I didn't take any pictures.
It just didn't seem right.
Something was lacking and I could feel it.
But I wasn't going to give in.
For 18 years we have gone to the farm show.
As a family.
Every year we headed to breakfast at the "Wayside Diner".
Sometimes we'd have a late lunch but usually it was breakfast.
The kids missed school and we would make a day of it.
We pushed strollers; heavy with jackets and snacks.
Some years we had a stroller, a back pack and a sling.
It was tradition and a respite in the middle of winter.
Each year the pictures became more outrageous.
Each year the kids would climb on machinery and play.
They would grow ancy as their farmer, father discussed equipment and farming trends.
I watched as the farmers son, neice and daughter's listened intently.
A few years ago they moved the farm show from Barre to Essex Junction.
It's much closer and the tradition changed.
As the kids got older it was more difficult for them to take off time from school.
But last year, they all made it.
It seems like just yesterday.
We covet machinery we can't afford.
We eat cheese and drink endless cartons of chocolate milk.
The kids fill bags with pens and notebooks and other literature that clutters their rooms.
We see people we haven't seen since the fall.
Everyone exchanges stories of the winter and the hope for spring.
This year, we didn't go to breakfast.
The older kids went to school.
And I went on my first solo, social outing.
We then gathered together, later for a little while at the show.
I walked around aimlessly.
I didn't push a stroller. The kids were off on their own.
I felt trapped and edgy.
Something was missing, someone was missing.
And there's just no way around.
So I went to find the kids.
We bought some ice cream.
We stepped one foot in front of the other.
We left that building in beautiful sunshine.
We had made it through another difficult milestone.
And somewhere in the midst of the grief and the pain,
I remembered the good times we had together as a family and I stopped.
I thanked God right there for the treasure of the time I had.
For all the years I had with Elijah.
For almost 18 years of memories.
I don't want to miss what God is showing me.
It needs to start with a grateful heart.
I Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus
I can barely stand right now.
Everything is crashing down.
And I wonder where you are
I try to find the words to pray
I don't always know what to say. . .
Here's my broken Hallelujah