Friday, November 12, 2010

Dad and Konie's Visit

I feel like most people who read this blog know that my Mom passed away almost three years ago. She had ovarian cancer. I am finding that I go through periods of time where I miss her more than others. I'll bounce through months just fine--being reminded of her occasionally, missing her at big events, but grounded with the greater realization that she is happier and healthier now than all of us down here on earth. However, I also go through periods where she seems to be everywhere--a mis-glance in a mirror and I think I see her, she frequents my dreams, and any big event that occurs seems unbearable without her to share it. I am just coming out of one of these latter periods.

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I don't know what triggered it. Maybe it was all the stress of moving out here and making several life-altering decisions in a row? Maybe it was because we read Same Kind of Different as Me on our drive out here, and it stirred so many memories of the times when Mom was sick? Or maybe I'm just always going to go through these times, and this was one of them. It's always small things that hit the hardest, like Mrs. Linda buying me a new sweater and my immediate thought being, "I can't wait to show this to Mom, she's going to love it!" And then the crashing remembrance that I can't show it to her. Or getting the girls settled in a new school and missing our phone calls where she would listen and agree to ad-nauseum to every teeny little fear or hurt feeling. Or planning the girls birthday party and longing to share the details with her.
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So, in that state, I was feeling a little nervous about my Dad and Konie's visit. Konie is my Dad's new wife. She lost her husband (who was an orthopedic surgeon just like Jeremiah, side note) to cancer a few years ago and is probably the most genuinely sweet person I have ever met.
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She has a child-like heart and love of life,
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And she loves my girls so endearingly (sending balloon messages to God).

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Most of all, she and my Dad are happy together, and I (as a daughter) have the peace of knowing he is not alone.

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While all those statements are true, and I feel them to my core, sometimes it is still. hard. It just is. I wish I could blame some fault in Konie, but I can't. She, in all truth, does everything right. She has jumped into our lives and been a supporter and a helper, without stepping over any boundaries. She is easy and fun to be around, and I know I could call her and she would be there for me, no matter what. So what in the world is still hard???!

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I think I figured it out asI said goodbye to her. I think the lingering problem is my loyalty (insert stubborn, pig-headedness, but I'm going to use loyal because it sounds a lot nicer :)). There are people from HIGH SCHOOL, that still make my insides recoil if I run into them. You know why? Because they cheated on, or hurt the feelings of, or said something nasty about...one of my dear friends. It was like I pegged them a mortal enemy from that moment on. A lot of times, I can't even remember what they DID, but I just know it was something bad. Now, we're talking high school bad, so GET OVER IT PSYCHO-PATH (which is what my husband very rightly says to me if I ever make the mistake of telling him). I have had moments, when people hurt my family members, that I have questioned my propensity for murder. Don't you hope your kid is the bully in my kid's class at school?! :)

I think you get the point; I am pretty loyal. As I hugged Konie good-bye I felt like my Mom whispered in my ear, "It's Ok to love her, Abby. It's O.K." And that was it. I needed to know it was Ok--that I wasn't being dis-loyal to my Mom by embracing my Dad's new wife. What felt like an inherent need to protect and serve my Mom was misplaced. In reality, Konie is protecting and serving Mom by taking care of the man who was most precious in her life. And it is Ok to love her, even if it were only for that.

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26 comments:

Brooke @ Blueprint Bliss said...

What a sweet, sweet post. I am sure it is hard... but also so great to see your dad happy!

Wanting What I Have said...

Abby, reading this brought me to tears. I am so proud of you. I cannot imagine how hard this has been and still is. You amaze me.

Darby said...

Oh Abby... I'm balling my eyes out. I love you, your mom, Konie and your dad... you are so wonderful with your words! I hope this post was so therapeutic for your sweet soul. I know it was good for mine!!

The Marsh's said...

I have been following your blog for quite some time. I usually do not comment, but that was so eloquently put, I just had to say so. I hope that getting it "on paper" helps you to continue to work through what must be such a confusing thing! Well done.

Susannah said...

Beautiful post and thank you for pouring out your heart to us. I cannot even imagine how hard it is for you that your mom is gone! I'm glad that you like Konie so much and I'm glad your dad has somebody to spend the rest of his life with.

Nancy said...

I didn't know about your Mom ~ mainly because I don't "know" you -but I am crying my eyes out for you! I think you are so unselfish to love her & see that your Mom would be happy that your Dad is happy. Konie looks like a sweet lady! And it shows how much she & your Dad love each other in these pictures!
Blessings to you!

Anonymous said...

As I'm typing I am crying...such a beautiful, thoughtful and soul bearing post. I pray you continue to find peace even knowing you will never stop missing your mom. I'm sure your Dad knows this is not an easy time for you. Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Anonymous said...

i know how you feel and you said it beautifully.

Bonnie McAllister said...

You write so beautifully and the pixs are truly spectacular. But to be totally shallow, I LOVE Konie's hair (and yours). The best to all your family. I have never commented on any blog before but this one inspired me.

Elaine said...

I am crying so hard right now! I can't even imagine what it feels like to be in this position, but to me, it sounds exactly like what I would be thinking and feeling.
I am friends with Jessica and do love Konie so much, she is a sweetie as was your mom I know! I think you just have to take it moment by moment and cut yourself some slack because of all that's changed. You are so wise beyond your years girl!

Katharina said...

Never had this reading a blog, but now ...tears are running down my cheeks.
You described your feelings in an honest and beautiful way at the same time. Thank you for sharing!

Konie said...

Thank you sweet Abby.:) I wrote in this comment box many times and erased yesterday afternoon. Because I was sobbing too! I had already had an emotional moment before coming home and then did my usual ("let me see if Abby has written a blog!!" which I do many times a day!!:))))LOL ). WELL...the faucet wouldn't turn off! All in a good way:)) The pictures, your emotions and thoughts...lead to memories:) and tears of compassion and appreciation..... YOu are one amazing young lady :):)!! XOXOXOXO

The Allen Family said...

man, you have a way of putting thoughts into words. just about everyone who has commented on here was brought to tears (and you can now add me to that list).

i love reading your blog because you are so authentic and unafraid to expose your true feelings!! thanks for being so real- it takes much courage and confidence!!!

The McRee's said...

I don't comment very often b/c I found your blog through others, but what a truly genuine and wonderful post. I've read it twice and cried both times. I'm fortunate to have both parents. Thank you for the reminder. You, too, are very blessed.

Lindsey said...

this brought tears to my eyes as well. beautifully written abby... missing you guys.

Kendall Boggs said...

As I'm reading this, I'm sobbing. I'm trying to find the words to say. The only thing that I can think of is that I know in my heart that your mom was talking to me when I introduced them. She said "Kendall, it's okay, this is a good person for Ken" I just know it. And I think she was right. Your dad is happy, and I am so glad you are happy for them. I love you sweetie!
kendall

Taylor Cleveland said...

Good one Abby :) Love yall and I plan to figure out the english delivery fiasco this week... Maybe the girls will have them by Christmas???!

mitzi said...

Wow! Now that you have ruined my makeup:) as a friend to all you, your parents and Bill and Konie, I agree with your emotions. What a healthy way to work through changes you have no control over. Konie understands. Becky and Bill are so in another realm we cannot fathom. I see each of them everywhere. Saban reminds me of Bill and that would do Bill in:) War Eagle. Your mom is everywhere. And in you as you plan a girl pirate party, dress in her dress for book club, etc. On a less serious note: Go #51!
love and hugs

Gail said...

This one is beyond special. What a sweet, loving, kind daughter, and daugther-in-law you are. Your heart is so pure. Konie, is so lucky that she has you in her life, too. I am so sure she knows how special Y'all are as a family. I am sure you know, too, how lucky you are to be in her family! Not many can say such, Abby. Blending a family is not easy. And, Konie, too, lost her love and now has gained another one. I feel sure both her husband and your Mom are looking down from heaven and saying...."GOOD JOB"!!!! Just enjoy loving them all. For God is love! This one was soooooo special.

Kellie said...

As always, you are one amazing little lady! Thanks again for sharing your heart. Life is not easy. Jesus never said it would be, but he commands us to to do one main thing, LOVE.

Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) said...

Gorgeous photos! Love how open, honest, and eloquent you are in your blog posts.

deidre martin booker said...

abby, this is the sweetest post, i found your blog from darby's but konie is a dear friend of our's and my husband and jeremiah were in med school together. (he is an orthopedist too, following in dr. bill's footsteps) i love your honest way of writing and beautiful pictures. also, i've gotten to know your dad over the months and he is one of the nicest people i've ever met! so sweet to my kids- which steals my heart! have a wonderful merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Hi Abby, just clicked over here from Darby's blog and read your last few posts. This one has me releasing some pent up tears, feels good in a strange kind of way. My dad passed away a year and half ago, we just moved from Texas to Atlanta, so I relate so much w/your words. My parents were married for 47 years and I can't imagine my mom w/anyone else. Lately, I've had the thought - it could happen. The thought of it brings me to such a raw place. I can only imagine what the complex emotions involved. Konie looks like a wonderful person and I loved how you shared your feelings. THANK YOU.
Dena

Susan said...

Abby, I am a reader of Darby's blog and stumbled on to yours today. Thank you so much for sharing your heart in this post. I recently married a man after 12 years of widowhood. His wife died 3 years ago, and your post helped me to understand so much. Thank you for daring to be transparent.

melvin said...

Dear Abby,Tina and I are very close friends of Konnie's Parents,Stanley and Mary Owen, Fayetteville,NC. Your post of Nov.12 was so beautifully written to express your sincere feelings,I felt compelled to write this.
We've been friends with the Owen's for about 50 years and have shared our family lives. The tragic period of Bill's cancer and finally demise. Konnie's struggle to be mother and father. We were elated when we heard of Konnie and Ken's relationship and marriage.
We've met Ken on their journey to NC and we found Ken to be such a nice and loving person. Both families have been blessed by this union.
Thank you for your open and heartfelt reflection on your emotions and how you have survived all the turmoil in all your lives.
Your expression of love, understanding, compassion etc. has warmed our hearts.
As I read your post and thought of this Christmas Season, I was reminded of God's Love given to us through His Son, Jesus Christ, and remembered how important family is to God in all our lives.
Thank you again, and may God bless you and your family this Christmas and through the years ahead.
Tina and Hugh Powell

Michele said...

Abby, I'm really new to your blog. I'm not really sure how I ended up here. I started following because I saw you lived in Seattle. I'm from Texas, but after I graduated from college I took a temporary job there and fell in love with the city. I lived on NE 45th St. just across from UW and not far from U Village. When that job was complete, I moved back to Texas and met a guy, fell in love, got married and now we have two little boys. I've been reading through your posts and this post just seemed to let me get to know you more. I know I'm new, but I appreciate you sharing such a heartfelt and personal part of your life with us. This was so moving. Thanks for allowing us to follow along on the journey.