Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Letter To Me

Dear Me,

Well here you are 25 years after. 
Who would have thought it?
Not you.

25 years ago, you, who seldom gets super stressed about anything, almost fainted with worry and anxiety over a 7 pound baby locked away in the back room of your hospital's nursery. 
She was protected and hidden from you but mostly all your friends who were abuzz with excitement at the prospect of  an unexpected adoption and who kept running up to the hospital nursery for a glimpse of "Becky's baby"  (who wasn't Becky's baby at that time).

What a day that was.

But today? 
Well,...days like today simply aren't imagined. 

Like those Spring days in 2004, I know you still wonder how this happened.  The question seems bizarre, I know you don't speak it out loud to many people.  You  know what happened,..yet you still struggle with the reality.  It jumbles up your mind, but don't worry,..most people won't notice.

You go on out to her grave and remember the good stuff.  And you know what?  Go ahead and remember that bad stuff too.  Because it's a good reminder of how far you have come.   

Today, you can be thankful that you no longer hit your knees about halfway across the cemetery and have to crawl and sob the rest of the way to her grave.
Today, the memories of wonderful moments are not full of torture at the thought of never making more..
Today, you can dream and ponder Heaven without praying to go there.
You are doing well at family gatherings, holding hands in prayer and being thankful for those still present rather than focusing on the ones already home.
You are rich in friends.  Rich I say!  The relationships are deep and truly wonderful.
Today, is good.

Today, treasure the thought of being her mom and enjoy the gifts of her presence in your life. 
Of all the moms in the world, got to be Jae's.
She lives still.
Keep going Becky.  Altho things aren't always easy,..neither are they always hard.
Who would have thought it?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Wrong Sides and Roundabouts

My wandering, wonderful daughter is now in Australia.  
Seeing new stuff, enjoying making new friends, struggling with employment issues, 
but in general having the time of her life.
She recently shared with me her experience of driving in a foreign country. 

In Australia, all cars must drive on the left side of the road.
Personally, I find that would be mind-boggling, but it seems to not bother much.

Another factor which could add to this complication is that her vehicle is a stick shift.

Here's your mind-exercise....
Pretend you are holding the steering wheel with your right hand 
and having to shift gears with your left hand.
all while driving on the left hand side of the road.

Still another complicating factor is all of this is that the intersections are all "roundabouts"

Getting out of a roundabout is dependent on knowing the name of the road you wish to get on and then knowing where the exit is located within the circle.  
Also, in Australia, the pronunciation of street names are not remotely phonetic.  (They may have given directions to turn onto O-NESS street which happens to be spelled like JONES.)
It's disorienting to the driver.
I had a friend tell me that when she was there, she had a passenger in her car reminding her to
"Stay left!  Stay left!"
Turn here!
Stay left!
Go around again and stay left.  
Now get right."

Sometimes, I think grief and pain is like that.
People in deep soul-pain are in a unfamiliar, foreign place which they've never been.
They have no experience and are utterly unprepared to navigate the overwhelming journey.
Emotional wrecking is common.

I will forever be grateful for the friends who entered into my roundabout of pain to encourage me.  The ones who wrote me letters, notes, called me up on the phone, took me to lunch, asked me into their home or came to visit me in mine,..until I could find my own way onto a road of healing.
"I've no idea how you feel but I love you."
"I'm sorry for your pain."
"I'm here."
"I've been in your shoes."
"you are doing good"
"I'm here"

 and then there were those who heaped more hurt onto me.
(They aren't forgotten either.)
Maybe they didn't mean to be mean,....but their stupid impatience made a significant and unforgettable impact on me.  People in pain need more quiet concern than others.

Luckily I have way more memories of friends who gave encouragement than
I do of the "friends" who were hurtful and mean.
Some people can't say that.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Here I Am.....

For some reason, I woke up wanting to read the Abraham and Isaac story in Genesis.  
I wrote about it a while back 

For some reason, this place in my Bible has very little writing all around it.  
Now I don't know why that is,... because usually when I study a story in-depth, it usually looks like this......

Anyway, maybe it was good that I'd not written much about Abraham because if I'd cluttered up my margins like I'm prone to do,..I might have missed something.

Three specific times in this story, Abraham says the same exact statement.
"Here I am"
Those were Abraham's words when the Lord calls his name one day out of the blue.
Now I have wondered if Abraham had wished he hadn't been so confident and willing to do "whatever".  Surely he didn't know when he eagerly offered himself that God was going to instruct him 
to offer his son on an alter.

Then later in the story, Isaac, confused, calls his dad's name.
Abraham's response to Isaac?
"Here I am"
How different he probably sounded then.  
I can picture Abraham confused and hurting.
Wishing to possibly comfort and reassure his beloved son, yet full of internal bewilderment.

Then a few verses down, we have the earthly spectacle of an eternal moment.
Abraham's arm is raised to do the unthinkable.  
He has never been so desperate, never felt so anguished,...
Yet,..he obeys.

God calls his name,.....Abraham! 

sobbing?,....."Here I am"

Now I'm no Abraham, I'm more like a conglomeration of all the disciples worst moments put together.
But I still want to be like him,.....

I want to say in any circumstance
Here I am...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Easter Hope

The Easter song I've sang every single Easter of my life;

"Low in the grave He lay,..Jesus my Saaaavyour.
Waiting the coming daay,...Jesus my Lorrd...
(piano part, bom bom bom)
(now sing this next part faster)
Up from the grave He arose
With a mighty pow'r o're His foes,...

Jae used to get that last line mixed up.
We still smile when the rest of the congregation sings "with a mighty Pow'r o're His foes" because WE remember her version of...."with a mighty fire on His toes...."

On a serious note,.. I'm ashamed to say that for years, the Easter/resurrection story may have been a bit too familiar to me.
Sing the same songs.
Hear the same sermons.
See the same people.
Wear the same new clothes.

Then death nearly killed me.

Singing songs about joy, life and how death has no sting suddenly became difficult.
It wasn't that I was angry,..but I was bewildered.
I was trying to reconcile the feeling of pain with the boisterous joy everyone else was singing about.

This Sunday, I will once again sing all the same songs. I suspect I will hear the same sermon and see the same people. Probably wear the same clothes.
But one thing has become different since 2004:
The Easter message of Resurrection will never ever again become dull and familiar.

Life and death happens all around every one of us.
Jesus has made a way for little-ole me (and you) to live with Him forever.
He has made a way for us to reunite with our loved ones lost through death.

What an amazing story.