When I was in beauty school in the early 90’s, I remember words that were spoken at a hair show by a stage stylist, he said “It takes three years for something to come into style, one year for everyone to wear it, and another three years for it to go out of style, totaling seven years for a fad to come and go.” That statement made me look at fashion as well as makeup following the suit of the seven year trend as well. I have deemed myself pretty good at following that rule. Made sense to me in my profession and I learned how to incorporate that to my clients and my own style through the years.
Isn’t there some rule about marriage too, “the seven year itch” or something like that?
Seven, seven has me full of anxiety. Anxiety because I know the day is almost here for us to send our balloons and messages to heaven and I hate the feeling standing in line getting balloons filled with helium, these are party balloons. I want a party.
One year, the cashier said to Nathan (he was 6 at the time), “Are you having a birthday?” Nathan replied, “No, my brother is and he died and we are sending these to heaven.” I ran out of the store sobbing.
Being just a few days from Matthew’s seventh birthday in heaven, I was thinking about the seven year rule and how it took me three years to want to live again, one year trying to figure out how to, and the last three years doing all that I can honor and preserve Matthew’s memory.
As the day draws nearer and I feel my chest tightening, I close my eyes and imagine how tall he would be, if he would love baseball like his brothers and love to go with his daddy everywhere. I wonder if he would think I was a crazy mama, but love me to the moon and back too.
So I was taught the ‘seven year rule,’ now what? There were no beauty school guidelines to tell me what happens after year seven. Sure, many will offer advice, some really good advice, but for every family it is different. Some people just try to survive, and I did that for some time too. But then I was ready to live again. I live every day knowing I am Matthew’s mama, just as much as I am Nathan and Will’s mama. I wish the circumstances were different, and frankly the thought of having lived the last seven years without our son hurts my heart so badly, especially when I know I will continue on that path until I meet him again in heaven. It is with much hope and great faith I know I am one day closer to him.
I don’t know what week, month or year you are facing, but I do know that this seventh year, the year that in the world of hairstyles and fashion, I was taught that the world moves on to the next best thing or the latest trend, I am holding on to the most precious to me, and come year eight, nine or twenty-three, I will still be doing the same, holding on to the moments I had with Matthew, the memories and embracing the tears that fall as well as the smiles that come.
Don’t get discouraged if you are trying to figure out how to cope, survive or live after loss, for me it took years and I am still a work in progress. Standing when I can, and realizing it is totally okay when I can’t.