Wednesday, August 24, 2011

When Home Is Forever

If you've ever lost a loved one you're probably with most folks. If not, you're either very fortunate that it hasn't happened yet or you haven't loved enough.

I've had several online friends that have recently lost mother, father, grands & of course that sort of news brings back memories of my own losses. This got me to thinking about why I feel sad when I think of them. What is grief about?

When my mother passed, she had battled cancer for nine long months. Surgery had been done to remove most of her liver, but no other treatment was recommended. She suffered greatly. Knowing what she went through & being there with her daily, I can say, although it was one of the hardest times of my life, it was a blessing being with her during her illness.

All things had fell into place before she got sick that would allow me to be with her as much as I was. I was a single parent with only my income to support us. I had been out of work for about three months & things were looking pretty hopeless. My uncle, whom I had never worked for, came looking for my help. Later when we found out about mom, he would let me off anytime I needed to be with her for the day or several days.

I went through such a depression after her passing & didn't realize what was going on. But that too had been taken care of years before by my being put into the care of a specific doctor that had also been mom's doctor, as was his father before him.

Mother was 44 years old when she had me. She always told me the story of how she thought she wouldn't live long enough to raise me, so she wanted to give me up. In 1953 that wasn't a common thing to do. Her doctor in '53 was the father of our present doctor, but the son hadn't been born yet. Her doctor was going to adopt me.

I've always marveled at the story of Jesus raising Lazareth from the dead. The shortest verse in the Bible is there in that story. Jesus wept. I've wondered why did He weep? He had to know He was going to bring Lazareth back from the dead. Maybe He weep because of the people's disbelief? Maybe it was the accusation of the sister blaming Jesus for not being there in time?

Whatever the reason, Jesus wept & to the people there it must have seemed as in grief of losing a loved one.  This tells me it is right to grieve at one's passing. But isn't grief the deep, emotional feeling of missing them?

I sing to myself a lot, mainly cause no one else wants to listen. Sometimes it's old Journey songs or some crazy song I've heard that gets stuck in my head until I hear something else. But sometimes it's songs I need to hear; songs that comfort me. Beulah Land is the one going round now.

"Beulah Land I am longing for you. And someday on thee I'll stand. There my home shall be eternal. Beulah Land, sweet, Beulah Land"

Anyone that has been with someone through a fatal illness doesn't need a play by play recap of the heartbreak, stress, anger, fatigue involved. But to be able to say, " It was a blessing to be with that person through it", does have to have Holy intervention. God gave me a wonderful gift to be with my mom through the worst & best time of her life & for me to be able to realize it.

I had the privilege of hearing her make her peace with God. I heard her cry out in disbelief, in sadness, in anger & then her take comfort in what He was giving her. When she left this world, she was ready.

My sister-in-law was there the night mother passed. After so many nights of me not getting enough sleep, I was exhausted. Sometime after midnight, I woke to mother calling my name just as she had always done to wake me. I raised up in bed & saw her standing at the closed door. She was young. I had never seen her when she was young. She said, "Cindy, everything will be alright" & she was gone. At that very second my sister-in-law was knocking on the door for me to hurry & get in mother's room. She was taking her last breaths.

I am convinced that there is no way that a loved one that has passed on, saved by their belief of Jesus as the Son of God & their Saviour, & standing before the Holy presence of God, can ever wish to be in a mortal body again. Knowing & experiencing all that my mother went through, there is no way I could wish her back in that condition.

So my grief is for me. It is my missing her presence & others I have lost. I don't believe she misses me. Instead, I think she watches for my presence with her when the time is right for me to come home.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Don't Know Who Wrote This, But Sure Would Like to Give Them Credit!

This came to me in an email from a friend. No author was on it. If anyone knows where it came from, please let me know so I can give credit. I love this!
A possum is a flat animal that sleeps in the middle of the road.
There are 5,000 types of snakes and 4,998 of them live in the South.
There are 10,000 types of spiders. All 10,000 of them live in the South, plus a couple no one's seen before.
If it grows, it'll stick ya. If it crawls, it'll bite cha.
Onced and Twiced are words.
It is not a shopping cart, it is a buggy!
Jawl-P? means Did y'all go to the bathroom?
People actually grow,eat and like okra.
Fixinto is one word. It means I'm fixing to do that.
There is no such thing as lunch. There is only dinner and then there is supper.
Iced tea is appropriate for all meals and you start drinking it when you're two. We do like a little tea with our sugar. It is referred to as the Wine of the South.
Backwards and forwards means I know everything about you.
The word jeet is actually a phrase meaning 'Did you eat?'
You don't have to wear a watch, because it doesn't matter what time it is, you work until you're done or it's too dark to see.
You don't PUSH buttons, you MASH em.
Ya'll is singular; All ya'll is plural.
You measure distance in minutes.
You switch from heat to A/C in the same day.
All the festivals across the state are named after a fruit, vegetable, grain, insect, or animal.
You know what a DAWG is.
You carry jumper cables in your car - for your OWN car.
You only own five spices: salt, pepper, mustard, Tabasco and ketchup.
The local papers cover national and international news on one page, but require 6 pages for local high school sports and motor sports, and gossip.
You think that the first day of deer season is a national holiday.
You find 100 degrees Fahrenheit a bit warm.
You know what a hissy fit is.
Going to Wal-Mart is a favorite pastime known as goin Wal-Martin' or off to Wally World.
You describe the first cool snap (below 70 degrees) as good beef stew or chili weather.
Fried catfish is the other white meat.
We don't need no dang Driver's Ed. If our mama says we can drive, we can drive!!!
You understand these jokes and forward them to your Southern friends and those who just wish they were from the SOUTH.
 Don't you love it!
I'm sure this could be continued. Any suggestions?

Monday, August 1, 2011

I Dreamed of Lavender

Do you have those times upon waking, that you just know you've had a wonderful dream, but no way can you remember it? Try as you might, it just slips away further & further until you even forget that you had the feeling of knowing.

This has been happening to me alot lately. Not sure if it's coincidence, the natural order of dreams or a commentary on my aging state of mind. Then during the day, or maybe even several days later, it just pops into my thoughts as clear as though I was in it in the present.

Today was such a day for me. Whenever I remember a dream I have to wonder is there a message, a warning, a promise, something in there that I'm needing to get me through the day, through life.

It is so vivid even though it's been hours since the pop happened. Could that alone make it a thought I need for some purpose yet unseen?

To put into words to descrbe the dream is an awesome task that I wish I was much better equipped for. And then to anaylze the meaning may truely be beyond me. The best I can do will have to do.

I haven't remembered where or what I was doing in the dream, nor events leading up to the memory. I can see my hand holding a dead branch & I'm staring at it. I'm thinking, this is lavender. I've killed yet another lavender plant. As I stare at the branch it begins to sprout tiny buds. The buds grow right before my eyes. They open into leaves. Then gloriously the lovely lavender blooms begin to open one after another & the fragrance hits me & the color is so crystal clear.

But that's all I remember. But I have this feeling of joy & hope inside. That's the feeling I woke with. That's how I knew I'd had a wonderful dream.

All day I couldn't help but think of the time when God raised the dried bones & put flesh on them. I need to sit down & find that & reread it. Maybe this is the why of the dream, so I will get back into God's word.

I still feel the hope in the dream; from dead to life, from ugly to glorious & that brings the joy.

I've always told God if He really needed me to listen, He should shout & put His finger on the it I need to know. Not because I don't want to do what He wants me to, but because I can be pretty dense most of the time. Perhaps this is His way of shouting at me.

He certainly knows me though. He knows I believe all true joy & hope comes from Him.