Missing those gone and Pointing up

Grandpa's hand

I miss my dad. I miss my brother. I miss my grandma. I wish I could have known my niece. Today, in a quiet moment in the car as we drove home from an appointment it hit me hard that my dad will never know our third superhero. This has struck me before but for whatever reason…today…it felt raw and new. It cut deep.

In my mind’s eye, I could see the picture above of him holding my second superhero’s hand in his when he was just 3 days old. I kept seeing this image and remembered all the rough weathered details of his hands and remembered his voice…how it soothed away my hurt ego and pains of the past…how his hands held my mom or us as we cried and how they could show incredible strength as he worked on equipment in the garage or cut wood with the chainsaw.

When I see something funny or laugh about our water problems I can hear his voice, how he would laugh and sympathize at the same time…not making you feel bad and yet seeing the humor that you saw. I read a blog today about someone dying well because she lived well and you know…there is truth in that.

Both my brother and dad had huge funerals. They lived. They touched lives. They loved. They helped those who needed it often to a fault and were at times, taken advantage of. Yet, that was who they were. They shared their faith in Christ but in a gentle, honest, way…like breathing…it was never forced…it just was. They both knew how to admit when they were wrong and apologize from the heart.

Did they have faults. Yes…but don’t we all? I see mine daily but also am thankful for who I am growing to be. It’s like an adventure that I don’t know the ending to. I just pray I can finish it with dignity and impact the lives around me in a way that points to the ONE who has changed, continues to change and has rescued me.

Thankful

I realize to some my life may seem charmed and to others it may seem cursed. Charmed in the sense that there is much stability, love, and blessings both material and in the form of friends and family. Cursed in the sense that I am a survivor of a very abusive relationship, a heart attack survivor, and have lost three dear close family members in one year…my dad, my brother, and my niece. I could choose to look at life as charmed or cursed or something in between…an adventure with ups and downs.

I choose 1 Thessalonians 5:18…”In every thing give thanks for this is the will of God.” To me…this doesn’t mean God is saying “suck it up buttercup cause this is as good as it gets”. Rather, He is trying to show us to look for the good. Choose life, choose living, choose picking yourself up and helping others when it seems hard to get out of bed to brush your teeth in the morning. Pray for Him to help you to see the joy when it feels like all is gone.

My current health journey…I am 3 years post-heart attack and stent placement. I eat a mostly whole food diet and exercise more than not. Currently that means 4 to 5 days a week about an hour per time. I am 24 weeks pregnant and am trying to push past the fear and anxiety I have since my niece died at full term 3 months ago. Instead I am trying to rest in God and trust that God has a plan for this little guy kicking in my belly no matter how long or short his life is.

I am following OB, high risk OB, and Cardiologist orders strictly. I wept when my cardiologist said he has no worries and I can stay off some medications after the birth so I can nurse. I feel like I have been given so much and also lost so much but blessed be the name of my Abba Father who cares about a minute detail like my desire to nurse our third boy. He care that I weep when I hear the lyrics to a Newsboys song

Something Beautiful …

I wanna start it over
I wanna start again
I want a new beginning
One without an end
I feel it inside
Calling out to me

It’s a voice that whispers my name
It’s a kiss without any shame
Something beautiful
Like a song that stirs in my head
Singing love will take us where
Something’s beautiful

I’ve heard it in the silence
Seen it on a face
I’ve felt it in a long hour
Like a sweet embrace
I know this is true
It’s calling out to me

It’s a voice that whispers my name
It’s a kiss without any shame
Something beautiful
Like a song that stirs in my head
Singing love will take us where
Something’s beautiful

It’s the child on her wedding day
It’s the daddy that gives her away
Something beautiful
When we laugh so hard we cry
It’s the love between you and I
Something beautiful

Reminding me of my Dad giving me away in our simple state park wedding with our closest friends and family there and how I won’t see him again until Heaven.

I know this is rambling on but my point is this…be thankful. Embrace life and fight for all it’s worth to see the good, to contribute to the positive in your little circle. Be there for your mom, dad, siblings, husband, children, friends. Really, really be there and love on them and thank God that you have another day to love on them. For the alternative is so bleak and depressing and holds us back from really living.

Take care,
Dee

Walking The Rough Roads

So a few weeks ago I posted a recipe. I felt like I was getting my groove back after a year of grieving the loss of my dad. Then BOOM….my brother and his wife lost their precious, beautiful daughter just a short time after birth. We made the 15+ hour drive to my hometown for the funeral only to leave my grieving family and trek back a couple days later.

Fast forward two weeks… I get a phone call… it’s my sister…she asks if I’m home and sitting down…it’s my brother…he’s been in a car accident…he didn’t survive. Three deaths. One year.

Each loss compounds the other. Each loss brings more tears and heartache…sometimes finding yourself crying and unsure of which person you’re missing or if it’s all three of them? Each one waking you in the early morning hours unable to sleep so instead you find yourself praying and weeping for your mom who has seen her son leave before her, her husband leave before their 50th wedding anniversary, a grandchild leave before she could snuggle her. Your sister in law and brother losing their daughter before she even had a chance to live…before they could see her smile or sit up or laugh. Your future sister in law losing the passionate, sincere love they both found in each other…losing their dream of moving to Alaska, having a family, traveling…

I am forced to face the reality that this life is full of pain. God never promised us we would be spared from it. Think of Job in the Bible…losing everything. Think of Moses…wanders 40 years only to die shortly after seeing but not entering the land promised to him. And I think of my family…who love each other so much and reach out to others not out of obligation but out of a heart of compassion that only comes from the One who loved us first. The One who died to provide a way for us to join Him one day.

What I do know is that the Bible is filled with stories of Christ hurting over those who hurt, showing compassion on others, and even weeping over those who passed on. It doesn’t show Him vindictively inflicting pain left and right just so we can “learn to be tough”. It shows Him walking alongside the hurt and downtrodden…hurting as they hurt and walking alongside them.

So I see myself as having two choices…believing in a God who impersonally looks down from above and watches us hurt…or believing in a God who loves us and longs to have us be without pain one day but for now…for now… He will be the Comforter through His spirit, through memories of my family members, through the love and generosity of friends, family, and strangers, and through His word…the Bible as it daily soothes my soul.

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