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