Thursday, April 29, 2010

For Me...

So, remember how great I said Mike was? Yea, he's amazingly smart too. We were iming briefly and I told him I blogged for him. He left to read it and came back and the wise man that he is said "we both know, that wasn't for me, it was for you". lol Yes, Mike. It was, as is all of these blogs, for me. lol

Last time, I mentioned I wanted to write a book called What Not to say to the Grieving. It will include helpful nuggets such as 'unless you wear the watch of death, don't tell me it was their time!' And, yes, my Mema is 92, but still hearing 'she lived a long life' really sucks. She could've lived longer...if it wasn't her time, lol.

Death is not for the living. I heard that somewhere. That profound nugget didn't come from me. Quite honestly, for the living, death sucks beans. I mean, if you're not the one dying that is. While our loved one is in heaven having a beautiful time, we're left here, on earth, with a grand canyon wide, gaping hole in our heart. And, to make us feel better we have people saying stuff that really doesn't make us feel better (see above) but those people are at a loss in how to help us and don't know what to say.

As you know, Mema is dying. I think people in China know at this point. I don't think there's anyone who knows me who doesn't know. And, your loving support is the only thing getting me up in the morning. So, thank you. Hospice starts coming today. The calm before the storm. My loving husband asked his crhp group for prayers for Mema and for me. Funny thing, George thought I'd be upset b/c in his email he put that I'm not 'handling it well' lol. No, honey, I am not remotely upset. And, I am not handling it well at all and that is putting it mildly. George forwarded me there messages of love and support. They range from 'we're praying for you' to I'm sorry. One. One simple, beautiful message made me cry. In a good way of course. You want to know what to say to someone who is grieving an impending loss, this, this right here is what you say:

I know words cannot convey the depth of your wife's sadness, nor are they likely to offer much comfort. Nevertheless, please let your wife know that all of your brothers are praying that her grandmother's last days are ones that will remind your family of God's mercy and grace. We will specially pray for your wife in this time of distress.

And that my friends...THAT is how it's done. Thank you so very much Thad. I find myself coming back to those words of comfort. I cannot thank you enough.

Raise your hand if you remembered what yesterday was. Anyone? It was the six month anniversary of my Vickie's death (see October 09 blog). If you want to see Vickie now, there are a few things you can do. First, you can go to church. I say 'hello' to her just about every Sunday. Tell her I love her. The messages change, but I try to always tell her 'hello'. The second thing you can do is see her daughter. Dude! She is so *beautiful* and looks *exactly* like Vickie, just younger! And, the third thing you can do is look at my Russ. Yes, I realize other than George, I haven't attached a My status to a guy. But trust me, Russ, he's awesome. And I love him dearly. We don't have the friendship that we call or email tons. Our friendship is based on our hearts. I can not see him for a while and then see him and my heart cries out and swells with gladness. Our hearts are connected b/c of Vickie, his wife. And, it is one of the most beautiful feelings in the world. But, I digress. Look at Russ. You can see Vickie's love shinning right through him. He is AMAZING. Please continue to pray for them. Death is not an easy thing to live through (that nugget, that ones mine :). Mom died almost two and a half years ago. And, I could cry at the drop of a hat b/c I miss her so very much. So, Russ and their daughter, six months. Please, continue to pray for strength and love for them. I'd like to tell them, it gets easier, but it doesn't, not really.

Tuesday, the church was shocked to its rafters. Calls were made, emails were sent. A lovely young lady (she was around my age) who I had the pleasure to be acquaintances/friends with had passed in her sleep. This is hard for so many of us to fathom. From, "I just saw her" to 'No way. Jane? Can't be.' I ask you to pray for the repose of her soul. And for her husband and fifteen year old daughter.

Wanna know a secret? Only one person other than George knows, my Sharon. I'm scared of death. Funny, I know. B/c every day I wake up is a day closer to God. Which is a good thing actually. It is the one way that the devil can attack me for sure. Don't get me wrong. While I like to joke that I have a full ride scholarship to hell. I'm pretty sure, that if I play my cards right, I'll get to heaven. But the devil. He's crafty. Death doesn't scare me so much as my death scares me. Will I be able to see everyone I've left behind? Not seeing my children or my husband. That scares me. Yes. The rational side of me (I promise you there really is one) says I'll be hanging out with Jesus and the people I love who've gone before me and that of course, I'll get to see them. But, the crafty dude, yea. He keeps telling me no, I wont. And, that, that scares me. That and I don't want to go painfully. In my sleep preferably and not hit by a bus, or a shark, or a gun. I don't want to know I'm about to go either. Like, in the movies when you're crossing a street and you see the bus coming which is just enough time to register whats about to happen and wet your pants. Yea, I don't want to go that way.

In the middle of the night, when the whole house is asleep, but me, this is what I think about. And, I think maybe that's why it's so important that I let people know how much I love them. Even, Mema. Especially, Mema. I tell her everyday. It's kinda like Patrick Swayze in Ghost. At the end (yes, I realize I reference movies way too much lol) when he says 'the love, you take it with you' or something to that affect. So, when my loved ones pass on, I want them to take it with them. Plus, I think it's important to tell your friends (not just your family) that you love them. Often. I mean, you don't know what crappy day they're having that day. Maybe they're going through something they don't want to share, or don't want you to worry about them. Give them a hug and tell them you love them. People need to feel loved and wanted. That they matter to someone. So, that's another reason why I tell people.

There was this really cool inspiration that I had this morning that I wanted to share with you all. I promise you, it was profound and beautiful and was about faith and came from the Holy Spirit. I couldn't wait to share it with you so I sat to blog before even checking my email. Only to find, that the profoundness I wanted to share with you has escaped me, and this blog is what you were meant to get and the profound nugget was just for me. Dad's wacky like that some times, lol. I do promise however, if the nugget comes back, I will definitely share it with all of you.

Thank you all so much for your love and support during this difficult time. From George who is my constant rock, to my Carol and Tina who let me vent about anything and everything, to my children who are so filled with compassion. To Thad. Your words are a great source of comfort. I asked George to thank you especially. But when he translated that to guy speak, I'm sure it came out as "Gina says thanks" lol. I cannot thank you enough. Your words bring me much comfort. Btw, your wife is pretty awesome! Got to have drinks with her a couple weeks ago!

Until next time,

Pray for all those who have gone before us.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

For Mike...

Mike is an awesome family friend, from way back in the day. Before kids, before marriages, before *life* happened. I've blogged about him before, the rainbow connection, actually. He is an amazing guy with an amazing faith, who apparently, has the mind of an elephant and doesn't forget anything. lol

In the past four weeks, life has taken weird twists and turns. I found myself iming with Mike last night, who not only was offering support, but also reminded me I haven't blogged in a while. So, Mike, this one's for you. lol

Most of you know I went to Montserrat last week. I had an amazing time! Jesus had lots to say to me. It was way cool. The coolest I think, is that He showed me that I've finally forgiven myself for tying my tubes 13 years ago. As you all know, I've confessed this. Twice. Yes, God has forgiven me, but I couldn't do it myself. I look at my now three teenagers. I look at George. I want to have more children. Everyone around me is pregnant. Most of my friends. I like to joke, that sex aside, I am the common denominator in all of their pregnancies. So, if you don't want to be pregnant, stay away from me! lol. But, I digress. I didn't realize, I had finally forgiven myself. Jesus had to point that out. And, it was so freeing. It was wonderful.

Jesus also had another conversation with me that went like this:

Jesus: You loooooooooove to tell people how I provide for you.

Me: Yes, Dad, of course I do!

Jesus: You looooooooove to tell people how I meet your needs, all the time.

Me: But, you DO!

Jesus: Chuckles. Right, I know. So, I'm providing all your needs, right?

Me: Yes, Dad. (Jesus, and God are interchangeable for me. The whole Trinity thing lol).

Jesus: So, I'm providing benefits through you, right?

Me: Yes...

Jesus: And, I'm providing work for George so you can meet your bills, right?

Me: Yes, Dad.

Jesus: Then, what is your problem? Why are you so focused in on this permanent job status with George? I'm providing your needs. You have to let this permanent job status thing go.

Me: Ooooooooooooooookay, you make a good point!

So, that was another thing I got to let go of this weekend. George also said last night, that I need to let the fasting thing go. I've been fasting from pop for the last seven months until George got a permanent job. George says that God appreciates the effort but that with the aforementioned message, it's okay to let it go. So, maybe later today, my first coke or Dr. Pepper in seven months :)

Then, one of my favorite parts of the weekend came after I got home. George and I got to spend time, just us. It was just he and I for almost a couple of hours just talking about the last four days apart. What happened with the kids, his job, my weekend. It was a really beautiful moment.

This past week has been pretty rocky. As most of you know, my Mema is dying. Her time is short. And, truth be told, I'm okay with that. I am immensely happy for her. For me, not so much. George and I told the kids. While sad, their compassion floored me. Maria's first question was "can we find money to get you to Great Grandma?" (no) Sarah's question was "Is Gramma 'O' gonna be okay?" (yes, eventually). Jaime was more reserved and opted to call Great Grandma and Gramma 'O' the next day. It was a beautiful thing to experience the hearts of my children.

During this time, I am resisting the deep pull to go into myself. It is a daily struggle to not dig a hole and stay in there. To stay in bed and not come out. I so want to retreat into myself. I may for a little while, eventually. But right now, I have to work. I have to be mom. Later. Later I'll fall in the hole. And, God love George. He says to go in the hole when I'm ready. He'll be here the whole time. To do what I need to do. I don't know, we'll see.

Then, in one of the coolest moves, I get up in the middle of the night and notice I had a text from my sister at midnight, just checking on me, asking if I was okay. Way cool. So, I texted her 'yup' and that I loved her. She called me this morning and we had a really great talk for like an hour. She rocks.

Then, when I got off the phone, a realization hit me that I shared with George. Y'know how I have a hard time accepting that I have friends? Weird, I know. Like, it boggles the mind that Carol and Tina and Julie and Sharon and Mary (Branson and Boyle) (and everyone else) are my friends. My friends. I'm not *exactly* what people call *normal* (for example, at the retreat, I gave God a two page list of prayer request and a three page list of thanks. I was hoping that the thanks page was gonna be longer, lol And, one of the things I thanked Him for, was the color orange. What? It's my favorite. lol). Well, my sister's friendship boggles my mind. After all this time, she and I came out the other side, and we are friends. It boggles my mind that she loves me. I mean, really loves and cares about me. And, that is something, like my friendships, that I am thankful for and like all of God's works, totally in awe of.

The next week is gonna be a whirlwind. Well, the weekend anyway. I work Monday and then have the rest of the week off (thank you TAKS testing!). Then Friday, Dad comes to town (George's Dad, but I claim him as my own :), Friday evening is confirmation rehersal. Saturday morning, Maria is getting confirmed!!! For those of you wondering, she chose the AMAZING St. Thérése as her saint! She's Julie's and my favorite! Don't get us wrong, they're all awesome, but St. Thérése, she's our girl! Then, on Monday, Jaime turns 16!!! Amazing. So, lots to celebrate this week.

So, My Mike, there you have it. Nothing profound, nothing life altering. But, an update for you, nonetheless.

Until next time,
Please pray for a peaceful death for my Mema


Up next: my book called What Not to Say to the