Thursday, April 28, 2011

“When my world is breaking, I’ll never leave your hands…”

This is a line from one of my favorite songs called “Your hands” by J.J. Heller.  It talks about even though we sometimes we ask God a thousand ways to make our pain go away, we are still in His hands.  It is a beautiful song and so reminded me this morning that I am still in the Father’s hands.

Sometimes it seems like I only blog on the bad days, and I guess that is when the pain is the worst and this is truly an outlet for me to release some of the pain, but I promise that I will write more about the good times that we are experiencing as well.  In fact, let me go ahead and start this blog out with some highlights from the past few weeks.

The kids and I have been making some improvements around the house, and have had carpet put in several rooms, including the living room. They are thrilled with it and love the new look. We are going to add some of Caleb’s photography prints to the walls. He is going to pick out some of his best work.  This past week we also put up a canvas gazebo outside and hope to have lots of time just hanging out.  We had family over for Easter and watching even my older kids do an Easter egg hunt was just hilarious.   We have had times of laughing and fun, we have gone on a 5 mile bike ride and plan to do more.  Yes, we are healing- gradually and at different rates, but healing is with us I know.

So there are lots of positive things that we are experiencing. God is so good and his mercy is new every day. That is why I know that days like today, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He will carry me through this day as well.

 Last night the weather people were calling for some major storms to come through with tornado warnings, and had already been much damage in the states west of us.  Last night I longed so much for my husband’s calm demeanor during storms. He never let a storm rattle him. He loved storms, and I would often find him out on the deck or outside watching the lightning. I know, not the safest place, but that was Curtis.  So last night I just wanted to hear his calm assurance that we would be ok and that he would be praying. Everything was ok, and I guess he was looking out for us in heaven, but so miss him.

Yesterday, I found out that I didn’t get an internal position that I had applied for at work, and I guess I was a little down about it, even though I didn’t mean to be. I had prayed and trusted God that if this wasn’t what He wanted me to do then the door would shut and it did.  I guess not being able to be comforted again by Curtis really hurt. So reading back through what I have written here, I am finding a common thread. That I am being triggered today by my lack of comfort from my husband’s arms.  My heart aches because I can’t feel him physically with me.  Tomorrow makes 3 months since he passed away, and while I can say definitely it is easier now; it is still hard at times if that makes sense.  I am sure that the days where I could cry at any given second will be here for a while, and I am glad for them. I will find a place today where I can be alone and have a good cry, for the tears help to release the pain that tumbles around in my heart trying to find a place to land.

So here is my heart- you see the good and the bad. You hear about the tears and the pain, but it I pray that you also see the hope that I have in our heavenly Father, for it is to Him that I give all the glory and praise for bringing me through these rainy days and the sunny days.  I am not afraid to get the umbrella out. I know that He is with me, and I carry Curtis in my heart every moment of the day. And I will never leave God’s hands.


Friday, April 22, 2011

My Focus...

This past week, I have been struggling with some things, and thought I would just be transparent with you. I know if I am struggling, that there are others who may be as well.  I am still adjusting to Curtis not being here, and I am sure that the adjustment period will take quite some time. I still find myself wanting to call him to let him know when I will be home, still miss him immensely.  There are days when I still do not want to get out of bed.  

I posted this on facebook the other day, when your focus is inward, your vision becomes blurry.  I find that when I begin to focus only on the grief and how much I miss Curtis, then my focus on Christ becomes blurry. I begin to feel like I am far from Him.  I know that some of you will tell me that it hasn't been even 3 months yet, and that I can expect to be inward focused because all of this is still so raw and painful. And I suppose that there is validity to that.  I know that I can't expect to be healed totally in such a short period of time, but I think what I am trying to get at is this.  I have a choice to make every day.  I can choose to withdraw into my hiding place of my heart where the bleeding and the pain is constant.  I make a choice every day how much time I am going to spend in the rooms of my heart that sees the agony of Curt's last day with us.  I make that choice. I know that the pain I feel may drive me to making that choice more than I want to on some days.  But when I choose to stay in the darkness, in the shadows of  the heaviness and smothering blanket of grief for extended periods of time, then my focus on Christ- my DELIVERER- becomes blurry.

So many times, Jesus would pray for eyes to be opened in the Gospels.  I know that many times this was physically, but also it was spiritually as well. When we are blinded, or our vision is blurry, we don't see things the right way.  I know this sounds like, duh yeah, but really think about this.  Whether it be grief from losing one that you loved so much, or heartache from a failed relationship, financial difficulties,or addictions- when we put all our focus on the problem, then we don't focus on the answer- Jesus. 

So, my struggle is this: I have found in the past week that I have felt more of a depression that is trying to settle in, a spirit of heaviness that threatens to weigh me down like a winter coat on a hot summer day.  Yeah, some depression is normal with grief. I am not denying that. But again, I have to keep reminding myself that I will not become a slave to grief.  If I become a slave, chained to the loss, then my vision will be blurred and I will not see clearly what God's will is for my life.   If you find that you are struggling with situations that really have your focus totally on the problem, let me encourage you today to find someone that you can talk to, someone who will pray with you and who will stand by you. Make the choice to live and not die. Make the choice that you will have sharp vision, eagle eyes.  I am making the same decisions even now. I am sure that I will fail on days. But even if I fall, I can run back to God and into His arms. Will you do the same? 

Thank you for being with me on this journey. It is a process of growing and changing.  I pray that you are blessed and helped by something I write. 


Thursday, April 14, 2011

another letter to Curtis

Dear Curtis,

As I sit here at your grave today, with tears streaming down my face, I wonder how in the world do these feelings come on so unexpectedly?? I mean one day I am feeling like I really have made progress and here I am today running to your grave to tell you that life isn’t fair – to wonder how I am going to make it?  I know I will make it, somehow in the back of my mind, I know it.  But right now at this moment what I feel is the pain of losing you; at this moment as I look at your grave – I feel empty and alone. Needing to hear you call my name – needing to feel your arms around me. I even would not mind to hear you fuss… but I can’t.

I stare at this plot of land to which I now hold a deed, but knowing it holds the love of my life.  I know that this is only just your shell- your earth suit that is lying in this ground covered by spring grass.  I know that you – Your Spirit Man- are enjoying majesties untold.  You are sitting at Jesus’ feet. Yes, my mind knows that but my heart breaks just the same.

The kids and I are trying to heal, and I know your extended family is as well.  Curtis Baby, I can hear you say “It takes time” but I guess I want to be whole right now. I miss the way you held my hand while we were driving – the way you sent me texts just to say you love me.  I miss the You that you had became over the past few years and wondering why you couldn’t stay a little longer.  I never really got to tell you good-bye, but I guess maybe because it really isn’t goodbye, but just “see ya later”  I am so proud of how far you had came. But the day we rushed you to the hospital, I had no clue it was your last day.

So as I sit here – listening to the birds singing, feeling the breeze on my face and letting the sun warm my body, Baby, I know that although your body lies in this grave, your spirit is always with me.  Comfort me in my dreams, will you please? Take away some of the pain. I want to think what would you have done? -when I am faced with a decision with the kids, but the stark reality is that the decisions all lay upon my shoulder now. But I know, my dear husband, that the greater one is with me and will guide me always. I have to trust in Abba – our Father. You can revel in His glory- I know that one day I will join you. But for now, I will face this day with my heart bared for the world to see, not hiding the pain, but also not hiding the faith that I know lies within. Curtis, I love you. You are in my heart and on my mind and really truly are my inspiration.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

A good day...

Last night, I was looking over my pictures  from our Florida trip.  We went from January 3-8, and Curtis passed away on January 29, 3 weeks after we got back. We had lots of fun during our trip. Curtis really pushed himself to get out every day to get out to go to whatever park we were going to that day. He did not complain even though I knew that it was so difficult for him to just get out of the bed. He was a real trooper. He wanted to get the electric wheel chair so he could drive it around and would not have to inconvenience any of us to push him around.  There was one day that they were out of electric wheelchairs, and it really bothered him that I had to push him in a standard wheelchair. He was so concerned about all of us.

There were more symptoms developing even while we were there. But Curt was determined not to have to call the doctor. On Thursday, we had lots of visitors and earlier in the week, our old neighbors came to visit and Curtis was so thrilled to know that people cared enough to come and see us while we were in Orlando. On Thursday, the condo was filled with friends who came to pray for Curt and to just love on him.  Everyone who came had to drive at least an hour and half.  This touched his heart so greatly. He told me how humbled he was that people cared for us. After the prayer where Bishop Troy Miller and the others prayed for him, he began to feel better.  His color was better and the pain levels went down to almost zero! The rest of that evening he looked healthy and enjoyed dinner with friends.

This day was such a blessing. Friday the pain began to come back and by Saturday when we came home, He began to be sick again.  After that, each day became worse.  I am so grateful for this day that he had where he felt normal and was surrounded by the love of his friends.  To all of you who visited that week and that Thursday, thank you so very much. I know the prayers were fervent and they were passionate. Being surrounded by such powerful love from God's people was amazing. I know it was for Curtis. I don't know how many times he told me that Thursday evening that he was a blessed man. 

So it was a good day on Thursday, January 6, 2011. I experienced a "normal" day with my husband and thanks to everyone who played a part in us being at Disney - Curtis once again experienced the bond of unity among friends. Everyone who gave finances for us to go or prayed for us during this time, you sowed into the creation of memories that will never be forgotten by me or the children. Thank you again for a good day. 


Sunday, April 3, 2011

words don't come easy...

You know, I have heard some people say that a sudden death is worse to deal with than a slow death, but I believe that both kinds of deaths deal with its own set of issues.   No matter how much you think you might be prepared when someone has cancer and doesn't receive a healing here on earth, it is NEVER any easier.
Because nothing can prepare you for the feelings of inadequacies and the waves that come crashing down upon you when you lose a loved one.

Nothing can prepare you for seeing your children hurt - each in a different way. To see them trying to work through panic attacks, to see them experiencing moods that you haven't seen in them in a long time.  To hear them say how much they miss their daddy.  Nothing in this world can prepare your heart to hear that come out of your child's mouth.   Nor can there be anything that would let you know that in any given minute or hour that you can experience such extreme emotions, and then feel them seemingly all at the same time. Going from laughing and joking one minute to sobbing the next.  To those who are casually observing, it appears that everything is going well, that we are really ok, but those closest know that it is a struggle to put on a smile. To laugh when you want to scream.

There is nothing that will prepare you to have moments when time stops and for a split second, you think you heard him call your name.  When you are serving dinner and start to fix him a plate. To hear the phone ring and for a flash, think it is him calling.

I am trying to work through all these things and for the most part feel that I am moving forward.  As for my kids, there are days that I wish they would just break down and sob, at least I could see some type of outward sign that they are releasing the grief.  Really and truly there are no words that can describe the pain and the adjustments that we are attempting to make right now.  Continue to pray for us.  Pray for my kids. Stay involved with their lives.  Let my kids know that you are praying for them.  I know you are praying and we are so grateful for that. It has meant so much to be surrounded with your prayers and your friendship.

Thank you for reading, and maybe soon there will be a happier blog. It is a process and we will continue to move forward.  God's grace will carry us through the weak moments.