Restoration or Resolution (Part 3)

Restoration or Resolution (Part 3)

Restoration or Resolution (Part 3)

It’s been awhile, once again, since I’ve been here, back to my little blog, my baby that I have let fly solo after monitoring it daily since it’s birth.  Sometimes multiple times in a day.  Loving the feedback; loving that you guys loved some of my stuff.  And now, here we are, after those long months of getting established, pouring my heart and soul and silliness into it, we go our separate ways most days, turning into weeks.  It wasn’t supposed to turn out this way.  We were supposed to be acknowledged by WordPress as blog of the month or week; Freshly Pressed it’s called.

But, really, our little venture has served its purpose: as a fulfillment for my desire to write (whether that’s good or bad writing) and as a catharsis for my troubled soul, helping me to overcome catastrophic events.  Those events that change a person: our thoughts, actions, feelings, personalities, ability to relate to other people, affecting how we relate to other occurrences in our lives.  It has helped shed some light, hopefully, on the anguish and devastation of mental illness as well as given honor to a good man who died way too young.

reading apronsandappetites

reading apronsandappetites

So to catch you up, all who have just today wondered by or to you good people who follow along in my meager efforts to express myself, you can go back here and here to read the previous blogs on this subject or continue reading.

a beautiful day

a beautiful day

The morning dawned with the beauty and the warmth of springtime.  It was 60 degrees!  What a surprise.  A spring day right smack dab in the middle of January winter, melting the snow and creating a day for the outdoors.  A beautiful day that did not lift the heavy foreboding I had that something was wrong; someone had died.  My fear took hold, choking common sense.  If someone had died, then I would have gotten a call.  Of course, that call would have gone through Paul and Gretel for there were no phones capable of incoming calls nor televisions for aired programs in the housing where guests stayed.  Just peace and quiet.  I could call out on the phone that was there, and I could watch the movies they had for guests’ enjoyment, all G-rated, but there was no intrusion from the outside world to disturb those that stayed in this Eagle’s Nest.

That was also the day after my “send her to Thessalonica” dream.  The day I rebelled against the Lord, telling Him there was no way I was reading the Thessalonians.  He had not helped after all those prayers.  Why should I do what I knew He was asking me to do?  So instead I went for the walk that brought me to His feet, to sit and listen and envision His own pain and sorrow.  The walk that brought comfort and encouragement and strength.  The walk that said, “you can do this; go on back and make that phone call.”  The walk that validated my foreboding that someone had died.  And that someone, I just knew, was my son; the son who had struggled with drug addiction for years.

All day I had walked that 200-acre farm.  There were trails to follow and benches to sit on, ponds to meditate beside, gullies to explore, embankments to climb.  I had taken the map provided and thought I fairly well knew where I was, so when I noticed the storm clouds gathering that afternoon, I wasn’t too worried.  At that point in my exploration I had been walking down an almost dry creek bed with woods on the left and a steep embankment on the right.  I decided if I climbed the embankment, the farm should be right there to my right.  When I finally got to the top, pulling myself up with tree limbs, and looked out over the field, there were no houses in sight.  Just field and woods.

The thunder rumbled and the panic set in.  I scurried back down to the creek bed, thinking that the only thing to do would be to backtrack  my path, those hours worth of walking,  and that I surely would not beat the storm brewing.  My first encounter when I reached the creek bed was a big deer that ran out in front of me followed by a ‘possum.  Where had all those animals been all day?  They hadn’t been around earlier.  Were they as frightened of the storm coming as I was?  Would that cause them to fear me, thus causing them to attack me?  I had heard of how vicious an opossum could be when threatened.  As I stood and looked around, there was wildlife rushing around all over that piece of wooded area.  How would they feel about me barging into their sanctuary as I raced the storm?  And I was filled with dread and fright and uncertainty, knowing I would never beat the storm back to where I was staying.

How far back did the creek go?  Now I couldn’t remember how long I had walked it.  Would it fill quickly if the rain poured?

The storm within me was roiling and brewing more than the storm in the sky until I heard in the small rush of wind the voice speaking within my spirit, “Don’t go the familiar way.  Step out and trust and go forward.”

As I looked up at the embankment and around at the wildlife and creek, I decided that’s what I would do.  I wouldn’t follow the familiar, but I would go forward.  I scrambled back up to the field, and as I stepped out of the woods and into that field, I could see that, yes, there was the farmhouse.  I was right where I thought I had been according to the map.

And I pondered on the walk back to my “home” the lesson God was teaching me.  I thought of all the people I see coming through the court system who fall right back into the familiar path of drugs or alcohol or bad relationships or circle of friends.  I thought of all the children that didn’t want to leave abusive parents because that was “the familiar path,” all they knew.  I thought of the way Christians don’t want to change church services or opinions or routines, staying in the rut that leads down the familiar path.  The scripture in Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; and He will direct your path” came to mind.

In my walk with God that day, I knew that my foreboding had been for a real reason, one I dreaded hearing, one subconsciously I had been waiting to happen for a long time.  When I finally called my sister and told her I knew that someone had died, she instantly began crying, sobbing.


Sweet Sam

Well, it’s not tomorrow, if you read my last post.  But it is Sam’s day to shine.  And he does love to shine.

Sam summer 2009

This pic was a couple of years ago, but it portrays his sweet little smile that he still has today.  Although, this picture does show his mouth closed which never happens.  He talks nonstop.

On our way home from K.C., as he sat way back in the far back seat, he asked his Mawmaw, who had driven the whole trip, why she had to do all the driving and Gigi was just sitting there.  See how thoughtful he is?  Then he proceeded to tell us how unfair that was and all Gigi was doing was just lying around.  I had to save my reputation and explain that I had to take care of little Ava so I really couldn’t drive.  I don’t think he bought it.

Sam is a special gift to me from God as well.  If you read my last post, you saw that 2001 was a bad year, but in 2002 God gave me little Jack.  Then the next year, in 2003, we were all busy getting ready for Jack’s first birthday which kept me from dwelling on the anniversary of my husband’s death, as well as all the other things that were occurring within my family.  Then in the latter part of 2003, Julie (bless her heart) was pregnant again.  Another baby due the last of April!  Yippee.  Another surprise since they chose to let the sex be kept a secret from them once again.

And once again, in March of 2004, five weeks early, Julie had to go into delivery with Sam.  Another wonderful distraction from sad memories.  This time I didn’t make it in time for the birth, just barely missing it,  and so the evening was filled with anticipation and eagerness to get there, phone calls back and forth.  “Do we have a baby yet?  What do you think it’s going to be?”  And once again, the little fella came five weeks early, on March 12, the exact date of my husband’s death only two years previous.   And once again around the exact same time as my husband lay dying, my little nephew was being born.  A gift to me from God.

Little Sam fell as in love with me as I was with him, just as Jack had done.  My life was again filled with a baby, a new little life, plus the added delight of a two-year-old Jack. Such wonderful distractions from sad situations.  And once again my sister and Julie shared their little bundles of joy with me.

So for the four years after the death of my husband, on each anniversary of that death, a little life was born or a celebration of that little life was taking place.  These two boys have been God’s blessing to me… and at this time of thankfulness, I am so thankful for them.

My Sweet Jack and Sam

The sister and I took a day trip to the doc today, getting all kinds of tests taken and blood vaccuumed from our veins.  Next week is the return trip to see how healthy/not-so-healthy we are.  Let’s hope it turns out better than today’s extraordinarily long day–maybe she will allow me to tell you about it later — however, we did swear each other to absolute secrecy.

But the whole point of that little intro (because we talked about them) was to bring up my nephews, Jack and Sam.  I’m sure I have mentioned them before and maybe even why they are so special to me, but today I am going to tell you again because today I am counting them as one of my greatest blessings and am most thankful this month for the little boogers.

Sam and Jack Easter 2011

The year 2001 at approximately 5:00 in the evening on March 12 my husband died.  And I was devastated.  Exactly one year later, little Jack was born.  And here’s the story…

The week of March 12, 2002, I took off three days of work because I knew I wouldn’t be able to concentrate at work.  It was the anniversary of my husband’s death, and the year had been extremely rough for me.  In January of 2002 my mini-breakdown, as I call it, was only appeased by a trip to the Eagle’s Nest (another awesome story for another day).  By March I was back at the regular grind of learning to live without parts of me or, in other words, great grief.  The only way I can express to you how grief feels is to say it is like losing parts of your body, say, a leg and having to learn to live without that part, learning to walk all over again.  Knowing the days around March 12 were going to be tough ones, I prepared and took time off from work.

My sister’s daughter-in-law was pregnant at that time, due the middle of April, but on March 11 Darla calls and says, “Julie’s water broke; we’re going to the hospital.”  Oh, my!  That’s at least five weeks early!!  I jumped in my vehicle and met them on the highway, being the lead vehicle, honking at people to move their slow butts out of the way (the contractions were getting closer and by golly she wanted that epidural!).  We had to get there in time for the epidural!!  It just so happened that the 11th came that year on the same day of the week that James died, not the date, but the day of the week.  I had been reliving all the events.  Until Dar called.

As we raced to the hospital and waited for him to be born, I forgot about everything else.  Wes, the uncle-to-be, was there with the video camera interviewing all of us.  “What do you think it’s going to be?  Girl?  Boy?”  Davy and Julie had chosen to be surprised at birth instead of finding out from the sonogram what the sex would be.  That made it doubly exciting!  Wes had all sorts of neat things on that video, fun things, and we were all so eager.

Not until it was all said and done did we realize that little Jack had been born at the same time my husband had been dying only a year earlier.  What had been destined to be a heart-wrenching evening had turned into one of joy and thanksgiving.  A gift from God to me.

Jack summer 2009

From the first moment that little fella was put in my arms, he loved me.  He wanted me even when his Momma was around or his Mawmaw.  And even though Jack was my sister’s first grandchild, she gave him up to me, letting him love on me instead of her many, many times.  And even though Jack was his Momma’s first-born son, she gave him up to me, to let him love on me many, many times.

How can I express my thankfulness to God for these women?  How can I make you understand how special a gift that was to me in a time I was losing every person I loved to death or mental illness or drugs?  What can I possibly say to convey the depth of aloneness that was relieved by this little baby’s hand grasping mine and his great love and longing he had for me?

My gratitude to God for this precious gift He gave me, even though his sweet Momma had to give birth five weeks early for me to get it/him on the day I needed, is deep.  I will not understand this life until I get to Heaven; it is too complex; there are too many contradictions.  Why does something bad happen or something wonderful happen?  When I was yelling and screaming and mad at God, He finally had a little talk with me, through chapters 38-41 in the Book of Job, and told me to stop.  I’ll let you read it and see what He said.

Tomorrow… Sweet little Sam.