“This is gonna hurt…”

20 June 2012

I love to exercise.  I have gone out 5-6 days a week for probably twenty years.  This last year, since Ty was diagnosed, I was lucky to make it out maybe twice a week.  I really missed it.  There are so many reasons why I love to go outside – not just the weight-benefits, but it is cleansing to my spirit too.  My brain just works better when I’ve been out in the morning and had fresh air in my lungs and blood pumping through my veins.  It is truly my therapy.

I decided that it was time to get out again and try to clear my head.  A few days after Ty had passed, I laced up my shoes and headed out.  I really needed some clarity and a place to try and talk to Heavenly Father.  I headed to the trailhead of the Hobb’s Pond walkway by my house.  For those who don’t know where I live, it is at the top of a hill on the east end of Layton, and Hobb’s is a steep walk down into a gulley – then there are a couple of miles of running trails that are pretty flat down in the hollow.  I figured this was the perfect place to go – where there wouldn’t be many down there and I wouldn’t have to see anyone I knew, or who knew what I was going through.  I didn’t want to talk to anyone, just get frustrations out and try to make sense of what had just happened.

I made my way down the steep decline and then started going back and forth on the trail – two or three times – praying in my head, crying to myself – and not realizing how long I had been down there, just going back and forth, back and forth.  Finally, I realized, “Hey, I’m completely exhausted!”  I had probably been down there an hour, and for someone who hadn’t been exercising much the past few months, that’s alot.  I was spent. If you know Hobbs, you know there are about three or four ways out of there.  The only problem is…they are all drastically uphill!  I surveyed the situation and realized the only way I was going to get home was to climb a steep hill.  I could climb out the way I came – that was brutal.  Didn’t want to do that.  I could go down and come out and climb Antelope Drive, but that was the extra long way home.  Didn’t sound too fun either.  I could go out the parking lot and climb out over by Highway 193, but that was not only a climb, but put me a quite a ways from my house.

I came to the realization that no matter how I got myself home…it was gonna hurt.  I had used up everything I had going back and forth along the flat path, just getting nowhere.  Now my time was spent and I needed to get home quickly and the only way out was uphill.  It quickly hit me that this was such a metaphor for my life!

The only way to get ‘home’ is going to ‘hurt’ to get there.  It’s going to be good for my lungs and my legs, and my body will thank me someday for working it so hard, but it’s going to hurt nevertheless.  I’ll develop muscles that will serve me in many ways, but I won’t develop any muscles without going through some discomfort.

Same with my life.  My ultimate goal is to get back to my Heavenly Father, and to be able to be reunited with my entire family when we all get there.  But if I just sit here and ‘go back and forth on the easy trail – just spinning my wheels’, I’ll wear myself out doing nothing productive.  I’ve got to develop some ‘muscles’ through discomfort and maybe even some big-time pain to get there.

I think I’m really getting great spiritual muscles right now.  Today marks the one-month anniversary of Tyler’s death.  I have to say that it seems to be getting harder every day, not easier.  I kept thinking in the beginning that it was just a dream, and that he would be coming home soon.  Well, it’s no dream, and I’ve realized he’s not coming home.  It hurts…it hurts bad.  Every thing in the house, every song on the radio, every thought in my head reminds me of him.  The pain is very real.  It reminds me of the hurt my stomach gets when I’m on a huge roller coaster and it’s going down the biggest hill – except it doesn’t let up like a roller coaster would.  It is just constant.  I really don’t want to do this anymore, but I don’t have a choice.  I am going to have to just remember ‘I can do hard things’.  It was easier to say that and mean it when Tyler was here.  Sorry, but it’s true.  Sometimes it’s hard to take your own advice, huh?

In talking with my friends who have lost children also, they do tell me that time will help me manage the pain – it probably will never go away, but I’ll learn how to tuck it away and live life with it in there.  So I guess I’ll try to see the pain as developing my spiritual ‘muscles’ and remember that the only way ‘home’ is  gonna hurt.  Someday, I’m told, I’ll look back on this and see that this experience has made me stronger and better – I look forward to that day.

This is one great reason to smile - Caleb with 'Ty Ty' on Father's Day


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