Monday, October 01, 2012

a dozen

Last Wednesday I arrived home from another week in New York City (I know), this time as a Social Good Fellow with the United Nations Foundation. I'll be writing more about the Social Good Summit soon, but this week I mention it because during the summit, those of us who were there with the fellowship were favored to meetings as a smaller group of up to about 20; during said meetings it wasn't uncommon for us to introduce ourselves using our elevator pitches. Therefore, several times in one weekend I uttered the following: 

"My name is Jenny Eckton, and my blog is Formerly Phread (p-h-r-e-a-d), which is a personal blog where I write about a variety of things, included, but not limited to, the differences in how I grew up in New York and my current life in Utah; the fact that I've got six kids - 5 alive, 1 in Heaven; my experiences with triathlons; and my love for dancing."

Mentioning the 5 Alive, 1 in Heaven repeatedly was the part that was hard because, though many didn't know it, Taylor's birthday was fast approaching. My 1 in Heaven - his birthday is October 3rd. And this year, he'd be 12. 

It's not that I mind talking about it. I don't mind at all, except for when I can see it upsets other people. In fact, last Monday I was grateful when Shannon asked, while she, Jim, Julie and I were enjoying lunch in the sunshine on the Upper East Side, "So, what happened to your 'one in Heaven'?" I was touched that she'd even think to ask, and more grateful for the support they all showed when I explained what had happened. 

Here's the part I didn't share, why this year it's been particularly difficult (I seem to have a reason each year, don't I?):

At the beginning of this year one of the goals I made for myself had to do with going to church. (Here's some information for you: On Sundays, those who attend The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (you know, The Mormons) go to church for three hours. One of the hours is called sacrament meeting, which is where, as a congregation, we meet together to learn and to sing, and to partake of the sacrament (bread and water), renewing covenants we made at baptism to always remember Jesus Christ and keep the commandments.) My goal was to take the sacrament as often as was possible. I don't mean taking it more than once a week, or on a day other than Sunday; it was simply a goal to make it to church on time, and not be late and miss the portion of that meeting where the sacrament is passed. 

The achievement of this goal has gone really well this year, and with that, an increased respect for the preparation and passing of the sacrament (it's nothing secretive; anyone who attends this meeting can see the process of the bread being broken and blessed, and the water being blessed). One pleasantly surprising result of paying more attention to this part of the meeting has been quietly discussing with my almost 6YO son the day in the not-so-far future when he will be one of the deacons (boys, typically aged 12 & 13) to pass the sacrament to the congregation. He looks up to those boys who pass the sacrament and talks about how he wants to be like them. It has made me consider these boys more than I have before, and it warms my heart to think of the nice boys in our neighborhood who are good examples to my son. 

Around August it hit me: Taylor would be one of these boys this year. 

The excitement and happiness I'm feeling in looking forward to guiding my 5YO toward that part of his future life turned around and sucker-punched me with a sense of loneliness and empty arms. That overwhelming sense of hopelessness has been growing for the past handful of weeks and this is the week I stop pushing those feelings away and instead let them wash over me and feel the indescribable isolation and heartache. It has been my experience that by just letting myself feel and be honest about missing Taylor during one week of the year rather than push it away is a helpful way for me to deal with it all. 

Back to New York: all of us in the Social Good Fellow group had been bloggers for the Shot@Life campaign, and therefore one of the first things we did as a group in New York was to attend an event to launch the mobile app for Shot@Life. At one point, most bloggers took a minute to share what the #Blogust experience had meant for them, and for their communities. When it came around to be my turn, I passed; I knew I wouldn't be able to say anything about my #Blogust post without completely coming apart. When I think of all that you, my community, has done to help me throughout the years, especially during what I've come to call Taylor Week, my emotions are let free and I'm beyond overwhelmed with gratitude. 

Thanks for standing by and listening, for your comments which have brought, and continue to bring peace in this lifelong trial. 




Taylor Week

15 comments:

La Yen said...

I love you and Taylor. Do whatever you need to do to get through this week. And I will support you.

Keira N. said...

Happy Early Birthday, Taylor!

Sister Pottymouth said...

I'll be thinking about you all week.

Kim said...

Oh my sister in grief. I love you. I feel your pain, I know the sucker punches all too well. Let yourself feel it all, you know what you need.
Love you so so so much.

cabesh said...

You know I hold Taylor week as holy. It's part of who you are, and I love you!

Emily said...

I wonder if maybe when heartache washes over us--even when we feel like we're close to drowning--it somehow cleanses us of any feelings that could eventually break our spirit (anger, resentment, frustration). Then again, I really don't know what I'm talking about but I do know I love you and my heart is with you this week.

Naomi said...

Xxxxx

Holly said...

I'm sorry that Taylor isn't with you right now. You are such a good mom and an example to us all.

Jennifer said...

Sending you my love and prayers, especially during Taylor week!

Gina said...

Did you listen to that song Ronan by Taylor Swift? I don't know your specific situation, but I love that song.

charrette said...

Jenny, my one-in-heaven would be twelve this October, too. In fact, I once wrote a post called, "Sometimes October Breaks My Heart." I'm so sorry this happened to you, and also a little bit relieved to know somebody else who's riding this emotional roller-coaster right now. XO

Mrs. Organic said...

I love you. I love that you let your heart have this time.

Lindsey Johnson said...

Love you too, Jenny. And what Mrs. O said.

Emmie said...

I'm thinking of you and sending my love.

Kathy D said...

Love you and your example. You have a way with words and feel them.