Weather Patterns

By Molly Bice-Jackson - 6:55 AM

Spring in Park City is a real doozie. Sometimes I'm afraid to talk about it because it makes me so mad. And I DO NOT want to hear a peep from anyone in Arizona or California or anywhere warm and wonderful. (Oh, wait, that would be anywhere but here). Just keep it to yourselves. Come see me in mid-July and then we can talk. Let's just say I'm beginning to wonder if living here is really worth it. But I digress...

What happens when its mid-May and snowing, is that I become confused. I start thinking, "Goodbye Autumn, here comes winter". And then I have to remind myself that we're actually heading towards Summer and that I'm just experiencing a temporary Spring storm. A surge of hope runs through me and I realize long days of green and sunshine are around the corner-- At which point I start feeling much better.

So how do you handle things when it really is the end of the fall season? I hold my breath the entire winter long and pretend it isn't happening. Truly, I do. I just ignore it and hope it goes away.

And all this weather business got me thinking about the day the earth truly did stand still for me two years ago. And the subsequent weather patterns that have followed.

That day was May 18, 2008. There are no words to describe it. My vocabulary is pitifully small and limited, but even with the wits of Shakespeare or the brilliance of Louisa May Allcott, I could not pen an inkling of the immobilizing agony that was born that day. It has been by my side ever since and I can beckon it whenever I please. Never have I had a more faithful companion. And with the latest weather pattern of my grief, that agony is resurfacing as anger. I'm mad. Really mad. So mad that I am turning inward for the first time in my journey. I'm tired of talking about it. I'm tired of trying to figure it out. I'm tired of it all. I struggle with hearing about another birthday for another princess, another birth of a first-born baby girl. I want to say, "Oh, how wonderful! And in two years she will die and you'll bury her in the cold, hard ground. Have fun!" I'm angry. I'm finally angry. Perhaps I'm a late bloomer. But this 2 year mark is really doing me in. I bravely made it through the first year. I got to that point and thought, "I made it this far, I can do it."

But the second year. It just sucks.

Lucy would be four in a few weeks. FOUR. I would have a four year old! My flesh and blood. My blonde beauty. Her body is in the ground. Her brother does not get to play with her. My husband will be forty in a few years and his oldest living child will be three.

Winter has a full hold on my heart.

AND THEN...

There are signs of Spring. There are signs of hope. But let me tell you, they are hard to hold on to.

Vic says he looks at it like we've run a marathon. Not everyone does that. But we have. My debilitating problem is that I want people at the finish line to cheer me on, pat my back, give me hugs, tell me I am brilliant and amazing for completing such a daunting task. Otherwise, I feel running it is in vain. But I have to run it regardless of the praise on the other end. I have to hold my own, prove my strength, and endure to the end. And at times, it is a very lonely, challenging road.

When the weather gets cold and dreary, I walk and grumble and complain about the cold. When a surge of hope bursts through the clouds, I pick my feet up and pick up the pace.

Right now I am shutting my eyes to the reality of the winter. Holding my breath. Waiting for it to pass.

Lucy's death has defined me. I think it will define me for the rest of my life. I don't think that's a bad thing. It is just a huge, enormous, bigger- than- myself thing. It haunts me, it teaches me, it refines me, it traumatizes me, it shapes me, it wears on me, it angers me, it enlightens me.

What's the weather like in your neck of the woods?




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46 Loving Lines

  1. Be mad, Molly. Be mad.

    I wish I could come over there and play the piano for you so you could just sing and sing and sing and get all that stuff out of you.

    You're amazing. You really are. I would never have come as far as you have in the same circumstance. Honest. I don't think I would have.

    Go punch some stuff.

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  2. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your wonderful family on this difficuly (I know that is not a strong enough word) day. Please know their are many people who are praying for you especially today.

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  3. You know what, Tiffany. You just made me cry...because I would love that. I need that. It would end with me in a soggy heap on the floor, but in the end I would feel better.

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  4. Molly, I can't believe it's been two years. The picture of you lying next to Lucy brings tears to my eyes as I'm writing this. Memories of my own daughter and lying next to her; and me... I was scared to death of the unknown. What would happen? When would it happen? You will be in many people's thoughts this week.

    My Niece wrote about you on her new "Mothering" blog: http://livinginthemotherhood.blogspot.com/

    Hugs to you

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  5. 2 years Molly. 2 years. You have made it through 2 years of loneliness. 2 years of pain and grief. I cannot pretend to imagine. You DO deserve a crowd at this mark of your marathon to support you - to hold up signs - to love you - to buoy you up. You are amazing.
    And... I hope that Springtime & Summer do overwhelm and take hold of your landscape - and your HEART.
    We love you.

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  6. Molly-
    I'm so sorry you have to endure this. The year marks are hard, sad, and lonely. Unfortunately anger is part of the emotions we have to work through. Life is not fair and sucks sometimes and it really does when we have to live with out one of our children. So, be angry and let it out, it is okay. We all reach that point in the journey and it doesn't make you any less of a person. You are amazing and wonderful and have helped so many of us other angel mom's, especially me. :)

    Sending Love!
    Jen- Angel Kamber's Mom

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  7. I'm not going to try to relate as someone who has lost a child, because I haven't, but I can relate as one who has given birth to a child and loved every ounce of their tiny being.

    Molly, I have been praying for you and Vic and literally cheering you on in your journey of pain ever since I've heard your story. I feel angry for you and with you. No I don't know what you are going through and feeling. I don't understand how your heart must ache, but I (along with many others) am sending you love.

    I hope you can feel it.

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  8. My heart aches for you guys. But, because of your loss I am a better mom. If I ever have a hard day with the kids I think about your little Lucy and you and think about what you would give to be able to hold her close to you on this earth again. I then hold my daughter and son even closer and give them an extra tight squeeze for you and your Lucy. Just thought you might like to know! kisses and hugs to you Molly!

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  9. To be completely honest, I don't understand how you walk and talk and breathe every day. I really don't. I wouldn't have the strength. I'm sure I would have curled up in a ball never to be seen again.

    I was shocked that the world kept turning when my little girl was sick. I'll tell you there hasn't been a day gone by where I don't remember that there are babies struggling and babies losing struggles *right now*, today.

    Being angry is allowed. My goodness, as far as I'm concerned you're allowed to be anything you need to be in order to live and function for your little boy and husband.

    I think of Lucy often.

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  10. molly, i think of you and lucy often and ache and cry for you often... especially on this day. and you ARE brilliant and amazing and you will continue to be so. loves and hugs to you.

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  11. My Dear Molly,

    I am so very sorry. I felt very similarly when we went through our two-year anniversary.

    The first year felt like an accomplishment that we had survived that long. It was a relief to reach the milestone.

    But the second one was painful. So painful. Largely forgotten by everyone else in the world, and very lonely (Angels Among Us was started soon thereafter).

    The third one was much better. We went to the temple and it ended up being a very peaceful day. Even with our additional losses swirling around us, I remember feeling peace that day.

    This year we are approaching our fourth anniversary, and so far I feel more denial than anything else. It cannot really have been this long. It just can't! Memories are fading... and I hate having to struggle to remember.

    I don't know how we can manage to experience so many more anniversaries until we see our little ones again. But we will make it. We Will!

    I want you to know that I am grateful to you and that you have helped me more than you can ever know. Sometimes I come to your blog just to see the phrase "There is hope smiling brightly before us." I know Heavenly Father did not leave us here alone. You don't have to go through this alone. I, too, am sending you my love today.

    P.S. It is overcast and drizzling here. The Heavens are crying with you today, too.

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  12. Miss Molly...
    I sure do think about you a bunch. I am sorry the marathon is continuing... we will keep the cheers coming along with pats on the back as you leap over the tall hurdles.

    weather here...
    yesterday
    92 degrees and sunny
    today's high
    82 degrees with light clouds and wind.

    ToOdLeS.

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  13. Molly, you voice your pain beautifully. I hope you know you will always have friends cheering you on ... no matter how long it takes, no matter how high the peaks, how low the valleys, we pray for you, and we are proud of you, Vic and Lucy's little brother Peter. Hugs to you, my friend

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  14. Rage seems appropriate, and I don't think you will ever stop feeling it, at least occasionally. Along with all of those other feelings you mentioned.

    I haven't lost a child, though I've come close more than once. The only person really close to me that I've lost is my father. I do feel his presence very strongly at times. I do feel like he is available to me, spiritually, when I need him to be.

    I love this ee cummings poem:

    "i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
    my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
    i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
    by only me is your doing,my darling)
    i fear
    no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
    no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
    and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
    and whatever a sun will always sing is you

    here is the deepest secret nobody knows
    (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
    and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
    higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
    and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

    i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)"

    I know. It's a romantic poem, but I use it generically. In fact, every member of my family has a bracelent with the words on it, "I carry your heart."

    And that is how I keep my dad with me, in a way that truly helps fill the hole left by the absence of his physical presence. I just carry him with me. Inside.

    I know that's what you do with Lucy, too.

    And sometimes, it's okay to be angry that you have to do it that way, for a season.

    Hugs.
    =)

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  15. Molly,

    Be mad and be angry. It's ok to feel those feelings. I spent two years "handling" my own son's death and the third year -- I got mad and angry. I felt that way for quite awhile and then it was gone and everything was ok. I still miss Nathan - but I'm ok. You too will be ok! It's part of the healing process. You are in my prayers today.

    Rachel (Cherie Call Hall's friend)

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  16. i just realized why i have been thinking about you for the past couple days. and why i kept going back and forth about sending you a funny email story or not. finally i sent it and then came and read your blog. i hope you have good, cleansing anger. and i hope your weather clears- and that your bright sun shines for you from heaven.

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  17. i love you.
    you are indeed a champion as you run this marathon.
    hugs.

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  18. The last picture you posted here....it really got to me.

    I really appreciate how you share your life in such an open and honest way.

    I pray that the comfort of the Holy Ghost will continue by your side - today and always.

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  19. I hear ya, Miss Molly.
    My heart calls these the January Days. You will weather this storm and the next because you are a warrior.
    I just love you so much.

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  20. Hi Molly:
    You've reduced me to tears yet again and I thank you. It's healthy to feel our feelings and I'm not good at it. I feel your anger and it makes me cry. Whatever form your anger takes, it's real and it's strong, and I hope you embrace it and let it go. I bet Lucy is angry too. Not at you, but at having to wait so long to be with you again. I bet Lucy is furious, but surrounded by so much love, and so much understanding that she doesn't pay too much attention to her anger too often.

    The 'running of a race' as your life, is a wonderful metaphore. How exciting that when you cross the finish line of life your precious daughter will be there to tell you that you ran an amazing race, and that she has been cheering you on all this time, patting your back, giving you hugs and telling you how brilliant you are for having completed such a daunting task. She might even ask you if you recognized that she was right beside you in spirit as you ran, and if you felt those angel hugs.

    Being in an atheist family I don't belong to anyone, but Lucy belongs to you and Vic and Peter and always will. She is yours and you are hers, only she's not here right now. My goodness who wouldn't be angry?

    Good for you Molly. Good for you for acknowledging what you feel and addressing it. Thank you for teaching all of us who will never truly understand your loss and pain, but can apply the lessons you've learned and shared to our lives in whatever form it takes.

    Love and blessings,
    Jan

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  21. Love you so much. Miss you so much. Will hopefully see you and meet Peter in June when I am home for vacation?

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  22. I always have a hard time expressing to you how my heart feels about sweet Lucy and the pain you must feel. I think... I KNOW that is because I haven't lived it.

    But Molly, regardless of that, you amaze me. I think of you constantly - interestingly enough, my thought goes directly to you every 22nd day of the month. I think it's Lucy way of helping me remember her and you and Vic and Peter and your struggle. Remembering her at least once a month over the past two years reminds me of the change the tragedy brought to my life.

    You have handled this with such grace thus far... I think anger is more than okay, sweet friend. You don't need me to tell you it's okay, I know.

    I love you so much. You are one of my heroes. I mean that.

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  23. Your honesty in this has always been courageous and even enlightening. I certainly don't think it's fair, but at the same time that unfairness doesn't haunt me and beat me up daily. All I can say is I'm sorry. While I know it's not possible, I really wish there was some way for each of us to take just a little piece of that grief and hold it for you, somehow just enough so that you didn't feel it all the time...but not so much that you forgot completely. And when it became just too much--even the smallest weight of it--you could hand it over completely to someone else who could 'grief-sit' for a couple days while you recouped. {Technically, I know that's possible through the Lord, but in reality I'm not sure how the spiritual mathematics on that one works.} Love to you, Vic, Lucy and Peter.

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  24. The worst thing about winter is that it isn't a once in a lifetime season. I truly wish I could say it was.

    You met me a year and a half ago, on Stephanies blog, in my second winter.

    There are springs for me, when I have hope, and am so grateful for my faith in Eternal families, and the gospel.

    But the summer, where I am now, is when I can say her name and not immediately tear up. When I can think about her and wonder what she would be like now. When I can miss her without spiraling into that void that consumes me.

    But the winters...I too hold my breath and wait for it to pass. They are long dark voids in my life, and jut thinking about them is enough to make the thunderclouds gather overhead.

    I live for the summer.

    I'm sorry you are in the winter right now. {{{Hugs}}} Here is a yellow, with white polka dots, parasol to hold over your head to remind you that the sunshine is there, just waiting for the clouds to clear. The best thing about winter is that it doesn't last forever. Sometimes just knowing that is the only way I can get through it.

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  25. I am still cheering for you! :) much, much love!!!

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  26. LOVE YOU GUYS. The calendar becomes so much more conscious to me around this time of year. Although I don't have anything written in (except Vic's bday) each day, especially the 22nd, means something to me. I'm sure you're reliving each day's pains as well.

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  27. I am standing in the Warm Arizona Sun with my pom poms cheering for you and sending you some sunshine!!!

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  28. Molly and Vic--

    You are brilliant and amazing for completing such a daunting task.

    And "daunting task" hardly captures what you've been through.

    So "brilliant and amazing" need exponents behind them.

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  29. I came across your blog about a yr. ago and cried and cried. Your Lucy has touched my heart forever. I can't imagine what you have gone through. I lost my father just a few wks. shy of my 17th birthday. Like you I will never forget the details of that experience. I remember everything from what I was wearing to what he looked like on life support. I am now happily married and have two kids. A girl and a boy like you. However, grief has changed me. I don't cry everyday or even every wk. but at moments my fear consumes me. It has been six yrs since my Dad has been gone and for the most part I am whole again but there will always be a piece of me that aches. Don't feel guilty about your anger. Grieve fully, you are a mama and you lost your daughter. That is not ok! I know that would not be ok with me. I believe in life after death and I know I will see my Dad again. I believe you will see your Lucy again but it still hurts. As long as your anger and grief isn't interfering with your reality than DO IT! They say time heals all wounds and I say CRAP! With time pain lessens but it does not entirely disappear and that's ok. We are better and stronger for our pain. I wouldn't want it to completely disappear. GOD BLESS YOU! Please know you are in my prayers and I think you are amazing for facing your feelings so honestly and openly!

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  30. Sweet Molly,

    I don't know how you do it. I would be mad every second of every day. You are such beautiful person inside and out, I love you Molly.

    Hope there will be sunshine tomorrow!

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  31. You don't know me but I think of you sooo often! I think of Lucy often. You amaze me-your strength as well as your honesty! I will come see you in the play because I hope to meet you after and know I will be better because of it. I hope the sun shines soon in Park City-and stays around awhile!

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  32. Beautifully written post Molly. I'm so impressed that you got out of bed today and got dressed and looked so put together and got Peter dressed and came and ate lunch with all of us. I knew that this anniversary was coming up and even knew it was the 18th, but still didn't put two and two together when I saw you today. I wish I'd given you a big hug!

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  33. Just a thought....yesterday I had to sit my little girl down and tell her that Mr. Scott...(her babysitters Next door neighbor who she LOVED) passed away in his sleep. She took it all okay...when it was over and I was about to get up she said... "Mommy, I know why he had to die, he had to go be my guardian angel." I have never explained to her what a guardian angel was. Maybe your sweet Lucy had to go be someones guardian angel too....

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  34. You describe the feelings of grief so perfectly. I ached as I read this post. I ached for you because I remember all too clearly the feelings you are describing. And I ached for me...well, because it has been six years since our first born baby girl, Emily, died. I miss her every day and I want you to know those feelings of anger still pop up occasionally. There are still those days that I "hibernate" and let the world pass me by. Every anniversary is hard for its own reasons. The second one set me back quite a bit in my healing. I had thought that since I had gotten through the first one that I would be okay. I wasn't. I think the reason I wasn't was because at the first one I was simply focused on surviving and the second anniversary made me realize that I had a lifetime of those anniversaries to "get through". Just know that you are not alone and that your feelings are very normal. Allow yourself to feel them.

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  35. I have been thinking about you all week, and I just wanted to know that you are loved. Your blog, your words, your heart and your story have helped me gain a testimony of eternal families and the plan of salvation. Thank you. I'm sorry that it's difficult right now, but it's completely understandable. Know that there are many prayers for you right now and that you and your family are so loved.

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  36. I just found your blog Molly and you are inspiring me. Lucy is absolutely beautiful! I am so sorry for your loss. No one will ever blame you for being angry. It is good to know that you will still get to raise the precious daughter in heaven! you will always be her mother. xoxo

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  37. Cheering you along into spring.

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  38. Hi. My name is Jan and we lost our son just last November. Someone told me about your A Good Grief blog and then I stumbled onto your family blog. And I just have to say thank you for being so real. . . .we are only 6 months into our marathon of a journey and your words have helped me so much. If you ever just want to know that we are here suffering too, but have hope that all will be well, please visit us at www.brianandjansboys.blogspot.com. I know how you feel and I'm mad too! And I hope it will get better!

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  39. I love you Vic & Molly. I'm praying for you.

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  40. Oh Molly. Kisses kisses. I love you to pieces. 2 years sucks. I hate to say it, but it does. I wish there was something I could do. Something I could say. I wish, I wish there was something. It's agonizing to watch you go through the process just as I feel I am emerging. I feel that my weather right now is Spring. I still have snow fall days. But I have had more rain than snow, and more sunshine and warmth than I have felt in 4 years. It's almost like you don't want people to call you strong because you don't want to be strong anymore. It doesn't make sense. Losing a child will never ever make sense. I am sorry for us. I cried as I read your post and knowing how far you have come and how brave you have been and how optimistic you have been has astounded me. I found that I was stuck in the angry phase from year 1 to year 4. It's awful. Go smash some plates. Seriously, it feels really really really good. Love you lots and lots.
    ~Michelle

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  41. Thinking of you at this tender time. You have been amazingly strong, and I love you. I am thankful for the way Lucy has touched my life and how you both (and Vic) have given me inspiration to have grattitude in times of sorrow. Love you.

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  42. I haven't read all of the responses- so forgive me if this has been repeated over and over. Molly- you have every right to be angry. You have every right to be mad. You are a valiant, inspiring lady- you have endured so much, and your feelings are should be validated. I wish I could take away your pain! It is impossible to comprehend how you've endured, but you have. Two years! The weather here has completely sucked lately and plays a huge part with my moods, too. I pray that when the beautiful summer days come, peace and happiness will come, too. Just know you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I pray that Lucy's spirit will be felt near you, to bring you comfort, too.

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  43. Oh Molly, just when we think we are through the worst of it. . .You are in my prayers
    Diana
    Caydin's mom

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  44. Well said, Molly. I, too, feel like I'm running a marathon and nobody knows. I can't believe I didn't check your blog a couple days ago to wear pink on Lucy's Birthday, but you are in my prayers tonight. I am crying and thinking of your family's struggles.

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  45. You don't know me... and I may never get a response from you.. but I have to share what's in my heart. I follow your blog and look at Lucy, and my heart hurts. I long for her FOR you. My daughter is 2, and I love her more than life. I can't help but imagine being in your shoes and missing her. I love your daughter, and I love you. You're amazing and I pray your sweet heart is healed more and more each day. Thank you for sharing and helping me to see what blessings I have. You are in my prayers, sweet Molly. If you are interested, my blog address: http://loesevitzs.blogspot.com

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