Friday, October 21, 2011

Looking for the small blessings

Well, it's clear I'm not sleeping well.  Since I typically start blogging about 1:00 in the morning, you can tell I'm not sleeping!

In fact, I think it's pretty obvious I'm not doing so hot these days.  But- I'm trying to be honest about it.  My friends know- we're calling it my funk.  One that I can't seem to get out of.  I am so thankful for sweet friends that allow me to be in a funk.  And accept me how I am.  And understand that it's ok to be in a funk that it (hopefully) will not last forever.

My aunt told me a few weeks ago that she read in a book (she thought it might have been Elizabeth Smart's book) that Elizabeth began to look at the small blessings in her life.  And little by little she felt better.  I've been thinking alot about that lately.  Currently, I am up to being thankful for coffee.  That's about as far as I get.

So I am way behind blogging about all the ways that people have been blessing me- I have so many half-written posts, but one thing happened last week I have to share.  On Friday I went to Waco to visit some of my old (former) coworkers.  (That was for you, Candice!) On my way to Waco, I stopped by Hamilton, TX.  My sorority sister, Ashley, and her husband own a monument company.  They are so kind, and are just being so supportive and understanding throughout this whole headstone process.  As Matthew said earlier, it's not something that you even conceive of doing until you have to.  I'm so thankful to know people who can guide us so lovingly through the process.

After stopping in Hamilton, I drove to Waco.  I, of course, got behind some army convoy on a 2 lane back road, and it ended up taking me FOREVER to get to Waco.  Best laid plans, right?  I was so excited to get to Waco because the day before, I received a package.  An anonymous friend had given a brick in James's honor in front of the Bear Habitat

So when I got to the Bear Habitat (formerly the Bear Pit for all of us old people), I was greeted with this:

When I received the package last week, I probably cried for an hour.  I was just so overwhelmed with gratitude.  Unfortunately, I'm not allowed to find out who it is from!  But I am so glad to have a little piece of Jamesie on campus.  Baylor's campus is one of my absolute most favorite places in the world, and James would have loved the bears.

It's funny, because I've been thinking about putting that exact phrase on his headstone (or on a bench we are going to put near his grave).  I know I'm a little obsessed with that poem, but I just love it.  Nothing else seems to sum up how I feel.

Once again, I am so thankful for friends in Waco (and other places!) that can hang out with me even through my funk.  I just think that it is true, you are bound to meet incredible, amazing people no matter where you go.

I'm also thankful for school.  I honestly don't know what I would do if I didn't go everyday.  It makes me (halfway) function, which is good.  I'm learning a ton, and my classes are going well.  I'm starting to think about the MCAT which is terrifying.  It looks like I will take it in May, which doesn't seem as far away as I thought it was!

Ok so maybe I've gotten a little farther than coffee on my blessing list now.  Thanks for going on this journey with me- right now it's an up and down kind of ride.  And hopefully I don't mean that in a bipolar or schizophrenic way! 
And to close, a picture of my baby.  A terrible quality cell phone picture, but I love it.  He is almost exactly 5 hours old in this picture.  I love this little wrinkles.  Such a perfect, sleeping baby.  It was like once I got him on my chest, he knew that's where he belonged.  And I knew that was where he belonged.  Heart to heart.  


  1. beautiful. what a great pic of you two. what a precious memorial of your baby boy. you have some wonderful friends.

  2. I appreciate your honesty. Please keep it up- let others know that they are not the only ones feeling that way.

  3. You all continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. What a beautiful photo too!

  4. Know that people that don't know you are still praying for you and will continue to pray for you. I am so sorry that you are going through all of this. I pray that you will be blessed by God in his own way.

  5. Kara...

    I was away from my puter... an unexpected ambulance ride left my hubby in the hospital again this weekend... Friday night, with him stabilized and finally in a room, I logged on to blog an update so our friends and family could pray and I saw that you had posted a new blog... I didn't have the time or energy to read it... Your blogs rip me in two! I hurt so badly for you when I read them, (my dear sister in Christ, whom I've never met in reality)... Anyways I saw the new post but could NOT read it... instead as I laid my head down on that "comfortable for a hospital room" furniture... I prayed my self to sleep... begging God to hold you close and comfort you...

    Today (back home and rested) I read your post... again my heart BROKE... I cannot fathom your pain. I loathe that a child of God has to suffer through this!

    This comment is just to let you know that some people (like ME!) miles and miles away who have never really met you, have you on their hearts FREQUENTLY... we (the unknown to you directly) are praying you through this unimaginable loss... I hope that fact tells you that our God cares more for you than you could even imagine! That he has you continually on the heart of a complete stranger... I hope that shows you HE LOVES YOU and I hope the knowledge of how much He loves you lifts you up a bit today.

    Always in my prayers,

  6. I didn't cry today reading your post, I smiled seeing the lovely to see his name cherished forever there ....and then I saw the picture...and the flood gates open and my heart rips with burning pain for u...ohhh sorry as always. I pray for you.

  7. Kara:

    Have you heard the Michael Hedges song that puts the e.e. cummings poem to music? It has been a favorite of mine for a long time, and when I came upon your blog, and read it front to back, I think of you and Jamesie every time I hear it now.

    Thank you for sharing your life this way. I pray for you daily.

  8. Praying for you always, Jesus said Blessed are those who mourn...if you can only muster up putting your feet on the floor, or taking a breath, you are still in the game, Kara. You don't have to like where you are right now, noone understands that better than Jesus. Lay it on him, he wants you to.

  9. Two weeks ago I had a miscarriage after I had just tested positive for a pregnancy test. We already have one beautiful son with whom I didn't have any pregnancy issues with. So I just assumed when I got two lines that nine months later a baby would appear.

    The point of this is to say that I know I'm struggling with my own funk and part of that means I take little things out on my husband. I'm just curious as to how you're marriage is holding up through all of this. Good, bad, ugly? If you don't feel like sharing, no worries.

  10. What a loving tribute. As a Baylor Bear myself, I go there often and will make sure to visit his stone.

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  12. So happy for you. I am also a brain tumor survivor. i have a blog of encouragement. Please check it out and spread the word.

  13. I am unsure if your baby beat the tumor or not as the heading read
    Jamesie beats the tumor. If not, I am so sorry for your loss.