My Aarons and Hurs

While in this mornings Bible study, I was reading in Exodus 17: 8-16. It is about how Joshua was fighting Amalek. Moses went up the hill and help the rod of God in his hands. While his hands were up, Joshua was winning. While down, he was losing. Moses hands grew tired and weary. Aaron and Hur brought a  rock for him to sit on. Then they helped hold his hands up. They held his hands up until Amalek was defeated.

This made me sit and ponder the friends that surround me. The friends that have been with me in my life since losing Richie. I have had to keep my hands, head and heart raised God for help just to see me through each day. There are many many times when I just get tired. Days where I just want to throw in the towel and ask God why should I even bother with tomorrow. But then a friend, one of my closest friends, that know my heart and deepest feelings will come along and be my Aaron. Be my Hur. They give me a stone to sit upon and hold my hands up high enough for God to grab hold of me.

That is the most special quality about my friends, my Aarons and Hurs. They aren’t just there for the laughs, shopping, food, fun and gossip. They are there to hold me up and wipe my tears. They are there to hold my hands up to God when I can’t even lift my head. They pray for me even before I ask. They help me keep one foot in front of the other and my eyes on God and His Word.

I have many friends. But I treasure my Aarons and Hurs.

This mornings Bible study was from the July 5th Our Daily Bread. It can be found at http://odb.org/

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 3 Days

In 3 days, my first born son will be 23 years old. In 3 days, I will not be able to tell him Happy Birthday. In 3 days, he will be celebrating his birthday in heaven. In 3 days, it will mark the 3rd birthday he has had without me. In 3 days, I pray that I make it through the day.

I’m back and reclaiming my JOY

It has been quite a while since I have wrote. There has been a lot going on. I had surgery. Church has kept us going. Our kids and everyone else has kept our calendar full. My daughter announced that she is going to have a baby so I am going to be a Granny. My niece has moved in. School is out and summer fun is underway. So so much is keeping us busy that I would like to say that is why I haven’t put pen to paper. But sadly it is not.

I have let something terrible happen in my life. I have let someone take my joy away. Actually more than one person. But to start, I let the words of someone who is very bitter with their own life get to me. Get into my head and into my heart. I let this person strip me down to the core with her words and leave me questioning everything in my life. What makes this so sad? This person knew the right words to say and how to use them. Even sadder, none of the words she said were true or even relevant. I had never in my life been spoken to with such hate and anger as I was then. Even though I knew everything she was saying was just pure hate, I let it sink in until it took my joy. I let this person who is so miserable in her own life, damage mine.

It caused a ripple effect too. It started with me feeling down from the words. Then it had me questioning the things said. This caused me to start letting other things get to me. Other people’s problem became like bricks on my shoulders. I let the words and actions that were so tiny aggravate or hurt me like they were the worst in the world. I even let someone at church almost rob me of my safe place at the altar. I would show up to places with an escape plan already in place and dread in my mind. I was only happy at home in my comfort zone.

What brought me out of it? I just dug in deeper and read more of my Bible. I did more praying and even more praying after that. Then one night last week, I had just had it. I realized that I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t joyful. I was sad. I was lonely. I was faking my way through so much of life that I quit even really living. So I reclaimed my joy. I took back my happy. I gave all the burdens that I was taking on from others back. I turned a deaf ear to negative and an eye to the positive. I for the first time in a long time got the urge to write again. I gave the hateful person that started this downward spiral to the Lord and her words to pray. I hope she finds happiness somewhere in her life and gets right with God. But for me, I am reclaiming all that is good, happy and joyful for me.

And now the writing begins……………….

Work and Grief

A friend of mine that lost her son shortly after I lost mine has been going through total heck at work. She was only given two weeks leave after the passing of her only son. Since she has been back to work, there are days where she has had to call in because grief had consumed her to the point that she could not get out of the bed. She has decided to leave her job after one too many inconsiderate write-ups over her actions. T (as I will call her) asked if I would help write her resignation letter for her. She thought I could help her put into words exactly what grief has done to her. Us. And all the mourning parents.

The request had me thinking of the best thing to say. How to exactly describe what we go through. How do you explain to someone that has never lost a child what it feels like to have a piece of your soul lost forever? How do explain how your heart never will beat the same way it used to? How do you let them know that grief does not pick non-business hours to rear its ugly head? I do not think there is any way to really get the full impact of having so much of your life disappear in the blink of an eye. Sure we may have been fine when we left work on Tuesday. But the dream we had that night of our child made us wake up thinking that he was just down the hall in his bed. And then realizing we woke from our dream to the nightmare of reality. Yes we were just fine when we left for lunch. But while in the car at the drive-thru our child’s favorite song came on the radio, leaving us crying hysterically and cars honking their horns at us. Then there are birthdays, holidays, anniversaries of death and life. What about the sadness we feel when our child’s friends accomplish all the things he should be here for? We not only grieve the past and present but also the lost future. We will grieve when we see our friends with their grandchildren we were robbed of. We will grieve when we watch his best friend walk down the aisle without our son as his best man. We will grieve every empty space at the dinner table, the empty stocking, the quiet nights, the missing sound of laughter and all the messy messes that we desperately miss.

How do you put a time on how much work you can miss after the loss of a child? When you give birth you are given at least six weeks maternity leave. They even give the same amount to Fathers now! But only to receive two weeks bereavement time to mourn the loss of 19 years worth of hopes and dreams? It takes two weeks just to come out of the shock and fog! There is no textbook example of grief time because no one person grieves the same as another. Some can handle day to day routines like before with a hard exterior. Some will crack in public over random thoughts. Some will never get on with life. Some will tackle life and grieve quietly in the inside. I guess I was lucky that I did not have to return to any sort of job after I lost my son. I never really sat back and thought about the pain and hardship that my son’s Father, his Bonus Mom or my Husband felt. So how do I try and help her explain this to her employers? There is no possible way for them to understand shy of them losing their own child. And there is no way I would ever wish this torturous pain on anyone…

grief1

Every wrinkle tells a story

I spent this morning looking real hard in the mirror. I look old. Gray hair, wrinkles, bags under my eyes, puffy places, droopy places! My jowls (as a friend calls them) are fatter and saggier. When did this happen? I guess it has been happening all my 41 years. Yes I have admitted it, I am 41.
I have decided this morning to embrace my age. Embrace my gray. Embrace all the wrinkles, sags and droops. Each one tells the story of my life. The lines around my eyes from laughing at my kids while growing up. The black circles under my eyes nights of sleepless worry while waiting on the kids to come home. The saggy puffy eyes from crying because missing my son is so unbearable at times. Even the one eye that is always puffier than the other! The gray hairs a mixture of a hard long troubled but happy life I have had. The gray streak a reminder from the day I was told my son was gone. The lines in my forehead from trying to understand why I had the life I had.
I have a friend that sells Mary Kay. She is always wanting to give me a make-over. “You will be a totally different person!” It seems every friend I have is selling this Nerium stuff. “You will look 10 years younger!” Friends that sell body wraps, eyelashes, weight loss pills and every miraculous age fighter known to man. It seems that every where I turn I can be prettier, younger, skinnier!
I am lucky to have the problem of aging. How many people are taken too soon to get to this point? My son for one. I have a friend that lost her daughter when she was 24. A time when her life should really start. Another friend who lost a son in his 40’s. I need to embrace this age and time that God has allowed me for whatever reason to see. I am lucky. I am blessed.
It seems to me we are all wasting precious years trying to be what we used to be or someone we are not. I don’t want to look like a different person. I don’t want to look 10 years younger. I want to look in the mirror and see me. All of me. Every flaw. Every line. Every age spot. Every little detail that makes me… ME. It has taken me quite a while to get the point that I am happy with myself. Happy with my age. I think happiness is the best look any women can have.
The endless lines tell the story of the journey that I have been on since birth. They are a road map that has gotten me to this day and the person I have become. I am going to embrace the gray! Embrace the wrinkles! And if I look 60 when I am only 41 then I will give God the glory for allowing me to keep on this journey of life. Because in my opinion, there couldn’t be a more gorgeous me than me.

Year 2 Review

First, let me say this…. To the people that said year two would be easier, you can go suck an egg. A rotten egg. Because truth is, year two is worse. A lot worse.

Year one we were spending it in shock and getting used to the fact that our son was not going to walk through the door ever again. We were so determined to be strong for our living children and give them a “normal” life that we put all of our emotions on the back burner. Stored them up for a later date. And while we accomplished giving them as best of this “normal” life as we could, we lost a little bit of our lives.

We entered year two with a fire that we were going to do all things different this year. We would live and laugh and remember our son with smiles and make new memories. That fire quickly was doused with all the tears that had been put up out of the way in year one. The strength that I had been leaning on faded away and faith is the only thing that kept me standing. Many days have been spent in the bed crying watching the clock. I had gotten really good at knowing how long it would take for me get my face to unpuff and go back to its normal hue and just how many cold rags it would take. I have figured out how long I can stay awake crying at night and still be able to get enough sleep to function for the family. I only thought I had mastered the face of strength and poise last year. this second year, I deserve an academy award.

Life did not stop at all this year for one second and give us a chance to breathe. One thing after another. Small things, big things, teenage troubles that made us want to pull our hair out, car troubles, loss of some dear ones, money troubles, health scares with my Mom and all this while trying to repair what death has done to my marriage. (more on the marriage later)

We did have our moments that we were overly blessed with. We met the man that has my son’s heart. Lance came and we showed him the town we raised our son and he got to meet Richie’s family and friends.  We met a young lady that can now run because of his gift. We were able to travel and watch Morgan graduate college. I was baptized! Richie’s best friend is married now and expecting a blessing of his own. Mom is getting better by the day. My spiritual life while being tested almost daily is growing. I have met and made lifetime friends that are on the same road with me that I can find reasons to laugh with and cry too. I have made friends at church that give me reason to laugh daily!

Death ,however, still has its shadow over my head. It is almost like sometimes I am scared for something good to happen for fear of bad creeping in. That I am told will ease with time but never go away completely. Year two has taught me to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Keep praying. Keep helping others. Put a smile on face even when I am a river of tears on the inside. And just keep on going. Oh, and to stock up on ice packs for the swollen teary face. Bring it on year three!

 

I Failed My Children

I failed my children. I have made one of the biggest mistakes a parent can make. Powerful words for a Mom to say. But it is true. What could I have done that was so bad?

Well, I didn’t beat, starve or abandon them. I didn’t take them to church every Sunday like I should have. Every single Sunday I should have had them in Sunday school and then sitting in a pew with me hearing the Word of God. Oh I took them here and there. But I failed to make it a priority like food, clothes and shelter. I let them go with friends and relatives to church and youth groups. But I didn’t take them myself consistently. We were not in church every Sunday as a family.

Why didn’t I do this? There are many excuses I can make for it. I was tired. We didn’t have a church we liked. There was that thing we wanted to do. I wanted to sleep. We will go next Sunday. It’s okay, someone else will take them. Well, we have had a hectic week. My Mom and Dad are to blame for not taking me regularly. On and on I could go but they are just that excuses. But there is no excuse. It clearly says in Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. I taught my children manners, right from wrong and how to be good people. But that alone will not get them into heaven.

I am extremely thankful that the good Lord saw me failing my children and put people in their life that would lead them to be saved. I will forever regret not being that person. I do have peace of mind that their salvation is secure.

So where does that leave them now? I am in church every time the doors are open. And where are my children? Well, they are there sometimes but not every Sunday. They are adults and I cannot force them. If I had started from the start of being in that pew every Sunday, then they would wake up every Sunday out of habit and be there. Then the habit would turn into a need to be there like mine. I did not train them up in the way the real way they should go. Now they are busy on Sunday. Too much to do, they have plans with friends, or simply just don’t want to.

I have ask for forgiveness over my mistake. But I still beat myself up over it. The verse from 1 Timothy 5:8 really convicts me. It says – If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied them faith, and is worse than an infidel. pretty bad when the Good Lord calls you like you are. I pray every day that my children will see how I jump up to go to church and tag along. I pray this cycle will be broken and they will do better than I did.

So my advice to all the ones with children… Take them to church. Let them see it as a good time and not a burden or a chore. Let them see you excited to go. Stop looking at your watch ready to bust out the door before your pew ever gets warm. Teach them. Talk with them. Pray with them. Do it now while they are young and they will standing beside you with their families when you are old.

proverbs22-6