Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Tears are Pain Leaving the Body

Greetings to all! Lately it has been a real emotional rollercoaster for me. I can be completely fine one minute and then pissed off, ashamed, lonely, or sad the next. I am for the most part a pretty passionate guy whether it be passionate about my wife, hey get your minds go out of the gutter, I said passionate ABOUT, not with, I want to keep this blog G rated people. I am passionate about my work, when working I strive to be quick, accurate, and irreplaceable. I am passionate about competition, I don’t care what it is, BRING IT ON, I like to compete and I LOVE to win! My newest passion is fantasy football, you would swear my children were playing each Sunday by the way I get so nervous and loud. When I get to cheering or yelling at the inanimate object I call my TV set Dude and Ella coming running in because they immediately think they have done something wrong. Often times I just find them standing there waiting for me to fuss at them. When I ask, what are you doing? They usually say either, “We don’t know” or “We thought something was wrong.” To which I have to explain to them that daddy’s overpaid football player looks like some third string high school running back who is not quite sure which way down field is apparently. They usually just roll their eyes, give me an, “Awe dad,” because I interrupted their important game of “Extreme Tent Makeover” and scurry back to their important renovations. I am passionate about my God and preaching the Gospel, just ask anyone who has ever had the pleasure of to sitting in the front row of one of my talks. Poor things often have a few drops of spittle on them and have been pulled up on stage to act out an eighth grade dance scene that I am using to elaborate a point in my talk. I am passionate about life, is what I am getting at if you have not caught on yet.

My passion runs deep, wide and in a variety of directions to say the least. These are passions that I have grown to love over time and these are passions that at the same time have also had a large impact on my life in someway and over time have begun to change me or aspects of me. There is one passion though that the moment it entered my life or should I say “they” entered my life, CHANGED me in that very moment. The moment that I became a father and I am not going to get into the whole moment of conception I was a father argument, I know that, but remember guys are visually stimulated. Although I saw my wife stomach getting larger I could not see my child and the one that I saw on the ultrasound machine kinda freaked me out. The moment I laid eyes on Ella, she being our oldest, I was changed, my heart was changed, literally, spiritually and passionately. I was a different man and my heart overflowed with a passionate love for this little child who was “mine.” With each new addition that followed Ella my heart filled with more and more passion, as well as more and more debt, just kidding.

When they noticed in Utero that there was the potential that something might not be developing properly with Cate my passion went into overdrive. My passion to be strength, love, and stability to my wife and family as well as to be a passionate prayer warrior for my unborn daughter was squared to the infinity power. Therefore with Cate there was a different connection with her in Utero that I did not have with the other kids. They were “normal” pregnancies, boy there are two words that should never go together in one sentence, normal and pregnancy, there is not ANYTHING normal about pregnancy, totally speaking from a man’s point of view ladies, I am just a spectator for the most part and only get brought into active participation when I am called upon, yelled at, threatened to within an inch of my life, or at the point in the pregnancy that she can no longer reach her shoe laces and have to tie them for her. So, with Cate for me being the passionate person that I am I was dedicated and intense that Cate was going to make it and that she would be alright. And gratefully she did make it out of Utero, but we all know that her story ended very differently than we all pictured it would. Still to this day I can’t believe at moments that she is not “here” with us anymore, though I know in spirit that she is VERY here with us.

The past few weeks I find myself just welling up with tears to the point the dams, that I call my eyelids just can’t hold back the floodwaters. You know how when it rains real hard, and people say, “Wow, those are big drops!” I don’t know, maybe I just say that, well that is what I feel about my tears, they actually make sounds as they hit my chair they are so big. I am a self admitted crier long before this ever started, you get me watching an episode of Extreme Home Makeover with Ty Pennington and you would swear that he had showed up at my house and redid all that for me. I can sit there and cry and cry over that show, it is quite weird, but that can be a whole other blog. The tears over sweet Cate seem to always be right there behind or below my eyes, wherever tears hang out until they stream down my face. At any given moment they can come out, whether I be walking past the fridge and see her picture or reading an email from someone sharing with me what Cate has done or is presently doing in their life.

As I met with my counselor two weeks ago to journey with me through this grief process I cried almost the whole time we talked. He said you seem like you are in the place you need to be right now. He said if you would have walked in here acted like you had it all together with no problems then I would have been worried, but your not, your hurting, it sucks, it really does, but it is where you have to be right now. There was such validation and permission hidden in his words. All of a sudden a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders and it was suddenly ok to just be hurting right now, missing Cate right now, and to not feel the need or rush to be anywhere else as much as anyone in the grief process knows, you want to rush out as fast as you can. I was reflecting this week on how often I find myself crying and I make it sound worse than it is, it is not like I cry all day long, but when you are used to not crying everyday or every other day sometimes you feel like an emotional basket case. But I was reflecting on my tears and for some reason I remembered a poster for the military that I saw one time years ago, the poster said, “Pain, is weakness leaving the body.” As I reflected on those words I thought, you know what it is ok if I cry a little everyday or a lot some days, I am going to let it come out because for me right now, “Tears, are pain leaving my body” and I don’t want to keep that pain bottled up any longer than I have to.

What I have decided is that my passion for Cate I want to remain and this blog allows me to continue to be passionate about her, her short life, the powerful mark that she left on this world and the work that to this day she continues to do in this world. But, as for the pain over the loss of Cate I will let that flow out of my body as the tears fall from my eyes. My God wash me clean of this pain in YOUR healing and perfect time and I ask you to help me not keep it bottled in any longer than I have to. Much Love, The Cantrells

25 comments:

Landreneau Family said...

Precious friends,

It is good to witness the beginning of the healing. We are with you, praying and hoping.

The Landreneaus

Anonymous said...

This may be the beautiful reflection you have posted yet! God bless you and your family~ Much love, Loyal Reader

Crystal said...

Thank you for the beautiful message. Wow, what an inspiration you are to me and to many others. God will heal your heart within time. He will always be there to protect you, through the tough times. May you and Ali know that you can call upon any of us for help or guidance. My phone still hasn't rang for help though, LOL.

Patiently waiting,
Crystal Judice

sumi said...

I have times like that when I just have to stop life for a while and cry. I find that when I allow myself to grieve for a while, something is released and I am equipped to get up again, sword in hand, and face life anew.

Ps 56 says that God saves all our tears. Ps 126 talks about those who go out sewing in tears but return, reaping with songs of joy.

May you find the harvest of joy after this time of sorrow.

Feel free to visit my blog, www.sumijoti.wordpress.com :-)

I have been in a bit of a "word drought" the last few weeks but I do find it is such an encouragement to read the blogs of other grieving parents and to know that we do not walk this path alone.

Much love and prayers,
Sumi

Ragin-Cajun said...

"Tears are pain leaving the body."

Well said brother. I have a friend who suffered a severe gunshot wound many years ago (a shotgun blast almost point blank to his right shoulder and chest). He went through a long and painful recovery which required intense therapy. He had to re-learn how to use some of his muscles in the process. Today he has fully recovered from his injuries. Your family has suffered an emotional shotgun blast to the heart. It will take time and tears to heal and re-learn how to live life again. But I know you will.

On a completely different note, I'm glad to hear you're into fantasy football and not just a Saints fan. Clinical studies have shown that being a Saints fan leads to a much higher risk of depression! As you may have noticed from my blog, I watch far too much college football.

Still praying for you & the family. Maybe we'll see you at Germanfest this weekend.

Happiness is German beer and bratwurst entering my body!

rlmcgovern said...

I have never commented before but have followed you for months. You are amazingly strong even though it doesn't feel that way to you. You have renewed my faith and I know that God is working his magic with you and your family.

We are praying for you.

Laura

belovedmcat said...

Still checking in, still praying and still sharing

Anonymous said...

we love you...

the walthers

Anonymous said...

Real men cry........what an amazing man you are.Ali,Ella, and Dude are so lucky to have you in their life......

Lila Lambert said...

O most Holy Mother of Jesus, You who saw and felt the extreme desolation of your dear Son, help this family in their time of desolation....

Anonymous said...

Charlie-
I was glad to read your post. I have been thinking of you guys, I have Cate's picture on my fridge. I will pray for your healing to continue. God bless, Laura Buller

Anonymous said...

You are amazing please just know that. You words are always so touching. Thanks

kellysuch said...

I've felt lost these past few weeks from not checking in on your blog. After Games of Acadiana, things got hectic, Lindsey's volleyball season began, hurricanes, no computer! But I always have Cate's pictures to remind me of how grateful I am. Y'all are with me everyday, even though I don't check in...Festival Acadien anyone? We'll be there, just call us;0)Love you all so much, Kelly Such Stewart

Marin said...

What a beautiful reflection---we are with you, praying every day for all of you. Thanks for continuing to share your journey with all of us.
Love, Marin, Kyle and Kaylin

Anonymous said...

Your tears are sacred and god is bottling them up and counting each one you shed. My mother used to tell me they would be jewels in our crown in heaven.
I continue to pray for you and your sweet family.

maureen said...

Still praying and hoping!
Much love, and the intercession of ty pennington :)

Anonymous said...

just wanted to let you know that we are still here and we love you....
the blythes

Anonymous said...

Still thinking and praying daily for your beautiful family... I have been following the short journey of a precious little boy named Cole who earned his angel wings in September. When I read his father's posts, I am often reminded of you, Charlie. He speaks with so much wisdom, faith, and vulnerability. He too has been so moved by how many lives his little boy touched through the means of his care page, just as Cate did through your blog. He is also planning on making his journal into a book. I don't want to be presumptuous, but I am adding the link to his caring bridge site in case you might want to reach out to him. It seems like you have a lot in common and could possibly help each other in ways that none of us can.

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/coleruotsala

Sending caring thoughts and prayers your way...

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much again! Charlie, you have no idea how much your words affect other people's lives! I am so happy that you are getting to a place where you are allowing yourself to feel where you are now! Because I know that being a strong Catholic sometimes you think that means you should just accept everything gladly! However sometimes we need to grieve! I have spent years dealing with things later that it would have been easier to deal with at the time, if I'd just allowed myself that time! I have always loved the fact that the shortest verse in the bible is also very powerful if you let yourself think about it... and being Catholic I of course can't remember the number... but it's

Jesus wept.

If he wept... why shouldn't we?

Teresa Clark

Claire said...

love yall and so glad i got to see yall this week...the kids filled my heart with joy, as always :-)
hope to see yall again soon, much love and prayers...
love, claire

Sharon-shutterbug said...

I just got back from a wonderful Homecoming weekend at Steubenville with my 2 oldest kids, and wanted to let you know that I lifted you and your family up in prayer at various times while I was there. What an amazing, incredible, unbelievable place that is . . . I felt during this visit how privileged I was, that I have the opportunity to share with my children a small taste of what heaven must be like.
Keep fighting the good fight, my friend!

Anonymous said...

Such beautiful and thought-provoking words you've shared. We are still here following along in this journey with you, continuing to lift you and your family up in our daily prayer. What an inspiration you and Baby Cate have been to our family. May His love and grace pour down on you - for with it comes the promise of hope and healing.
love, the blakesleys (josh, heather, sophie & sutton)

Anonymous said...

Dearest Charlie,

You are a VERY passionate and loving person-that's what I love dearly about you! You all remain in our thoughts and prayers. We love you SO MUCH! Give Ali and the kids a big hug for us.

Much love & God Bless,
Cathy & Bill

Bartas in Texas said...

Charlie and Ali,

Cate's life and legacy are being fulfilled in your stories, your sharing and your love. Thank you. We continue to love on you daily.

Our hearts remained entwined with yours.

Jeremy & Courtney

Lila Lambert said...

"Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you..."