Grief

Hello Spring!

March 20, 2015

Today is the first official day of spring…hooray!  We have definitely been enjoying warmer temperatures here and are relishing in our ability to get outside without being bundled up from head to toe.  It’s certainly been a LONG winter!

I’ve really been lagging with my writing lately.  To be quite honest, I’m not sure why.  The first three months of this year, and technically the last of 2014, have been really tough.  There have been lots of changes, adjustments and drama, quite frankly.  I’m not sure what to make of it yet so perhaps that’s what is contributing to my lack of enthusiasm.  We’ll see.  I’m holding out hope that spring will bring with it some sunshine in all ways possible.

One bright spot was that we were the honored guests of a breakfast yesterday at the Ronald McDonald House.  I’ve often mentioned how much we cherish this organization and all that it has done to help our family and thousands of others.  If you remember, we were the “feature family” this year for their big annual gala and participated in a beautiful video that documented Elena’s story.  Well, yesterday was their annual breakfast with their board members, large corporate sponsors and some potential new ones.  We were, again, brought to tears by the video.  No matter how many times I’ve seen it, I still can’t keep it together.  Chad was asked to say a few brief words.  I asked him on our way down what he was going to say and he said he would wing it….spoken like a true salesman.  Well, let’s just say he brought the whole room to tears.  Us included.  Men and women in suit and ties were all choking up and dabbing their eyes.  It was pretty great to see.  We have been so grateful for our experience at the RMH and consider our ability to share our story such a huge blessing.  It never fails to humble us to see the way it touches others.

On the way home, I mentioned how strange it seems that this happened 3.5 years ago.  Sometimes it still feels so raw but other times I find myself forgetting there was ever a “before”.  Having watched Calvin grow, develop and change this last year has been a constant prickle on our hearts.  Our love for our children is immeasurable but seeing the differences in Elena and Cal has been tough to swallow at times.  It has made me often wonder what Elena would be like had this never happened.  For a moment, I can almost picture her running around the room, playing with her brother.  But, mostly that image is too painful and I have to snap back to the present.

That will likely never go away.  I just have to remind myself of the different joy that Elena and Cal will bring us.  And the continued inspiration and softened hearts she will bring to whomever hears her story.  God willing, we will be able to share her light for many, many years to come.

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This is Elena. Our Light. You can see all the goodness and joy that shines from those deep blue eyes. She loves sneezes, yawns, industrial toilet flushes, automatic paper towel dispensers and The Star Spangled Banner. Music is her everything, specifically Moana, Frozen (really all Disney), Queen & Taylor Swift. Nothing makes her squeal quite like swimming, fast boat rides and her two brothers in trouble. In addition to her megawatt smile, Elena reminds us to cherish the smallest of victories, to live in the present, and to daily dwell in a posture of gratitude for every breath and every blessing.  

More About Our Story

I’m Emmalee, an ordinary gal born and raised in the Heartland. Wife to Chad, and Mom to Elena, Calvin & Turner, I spend most my days ridin’ dirty (literally so much trash) in my minivan carting kids to and fro. When I’m not being a Momager, I excel at self-care, cooking gourmet meals my kids won’t eat and deep-diving all the feelings. Most days, my attitude is gratitude, just taking life one step at a time.

Emmalee & Elena

Meet The Gals