She Stood at a Fork in the Road

Blessed is she

Luke 1:45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her. 

Ryguy, I know one thing for sure. God promised NOT to leave me nor forsake me.  He also promised I would not be alone when trials of this world towered over me. & my oh my, I would definitely say that the trial of your passing has towered over me.

Your death could have meant one of two things for me. 1. Living in complete and utter darkness.  2. Allowing the Son to brighten my path and my heart.  It was up to me which path I would take. My choice. 

It was as if I was standing at a fork in the road. The road signs read, “<—darkness/despair —-> light/peace”.  When looking at the different roads in such openness, it is easy to chose the right path. However, what happens when the road names change? What if instead of darkness it read…revenge? Instead of despair…vengeance? Would it have been just as easy to turn down the other path?

It’s amazing what allowing God to direct my path has done for me. Because when He is directing my steps, I do not have to wonder if I’m making the right choices. That morning of such chaos and heartbreak…that was the only time since you’ve passed that I have ever questioned God in all this. Why? Simple. I don’t need to question the One who only wants good things for me.  He did not do this TO me.  He did this FOR you. & oh my what a difference that makes.

I cannot explain the peace that overtakes my soul when I speak of you, when I think of you. It’s just there. Phillipians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 

I am blessed because I know my God works for me. Loves me. Wants good for me. & I will trust in that & walk in that for the rest of my days.

I love you, Ryguy and I will always miss you until we meet again. 💚

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When I’m Overrun with Sorrow

Ryan,

It’s been a while since I’ve written. It seems the storms of grief has let me alone the past few weeks. That’s not to say that you aren’t constantly on my mind and that I don’t miss you; I’m just not as broken. Doc came in the house the other day with Lurch and said there was a cardinal outside…we both instantly said you were visiting. ❤

Matthew 11:28-30 says, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

What a powerful passage. What powerful words. When I am so exhausted, mentally & spiritually, that I cannot seem to function, my Savior gives me rest; gives me grace. A shoulder to lean on, cry on, rest on.

In this verse, I think rest can mean peace too. Because when my soul finds rest, it also finds peace in Him & Him alone. I cannot find that rest through anything, anyone, else. I could search to the ends of the Earth and never find what I can find in one second with Him. & I think that is an important realization. This Earth cannot cure what my Jesus can. This Earth, after all, is not my home.

My mind can be the devils playground if I let it. Allowing thoughts of pity to race through my mind and eventually into my soul. I’m starting to learn that what I think controls what I feel, what I do. So, if I can control the thoughts in my head; I think that means I can learn to control my behavior(feelings) better. If I concentrate on Godly words and actions I seem to be more at peace with everything.

Romans 8:38-29 says, For I am convinced [and continue to be convinced—beyond any doubt] that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present andthreatening, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the [unlimited] love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Nothing, not drugs, not alcohol, nothing can separate us from His love. So. Much. Love. Sometimes, my small, human self cannot fathom that type of love; that type of Grace.

Oh, Ry. How I wish you could be next to me. How I wish you would still be living life with me. Death is so final. No one tells you that.  That is something that each individual has to face themselves.  I mean I know that death is death. The person is gone. It’s so hard to put into words what I mean. I can literally do nothing to bring you back. I feel so helpless.

I love you, Ryan. I hope you would be proud of me. I live for you. I truly do. I know you would only want the best for me. I am doing my best.

Save a place for me. †

-Chessie

Jeremiah 31:13

“I will turn their mourning into joy, give them consolation, and bring happiness out of sorrow.”

Ryguy,

Oh, the sorrow I feel today. Don’t know why. Can’t explain it. I just feel it…deep in my soul. Maybe it’s the gray clouds outside, the rain falling from the clouds. Or maybe…maybe…it’s because you aren’t here. The sun could be shining. Blinding my eyes with its light. Birds could be chirping. & my soul would still feel this sorrow.

Some days the sorrow is more overwhelming than others. Some days I can laugh, I can smile. Some days, I can’t seem to even put one foot in front of the other. & yet my body continues to move. My feet continue walking. How? My sweet comforter. My Jesus. He turns my mourning into joy that you feel no pain, you cry no more, you suffer no longer. He consoles me because God knows what it is like to lose the One He cherished the most. He brings me happiness from my sorrow because He loves me.

So, while I feel this sorrow, I can smile because you are with Him. You are free of every Earthly burden. My heart aches to hear your voice. My soul rejoices you are free. My eyes will overflow with sorrow; my soul will overflow with joy. And at the end of the day, I am reminded of the love, the compassion, my sweet Beloved has for me.

I love you Ryguy. Save a place for me. 💚

Fly High, Ryguy.

-Chessie

Waves of Grief

Ryguy,

I know it has been awhile since I wrote to you. Truth is, after the first anniversary of your death (that word leaves a nasty taste in my mouth) I felt…numb. Didn’t really feel much, to be truthful. Today for some reason, my chest hurts. It feels heavy, like I cannot take a full breath. I know grief comes in all shapes and sizes. I understand that, I do. Yet, it still surprises me when I get hit with a wave. Knocked from my feet. Staring up at the large tidal wave before me. I know the only way to get back on my feet, is to let the wave crash down over me. Let the water run over my shoulders, down my back, across my feet. Until…it’s washing back out to sea and I am able to make it to my feet again. & then I wait. I wait for the next wave.  Sometimes it comes a few days later, sometimes weeks, and sometimes even months. But I know another wave will come. And I know I’ll get better at navigating them. Maybe one day I will be able to stand under the force of the water.

I miss you. Sometimes I can’t breathe because I miss you so much. I know someday we will be reunited. Save a place for me, Ryguy. I’ll see you soon.

Fly high, Ryguy. ❤

-Chessie

Stars in the Dark

One year. 365 days. 8,760 hours. 525,600 minutes. 31,540,000 seconds. My lungs have continued functioning. My heart continues to beat. & I’m not really sure how. I’m not sure how I kept breathing after that morning. My insides felt like they had been set on fire. My chest felt like it caved in upon itself. And yet, the world kept turning. The sun kept setting, rising. The stars continued to shine in the darkest of nights. & that is what stuck out to me. Even in the darkest of nights, there are still stars to light the way.

Isaiah 43:2 When you pass through the waters,I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

You know what always sticks out to me about this verse? God says, “when”. He does not say, “if or maybe”. But WHEN. The flames and waters will be different for a lot of people. A lot of people will not suffer through the loss of a child, a brother. A lot of people will never have to experience that pain. & thank you, Jesus for that. There are so many families that do have to suffer this pain. & so many are left with the obvious angry question, WHY?!

Ryan, I remember screaming my lungs out on the way to the house that morning. Screaming at Jesus to give you back. To breathe life back into you. Because the moment I got the call I just knew deep in my soul that you were gone. & I was so empty at that moment. So, so, empty. However, let me say this. Had Jesus listened to me and gave you back that morning, what would your life had looked like? What pain would you have endured? Because in that moment, when I was demanding so much of my God, all I was thinking about was the soul-crushing pain I was feeling. I was not concentrating on what your life would be like had you been brought back to us. But JESUS WAS. He was concerned with your suffering. With your pain. & He did what I could not. He SAVED you. He RESCUED you.

So, on the days where I cannot see straight & the tears are poring down my cheeks, I am grieving for my loss. Because, my dear brother, you are engraved into my very being. You are part of me. & learning to live in a world where you are not is so very difficult. It’s navigating a foreign world without any maps, without instruction. It’s difficult. It’s painful.

But my Jesus, my sweet, sweet, Jesus is my star in the darkness. My guiding light. He is my map. My instruction. Leading me closer to Him, and closer to you.

I love you, Ryan. You are my heartbeat. Fly High, Ryguy. Ryan

One Year, one very long year.

My Dearest Ry,

I am drowning. I cannot find the surface. Which way is up? I keep fighting, kicking my legs, moving my arms. Trying & trying to find the surface so I can take a deep breath. Refill my lungs of the oxygen they desperately seek.  The sadness, the grief, strangle me. Some days taking a deep breath is impossible. As if someone, something, is sitting upon my chest.

We’ve officially reached one year. One year of you not being here.  One year without your voice. One year without your laughter. One year without, you.  & there it is. You are not here.  Your absence is noticeable in everything I do.  My world is so blank without you. I struggle to find the light. Doc is my light. Lurch is my light. Mom & Dad give me light. But your light, the brightest light there was, is gone.  You. Are. Gone.

I struggled going to sleep last night because last year at this time I didn’t know what I would be waking up to but this year, this year I knew I’d be waking up without you. So, sleep did not come easily and waking up this morning did not come easy either.  It seems like it all happened yesterday.  Hearing you shout my name, even though we lived in different houses & you had already left us. Getting that awful phone call. Feeling my world crashing down around me. Calling Doc to come back to me. Screaming at Jesus to just bring you back.  Breathe life into you again. The hospital, Doc catching me before I hit the floor, the doctors, the investigators. Leaving the hospital, Dawna racing to my side, explaining to everyone what happened. Having to call mom and dad & say words that will forever haunt them. The true bearer of bad news. I can feel all of the pain, the sadness, as if I am living those days again. 

I take solace in the knowledge that you are at true peace. You soul is at rest. You are home. I will continue walking through this life while longing for the eternal life I am promised, with you & our Lord. I long for that day to come. To be with you again. To be in Heaven with you, next to you. A true homecoming.

I love you, Ryan. I miss you more & more each day. Until I see you again…Fly High, Ryguy. ❤

-Your Chessie

Who Am I?

Dear Ryan,

The clock seems to be speeding towards March 16th, the one year anniversary of you gaining your wings. I feel as if an elephant is sitting upon my chest, only allowing small breaths to escape my lungs. I find peace in Doc’s arms.  I find peace when my mind allows me to sleep.  The rest of the time, I feel hollow. As the days get closer to that one year mark, it seems I’m losing pieces of myself.  Smiles are forced. Laughter doesn’t happen. I’m just here, no emotion. I could sleep for days. Grief is exhausting. I’m climbing and climbing up the mountain of grief with no end in sight.  It’s almost as if I’ve been stuck in the eye of storm, waiting for the wind to begin to pick up, waiting for rain to start pouring down. I’m not sure what to expect next Thursday.  I’m thinking about taking off work. Does that make me weak? I fight that thought a lot. Does me crying over nothing make me weak? Does having zero will to do anything make me weak? That’s how I feel…weak.

I’m not blaming you for my pain.  I’m not. I blame heroin.  I blame addiction. Heroin stole you from me. Heroin robbed me of my brother.  Heroin robbed me of possible nieces and/or nephews.  Heroin robbed me of a relationship that was supposed to last a lifetime. You’re in peace.  I know that.  You’re no longer struggling. I know that too. That does not make my heart better.  You’re not hear to talk to, to laugh with, to reminisce with.

I struggle daily and at the end of the day, when I’ve made it through, I look back and smile at the strength I have.  Because no matter what, the clock keeps ticking.  I struggle to figure out who I am without you here.  I’ve been your sister for 22 years and now, suddenly, I’m expected to learn how to be me without you.  What does that person look like? I just don’t know.

You’re always with me, I know that. You’re in every decision I make, every thought I have. I truly live for you. & I will continue living for you.  I wish I could make the words I write have as much meaning as they are designed to have.  I miss you with every part of me. But those words don’t seem to convey the true emotion behind them. Truth is, there is no words to truly describe the pain and emptiness I am left with. So, one foot at a time, one breath at a time.  “Left foot, right foot, breathe.”

With all my heart,

-Your Chessie