It’s my first time to sit on my porch swing to write since I’ve moved into the apartment. The weather has been cloudy and humid all day. I’m sure it’s suppose to rain sometime soon. I’m enjoying watching the parade of dogs going by as Pippin gazes through the fence and Zoey sits beside me on the swing. Put a pillow down and that girl is satisfied anywhere.
The landscapers finally have all the grass and trees planted. On the day that the trees were planted outside my porch, I was so excited. I have two close to me and will thoroughly enjoy them when their leaves appear. I’m wondering if I can sneak a birdhouse on one without anyone noticing. I’ve put a small yard flag outside my window in the bushes and haven’t had anyone remove it. I also place a medium sized rock next to it that I picked up in Colorado. I’m looking forward to putting flowers out again when the chance of cold weather passes. Spring weather has come so early this year in East Texas. It hardly feels like we’ve had any type of winter.
I’ve been to visit my mom this afternoon and helped do a few small things and I ate lunch with some singles from Mobberly and caught up with a few of them. But this morning, I woke ready to punch something….I didn’t care who or what. Anyone else ever wake up in one of those moods? I’m not sure if I can blame it on hormones. I’m a menopausal woman….of course I can! I skipped Sunday school, but I did make it to church. Thanks for the prodding, God.
Even when I entered church, I was grumpy. I didn’t sing….very unlike me. I sat in a different spot than normal; Next to an elderly man who was sitting by himself too. Pastor Glynn was out…doing church plant ministry according to his message on video. I know it was on a cruise and I thought that’s where I’d like to be too! I’m sure they are getting time to gather, share, and recharge on a boat with beautiful views. (Sigh)!
The message from the visiting pastor, Dr. Gary Smith, made me hold a mirror up to myself and I wasn’t fond of my reflection this morning. He shared his story of him and his wife coming home to find their thirteen year old son, Drew, dead as a result of an accidental gunshot from a 22 rifle that belonged to his grandpa. I can’t even imagine the pain of walking in and discovering that tragedy. He shared how he viewed other peoples’ tragedies differently and how his own walk with God changed for the better since he went through that traumatic experience; How his focus on treasuring relationships and using his time on earth underwent a transformation. Finally, how blessed he was to be given another son. Yes, I wiped a few tears from my eyes as his story unfolded. My attitude and mood changed completely by the time I left church.
Tragedies and grief can make a person undergo a change for better or worse. When walking the path of grief it is important to remember that it didn’t just happen to one person. Many people are touched by the sadness of the void left by the person that has gone home. A person can be consumed by their own loss and can unwittingly turn inward instead of reaching out.
I was lucky enough that I had people who reached out and held me. I was blessed to remember that I was God’s child and leaned on His strength. There are things that I wish I had handled better. I hope I was there enough for Cameron, but I’m sure I could have done more. I was angry with both sides of the family for not gathering closer to me and I pushed them away. Through it all, God put friends into place to help as I moved through my grief a few steps forward and a few steps back until I could adjust to the difference in my life. Until I was able to function and find joy again.
I know that I haven’t been the person I should have been when tragedy happened in my friends’ lives. I’m ashamed of that. It is a club no one wants to join and a person doesn’t realize the impact it will have until they become part of that group. Maybe that is the beauty of being ‘unaware’ of the greatness of loss. The heartache isn’t as gut-wrenching until it is your heart. Which is why when you know another soul on the same path, you’ll share those smiles that say, ‘I understand.’
With years under the belt of dealing with the initial numbness, hurt, sadness, and memories and then the healing of time, it is easy to forget how it felt at the beginning of grief. At first you think you won’t be able to breathe, sleep or eat, but you will. You will even smile at how much you’ve changed and be thankful that God held you. It almost feels like the life I had and the people I miss happened to me a lifetime ago. I have morphed into a new being complete with a scarred heart, but it beats and it loves. Which is why I’m smiling now.
I’m glad that I got up this morning and attended church. I’m thankful that Dr. Smith was there with his message to remind me what a beautiful life I have. I needed to be rebooted and I’m so appreciative that my God loves me enough to send me these lovely moments after I feel like my life stinks and I want to strike someone. He even sent my friend, Carol, to watch the movie, Risen with tonight.
The clouds finally gave way and the promised rain is pouring outside my bedroom window. The beauty of renewal is alive and well in my heart just as the sweet future of spring is around the corner. I’m repeating…our God is wonderful!