88 days.

This year has brought more tears than I care to count. Tears brought on by stress, loss and heartbreak. Tears that made me want to crawl in bed and never leave. Tears that were pent up and held back as I was slowly breaking inside. Tears, I was afraid to release because those flood gates had been locked up for years. Tears that I could no longer ignore.

When my son left for the first week this summer, I think I cried for 48 hours straight. I cried for the 4 babies I lost along the way. (Read more on that here.) I cried because I lost my Dad. I cried because I failed my marriage. I cried because I missed my son. I cried because I could. No one was watching. No one was there. No one was judging. It was just me and my tears. Alone, for the first time in a long time.

Do you want to know what I realized? It was gut wrenching and exhausting and the best release of my life. I was free. And now, I cry. I cry at sappy movies. I cry after a hard day. I cry every Monday morning when I put my kid on the bus knowing his father is picking him up that day. And that is okay.

I have learned that crying is emotionally healing. It is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign that you are alive. That you are living, that you are feeling every moment that life has to offer. Tears are a reminder of something really amazing that is missing from your life.

Not a day goes by that I don’t think of my Dad and cry. I know he is in a better place. I know that he is not in pain. I know that he is fishing for trout in some glorious stream. I, also, know that I would give anything for one more laugh, one more chat and one more hug. And so, I allow myself to cry because the memories are amazing but they are all I have. Each tear brings me a little closer to my Daddy. It, honestly, doesn’t get much better than that.

I am not putting my life on hold. I have not stopped living. I am actually living more now than I have in a long time. I am laughing with friends. I have stopped apologizing for being me. I have stopped worrying about what everybody thinks and have fallen in love with my beautifully blessed, messy life.

I am doing more. I am working harder. I am exploring my future. I am crying more and I am laughing more. Everyday is more and every moment is brighter. There is this great big unexplored world out there and I am finding my place in it. It’s been a long time since I felt this alive and I think I owe it all to those floodgates opening.

2019 has brought so much heartache and pain. More than I thought I could endure at times. I have said goodbye to my Dad, lost some close friends and waved goodbye to my marriage. I have cried. I have laughed and I have grown. And I am okay, so I have 88 days left to make this year one that I want to remember. 88 days to make amazing, happy memories. 88 days to live life to the fullest and so I will.

I don’t pretend to know it all but I do know that no matter where you are in life, no matter what struggles you’re facing, there is a light. You just have to open your eyes to see it. When you shut down, you shut out all the amazing things this life has to offer. God gave us this life for his glory, we should live each day to it’s fullest. We should be kind. We should be gracious and we should be compassionate. You never know who is hiding behind a floodgate and needs a little help. Open your eyes and see? What are you missing out on? I know that I don’t want to miss another moment. The days are long and the years are short so I am going to get out there and live. And when a bad day comes, I will remember, in the midst of chaos, sparkle. Don’t let life dull your shine.

Much Love,

The Manicured Mom

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