Waiting Room

Sitting in the waiting room flooded by memories of my girl. It’s an interesting phenomena that I never know from where it’s going to come.

The thoughts of those first visits where so much unknown lingered, to those “final” visits where she could barely keep herself up. In fact, there’s the one where she was literally slouched in her wheelchair not even able to open her eyes. My goodness what a journey!

Today I sit, by myself, waiting for my body to be put through prodding and pushing. No anxiety of the outcome. No wondering what’s next. Simply sitting here flooded with the memories of my girl.

Heading into her fourth year that she went to glory, yet the images are of “today”. Vivid, gripping my heart to a degree I thought wasn’t possible – again! Sometimes I wonder if the pain of her absence will subside, then these days happen with a brazen reminder that the gap in my heart remains wide open.

And, so, the testing and the prodding left me bruised and achy. But this physical pain will subside. It’s outcome is already in the hands of the One who holds my every moment in His hands.

The waiting room will come again…I know. For now, I will rest and recover. For now, I have peace because the God of peace is with me.

The One

What if I had been born into another family?

What if my Mother was my best friend?

What if my Dad was my hero?

The perfect parents…the perfect upbringing…

BUT who, what dictates “perfection”?

What if I hadn’t been sexually abused as a child?

What if I hadn’t been beaten by my protector?

What if my parenting was flawless?

The fairy tale life…the life worth emulating…

BUT where do we find “perfection”?

Not excusing, but not demanding answers either. I’m transported to the last doctor’s appointment of my daughter’s journey. The Doctor said to me, “Why didn’t you bring her here sooner?” That sharp dagger that I had been wielding, was plunged into my soul by another. Speechless, lost in the barrage of accusations that already invaded my soul. Yes, if only…and, the what ifs…

We are a peculiar people. We swear that we will never. We demand our rights. We all want something better than Eden. There’s eternity in our hearts. There’s a sense of right and wrong. There’s a longing desire for The One who alone is perfect. Who alone loves perfectly.

“O soul are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see? There’s light for a look at the Savior And life more abundant and free

Turn you eyes upon Jesus / Look full in His wonderful face / And the things of earth will grow strangely dim / In the light of His glory and grace…”

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus by Alan Jackson

Counterpart

The weight of darkness even amidst the light. The loud, relentless chatter amidst the silence. Sinking…sinking…sinking. How is it possible to sink without knowing it?

My unwelcome Companion has a counterpart. Not always, but at times it makes its appearance. I’m continually learning to surrender and accept The Companion, but it’s counterpart shakes me to the core.

I have not learned its tricks, yet. When I know it’s here it’s because I’m sinking in its grip. And, honestly, it lulls me to a degree that it feels soothing and inviting. Not until I’m “outside” it’s lure can I see it’s horrifying end and destruction.

As a Believer in Jesus Christ, I am fully aware that my life is not my own; that my life is a gift; that it’s beginning and end are not mine to wield. Yet, in the midst of my sinking thoughts, this Truth is not something I go to.

My sister took her own life, so you’d think remembering the heartache and devastation this left behind, that would shake me into reality.

Or…focusing on the many, many blessings around me. Or…I’m sure you can write a litany of things that SHOULD knock some sense into me. Yup, I’ve had those lists for others, and the shake of the head when they did not keep my list. Oh, may God forgive me for thinking I had all the answers. HE is the only answer and the only One who knows each person intricately and individually, including me.

And, so, I’m here, looking back at “that pit”, AGAIN. Grateful, that God in His amazing grace and mercy has plucked me out – AGAIN; that today the “sun-is-shining” and that the next step is all that is needed.

Grateful for another moment of clarity. 

Unending Grief

It comes in waves

Waves that relentlessly pound

Waves that smash you into a wall

One picture…one memory…is all it takes

The reality that a warm hug is not an option

that she’ll never walk through the door

that she’s gone – forever!

The emptiness of her absence brings

a sting that doesn’t subside

a deep ache that permeates my very soul

Say her name…please say her name

Remember her…please remember her

My beautiful girl, how I miss you…

Limited

There is an allure to the heroic. The little engine that “couldn’t” just doesn’t sound appealing. There’s a mindset of pushing ones limits; of attempting the impossible; setting the ultimate record.

Somehow the mother who “just raised” her children is not as heroic as that woman who conquered the corporate world. Funny thing is, that even when we say “this doesn’t bother us”, it may just put a bolder in our shoe that just makes for some funky walking.

I hit a wall…again. It surprised me, yet it didn’t. It discouraged me, yet it didn’t. Such mixture of emotions. Such a sense of failure. Such a reminder of being a limited being.

Ever since I can remember I’ve had to have “my own back”. Watching out for myself, and, kinda-sorta being there for everyone in need. After my daughter passed away I literally fell apart. My therapist reminded me that the passing of my daughter was NOT what undid me. I almost fired her for the umpteenth time. How dare she say that! But in the depth of my being I wondered…

She went on to say that I had kept “myself” together with all sorts of things. My daughter’s passing was simply the event that unraveled, even the duct tape.

Ah the reality of being a limited human being. Not something we like to admit. Just recently I heard a podcast that spoke about a “God-complex” wanting to be everyones savior, including me. They mentioned that it takes humility to accept that we need food, sleep, rest, etc. in order to keep functioning. That in our pride we don’t trust God to handle ‘fill in the blank’. Ouch!

Ya think I would have this lesson down packed, right? NOT!!! We are forgetful people that need to be reminded, time and again.

Watching my daughter ebb away with absolutely nothing I could do to stop this, I thought, I had grasped my limited abilities. But, no, I still need to be reminded.

I’ve been meditating on the following:

Job 38:1-7, Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:  “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me.  “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding.  Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it?  On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

I am limited! God is not!

Ephesians 3:14-19, For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Companion

“I thought you had left me for good”, was my thought. “But, oh, how I sense your tenacity”, the surrendered sigh echoed.

The companion I did not choose. The companion I did not invite, yet here you are as present as ever. Somehow, I don’t fear you anymore. Somehow, I “almost” see you coming, grab my hibernation attire and sink back for it’s duration. How long will you stay, is as unknown as the heaviness of your hand. That is still an area that frustrates this control freak.

How I wish I could control your arrival. Heck, you may never be welcomed, if I had my say. But, no, you are there just lurking around the corner, waiting to make your appearance known.

Your familiar presence can still rattle my routine.

Depression with all it’s intricate angles…

Depression is the name of my companion…

…a companion I never chose.

Opened Wound

”I think she died as a consequence to xyz decision YOU made…” – – – Swoosh, the dagger was plunged! Expertly removing the freshly formed scab. The bleeding hasn’t stopped. Just when one thinks that there’s any semblance of healing, the questions and doubts come back with a vengeance.

Doesn’t this person know that I’ve dissected every step and decision made and agonized at the very thought that I might have missed something? Does this person not see that I would have never, knowingly harmed my baby girl?

”Sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt you…” came, BUT I had already plunged deep, deep into the darkness of my soul. The fog descended, surrounding me with guilt and shame. Once again, the light and air, snuffed out; the wound opened and raw.

Castigating thoughts from without, joining hands with the thoughts from within.

Ragged Edges

Thinking it is a good idea to attempt something normal…familiar. Hey, they are safe. They love me and I love them. Venturing out of the home-made shelter to test the outside world, only to be thrown into spiraling thoughts that assault the mind with unending questions. How stupid of me to think it would be “ok”!

Everything has changed! It’s ludicrous to think otherwise. For sure, I am a totally different person. My ragged edges cut and hurt. Not an excuse, just a fact.

Walking on eggshells, I don’t do. My masks shattered by sorrow and pain…not apologizing for this! Filters annoy me. Primp and proper, I am not.

Being around me is incredibly difficult! The sharpness of my ragged edges cut and bruise. I think I’ll crawl back into my home-made shelter where everyone will be safe😢

Shame

“…I couldn’t imagine confessing the anxiety which whispered white noise in my ears. What would fellow Christians think about the black dog of depression often barking louder than the voice of God?…” ~ Steve Austin

I’m floundering. I don’t fit in anywhere. Too “holy” (haha!) for the world. Not “saintly” enough for the church. In God’s providence (yes, I still believe…) I came across Steve Austin on Twitter. No, no magical story, he “just” turned up on my feed. I’m not completely familiar with all that he proclaims, just this quote just hit me raw.

So, we don’t have a “home church”. Since we came to faith we have always “belonged” somewhere. Crazy how that high school mentality of belonging continues even as adults. Yeah, we don’t belong to the popular crowd…anymore. We are outsiders. Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s tons of people that would love for me to be in their “group”. I’d be an amazing token to show off what God can do! Sexually abused as a child, raped, domestic violence, alcohol abuser AND now, the cherry on top, the death of her daughter to cancer. Can you read the BOLD letters on the billboard? But no, I’m just a used up, discarded “saint” that has disappointed the masses. No victory story here.

Just this Sunday we visited a church. It’s a small crowd of smiling welcoming people. Maybe this one? I thought. After service they were having lunch together. We were invited. I panicked. We rushed out. Once in the car, I felt “safe”. Where they mean and snotty? No! Far from that. But my brain went to all kinds of scenarios. Some, real and others, well, made up…I guess.

Back in my “corner” with thoughts of how messed up I am and wondering how in the world I got here. And, thinking this is how it’s going to be…sigh😔

Trying to Get Back

Ya’ll still here? It’s been a L-O-N-G “minute” since I last posted. Goodness life just tumbles through, doesn’t it?

My laptop has taken “ill” so I am attempting to type on an IPad…yeah, not working as smoothly and speedily as I’d like, but I was itching to get back to my writing routine.

An update (in summary): I’ve been “down”, pretty crazy how dark it can get. Made more changes in the pursuit of caring for my mental health. We moved. Adjusting to a new town. I lived in the same town since we came from Mexico in 1975, so theirs tons of adjustments. One being trying to reconcile, in my chaotic brain, that I haven’t abandoned my daughter since the cemetery where her remains lay is further away. Yeah, working through things that might be “normal” to some, to me seem like huge unsurmountable mountains. But learning and trying is the name of the game, and, at the moment, I’m ok with that.

”Routine” is my friend, but it seems to be hiding. And, again, learning that the dictates of my brain, at times, need to be silenced. Trying not to be so hard and rigid so as to flow and enjoy those blessed moments of sanity.

OHHHHHH, guess what? We are expecting our first granddaughter in February! Oh the joy! Yup, the sweetness of a life bringing us lots of sunshine! Hearing her heartbeat for the first time was surreal.

Our life journey continues. Whoever is still here, I’m glad we are walking together. Your companionship is a gift.