Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Good to Know....

I got online tonight to check my email on Yahoo and found an article about "grieving rituals" on my home page. I thought it was interesting. There were examples of various people and the ways they grieve. Some wear their loved ones clothes, some plant gardens, some sleep in the bed in which the loved one slept, others leave their loved one's cell phone in service just to call and get their voicemail and hear their voice. I haven't really found a "ritual"...that sounds so....well....freaky. I guess everyone's grief is different, but sometimes I just need to be reminded that what I feel/think is normal....that it's something everyone else feels under similar circumstance. I had expectations for what it might look like for me and our family, but experiencing it is something altogether different. I'm grateful for the people I've met who have been through the death of a loved one and for their gentle reminders that the hurt doesn't go away, but that the Lord is close to the brokenhearted. Somehow, because of his concern for our hearts, we are sustained.

It has been amazing to be on the receiving end of the outpouring of love, after having lost mom. There are so many things about her I didn't know....things she did to make others' lives better. I wonder how I missed knowing those things about her. How is it that we (I) get wrapped up in our own lives that we fail to know or see the gifts our loved ones are to others? I'm thankful for those memories of mom that are new to me through the eyes of the people she touched.

I continue to be blessed through this process.....daily.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Off the Grid....Sort of.

I have been neglectful of my little blog....much has transpired. My new year's resolution has pretty much tanked, although I have kept a steady stream of books at my disposal.

Currently, I'm reading The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. Amy Blackburn put me on to the TV series on HBO, and I fell in love. As a result of my enjoyment of the TV show, I decided to start reading the series. The setting is Botswana and the main character is Precious Ramotswe. Precious is a divorced woman whose father dies and leaves her with a large head of cattle. She sells the cattle in order to open a detective agency. The characters in this series are fabulous! Some of her cases are funny and lighthearted and some are quite suspenseful. At any rate, I am truly enjoying the series.

Earlier in the year, I lost my Addy to tick fever and anemia. I had to have her put to sleep. I was with her and it was truly the hardest thing I've ever done. My Adelaide was the truest of companions and I still miss her presence in my life. My brother brought me Lucy, a three year old chocolate lab/Chesapeake Bay Retriever. She has been a natural fit into my life, although in my absence this summer she's been quite a handful for her summer caregivers.

Mom was placed on hospice in March due to the recurrence of her cancer. She was too weak to undergo chemo again, so hospice was the only reasonable option. It has been a very slow decline. We had to move her into a private care home as it was too much for dad to care for her. At this point, she is loosing her short term memory rapidly, very confused at times, and mostly bed fast. It has been difficult to watch the decline. A woman who was once energetic and independent is now reliant on someone for all aspects of her care. She hardly seems like the woman I knew as my mom.

Presently, I am at Camp Blue Haven for the summer working on the ropes course. This has been a blessing in many ways. First, it has allowed me to stay busy and not dwell on the difficulty of mom's situation. Secondly, it has given me the chance to learn, listen to, and serve the Lord. There is no doubt in my mind that he knew I needed every second of this time here. I am blessed by daily prayer time with the other women permanent staff members.....a time to share and bear one another's burdens.

I am also being opened to the possibility of exploring some options for my life I had once fervently pursued.....I guess you might say wanderlust is settling into my bones once again. I don't know what that looks like, I only know that I am praying for the Lord to provide me with opportunities to grow and serve. Ideas are brewing in my brain, but whether those are things I need to pursue remain to be seen.

God is faithful all the time....in the calm and in the storm. It is difficult to praise him in the storm, but I am learning to thank him for the good that will come as a result of it. Thankfully, his patience is unending!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A New Year, A New Resolve

I got this idea from a friend, so I must give credit where credit is due. That belongs to Haley McDonald. She made the resolution to read a book a week over the year.

I love reading and don't get as much in as I would like. My friend, Stuart McGuiggan, works for a Christian publishing company and reads a new book every 2-3 days! I wish I were disciplined enough to do that!

So, I'm gonna shoot for my 52 books this year! I enjoy mostly novels....mainly fiction. I have read some historical fiction that I enjoy. I'm not much for non-fiction. It has to be nail-biting and gripping non-fiction to keep my attention. So having said that, any suggestions?

I did start Blessed Are the Cheesemakers a few days ago, so I'm counting that as part of this year!

Happy New Year, y'all!