Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Put on a Brave Face



I'm linking up with Mama Kat for her Writer's Workshop this week.  The prompt I chose was:

Open your picture folders, close your eyes and pick a random photo to share and write about.

I randomly opened my pics folder on my desktop and quickly chose a folder without thinking, and this was the first picture I saw:
 

It took my breath away.  My heart hurt a little.  Unresolved grief washed over me. 

I try to stay positive, laugh through the tears, and reassure myself that it’s all going to be ok, but then there are moments when I have to just let myself feel the grief again.  Just for a moment. 

That picture was taken this time last year on the day that my ex-husband was moving out of the house.  The hardest part of that entire experience was worrying about my son and how he would handle all the change. 

I took him to the Manitou Arts and Crafts Festival for the day so that he didn’t have to watch his daddy move out.  He knew the basics of what was occurring that day, but he didn’t have to watch it. 

Don’t worry, he wasn’t stricken with grief, lying on the sidewalk, and I wasn’t taking pictures of sad things.  We had walked a lot that day, and we had to make it up a big hill before reaching our car.  Parker was in good spirits, but he was tired and decided to rest for a moment.  I was giggling as I took the picture, saying, “Geez, Parker, you’re just going to lay down right here?  I’m going to take your picture!” 

My happiness that day was basically fake.  I was just trying to get us through a very hard day.  I was putting on a brave face for my son.   I remember many times that day when I held back the tears and kept pressing forward.  You just aren’t allowed to grieve anytime you want when you have a child, and every mom can relate to that in some way.

I took him to lunch, and I remember every detail.  What we ate, where we sat, what toys he played with at the table.  I was hyper-alert because of my conflicted emotional state.  I was nervous, worried, and sad, and I just wanted my child to make it through the day without his mother losing it.  We went to the park and the festival.  Live music was playing, face-painted children ran around at the playground, crowds of people milled about talking and laughing. 

That’s the thing about life that we all inevitably learn.  In every experience that is sad and awful and heartbreaking, there are reminders all around that laughter is around the corner, rest will eventually come to you, and life goes on.  

And, sometimes when you're just putting on a brave face, you need to stop and lay down.



24 comments:

  1. Heartbreakingly honest. A day that will stay with you both... for good reasons too :-)

    xx Jazzy

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  2. It's a sweet picture, even if it brings up not so sweet memories!

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  3. I got really sad, too, looking at the picture and was relieved to read it wasn't your son's reaction to his dad moving out. That thought broke my heart as I saw him lying there. I have gone through a lot of painful experiences myself and have learned to laugh at them now. That's what my writing focuses on for the most part... finding the humor in some of my painful events from the past.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and the Google follow. Your comment was so sincere!

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  4. Hugs. I missed your blog posts. :)

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  5. It's funny how you can show a photo to someone and they can't know the entire story behind it.

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    1. Yes, every photo tells a story. It's a great prompt to write to!

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  6. How difficult it must have been for you to be surrounded by people behaving normally when your normal was crashing down around you. It's a sweet picture of a tired boy (and I love his ginger hair!).

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  7. That was such an interesting post to hear the whole, complicated story behind the photo. I loved how you ended it on a positive and thoughtful note with cheerful photos. Sorry for the terrible memories, though.

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  8. Hugs and kisses from Minnesota, Dear. Xx

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  9. Such a poignant story. I know a bit about those kinds of days from my childhood. Your son is very lucky to have you as his mother!
    b

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  10. The honesty and the strength here is inspiring. Your son is blessed to have you.

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  11. I'm here from the Weekend Linkup. This is a great post, and what a great idea for a prompt. Thank you for sharing such a personal story.

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  12. So true and such a lovely way to view the ups and downs.

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    1. Thank you - you got the feeling I was going for!

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