Posts Tagged ‘death’

spring winds

March 5, 2012

March has arrived in all its blustery glory. The saying is that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Unfortunately, here in Nebraska, this lion is slow and grouchy and usually he crouches and leaps his way into April as well. Perhaps he eats the lamb, or frightens it into hiding, (although lambs aren’t smart enough to hide . . .) but I digress.

Even though March is still cold and the wind is annoyingly persistent, just the calendar turning from February to March brings me hope. Our wind chimes are being beaten to death, our stacked and covered yard furniture gets pushed along the porch, covers billowing loudly and our poor trees are being given a brutal lashing! The weather is nastier than all of December through February combined, minus the snow, but that could still come!  Even then, I’m hopeful because each day brings me one step closer to the warmth and flowering beauty of True Spring (which for me is warm 72-75 degree days, sunny, barely breezy and perfectly pleasant, which amounts to about 10 days total in a year, only making me savor them more!)

It seems my life has imitated the weather this year. My heart has taken a beating – losing my trainer, and then my brother; almost losing my other brother and all this after having lost my father a year ago. Life is hard; real life isn’t for wimps. It’s brutal sometimes and the winds feel as though they will be my undoing, but here I am, clinging to life. The sap inside begins to loosen, soften and flow and I find that warmth is returning to my spirit and life to my bones!

Springtime reminds me there is always hope. Life after death, songs after silence, laughter after tears. Life as it was may never be again, but life is still good despite it’s difficulty.

The advent of Spring always retrains my focus. It reminds me to look for the hopeful and celebrate the good. I will always remember the sorrow, but I choose to leave it behind and find new joy. As the crocuses sprout up and the forsythia bloom, my heart begins to delight in all things new and fresh and lovely as I anticipate the days of True Spring which will inevitably come!

I’ll see ya when I see ya

May 2, 2010

As a young wife and mother, probably the most frustrating thing I struggled with was fixing dinner with little ones to care for. Just preparing an edible meal was challenging enough at that point in my life, but doing it with a baby who had colic, projectile vomiting, who needed feeding and diaper changes, etc. was enough to push me over the proverbial edge! Doing that and meeting the dinner deadline was nearly impossible and rarely a delight! Dinner hour was the most dreaded hour of my day.

When my husband was late for dinner, after all that, well, let’s just say that it became a sore spot. I’d get frustrated that he was late; he’d be agitated that I was frustrated. After all, what was the big deal? He was doing something important. (And I wasn’t? grrrrrrrr!)

He couldn’t understand my world, and I resented his. Over the years, communication, love, forgiveness and grace have soothed the bumps and bruises of our earlier years. It helps a lot that the kids are older (nearly grown) and that I have lightened my expectations tremendously! It helps too, that my husband is great about communicating with me and we now enjoy mutual understanding and plenty of grace!

Now, when one of us is leaving the house, I’ll say, “I’ll see ya when I see ya!” No longer is there an expectation that he be home exactly on the tick of a certain hour. There’s a general time frame, but not a dogmatic expectation. If there is a specified time that is vital, we clarify it and say we’ll see each other then. But more often than not, my line has become, “I’ll see ya when I see ya!” The underlying message is that I’m not going to hold him hostage to an exact time to be home. He’s free to come home when he’s able and I’ll be delighted to see him come through the door at the end of the day, no matter how many hours that day may be! It’s amazing how pleasant life became when I adopted a kinder, gentler way of operating!

I’m glad our 21-year-old son is living at home with us until he finishes college in December. I’m so thankful to have him around after ‘losing’ so many years to cancer. If I catch him coming or going it’s a delight. I know that he is a full-time student and works nearly full-time at his job, so I never expect his attendance at dinner. That’d be a bit weird – he’s a grown man, after all! But I let him know if I’ll be making dinner and what it is in case he’s interested. I’ll holler after him as he’s walking out the door, “I love you sweetie! I’ll see ya when I see ya!” Message: I look forward to seeing you, whenever that may be!

Recently my family had been making plans to fly out to South Carolina in June to visit my dad and his wife. We were looking forward to seeing their home and yard that he’d told me so much about. He asked nearly every time we talked when I was coming out to visit. I’d almost begun dreading our conversations because I knew the question would always come and I’d feel so guilty for not making it there for a visit. I hadn’t been able to make the trip because of cancer, chemo-sickness, 7 months of dizziness, years of surgeries and then several subsequent years of challenges we faced due to work-related issues. Physically, emotionally and financially I just couldn’t make the trip happen. I was really excited about going out in June. Then I got the phone call.

We made hasty plans. We were finally going to make that trip home, earlier than June, to attend my father’s funeral. Oh how my heart ached and still anguishes. I was able to see his and Donna’s beautiful home and carefully tended yard filled with plants arranged with an artistic touch. Donna showed us around with sorrow-tinged pride. They spent innumerable hours working together in that beautiful garden. I just can’t believe we missed seeing him by 8 weeks.

I know my father had been disappointed I hadn’t made it out to see him yet. I know he longed to have me share that part of his life. I’m disappointed as well. My life-reality didn’t provide a good opportunity for me to travel there, and for whatever reason, he hadn’t made it out here for 5 years either. What a sadness we both bore. What disappointments we both gave to each other.

I’ve learned many lessons from this sorrowful event. I’ve taken away treasures from this experience and tucked them into my heart for future reference. I know my dad loved me. I have no doubts. I’m so glad my dad loved God also, and lived his life attempting to obey God and live to please Him. I’m thankful that one day, decades ago when my dad was a teenager that he decided to surrender his life to God. Because I’ve done the same, I have the assurance that some day when I die, I’ll be able to see my dad again. So even though I missed my opportunity to see him in South Carolina in June, I can still say, “Dad, I’ll see ya when I see ya!”