Holidays are meant to be a time of celebration and joy. They are meant to be spent with the ones we love. They are meant for smiles and laughter, memories and more. For some, holidays are not that way at all. When it comes to loss, holidays can be a day of pain and agony. They can be the days that remind us in an even stronger light the person or special someone that is missing.
Holidays and pain never went hand in hand for me. Each and every time my family got together on Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Fourth of July, you name it, there was always so much to celebrate. What could be that bad to cause a tear or a frown on such a special day?
Today was Easter Sunday. It’s the first official major holiday since we lost our second baby. And, from a faith standpoint, it is the most joyous of all holidays on the calendar. Yet there I was, sitting in church with my husband and in tears. I sat and watched all the happy moms and dads, and the proud grandparents bopping the little ones dressed in their Sunday best. All I could see though was my empty lap. My lap, where an 8 month old baby should be sitting or a pregnant belly and yet, none of it was there. Here on this very joyous day, I could only see what I lacked. I was further reminded of the pain and suffering, and the agony that has been the last 2 years. I felt isolated and alone, as though mine was the only pain in the room. Here I was, in a room of people celebrating a miracle and it was as if I was all alone.
I know I was not the only one in the room that was feeling this way. It is when we are in pain though that we tend to feel separated and on the road alone. When we experience loss, it becomes so easy to see and feel the void and believe we are the only ones who know what it’s like to feel this way. Everyone else seems to have while here we are, the have nots. Surely this is not the case, but our emotions don’t know about logic so they get the best of us.
On the way home from my grandma’s tonight, I heard a song I hadn’t come across in quite sometime. This song was the song I used for my talk during my high school senior retreat. The message of the talk I gave, and further the song, is that really sometimes the storms and the pain and the rough roads can teach us so much more than we can ever imagine. When we are going through the pain, all we want to do is fast forward and skip straight to the ending where we can have the prize that we desperately desire. As the song says though, the prize is always worth the rocky ride. It doesn’t feel like that at all right now. Like I said, all I can focus on is my empty lap but I know I needed to hear this song tonight. I needed this reminder, this call to hold on.
I really don’t have an answer for any of these feelings today. In the end, surrounding myself with the ones I love didn’t make the pain go away but it did make it a bit more bearable. Today made me more aware of those around me who may be hurting or in pain and are wearing a mask on this happy day, a day of celebration. For some reason, these storms are here and they are here to teach me something. I can only hope that the sun will come soon and that I have the strength to hold on and keep my head up until then. If not, I guess I will need to invest in one heck of an umbrella. 😉
A portion of the lyrics:
The Wood Song
by Indigo Girls
…No way construction of this tricky plan
Was built by other than a greater hand
With a love that passes all our understanding
Watching closely over the journey
Yeah, but what it takes to cross the great divide
Seems more that all the courage I can muster up inside
But we got to have some answers when we reach the other side
The prize is always worth the rocky ride…
Sometimes I ask to sneak a closer look
Skip to the final chapter of the book
And then maybe steer us clear from some of the pain it took
To get us where we are this far, this far
But the question drowns in its futility
Even I have got to laugh at me
No one gets to miss the storm of what will be
Just holding on for the ride
But the wood is tired, and the wood is old
And we’ll make it fine, if the weather holds
But if the weather holds, we’ll have missed the point
That’s where I need to go
Like I said, it’s Easter Sunday, a day of joy and happiness. So let’s try to move onward and upward. There were still smiles in my day and I was blessed to be with the people I do have in my life.
So the latest recipe incorporates America’s favorite: Apple Pie. Okay, it’s not quite what you were thinking but it really is delicious! I started making this smoothie a few weeks ago and it instantly became my absolute favorite. They say an apple a day, right? Well you can get your apple in with this one! This Apple Pie Green Smoothie helps you get your greens in while sipping on a bit of summer in America.
I have started adding maca powder into my smoothies. This is totally optional for this recipe, but there are a lot of amazing benefits you can get from this ancient root. There are a few reasons I am personally adding it into my diet, but it is known to be a mood booster, hormone balancer, it boosts energy and can also increase fertility. When it comes to maca, it’s important not to heat it because it loses its benefits. So throwing it in a smoothie is a great way to reap as many of the benefits as possible. It really doesn’t have a strong flavor so you won’t even notice it.
When it comes to smoothies, I often get into a rut and continue to add the same thing over and over. This is a great smoothie when I feel like I am on berry overload. It tastes a bit more like a treat to be honest, but I am okay with that. I will take a bit of apple pie any day! Enjoy!
Apple Pie Green Smoothie
- 2 handfuls leafy greens kale, spinach, etc.
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 medium apple cut into bite sized chunks I used Gala
- 1 T almond butter
- 1/2 - 1 tsp cinnamon depending on how strong you like it
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or milk of choice
- 1 tsp maca powder optional
- 3-5 ice cubes
- Combine all ingredients into high powered blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Garnish with a dash or two of cinnamon and serve.