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I have been really slow at this writing lately

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

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.

Since we have so great a cloud of witnesses

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

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 of my heart

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

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

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.

When you can’t say good bye in person

When you can’t say good bye in person during the process of someone dying, it is a strange thing for your heart.
My sister passed away a few weeks ago.
I saw her about a year ago, I meant to go back and visit and never did, I called and talked to her on the phone.
Then she fell and hurt her hip, a crack or a break that lead to a hospital stay.
More care needed for her and then a move to a family members house.
I didn’t see her after that. I couldn’t.
It was a good bye that I didn’t know was coming.
We were close all our lives. I am shaken by her death, numb and then feeling the loss. Numb and then feeling.
Remembering so many times that we shared. Good times, sweet and funny times. And a few grumpy ones too, it wasn’t always perfect.
What does one do with a memory of memories? Can they be stored in your mind for future reference?
I think we tend to forget some things after time.
She was at times grumpy. When she was at our home in 2006 detoxing from a horrendous amount of alcohol, she wasn’t always nice.
I gave her grace, because even then she was dying.
She was medicated enough to help her brain heal. Her doctor helped a lot and we did the rest.
She lived and stayed healthy for years from 2006-2019 I guess that is a blessing.
There would be a moment in time her ‘nine’ lives would run out.
I would often tease her about her ever ready battery she plugged in at night.
She kept on going just like that ever ready bunny… till she couldn’t.
When you can’t say good bye in person you are forced to fill in the blanks by yourself and that is not often a good thing.
Your heart wants closure and you can’t find it.
I look at pictures and I remember.
I read letters and cards and remember.
Grief is like that. A room full of memories.
I have entered the room of grief and I will let myself stay there, off and on.
Then close the door gently till the next time I need to enter and sit.

Yesterday was Father’s day

Yesterday was Father’s day.
A day I often found as a ‘blank’ for years when I was growing up when I had no dad.
He left when I was young and the day on the calendar was kind of like a ‘sad’ reminder that he wasn’t around.
When I did finally find him in my thirties; it was still interesting for me since we had many years of healing to do.
He was a dad figure that was sort of a mystery to me. We did end up seeing each other within the viewpoints of questions and time.
I found some letters recently of conversations between us. He was not one for small talk or intimate matters of the heart.
That was ok once I learned that was who he was, and not to expect more.
We often get into trouble when we expect more from others based on what we thought we might need from them, rather than what they are comfortable with giving.
I learned dad and I were similar in personality, to a certain point.
When you don’t grow up with someone you have to fill in the blanks later and that is really hard to do.
I would have loved to have him walk me down the aisle when I got married.
I would have loved to have him hold my children and grandchildren, and show he cared.
Those moments never happened.
I believe he cared for his daughters, he just had a certain way of ‘not letting it be known.’
Instead, after many years apart, he remarried my mother and stayed married to her till they both passed away.
The story was full of a simple love between the two of them in their older senior years.
It was a different kind of story, it did bring healing on many levels. I didn’t have to guess where he was, anymore.
I would imagine there was healing and forgiveness between the two of them.
There was relationship and decision making between the two of them.
When it was time for them to move into more of a care setting as they aged, it became more clear to him, that she needed care that he could not give.
It was a choice based on need, not necessarily a heart decision for he was rather independent and didn’t like people in his ‘affairs’.
He passed away before she did. Perhaps he knew she would be cared for in that setting.
One would never know, he was very ill too.
Father’s day is different for me these days. My husband is a Father to our children and papa to our grand children.
My son is Father to his three boys.
Yesterday was Father’s day and I began the day worshipping the ‘Father’ in a spiritual setting called church.
It was good, it was healing and it always brings hope.

In the process of dealing with the loss of my sister

In the process of dealing with the loss of my sister; I looked up grief in the dictionary.
It gave no valuable word description.
I was quite surprised, there really wasn’t anything, at least nothing that matched what I am feeling.
The bible has a lot of different circumstances that speak of grief; the one I think gives most value is when Jesus sat on a hill and wept.
Two words, Jesus wept.
That’s really all one needs to hear, even Jesus in his Godliness also felt heavy hearted grief as a man.
I have been in my den today going through boxes of old letters and cards, I found some from my grandparents, who are now gone.
From my parents who are also gone and a lot of them from my sister. Hand written from the heart. Treasures to keep in special boxes.
I won’t get rid of these. They are voices from the past and memories from old times.
I have to admit I am sort of a pack rat keeping so many cards and letters; but in times like these they are valuable.
As I read them I was transported back into time, in a place where we shared something together.
Life can be pretty strange, one day we are here and the next we might not be.
I guess we must always be sure our words are full of grace and truth to others; so that when we leave there are no regrets.
My sister knew I cared deeply for her and we had a really good conversation the last time we talked.
I feel kind of like a part of me is missing as we were close and the loss is hard.
In the process of dealing with the loss of my sister I must give myself snippets of time, to mourn, to remember and then move on not ever forgetting.
She is still being honored, even now as I write about her.
Have you ever lost someone special? how did you handle it?