My Grief Challenges

Aching So Bad May 17, 2014

*** Most of the following I wrote right after  the last post. Today is Friday and I am making the final changes for the Saturday post.

This is where I am today, Friday-16th. My heart is aching so bad. I don’t know why,  I thought once the year marker for Shawn’s death was passed, that everything would be just peachy. Today, is casting a dark shadow on that thought.  Shawn’s last week keeps trying to flood my mind: the decision, the guilt and the dread- from the decision.   I wonder why God had me type most of this earlier ?   Usually, it is at this time that a new idea floods my mind.  Not today, so, I am going to buck up and see what fixing I can do and where this leads.   I hope it won’t be too hard to follow.  It is Mother’s Day. It has been a struggle-therefore, I am not talking to anyone. I will reconnect, I just have emotions that are absolutely  brutal.   I was able to Ustream church, when it was finished, I went downstairs to get a bite to eat. For whatever reason, I turned on the TV. There she was. The Anne girl-this is the scene where she was apologizing to —Diana’s, Aunt Jo.   It amazed me to watch how she smoothed out what could have been a tense conversation.               

A side-note: Anne Of Green Gables with Meagan Follows. I loved those movies.  I do not watch very many movies-more than once, but  these I have watched over and over.   I will re-watch Victor Borge and Mr. McGoo. That is my limit.                                                                                     So, Mother’s Day= tough-filled with missing Shawn.  Suddenly, my mind recalled the many helpful people God had put in my life. Many whom I never thanked,  for all their help and kindnesses through various times in my life.  I wandered down a memory path  of all that  my Grandparents went through to help my 2 brothers and myself.            Gram Million and I had a special bond because of her help on my birthing day. I do not know how Gram talked on that old phone to a nurse-regarding each step to take for my delivery.  140      It looked something like this. Maybe Dad has it in the barn ???                                                                        On one of my summer visits Gram divulged some details-I do not know who else may have known I got the impression that I was to not share the details   ???         I was in the breach position, and couldn’t get turned. The cord was around my neck. Gram had told me that  the children she gave birth to-weren’t  as difficult.  She died many years ago, did I ever thank her for EVERYTHING ???                                                                                                                                Don’t get me wrong, Gramps played a big role, in our lives. I hope I never forget how hard he laughed when it was chicken butcher time.  My 2 brothers and I really thought Gramps had told the headless chickens to chase us-while blood was spouting.  I should tell you that Gramps was small in stature, when he spoke, his voice was so soft. one had to listen to hear. He took the 3 of us  on many fishing trips. But, before we could go, we had to dig through Gram’s compost pile, for the biggest worms.    I think Gramps usually took us to Spring Valley.  On one occasion, we were standing at the waters edge, well, my brothers were. I was heading to the red bug (VW) to get ???  I turned slightly to watch Marlin, cast. The hook did not go far. It landed in my right eyebrow. I remember Gramp’s with his  shaky hands over my face, somehow he extricated the hook, then went back to fishing.                                                              I don’t know if  I ever caught many fish.  You see, I usually found something more fun to do.  On one occasion, I found Pollywogs, by the hundreds ( ???)-in ankle deep water.  This was far better entertainment—plus, I didn’t have to put a worm on any hook. I am not a good fisher person. We are not going to discuss my gut reactions when I had to help clean the  fish.              Anyway, back to current Mother’s Day.  When I turned on the TV and Anne was on, I figured out why, after all these years I had such a connection with her story. Had we known each other, in person, we would have been kindred spirits.  The following tell  is only one of the many occurrences, that took place before I was 6, that did not allow my Grandparents much rest.    When we lived with Gramps and Gram Million, it was at a time when Dad needed someone to help care for us. We were young enough, me maybe 5 at the most 6, that Gram instituted afternoon naps. I think she thought if we were in the living room, all together, she could better watch my sleeping behavior.                                                                                                       On this particular afternoon, Gram went right to sleep. So did my brothers-how could they ? When I heard  Gram’s relaxed breathing for a good amount of time,  I woke my brother up so we could go outside and explore.  The property had a creek that went through a tunnel under the road. Right on the bank, but not in the road, on the yard side, the dirt was soft for making finger twirl designs.. The reason the dirt was so soft—little itty bitty red ants lived there. I thought we could all get along. Nope, it wasn’t long before the 3 of us were covered with the little red biters. I did the best I could to get us cleaned off, and thought I better get my brothers back to naps before anything was found out.  As we approached the door—we were met by Gram. She was not happy.                                                                                                        With the ants brushed away, down for another nap try.  A few quiet moments went by.  All of a sudden Gram started moaning and slapping. Some of the little critters had not left.  I was surprised at how Gram could maneuver. My memory is very clear that this was not a chuckle moment for Gram. I wonder if we will have chuckle moments, in heaven ? Maybe this could be one for Gram ???   I find myself chuckling as I type this recall.   When I was thinking about this, I felt so sad that I had been such a challenge to my Grandparents.  My memory does not tell me how Gram conquered my no-nap nap times.                                                                                      I hope God blessed my Grandparents for their sacrifices and all the challenges that occurred.   Oh, and my poor brothers, being made to follow my orders.           You see, when we lived with our Grandparents, it was a time after they had raised their own children and were ready for a break. Then God sent them Kathy.  Like Anne Shirley for  Marilla.                                                How often do we take for granted the moments we have with those special folks in our lives ?   In my memory folder of childhood precious reminders, I remember a coat and hat Gram had made me-without a pattern. It was  turquoise, with huge buttons—I had loved it so.  She had also made me the cutest outfit in my late teens-without a pattern.  I finally,  just now realized-I do the same thing.                                                                                                                         One of my most pleasing joys, was Gram’s Apple Butter. For years and years and years, I have searched, trying to find the one right apple butter—that tasted like what Gram used to make. Bob has been with me at many events: sampling, buying and being disappointed.      I had been going to New Hope for a grief class. We had been told about the Christmas bazaar. I decided  to check it out. Maybe find a new ornament idea.  The last thing I looked at was a booth where the man was a prankster-he even made me chuckle. I saw the apple butter jar, but not one for sampling. I thought to myself, what is wrong with one more try?  I bought it. I waited to try it-not wanting to be disappointed, again.   One day, I was in one of those moods where nothing in the whole world could bring any joy. I decided to try my buy.  Delight of delights !    THAT APPLE BUTTER  WAS DELICIOUS !!!   My senses were so thrilled !!!     Apple Butter                         Not long ago, our pastor had done a message about joy. Let me tell you what. I have had a very hard time being thankful about things since Shawn died—let alone to think there is joy to find.   I will tell the truth—I hate this grief stuff. I hate not having my son alive. I so miss his calls. I so miss his needing to talk to me to figure out a solution for a situation. I loved being able to calm him. There will never be another laundry room talk-like we had a few months before the fire. So, for this Apple Butter to give me a delight……..Maybe God won’t mind me counting this Apple Butter find, a joy ???         By the way,  a few weeks ago, I showed Bob my new delight. I was hoping he would order more, for me.  He did, but in his search, he came across an apple butter that received many accolades.  No offense,  but, Grandma Candy’s still has the best Apple Butter.                                                               

This morning while reworking this post, a song came on.   This song had played, a lot, during Shawn’s time at Harborview.   I had gotten frustrated—mostly, because I hadn’t really listened to ALL the words, until after Shawn died. The words reminded me of a section of scripture I had read, many times, in my teen years, and while at NNC I had written a research paper, regarding: Luke 14:25-35.  The reason I was drawn to it, then, I am a salt-oholic.   I wonder if folks really ponder the meaning of those verses?   Do they really know, can they really do what the words say ???    The song I was referring to is: Steal My Show, by Tobymac                                                                                                                                     A co-worker mentioned that my letting go of Shawn, was like a gift to God.                                    I keep reminding God, that He made me—the weakest, most stubborn, sickly person—and that Shawn’s goneness is more than I can handle***thus my need for His sustaining grace***D*oing.  Now I am hearing a song by Jeremy Camp…  Take My Life                                                                                                                            Finally, it took me until Friday afternoon—get this—at 3:33—I had just arrived at my last school for pick up. Anyway, that morning during my devotion readings, I had read a note from my cousin; last May 18th, my dear (I called him uncle) died-the same day I had gone to pick up Shawn’s ashes from a postal place.   Had I figured things out earlier, it  might have been more bearable, rather than the dread. I made repeated requests and appeals to God-I needed His help getting through the gut wrenching blows that were happening.  It wasn’t until my mind knew the significance of the dates, that things began to settle.  My body knew, but my mind hadn’t accepted.   How does that work ?         I am still trying to figure out how to deal better with gut blows-that take my breath away, cause my heart to ache and mourn filled  tearfalls.   I am hoping to meet challenges with a quiet, calm trust in God, and His plan.   For now, I still seem to be sad, a lot,     more than I thought possible.                                                                  Sorry, so wordy.


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