When I lost my sister it was really hard to grasp emotionally.
In fact I am still working through the reality that she is gone, fully and truly gone.
That in this life I will not ever see her again. She has been gone almost three months.
Loss is not an easy topic.
In our society if a family member dies and someone works at a job, they are entitled up to three bereavement days. Some company’s may allow more; but they don’t have to allow any.
I may not be saying all this right but my point is we don’t allow time for a broken heart.
When a loved one passes away there is really no time for grieving because life goes on.
It doesn’t stop for tears or sadness; it presses forward and expects you, ‘the one who is grieving’ to press forward too.
My sister had been sick for many years with an addictive personality; she learned survival early on and did what she could to manage her ‘self’ which often meant medicating.
When her husband died she was moved into a care setting which actually was a safe place for her and a place of protection.
She lived relatively healthy until about a year ago, then she fell and the care home could no longer give her what she needed.
She became even more ill and more unable to breathe and eat; and I imagine it was a bit scary for her. None of us want to face our own death even in the best environments.
None of us knows what it will be like for us at the end of our life when the end comes.
We can pray and hope and know that our heart condition is right.
We can allow others to care for us when we can’t do it ourselves.
It is a releasing and letting go.
When I lost my sister I honestly can say, I lost a piece of myself too.
Our history is gone. Only in memory now. I look at pictures and there is a missing person.
I will allow myself to follow the feelings and not stuff the sadness.
Loss is not easy and we make it harder when we don’t talk about it.
When I lost my sister it was really hard to grasp emotionally.
Have you ever had a favorite book you love to read maybe once a year?
Years ago I discovered a book called Hinds feet on high places written by Hannah Hurnard.
It is a love story between much afraid and the Lord, her good shepherd.
It brought so much healing to me on so many levels when i read it.
I cannot hardly describe the beauty of the book.
It is an allegory [a story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one.
“Pilgrim’s Progress is an allegory of the spiritual journey”]
I have never read Pilgrims progress; but Hinds feet on high places is a spiritual journey of healing, hope and courage.
She is challenged to do things that bring fear to her and at the same time strength.
He the good shepherd gives her helpers along the way as she journeys on her path.
He explains to her the way of the high places is both dangerous and difficult; but once one arrives they find beauty and peace.
Much afraid cannot relate and allows her fearful heart and her doubt to keep her from moving in any direction. (have we NOT been in this place?)
The book tells a story of a journey.
Something that we all must go on at some point in time.
I read it with great thirst for what it was telling me and how it was teaching me.
If you ever feel the need to read something that is good and able to teach you at the same time; I challenge you to read this one.
You will find it to be a warm refreshing read, and for me it was healing on many levels.
I pray you find the time to sit, grab some tea and read a good book.
The other day I realized it is almost September.
Where has the time gone? it seems like it was JUST here just a few months ago and here we are almost a year and school kids are returning and teachers are prepping classes.
Teaching is not what it used to be. I feel for the teachers now a days. It is hard work.
Then onto another topic:
Growing old is not for the faint of heart; I tell you the days just run into each other.
And the aches and pains and oh my trying to find the right herbal or natural products to use, since I am not one for many prescription drugs.
Behind our new home there is a very large field of hemp plants that will eventually become Cbd oil.
I have been doing some reading on it and it is actually ok so long as the drug component is taken out of it.
There is also a lot of medicinal use for it on many levels.
I am trying some cream on my feet as I have some pretty sore feet at times.
The other thing I am doing these days is still unpacking boxes and boxes and more boxes.
How can two people have so much stuff? and that is the problem, the stuff is what we don’t really need. I open a box, look it over and take one or two items out and the rest go away.
I don’t want a house full of unnecessary items.
I am really pushing myself to get rid of, rehome and repurpose any and all extra items.
Soon fall will arrive and the summer clothes can be put away.
I am looking forward to decorating simple using just enough to make a statement for each holiday, Spring/summer then fall and winter.
I am ready for the change of seasons, and I am ready for the days to move forward.
What is your favorite season?
I have been really slow at this writing lately.
The move has taken time and I am still adjusting to all the new spaces or should I say, lack of spaces.
The house we moved to is much smaller than our old one so I have had to re-organize and re-think a lot of things that I used to want to keep or store. There just isn’t room.
It’s funny because my word for the year stayed the same as last year, which was ‘simplify’.
Well I am certainly doing that now.
We never had any intention of moving last fall. It happened fast and I feel the way the Lord wanted it to be. The little cottage style house is cute and cozy and we are making it our own with new paint and new outside settings.
Last week we got my gate put up. My dad gave it to me when my sister was on hospice in 2006.
He said to me, “what do you like?” I said, “roses and angels.”
He didn’t think he could do an angel but he did put on roses and even signed it with his name.
It doesn’t have his cowboy hat emblem but it does have his name and that makes it very personal for me. I will always treasure it.I am pleased with the way it came out as a decorative piece in our yard.
We are slowly getting used to this new little cottage. The walls are getting more full of special pieces and I am trying not to get things looking crowded.
Simple is better.
So the unpacking will resume next week our garage is full of assorted boxes.
Wish me well as I go through and remove excess stuff.
Simple is always better.
Last Friday’s word prompt was a good one, and it really made me think.
The word was middle.
The idea is you take a word, and write for five minutes without editing.
Since I just recently lost my middle sister; it is fresh on my mind that the birth order is different now.
There were three sister’s growing up together.
There was an oldest, middle and little sister; which is where I fit in.
Now there are two of us who grew up together in the same home.
The loss is hard and it is a void that is always present.
That is like when my husband lost his oldest brother.
There were five boys and one girl, and when his oldest passed away; the next to the oldest moved into the oldest place.
It is a juggling of roles and birth order.
We miss his oldest brother but roles changed; and even with the loss, the youngest was always the same.
Being the middle has it’s good points and also the bad.
My sister made mistakes and it made me more determined not to make those same decisions.
The middle child is often the one blamed for things, and also a bit forgotten.
My husband is actually a third ‘boy’ in the line of boys; so he is also a middle child sandwiched between all the others.
There is a book out called birth order and it explains the best order for a successful marriage.
According to the book, I don’t think the way my husband and I have done it is the right way,
since he is a third and I am a third. But we managed to make it work for 44 years.
They say two first born personalities have issues too; since they both want to be the leader.
However it is said or done; the birth order is a nice topic to be challenged by.
How is it in your family?
In my mind it will always be the three sisters.
One cannot ever forget.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
Hebrews 12:1 NASB
When I read this passage it makes me think of my own life as a grandma.
Those grandchildren who watch and observe me and all my ways.
Am I being the best example of faith for them?
Oh we have friends who watch too, and it would probably amaze us to hear of the influence we have had on others who have been in our lives.
It is just such a powerful thought to think of those watching.
They are all around us every where we go.
They might not be someone we know.
It could be someone in the grocery store, in the bank, in the doctor’s office, or even someone we work with.
It could just be a random person we meet with; and we have just a short amount of time to share, to witness or to smile.
Oh when I think of smiling I often remind myself to look at someone and smile.
That grocery worker needs a bit of affirmation.
The verse also said to lay aside every encumbrance and sin that entangles us.
I looked up the meaning of the word:
hindrance · obstruction · obstacle · impediment · restraint · constraint · handicap · inconvenience · nuisance · disadvantage · drawback · cumber · responsibility · The verse said it entangles us.
Do you get the visual? tied up and unable to be free.
You cannot run when you are tied up and entangled.
We are to get rid of and lay aside anything that gets in our way; so that we can run the race set before us with endurance and with strength.
I like this. It challenges me to think of some very tangible things I can personally do.
What about you? Are you challenged? Are you ready for the race?
Let’s do this together and spur each other on to finish the race and finish our purpose God has set before us.
It’s my nature to observe others wherever I am.
The other day I was at a rodeo; and as I sat there I was watching for the show to begin; I watched a young mom telling her little one, to go to the other side of the bench.
I then saw the parents get busy with the baby they were attending to and being grandma; I watched as this little girl went way too far from mom’s vision; and way too far for a quick reaction from mom or dad.
The grandma part of me became worried, for she was straying towards ‘areas’ of unfamiliar paths perhaps even into unsafe places.
Just as I was going to say something to the parent’s; the mom ran as fast as she could to get this little girl and bring her back to where they were all sitting.
This reminded me so much of ourselves, when God gives us direction through the word or through others; we can misunderstand it and keep going in the wrong way.
I think because the little girl was small and her ability to follow instructions was limited, she only did what mom said to do.
Go to the end of the bench. Which was way further than mom originally said to go.
We do so much of the same. We think we know, we imagine we know, what we are supposed to do or go when in reality; we didn’t listen to the instructions given to us.
I knew when watching this scene the little one would not ‘get it’ she was too small, too little, and not able to fully know what was expected of her.
So often I see parents make the mistake of giving little children much more than they can handle and then get angry or frustrated because the child couldn’t do it.
We need to remember and know that God, knows our limitations and has great amount of patience and allows us to mess up sometimes.
I am glad this scene with this little girl ended well.
The rodeo began and I didn’t think of it anymore. She was safe with those who loved her.
Let’s remember as we go thorough out life; that sometimes life lessons are simple and easy, if we truly listen before we go onto the wrong path.
A prayer and the meditation from my heart.
[May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Oh Lord, my rock and my redeemer.] Psalm 19:14
I have this verse on my desk and as I often write; I ask myself is what I am saying good?
Is it encouraging? Is it words that affirm the reader and give value?
I am always seeking to be a cheerleader. In fact just yesterday I was told I was always an encourager to a group that I am a part of, on line.
I didn’t realize I was doing that because I guess as the ladies told me, it is natural for me to be positive and encouraging.
We all live in a world where the bad often over takes the good and the positive is harder to find.
We hear hard things on the news, we see difficult things at the store, we observe life in some not so good ways. I want to be a source of hope for others so they can SEE the hope that is available to them too.
If my life can manifest in some way the good, the hopeful, the positive then that that is my goal.
I want the prayer of my heart to be so in tune with what has been given to me so I can share it with others. Kind of like the saying, is the glass half full or half empty?
I see it as an opportunity to be thankful I have a glass.
I want to meditate on the word so that I can be and give an answer to those who are seeking and searching. I want to be an encourager even if it’s a natural gift.
We all know there are enough negatives out there.
So my prayer is to be pleasing to the sight of God and to be a voice of praise, cheering others on as they move throughout their lives.
Yesterday was a one month anniversary of my sister’s death.
I’m having a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that she is gone. I no longer can see her.
I still hear her voice in my head when she called me on the phone, “hi Shary.”
As if it was this morning when we had a phone call.
I haven’t talked to her for nearly a year, maybe not quite that long but close to it.
It was a nice call, one that I can remember with fond good feelings.
When we were younger our mother would call us, Kathy, Mary and Shary I guess because it was easy and it rhymed.
I was often called that.
It’s ok; my good friends call me Shary. Family members call me that too, professional workers know me as Sharon.
She called me that always. I don’t think she ever called me Sharon.
We were pretty close for many years, and we shared many times of hanging with each other.
I am dealing with the loss, slowly and easing into my mind the truth.
She is gone. I believe she went to Heaven for she was scared to go anywhere else.
I didn’t get to talk to her those last days but oh I prayed… and asked God to send her a few angels.
It’s hard when you don’t get to do closure. I am doing my best to deal with it.
It is not easy, to say good bye… when you can’t see the person.
Yesterday was a one month marker.
I am still sad, and focusing on who she was as a person, my sister and friend.
I have thought a lot about a question to ask myself.
Since my sister passed away; I have spent time thinking of life and death issues and those who we have lost in the last few years.
It made me think about, this question.
What would others say about me, should I leave early?
What would my story say to them and what would my legacy leave for them to remember?
It’s a very real question because we all have a following of some sort, and we all will leave someday.
Whether that be friends in real life; friends from church or other social groups, friends from on line, friends from our workplace.
What would they say, if interviewed about me and what was their impression?
I know in my sister’s case, she was funny, she was a survivor, she didn’t play weird head games, she was herself in the good, bad and in-between.
She was kind, she was not concerned about fancy houses or name brand cars.
She was a middle child always needing to fulfill the words spoken over her.
Not many believed in her, and not many felt she would go far in life, and in reality she didn’t.
She did care from a simple heart, and her letters and cards reveal to me, relationship.
What would others say, should I leave some day?
I don’t want them to say she loved her fancy home, I want them to say, we loved to go to her home and we felt comfortable.
I don’t want them to say she was the best cook ever, I want them to say, she served a nice meal and it was peaceful.
I don’t want them to say she kept her house spotless, I want them to say, she welcomed us, even in our ‘mess’.
The memory of who we are is so important; not only to those we love but also to those who watched us from the sidelines.
There is a cloud of ‘others’ watching and observing us always. What do they see?
Oh and of course my grand children. What oh what; would they say about this grandma?
I pray it be a legacy of faith, and of truth and of knowing that I believed in them and loved them.
I pray there is never a question for them, would I be there? of course I would do my best to be there for them if at all possible.
I have thought a lot about this question to ask myself; and I am going to do my best to change what needs to be changed for the good response.