Today has been cloudy and drizzly. One of those dreary mornings where, if I was able, I would crawl back into bed and stay there.

It has been a few weeks of hard decisions and quite honestly a lot of worry. School (for us) starts in basically 4 weeks. But because of Covid, we have had to make a decision if we wanted our children to follow whatever school plan will be in place in 4 weeks or choose the learn at home option for the first 9 weeks. I know for most of you reading this was probably a really simple decision. For some it is a matter of no other choice, the parent’s need to work and they need the kids in school. I get that. For others they have kids who need the social interaction with other students. I get that too. There is absolutely NO judgement from me in which camp you fall. I know a few parents who needed to choose the learn at home option because they had a child whose health may be compromised in one way or another. School may not be the safest place for them.

I fell in a weird, “I feel like I am a mom on an island” camp. Our kids did just fine with distance learning, we were fortunate to be able to work around their schedules and still run the business. I was grateful for that when this whole thing started in March. Our kids also recognize that school is going to be nothing like they remember it. What with staying 6 feet apart from your classmates and wearing a mask all day. It is hard to really socially interact under those circumstances. And while it will be good for them to see friends (or their eyes)…with the potential hybrid model it is highly possible that if they get placed in a class with no close friends, they won’t see or talk with any of them all day. That makes me sad honestly and it is a likely reality because we have so many 4th and 5th grades classes.

And then there is this whole “we want consistency back” after almost 8 months of grief walking and “new normal.” Not only have we been learning to deal with the reality of how Covid has changed our landscape, we have also been dealing with the grief of losing a son and a brother. I don’t want to make excuses, but I feel like having that extra layer of grief added onto this situation has just made everything harder. Decisions that seem so easy for others keep me up at night. I pray about them, begging for a clear direction and feel like I am not hearing anything either way. I am trying to discern if my feelings are based out of fear or sadness or sound judgement. And I am just not sure. It has felt overwhelming to say the least. How is this our reality right now?!

Added to that has been other life stuff, like dealing with and selling Isaac’s motorcycle. It is one of the last things that we have to take care of. And while I am grateful that the new owner is someone who has a tie to Isaac, it is also just another sad reminder that my son is gone. Maybe there will come a day that I can type those words without tears, but it isn’t now. He is gone. His scent is fading from his clothing. I guess I should be grateful that it lasted this long…but now that I am losing it, I feel a sense of panic almost. It is another reminder of how fleeting this life is, how nothing here on earth lasts. Not really.

There have been some of those unexpected losses recently too. Things you don’t immediately think will cause grief to flood in but catch me by surprise. Gabe took his ACT for the first time in July. I remember when Isaac took his, remember praying with Elijah for him as he was at the high school. I would have loved to talk to him about Gabe’s experience, wearing a mask during the test, his results etc. Gabe is finally getting to that place that he is now going through those things that Isaac did. Gabe took and passed his driver’s test and in 2 days we will go and get his license. Isaac would have thought that was cool. Not being able to share those simple, life moments brings new waves of sadness I wasn’t ready for.

I know I can’t get stuck in the what ifs. I can’t sit in that depressed place where I question everything over and over and ask God why. But from time to time it happens. I don’t cry every day anymore. We have made the choice to continue to walk forward and do our best to have joy in our home. And God has been gracious in helping us doing that, but this road isn’t easy. Today I am holding on to the verse in John 16:33 “ I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” God is my hope even when I don’t see or understand. This world is fleeting but his love and peace is not. Hold on to that promise today.

Photo Credit via