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  • Rebecca

Good Grief

I am the baby. That's me in the corner peeking out like a Norman Rockwell picture. For 48 years, that was my identity; my own special space that no one else could claim. I was adored, loved, babied, not taken seriously, told I was beautiful, and treasured every single day of those 48 years. To the very end of my reign, I was called Baby Sister, Angel, Pumpkin, Precious Baby Girl or simply just Baby rather than my real name. Last December, that all changed.

My story starts on February 8, 1970. I was born the youngest of 6 kids to my mom and dad, who were quite surprised by my arrival. They had just become grandparents and, although young grandparents, were not planning on having any more children. My mom used to tell me that God's greatest blessings are the ones you never planned or expected. That was my mom. She was love and the center of our world.

I had 4 brothers and 1 sister. Actually I have 2 sisters, but that's a story for another day. My immediate family of origin included only 1 beautiful, kind precious sister and 4 big brothers who doted on me and made me feel safe wherever I went. My Daddy was quiet and reserved and spoiled me to the point of not even having to put gas in my own car when I started driving. It all sounds like a wonderful dream. The reality is, that is all it is now.....a wonderful, painful, priceless recurring dream that plays over and over in my mind.

They are all gone. Every. Single. One.

And it hurts so beautifully. The stories of laughing till we cried, the huge family Christmases, the summer vacations....all of it so painful and yet so priceless. I will never let them go, even though it hurts to hold on to them. For that is how grief is ugly and beautiful and soul-crushing and healing. It is so, so good to have loved so much and yet the grief....the good, good grief, cleanses my soul when it shows up. It is a priceless treasure reminding me of how deeply I was loved.

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