Looking Deep Inside….

Recently, I saw a man I had a great deal of respect for laying in a casket. His time here is over. Now, I am a firm believer that respect is earned, it not automatically given. Much like trust and loyalty, I hold this in high regard so if I respect, trust and am loyal to you, you have to be something special.

I have been very quite over the past week. I have been deep in thought and taking some time for introspection through this process. What am I doing with my life? If I die today, was my life worth living?

I have decided that some changes need to take place. Very few noticed that  I haven’t been talking as much. So if no one misses what you have to say, it really must not matter, so stop talking. If anyone wants to know what you are thinking, they will ask at some point, then I will talk until , just say nothing. If you implode, maybe they will realize that what you said mattered.

I am going to stop promoting a business that is not working for me right now. I will not bore people with what I am working on, I will continue working but once again in silence. I will only share it with those who care about it, not the public.  When you feel like you have little support, you do it for yourself not for others. You make what you like. You enjoy what you are doing even if no one stands and applauds. That is passion.

I am going to make the most of the days I have remaining. As I heard two days ago, we are all one step away from death. Do I want to spend the rest of my time chasing dreams that may not happen or am I going to do those things that stir my soul? I would rather stir my soul. If people like it cool, if not, that’s okay too.

I want passion, fun, life. I don’t want to spend all my time worrying about what I am doing wrong. I don’t want to try to measure up to what others think I should be, being the perfect daughter, sister, aunt, employee whatever…. I will never be the perfect anything. I promised myself a long time ago, no regrets, I don’t intend to have any. I will use the words “I love you” more. I will follow my passions. I will not allow myself to settle. I will be happy with who I am, what I look like at any given moment, what I love to do and who I want to be with. It is my life and I want to live every moment of it. I like the rush I get from trying new things. I like it when I am busy and my mind is racing a hundred miles a minute on something creative or constructive. I love that feeling. It is like jumping out of an airplane and free falling.

I want to live every moment, not just exist because, some day, someone will be standing over me and reminding people that this is coming to all of us some day.

And Then Came Peace…

In my last post, I wrote about my pastor. What we were afraid was going to happen, happened. His transition has come. Sunday night just before midnight, he left his Earthly home.

My folks called and told me. They called the other members of the church and told them.

Sleep did not come that night. Plenty of tears but not a moments sleep. The next day was my great nieces birthday and we had planned a girls day to take her to breakfast. My mom questioned if we should continue on, we decided that we should.

We went and had breakfast. I didn’t eat a lot. I had no appetite. I went back to my mom’s to take a nap. It never came. I rode to town to speak with my supervisor in case I needed to take off work. My person wanted to go have lunch. Once again, not hungry for food just his company. I told him what I was thinking. The loss, we as a collective group, was feeling. How it was effecting my parents. I just needed to be near him. I needed to know he was there.  I was tired. I hadn’t slept much on Sunday and none on Sunday night. I wasn’t much company but we were together. It helped to talk to him.

I worked last night. I had plenty of time to think. I firmly believe that we as humans are eternal beings in a temporary flesh dwelling. We are not meant to stay here forever. We are here for a limited time. Yet, I still struggle when someone I loves leaves their flesh house.

I use the term flesh house because a house is a dwelling. Not to sound cliche’ but home is where the heart dwells.

I wrestle with what I know and what I feel. What I know is that they are relieved of pain and worry. What I feel is selfishness, plain and simple. That is what grief is. We have lost that familiar. We have lost that thing we never thought we would lose yet here we are and we helpless and out of control; because WE ARE. We don’t control anything.

Today, I got ready for work and I hadn’t  been  around people. Something kept telling me that I needed to go to my church which is just outside town. I drove up there and I was listening to the song “something in the water. “

As I stood there, I took a picture of the three crosses in the church yard. There was a  cloud looming behind them. As I stood there, a light mist of rain began. It was almost as if there was something in the water. Peace, peace came to me right there on the side of a hill.

When The Heavens Cry With You….

My pastor is “dying”. I prefer the term transitioning to his permanent home.   He was sent home this morning, from the hospital with Hospice care. He was transported to one of the big hospitals on Thursday. This morning his wife and children heard the words I have heard before. “We’ve done all we can do”.

That very moment is when you start functioning in survival mode. You have arrangements to make. You have to make sure someone is there to care for them. Luckily, this is a family of a wife, 3 grown children and 5 grandchildren who are old enough to help out.

When he heard the news, he told them that he wanted to go home. So they went home. Last report, the nurse was with him where he resides getting him settled in.

We live in a small mountain community and we are a very small but loving congregation. We have been in constant contact for the past three weeks since he got severely ill.

He has been at our church for 23 years. He has driven 50 miles, three times a week to preach to us. He made numerous trips to the same hospital and others when things were going wrong in my world. He has been in my home when we were facing death to let my husband know that he was loved and cared for even when his own family would not come around.

When my husband died, he was right here in my home providing love and comfort.

After making sure my parents were okay after getting the news, I went for a long drive. I was alone and I could cry as hard as I wanted. It was raining buckets almost as if the heavens themselves could feel my pain.

I cry for his wife and his children knowing what they will be facing. I cried for our church, we have a heartache that unless you have felt it, you don’t understand. My tears are not for where he is going. He is heading to Heaven, where his heart and lungs will not be an issue. I cry out of selfishness. I will miss him.

He has been our spiritual leader, our burden bearer, our under shepherd taking care of  the flock. You have a tremendous amount of respect and love for him.

We are independent. We don’t have someone to come in and fill that spot, not that anyone could take his place.

So for now, we as a collective group try to carry on. We will have a fill in preacher tomorrow. We do what we have to do to cope. One lady went and rode with her husband in a dump truck so she would not  be alone. My mom carried beans to the can house to stay busy. I went for a long drive and had a good cry.  We all handle it differently.

My prayer for his is that his crossing be gentle. He has been a faithful servant.

My solace??? I can just imagine my husband looking at him when he crosses and saying “Well Preacher, what are you doing here?”

 

What The Heck Is Wrong With Me???

I have that feeling of unsettledness at the moment. Not sure where it is leading. I just something is not quite right.

It is one of those times when I am wondering what I have done wrong, although nothing comes to mind. No matter how anyone treats me, I blame myself, if someone is not talking to me, I have done something. I may not have but it is ingrained in my personality type, it is always our fault.

It is the end of the long week at work for me so that could have something to do with it.

It is during that week that I feel isolated. I don’t have much human contact outside work. I work, sleep and eat. You don’t have anyone to sit and talk with face to face. Because, you wake up in time to get to work.

That is the week I don’t get enough fresh air, sunshine and exercise. I start to get into my own head and the overthinking starts.

The negative committee begins to chatter. There is no way he can want you. You are not good enough. You are not smart enough. You feel like your thought process is so simple compared to his world view. What could you do better? Why even though you are trying to lose weight, it seems to hang on for dear life?

You fight against it with all your might. I am as good as anyone else; I am no better but just as good.  I may not be able to do what others do but they can’t do what I do. Don’t sit in the chair for 12 hours. Walk more than you have been walking. Leave the house just a little bit earlier so that you can get more fresh air and sunshine.

Still you struggle. Making yourself mentally and emotionally weary. You just have to carry on and do the best you can. Don’t let anyone see you are not okay right at the moment. You will be again, just not right now.

Tomorrow is my first day of the short week. I have to be at my part time job at noon, so still no rest but human face to face contact. It is a place to start.

This Is Not Fun….At the Moment…

Part of my philosophy of doing my craft is if it isn’t fun, don’t do it. If it doesn’t interest you don’t do it. There are things I have struggled with before but they interested me so it was fun even though I had difficulty with it.

I am in a spot where I don’t find it fun in any way nor do I really have an interest in the particular technique. I have intentionally stayed away from it because other people I know do it.

It is wire wrapping.

For some it comes easily. For me,  it does not. I have tried it before, several times with little to no success. For me it is like milking a lizard. It ain’t happening. I have spent the last week practicing. Wrapping, cussing, throwing away overused wire, salvaging the pieces I can to make bails for other pieces.

It is an exercise in patience. It has been requested that I do this for a piece I am making but I am struggling. All the other changes have been made, every one they requested. They being the people who jurored it for a gallery. It is just this one thing that is holding me back. I have put everything in front of this because I knew what it would be.

I don’t want to say it is difficult for me. I want to learn how to do it for the sake of getting into the gallery. Will I use it often? That is to be determined.

Just right at this moment, I am frustrated; with myself. Am I using the right wire? Is there something I should be doing differently? Obviously. Why can’t I do this? I DON’T KNOW. I am not whining, I am trying to help me by talking to you all and maybe if there is something that is making you crazy you won’t feel so alone.

Hellooooo….. is there anyone out there who deals with things like this??

I want to learn it, just right now I am struggling.

The lady who requested this adjustment is one of those people who said “You can teach yourself just check out this web site”. I have. That one and many more. I am not unteachable, I am just standing in my own way.

I know I will get it. Just like everything else I do. I am aware that some things come to us easier than others but it is just another hill to climb. I tried for six hours last night  only to get so frustrated I threw it across the room. That’s okay. I have to learn to crawl before I walk, walk before I jog and jog before I run.

Right now I am crawling and I have to be okay with that. I know all the wrong things to do, at some point the right thing to do will click and bam, it will work but for now, patience, practice and persistence.

 

My Staycation is Over…

My staycation has been a heavily guarded secret. Four people knew outright that I was taking a week off besides my co-workers.

I sit here on a Sunday evening, on my front porch, watching the sun start to set. This time tomorrow night I will be back at work.

It is quite. Not a great deal of traffic comes by here on Sunday evening. Not like other days. I am listening to a Van Morrison song I heard last night. I imagine what it would be like to be in his arms, swaying to this song. It is “When the Leaves Come Falling Down”, you should give it a listen. I have just left him yet, I want to be with him again. I miss him as soon as we part ways. I knew he was tired and I needed to get home to get ready for the return to working life. I wanted more time but I knew what I should do.

My staycation was made amazing by a single trip. The other days had their merits, but that little variation from the main road was excellent. It was one of those days when we were just going to ride to the next town and then something changed. They were working on the road, paving crews were scattered about in different area of the road.

We decided to come back a different way. We drove some back roads. We passed a river that we both love. We pulled off and we were looking at the waterway. I looked up and he had taken off his shoes and was walking in the water. It looked like fun. I wanted to do it as well. So out of my sneakers and socks I came. I am tender footed so it was interesting getting from where I took my shoes off and the water. My mom has always had us scared of drowning because she is afraid of water. It was barely up to our ankles but I walked around in the same river I was baptized in many years before and that was the last time, I was in that water.

It was so relaxing and just being there with him. That was the it for me. Being there with him. He had told me earlier that he thought I would go somewhere while I was off. One place in particular was mentioned. I told him I wanted to go there with him. He said I should have gone even if he was busy. I said I WANT TO GO WITH YOU!!!

So he gave me  a day of both relaxation and adventure on series of back roads.

We went in the river and after I got my shoes back on I sat there and basked in what I was feeling in that moment. The river and the sound it made as it rolled along. The nearness of his presence. It was more than I could say to him.

After I sat there for awhile, he gently said, there are other adventures awaiting if you are ready to go. It was almost as if he thought he would disturb my mood if he suggested it, I was happy to go see what else he had in store for us, so I got up and we started driving again.

We circled around a dusty gravel road and we saw this amazing view. I did some video with my phone because it was so beautiful; I was awestruck to say the least.

Once again, I was completely aware that he was right there with me. He was saying nothing. He was just letting me enjoy the view. He was letting me take everything in. He would speak if I said something but he was letting me take everything in, the big view and the details.

Our last stop was a rock mound that was connected to his childhood. It was a magnificent sight to behold. He told me stories of his childhood and his memories and I took each and every word he said in.

There was a moment when we were standing there and I said you know someone had to use this place as a dwelling place long before we got here. You could hear the water running up above our heads. It was a great experience for me to just be there, being there with him made it so much more special. That was the it for me.

He doesn’t realize it but that day was one that will live in my heart forever. We just bought lunch and gas. That is all the money that was spent but what I was given that day was priceless. I couldn’t have asked for a better day.

It is not where you go or what you do, it is that you are there with the person you love. That is the good stuff.

I will go back from my stacycation refreshed, even though it stated out pretty stressful, it was on so relaxing to just go on a huge adventure a little ways from home base.

Whatever State You Are in , Be Content…..

Usually, when I work on Saturday night, I don’t go to church on Sunday. This Sunday was different.  I started my vacation that night. There was only one thing I wanted to do on my vacation. I wanted to just go on a day trip to one place. I hinted to it but it hasn’t happened. It isn’t but a 3 hour drive.

As I sat there, in church, I listened as the preacher  read my moms favorite Bible verse. He talked about God providing for our needs but we as human beings don’t know sometimes the difference between needs and wants.

We feel like it is a need but is it?

My anxiety level was high. I had a program the next day and it had been a year and a half since I had worked with kids. Did I still have it? Was I going to fall on my face? I was so anxious, I couldn’t sleep. At all!!

I went to church and went out to lunch with my parents. Came home and laid down. Couldn’t sleep. Posted a sale on my jewelry. Dealt with that. Went over my talk with the kids in my mind. Went through the stuff I was taking on last time.

I knew I was as ready as I could be, yet, my anxiety was still high. Anxiety feeds off anxiety. You get lost in your own thoughts and it lead to sheer misery at times. This was where I was at. I just wanted someone to take me and hold me. Not just anybody. Him. He was busy, he was working on a project and he was kind of quite. I really wanted to talk to him but he needed to do what he needed to do, I get that. I didn’t want to bother him, I feel like I bother him too much as is.

I began to cry my eyes out. I couldn’t stop it from coming. I was trying, believe me. I finally started praying. And somewhere deep inside me I heard the words, be content.

This was about 4 hours before I was supposed to get up and get ready for the program.

All went well. The kids were happy, the people who hired me were happy. I was happy.

Within 30 minutes, I received a phone call that I needed to meet with some people about some of my jewelry that had been jurored. Once again, the anxiety level went back up. Once again inside me I hear the words, be content.

That night I slept like a baby. I asked him if he wanted to come with me but he never responded until I was there. I would have liked the company as he is more used to this than I am but it wasn’t meant to be.

I had the meeting. It went better than I figured. I was happy about that. I then came home to  an empty house. I played in the dirt resetting some plants. I went and got dinner and ate alone. I was kind of sad there was no one to share it with in person. I sat and I ate in silence. The words came back to me. Be content.

I am going to hold on to those words of life with everything I have inside me. If I am alone or with someone, be content.

If things are going well or life is beating me up, be content. For you see I am never truly alone. There are things I want but do I need them. Lonesome is a state of mind. I just work until my body tells me to go to bed. Then I lay there and think of the good things in my life and I am content.