One specific thing that makes our grief feel differently than most people's is that Callie died on a holiday. A very specific holiday that falls on a specific day each year (unlike Thanksgiving and Easter that changes dates). And to be honest, it really makes me mad that it had to happen on a holiday. A holiday that you can't escape. A holiday where everyone around you celebrates. A holiday where you can hear parades and fireworks to be reminded that people are celebrating and having fun while we are grieving.
I remember after Callie died, it was hard to understand why not everyone's life didn't stop like ours did. When I received that first text that had nothing to do with Callie. When I saw the first post on a group page I was in that had nothing to do with Callie. It really hurt. You mean, other people aren't thinking about this 24/7? And even though that sounds completely crazy because of course we are the ones most affected by this. Of course not everyone is feeling like we do. We had to learn fast that after a couple of weeks, the reality is everyone HAS to move on. Everyone goes back to their normal ways of life while ours does not.
As so here we are just a few weeks away from the anniversary of Callie's death. We have so many flashbacks of that day. For me, flashbacks of getting the first phone call, flashbacks of the doctor telling us she wasn't going to make it, flashbacks of seeing Callie there in the hospital, praying out loud for God to save her, flashbacks of them trying to resuscitate her lifeless body, flashbacks of the doctor officially pronouncing her death, flashbacks of watching my husband holding her body sobbing uncontrollably, flashbacks of the staff workers placing their hands on me, and flashbacks of holding her in my arms, not wanting to let her go.
Walking into a store and seeing 4th of July decorations makes me cringe and feel sick inside. Seeing anything that has to do with the 4th of July is simply painful. I want to shout out, "do you not understand how horrible this day is?" But of course they don't, they don't even know me or our story. I wish we could just skip this day all together, but we can't escape it. I know there is such purpose for the exact day that she died, even if I don't understand it. Before she was even born, the Lord knew the day of her death. This is not meaningless. The very last picture I took of her with her 4th of July outfit has meaning. I don't know it now, but I trust the Lord with this.
As I had mentioned before we are in the process of building a house. Justin was ready to move right after Callie died, but I was more hesitant. We finally found a floor plan we loved in a great location and decided to build a house. We wanted it to be completed before Nolan was born but it wasn't going to happen. Now in the Lord's sovereignty, our new house will be finished the week before Callie's Heaven day. We will be moving that 4th of July weekend so we will be very busy and will be in our new house on the 4th. I am SO thankful we will be out of our house as the thought of being here on that day was too difficult. God's timing is always so perfect and I'm thankful for extra time being amongst our neighbors who knew and cared for Callie. It really seems like the perfect time for us to move.
Maybe one day we will be able to do all the 4th of July things that we used to do. Just as I mentioned in a previous post, life is a little less sweet now. 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, family vacations, etc are just less sweet without our Callie. We miss her so so much, and sometimes the pain is so deep it feels like it happened yesterday. It's really hard to believe it's been a year. Just a few days ago Cooper was crying so hard and when I asked what was wrong he said he missed Callie and he missed playing with her. So heartbreaking! It hits us all at different moments. But I do know this, Callie is free. Just as everyone in the country is celebrating the freedom we have in America, we will celebrate Callie's heaven day, the freedom she has in Christ. As a friend reminded me today, when we hear fireworks going off, we will think of the celebration Callie is experiencing everyday being with Jesus, dancing at his feet. Callie experienced true freedom in Christ that day. Instead of the fireworks bringing so much grief, I hope that it will be a reminder of Callie's freedom and the hope we have in Christ. See you soon baby girl!
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free...." Galatians 5:1