Reflections

My 22 day miracles and gratitude challenge ended yesterday. It was a bit all over the place, emotion wise. Loss does that. It seems to step in, sometimes, on a perfectly sunny day, scooting over on the bench next to us.

For a couple of months, I’ve actually felt kind of bad for ‘subjecting’ readers to my going on and on about how badly I miss my momma. “Who still wants to hear about this?” I thought.

I mean, it’s been 6-7 months, shouldn’t the grief be all tidied up by now? Swept up and let go like dust on the wind?

I’m not trying to rush myself through parent loss by any means. I’m trying to survive it and get through it with baby steps and grace. But, I kept thinking about the sharing it part…

Then, about a week ago, while on social media, I did a grief search. Turns out there are tons of pages about loss and grief with thousands and thousands of followers. It reaffirmed that talking about losing my momma is ok.

Does it help me? Yes.

Could it help someone else? Maybe.

My cousin sent me a poem called, “Don’t Miss Me More Than Once A Day,” by Donna Ashworth. It’s a wonderful poem and I was instantly hooked on her writing.

The author has a FB page and lately she’s been sharing about mother loss. Talk about resonating. It seems like when someone gets it, they get it.

Anyway, what I’m learning is, this loss isn’t just some separate thing I can just shut off and send down the road. This experience is part of who I am now. Has it changed me? Oh my, yes. Have I figured out all the ways yet? No, not really.

I’m still getting through the “I can’t believes”, “I miss…”, and “what in the world happeneds.” It’s like when you drop a photo album with a thousand pictures in it and they all fall out in heaps on the floor. It’s the sifting and putting them back in some sort of order, but there’s no sense to where they go.

Maybe, eventually, I’ll get this all figured out. Maybe I won’t. What I’m realizing now, 7 months into this, is that talking about it or sharing this is appropriate whenever it comes up. People went before me in mom loss and people will come after me, too. We can all learn something from each other, I bet.

Instead of a daily challenge now, I’m just going to write and share adventures. Even if and when those adventures are about my beautiful momma.

Thanks for reading!

Jessica

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©️ COPYRIGHT 2022 UNMEASURED JOURNEYS

©️ ALL PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN BY ME- ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Miracles and Gratitude Challenge Day 22

Holy smokes! I’m guessing this could possibly be the longest 22 day challenge in history. I started this gratitude adventure on September 25, but because of some “I miss my momma” grief sprinkled in, it seems to have stretched it out a bunch.

Gratitude:

  • Lake Wappapello
  • beach time with my son, in Missouri (which isn’t near any oceans)
  • reflections on the water
  • a beautiful afternoon in nature on some random Wednesday

My son has a club on Wednesday afternoons for a couple of hours. Instead of just going home afterwards, we went out for lunch, then drove north to an area lake.

It was the perfect day to go. It was sunny, warm, and not very busy. We did a 1.5 mile hike on the hiking/bike trail near the marina and beach. It runs right next to the water and is absolutely beautiful! .

There was only one other person on the trail and she was very nice. She said that she walks 6 miles on the trail most days and sometimes she does it twice a day. I can see why! If I lived near that lake, I’d probably want to see those views every day, too.

Miracle photos:

part of the hike/bike trail at Lake Wappapello in Missouri
the section of the trail we were on has a walk out in
front of the marina
beach number one of the day
toes on the beach at Lake Wappapello in November

We went to two other areas around the lake after our hike. This one was completely new to us and it was down a lake road we haven’t been on before.

a new to us area on Lake Wappapello called Lost Creek
reflections at Lost Creek, Lake Wappapello in Missouri

From there we ventured to beach number two. We’ve been there many times. In fact, I’ve done other posts about this beach before.

This time, my son and walked the beach at sunset, drew in the sand as a tribute to his grandma/my momma, and tried to skip rocks. We are always on the lookout for heart shaped rocks, too.

beach number two, a heart for my momma
Tribute to Gram (grandma)
trees above the beach

We had a really wonderful afternoon. Saturday we are going to a new hiking area about an hour north of our home. It’s near a lake as well.

For some reason, my love for hiking has kicked back in. Luckily, it’s a wonderful time of the year! Less crowds, less bugs, plus beautiful fall colors.

Thanks so much for being here!

Jessica

©️ COPYRIGHT 2022 Unmeasured Journeys

©️ All photographs taken by me All rights reserved

Miracles and Gratitude Challenge Day 21

Gratitude:

  • Alley Spring
  • hiking
  • this lovely area where we live

On Halloween, after we went to Rocky Falls, we drove north and west about 20 miles to Alley Spring. My boy and I have a history there. Many times we have gone in autumn, when the leaves have fallen. We always make leaf piles and lay on them while watching the sky.

We arrived just about sunset and there were only a few other people there. There are two hiking trails. One is a mile and a half and the other is a third of a mile. Since it was close to evening, we chose the shorter one.

We’ve hiked it several times and I’ll tell you what, the views definitely change with the amount of sunlight. With or without much sunlight, the place is just amazing.

All the people left, so we had the place to ourselves! We made the leaf pile, stared at the sky, and walked back up to the mill near nightfall. The thought occurred to me, that now that almost all of the humans are gone, maybe nature could take a breath and rest for the night.

It puts on such a glorious show.

Thank you for reading. Hope you’re still seeing miracles and gratefuls.

Jessica

Miracle photos:

sign to the mill near Eminence, Missouri
Alley Spring Mill near Eminence, Missouri
Alley Spring Mill about sunset
look how much water flows through here a day
the spring at Alley Spring Mill
view of the mill from the hiking trail
I love this photo- the red, the water, and
sunset on the trees
the mill dressed up for fall

©️ COPYRIGHT 2022 Unmeasured Journeys

©️ All photographs taken by me 2022 All Rights Reserved

Miracles and Gratitude Challenge Day 20

Gratitude:

  • Rocky Falls
  • my boy
  • Halloween fun

When my boy was little, we used to do all the Halloween fuss- trick or treating, costumes, stopping by friends houses, trunk or treats, etc. I loved every single second of it, too.

This year it seems we have outgrown all the costumes and stuff. What’s a mom to do? I wanted a memory making day for him, so we started our own new tradition:

Halloween hiking

Miracle photos:

Rocky Falls, near Winona, Missouri

Rocky Falls near Winona MO
waterfalls we went to on Halloween 2022
that sky!
at the bottom of the rocks at Rocky Falls
near Winona, MO

It’s a gorgeous place to visit. It had been quite some time since we’d been there, I’m so happy we went back. From there we went to Alley Springs. I’ll show you those pictures tomorrow.

Hope you have a wonderful day!

Jessica

©️ COPYRIGHT 2022 Unmeasured Journeys

©️ All photographs taken by me

Miracles and Gratitude Day Whatever it is

My 22 day Miracles and Gratitude Challenge stalled around Day 19. It’s not that I haven’t seen any miracles or that I gave up being grateful. It just became more of an inner noticing.

Grief rears up sometimes when we’re trying our hardest to close the door and push it away. Bingo. My logic in doing this challenge?

Count miracles + be grateful =

Well, I don’t know what it equals. I just know I didn’t make it 22 days in a row of posting. Sometimes it seems like our best intentions don’t always add up or go as planned. So, I’m starting on whatever day it is. This day.

Gratitude:

  • pumpkin patch
  • my son
  • sunflowers

Miracle photos:

We just left the pumpkin patch. We had a great time playing games, miniature golfing, seeing animals, hayride, slides, basketball hoops, and getting pumpkins. I even got to go into a sea of sunflowers. Love flowers so much!

pumpkin patch in Arkansas
sunflower field at pumpkin patch
bee time
opening up
sunflowers in Arkansas

Thanks for reading. I appreciate it.

Jessica

©️ COPYRIGHT 2022 Unmeasured Journeys

** all writing and photographs by me

Seven Months

Somehow I’ve made it seven months without my momma. I have gratitude for my faith, my family, and my friends. And, the miracle is and was my momma.

I wrote a poem today. I don’t write poems often, but it feels right today.

“How I Miss Her So” by Jessica Adam

Seven months ago today

I spent the day with my momma

Twelve whole hours with her

at home.

Time since then

has been like a magician’s hat,

some days disappearing monumentally fast,

some days so still they

wouldn’t budge.

The shock of loss is still intense,

appropriate, I suppose.

I had her for 50 years.

I miss her texts with pictures of her pets,

her asking for pictures of my son,

and her whistle.

She was always whistling.

Can’t believe it’s been seven months

since I held her hand

and kissed her cheek.

My, how I miss her so…

I know I’ve told you a million and one times that parent loss is extremely hard. It shakes the leaves and rattles the roots. The amount of tears that have fallen feel like infinity plus ten, plus a hundred, plus a thousand.

Though not endless.

Yesterday I didn’t cry. Today I am.

I wonder how this will feel seven months from now and seven months after that. The same, I suppose.

I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the idea of how quickly she was gone. Or how sick she got so fast. I’m guessing that will never ever ever make sense.

But, my hope is, that by writing this, when I reread it a year or five from now, that I will SEE the strength I had.

Strength is so fleeting in this. Some days it feels nonexistent. Others days, I feel solid enough to listen to other people talk about their losses.

It has truly been a ‘raw, emotional, learning, hard, heartbreaking, sad, love filled, people-have-shown-up-for-me, I can’t believe I’m doing this’ kind of seven months.

If you are going through a loss of your own, as always, my heart goes out to you.

Thanks for being here.

P.S. I just went outside to take these pictures and saw three deer in our freshly cut back field. Miracles.

Jessica

©️ COPYRIGHT 2022 Unmeasured Journeys

** photographs taken by me

Miracles and Gratitude Day 19

Gratitude:

  • Rain!!!! We are in a severe drought with burn bans daily and right this second it’s raining!
  • The rain may help fill our pond where the deer drink water. It’s been so low.
  • A kind gentleman started brush hogging our back field yesterday. I can walk out there now without getting caught up in stickers.

Miracle photos:

clouds above my field yesterday
blue sky and clouds above my field
back behind the tall trees has been brush hogged (mowed with a tractor)
this side is next to be brush hogged
(mowed with a tractor)

How’s it going with your gratitude and miracles? Hope you’re still seeing them. I took a week off to just give myself some grace. Hope you have a great day!

Jessica

Miracles and Gratitude Day 18

I’ve got nothin’.

I mean, I’ve got all the regular stuff. I’m thankful for this day, my son, my husband, my life, my family, home, food, friends…

But, today, I’m missing my momma.

So, I’m going to share photos instead.

She loved my nature photos.

If you’re missing someone you’ve lost today, my heart goes out to you.

art on the beach
sky through the trees
leaves in water
bird footprints in water
sun and clouds on the ‘sea’

Parent loss is incredibly hard. Today I’m going to give myself some grace.

Jessica

© COPYRIGHT 2022 Unmeasured Journeys

*** all photographs were taken by me

Sweet and Kind

Last night, my cup runneth over-ed. Like all over the table and floor. I’d opened up WP and saw a notification. After I figured out what it was about, my tears just ran.

Last month, a blog I follow had posted about a Bake Off blogging contest, where the ‘prize’ was to have the entry featured over the weekend of October 15-16, as a way to meet new blogs.

I don’t normally enter baking contests, but her posts got me interested. So, I decided to try it.

When I went to visit my dad recently, I made him his favorite Raisin and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal cookies. I took a picture of them, wrote about how we lost my momma, and submitted my entry.

Last night, my entry posted. My goodness, what was written about my entry, my blog, my photos, my momma, and my words was soooooooo incredibly sweet and kind. The crocodile tears, sweet and kind.

After I handed my phone to my husband to read it, I sent the post to my friend SanDee. She’s been with me in this, since the minute my momma went into the hospital.

Thank you Jeanne, Mel, and Mel’s husband for creating a Bake Off where bloggers can see/meet/ find new blogs to read and follow. Such a wonderful opportunity.

Here’s a link to the post written about my entry that I’ve been gushing over:

https://crushedcaramel.wordpress.com/2022/10/16/sharing-the-joy-of-baking-with-those-we-love-most/

Jeanne’s blog is: https://ajeanneinthekitchen.com

Mel’s blog is: https://crushedcaramel.wordpress.com

Thanks for being here. Hope you have a nice day!

Jessica

heart with ‘mom’ in the sand that
I made at the beach on Saturday

© COPYRIGHT 2022 Unmeasured Journeys

** photograph was taken by me

Miracles and Gratitude Day 17

Saturdays are family day for me, my husband, and our son. Yesterday we went to a fall festival, picked up lunch, had a picnic at a lake, and bowled.

The cool thing?

All of those things were at the same town where we bowl on Tuesdays, 55 miles from home.

Gratitude:

  • getting to see our friends clog
  • riding The Scrambler
  • seeing new friends from bowling and homeschool clubs at the festival
  • picnic at the beach
  • bowling SEVEN games- I’ve never bowled that many at once
  • spending the day with 2 of my besties- my son and husband

Miracle Photos:

Being barefoot on a beach in the middle of Missouri in the middle of October! Humongous miracle!

where we had our picnic lunch
view from the picnic table
love that they have life jackets kids can borrow
there were deer tracks everywhere down by the water, here’s my foot with some

I miss my momma sooooooooooooo much. Especially when we’re around water. She loved water. I wrote Mom in the sand.

I miss my momma
‘Angel wings’ I found on the
beach next to the water
that sky!!! Clearwater Lake in Missouri

5 days of miracles left in this 22 day challenge. Thank you for being here and for reading.

Jessica

© COPYRIGHT 2022 Unmeasured Journeys

**** all writing and photography was done by me

Miracles and Gratitude Day 16

You guys!!!

I got to meet a blogger in real life!

On Thursday, October 13, 2022, my son and I got to meet Betty who has, https://chambersontheroad.com, and her husband Dan.

How cool is that?

We met at a cute cafe not far from their campsite, an hour north of our house. When we walked into the restaurant, it was like coming home.

We were met with smiles and gifts. They bought our lunch. We ate, laughed, told stories, and laughed some more.

Afterwards, we met at their campsite. I thought we’d maybe stay an hour. We stayed four! We played games, went for walks, took nature photos, and told more stories.

It was a really great day!

Gratitude:

  • that I found Betty’s blog months ago on a search for camping/ hiking blogs
  • that through writing/reading each other’s posts, it made the awkwardness of meeting someone new not as awkward
  • for the sunny, but windy, afternoon
  • for Dan’s help playing Yahtzee
  • for learning to play Rummikub- it’s really fun
  • for walking around the campsite and seeing Halloween decorations other campers had out
  • for their hospitality
  • for hearing about driving adventures, the Million Mile Van, movie stars, and the 300 game
  • Betty’s yellow shirt
  • that our jackets almost matched
  • for hugs and pictures at the end

Miracle photos:

some brilliant orange stuff growing
on a tree that we saw on a walk
trees reflecting on a bridge history sign
we saw on our walk

If Dan and Betty happen to read this, thank you for a wonderful day! We really enjoyed it!

If you like reading about camping, Pickleball, cast iron fried donuts, recipes, and other adventures, maybe have a look at Betty’s blog, it’s really great!

Thank you for reading! Hope you have a sunny Saturday!

Jessica

© COPYRIGHT 2022 Unmeasured Journeys

** all writing and photography were done by me

Miracles and Gratitude Day 15

Gratitude:

  • my aunt Esther who is 103
  • that my son and I got to visit her in August (she lives 11 hours away)
  • that she sent us a Halloween card 2 days ago
  • for Etsy!!!!! Etsy allows me to choose sweet gifts from some cool shops that I can send to Esther, just because- the last gift was soap in the shape of a bird
  • the tiny bit of rain we got that turned the leaves orange and red
  • getting to see our friends do their clogging dance at a festival tomorrow- they are SO good, it’s kind of like tap dancing but louder
  • hearing my husband’s fishing tales- he just got home from a trip to Florida
  • that even though my bowling scores were lower this week, I’m a little more comfortable bowling in front of teams now and I had fun
  • my dad is letting me use my momma’s bowling ball- last week when I used it, I cried, this week I didn’t cry!

Miracle photos:

My great aunt Esther and her daughter Patty lived together from 1979 to 2021 in a small lake town in Iowa, near Minnesota. They did lots of crafts and ceramics. Every holiday, they decorated their house with the things they made and bought.

Patty unexpectedly passed away on March 26, 2021. In May 2021, my son and I went up to see Esther for her birthday.

I hadn’t been to her house in many years. When I asked if she had an attic, she let me go up and look.

Up in the attic were all these boxes. Esther told me that if I wanted any, to take them because they were going to goodwill.

Goodwill?

That made me wonder what was in them, so I started opening the lids! Holiday decorations! Some bought, some handmade.

We had our bikes in the back of my truck, so I jammed as many boxes as I could into the back seat. Always wishing I could’ve gotten more… but, we barely had room for our suitcases, ha ha.

Because winters are very harsh up there (like 20 degrees below zero), they gave away the rest of the stuff, Esther sold her house, and moved into a cozy assisted living home.

Now, when I open up those boxes to decorate for each holiday, I can smell her storybook house, sold over a year ago.

If we hadn’t been there for her 102nd birthday, we wouldn’t have any of her things.

Miracles.

Esther’s decorations
a squirrel in Esther’s decorations

Thank you for reading. I hope you are seeing miracles wherever you are. I’d love to hear about them if you are! Feel free to comment, if you’d like.

Hope you have a wonderful Friday!

Jessica

© COPYRIGHT 2022 Unmeasured Journeys

** all writing and photos are by me