Remnants

northernsunrise

I don’t talk a lot about the grief journey that I’ve been on since my dad died for a multitude of reasons…  I guess mainly because it is so personal, and it is very difficult to put into words how I am processing things.  I’ve been approached by several people to at least try to bring that section of my life to my site because a lot of people would benefit, but I just haven’t felt comfortable yet.  Maybe, though, in time.  Maybe.

So, the story I’m about to tell you is crazy and weird, and something that I referred to on Facebook the other day.  I can just about guarantee that there are going to be at least a few of you that think I’m off my rocker, but I’m ok with that :)

Anyway, on Friday, my mom had hip replacement surgery.  Wait, let me back up even further.  When my dad was sick, his number one concern was my mom, and how she would be taken care of after he passed away.  He wanted to make sure that everything was set for her, and he prayed over her constantly.  He and I had many talks about what to do – where she would live, what car to get her… anything and everything that had to do with her life without him.  And, he got to the point where he said “you know, I have prayed over her, and asked the Lord to watch over her and take care of her in my place since I won’t be with her”.  And, that sort of finalized all of his concerns – he transferred my mom’s care over to the Lord.

Letting go of my dad in the physical world was, and in some ways, still is, very difficult to do.  Because of the way the cancer came about, the subsequent treatment, and the way the doctors dealt with us, the realization that he was not going to come out of the illness came very late in the game.

One day, when I was at the hospital, I began to realize there wasn’t much time left, and I looked at him, and I said “Dad, I will promise to take care of mom as long as she is here on earth, but you have to promise me that you will give me an indication, in some way, that you are with me, after you are gone”.  He responded, “Dana, in the quietness, when you need me most, you will know that I am there”.

Since he has gone, I have had four times when I knew he was with me – like I could turn around, and he would be right there.

On Friday, when my mom was in the pre-op room for her hip replacement surgery, we were allowed to go back and see her.  Phil, myself, Amanda, and Kaitlyn were all there.  Kaitlyn and I were sitting right next to each other and Kaitlyn leaned over to me and said “Mom, I smell Grandpa”.  I smelled the air, and sure enough, his scent was there.  It was on my shirt, actually.  I went over to my mom and leaned down for her to smell, and she smelled it, too.  My dad, as he promised, was there when we needed him most.

 

Garden Update

Our season has been very strange.  It started off slow, and then things started to pick up.

Things that are going well:  Green beans (they always do!), and the tomatoes are doing good, finally.  The garden tomato plants are doing well, but the ones planted on the side of the house I think have a fungus something going on, but I haven’t had a change to research it yet.  The zucchini are finally starting to get some blooms going, too.  And, the potatoes are really coming along!

Things that are going “meh”:  Cucumbers!  I am so surprised at this, but the cucumbers are just not flourishing this year.  And, the pumpkins started off really slow and are just now starting to flower, so I don’t know what type of crop I’m going to get.

Our soil needs a major overhaul, or I need to do raised beds.  Perhaps next year.  How are your gardens coming along?

I’ll let pictures do the rest of the talking….

Side of the house tomatoes
Garden Overview, I
Garden Overview, I
Garden Overview, II
Garden Overview, II
Garden Tomatoes
Garden Tomatoes
Zucchini
Zucchini
Green Beans
Green Beans
Cucumbers
Cucumbers
Pumpkins
Pumpkins
Potatoes
Potatoes

Precious reminders during the battle

Precious Gem

I have felt, for some time, that our family is going through what I refer to as a “spiritual battle”.  Those of you who are born again Christians will understand the reference, but to summarize, it is basically a battle that is going on in the spiritual realm between good and bad.  I don’t have a real explanation for it, and it doesn’t mean that I’m any better/worse a Christian than anyone else, or any of that silly rubbish.  It just… is part of being a Christian, I guess?  Probably the more predominate time when I felt this way when my dad was sick with cancer.  I haven’t felt comfortable sharing that particular story yet, but I will some day.

Anyway.

We have so so much going on right now.  My back surgery and recovery is one thing, and the financial implications of being off work (which could be way worse than they are, thankfully!).  My mom is having hip surgery this week as well, and that recovery will include its own unique set of circumstances.  We are remodeling our living/family room, there are stresses at Phil’s work, vehicle issues… there are just “things” that are building up… other things I won’t mention here.  But I know when the pressure is the greatest, breakthrough is right around the corner, AMEN! :)

Today, my mom and I were going to head out to get some things tied up for Kaitlyn’s birthday tomorrow.  I was in the shower, and got a call from Phil… Kaitlyn had been in a car accident.  My mom mode went into high gear, and I was at the crash site from my house in less than half an hour.

She is fine – just a sprained finger.  The car?

No Demolition Derby here

Well, it had to be towed, and the adjuster will be out tomorrow to assess the damage.

But, who cares about that.

Life is so precious.  I mean, really.  Stop and think about it for a minute.

I started my day with a list of things to do in preparation for a celebration of the 17 years my daughter has had on this earth.

Instead, I could have ended up planning a funeral.

That.  Fast.

Life is so precious and we get so wrapped up in what we have to get done, and marking off lists, and getting to the next level and we don’t stop to just breathe and take in this moment.  Because right now will never be here again, and if we don’t stop, and don’t just take that brief second, and we don’t get it back, and we miss it for good, what are we going to regret?  I can guarantee you, it isn’t going to be what you didn’t mark off the list.

So, during this time of spiritual battle in our family’s life, I was given the most precious reminder this morning, that all of the stress, and frustration, and …. everything else that is being thrown at us right now means nothing because I am choosing NOT to take for granted what means most to me in this life.

And by the way?  As my wise father would have made me, and her wise father made her… she got right back in the saddle…

Back in the saddle again...

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