The 6’s…

….are hard

I believe in transparency and being honest when really it’s not all “ok”…and as the calendar flipped from 2015 to 2016, a part of me dreaded it, the 6’s have been hard years for me, marked by significant loss.

In 1996, as a sophomore in college, I lost my best friend Wendy, one of the most defining days of my life. March 22nd this year marks 20 years of her passing. Twenty years she was alive and twenty years she is now gone.  There are so many things I learned, {read here}, mostly that even 20 years later, I’m not “over” that day.

Then 2006, it happened again and my friend Amy was gone, another car accident and again, it was a 6.  More thoughts on grief and these two losses {read here}. I still have some of the same struggles with people and expectations that come from these two events.

Ten more years…what will 2016 bring I worried when the calendar turned. 

February 2nd, my little furry companion of 10 years, gone and a loss that I am still very sad over. When looking back over pictures of Barney’s life, there was my sweet bestie Amy and B as a puppy. The 6 stung a little deeper.

I could name significant events and challenges of all the years of my adult life…

….like a year without a job and now watching so many people deal with the same loss due to crash of the oil and gas market, I’ve walked a mile in those shoes, twice

…or losing my grandparents in 2007 and 2012, one after a long illness, one a short sickness, and serving as pallbearers for both funerals alongside my cousins

…or break ups that really hurt my feelings and heart, dealing with guys who choose to disappear instead of owning up to their actions

…or significant family events that have lasting impact

I know worry does no good, but all of us have significant dates and years that are marked by seasons that are especially hard, and days that aren’t “ok”. The 6’s just seem to be carry the most weight for me.

In the last week, with my friend Wendy’s anniversary coming,  I have had 2 very real conversations regarding death…

…my sweet college bestie who’s alongside her husband in an ALS battle that is rapidly stealing him away from her. We don’t know his years or days, but we know they are numbered and the road ahead is gut-heart-mind-soul wrenching and brings tears each time we are together. Often those tears come just reading an email or text from her of the days, they are hard. We have talked about knowing who holds the future, where he spends eternity, but how do their 3 littles understand?

…and a dear church and family friend, 92 years old, widower  and suddenly in ill health, tired and ready to go home. Well done good and faithful servant. Though he will leave a hole in the table at weekly dinner with my parents and his pew at church empty, and his laugh missing from conversation, we know where he spends eternity, and who holds the future. We just pray him not to be long suffering.

When the days are hard, and the weeks seem long, and the heartbreak is real, Jesus is near.

In all of these trials, the 6s and the other hard years, I know Jesus to be near. My faith tested over and over, and he alone proves faithful.

And, hard days are ok. Days of tears are ok. Sometimes hard days stir up tears of other memories and sometimes memories just bring tears. There’s always a point of finding new normal and how to adjust, not ever really over it, but day by day learning to live in new normal. I remember very vividly finding normal 20 years ago, and it took a long time.

In my current season, the moving is over, the busy season of Rodeo is done, and now the days are filled with long evening light and my house seems particularly empty without Barney.

(from my cousin’s doodle blog)

And, it’s going to be.

I found the cutest little 1 year old puppy to adopt on Leap Day, she sat right down by my side, and I was picked to be hers and she mine. The next day I went to pick her up, she came running with a tail wag, we got home and symptoms quickly showed up that stole her away in just over 24 hours. All dogs go to heaven. The vet confirmed she had parvo, and now I have to wait for a new dog…and the adjusting continues, often still with tears.

The decades seem to pass quickly…but the 6s have had significant impact to who I am today. And, my story, though sometimes hard and likely with tears lately, walks alongside others, and by the grace of God, proves Jesus is faithful, to your hard days and to mine.

…and joy comes in the morning.


  1. annalee on March 28, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    I'm so thankful for the way you share, and so so sorry for your losses.

Leave a Comment