Select Page

Finishing the story of my parents and their lives

Finishing the story of my parents and their lives together.
After dad passed away there was to be no service, he didn’t want one.
So we grieved in our own way.
Mom continued to get worse in the foster home they lived in, lot’s of times when one spouse passes away the other one is not far behind them; especially if they are older.
She had Parkinson’s and it created a lot of difficulty for her.
Not being able to dress yourself, do bathroom duties, or feed yourself, is a great loss.
She also lost her voice. It was just a very soft whisper and very hard to hear what she wanted to say.
The disease is not kind to the person who has it. It is progressive and damaging to the whole body.
She managed for a short season without dad, then it just was too much for her.
She passed away about a year or so after him.
For the first time, we were without both parents.
Their story was over when they passed away, although it is still a story to be told for the grand children.
I believe dad knew he could not take care of her since he had severe breathing and heart problems.
They started out in their own home, then moved to a variety of apartments and eventually a foster home.
Each move was hard on both of them for it brought the reality of needed care close to home.
As they aged; they both needed care. Although he would not ‘let others’ do anything for him, he wanted her to be cared for and that was part of the decision to move.
Having them pass away was a strange and different ending for me.
It was a closure that was hard and healing at the same time.
Letting go of the wounds of the past and moving forward to a place of peace.
That is what I want to leave in this writing.
There is peace within the grief.
I know in my heart they loved each other to the end and that is the rest of the story.

God does not allow things in our past as an accident

God does not allow things in our past as an accident, HE desires us to use our past for a better purpose in the future.
When I tell my story about being a daughter without a dad, I know without a doubt there are others listening who can say; “Yes” me too.
It is an identifying connection.
I am glad my parents got together in their aging years and stayed true to each other.
Did it discount the years they were not together?
Absolutely not. But it did heal some of those years for them.The last time I saw my dad, he was in a hospital bed resting.
He had been very ill and we were not sure how long we would actually have with him.
I kind of felt in my heart it would be my last time seeing him.
He was resting and perhaps sleeping, and I didn’t want to bother him.
Sort of the theme for us, he didn’t bother me very much and I didn’t bother him.
Looking back I could have done some things differently.
I also know my dad was a stubborn old cowboy and didn’t allow others to edge in his space, he was private and also careful of his ‘thoughts or feelings’.
At least that is my experience.
Only a few times did I hear him say, “love ya” … while giving me a hug.
I couldn’t quite take it in and I didn’t really know what to do with it.
The little girl who was always watching and waiting for some ‘connection’, just couldn’t fit the puzzle pieces together.
(Yes I was an adult but the lessons of the past do affect us even if we heal them.)
It is my belief that if we don’t allow deep healing; it will follow us till we take the time to heal those wounded places. It is not easy but very necessary.
I did forgive my dad in my own way. Even if… I never understood why he left.
I wanted to move past the question and stay within the truth of what I knew.
He came back. They remarried. They grew old together. (found this photo hope it’s ok to use it) It was a love story that was both confusing and healing.
I am very glad I saw him in his aging years so I didn’t have to keep guessing how he was.
It allowed me to do closure.  When he passed away the story was over and it was good.
What I know for sure, HE loved… the only way he knew how.
It was limited and it was guarded.
We had an understanding between us and it was peaceful and calm.
I am my father’s daughter. I was loved from a distance and I think for now that is ok.
I will always count those times spent together as a wonderful memory
When we lived in the country there was a season in time where he would come visit us.
It was both good and strange to see him drive up the driveway.
I also have the letters that he sent, the cards in his hand writing, as very special and I will always miss him. He was dad. My dad. Our dad and grandpa to my children.

The long lasting impact of of a hurting heart

The long lasting impact of a hurting heart is protection and internal decisions.
When our dad left we were left to fend for ourselves in whatever way that might mean for us.
Growing up without a dad was hard, I grew up with no male ‘opinions’, no daddy affirmations or words of praise.
Now to be fair if he had stayed I might not have heard those words from him either; but having him gone left it as a known emptiness.
I could not fill in the blanks and the only words I heard; were from our mother which was not often very helpful or encouraging.
As a young person growing up I did not feel valued or even wanted at times.
There were grandparents who cared, even that was pretty limited.
Oh our mother loved us, but her inability to share that was really hard on a child’s heart that is already broken.
I navigated through the pre-teen and teen years and the growing up without a dad’s internal voice in my head and heart.
I determined in my heart that I would stay protected and walled off so that no other pain could enter.
That only worked for a short amount of time, till something deeper came along.
It has always been a daddy wound for me, to not have him present at my wedding, or children’s birth or times when I was very sick and wanted him near.
He was gone and absent and I had to navigate life as a daughter without a dad.
We did end up meeting in my living room when I was in my mid thirties.
I was cautious and careful tiptoeing around conversations and topics. It was like a dream I could never allow myself to think about.
He was a nice man, I am sure looking back at it now, it was probably hard on him too; to meet after so many years.
I don’t know if he felt bad for leaving, I guess I either thought it wasn’t important or perhaps; I didn’t want to hear the reason why, so I never asked him.
After all the years lost between us it really didn’t matter.
He was present in our lives for many years as an older dad. He even remarried our mother.
It was a love between them that never left, and strange as the story is, they remained
married and I think happy, well into their 80’s, dependent on each other till death parted them as it says in the wedding vows.
It is a very interesting story and very important too.
I grew up without my dad’s love. I didn’t feel it, learn it or receive it.
For a daughter that is a big void. Even as an adult I never had his ‘input’ in my life.
I guess that is one of the reasons when I sing the song in church, “your a good good father,” it brings me to tears.
For I can sing it with a knowing… that the song is true and real, God has been good to me.
I am able to put my hand on my heart and sing, “your a good good father, that’s who you are, and I’m loved by you, that’s who I am.”
My identity and dna is my dad’s daughter. My spiritual identity is the father’s daughter.
This is my story and the reason why I write.

Continuing the story of past to present

Continuing the story of past to present, when a child is left to sort out their feelings alone because of their lack of ‘maturity’, sometimes they come to the wrong conclusions.
For a long time I questioned, was it something I did, or was it my fault that he couldn’t stay with us?
Later in my ‘recovery’ I learned that it was a choice, just as all of us have, he made the choice and it didn’t really have anything to do with the children.
But when you are a little child, you don’t have that ‘resource’ within you.
When I first entered into a recovery room with a counselor we talked about the feelings which I had a very hard time finding.
One day I was walking in a mall and in a store I found a picture that expressed my heart.
I picked it up and paid for it, then carried that large picture out to my car.
I even took it into the counseling office to show my counselor, the artist is Laurie Snow hein, and I hope it’s ok to share it here.
It was reminding me of the little girl … waiting and waiting… looking out the window.
Watching and wondering, would he come home to us? Did he even think about or miss us?
For years I never knew if I would know him if I saw him on a street or in a store.
I was little, and I had no ‘memory’ of so much of who he was in our lives.
Each of us have stories of what we remember. Each of us were at different ages.
I remember very little for I was the youngest.
The only thing I knew for sure deep in my heart, the dad ‘hole’ was not ever filled for many years and even when I met him as an adult, it was cautious and careful.
Remember: to give up; discontinue; withdraw from: is a powerful message given to a child.
The message I heard whether it be true or not, was ‘I was not important enough’.
That was the message burned in my heart.
Remember it was a powerful shock leaving life long effects and it did effect how I saw life, and relationships.
The little girl waited and hoped and either she would be continually disappointed or she would give up looking. I got to where I lost hope.
There is a bible verse that says; hope deferred makes a heart faint.
I had a faint heart for many years.
He wasn’t coming back and we had to navigate and learn our new ‘life’ with our mom.
We had grandparents who helped and thank God for that.
Although they didn’t really help me sort out the feelings and questions.
As I move through the story I pray it be a journey of hope and healing.
I am not sharing any of this to bad talk our dad or our mother.
I am only telling the story as it unfolded so others can understand the message.

Telling the story again for the new readers

Telling the story again for the new readers so that they are aware of why I write and continue to challenge those who need ‘help’ to find it.
For many years as an adult I have been in a recovery type of season, either in a group setting or individual counseling sessions.
It took health issues, some depression, and spiritual renewal to show me I needed to look backward before I could look forward.
We grow best when we allow the truth to show us the broken pieces of our hearts.
As a little girl growing up I was not really aware of some of the broken places in my heart, I just tried my best to survive in the world we lived in.
Life began in a rural part of Eastern Oregon, with a mom and dad and two older sisters. There were plenty of cats and other animals for we lived on a farm part of the time.
It seemed pretty normal … until it didn’t.
Our dad was a farm hand, tending to many things, always wearing jeans and western shirts, cowboy hat and boots (at least that is in my memory).
He loved music and they often would go square dancing on the weekends, I think it was in the school gym or a building with wood floors.
Us little kids would go and even though I don’t remember much about it, we would watch and play or sleep till the night was over and it was time to go home.
Life seemed pretty good and relatively happy.
Then one day when I was around age five, our dad left us.
One day he was there, and the next day he wasn’t.
It was traumatic and shocking for all of us.
When I look up the word trauma dictionary.com says: {psychologically painful.
a powerful shock that may have long-lasting effects.}
This is exactly what took place.
Long lasting effects on a heart and spirit of a child.
Abandonment is not an easy topic. {to give up; discontinue; withdraw from: to leave completely and finally; desert: to abandon one’s farm; to abandon a child}
We were at that moment in time, abandoned by our dad.
I am not sure why and don’t want to know; he is not with us any more; he passed away a few years ago, even as an old man I never asked him.
Our reality had changed and as time moved forward many things would change for us.
We had a mom, who also felt very abandoned and a dad who was missing and as little children we didn’t know how to navigate the thoughts and feelings.
There was no one to help us and the questions and tears were ours to sort out alone.
It was our truth. So when I say I have a trauma filled childhood, it started when our dad left us and left our hearts hurting for something real and loving.
The story continues as I move through the why I write and tell the story.

Being brave while challenging myself

Being brave while challenging myself is not the easiest thing I can do when writing in this space.
Dictionary.com says: brave means to meet or face courageously: a warrior. exhibiting courage.
To share from one’s heart and share where you have been hurt takes a lot of courage.
This blog began in 2009 with private writings and settings. It was never meant to be open.
It was only for a chosen few; kind of like a personal diary and definitely not shared with everyone.
One day my husband said to me, “if you wrote a book would you know who purchased it?”, of course I would not; so the challenge came for me from him, to open it up to the general public and be brave.
As a private person by nature it was very hard to have others read my writings.
It felt vulnerable. It felt weird and exposed to me. The question came, “what if they don’t like it or I’m not believed?”
These are hard questions to solve when everything inside me said, “It’s not really for sharing.”
As I moved out of the recovery process of ‘childhood trauma’, I began to feel more open to sharing some of what I had experienced and what formed me in those earlier years.
It is never easy to share one’s vulnerable self to others especially, when you don’t know how well it would be received.
As a survivor of ‘a broken home’, one learns to read body language and tone of voice.
If I let myself fret over who is going to read the writings then I hurt my chance to write ‘openly’.
As time moved forward I have chosen to tell my story in bits and pieces, carefully choosing the words.
It is important to know the reason why I want to tell, it’s not just for the purpose of sharing.
Sometimes truth can be left alone and buried.
Sometimes it is never helpful to share things from the past.
My thought is this: If my story can help ONE person move forward towards their own healing place.
Then it is worth it, to take the risk.
We can only help those who we have an identity with; when I meet survivors of some kind of trauma I immediately know… ‘yes, I understand’ because I really do.
Listening is a gift, empathy is also.
To be able to walk alongside someone who is broken and to be able to say to them, “I see wholeness in you”
it’s kind of like being a verbal cheerleader.
In the next few writings I will open up a little bit of life as I knew it.
I hope you will follow along and walk this journey with me.

The time for reflection continues

The time for reflection continues even though it’s the week after Easter.
Our church on Sunday saw many get baptized and many gave their lives to Jesus for the first time.
It’s amazing and wonderful to see the excitement and growth within our church.
There are a lot of people who I don’t know or recognize anymore but that is fine I don’t have to know them.
I think because the world is so crazy these days people want to know the peace that only Jesus can give.
Plus our church has been focusing on prayer and priorities and looking for a place to settle in.
The miracles keep taking place. We were able to rent a school which six months ago was not possible.
Also we were able to find and put money and paperwork on a building that can be remodeled in a year or so.
It will be our permanent building.
Our church is 20 years old and it’s time to put some permanent roots down.
The community supports us and we support them.
It is a win/win situation and it will be so exciting to see how it all plays out.
Our pastor has grown and the staff is doing what is necessary to keep him rested and ready to serve.
It is exciting to be a part of a body of believers who are not playing church but rather learning to be more spiritual and walk deeper in the faith.
God is real. God is powerful. We have seen and experienced His power and blessings.
I wonder where are you today in a walk with the Lord? Belief is so easy. Trust is too.
All it takes is a heart desire to know without a shadow of doubt that God is who He said He is and His love was poured out to us on Easter because there was no other way.
He knew it would end well. He also knew it had to be hard and harsh.
It was love that gave us Hope.
I pray that you know today, what you believe and what you know to be true.
God loved us so much that HE gave His only son, so that we (whoever believes in Him) might have life forever.
That is a pretty awesome promise.

While they were still talking about this

[36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
(These were the disciples who were in a room, hiding from the leaders of the day afraid they would be crucified too because they knew Jesus.)
37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost.
38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?
39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet.
41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?”
42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.
44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.
46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day,
47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
48 You are witnesses of these things.
49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”]

HE startled them. Can you imagine all of a sudden he is in the room? He appeared out of nowhere.
Wow I cannot imagine that moment when they looked and realized it was HIM the Messiah.
So exciting and yet so necessary for them to see him and keep his truth in their hearts.

[50 When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them.
51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.
52 Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.
53 And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.]

He was taken up into heaven. I wonder how that looked? we cannot imagine it.
WE cannot see it for ourselves and even the most creative writer couldn’t put into words the powerful moment that must have been for them to be a part of as he was lifted up into heaven.
Resurrection and life. Jesus was alive and the rest of the story is here with us to this day until he returns again. Many scriptures tell us about that time and the events that might take place.
It is all recorded and written and only in God’s perfect timing will it take place.
Just like the birth Jesus at Christmas time, orchestrated by God, the death was the same and the resurrection and someday the return of Jesus. It is all in God’s perfect timing.

Now that same day two of them

[3 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. (Luke 24) 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened.
15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them;
16 but they were kept from recognizing him.
17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast.
18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
19 “What things?” he asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people.
20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him;
21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place.
22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning
23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive.
24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”
25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken!
26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?”
27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther.
29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.
30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.
32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together
34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.”
35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.]

I love the verse…they were kept from recognizing him.
He was not only testing them but it was not yet time for him to be revealed to them.
It was in the familiar setting, the breaking of the bread, the knowing in their hearts HE WAS who he said he was for the first time the reality came to them. It was not only exciting but also brought a lot of questions for them. Did we not see him die? did we not see him buried?
The powerful story of resurrection continues as we read more of the story.

On the first day of the week

[On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. (Luke 24)
2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb,
3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.
5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?
6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:
7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ”
8 Then they remembered his words.
9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others.
10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles.
11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.
12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.]

Can you even imagine?
The women were expecting to put spices on his body and he wasn’t there.
Then to see the angels who looked like men, shining brightly. WOW what a moment of confusion that would be for them. Not only were they expecting to see Jesus but they saw two men in there instead.
I am always amazed that the angels can speak in a way we can understand.
Then I really can imagine what Peter thought, when running to the tomb. His sorrow was replaced with hope then a bit of confusion too for none of them could understand what had happened.
Resurrection had taken place. Jesus was alive it was a time for celebration.