Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Reflecting and Growing

It's February 1, and here in Ohio, we are experiencing crazy warm winter weather. I am sitting outside with no jacket on-my thermometer says 62. The sun is shining and it is beautiful out. I have deep joy. It is such a contrast from a year ago. A year ago it was snowing and cold. And my heart was so full of pain I could hardly breathe sometimes. God has brought me so far from there. It's not good to dwell in the past; it is, however, sometimes good to reflect on the past and understand how far God takes you from point A to B. I can't say even still that I understand why God chose to let mom's cancer take her, but i can say that I can testify to how far He has brought me through all of it. I am choosing to be a bit raw with you today. I am choosing to share a few excerpts from my journal  a year ago. It is sort of tough to do so, but I am choosing to because I want to give God glory for how far He has brought me.  So here are some words from my heart a year ago.
  January 12,2011. Mom is home now. SHe is very quiet, but she is better spirits now that she's home.Having her home is good.She is under hospice care now.The dr. has said 2-3 months probably.I'll gladly take each day with her I can have.She doesn't talk about it much.It's like the elephant in the room.I still hate that this is happening, but I'm beginning to accept it better.The kids are grasping the death concept a little more, as they have asked a lot of questions.The concept of a funeral is a bit more confusing to them.

January 20,2011. The snow is falling heavy. It is pretty.I wish I felt the joy of it more.I'm tired, stressed, and sad. This week I went back to work full time since mom lost her speech and the brain tumors were discovered in November.I'm exhausted.I've been working with Red Cross to get Tim home for a little bit of time.I handle a lot of those things to take them off dad so he can focus on mom.I'm ok with that. I'm just very weary.Mom had her birthday the other day. Most likely it'll have been her last. sometimes it's hard to look at the day as joyful to have that day and not "Oh, this is the last birthday with mom" type of thought. I pray God will change that in me.

January 25,2011. I'm sitting alone in Panera. That is something I do so rarely. But I just need a few minutes to myself. No customers. No demands. No house chores. No family. and NO CANCER. Just a few minutes to myself so very needed. I can pray. I can reflect. And I can journal. I'm very sad. The last couple of days have been really hard for me. Mom is getting worse.She is confused more and more.Yesterday she didn't know how to play UNO. That was heartbreaking, especially because we love games so much. She is confused how to use the DVD player and TV. She needs someone to sit with her.She sleeps a lot and has a lot of stomach problems.She's still eating, but not a lot........I've been going through pictures, preparing for the funeral, so when the time does come, it won't be as overwhelming.I'm really sad. REady to let go in some ways, yes, but still very sad. I spent a lot of time on the phone the last week with Red Cross, getting Tim home for emergency leave(from the USMC). He is home right now. It's so good to have him here. 

My, how God has brought me so far from those days. Those were such painful moments. Moments I wouldn't trade, though. It was in that time that I learned the value of living life one day at a time.Today, with the sun shining, as I've been reflecting, I thank God for continuing to show me Himself. I think He has grown me in deeper ways that never could've happened without this experience. He's opened doors of opportunity with things like Relay for Life and meeting people I never would've known otherwise. I see God In the little things-like the sun in February. Or a compliment that was very unexpected. Or a friendship developed that makes a big difference. Or a hug. There are still painful moments. Lately there have been a lot of little reminders of mom-things that pop out at me and make me miss her quite unexpectedly. I think that will probably always happen. But even in those moments, I know God is there. He promised He would never leave me nor forsake me. I've seen that. One day at a time.

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