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Ember

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 Joshua 1:9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."
I cannot believe I have now existed for a year of my life without my mom. It still doesn't feel real, and yet it is the reality of my life. That day and so many of the days that followed are seared into my brain unlike any other life experience. I woke up to a "call me when you wake up" text from my dad. I already knew. I called him and the sorrow, heartbreak, and devastation in his voice destroyed me. His final words before we ended the call "BJ go to school, Bianca go to work." I spent the rest the rest of day doing not much else but answering when people asked my why I was at school "because my told me to go." We sat on my bed crying, and crying, and crying, and holding hands, and crying until I had to throw up. Time came, and I had class so I put on clothes, put my headphones in…

A Life Well Loved - Eulogy for Mom

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10/5/19Dear Mommy, You are loved. We love you. I love you. You have lived a life well loved. That sentiment of a life well-loved is two-fold. You have been someone who has adored others with a love that can only be described as extraordinary, and been one to have been surrounded by love for all of your days. You were the embodiment of love. You were love exemplified. You were pure love in human form. What a grand gift it was to love and to be loved by you. Your love has been indescribable yet powerful beyond compare. Your love has been transcendent while being grounded. Your love has been everlasting even when we thought it would end. Your love, your love, your love, has changed the world, your world, our world, my world.Mother to all, this life well-loved is represented by the number of people here and around the world thinking about you in this moment. Your impact is immeasurable. What you meant to people cannot be emphasized enough. How you made people feel is something that will st…

Departure

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 "There are times when explanations, no matter how reasonable, just don't seem to help." Fred Rogers Living with loss is a devastating way to live. I wake up every single morning and say my mom's name aloud. Adjoa. Just for me. I roll over and look at her picture and smile. I still feel the last time she held my hand, and every time she did. If I cry to the point that I panic I hold my own hand and imagine it's her holding my hand. It's constantly reliving that truth that she had to go, that she had to leave. How could she ever leave me? The way I feel, and by that I mean specifically how I do my process of feeling, has changed in profound ways. I am a radically different person and how that's not apparent to the world is a mystery to me. It's just beneath the surface. It's always there. I am marked by loss. My spirit is dimmer. It just hurts so much. There's so much pain. There's so much emptiness. There's so much quiet. It's alway…

Evergreen

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"Often when you think you're at the end of something, you're at the beginning of something else." Fred Rogers
Relationship in all its forms are about choice - intentional choice to be in community, to remain in connection, and to maintain contact. Relationships means to choose someone over, and over, and over again - time after time, without fail. When we do don’t choose people that is us effectively losing them, whether it be through choosing others, or permitting a conscious/unconscious uncoupling. Either way choice has to be an active decision, one that requires effort, sustainment, and commitment. Choice must be demonstrated. Choice must be renewed periodically. Choice must be refreshed consistently. Choice is personal. It's individual, nuanced, and specific. When we choose without gravity, sincerity, or gumption, those are the choices that are easiest to give up on. When we choose without the full force of our hearts, spirits, and souls there is not enough su…

Flinch

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"Trust yourself. You’ve survived a lot, and you’ll survive whatever is coming." Robert Tew
Knowing ourselves is one of the great mysteries of life. There is always and always more to uncover about who we are and who we believe ourselves to be. The reconciliation of those two makes for a challenge of lifelong proportions. As we have new experiences all of our past, our processing of said past, and the progress we have made since come together to inform our present selves. I have spent much of my adult life bracing for impact. I am just waiting in perpetual flinch for something to happen. I am wincing for a pain that I know inevitably will come. It's odd to live such a bright life with the conditioning that darkness is almost always just over the horizon. Call it pessimistic but I call it pragmatic. There have been so many moments of joy that were interrupted by heaviness that directly called me to attention. 
One text message, a phone call, a tweet, and on, and on. Whether …

Catalyst

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"Painful as it may be, a significant emotional event can be the catalyst for choosing a direction that serves us - and those around us - more effectively. Look for the learning."  Louisa May Alcott
We are all the main characters of our own life stories. What happens when we're not quite the protagonist and instead overrun by the supporting cast, the "Big Bad" villains, or the pervasive locale as its own character? We must be central to our own narratives AND we have to get out of own stories to realize that every single person has a story just as complex, full, and nuanced as ours. That's a bit difficult to wrap our heads around. If we are the center of our solar system with overlapping components from other celestial bodies then everyone else is also positioned as the center to their own galaxy and universes. How do we depart from our home star base to visit those of others around us? What does it take for us to get out of our own heads and to send out a sea…

After

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"Real strength has to do with helping others." Fred Rogers

Cannot believe I'm writing my annual birthday blog post. What a year it has been. What a year it really has been. What a year it has been. This has been the worst year of my life, and there's no spinning it. The loss was too great. The impact was too pervasive. The devastation was too life-changing. It's so challenging to properly weigh the scales on evaluating the most surreal year of my life. My mom passed away. Everything in my head is organized into the before, and then there's the after. It's the jumping off point. It's the reset. If there's no acknowledgement of that, there's nothing for us to talk about. Everything from that morning (5:03AM) forward has been different. Everything from that point on is just the aftermath of the biggest heartbreak of my lifetime to date. 
Everything is just the falling action from a climax that should have never came. How could this be my life story…