Lamentations for Daddy

I miss you today

But I miss you every day

Since you went away

But sometimes my mind

In preservation thinks you are fine

Just at home where we last spoke

Before the phone call when my heart broke

Though many events unfolded that morn

Somehow my soul knew you were on your way HOME

Not the temporary place we are passing through

But the eternal home with the Maker and the Saints

Though I miss you today

And every minute to come

I could never selfishly call you back from home

You are free , fully healed and at peace

So for now I will treasure the lessons and memories

And keep missing you each moment

And some moments I cry

But I also rejoice in hope

Because soon we will reunite in the blink of an eye

Rainy Ramblings

The days keep passing

The earth keeps spinning

And I can’t seem to

Just slow down

So many aspirations

And ambitions

And ways

To make the world a better place

But they are trapped

In my mind

Intentions are good

But not intentional

The sky is crying

And so is my soul

Cause I can’t fix the problems

Of all I hold close

But I am helping almost strangers

And even though I point to all the signs

You don’t realize the danger

of complacency

self condemnation

Meditation but on the wrong things

have to replace the

negativity

with some hope that is real

hoping in time

hope is what you will feel

wish i could do it for you

I tried , I tried, I tried

but i can not

sitting here

cheering you on

letting you know

you are not alone

keep pressing on

i know you don’t even have the strength

for just one step

so just promise me

to take one more breath

and then another

and again

cause it will get better

in time i know

but til it does

just hold on

sky is crying

and so is my soul

I wish I had the salve

for all the troubled souls

i do not but I know where it is

but here is the funny thing about medicine

you can prescribe it, buy it, sit it out

but you can’t make them ingest it

praying til

you see the hope that is real

and until you feel the truth of who you are

just look up at the stars

their Maker made you

you shine like that too

you can’t see it

but you are too close

a bigger piture

a different view

we all see it

through and through

gonna keep affirming it

til someday you do too

A beautiful interlude

Composed Saturday June 13 in my Dad’s hospital room as I sat at his bedside.

Everything fell to pieces when my eyes met yours in that hospital gown….

Joy Invincible, Switchfoot

My cousin died last week. Today we will have a memorial for him. I woke up a week ago to a phone call to learn of the tragic accident. He was only 36. He was deaf. The world was challenging for him. His parents did everything they could to help overcome the obstacles that is impairment caused. Most importantly he was and is given unconditional love.

Today we will celebrate Brandon’s life as we navigate the rough waters of grief.

I am writing in a hospital right now. My dad is the patient. He had a stroke yesterday. He was supposed to be riding with one of his sisters to his nephew’s memorial.

Dad had a spell last Friday. He is insulin dependent diabetic and thought it was related to that. His sister who lives out of state is in town visiting him. She felt it may have been a ministroke. Dad was not sure but he refused to be driven to hospital or to allow EMS to be called. He recovered the next day so he really thought it was his blood sugar. We know now that was not the case. His spell happened the same day of Brandon’s accident.

After work yesterday my brother and I decided to head to the beach with our children. His youngest had never been to the beach. It has been a long emotional week and we anticipated that today would be even more so. So we loaded up and took an impromptu trip to the beach. We decided taking the kids to do something fun would provide a much needed moment of joy. We hoped it would help renew us as we braced for the next day.

On the way to the beach another call came in notifying me that my dad had collapsed at home and had left side weakness. He was taken to ER. The events unfolding would reveal what I as Family Nurse Practitioner knew to be true , Dad indeed had a stroke. We were almost at the beach. Dad had his sister with him. We were trying to decide to continue or turn around. We drove on as there was much undetermined that would take time. It was late afternoon almost evening and we were not far from our destination.

The remainder of the trip would include calls and texts to siblings and other family members. We learned Dad would be transferred to the closest stroke center hospital and we were waiting on that. We also learned once he arrived, due to COVID, visiting hours would already have passed and despite the situation we could not see him until the following morning at 6 am. We approached the sea wall and let the kids unload. I looked out upon the ocean and cried out to the Maker of this vast expanse of sea. “Lord, help Daddy!” “Lord, help us!”

Galveston Beach- Seawall

We had calls and texts back and forth. I had to tell my husband who was home and did not join the trip because he had a work deadline. After discussing everything he said, ” I know it is hard, Shelly, but try to enjoy the beach.” I had been wanting to go to the beach for a while. My niece, Lindsay had never been and despite all the unfolding events her childlike joy and optimism could not be contained as she had her first experience with standing in the ocean waves holding her daddy’s hands. “EPIC!” she exclaimed. Yes indeed the ocean is epic because its maker is amazing.

My daughter found her epic moment by sitting on her towel and pulling out her guitar. As she listened to the ocean waves she strummed and sang. I realized she was okay. The nephews were with their dad. My niece was building her very first sand castle and her mom was nearby watching her and calling the nurse at the hospital. I walked into the ocean.

I let the waves crash into my body. All of the chaos, the fears, the pain, the grief, the worries, I stood there until the sound of the waves and feel of the wind and smell of the salt forced them to all to be muted. Anytime I visit the ocean the song Saltwater Heart by Switfchoot always plays in my mind. So in that moment of solitude standing in the ocean after my initial cry to God, my mind played……

When I’m on your shore again

I can feel the ocean

I can feel your open arms

That pure emotion

I’m finally free again

Like my own explosion

When I’m on your shore again

I can feel the ocean

– Saltwater Heart, Switchfoot

As I was standing there consumed by the waves and the song in my mental juke box my brother Louis came near. I shared with him I always think of that song anytime I am at the ocean. Louis smiled. He is the one that turned me on to Switchfoot’s music and I knew he “got it.” He moved deeper into the ocean with his eldest as I stood relatively alone again. I prayed and then I resigned myself to this summation, ‘Okay Abba, help my Daddy.’

We finished the day with some joyful moments of sand castles, wave jumping, listening to my daughter play guitar and just standing in the ocean and letting the waves wash over us. It was tranquil. It was joyful. It was a beautiful interlude that the Maker of this ocean and our souls knew we would need.

Now I look at my Daddy here in this hospital gown. Unable to use part of his body due to the stroke with much uncertain in the future. In a few moments I will drive to the funeral home where my brother, Louis who is a pastor and is officiating the service will try to offer words of comfort and peace as we memorialize my cousin, Brandon.

Hallelujah nevertheless, was the song the pain couldn’t destroy

Hallelujah nevertheless, You’re my joy invincible

Joy invincible, joy

Tears were in my eyes when the phone rings

If only life didn’t need us to be this brave

But we don’t live in the world of if only’s

Stretched tight in between our birth and our graves

Hallelujah nevertheless

Joy Invincible, Switchfoot