Good morning, Trench Sisters!
I have spent the last two days at the Justice Conference, sponsored by World Relief, and have so to process. Once my brain stops spinning and my heart stops palpitating, I would like to do a Google Hangout together, a conversation to really start getting to know one another as we dive into trench living together.
STORIES AND FORUMS
Last week concluded our May series, Motherhood: A Love So Deep, with my re-sharing Eli's story. Thank you for reading about my precious boy, my love for him, and the depths of my grief. You can still read about Eli and why SFTT was founded below or on the blog.
This week starts our June series, three weeks of sharing stories about the influence of the men in our lives. This week, we hear from two of of SFTT board members, Kathleen and Taren. Both members share the love and legacy their fathers left them. Be sure to read, encourage, and join the conversation over on the forums.
This week's forum question: What kind of legacy do you want to leave for your children? Share your answer here.
NEEDS AND OPPORTUNITIES
We are seeking stories for August! Are you a college student or recent college graduate who has a trench story to share? Are you the parent of a college student who could share what life is like being an "empty nester"? Do you have a back-to-school trench story? You can submit your story online at www.storiesfromthetrenches.org/stories or email me with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are looking to expand our team this summer with several volunteer openings. You do not need to live in the Chicagoland area—just have internet access. Check out the volunteer opportunities here: www.storiesfromthetrenches.org/volunteer
Founder, Stories from the Trenches
Something you should know about me: I'm always juggling a lot of things at once. Yeah, I know, not the wisest choice—but I seem to thrive on chaos, pressure, and deadlines. This week, we start our first remodeling project while preparing for our annual summer vacation with my best friend and her family. Lots of juggling about to happen, and I will question my sanity this week many many times. Have you ever tackled a remodeling project? Got some advice to share?
Additional Resources: Child Loss
This week, we heard from Jen, founder of Stories from the Trenches, as she shared Eli's story—a story of child loss. We hope these additional resources offer strength and encouragement to those who are also in this trench. Please feel free to leave additional suggestions in the comments!
Eli's Story, Part 1
If I could have any kind of superpower, it would be to stop time. I would freeze on those rare, precious moments of life where, for a few brief seconds, life is like a Hallmark movie. I want to savor those moments because—sooner than I ever imagined—the easy, breezy moments in my life have become fleeting.
Eli's Story, Part 2
I never wanted to be a doctor or a nurse. I wasn’t the kid who liked to play pretend to be one, either. Needles, blood, white-walled rooms, and medical jargon never interested me. In adulthood, I rely on my friends who are nurses for those middle-of-the-night “my kids are puking” or “what is this rash” kind of questions. Hospitals make me nervous and jumpy, and I avoid them at all costs.
Eli's Story, Part 3: Grief
I was not prepared for grief. I don’t think anyone ever is, but I certainly was not prepared for the depths of darkness that descended upon me the moment Eli took his last breath. I had seen death and felt loss after losing both of my grandmothers, but this darkness was a completely different monster. It was all-consuming. The entire first year, especially those first few months, were a blanket of fog.