Friday, June 26, 2015

Answered Prayers

This week, my nose has been buried in a book titled 'A Better Way to Pray' I snagged recently in efforts to better understand prayer, it's power, and how I can begin to fathom this mysterious and supernatural gift that we're all equipped with...feeling like I have a lightsaber but I use it like a can opener.

As the chapters progressed, however, I was feeling convicted with regard to Mom's illness...if I had just prayed more precisely, if I had commanded the Cancer to leave, if I had more faith. But, like a good father, he answered my sad heart in such a tender way...he offered me a flashback:

When Mom became very ill well after a 15 year battle, well after all of her immediate family had already passed, well after years of injections, biopsies, toxins, and a bevy of symptoms. I spoke to God for healing and clearly heard, “hasn't she suffered enough?”. This world isn't Heaven but she surely made the best of what she was given. I shifted my prayers quickly to remove pain...please Lord, don't let her suffer. Please Lord, let her go without fear. Please Lord, don't let her feel pain.  In that moment, I realized my prayers were clearly and lovingly answered. She left quietly, without fear, and without pain. I'm thankful for that. It wasn't that He couldn't rid her of her Cancer, it wasn't that I didn't pray correctly or didn't have enough faith. It wasn't that my Mom didn't have enough faith....God answered that she was ready to go home and gently ushered her upward. He answered both of our prayers at once.

This tingling return of old-Lisa has brought guilt, too...guilt that I am forgetting Mom, worry that I'm forgetting to live like her and letting her death mean nothing. How silly I am... how quickly I return to sorrow and ashes when I should be remembering how faithful He was over her....over me. I am one lucky girl to have had the honor of speaking to her of her beautiful abode in Heaven...that she'd soon see him face to face....that she'll finally be rewarded for all the unappreciated things she did. How silly I am. The returning to Me doesn't have to mean forgetting Mom and all the lessons I learned thru her passing. Those lessons are bone deep...thankful for the gentle reminder this week of how faithful He was and continues to be. I'll keep praying and trying to learn how to better use my lightsaber.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Flurry Days

This week was quite the straight days of baseball, Florida in-laws under roof, while still hosting a sleepy post-vacation buzz. It was a feet-hitting-floor-instant-ON kinda week. Entertaining family guests, cleaning house while they visited others, soaking and scrubbing clay stained baseball pants for another evening game, prepping dinner for early eating, then packing coolers for hot spectators and a hard working baseball player. Thankful for a rejuvenating stay at the beach to fill the reserves, never feeling overwhelmed.

School's out for summer and my precious silent writing space has been invaded. My therapy time... soul words that clear the shadows. Squeezing in car time during practice and scattered notes on my phone. As busy as this week was, I felt a shift...old Lisa returning like the tingling of a sleepy limb reawakening. Parts though, still wanting to hold fast my new awareness so in the busy days I don't forget those important lessons, my bullet points. Wanting the change to stick to my bones.

A call to reality, however, was a text from daughter....'when you get home, I'd like to talk'. The world continued to spin, but suddenly laser focus was on her. Never letting the flurry supersede relationship, once home, a bee-line to her room closing the door behind. The cleaning and entertaining would have to wait. Snuggled up beside her and quieted brain to truly hear her words and the meaning behind them. Thankful that she seeks me out and trusts my opinion. A lifetime of listening to all the small stuff so I won't miss the big stuff. Advice on a boy that broke her heart... should she extend a second chance. Personally being The Queen Recipient of Second Chances, with protective hesitation, I agreed. Taking inventory of all the chances I've received, the fourth and fifth chances I've regretfully given, passing along wisdom for both sides. Offer Grace, but don't abandon common sense. Take it slow and don't dangle guilt.

Content, we parted and the flurry continued but home base is secure, so all is well.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

No Coincidences

Anxious about taking a long weekend with the ladies... arriving in-laws and a missed baseball tournament, but the heaviest concern was whether I'd be a wet rag. Still not on my A-game, wondering if I've been enlisted to an entirely different game...would I contribute to the fun, would I have weepy moments, am I still enjoyable to be around? Two tenured friends and two of which is currently midway thru her journey with Cancer. Would conversation stir memories still too fresh?

No coincidence that I was surrounded by exactly the kind of women I needed to refresh my soul. I should have known better than to be anxious for anything at all. Settling in, sweet aggreeance all around...not wanting to upset the other. Our conversation deep, supportive, and broad. No one took center stage, no tantrums. Sharing heart stories by the pool, then at home, then at the beach...a simple change of scenery then more chats.

The high point was a pool side exchange that became an incredible therapy session. Five women with heartbreaking stories made me realize:

  1. There are some amazingly strong women in the world...we coined them 'beautiful mules'. They carry the load when others cannot.
  2. We all have a story....something that defines us and how we see the world forever after.
  3. The sharing of stories offered sustenance...the heady realization that we are not alone.
  4. The difference between being a victim and a victor is not letting the story become an excuse.

Rejuvenated and ready to embrace the in-laws, our return trip home offered another sweet reminder... no coincidence my randomly selected seat partner was a newly retired 17-year breast cancer survivor.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Sucker Punch

It's the little things...the seemingly insignificant events that sucker punch while skipping oblivious thru the day. On a long overdue and lengthy drive to Westminster to check my questionable hearing, turning off the radio so I can listen to my own head thoughts completely unexpected Mom thoughts entered. My hearing has been a years-long issue that I've belittled and tried to self medicate, but it's pretty obvious that hearing is still lacking. Compensating with lip reading, but if not facing you, details are missed. Mom was worried, I was preoccupied. Rounding the corner into Westminster, I hear myself say how glad Mom would be that I'm finally following thru. Then realization that I can't call her to relieve her fears. Heaviness settles on the heart and stomach when I remember I no longer have a Mom. That I'm the sad member of the single parent club.

Later in the week, while shaking the guest bed comforter over the deck to scare off any stray puppy hairs, the sun caught the floating dust, fibers, particles and I remembered Mom was last to lay under that comforter. Little pieces of her floating away. It's silly, but it made me cry. Usually saved for the safety of my inner sanctum, I felt so exposed with the air hitting my wet lids. Would the neighbor think I'm loosing it? Will she think I'm weak? Will it provide yet another story for the gossip chain? Deep breath, drying eyes, task continued...stopping when needed and not caring who saw. This grief thing is pretty universal and if it hasn't hit your world yet, I'm thankful, but just wait. It'll tip your cart, too.

Tomorrow, I head south with friends to soak in the Myrtle Beach sunshine...fearful that I'll receive another unexpected sucker punch and deflate or that I'll be an uber buzz-kill. Packing my running shoes because they seem to help shake off the funk. Preparing for guests, the lack of recent sunshine, and one week into Claratin for the hearing issues has made me a zombie. I'm ready for some vitamin D, hearty belly laughs, and perhaps a few adult beverages.