Fighting Back An Ocean Of Tears…

Fighting Back An Ocean Of Tears…

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For many years I have embraced that family is much more than a bloodline.  Over the past nine years my life has been enriched by friends who have become family.  Two little girls in kindergarten brought together two families who didn’t know they needed each other.

My second daughter, Raina, is 13 years old now.  I have watched her grow up alongside my Beks.  Somewhere along our journey of weaving our families together, that young girl stole my heart.  I have taken for granted the many sleepovers, her love for horses, teasing right along with the rest of us, her twinkling eyes, and quirky smile.  Now, I sit here staring at a screen, grasping for words to put to my feelings and for air to breathe.

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I have watched these girls play “Little House on the Prairie,” ride their horses until their hearts were so full I thought they might burst, challenge each other on ideologies, be annoyed with each other’s idiosyncrasies, and cry like I’ve never seen before when Beks was told Raina was moving.  I have seen little girls grow up into beautiful, compassionate, adventurous young women.  And I have been privileged to observe, interact, mentor, and BE with them.  I get to be mom!

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In a week, my family leaves.  No, not my nuclear family.  The family I have chosen to reside in my very soul.  I cannot recall a specific moment when our girls bridged our acquaintanceship to friendship to status of family.  It just happened and now feels like it has always been.  I think of Monte and Susan who have become brother and sister.  I think of “T” who is another son.  I am wrecked at the thought that we will be bidding our farewells very soon.

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I am trying to look at the bright side.  My family will visit us twice a year.  We are becoming world travellers and there is hope that we will visit them overseas.  I yearn to be a pillar of strength and encouragement for them as they are working so diligently to complete their many tasks.  I am so proud of them as they take the steps they need to make this adventurous move.   I want them to know, really know how much they mean to us!  Moment by moment I waffle between courage and grief.

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For many, many years I put up barriers around my heart in fear of being hurt.  On the outside, I looked like a well-adjusted social butterfly.  On the inside, I felt trapped and isolated.  The very reason I used to erect walls to protect myself from being hurt, in fact, turned on me and was the cause of tremendous pain.

I am not looking forward to giving final hugs and hearing myself say, “until we see you next time.”  But I wouldn’t give up the past nine years of friendship, love, and family for anything!

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I can’t help but wonder if any of you have built a fence around your heart.  You know a fence that looks like the ones surrounding maximum security prisons with barbed wire on top.  Think about it, those barbs are supposed to deter others from coming into that space but they also hold the prisoners captive.  Have you become a prisoner of your fear?  If so, are you content remaining there?  What might you be missing out on in your life in the name of protecting yourself?  Who might be missing the blessings you have to offer them?  Devastation ensues if you remain a prisoner…

Salty drops escape my eyes during this early morning.  Once again, I find my breath constricted as my thoughts linger to my family leaving.  Yet, I rest and find peace acknowledging that I have been given the greatest gift of all: LOVE!!!  And I have chosen to walk and live in LOVE!

Until next time my brother, my sister, my daughter, my son…

I LOVE you BIG!!!

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Deb Martens

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