A GRACE FILLED JOURNEY • Remember To Do The Next Right Thing

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You are lost, hope is gone

But you must go on

And do the next right thing

As the mom of two girls, we have seen the Frozen movies at least a hundred times. Maybe more. And I could sing most of the songs in my sleep.

But it wasn’t until watching a documentary about the making of Frozen 2 that I realized how special one song truly was.

And it’s not Let It Go, Do You Wanna Build a Snowman, or even the favorite at our house, Lost in the Woods.

It’s a song that I had to listen to several times before I really even remembered it was in the second movie.

Documentaries are kind of a running joke in our family, because I have told Kyle several times that I don’t like them. Enter Netflix and I have been captivated by more than my share of documentaries.

But it was Charley who asked to watch the making of Frozen 2 this summer. Not realizing it was a six-part series, I started it. And although she quickly moved onto something else, we started watching the series from the beginning when she went to bed each night.

Directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck take viewers on a walk through the final year of making the blockbuster movie. It highlights the animation, the story and especially the songs. We enjoyed the behind the scenes look at a movie we have seen a zillion times.

But it was listening to Kristen Bell, the actress who voices Anna, talk about Do the Next Right Thing, that got me thinking.

For me, it’s one of those blink and you miss it songs in the movie. It’s not the powerhouse songs we’ve come to expect from Elsa or the fun-filled songs from Olaf.

It comes toward the end of the movie as Elsa is frozen and Olaf sort of drifts away. Anna is left on her own.

I’ve seen dark before, but not like this

This is cold, this is empty, this is numb

The life I knew is over, the lights are out

Hello, darkness, I’m ready to succumb

Anna feels like everyone in her life is gone, and both Bell and the directors talk about Anna needing to look inside herself to find the inspiration to continue.

I can understand how Anna feels. Although, I’m blessed with an incredible family, friends and support system, I still felt as though my entire world was taken away from me on May 19 when Grace died.

For the past nine and a half years, my life revolved around her care. Taking her to therapy and doctor’s appointments, keeping up with research, helping raise awareness and funding, and mostly enjoying spending time with Grace.

And in a single instant, she was gone. 

You are lost, hope is gone

When Grace was diagnosed with INAD, one of our favorite doctors told us that you always have hope until there’s a reason not to. But suddenly, my reason was gone.

But you must go on

And do the next right thing

As the documentary continued, Bell talked about her own struggles with mental health, including anxiety and depression. And she talked about why it’s important to keep going, to do the next right thing.

In the two months since we lost Grace, I’ve learned that sometimes the next right thing is just to  get out of bed in the morning. Living with a four-year-old pretty much makes that a necessity most days, but it’s still a win.

I’ve struggled in feeling like I just continue to go through the motions. I get up and make breakfast and go to work. I do my job. I work on the laundry or do the dishes. I take care of my family.

As the days go on, I find myself struggling to find a reason for being anymore. I feel like my hope is gone.

But as we watched the documentary (and I think Kyle would be impressed how many times I’ve owned up to watching documentaries in this column), I realized that it’s okay. The important part is to just keep going. To just keep doing the next right thing. Even if it’s hard. Even if you want to stay in bed.

My journey is far from over. And though I imagine there will still be many tears, I know I can always do the next right thing.

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