Saturday, April 30, 2011
In God's hand
I am not in the world.
I don't answer the phone. I don't go to the door.
Clearly, I am an extravert. And this is a big deal.
I often just stare into space. I've been inadvertently scouring my computer for pictures of my Dad. But I got this laptop in the Fall. So all of the pictures on here are of Dad when he was sick. So the pictures I find send me down a path of recalling all that we, as a family, have been through in the last 5 months.
The house can be burning down around me, and I am sitting in the middle of it, staring at a wall. Brian strides in and with a smile directed at me, puts out whatever 'fire' is burning. No kidding. He's made dinner for the last two nights.
Internally, my friends prayers are being answered. I have a peace and a calm, with a big dose of pain and grief mixed in.
As of the day before the funeral, my little ones gave him a new name. They called him 'Punkin Paul'. In honor of my Dad, who they called Punkin and he, their Uncle Paul.
Over the few days we were together for the funeral, I would catch my Uncle Paul out of the corner of my eye. And for a split second I would think to myself, 'Finally! He's here! Dad is here. Wonder what he's been up to that's kept him away all day.'
I found myself unconsciously feeling relieved when I would see him...I thought 'whew...it's all a bad dream and he's finally arrived.'
But he's not here. And it wasn't a dream.
We had been home from Dad's funeral less than one day. We got a call from Atlanta. Mom's brother, my Uncle, died.
We drove to Atlanta on Sunday and drove back on Monday. The girls are CHAMPS. 5+ hours of driving, two days in a row. No complaints from them. I made a homemovie with videos and pictures of our travels to Disney.
The baby stayed awake the entire 5 hour trip to Atlanta on Sunday. And slept most of the 5 hour trip home on Monday. Two funerals in less than one week. We together, have walked through the valley of the shadow of death. (Psalm 23)
This morning, Carlisle asked me like only a quizzical 5 year old could, 'Mommy?'
Carlisle: 'Is anyone else in our family going to die right now?'
I thought about it. In the past, I would have made light of it and said 'probably not Sugar'. Reassurance. But I know better.
Me: 'I don't know Carlisle. Only God knows the time and day of our deaths.'
It's a season of dying in our family. The bible says that. It prepares us.
'There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance' ...
Ecclesiastes 3:1-5(Evelyn, walking from the church to the attached graveyard, between her 'Punkin Paul' and her MeMe.)
(sitting in the hand chair. I LOVE this chair. If Brian and our neighbors wouldn't think I was crazy, I'd put it on our back deck.)
I am needy for God.
I was on a conference call tonight. I shared with them where I am. I am on a spiritual mountaintop.
I have watched and learned that GOD LOVES ME. He loves my Dad. I knew that. But now I know, that I know, that I KNOW. God loves me.
Yet...I have so much to learn.
Seems I may need more time.
I wonder if God would give me a few more hours this month. If I devoted them all to being with HIM and grieving. I'm gonna ask. It's like Dad used to say, 'Nothing ventured, nothing gained.' Right?
It takes time to mourn. Does mourning actually take time? I think yes. It takes thinking, crying, hurting, remembering. Thinking takes time. And crying takes time. And hurting takes time. And remembering takes time.
When I sit down, to think....my girls decide that is a great time to talk, or have a crisis, or get a boo-boo, or want to have a lemonade stand.
So I mourn Dad, in small chunks. The rest of the time I feel melancholy. Or. Mixed up. Kinda wacky.
If you put ecstatic, thrilled, overjoyed, abundant joy on one end of the spectrum....and really, really sad-duper sad on the other, I swing like a pendulum between the two.
Overjoyed for my Dad to be chillin with Jesus, singing with angels, and hanging out with my little baby Grace....and then REALLY,
REALLY OVERWHELMED that I will never hold his hand, dance to live music with him, hug him, see him smile, laugh at his terrible jokes...
I haven't gone back to full time teaching aerobics as of yet. I am planning to teach in the morning. It's hard to be a cheerleader when you are sad. Try it sometime. Tricky. Or maybe it's just the medicine I need. To get back in the swing of doing what I love. Being an aerobics instructor.
I'll let you know tomorrow.
I took the girls to the farmers market. Interesting the amazing things you'll find. This one was from the Lord for me. An incredibly sweet gift.
The only way I could like this hand chair more is if God HIMSELF had grabbed my hand and led me over to it.
I am HELD. In God's righteous right hand. That's the verse that ROLLS around in my head...constantly. And being in God's hand is awfully close to his heart. So I'm staying. Right. Here.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10