Exclamation Points

Simply put, I have lost my !’s. It happened sometime in the last 3 months. I stopped feeling it, and next thing I knew it was lost. The ! was lost.

My father in law had a gift of using !’s. There were times when we would count up to 20 in a note. He saw life from the glass half full perspective. Very positive. Even when there wasn’t much to be positive about.

I use to be that positive. There are moments and days when I feel it yet. But right now, no !’s. I’m looking at life more as a glass tipped upside down, spilled all over the floor perspective.

My son Michael recently informed me that when I don’t use an ! in my texts it changes the whole tone of the message. Funny Mike. I understand that. Right now, when I say “I’m coming to see you in Madison.” that is how I’m feeling it. There isn’t an ! behind the words. Yes, Mike I know it’s blah sounding. But more so, it’s really sad.

I think the downward spiral started when I realized I was 50. Now that was a few months past my 50th bday. Overnight, everything started going south. I mean gravity set in. Aches and pains are not going away. My brain is mush. I’m doing crossword puzzles for goodness sakes just to keep my synapses connected.

Then stuff just happens. Parenting young kids stuff, our marriage stuff – that sort of thing. I was fighting for my !’s at that point. Keeping my spirits up. But nothing improved. The last straw that caused the cessation of !’s in my sentence structure was having my kids move away. The four big ones. And the special little grandson, Josh.

God never said we weren’t suppose to feel our pain. By feeling it though, you can so a bit, lose your enthusiasm for life. In my case, my loss of !’s is indicative of that. As I deal with this season of life, I have cried out to my Father in heaven, “What am I to do with this grief? I’m good with you using my kids. They are yours after all. But what do I do with the pain caused by their absence?” Audibly I heard, “Feel it.” Ooooh, but to feel it, I have to feel it. And that hurts. Isn’t it easier to deny it? Shove it aside, get busy doing other things? There is merit in doing that, and it is essential at times. Stuffing just isn’t a good thing to do. It can eek out at the worst of times.

My Father in heaven is so patient with me. After I throw a bit of a hissy fit, for months at a time, I hear Him say -yeah I’m one of those who think God speaks to her directly- “Ok…time to move on. I’ve let you kick and cry long enough. Take my hand and let’s see what lies ahead.” Like a really good Dad, he urges me forward. If I don’t go with him, I will get stuck and who knows for how long. Being stuck just isn’t living life the way it God intended.

As I find my new normal in life, walking along with my Father, I just might find those !’s again. Yeah…I know I will. For now ~.


About Karen G. Miller

Wife of John G. Miller, author of the QBQ! book. Mother of 7 (plus 4 in-laws) and "Grandma Nonnie" to 11! Beach Body coach! Co-author of "Raising Accountable Kids." Follower of Jesus Christ.
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4 Responses to Exclamation Points

  1. I think the “feeling it” is the hardest part. I love you for sharing this. Oh, I mean, I love you for sharing this!!! 🙂

  2. TaraB says:

    This is great Mom! You should be a professional writer. Oh wait, you are. 😉 I hope you do feel those ! again. And just think- some days you do! Like when you do get to see Josh, when Eva gets more excited to see you than anyone else in the world, when we come home for Christmas. So just wait for it- you will have some ! days. And when we finally decide to have a gallagher baby you will have a !!!!!!! day. 🙂 I just know it. Love you Mom!

  3. Kristin says:

    NICE Mom. Good one! Michael pointed out your loss of ! too?? I did, and you said you were going to blog about it. Glad you did. Keep feeling … Love you lots!

  4. Sara M says:

    And like knowing your niece misses you and loves you! I like that Gallagher baby idea too!

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