Listening in the silence

imageWent up to the north country the other day with my brother Mark.  It was an unseasonably warm and sunny day for early November up in Muskoka.  It was a magical day.  We brought our store bought pita wraps, and a bottle of red French deliciousness down to  the  dock,  and dined like kings and queens on our deck chairs.  The gentle waves lapped underneath us creating such a wonderful and relaxed feeling.  I was swept away, captivated by the moment.  So many feelings swept over me…so many memories.  How was it even possible that I was just there in August, only a short few months ago on our grand RV adventure?  So much has changed, my mind simply cannot comprehend it, or accept it.  Perhaps this is normal to feel as if everything is fine one moment, then completely upside down in the next second.imageI attempt to put into words, my  feelings and thoughts, but truly my mind is in complete disarray.  The bizarre thing is that it feels normal, but I know that it isn’t at all….my journey, even though it was mine, and I thought it was  normal, was so completely askew to begin with.  It startles me to realize what one can become accustomed to living with, what we accept as the “status quo.”  Maybe we are all caught up in our own misadventures, and find ourselves accepting that which we would have thought completely unacceptable in another time and space.    Life at its best is completely unpredictable and often irrational, so why does my mind feel confused and content all at the same time.  Loss occurs, and people leave..they die, they enter another space, and one moment they were living flesh beside us, something tangible that we could kiss, and hold, and the next moment they have become the thinnest of air, and we yearn to smell their scent, hear  their giggle, touch their skin..embrace them..  Where oh where have you gone?  In my weak moments, selfishly perhaps, I want you back, but almost instantaneously, I know you are at peace, set free, so my mind yo yos back and forth between these two opposite realities..and so.. I’m discombobulated to say the least.  I find calm at looking into the water, seeing its color, and most times I just want to jump in and float around for a bit.  It is so comforting to me.  The sun feels glorious on the skin, and we have been graced with one of the warmest November days on record up here.  We came up here to tow my brothers’ boat home, clean and tidy up a bit, but I find myself wanting to lose myself a tad longer.  Perhaps this is a necessary part of loss and grieving…the escape.  I know that my reality at home means facing her impossibly quiet and still room.  A room that still holds the essence of her within it.  Her things are all there, her dear pajamas, her face cloths, warm blankies, stuffed toys..her photos.  All of it is her, and she should be there, but she is no longer, how can this be, what am do?


I’m so grateful for our RV adventure this summer.  I had no idea it would be our last grand hurrah.  It was such great fun to find ourselves encapsulated in that 30 foot tube of a house on wheels.  My sons, along with their friends piled in, and we rode along enjoying the scenery, eating sunflower seeds, and red licorice, stopping for  gas and snacks along our way.  It was was was bliss.  It wasn’t easy, but we were together in our adventure.  My daughter was so positively thrilled to be on this ride, and knowing this just fills me with a deep sense of satisfaction.  Sometimes I feel as if I pushed too hard, was too determined with the things I wanted her to experience in her life, but I can’t feel regret.  We lived liked she was dying, and she was..and she did…and I am so relieved that I didn’t make excuses up not try something because it felt too hard, was ridiculous, or uncomfortable.  I’m glad we jumped in..we experienced, and I know my boys/men are happy for that too.  We will always have wanted more time together..this is family..this is love.  Our time was too short, too little..more words needed to be said, more hugs, more kissing.  We all have this endless vacuume in our hearts to fill.  We have so much love, grace and abundance to let loose on each other..on this world.  We must go forward with more love, and love fully with no looking back…this is what it means to be fully known..fully loved…and accepted completly and without reservations…its unconditional, and available, if we have the courage to give and receive it.imageThis life we are living is so risky..There is much pain and suffering, much anxiety and indecision….it is bloody hard to keep your head above the water.  It takes guts to move on, and to find new reasons to smile, to laugh.  It feels somehow irreverent to still feel happy when someone that you loved goes away.   I know that Iv’e heard the cliche statements that say..”well she would want you to be happy…enjoy life.”  In theory I suppose this is true, however my heart is arguing about this statement.  How do I get to be ok, when she is not here?  Somebody had better explain that one to me…because I just don’t get it?imageThere has been much joy amidst the sorrow..experiences that I wouldn’t trade for  anything.

The other day I planned to get together with my niece Maddie who is attending Ryerson University in Toronto.  I wanted to see her apartment downtown, and “do lunch together.”  I just really wanted to be in her sweet presence.  She is a statuesque, lovely girl with a warm smile, infectious laugh, and she is filled with possibilities for her future.  She is fantastically talented, and bright with a vision to change her world and make it better, more hopeful.  She is part of a vision called “girl empowerment project”, which is a non profit organization by Reel Media.  Reel Media is a student production company with Ryerson University.   I think it  is fantastic.  She seems to create in these young girls a bright hope for  their futures, letting them in on the concept that anything is possible.  She encourages them to dream big, and without compromise.  I love this..and her so much.  We decide to meet, and she let me in on the fact that she had been thinking of getting a tattoo of a daisy in honor of Bianca..  I was so thrilled to hear that, and my heart was full.  She asked if I might like to join her.  I explained that not only did I want to join her, but could I get one too?  She was somewhat surprised.  She asked if I really wanted to, and I told her that I always had thought of getting a daisy tattoo for my little Beetlebug girl.  She was excited, as was I, and so our plan went into action.   We met, embraced, and were giddy with the prospect of sharing this together…Just wow…it was so special.  I will hold this day in my heart and mind of being one of the best days ever!  We comforted one another as the artist was creating his masterpieces on our arms, and giggled and smirked into one another’s’ eyes with the knowledge that we were sharing a sacred and beautiful moment.  Man..I just live for these moments when life takes your breath away….  These are the times we live for..we crave..the inner connection  of our souls.  We reach out, and grab hold, we share life…and it is so blessedly good.  It is awesome to touch that which makes our lives come alive..I live for this..I love it.  People are infinitely precious and unique.  When getting “tatted” with Madison, “marked for our Bianca,” I couldn’t help but wonder what Bianca would have thought about all this.  Would she understand that her Mum is slightly cray cray, and needs desperately to feel as if she is carrying a part of her with me into all eternity?  I need to look at my wrist, to kiss it, and to know yes…she was here..she mattered..I loved her with all of my heart, and I shall never..ever..ever forget the most incredible, special gift of a little daughter who turned my world upside down, blew her family’s’ world apart with her passing, and yet managed to make us whole and better for having known her, and shared in her life….thank you Maddie for warming your Auntie’s day, for wanting to do this with me… made it hurt just a little less, and I adore you for it.  Keep shining your light dear girl, for it is a bright one, and I look forward to seeing your vision come into fruition.  image

Also to my brother Mark who took the time to take me to the lake knowing it was a place of solace and comfort to me….for letting me cry all over you, for building a big Bon fire, and for giving your quiet comfort, and for your understanding and love.  I have needed it, and humbly accept it from your heart to mine.  The healing in my heart for so many things simply blows my feeble mind.  God is good, and while I call into question his timing on many things, and wonder about some decisions I have to accept, I know that I know that my Redeemer lives, and that He loves me, and this fills me with joy that I cannot comprehend, and a love that just makes no sense…its friggin amazing love.

6 thoughts on “Listening in the silence

  1. Jill, fabulous, fabulous – your inspiration seems to ooze from every pore.   Your happiness is found in a drop of rain, the sound of lapping water, brotherly love, refreshing tears, sunbeams, getting tatted – the sweetness of blessed memories – of dearest Bianca!! How extraordinary!! God is in all your  wee moments – as well as the  monumental ones!  You are a joy to my heart. Thank you!   Lv A/Ell


  2. Love all of these sentiments~ the joys with the sorrows. “The bizarre thing is that is feels so normal…” Wow! coudn’t have put that one into words myself but so true in some very weird way. Or maybe I’ve adjusted bit by bit these five months. But the “Oh where have you gone” is a constant battle between mind and heart. I know…but I don’t comprehend and it weighs daily. Keep writing and processing. These are beautiful to read.
    You will treasure that tattoo. I got one three weeks after- of a sea turtle- to remind me of that last trip together and because we both love turtles of any kind. I look at it daily and feel her and gently rub my hand lotion over its place on my arm. Feels like I’m touching her, for just a moment. Love to you my friend!
    I have wanted to stop by several times and bring you a card, a hug, and some sunflowers but you are on the move a lot. 😉 I am glad for you. Keep moving and enjoying the beauty you find. We will catch up with each other sometime soon.


  3. Dear Jill, I love your style of writing. I love the depth you express. I love the close relationships you have. I enjoyed this message of listening…I have to admit though, I could not do the tattoo thing. ( one of my daughters has three of them, I have no problem with that ). The truth is, getting my ears pierced was painful enough for me, and my daughter came with me and held my hand.

    Blessings to you as you enter this new chapter in your life.
    Praying right now for you.
    Kathy Tanner
    November 20
    Proverbs 20:26 A wise king winnow out the wicked.
    (pray for our king )


  4. Dear Jill,,: My feelings entirely, Bianca was a special and unique lit t le girl ! I miss her so much too especially this time of year,a very warm & loving little girl! Much love, mom.


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