The human mind, many a war has been fought and won within its hidden chambers. The battles can be fierce and unrelenting. Its doors can be unknowingly opened, allowing ferocious enemies to come in and wreck havoc.
Ghosts have no power to hurt, yet somehow I’ve given them the power to haunt and torture me. Dismissing these ghosts does not nullify the reality of past events. However, inviting them in and allowing them to set up permanent camp is a choice.
Have you ever contemplated digging up a corpse? Yes, you read right! Well, I have. In my chaotic spirals that thought has entered my mind. As the spinning stops, the reality hits like a boulder and the onslaught of questions floods…would that bring her back? would that bring you comfort? would it make everything ok? would this…on…and on…and on…
In a sense, a sort of “digging up” has been happening around here. Now, this has been a much needed endeavor, however, there comes a time to move forward beyond dissecting that putrid muck. I refuse to allow any more abuse to happen at the hands of ghosts. NOW, I HAVE A CHOICE!!! NOW, I HAVE A VOICE!!!
“…Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” ~ Phil. 4:8 NLT
Grateful for days or even moments of clarity of mind. For moments that allow me to breathe without restraint. Today, I will choose to think and meditate on TRUTH.
Another holiday in the books! Social media in tip top shape with all its Kodak moments. The endless flow of post card perfection. With all them filters who can go wrong, right? What lurks behind the scenes? What if we could peel off every “filter” and were allowed into the rawness of life?
I read a blog post which was originally posted on June 6, 2018 entitled “Gravity and Stars: A Father’s Day Reflection for the Fatherless” by Sammy Rhodes. Within his post Rhodes quotes Michael Chabon:
…fatherhood is “an obligation that was more than your money, your body, or your time, a presence neither physical nor measurable by clocks: open-ended, eternal, and invisible, like the commitment of gravity to the stars.”
“Obligation” and “commitment”, words packed with a punch. Words that enter the recesses of my mind and turn up with an “ERROR-MESSAGE“. Rhodes says, “There are a lot of ways to lose a father, each with unique pains.” and “…[his father] haunts the land of the living with the presence of their absence…his absent presence…” — Wow, this hits hard! (emphasis mine).
Thoughts of my own father “missing” yet there. Remember Dad? Yeah, The Runaway has deep “daddy-issues”.
Memories of my Dad are few. From that trickle flow, one looms the size of Gibraltar. His “presence” was painfully absent when his little girl needed the protection of her Daddy. In a sense handing over the preciousness of a soul to abuse. With his “absent presence” came others that would step into his abandoned role. However, this proved to be disastrous. One said that “he loved me as his daughter”, only to cowardly bury the truth. The other said, “I love you like a daughter”, as he denied his thwarted attempts to violate her body.
In the mystery of this life journey there are turns in the crooked road that bring you to ponds of fresh water. Waters that quench and satisfy a thirsty soul. I have been given eyes to “see” A Father. The only one and perfect Dad. I am so grateful! And, by the grace of God, my husband has been that Dad that has been and continues to be always “present” for our children.
~~~Gratitude in the midst of pain~~~
What if in my preoccupation with the sunset, I miss the sunrise?
What if the pain of the thorns, is worth the beauty of the rose?
What if in my search for hidden treasure, I miss the pearl of great price?
What if the shadows of the unknown, distract me from the known?
What if my preoccupation with the grave, keeps me from living?
~~~ Today is a gift…don’t squander it! ~~~
Ponder with me…
When someone comes to mind, what is the first thing that pops into your mind? When death comes, how will you be remembered? When you are just a corpse, and hopefully, people come to pay their respects, what will they “think about” as they stand over you?
Death has rattled our cages again. I’m older, and hopefully wiser. I’m learning to “think through”, to “work through” grief and loss. Our family has the tendency to stuff grief down our being so as to not deal with it or even acknowledge our pain. So, I’m a pioneer in this “new and improved” way…haha! And, guess what? Working through loss and all the implications thereof, I’m finding, is so much better and healthier than the alternative.
What triggered the above questions has been two recent deaths. When the first death occurred the words and sentiments written were those of love and honor. When the second death occurred there was an eerie silence. The legacy left by the first will be one of fond memories and the deep desire that the person wasn’t gone. The second, well, there is almost a “relief” that they are no longer causing damage.
In the end how will I be remembered? What memories will I leave behind? Will I be missed or will it be a welcomed loss?
Oh, that I would learn to number my days, that I may gain a heart of wisdom; that I might leave a legacy worth emulating.
It’s been said that the eyes are the windows to the soul. Your windows have been closed shut forever. I remember a few times in our lives that you dared to crack them open, only to slam them shut as if it was the most stupid thing you did. Agonizing pain tortured your soul. Why couldn’t anyone help you? What kept you shut in your pain? Once again, we are left with a myriad of questions and regrets.
Two memories of you as a teenager come to mind. I was only a child. You were raging mad, like a caged animal who had been brutally hurt. You lashed out only to be beaten mercilessly. And, so, the brutal assault upon yourself and others continued. Your manipulation was masterful. I wonder if your poisonous spews were to keep us away, in an almost protective kind of way. Warped? Yes, but is that what you learned?
You were a son, a brother, a husband, a dad, a grandfather…a human being. How did you slip from our hands? How did you end up alone in your last hours? And, selfishly, I ask, “did you know I loved you?” You were always on my mind and prayers, and now you are gone. A horrid end to a spiraling life.
I wish I could say, “you are now at peace”, but…
So, as many times before, I will rest on the fact that God is God and I am not. That He is merciful and just. That this side of heaven, my questions may never be answered. I will hold on to Him and His promises, and when I have no strength to hold, He holds me still. Like a weaned child, I will rest upon His bosom…there I find comfort and a peace that surpasses all understanding.
Be still my soul, and know He is God.
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away there was a Tree, and although it wasn’t a unique Tree, it inspired respect and admiration. The Tree was beautiful to behold. It stood tall in the midst…sturdy and stunning. Lots of branches and foliage covered the trunk. Oh, the oohs and aahs it inspired.
The passage of time with its multitude of storms, beat that Tree mercilessly. “Today” it stands barely recognizable. I dare say, some may even disdain its memory.
Some of its branches never made it to maturity. Others held on until illness, disappearance, unknown causes or even their own doing cut them off. Those that remain, well…they simply remain.
Time has a way of unearthing great treasures or stripping away facades. That outward beauty hid many parasites that were eating away from within. And, try as we may to keep the semblance of this great, big, beautiful Tree intact, at some point, it is impossible.
Another branch is cut off…death’s blade strikes again. Few remain. Each with their own regrets. Each wondering what is next. And, so a tattered legacy continues…
“A diagnosis doesn’t define me.” A liberating statement, indeed. However, there are times one can not just “speak away” once ailments. We are all different. There is not a one size fits all remedy. Trial and error, and try again is the name of the game. A cooking cutter mentality is not a healthy approach.
In 2002 I ended up in a fetal position, seemingly out of the blue, unable to function. Tests, tests, and more tests, with frustration and annoyance as part of the ride. The end result a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. Meds, home remedies, etc., etc., trying everything to beat these ailments. Yup, even got the typical “it’s all in your head. Just push through.” I’ve learned that it’s chronic. Sometimes I know exactly what brings on a flare up and sometimes I have no clue.
Then there was the time I was diagnosed with degenerative osteoarthritis. No, this diagnosis didn’t define me, but it sure did change the way I do things. Amazing doctors and physical therapists have educated me on what to do to keep myself mobile and what not to do to aggravate things.
Now I’m faced with debilitating anxiety and depression. With the help of my medical doctor we decided it was time to see a therapist. With the support and guidance of my medical team and my family we are exploring ways to help me deal with and cope with these new companions. Will they come and go? Will they stay for a season or will they be with me for the rest of my life? These and other questions are on the table.
My diagnoses don’t define me, but they are part of me. They don’t undo me, but, at times, they do cause me to be laid out. I find accepting this is easier on my physical and mental health than trying to “push through”.
Learning is liberating. Fighting is exhausting.