The Tears Won’t Stop: Holding On and Letting Go
I’ve started this blog post one hundred times, and hit the delete key every time. I don’t know how to line up the words on this one. My heart is at once shattered and full, and whatever I say will not be good enough.
My beloved cousin, JoAnn, is lost to us due to a ruptured aneurysm that caused massive bleeding in her brain. As of this writing she is holding on by a fraying thread, unresponsive but peaceful. Dear God, I will miss her! This sweet lady suffered more than her fair share of tragedy in life, but she handled every event with strength and a spirit of grace that held me in awe. In spite of her natural beauty, her radiance came from within, fueled in part by innate kindness and generous humor. Her impact on my life is immeasurable. To lose her this way is devastating. My heart is shattered. The tears won’t stop.
My great-niece, Madeline, is the family’s newly dubbed Warrior Princess. Born on November 30, 2013 with tricuspid atresia, a heart defect, she has already endured multiple surgeries including open-heart and the rebuilding of her pulmonary artery. She has spent the last two weeks in the PICU (pediatric intensive care unit) and during this time, because of the seriousness of her condition and the resultant seizures, her parents have been unable to hold her. Until yesterday. Here she is with her daddy, my nephew Jeff. Our little Maddie, a fighter for life, has taken this first big step toward recovery and the relief is overwhelming. My heart is full. The tears won’t stop.
I’m not a religious person, but I am a spiritual one, and have felt no qualms about asking God and the Universe to lift my loved ones upon wings of grace and protect each of them from further damage, from further hurt. Each prayer has been answered in its own way. With JoJo it means letting go. With Maddie, blessed be, it means holding on.
And the tears—oh, the tears. God help me, they just won’t stop.
“Tears are God’s way of cleansing the heart.” —Rebecca Barlow Jordan
**For the details of Maddie’s condition, visit this link: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/madelinedavis/mystory