We returned to Nashville on Sunday evening after spending a full week at a beach house in Laguna Beach, Florida. We are blessed to say that we found some peace in removing ourselves from life as we knew it but even more blessed to report that we also found great clarity to life in general. We had sunshine filled days of doing nothing but playing and just being together. We learned to just be. And with all of the great beauty that we witnessed we also learned that nothing is or was as beautiful as Bella's smiles or her physical presence on this Earth. With that we are left with the question, not why did God take her from us BUT why did He bless us with her for those 9 amazing months? And what can we do with our life from here forward to be witnesses for the many miracles we were blessed with during that time? What can we do that will ever be as rewarding or fulfilling as she was to us? How do we move forward exercising the many, many lessons we learned from her life and her death? We have a few ideas, some definite goals but mostly we know that we just have to turn our life over to the Lord. Fully and completely, trusting that He will lead us each and every day. We also know that these answers are not going to come over night. They are not going to come from a trip to the beach. They are not going to come in returning to life as we knew it. They will come as the healing continues, as we devote time to prayer and meditation and as we learn to trust completely. The answers will come when we have balanced our bodies, minds and spirits.
The strength we have found is not our own. If all I had to depend on was myself during this time then I would not get out of bed in the mornings. I would still be experiencing the gut wrenching, heart breaking physical pain of not having her here with me. I know this because I was there following the funeral. For a few days I shut out God, family and friends. I went to the loneliest, darkest place I have ever been in my life. I saw life without spirituality, without appreciation for loved ones. It is a place I do not wish to ever go to again in my life. It was not myself that pulled me from this place. I did not or do not have the strength for that. It was the Lord that did not leave me, nor forsake me even in the darkest moments. It was the genuine kindness and love of family and friends that pulled me from the darkness of self loathing and self pity. So again we thank you all for lifting us in prayer when we did not have the strength to do so ourselves, for the overwhelming gestures of kindness and love that you have given us. Mostly we thank you for loving Bella and letting her be a part of your life.
There are still good days and bad days, good moments and bad moments. There are limitations for what I can handle in life right now. There are situations in which I choose not to put myself in because I don't trust my emotions. The hustle and bustle of life around us seems overwhelming at times. There are moments of guilt in moving forward without her. There is and probably always will be a craving to touch her, see her, smell her. There are moments when I close my eyes and picture every fold of her skin, every scar, every detail of her face just because I am scared of one day not being able to remember those things. But mostly there is hope. Hope that there is life ahead that will always be a testimony to the beauty of Bella...
We love you all. We thank you all. We ask that you allow us to pray for you as well. Please let our family know of any prayer requests that you may have or know of.
Much love to all