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?”

 

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.

When You Don’t Feel Your Best…

I just have felt 100% today, I woke up early and just sort of laid around. I am cutting some of the sugar from my diet in an effort to lose some weight. I did few physically easy things but mostly I just laid around. I didn’t say anything to anyone. I just rested, not sleeping just laying.

Last night, I had let a couple of family issues get the better of me and it got my dander up. Then lonely kicked in. That sucked. Sometimes you just need somebody to be there.

I hadn’t been at work long tonight before I got dizzy. I sat there and just kind of let the room spin around me. I had some dinner coming but it wasn’t getting here soon enough.

I had something with me just in case I need it. My arm went numb and now my eye feels funny. I have done the looking mirror, there is no visible drooping. I stuck my tongue out it is straight.

I do notice I have some trouble focusing on the words that pop up on my screen and reading them back. I am in a good place to be checked, if need be.

For now, I will just keep a watch. I think it is okay. Time will tell.

Six Years…

It has been 6 years. 2,190 days, 52,560 hours, 3,153,600 minutes, 189,216,000 seconds. That is how long it has been since my world changed.

I remember walking into my house after he had to leave me. The transition had happened. He was out of pain. I was in pain.

My mom was with me. My best friend was the first one to show up. I sat on the sofa holding my little dog. It was more his dog than mine. They were there all day together while I worked until he went in the nursing home then most of my time was I there.

I sat there as people wandered through my house. I felt nothing. I watched as they carried food into my house and they sat and talked and honestly, I didn’t hear a sound.

As night fell, I began to pray. I was praying to make it through that first night, just one night was all I prayed for. I laid in the bed that we had slept in together and I cried. I laid there for some time. I remember when I woke up and saw the sun, I said I made it through the first time. I was going to be okay.

I couldn’t go back in my house and I walked off 135 pounds just walking to kill time so I didn’t have to go home to an empty house. Just something to do became therapy, which became a habit, which made me feel better mentally, physically and spiritually.

He had made me promise him that I would be alright and on the days and months that followed when I wanted to give up, I reminded myself of that promise.

When it got unbearable, I decided to end my own life. I knew how I was going to do it, I had a plan. Nobody would have thought anything except that I had grieved myself to death.

On the same day I was going to do it, I was sitting in my chair and I got  a response from a post on facebook that said “I feel ya but that first part isn’t right.” I asked the person to explain themselves. The response “I personally think you are hot and gorgeous”. I remember screaming all over the house. A friend of mine thought that I was hot and gorgeous. Me. Nooooo….. but at that point, I had a reason to want to live again. This man was gorgeous. He was sexy as hell and he thought I was hot and gorgeous?!?!?

I had been flattered by men since my husband had died but this one was different. I had sparked to him the first time I had met him. There was something more to him. Something of quality. Something worth me getting to know him better. That was five years ago. We have been through a great deal together. I have fallen in love for the second time after I thought I wanted to die. He became my person. That person I want to share everything (and I do mean everything) with.

If anyone had ever told me that I would fall in love again, I would have slapped them. If they had told me how deeply I would fall in love the second time, I would have laughed. Yet, here I am.

For the second time in my life, I am in love with a good, honorable man. A man who cares for me. A man who treats me with love and respect. A man who treats me an equal, he doesn’t talk down to me because I am a woman.

Does he still think I am hot and gorgeous? I can’t answer that . Only he knows the answer to that. I hope he does. In my mind I wonder. I am not 20 and skinny. I am not a model. He sees his share of those. I am not the kind of woman men trip over themselves to get to know although, sometimes people tell me I get a second look from time to time. It would be nice to hear it from him from time to time,  that he still thought that.

Life has changed for me a great deal in 6 years, 2190 days, 52,560 hours, 3,153,600 minutes, 189,216,000 seconds. At times it seems like a lifetime and at times it seems like it just happened.

I had one love and we honored those vows to the very end.  I have just found a new way of living and a new way of loving. the heart can mend and it can love again if given enough time and patience.

 

In Just One Day….

In just one day, I have felt fear, love, joy. I have seen glee, amusement, trepidation. I have heard of frustration, greed and success. I have spoken humor and sang of love, hoping that lyrics like “the day you strolled in, my heart was stolen” were heard and the smile on my face was seen because I was singing about and to him.

I have experienced life. I have lived, not survived, lived. It all happened on a typical ordinary day. Life happened. It may be far from perfect but it is my life. I may be far from perfect, I gave up striving for perfection a very long time ago.

So as I lay here, in my bed, smelling of the lotion I have put on my body, listening to the movie that I am not watching on the TV, with my windows open so that I can get fresh air and  I smile. I lived today. If tomorrow doesn’t come, I can say I lived. Even if just for a day.