And though my mind still grapples with all the pieces
Still replays events of that day
Yet peace envelops my soul
Because it knows you’re home
Restored and at peace in the Savior’s arms
We still have much to do. Clearing out the house will be hard. Other steps are necessary before we get to that point. And I dread it, but I am busy enough professionally to push that to the back of my mind. I am sure when the time comes for this next hard task, just like all the ones before since you had the stroke, our loving Abba Father will carry us through one step at a time.
I miss you Daddy, but I do not miss the challenges a failing earthly body subjected you to, thus I truly rejoice that you are free. I wish I would have been there that Saturday before you left us. Though I was with you at the hospital until your last breath.
I am glad our last day together you did talk more and sleep less. We watched High Chaparral and talked about visiting Tombstone,AZ and Doc Holliday. You did so great with your therapy that day. I even stayed longer than usual. I am thankful for that day. I am even glad at the time I didn’t know it would be the last, but I am thankful for every single moment.
I know when I say last it isn’t truly the very last, but merely the last on this side of the veil. Next time, in glory. Rest in our Holy Father’s peace, grace, and glory. This very same peace and grace sustains us until we are with Him and you in glory.
Several years ago when I returned to work after a brief hiatus to be with my family after my dear, beloved stepmomom passed from cancer I walked into my boss’ office and said “Cancer sucks, God is good.” He said “thank you.”
Too many times he only heard fairweather rejoicing when things were good. My friends right now there is a global uncertainty, but God is good. He is not only our way through the desert, but he is what sustains us in it. And if we abide in Him we too can find songs in the night. Even though all around us seems dry we can find true peace and still rejoice!
For those of you in your desert moments, I am praying for you. Know you are loved. #songsinthenight #peaceinthevalley #pillaroffireandclouds #desertsong #dailybread #rejoice #Heisstronginmyweakness #neverforsaken #Heiswithusalway #peacebeyondcircumstances
Feelings, and feelings, and feelings. Let me try thinking instead.
C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
Sometimes the feeling and thinking are all too much. ESPECIALLY if you are an OVERTHINKER like me. Sometimes what we need to do is just sit quietly listening to the tunes that open the portal to all those emotions you feel but cannot adequately express, tunes that can make a symphony of all those thoughts that apart from the music seems like chaotic distractions. For the feelings and the thoughts I am thankful the Creator gave us the gift of music and for those anointed in the craft. (which I am not- lyrics perhaps but not the instruments)
Happy New Year! As most of us are all too thrilled to put 2020 behind us as it proved a challenging year for most with a global pandemic and all, I too join in the hope of a better 2021. The reality that it won’t come overnight is manifested by my Dad’s hospitalization 2 days ago and the revelation on New Year’s Eve that he is currently in acute renal failure. He suffered a stroke on June 12 this year. He has overcome many odds and has made quite a recovery, but had a ways to go. Then on Saturday things began to change. His appetite decreased. He started complaining of pain. It was then I knew for certain something was wrong. My Dad not only has a pretty good pain tolerance, he is also quite stoic. To say he is not a complainer is an understatement. So when he called out in pain, I knew something significant was going on. I will spare all the details about the first ER visit and things missed by that ER doctor. It does not really contribute to my point.
So Dad has non-COVID pneumonia and acute renal failure. Thankfully his pain is improving and we are watching and praying for his kidneys to do the same. Today what he wanted the most was to have his traditional New Year’s Day meal with black eyed peas and cabbage.
This is an age old tradition to have good luck and prosperity for the upcoming year. It was something he has always done. My mom (his ex-wife) is his current caregiver and had prepared it for him. We just had to confirm with the nurse he had no dietary restrictions. Once we did, as I was visiting him today, I was able to meet Mom in the parking lot (only one visitor allowed in the hospital a day due to Covid restrictions as cases are peaked now) and get his requested meal and take it to him. He perked up and enjoyed his meal! It was good to see him so happy! It was good to see him actually wanting to eat as his appetite had been poor for a couple of weeks.
What strikes me the most as I reflect on this moment is this: while a clean slate, a fresh page, a new year is something we all want, need, and even crave there is something to be said about holding on to what is good from the past.
Out with the old and in with the new is too simplistic and not really gratifying. There is so much old that is valuable and even necessary. It feels like tradition is an endangered species. Cue the Fiddler on the Roof opening music. But seriously, Tevye is right,”Without our traditions, our lives would be as shaky as… as… as a fiddler on the roof!”
We are to seek and hold fast to what is good! This means hold onto what is good. Hold onto the old that is good as we seek what is new that is good. We must quit throwing the baby out with the bath water.
For today tradition in the form of a simple meal brought a 70 year old man who has worked hard all his life to provide for his family, who endured a divorce and all the aftermath, who care for his second wife until cancer took her too soon from him, who is spending out his days with a mind that is alert and a body that shows the toll of time. Today tradition brought some small joy to a man I love who has had a pretty rough week.
Yes we want to turn loose the ties that bind and break the yokes of oppression. But let us not be so hasty to cut every tie and chain only to find later that one of those chains was actually an anchor.
It only takes a spark To overcome the dark Hope has not died She did not even run and hide The noise tries to drown her out She does not respond with shouts If you can steady your soul You can hear her whisper “Come on home”
This year, this day, this moment: God is working. His light is shining in whatever darkness encroaches our lives and this world. In the midst of pandemic, illness, economic uncertainty, political unrest , divisiveness, discouragement, and yes even despair. If one looks for it there is a light that shines through. The light is brighter than we ourselves can perceive because of our position from it. It only takes a flicker of light to defeat darkness. My prayer for you all is despite whatever personal challenges or worldly upheaval is threatening to extinguish your light that you may know the Light of the World is eternal and has defeated the darkness. In the midst of health issues, hospitalizations, and other calamities there is also reconciliation, answered prayers, mercy triumphing over hardened hearts, healing (both likely and unlikely), provision, and a peace that goes beyond all circumstances. May you know the Light and may this HOPE sustain you even in what seems to be your darkest night.