Tag: feelings

The day is here! Construction to begin.

I am sitting on the front porch of my little bunkhouse waiting for the materials for the addition to be delivered.

I can’t believe the day is finally here.

But while I am excited I also wish I could tell my mom all about it. I want to show her the “process” pictures. I want to ask her opinion about design issues. She was always able to come up with something I hadn’t thought of. 

Somehow I feel like I shouldn’t be doing this now, a little over two months since her death. It’s crazy but the longer the time since her death the more it becomes real. I hadn’t expected that. 

But if not now, when? Building weather in Michigan isn’t that long. If we don’t get it done now it will be next year.

We can let life’s sadness destroy us or we can move on. It’s hard though and my feelings are very conflicted.

I know once the materials are delivered, I get caught up in the creative process. I love anything creative and this will rank as one of the biggest creative projects ever.

I will keep you posted.

God bless and have a good day.

Ps. Posting this from my phone and can’t delete the second picture. Oh, well.

lemons and lemonade

I was so excited but then……

The Excitement

Remember my post yesterday when I shared about this wonderful watercolor painting I found? It was painted by the artist, Ranulph Bye.

watercolor painting

I decided to check it out online and found out I was right to think this was painted by a professional artist. One whose paintings have some serious value. His paintings started selling at $800.00 to $1,000 dollars. I was so geeked. I had no intention of selling it anyway but I thought it would be so cool if I owned a painting that I paid $3.00 for but was worth a thousand.

The Disappointment

I was looking at it again more closely this morning, drooling over my newest treasure, and noticed a sharp line at the bottom of the page with some numbers. The sharp border probably means it’s only a print. But, of course, sometimes prints, especially first edition prints, can be valuable as well.

Now I’m afraid to take it out of the frame. I’m either going to be disappointed or I’m going to be elated and if I’m elated, (meaning it’s valuable), I will be really nervous that I might damage it in some way. Isn’t that the way it goes?

The Tears

Later that day I started to take out some things from my mom’s house. That was difficult. I almost convinced myself she was just in the hospital. I am selling the house to my brother and so I need to take what I want before it becomes his because once it’s his, I will be handing over the keys. We have already decided on who gets what so it’s not a problem. It’s just hard to do.

I decided to weed my mom’s garden as well. It’s tiny. My brother and I completely redesigned and restored her little garden last spring. She loved what we did and we were both really proud we had done this for her. Of course, I cried while I weeded but that’s OK.

Crying and grieving go hand in hand. At least they should.

Thinking about the picture and what I thought was my new-found treasure helped. Even it might turn out to be otherwise.

Life is kind of like that, isn’t it? It hands us lemons and lemonade all in the same day.

lemons and lemonade

God bless and I hope you have a good day.


How do brownies and tears work together in grief?

Monday was a hard day. My mom is nearing heaven’s door with every breath she takes. I see her footprints getting closer all the time. There are times she reaches with her arm outstretched as though she is, in fact, searching for a door knob.

In my selfishness, I want to tell her to stay just a little longer. I’m not ready yet.

But instead, I come home and move bricks and broken cement blocks. I spread bark and pull up weeds. I take up old landscape edging, crying through it all. It’s my way of dealing.

It felt good. The work and the crying.

Then I thought about brownies. My mom loves brownies. This was one of the last things she might enjoy.

I used to always bake her special desserts. If I saw something yummy at the grocery store, I would buy it for her. She has not enjoyed food for a couple of weeks. But I thought maybe, just maybe, she might enjoy a brownie.

Besides, I had to do something her. It was the only thing I could think of.

A last gift from me to her.

I don’t know how many tears ended up in the brownies.

Isn’t it strange the things grief compels us to do? Like baking brownies for someone who probably isn’t going to eat them, who probably can’t eat them.

But we all handle our grief differently. Is there such a thing as pre-grieving? If there is, that’s where I am.

My husband is scheduled to go on his annual spring fishing trip with my son, grandson, and some other fishing buddies.  They go every year and have a ball.

He’s balking about going but I am insisting. I know me. I know that I’m ok with my tears. I’m ok with grieving. He’ll come home if needed and it’s only four or five hours away.

The cycle of life. Death and birth. Since the beginning of time daughters have grieved their mothers. My grief is no different except that it’s my grief.

I think part of trusting God means we learn to accept heartbreak as a part of life as much as joy.  Even now God is preparing me for this unwelcome journey.

I do not look forward to missing my mother. I think my tears this past week, (and there have been many of them)  are God’s way of letting me know her homecoming is soon. I’m releasing some tears a little ahead of time so when I am needed to think clearly, I will be able to.

God bless.


Do we have to “feel” brave to “be” brave?

Three Vietnam war POW’s (prisoners of war), were being interviewed. They were asked this question, “How would you define courage?” Here’s what one of them said.

“Courage is fear that has been prayed”.

Isn’t that great?

I think sometimes followers of Christ think they must feel brave before they act brave.

Do you think Peter necessarily felt brave when he stepped out of the boat?

Did Abram feel brave before he left his homeland for places unknown?

Did Daniel feel brave before he defied the king’s orders and challenged the diet the king wanted him to eat?

Did Esther feel brave when she agreed to Mordecai’s plan?

And yet I can’t recall God recording that they “felt” anything before they acted. Instead, they are commended for their faith, not their bravery.

The truth is we are all human. Truly brave people almost always act from fear first. It’s what precedes true courage. I can’t think of any person I have read about or any person I know who’s done something courageous that didn’t feel fear first.

I don’t think I’ve done a lot of what a person would label as brave.

Except I can remember a time when I was so scared of something I was practically sick with fear. It’s when we were on vacation. We had the opportunity to take a boat tour with a few other couples and do some snorkeling.

Now you should know I can’t swim. I used to but when I was pretty young my friends and I were swimming in a lake near our house. We had swum across this lake many times. But this time the lake was a little shallow and the weeds were nearer the surface than usual. I got tangled up in the weeds and nearly drowned. I never swam after that.

So when we got to the part of the ocean where we would snorkel, I really never thought I would do it anyway. I figured my husband and everyone else would, but I had no intention of jumping into water over my head. But my husband encouraged me and the boat’s captain said that with my snorkels and a swimming vest, I couldn’t possibly drown. To this day, I don’t know how they convinced me. But all of a sudden I was equipped with all my gear and standing on the bow of the boat. I was shaking, I was so afraid.

But I jumped in.

It took a few seconds before I realized I was, in fact, not going to drown. Seeing the tropical fish and the coral was the most incredible experience I have ever had. I couldn’t hear a thing because my ears were covered with water so in total silence I swam around looking below me at all the beauty the ocean contained. Fish of all colors and shapes swam under me darting in and out of gorgeous coral. I stayed closed to my husband and we must have swum a couple of hours.

When I get scared now about something, I think of what I did that day. I think about how frightened I was and how I realized that fear is not such a bad thing. That sometimes:

fear is what cause faith to flourish.

Don’t be afraid of fear. Instead be afraid of letting fear stop you. Peter, Abram, Daniel, and Esther were people just like you and me. Their stories are great not because of how they ended but because of how they began.

I think sometimes we get too caught up with a story’s end and not enough with all the fears that had to be overcome.

So the next time you are afraid of something, don’t chastise yourself. Just keep moving and eventually the fear goes away as you find one little success after another.

Jump into your ocean just like I did. Your most incredible experience might well lie beneath the surface of your fear.

God bless and have a good day.

How to describe something so tender and yet heartbreaking

I don’t hardly know where to begin.

How do I describe something so tender and meaningful and yet so heartbreaking?

Or even should I?

Should I keep it wrapped up like a present open it later for all of you to share?

I asked myself all these questions before I wrote this post because this is a hard post to write.

Yesterday was an Easter I will never forget.

My mom is getting worse all the time. She cannot feed herself. She’s sleeping more. She is becoming dehydrated.

Yesterday wasn’t really planned but as everyone learned how bad she was, it all just came together. Every child, grandchild, and great-grandchild was at her home yesterday. We all pitched in and brought the ham, sweet potatoes, cheesy potatoes, salads, and of course more desserts than necessary.

I took pictures of everyone with my mom. I would share them with you but my mom is a proud woman and she would never want a picture of her in her present condition all over the internet. I will honor that. Here’s what she looked liked in her twenties. Look at that hair.

But here was the hard part. We all knew that this was almost certainly our last time together with her in her home. I would catch teary-eyed faces unawares on everyone’s face at one point or another. I often had to go to another room to have a good cry as I knew how bittersweet these moments were.

Incredibly, a woman who can’t remember what is said one minute earlier, remembers the whole event. This is the first time this has happened in months. But that’s what love does. It invades our deepest soul and lives there forever. When I think about God’s love for me throughout this period of grief  (I swear, I have been grieving for months.), I feel that same miraculous love at a time when I should be falling apart.

There have been so many loose ends to tie up. We’ve had to find and organize all her finances, her insurance papers, her funeral home arrangements (already paid for years ago), schedule the caregivers round the clock and keep it all straight. My mind is on overload and yet I am at peace.

But here’s the really hard part and I’m crying as I write this because it so impacted me at the time.  I don’t even know if anyone but me heard it.

As people were leaving, my mom, who hasn’t spoken a full sentence in days, found the strength to wave her hand good-bye while saying, “Bye, everyone.” Do I have to explain why that was so poignant?

Was she just saying good-bye for this occasion or was she really saying “Good-bye.” I will never know but I will never forget the look of love on her face when she said it. Dear God, this watching someone die is hard.

God bless and have a good day. I just can’t write anymore although I had a lot more to say. I want to go visit my mom now.








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