that very day! I was immediately encouraged, but then I didn’t get out of bed the next day, so maybe I’m just obstinate.
“The Secret” to finding your way back must be balancing the “looking back” with the “looking forward.”
I know I need to to spend more time visualizing the future joy God has in store for us all…Still I find myself wishing there was a way to thank you for devoting your life to indulging all my whims and fancies and making every little thing I envisioned come to fruition.
“For I know the plans I have for you declared The Lord, plans to prosper you, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
9 thoughts on ““Find Your Way Back” (A Time for Looking Forward and Looking Back…)”
There is no timeline for grief…..my dad died on the Wed. before Thanksgiving back in 1992, he was Jewish, so we had the funeral service on Friday…..as dictated by Jewish law, and there are two schools of thought on what happened next, many choose to, for lack of a better word “clean out the closet” right away or keep it as it was…..my Mom chose to clean it out right away so about 10 days after he passed, the closets were cleaned out, much went to the Salvation army, a portion went to all of us and we thought oh okay, this isn’t so bad, we are over the grief……well, it hit my Mom like a Tsunami the next week…..and I don’t think she felt any better 4 months later…..the first year was tough…..so take your time Leslie, it sounds like you had a one of a kind marriage, and were double whammied by the shock of Jimmy’s passing…..
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So very true. Thank you for sharing.
Beautifully stated by both Dale and you, Leslie. There’s no rule book for grief. You’re doing it right–you’re doing well. I know that you don’t feel well. Clean out the closets when you feel like it, and let the Tsunami roll when it will. Love like you two had was a great gift. Great love like that comes at a price, and this is the cost. But it will make you a better person, more understanding, kinder, wiser. And it will get easier in time. ❤
That has to be true.
Thank you for continuing to share your journey, Leslie. Your daughter is so beautiful and your husband so manly. It’s funny how we dream of our kids’ weddings from so far back, isn’t it? I am in awe that you keep “putting one foot in front of the other,” as my mom would say, and treasuring your wonderful family, dear friends, memories, and the small joys that I hope will start sneaking up on you.
Thank you so much for reading and sharing them with me.
I can just fell my heart breaking for you Leslie! What a wonderful memory you have to visit! Come hang with me anytime❤️ Praying!!
We are taking all the prayers we can get. I will come see you more after I ship a Tommy off to OU!