Thursday, December 5, 2013

My Children

The children that God had entrusted to me carry their unique burdens.  They bear the weight of a thousand generations placed upon them.  Some of whom, they have never met before, nor have I. 

My children are the descendants of the Viking warriors; in whom which their blood runs thick.  My children carry the fighter spirit of the Revolutionary soldier and the wonder of the California Gold Rush.  My children are the proud great-grandsons of a fighter on D-Day, and a grandfather who weathered the storms of the farmers in the 80's. 

My children face first-hand, the unexpected loss of Fragile X; both within themselves and outside of them.  My sons are resilient. 

I hope, as any mother does, that my sons find ways to adapt; that they find their place in this world.  I hope that this life isn't too harsh for them and that those that surround them understand what they are going through. 

Life is a journey, and at this point we're just beginning ours.  I pray that they find the strength of the goodness that runs through their blood and that they see the blessings in the mundane little things. 

I hope that one day, they can look back on our journey and hold their children tight and thank God for the hardships that they have faced.

If they can do that, with a heart filled with happiness, they will be okay.

Friday, November 15, 2013

One

I imagine us as one; intertwined, but uniquely distinct.  Holding hearts and hands, spread across a great and vast universe; weathering the storms of life together. 

We umbrella each other during the hurricanes, we shelter during the storms, we offer a drink during the drought, and a reprieve from the oppressive heat. 

We share something unique and special.  We mourn in our sadness and rejoice in our triumphs.  We carefully guard our hearts, while offering a glimpse into our collective soul. 

We are born and thrive with and in  and because of our warrior spirit.  Sometimes we are broken alone, but we become glued together, whole again, with our fragile pieces.

We breathe life into one another and because of that our spirits are lifted higher than they could have been if separated. 

We are the lucky ones.  Those of us who have been humbled.  Those of us who know weakness.  Those of us who have grieved.  Those of us who have lost.  Those of us who are resourceful, strong, and courageous. 

We fight this fight together.  We live this life with love.  We lay down at night with a tear of sadness on our left, but a thousand tears of happiness on our right. 

We love and are loved in return.



Thursday, November 7, 2013

Love

Love is a very powerful thing.  It bridges the gaps between this world and that.  It heals all hurts and wraps you in a blanket of comfort and security.  Love is what makes life worth living. 

Love, in its most genuine form, is what will greet you on the other side.  Love guides you when you are a baby, wrapped in your parents' loving embrace.  Love guides you as a child, when you learn right from wrong.  Love is what we all seek as we grow older.  Someone who loves you and whom you love back; even if they don't have to.  Love embraces a mother's heart as she carries her unborn child and love is what gets you through the hard times. 

Love is a hug.  Love is a kiss.  Love can be wrapped in a kind word.  Love is sharing in something very, very special.  Love can even be found in the smile of a stranger.  Love, sweet love, is what it's all about. 

Love is gentle. 
Love is kind.
Love never ends.


Saturday, October 19, 2013

In The Night

In the middle of the night,
I reach for you.
In the middle of the night,
You are my home.

In the middle of the night,
You anchor me.
You are my center.

In the middle of the night,
You hold my hand when
The world gets too harsh.
When the expectations
Passed us by.

You fight with me.
You love me.
You hold me.
You encompass my everything.

When it's too much, I look to you.
You make it okay.
You amaze me and I adore you.
My sweet Doug.
My husband.
My life.
My everything.

I am thankful.

Friday, October 4, 2013

?

That smile, that smiled.
That laugh, that laughed.
Those eyes that twinkled.
Those words that healed.
That soul that lived.
Where is he now?

Those hands that held.
Those arms that hugged.
Those feet that walked.
That father who is mine.
Where is he now?

That soul that passed.
Those shoes left empty.
Those words left unsaid.
Does he hear me now?

The dreams I dream.
The wishes I wish.
The hopes I hope.
He hears them all.

The future I imagine.
The beauty of heaven.
He waits for me.
He is there now.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Once Upon My Life

Once upon my life, in a time not so long ago, lived a girl who believed in fairy tales.  A girl who thought "for ever after" was just a given, without any work involved.  A girl who had met her Prince Charming and believed her glass slipper was unbreakable. 

When that once upon a time turned into forever after, and the Big Bad Wolf came knocking on her door, she realized that she would need to place her glass slippers upon a shelf and find a pair of good running shoes.  She tried on many sizes and styles, until she found a pair that fit just right for the moment and the time she was in.

Her new shoes weren't as pretty and stylish as the ones of her yesteryear, but oddly enough, they fit.  They were practical in a way those pretty flawless shoes would never be.  Those new shoes kept her sturdy; they were strong, dependable, and just perfect to help her muddle through the trenches of the Deep Dark Woods. 

There were times when she missed those fairy tale shoes sitting pretty upon her shelf.  There were many moments when she gazed at them and imagined, "what if"; when she longed to wear them, and envied her friends who could.  But, not all princesses are meant to wear heels. 

Thankfully, this fairy tale has a happy ending.  Even if she had to help write it herself.  The day she understood that her idea of a fairy tale, was in essence, make-believe, she was able to yank that pen away from that "once upon her life" and start writing a new chapter; one that was built on reality.

And in that reality lived Fairy Godmothers in the form of friends whose magical spell of love cast a barrier between her and the Big Bad Wolf.  In that reality lived a Prince Charming who rides on a horse braver and truer than anything Cinderella could have imagined.  In that reality, everyone who loves her, dons the most wonderful pair of boots.  Some wear them all of the time and some place their slippers upon the shelf and for moments in time, join her in the trenches of life and get muddy and dirty and laugh and cry and try to understand; all because they love her. 

And, she thanks them, all of them, for helping her understand that life is what you make of it and a large part of that is who you surround yourself with.  She is thankful for her fairy tale.  This one was written for her and she couldn't do it without the supporting cast God has given her.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

365

It's been 365 days since my father passed away.  365 days, 52 weeks, and 12 months.  It's been hundreds of tears, thousands of memories, and a million "I wishes".  It's been a year of heartache that has, at times, broken me to pieces and a year of heart-soaring-laugh-with-abundance-love-deeply times that bandaged me back together again. 

When my father first passed, I remember when it was an hour after his death, then two, a day, then three.  I remember when a week suddenly became the first month.  And then, something happened that caught me completely off-guard; I quit counting.  Suddenly, the calendar didn't matter and the only thing that did was the fact that my dad didn't belong to this earth anymore.  He was gone.  And I wasn't. 

What I didn't expect was that this past week, I would start counting the days again.  Reliving the days, the emotions, the terrible sadness and helplessness proved to be an unwelcome visitor.

It began with the days leading up to my dad's passing...My brother's wedding.  A trip to the hospital.  How sick he looked, but how amazing he was in spite of the weakness his body imposed upon him.  Finding out the news.  Flying home to Phoenix.  The gut-wrenching, how-do-I-know-when-to-leave-and-what-to-do mind game.  Knowing that his heart was broken as he lay there, barely strong enough to speak. The phone calls.  His last words of comfort and love to me; spoken from thousands of miles away.  Friends driving through the night to find me and my broken heart in a lonely airport to take me home for my last goodbye.  Holding his hand.  Whispering in his ear.  Being there the moment he died.  Telling him I loved him dozens of times as he went home to heaven. 

My friend told me this morning that I would manage to get through today because the love I have for my dad is greater than any sadness I might feel.  She was right.  She was also right that, just like her, I wouldn't trade a single lump-in-your-throat moment I was there with him. 

So, with a very heavy heart, I wish my dad a happy first anniversary in heaven.  For everything there is a season--a time to laugh, a time to cry.  I've managed to do a little bit of both today--very much like the day he went home. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Father's Love

What I've learned about a father's love is, it's different and unique and special with every child he has.  The relationship that I have with my father is stunningly similar to my brothers' relationship with him, but at the same time, strikingly different.

With each of us, he learned, he grew, he knew what to change in rearing us, and what to keep the same.  He figured out what worked and what didn't and he revised his parenting skills along the way.  Being a parent now, I realize, that's what we all do. 

When that child comes into your life, you're thrust into parenthood.  You can read all of the books you can, you can talk to your friends, and now, you can even download apps about being a good parent, but the only real thing is doing it yourself. 

Being present, getting your hands dirty (no pun intended), and allowing yourself to express and show your children just how much you love them. 

I think that's the biggest hurdle; letting yourself go and loving your kiddos with all you've got.  I think that's the hardest, because that's opening yourself up to an entire world of pain if something doesn't go as planned.

But, isn't that life?  Taking the good with the bad.  The happy and the sad.  Not one of us will escape this life without some sort of hurt.  It's how we deal with it and the lessons we take away what matter.

I am still trying to come to terms with many life obstacles.  What made my heart smile today was hearing my coworkers telling me it made them smile to hear me laugh...across the building!  To still be able to find joy in life has taken a little practice, but the happiness I feel is in direct correlation to the pain I've faced. 

To hurt deeply is very sorrowful, but to understand how much love, friendship, and family can heal you, is a life lesson hard learned, but one that I would not give up easily. 

So, thank you to the man, who graced me with a father's love.  A man who had an desire to mold me into a better person and one who had an unyielding love for his children. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My Father

I feel my father,
In every breath I take.
I feel my father,
Don't make the mistake.

I feel my father,
He lives in the great beyond.
I feel my father,
He is the chorus to my song.

I feel my father,
Here, but there.
I feel my father,
Everywhere.

I feel my father,
He comforts me.
I feel my father,
Peaceful, let it be.

I feel my father,
Time passes on.
I feel my father,
We sing along.

I feel my father,
Never apart.
I feel my father,
In my heart. 

Almost Last Year

Almost a year ago, I wrote about a girl dipping her bonnet and bidding goodbye to summer, faced with the death of fall.  When I wrote this, I had no idea that girl was me. 

The past twelve months, that hat of mine has morphed a thousand times.  It has changed with the seasons, but it's also changed with the holidays, the simplicity of days; minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day.  It sounds so rehearsed-until it's you and your life. Suddenly, the clich├ęs are true. 

But, what I didn't understand was the way those I love would impress upon me that they were okay.   Before my dad's passing, my dreams consisted of strange images, unreal circumstances, and folk-lore.  Now, they consist of truth, absoluteness, and reality.

When I'm lucky, my dreams are ones of: sitting at a table with him, driving shotgun in a tractor, looking at sunsets, calling him on the phone, and hugging him. They are intensely real. For those who doubt this, I would recommend opening up your heart, your soul, and welcoming the messages of healing and love. 

I am an ordinary girl with an extraordinary father.  A girl who lost her hat of fatherhood too soon.  I am just a girl who grieves; who misses her daddy terribly, but one who finds meaning in the signs he sends.  Just a girl who loves more deeply than she ever could have before, and a girl who is thankful for this.    

So, I say to the girl who tipped her bonnet and bid farewell; that was not the end.  It may have been the "end" of our relationship on earth, but it's not then end of us.  We carry on...him there, and us here. 

Someday, our paths will meet again, and I envision my father picking up the bonnet of pain, tossing it aside, and choosing our own hat, tipping it deeply, smiling, holding hands, and waiting for the next link of our chain to make us whole. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Love Deeply

I have a plaque in my hallway that says, "Love Deeply".  When I bought it, I thought it was a nice decoration.  And, then, life happened. 

It had crossed my mind to get rid of it before Trek's diagnosis and before my dad's, too.  Then, I thought about what it means. 

To "love deeply" means that you are there for those you love without hesitation.  It means that you're there during Fragile X and cancer. 

To "love deeply" means that you don't back down.  It means that you love harder.  You love stronger.  You love no matter what the outcome is.  Because that's what you would want from them.

To "love deeply" means that you stick it out.  It means that you're scared beyond any kind of scared you've ever been. 

To "love deeply" means that you have to be willing to let go.  To let go of a child who hasn't passed and to let go a father that is. 

To "love deeply" will smash your heart.  It will test your soul.  But, to "love deeply" will give you the strength to give it to God.  To let it go. To trust.  To hope.

To know and to understand that it will be okay to "love deeply".

Tonight

Tonight, I came home.
I loaded up my children,
I packed their bags,
And, I listened to my son say,
He was going home to, "Grandma's house."

I heard him say, "Poppy,"
And then remember that Poppy wasn't here.
His innocent five-year-old reasoning,
Broke my heart.

I came home tonight.
I was a passenger in a car,
That has driven a road
A thousand times.
But, tonight, it was different.

Tonight, I came home,
To an empty house.
I unpacked my own bags,
And I hugged my own sons;
Just the same as I have since August 6th.

I came home tonight,
To the same fields my father worked.
And, I went and grabbed the earth;
I felt it sift through my fingers.

Tonight, I came home,
To the same home that was filled
With one more soul
Just a year ago.

Today, I came home;
Different, yet the same.
Weaker, yet stronger,
One man less, but one
Daughter more.

Tonight, I came home.
I wonder what tomorrow brings.
I am sure it will be a beautiful experience,
Always remembering what could have been.

Today, I am home.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

To My Father

Dad,

I am not quite sure where to begin. Since your passing, I have run the gament of emotions.  And with each one, I have felt your presence with me; when I feel alone and when I feel completely connected to you.

I was there at the moment of your death, but in a surreal way I felt so happy for you, even as my heart was breaking.  As much as I would love to take that moment away, I know that it happened as it was supposed to be. 

You waited for me and you were not alone in that wait.  I boarded a plane to you, but no miles could separate us from each other.  I prayed prayers I didn't speak out loud.  They lay silent in my mind and in my heart.  I longed for you and my family.

Since then, you have come to visit me.  You speak to me in whispers, in smells, in dreams, and in the quiet solitude of my loneliness.  You are so close to me and I know it.  I understand it.   My only wish is that you come to see me more. 

Somewhere along the way, I quit counting the minutes, the hours, the days and the months.  Somewhere along the way, I have come to "understand" that you are gone.  You don't belong to this earth, and you never belonged to me.  You were, and are, a part of something bigger than we realize. 

Silent words will never be enough to tell you how much you mean to me. You live in my heart and you live in those who love you.  As you once told me, "I will never leave you, Sarah."  I realize that now.  It may seem odd, but I feel as if you're closer to me now than when you were alive. 

Keep talking in God's ear, Dad.  Keep making that beautiful place in Heaven for us.  We will meet you soon...on the other side. 

Love,

Sarah 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

There Will Be Days

There will be days when the sun doesn't shine,
When the heartache of this world all seem like mine.

There will be days which are cried away,
When the brightness of the heavens does not light my way.

There will be days when from my bed I cannot creep,
When the anchors of sadness are sunken in too deep.

But, there will be days where I smile again,
When the hope that I have shines from within.

There will be days where laughter abounds,
When the harshness of this year cannot be found.

There will be days that are filled with love,
Filled with sweet blessings that come from above.

There will be both days that fill my life til the end,
When off to the next world I will have an eternity to spend.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Heaven Does Not Wait For Me

Heaven does not wait for me,
For the hands of time, eyes do not see.
They tick and tock and trumpet on,
On a herald's cry they sing their song.

Heaven does not wait for me,
Time no longer, so shall it be.
Upon this earth, lay winter's dust,
As I was swept away with an angel's touch.

Heaven does not wait for me,
Time spent here does not come free.
We work and toil and march along,
But to this earth, we do not belong.

Heaven does not wait for me,
At the pearly gates, I pay my fee.
To enter into the great unknown,
I'll wait for you-as you remember me.