Lucid dreams by night often become blurry by dawn, and the light of a new day often intercepts whatever may have lingered, transforming those night time visions into fleeting daydreams—sometimes comforting, sometimes not so much… It is often in the stillness of night that I envision all the things I would like to do, and it becomes so clear in those moments how to go about accomplishing it. Sleep eventually overtakes me, and when morning comes, it is usually only with great effort that I am able to peel back the blankets from my night time reprieve. Any grandiose plans from the night before are instantly swept away by the harsh realities of my current “condition.”

Anyone who has ever experienced acute grief understands well—the physical and mental impact is tremendous. Grief is not just an emotional ride. There is an innate sense within us that desires to live and thrive, but it is simultaneously immersed in a great, debilitating fog that can feel all-consuming and never-ending. We are in many ways left at its mercy.

As I headed out to work last weekend, I had a parallel experience to what I just described, in a very literal way… From the bottom of the mountain things were quite dark, and as I ascended higher, the fog grew thicker. I was certain that by the time I got to the top, visibility would be zero!

I am very accustomed to driving in this kind of weather, so it did not faze me much. However, part of me was thinking, “Why the heck am I doing this?!!! I could be home in bed, cuddled-up next to my little boy right now. What is the purpose of me venturing out before the sun even comes up, and deliberately driving into the storm?” As these thoughts circled through my mind, I also tried to focus on the resolution I had made nearly five years ago to keep pressing on in spite of my broken heart.

I settled into a comfortable, slow pace as I eased up the mountain. After all, it was no different than a super dense, foggy day riding. There was nothing to be afraid of—just go slower. I could still see immediately in front of me. I might be late for work, but I knew I would at least arrive safely.

As the fog continued to close in on me, my concentration heightened. I had no fear, and I was confident all would be well… I hunkered down and let my mind sink into its safe place—similar to the cozy blankets from whence I had just unraveled myself! Experience has taught me that all storms eventually pass.

And pass it did… In an instant it seemed the fog was below me, and I was nearly blinded by the clear blue sky that embraced me fully on the uphill side. It was a grand moment, and I was reminded once again that God is good.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ >>> Fast forward a couple of weeks…

On the eve of Josie’s five year death anniversary, the fog has suddenly crept into my path once more… but will there be light and warmth and comfort on the other side this time?!!! I pray to God it will be so. At the time of writing this, I am in utter disbelief and shock…

My mind and heart have been shattered anew, for this very night I received the visitors at my front door that no Marine mom ever wishes to receive… My Julian gave me strength and courage to keep going when he was just a wee babe, throughout his life he has given me courage to do things I had never dreamed possible, and now he has inspired us all to keep going in the discouraging glare of misfortune and defeat time and time again—he has been this family’s rockstar since his beloved sister, Josie, died. My mind and heart are beyond numb and feeling…

My sweetheart…. my precious son… my hero… I would to God that this were just a bad dream, and in the morning the sun might shine brightly and warm, but it is not to be so. That the good Lord might have a few drops of miracle dust to sprinkle around this home, because nothing less will get us through this thick, dark mess…

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