I was walking through the Riverdale farm yesterday after the kids went to school, I love going there. It is so close and I have some great memories of taking the boys when they are little. I was even there with Joshua while pregnant with Kaleb. Yesterday, as I walked those memories washed over me like a nice spring breeze. I now officially have far more good memories of their little years than I do bad memories and as I watched the animals yesterday that truth seemed new to me. I am so used to holding onto the bad things and fighting any other feelings because if I allow feeling; even happiness then it might invoke the other feelings. The feelings that l have hidden for good reason for a long time. If I let myself remember the good times it seems that inevitably the ugly memories surface; so this process of going for a simple walk and allowing the memories to come is new for me, or at least it has been so long that it seems new.
I remember the time that we were there with Joshua when Kaleb was still kicking away inside my belly; it had been shortly after a ‘bad ECHO day’ and we were facing some scary unknowns. I walked around the farm trying to show Josh a good time, pointing to the sheep and ducks and cows but my heart hadn’t been in it. Yesterday I passed the exact spot where I had a picture of Joshua and I sitting looking at the sheep and I remembered how he had placed a hand on my knee and stared at the sheep with deep concentration and giggled when his nose came close to the fence and he sniffed at us. I remembered how hard he tried to say baa (despite being well past the age that it should have been hard) and I remember how he smiled at me when he finally managed it. Then I walked over the where the ducks were and I remember how Tim had lifted him up on his shoulders so that he could see past the “big fence” to the pond beyond and watch the ducks and geese swimming around in circles. I remember how big his smile was, how wonderful it looked to see him enjoying being so high off the ground and I remember the wonder I felt knowing that this little person was my son.
Walking around the farm was different yesterday, I didn’t feel the normal fog surrounding me, it no longer felt like I was walking through the sludge that had only ever served to slow me down, my shoulders have lost some of the tightness that only stress can bring.
I walked, I took pictures and I took the time to enjoy the little things like the little pigs having their morning scratch and breakfast, but, more than that, I allowed myself the freedom of remembering the enjoyable moments without fear of the wounds being re-opened. I left the farm and walked home feeling at peace for the first time in a very long time.
I know that I will have ugly days as I continue this journey to wholeness that I am on but I am starting to understand that I am not in a dark tunnel as I had thought; it’s just been nighttime and it may possibly be that it’s now dawn and the sunrise is just on the horizon.