Wednesday, July 27

a fallen tree

The babes are all asleep and the house is quiet. The only sounds I hear are the crickets outside the open window, and the clicking of the keys beneath my fingertips. I imagined starting this post with some bullet points about what I've been up to with my little ones lately, with maybe a couple photos out of my archives added in, but that'll all have to come another day. Tonight I have a couple thoughts instead.

There's a great philosophical question to the effect of; "If a tree falls in the woods with no one around to hear it, does it even make a sound?" It's a question about observation and our knowledge of reality if there is no witness to it. Since my sweethearts passing(six weeks ago today), one of my greatest struggles has been feeling like that fallen tree. Wondering to myself that 'if the most important witness to my life is gone, and I'm on my own as a mother to so many small children, what does any of it matter? and do I even matter?'
I know the right answer to those questions of course, and feel silly even typing them, but with each busy day and quiet night, every time I reach for a hand that's no longer there, and every morning waking from sweet dreams only to have my new reality come rushing back at me all over again, I can't help but feel that way.

I do have five little witnesses, though, and they don't let me forget it for a minute:) In their sweet innocence, they see when I'm exhausted and when I put in effort. They notice when I smile and when I cry, they thank me for cooking, and compliment me when I do my hair. It's not quite the same of course, but I'm adjusting all the time. I have to.

Mothering is my life now, my purpose, and that's enough for me.

They need me, and I need them more. No matter how crippled I may feel by Martin's absence, or when I feel like giving up, they've always there to keep me grounded. They've gotten me through so much already. I'm doing it for them, because even when I may have feelings of meaninglessness, they mean everything to me. They're my whole life now, my little pile of children. They hear when I fall, and they're right there to help me back up, along with all of you dears out there:)

How lucky I am.

P.S. Thank you so much for encouraging me to share what's on my heart, and I hope you're okay with many more late-night thoughts like this moving forward. xoxo

69 comments:

  1. i just wondered how Martin was and learned of your sweetheart's passing and read through the last months and just cried and cried for you. i'm so sorry. praying for you to continue to walk in God's strength and know his peace as you walk this new reality without him by your side. from one mom of four young babes, I grieve with you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My situation is different, and how I become a solo parent is different. But I know that feeling, so well. I used to say that solitude is to loneliness what buttered toast is to stale bread. The loneliness is lacking a witness, that warmth and archive of memories between the two of you.

    My oldest is now a preteen. I am continually caught off guard, and blessed, by his observations and memories. We have grown into a closeness that I think was not possible in Our Life Before (as I think of it) and while I'd sometimes wish for what we had, I feel blessed by what now grows. I remember reading Henri Nouwen's writing on the Parable of the Prodigal Son and he said that we are broken and shared as part of our blessing.

    I was broken, but I was shared, but I was, as promised, blessed.

    It has always helped me to write the story of my life, to take the narrative in my own hands and guide the pain and joys into a story of my making. I think that the first step, acknowledging what I feel, and then, countering it with positivity, has allowed me to sustain, thrive, transcend.

    I feel a little silly, I know we've never met but I have been reading (quietly, uncommenting) for a length of time. I wish you well in so many ways. What a hard journey it is sometimes.



    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm glad to be able to read your posts! I lost my husband of 49 years, two months ago, and it comforts me to read them. It helps me to know I'm not alone. I'm continuing to pray for you and your little family also. God bless you.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm another quiet uncommenting reader but I wanted to reach out this time after catching up on your posts to send my love and prayers. I can't imagine any worlds that would help but know you have a whole crowd of people thinking and praying for you. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us, you're a strong inspiring woman, mother, and wife.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great loss takes much time to process. When God permitted it to me, He drew close palpably for years in an odd way. Whenever I'd misplace something, He would have me search very little because He would make my eyes go right to the lost object when entering a new room even if it was mostly hidden under something else. He did this maybe 60 times in ten years but that was whenever I'd lose something. With you I suspect He will appear to you in the children's words and actions but specially so that you know it's Him. Watch for Him...draw near to Him and He will draw near to you. We never talk about how long Mary missed Joseph...isn't that odd.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I can definitely imagine feeling that way. Truth - what you do does matter!! Thanks for posting. <3

    ReplyDelete
  8. Its your blog and we follow it because we are interested in you. Right now, you are being very real and that may put off some people. But there are many like me, that want to stay and read what you have to say even if it is sad or profound and not fluffy bunny happy things. I am glad you have your sweet little ones. Soon I will have one of my own. You inspire me to be a kind parent and to do well by my children even in the face of hard times. Don't forget to take some time for just you. If you can get someone to take the children for a day or two, take them up on it. You never know how exhausting brave face makes you until you don't have to hold it up any more.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sweet Emily, I was thinking of you and praying for you last night. My friend recently lost her brother very unexpectedly and my heart broke for the two of you. I cannot imagine losing someone the way you both have. May you find peace and strength and joy in little things and may you be surrounded by love.

    ReplyDelete
  10. You are teaching your children so many important lessons. You are teaching them that family is the most important thing on this earth. You are teaching them resilience. You are teaching them compassion. You are teaching them my them how to grieve and how to love someone even when they're not there with you. Your children are teaching you the same things. May the Lord bless you all as you go through this valley. I pray that as each day passes you find more strength, more comfort, and more peace.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I think about you and your family almost every day. I hope you can still feel all of us reaching out in a kind of internet "laying of the hands"... you are good, and strong, and courageous. More than you should have to be. We love you and are here for anything you want or need to share. Keep taking care of yourself, one day at a time.

    ReplyDelete
  12. You are an amazing mommy and woman. Sending positive vibes and my prayers to you and your children.

    ReplyDelete
  13. You have such a great purpose...God knew those sweet children would need someone strong, faithful and resilient to lead them through this tragedy...give them love, understanding and strength. God knew Martin would need you as he transitioned into eternity in Heaven. You have done His will in their lives with such grace and continue to do so. For whatever God's purpose was for bringing Martin home so soon, He made sure He placed you there to be the rock. And it's OK to be the rock and feel weak at times too. If we don't feel, then we are nothing. You, Emily, are something, and you are Martin's and those babies' everything. Prayers continue for you and your family...I feel so close to you being that I'm from Twin Falls and went to high school with Marty. Someday maybe we would have the chance to meet when I come visit my family there, but I'm afraid I'd scare you with the big hug I want to give you! Stay strong, Emily. Love and prayers. xo www.morgan-jennifer.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you for sharing, this is beautiful and moving.

    -Stephanie

    ReplyDelete
  15. You are my hero, really and truly.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I recently spoke to someone who said she is extremely close to her siblings because they lost their father at a young age; my Mother in Law and her siblings are also extremely close, which I attribute to losing their Father at a young age.

    There are no words that will lessen your grief or make you feel any better; know that so many people are thinking of you and wishing you peace.

    Share your heart, share what brings you comfort and solace, you don't need our permission, nor anyones permission.

    You matter. Martin matters. Your babes matter. Your story matters. That will never change.

    Peace be with you.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wow this is beautiful. Nothing more true than these words. Your writing gave me chills. Know that you are an incredible light to your children, and they are so blessed to have a mother as intentional as you.
    XO
    Nicole | www.bynicolegeorge.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Emily, I think of you often and am praying for you and your sweet family. I cannot imagine what you must be going though, but please know that you are so incredibly important and what you share is important. You are helping so many get through difficult times as you navigate this heartbreaking time in your life. You have such an important purpose both in your families lives and countless others. Sending love your way.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Emily, thank you so much for your heartfelt words. I have had a very recent loss (a few weeks ago) and it was totally unexpected for our family. As I was trying to process what had happened immediately after the accident, I kept thinking of you and your loss. And as strange as it may sound, it was comforting to know that someone else had lost someone too. I knew that if you could progress and put one foot in front of the other, I could do it too. I feel like just another one of the masses telling you that I love your blog and that it's inspiring and beautiful and fun, but hopefully my little drop of love in your bucket can be helpful in some small way. Thank you for all you've done for us.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Sending you all of my love, my beautiful friend. <3

    ReplyDelete
  21. You are an amazingly strong person. You make me rethink my decision not to have children. Thank you for continuing to share with us <3

    ReplyDelete
  22. I wish you peace . . . and know that others do care very much and want the best for you and your children. I love that you can share your thoughts here . . . you'll look back on it in years to come and be thankful you had them written down . . . even just to realize how far you will have come.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Emily, I have followed you for years but rarely comment. My heart goes out to you. You are such an incredibly strong woman and mother, although it may be difficult now, try to be proud of yourself.
    You have mentioned the love for your followers and how they have provided you on-going support. However, you have provided me such a different perspective. The last year has been so hard, I have lost two sweet babies during pregnancy with a uterus reconstructive surgery to follow. I long for children more than I can express. Following you made me realize how truly grateful and blessed I am. I would like to sincerely thank you for providing me that perspective, as it changed me when I needed that message the most.
    Marissa
    XO

    ReplyDelete
  24. Emily, I have followed you for years but rarely comment. My heart goes out to you. You are such an incredibly strong woman and mother, although it may be difficult now, try to be proud of yourself.
    You have mentioned the love for your followers and how they have provided you on-going support. However, you have provided me such a different perspective. The last year has been so hard, I have lost two sweet babies during pregnancy with a uterus reconstructive surgery to follow. I long for children more than I can express. Following you made me realize how truly grateful and blessed I am. I would like to sincerely thank you for providing me that perspective, as it changed me when I needed that message the most.
    Marissa
    XO

    ReplyDelete
  25. The blessing of children never cease to amaze me. You're never far from my thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  26. "My little pile of children." I love that. From one Emily-from-Idaho to another ... a big hug.

    ReplyDelete
  27. With every word typed and every emotion shared you are defining your purpose. Writing is like therapy (but cheaper). Your words will help others.

    ReplyDelete
  28. This was really beautiful. Thank you for sharing it. I've been thinking about you and how this new life would look for you (even though I don't know you at all). You are right, you might not have a partner on this earth to share things with, but you do have a partner in heaven who is there for you, and God is your witness. God bless you. We are praying for you in our little corner of the world.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Emily, I am in awe of your strength. You are beautiful, truly gorgeous, inside and out. I think of you and your children often. They are so lucky to have you, and I know Martin will live on in their memory because of you.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I'm a fairly new reader, but wanted to thank you for sharing this, and hope you continue to write whatever you find useful. One of the wonderful things about the internet is its potential for creating community between who are geographically far apart, and, in this case, I hope, giving you more loving witnesses to who you are and what you do.

    ReplyDelete
  31. And we are your witnesses too. We are in this forest too, with you. We hear you. We come by where you are often, to check on you, to see how you're doing. It makes me realize that's it's important to reply (comment) sometimes. To let you know we're here too. We are facing different things in our own parts of the forest. For some of us it is a sick child, or our own medical testing, our own fears of the unknown, our own desires to be using our lives to focussed on what matters, and to love our children so they can know love and peace in their tender hearts. We are here too. We are part of your forest. We are hearing you. We are listening for you.

    ReplyDelete
  32. And we are your witnesses too. We are in this forest too, with you. We hear you. We come by where you are often, to check on you, to see how you're doing. It makes me realize that's it's important to reply (comment) sometimes. To let you know we're here too. We are facing different things in our own parts of the forest. For some of us it is a sick child, or our own medical testing, our own fears of the unknown, our own desires to be using our lives to focussed on what matters, and to love our children so they can know love and peace in their tender hearts. We are here too. We are part of your forest. We are hearing you. We are listening for you.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I only recently started to follow your blog. I have read the last several posts and cried over your words as if we were old friends. My heart hurts for you and I have been praying for you. I visit teach a couple of women who have recently lost their spouses at a young age and your posts have helped inspire me in ways that I might be there for them in a more meaningful way. Thank you for sharing your journey. Xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  34. I've been following your blog for quite a while. I was thrilled that I finally found someone with hair like mine doing fabulous hair tutorials. But then I began following your journey through your husband's cancer diagnosis. Many people in my life have been battling cancer over the last couple of years, so it's become a more familiar struggle lately. My heart broke when I saw that he passed. My husband and I have been praying for your sweet family and will continue to do so. Isaiah 41:10

    ReplyDelete
  35. Emily, thank you so much for sharing this with us! You and your family are in my prayers and you are doing such a great job! Keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Children can be a sweet and blessed distraction from our hurts. They give us meaning and purpose and remind us that there are reasons to keep going. Hugs and prayers....

    ReplyDelete
  37. You are such an amazing person! My heart aches for you. Never hesitate to share whatever is on your mind, even if you feel it is not 'strong' or 'positive' enough. There is room for every feeling and emotion here and every feeling and emotion is valid. Wishing you love and strength <3

    ReplyDelete
  38. You are such an amazing person! My heart aches for you. Never hesitate to share whatever is on your mind, even if you feel it is not 'strong' or 'positive' enough. There is room for every feeling and emotion here and every feeling and emotion is valid. Wishing you love and strength <3

    ReplyDelete
  39. I was just ten years old when my beautiful, fiery, red headed mother passed away. Up until a few years ago my entire existence was built around that pain and loss, but God in His great and mighty mercy has healed me from that. However this comment has nothing to do with that loss. Before me, my mother had a husband, my father. He died when I was just three months old. As a young child I never gave too much thought to what my mother went through losing him and suddenly becoming a single mother. In my eyes, she was unbeatable, solid, my rock. She knew all and was all. She was my secure foundation. Of course, as an adult, I know that only Jesus can be those things, but I was just beginning life and I looked up to her. I never could have imagined that she might have been sad, or scared, or lonely. Just as you have given me perspective on my mother and what she went through, I hope I can give you a tiny bit of perspective from the eyes of a child. Even from a distance, just reading your blog, I see a remarkably, amazing human being. Your kindness and gratitude are overwhelming in the face of the immense heartache you are presented with. If I can see that, I can only imagine how your children must see you. My mother was my world and right now, you are theirs. They are so incredibly blessed to have you. And as gifted as you are for seeing the positive, I'm sure you already know that. Thank you for sharing your story. You are truly making a difference. You are definitely heard, noticed, and all of your effort matters.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Thank you for sharing this. I often think of you and your littles and wonder how you are doing. Posts like this are an important part of the process. And as you always do-they keep it real. There is no shame in posts like this, however often they come. There is only an outpouring of love for you from around the world. More prayers for you and your littles.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Your words are so hauntingly beautiful. My heart aches for you and your littles, but your story is truly inspiring. You are such a strong woman, and your children are so incredibly lucky to have you as a mother.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Your words are hauntingly beautiful. My heart aches for you and your littles, but your story is truly inspiring. You are such a strong woman and your children are so incredibly lucky to have you as a mother. Thank you so much for sharing. I hope you know how much your story, your life, matters in this world.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Emily,
    I'm so glad you wrote--have been thinking of you daily, praying for you, hoping you are surviving. I can't imagine what it would be like to have my "witness" gone--but I went through something recently where God removed the security of my earthly love and taught me to place my identity only in Him, my need for affection, craving for love, only in Him. It was a process that hurt deeply, and I cried daily for several weeks. I know it is not much compared to what to are going through, but I just want to say that He has you, and will take care of you. You have a great Witness. Stay strong, my friend. It's ok to fall apart in order to stay strong. There is a place in the eye of the storm where everything is swirling, but there is a small place of quiet in your heart.

    ReplyDelete
  44. sending you a hug. a simple hug. stay strong.

    ReplyDelete
  45. So glad you posted Emily, I've been praying for you and waiting for an update. You're a rockstar. Keep staying strong pretty mama

    ReplyDelete
  46. Sending love and prayers to a strong woman and her beautiful family.
    Ashleigh

    ReplyDelete
  47. Praying for you Emily! Your life does indeed matter and you are so precious to The Lord. May He draw you closer to Him in this time of trials.
    Love, Alyanna

    ReplyDelete
  48. Lamentations 3:22-23

    Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
    They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.

    ReplyDelete
  49. You are so brave. And I think about you and your little family everyday. Sending every positive vibe I have your way:)

    ReplyDelete
  50. I wish you all the best forever. You are such a strong person, but all strong people need time for themselves. I hope you have someone to help you once in a while so you can have some well deserved "me time". Love to all of you dear lady from Calgary, Alberta, Canada

    ReplyDelete
  51. I look at your blog off and on because I love your hair tutorials. But in the last several months, I have been checking in to see how things were going with your husband. Even though I don't know you guys at all, I cried when I read your last few posts. I went and hugged my husband and we had a talk about what would happen if something happened to him (he is a law enforcement officer, so that's been on my mind a lot). My heart goes out to you and your family. Thank you for showing how to be strong and positive in the worst circumstances.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Emily I am one of those silent readers who hasn't commented often, however have enjoyed and learned so much from your wonderful posts. You are a strong and resilient woman and will be a hero forever to your children as is your beloved Martin. They are many paths ahead in your healing process and you'll face challenges and decisions that you never anticipated in this life. But you will handle them and you will show your children that inner resource that keeps you going. You are a blessing. Thank you for all you inspire and convey.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Your strength, courage, and beauty are inspirational. Stay strong. I hope you can find some joy and comfort each day.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Hello! I've only read your blog recently - and I'm not sure how I came across it. Anyway... I could only think of one thing - 'with man, it is impossible, with God, it is all possible' ... It's so very, very possible. One little step at a time. Or sometimes going forward on our knees.... Love from Broome, Australia.

    ReplyDelete
  55. You beautiful, generous soul. Thank you so much for sharing all your heart and world with your readers. My heart just aches for you, and is proud of you all the same. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  56. This is such a sweet inspiring message. I think about you and your family often and am anxious to hear your thoughts as you are willing to share them, so thank you. You are a beautiful person and I pray you will continually find strength daily. Love to you and your babies.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Oh Emily...thank you for sharing your thoughts. Much love and many prayers to you <3

    ReplyDelete
  58. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  59. I fumble trying to put into words the amount of courage and strength you have and how humble and inspiring you are. My heart aches for your loss and I think of you and your beautiful children often. Sending love and positive vibes your way ♥

    ReplyDelete
  60. Emily, I have read your blog and followed you on Instagram for months. I have never commented because I am never feel capable of offering words of support that don't sound trite.
    But I want to say that I am so sorry for you and your children's loss. As a mom of four kids 6 & under, I cannot imagine how difficult this is for your family. Facing raising all those amazing little souls without your main support must be daunting, to say the least, but you are truly amazing! Your strength is inspiring! And while this is truly tragic, you are setting such a beautiful example for your kids in the face of true adversity that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
    You and your children are in our thoughts and prayers and I hope you keep writing whatever you need to write--whatever brings you a small measure of catharsis.

    ReplyDelete
  61. What beautiful, poignant words...What a blessing little children are! Sounds to me like Heavenly Father is certainly watching over you and your family. Thank you for such a powerful reminder of the importance of motherhood.

    ReplyDelete
  62. A friend pointed me to your blog. My red headed love, Trent, went to Heaven on June 7th, 2015. My three small gingers and I have spent a little more then a year missing him terribly but relying heavily on the promises we have from our Saviour. We WILL see Trent again, as you WILL be reunited with Martin. We are both so blessed to know such truths! My Lord has graciously covered me and my littles with a peace that can only come from knowing Him. I pray that you will feel that same peace as He walks beside you through this dark valley. I promise you that one day your heart will not be so heavy. You will never stop loving that sweet man of yours, but the pain will ease. My motto has been, "choose joy!". You know how precious life is and you are right, really all that matters is love! Love is truly all that remains on this side of Heaven. God bless you! I will be praying for you!

    ReplyDelete
  63. It's such a blessing to be included in your grief and healing. Please keep sharing whatever you feel like sharing - I'll be reading!

    Love and prayers to you and your family <3

    ReplyDelete
  64. So beautifully written! It's ok to not be ok sometimes. We love you!

    ReplyDelete
  65. Emily, I'm so glad you wrote this and continue to share what's on your mind. I know you already know this but you have so many people on your side and wanting nothing but the best for you and for you to find peace and healing. I think of you daily, and send my good thoughts your way. I just hope you can feel them. Your babies are so lucky to have you. You are the vision of strength. <3

    ReplyDelete
  66. You write whatever you need to, this is your space, we're all here to share it with you and thank you for letting us.

    Rxx

    www.peppermintdolly.com

    ReplyDelete
  67. Of course we're ok with you sharing what's on your heart. Let it all out - it's your blog and it's your voice. More people need to hear voices who share this.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Matthew 11:28

    “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

    ReplyDelete