Yesterday was October 8th, four months from the day my sister died.
It is a strange and empty place in my heart, to have her missing.
My husband lost his brother many years ago, he was 36 years old and a heart patient.
That was a sudden death and sudden heart ache for us all.
It was a deep loss and I remember the tears and the sorrow.
My sister has been ill with liver issues and serious drinking problems.
I am not sure what she actually died from, I have heard it was lung cancer and liver failure.
She truly was a walking miracle as her body had been through so much pain and abuse.
Four months ago she left this place for a better peaceful place.
I believe in my heart she believed in the Lord.
I didn’t get to pray with her, and I wasn’t able to see her.
But I did pray in my spirit for her, and I know she was a good kind person most of the time.
It has been a sense of mine that because of our move in April and then her death in June, my desire for writing has been put on hold.
Not to stop writing, just a pause.
A quiet place of reflecting and renewing; slowing the thoughts and the ideas down.
You know; even Jesus went away for a quiet place to restore his spirit.
It is a time for grief.
It is honoring to give yourself those moments to remember, to think and to pray.
We don’t always have to be doing something. We can pause. Renew. Refresh, and restore.
Not long after her death we found a long lost cousin on an ancestry site.
It is an amazing gift to me and my other sister as she fits right in and feels like a sister.
She will always be in our lives and it is such an interesting timing for her to be here with us, right after our sister died.
The Lord takes away, and the Lord gives back.
Her husband is a blessing too, they are wonderful, delightful people and sometimes; I do feel that God restores our broken hearts by bringing others to us.
I feel blessed to know them and have them a part of our family now.
Yesterday was the four month reminder of the loss of my sister.
I will say goodbye and then hello; and move through this new phase of our lives with ‘a new’ kindred spirit sister and brother.
Yesterday was October 8th, four months from the day my sister died.
I am in our trailer at the beach on a rainy day.
Typical Oregon weather, one day sunny and clear, the next one stormy and cold.
It is not a downpour but a constant heavy mist with a chill in the air.
Actually quite lovely if you appreciate the coast here.
It is quiet, I am alone and in my space.
I am enjoying the time to relax, read a magazine, or book and just not do anything.
We all need to take the time to do this kind of rest.
I miss my kitties and often wonder what they are doing while we are gone, Molly was very funny when we were getting ready to leave, I had opened our bedroom door.
Usually they don’t belong in there but when we are gone; I cover the quilts up with a sheet and then let them sleep on top of the bed, with the hopes that they won’t beat on our bedroom door while we are gone.
As we were getting ready to leave I called her, and she was no where. I called more and no sign of her, my husband called and nothing. We hoped she had not gotten outside as she is only inside.
No sign of Molly. Finally I went into our room and felt around the top of our bed and she was under the sheet and curled among the pillows. NOT where she is supposed to be.
As we got in the car I laughed at her trying desperately to hide.
She could hear us calling but she ignored it all. Hoping to be able to stay in her warm comfy spot.
Isn’t that a life lesson for us? Often the Lord will call us, nudge us, look for us and we hide.
Our comfort level doesn’t want to change.
Only until I physically found her and moved her did she leave that warm spot.
The Lord does that to us too often forcing us in a new direction whether we want one or not.
We drove away and I was still chuckling at that sneaky cat and my husband said, “you know that probably wasn’t the first time she has slept in that cozy spot.”
So true. She was so good at burrowing in without a mess I had no idea that’s where she was hiding.
I lost my dad six years ago.
Facebook reminded me on September 20th, he passed away.
It was a different kind of loss, I guess I can say the second time he left.
The first time was when I was four. I was just a little one and he left for many years and I didn’t see him until my thirties.
It was a strange thing to grow up without a dad and without a little girl ‘dad’ voice in her head.
I don’t remember ever having him say words of affirmation to me.
I could never say, “what would dad say?” because I didn’t know.
Having him missing left a hole that I couldn’t ever heal. Until I met the Lord.
We have a song that we sing in church called, “You’re a good, good father” and YES I sing it with a personal heart tug.
It validates who I am, as a daughter and as a daughter of the Lord.
It heals those wounded parts of me that were left unnoticed and unhealed for years.
Therapy helped. Having a male therapist helped. But that is not the same as your ‘daddy’.
When he came back into our lives we were kind of close. Not the warm fuzzy close, but he would come visit me.
I enjoyed his company. I thought we were a lot alike even though I was not raised by him, we were related.
Losing my dad, six years ago closed a chapter of my life, then losing my mom a year later closed another chapter.
Losing my sister recently closed another one.
The book full of life experiences and trauma is closed too. The Lord healed me.
In many ways I believe my dad was a good father, even though I missed so many years without him.
He was who he was and I accepted him just as he was, later on he would remarry our mom and when they both died they were together in heart.
It’s a strange story of healing and restoration. Of forgiveness and of love.
Isn’t it just like our ‘God of love’ to restore what was broken and heal what was lost?
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.
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.