Friday, August 23, 2013

Eyes Wide Open...

It’s been almost eight months since Jillian was stolen from her family. While our lives stood still in time, the world continued to pulse and circle around us with its primal force. There is no stopping it. The clerk checking out my purchases at the store asking me how I’m doing today, and if I’ve found everything I need. Feeling the hair on the back of my neck bristle as I mentally clamp my hand over my mouth preventing me from saying, “ No, I’m not doing okay. I just passed the freezer section and almost purchased a box of Snickers bars for Jillian. Only she isn’t here, you see. Please don’t talk to me”.

Jillian’s friends have graduated from college and are preparing to begin their new lives and careers. Jillian doesn't get to do that. Charlotte turned two in July without having her aunt here to give her that big birthday hug and kiss. The summer passes without her. No boat rides, no camping trips, no kayaking. And yet…….

I’ve been thinking back to  the day when I was sitting at U of M while Jillian had her first chemo treatment. That was almost a year ago. Her brain tumors had grown, treatment options were running out. I was instant messaging my friend Staci while I waited for Jillian to return. My hands were shaking, my heart was pounding against my chest, my mouth was dry. I felt as if I would fly out of my skin.

Me: “Where’s my Miracle, Stac?”  Silence.

I knew she was sitting across the state with tears streaming down her face, thinking about how she could comfort me. It took quite a while before she replied, “Jillian IS your Miracle, Sue”.  

Staci’s words mean more to me today than they did that day in the waiting room. Jillian IS my Miracle. Because of Jillian, I’m learning grace. She is teaching me how to be strong, when I have no strength. She has given me laughter through the tears,  and an open eye to the Miracles I experience each day.

Slowly, we are healing. Oh, there are many times when the Mama Bear in me rears its ugly head. Times when I want to scream in agony from the raw pain that Jillian’s death has inflicted upon my soul. But we ARE healing. I’m finding joy again, and I’m learning to find good in an incredibly tragic situation.

We live in a broken world and tragedy strikes without warning. We aren’t promised a long life. We aren’t promised a life without pain or strife. And frankly, we don’t deserve one thing. The thing we are promised is that God is with us in the best of times, and He shines in the worst of times.

The miracles are there, ya know. They’ve shown themselves to me over and over. And this is only the beginning. Our world may be broken, but it is our world, and oh so beautiful. 

 Where is your Miracle? Look for it. I’ll bet it’s right there, just
waiting for you to grab hold.




  1. You write so beautifully, Susan. I am so glad I found your blog and follow it. Your posts always seem to touch me in some way. I know there is nothing I can say to take away your pain...I am so sorry for your loss. I've been trying to make myself be more positive, and your last paragraph about miracles is so true. We have to be open to seeing them/finding them. God is always with us; we might not understand the plan or the path He has, but He is always with us. So glad that as you heal, you are finding pieces of joy in your life again- I am sure Jillian would want that for you. She is your miracle, like you say. I know for sure she and I would have been friends- I'm a fan of the frozen Snickers as well!

  2. You have such a beautiful heart and I feel so privileged to have a tiny nook in your life. Thank you for sharing this!

  3. Perfectly said. Thanks for continuing on and giving me hope that I can do it too. Every once in a while, just when I need it, I'm reminded of your saying "Fall seven times, get up eight". It's been a month since David passed and it's almost getting harder. It's sinking in more and more. It gets harder to fool my self that he's just not home, maybe he'll be back soon.

    All the begging and pleading I've done to the sky and clouds for him to get his ass back home isn't working. But it doesn't keep me from trying every once in awhile.

    Remembering movies I've watched in my lifetime of people being reincarnated, coming back or angels probably doesn't help some false hope I have that there is still some way he can come back home

    I guess this is the denial stage :(

    So thanks for putting down your thoughts, please know it does help others like me to read them.

  4. I have goosebumps and tears in my eyes.....beautifully said Sue.

  5. Hugs to YOU Sue! I don't wish the horrors of melanoma on anyone, ever.... Thank you for sharing, I do believe sharing is healing.