Friday, December 6, 2013

When Life Gets Painful

I wish this post was easier to write. My heart is so heavy. I usually on a scale of 1 to 10 have about an 8 day.  I am coping better with the grief and working through the rough days. I am finding more peace within and am able to console others instead of dwelling inside my own pain. I call that progress.

My faith is filling me up and growing by leaps. Then, the bottom falls out. I am thrilled with the prospect of being grandma for the 9th time, 10th if you count my bonus grandson, and I am hoping he lets me some day.
When your child is hurting you comfort them. When you can't, if you are like me, you pound you head on a wall and want nothing more than to take her pain away and absorb it. Such has been the last few days.

Tina and Jacob lost their baby due in June. To some, babies are not real until they are outside the womb. To us, babies are real once you know they are part of you. You feel blessed and chosen and excited and scared and all at once you are swept up into a bundle of emotions culminating in a beautiful gift of a child. Such was their world until this past Thursday when the doctor could not find a heartbeat. 

The worst sound in the world is no sound when you are anxiously awaiting the rapid tender beating of your baby's heart. Your world changes in that split second and sadness overwhelms you with the knowledge that  for whatever reason, your baby will not be born into this world.

With faith I can say I don't need to know why, but I must admit I question Tina and Jake having to suffer through this, but then it will strengthen their bond of support and love they already created within their little family. I believe that God has a plan and we are all part of it, even their little tiny baby, who has already been chosen to go to Heaven. 

I believe Tina and Jake were chosen for their strength and their faith, whether it has grown or needs to grow, only God has that answer, but that is between Tina, Jake and God. I will pray for them to have peace and acceptance during this time.

When life gets painful, I drop to my knees and look up to the sky. There I seem to find my peace. In prayer, I can talk with my Father and rant if I need to, cry if I want to, and feel His love all the while. He never turns His back on me, even when I am in a tantrum. He knows my pain and tries to comfort me. I am not ashamed of my human frailty. I am weak and I know His perfect love will forgive my weakness. 

Please keep my family in prayer and remember God's love never fails, His plan has not yet unfolded and we must answer in faith to His calling. My newest Grand Angel rests peacefully in the arms of his or her Aunt Shannon, with the Heavenly Father watching over them both. Some day I pray they will greet me at the gates of Heaven so I can take both of them in my arms when they welcome me home!

Blessings for a beautiful Christmas Season.
Rose L.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Take A Minute

Right this very minute~ Stop what you are doing and take a minute to Thank God. Want a reason why? Turn around and open your eyes? Where are you, in your home or dwelling. What are you doing? Reading this message, and are you reasonably healthy? Do you generally have food on your table, clothes on your back?

Have you been blessed with work this past year? Do you have family and friends that love you?

What more do you need? Take a minute~ Please, and Thank God, without Him none of this would be possible.

Smell the turkey cooking? Hear the ruckus in the kitchen? Have you tasted His goodness? All the more reasons to be truly Thankful. We are so blessed!

Just the fact we can communicate through airwaves, amazes me. People I might not otherwise have the ability to talk with or chat with, are now involved in my life and I am thankful for the inventions and innovations that make that possible.

My dog sits at my feet and looks lovingly up at me. She gives nothing but love, and my cat snuggles me when I am sad. Animals are very instinctive and caring creatures. We can learn a lot from them, if we open our eyes, and hearts. I am thankful for my Sierra and Harley.

Truth is, I am thankful for most these days. I got up this morning and wasn't aching. I am able to function and move about and pray. It's indeed a beautiful day! Simple things I overlook some days, I need to be thankful for today and everyday. Some are less fortunate. 

When I am able, I need to give back and help out because over the years, people have been good to me. It is easy to forget when I am doing well, but when I call to mind some of the rougher days, I remember being hungry and worried about bills and raising my three girls. I remember the kindnesses people showed me. I am thankful for those kindnesses.

Today, is a bittersweet day for me. I miss my Angel, Shannon. She left this earth in February of 2011 and nothing will ever be the same. For the last couple of years, celebrating holidays really didn't enter my mind or my heart. I am feeling better and reaching out for help and getting it. Now, I can feel joy with my heart and not just my head again. I am thankful I had the wonderful blessing of my sweet daughter for 34 incredible years and I will see her again. Gobble, gobble said the turkey, Shanny!

So, please as you begin your busy day~ take a minute and reflect and be thankful! Blessings for a beautiful day of family and friends.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Giving Thanks

This year, for the first time in the last several years, I am feeling the rush of the holidays. I am getting in the spirit of the season and looking forward to the festivities. I am so thankful to be "feeling" with my heart again, and not just my head.

Looking over the last many months, a lot has transpired. Much to be grateful for in life. My health is holding up, and at 58, that is a lot to be thankful for, it seems. Other than a 'few' extra pounds, I am in pretty good health, needing a little more exercise.

My wonderful husband still makes me laugh and holds me when I cry. I am so thankful for him. He truly understands every facet of my very complex being. And what he doesn't understand, he still accepts. Another blessing for me to count!

Three beautiful daughters, I am always and forever grateful for every day. They have been my blessings from the first day I met each one, and will be until I celebrate life eternal with them all in Heaven. Though, Shanny will not be at my Thanksgiving table, her Spirit is tucked inside my heart and I know her love is with me and the rest of the family when we gather. Our memories are sweeter and she will always be cherished and remembered.

Eight absolutely awesome grandchildren who rock my Grandmotherly socks off! Their laughter, their sweetness, their personalities and the time I share with them is precious to me and they make me feel very loved and very special. I love being able to pretend I am whoever they want me to be, just for a little while, and their world is my world and together we conquer the bad peoples and the monsters. Then, some days it's all about the fairies and the princesses. Sometimes, I am taught about computers and the next the wide world of wrestling. We can make crafts, or watch a movie, eat pizza or snuggle. It doesn't matter to me, as long as we spend time together. I am grateful Shannon never gave up teaching me how precious time was when the kids are young. I was always too busy for a while, working and going to the gym and out with friends. Well, I am thankful I am learning what is really important!

My work. I have been blessed to work with a great bunch of folks and this year, I was given an opportunity to move into another direction within the same organization. I am thrilled and feel very blessed to have been chosen for the new job. I am very grateful for this blessing.

Family~ such a sweet collection of some of the most wonderful people I know. From my sisters and my brother, to my nieces and nephews and cousins. Years past taught me all about Aunts and Uncles and what an important role they played in my life. Then, I had a real awakening in my heart, Thank You, Lord and He showed me how very important my sisters and brother are to me. God is so patient with me. And my sisters and brother, well, I am the baby, so that should pretty much explain it.

Friends are not easy to come by in this world. I have made a lot of acquaintances, but very few real friends. For those people in my life, I am so very grateful. They have seen me at my best, and hung in there with me at my worst. When I needed a shoulder, they have been there and when I was away for almost seven years, my return was greeted as though I never left. I am so very thankful.

And here I am beginning yet another chapter. Recognizing how my life is changing yet again. I feel as if I am growing at the ripe old age of almost 60. God is calling me to speak out  and live my faith out loud. To write about it and to share my joy with others. Our time on this earth is short, we are just passing through on our way Home. Don't we really want to take all our family and friends with us? 

I am thankful God is patient and merciful. He has blessed us again with a world to learn to love each other and Him. To plan our journey and to help others along the way. We have a lot to be thankful for really. Let's begin with each other.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Grief and Gratitude for the Red, White and Blue

Monday, November 11th is Veterans Day. A day I grieve for many family members and friends who have served in the armed forces and live daily with the aches and pains earned while performing duty for their country. Sometimes, I forget what many have suffered to give me freedom. It shames me sometimes when I see a homeless veteran wearing his fatigues asking for money to buy food. Looking tired and lost, I wonder what happened to our broken system and how we will fix our country and make it whole once again.

I am a dreamer. I truly believe if we could remember our lives as children~the carefree freedom of loving one another without hesitation or fear, we might have a chance at saving our country. Greed seems to have overcome our nation. Power seems to be the prize of the day, and for what I ask myself? Does any of it matter in the end? 

This world is but a resting place, it will pass and all the physical things of this world will be lost. Then what? Will we be able to stand before our Creator and answer for our actions? I know our Veterans will. They serve selflessly, often doing what is not comfortable for them, and foreign in nature to them. But, they serve their country's needs. 

When I look out over the cemetery grounds, the sea of white brings tears to my eyes but on reflection I know they are in the hands of the Greatest Leader they could ever serve, and being praised for a job well done. On their Special Day of Recognition, God really does Bless America!

I just want to take a moment to remember and give respect to all our armed forces and our service men and women who proudly have served and continue to serve our country and keep us free. These are my true heroes, who deserve the goodness of this day and all the blessings it can bring!

God bless you and thank you for all you have done and continue to do. Blessings!

Rose L.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Pre-Thanksgiving Thanks

Every day should be Thanksgiving! There is so much in my life to be thankful for these days! I have the most supportive family that knows how to love me in every stage of my grief. They know when to advance and retreat, and when they get confused~ they ask! When I feel like talking, I can pick up the phone and talk away, and when I need solitude to heal, they grant me that, but continue to pray for me. What greater blessing could I possibly receive?

My three little Angels, one in Heaven to watch over me and two right here beside me, such love God has blessed me with from all sides!

A husband who listens and catches my tears. We may not be the richest in money. We may not drive fancy cars, but my husband listens to me when I need to talk and share, he hears me sob and he catches my tears. He will envelop me in his arms and weep with me at times. We are great friends and when we fuss, there is no fear that it will go further than a fuss, we have learned to trust. 

Eight unbelievable grand children that are filled with love and smiles and hugs! Each one unique and sharing their own personality with me when we play. I love that part the best. I can truly be anything and anyone I want to be with them, and they love me all the more for it! If I fancy a queen or a magician one day, they are my audience, and their laughter is my reward. When after I color a picture, I hear,"so pretty MeeMaw, I so proud of you." Nothing else much matters. I told you, I am very blessed and extremely grateful.

Two best friends who knew me before I really knew myself. They have loved me through it all-good and bad and in-between. A rare find in this crazy world!  Friends who are able to grasp my quirky side and smile with it. Some may not get me, but these two friends have laughed with me and cried with me, and shaken fists at those that have tried to hurt me. Treasures of my heart.

I have something so fantastically special that I want to share it everyone I meet! I have Salvation. The Lord Jesus saved me and Heaven awaits, where one day I will be reunited with my family, my friends, and most of all~my Shanny. Without this most precious gift, it wouldn't be possible. 

I have a job and a roof over my head and food and clothes and all the things in life I sometimes take for granted. Today, I want to stop and take a moment to be thankful. It should never take a holiday to say thank you for all the blessings poured down from up above. Some days, I feel rushed and hurriedly go about my business, meaning to say thank you, just not doing it. Other days, I am sad and don't feel like saying thank you, because my heart is hurting, so I push the feeling aside. 

And then, there are days like today, when I feel the blessings, I see them, and I look around and I am humbled by this beautiful world God has blessed me with and all that He has given me. Do I still grieve for my daughter? Of course. But, I am able to feel joyful and appreciate my blessings. Some days, I think I appreciate them even more. Maybe that is another lesson Shanny is teaching me along life's journey. To remember to say thank you, even when it isn't Thanksgiving~it should be!


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Scary Stuff

Halloween is right around the corner! What is one of your scariest memories as a kid?
I'll tell you one of mine. It wasn't even Halloween. It was a school picnic. The Fun House.
Right. I waited in a long line to be scared out of my wits! I was only about 8 years old and I was
really scared. I went into the Fun House, only to be led into a dark trailer, decorated with flying creatures, ghosts, goblins and the like, and the kicker-an animal skin.

Once I brushed up against the animal skin, it was all over! I tried to turn around and go against the crowd, but I couldn't. No one would let me back through the line to get out. I was pushed forward through the other parts of the trailer. I became very familiar with the person in front of me-whoever it was. I burrowed in as much as I could and clenched my eyes shut as tight as I could. I tried not to look at or feel anything. I shuffled forward, crying quietly and telling myself it would be over soon. All of a sudden, there was light!

My eyes were adjusting from the dark, I quickly recognized the schoolyard and heard the other kids outside the Fun House hooting it up! I was just happy to put the experience behind me. From that day on, I couldn't go near haunted houses, fright nights, or anything really scary. I to this day, don't like scary masks, spooky music or creepy things that go bump in the night! And forget about rubbing up against anything furry unexpectedly!That's scary stuff.

Now, scary stuff means not knowing all the answers. When our children are young, we are MOM-we are their Maker of Miracles, M.O.M. As we become truly wiser and stronger in our Faith, we realize our strength lies in our knowledge of God and His wisdom. His Truth and His Light. He is the Maker of all Miracles, and when we recognize that in our hearts, we can actually relax.

As kids, kissing a boo-boo and making it all better is a miracle. As they get a little older, our ability to know a lot takes a nose dive and we are often replaced with peers of a much greater degree of know-it-all. But, then a few years go by, and the kids again look to us for some reassurance about decision making. My girls still call me for an ear. They do not want me to tell them what to do, just to listen and tell them it's going to be alright. My faith guides those conversations.

There was a time when they had lost their way with faith. I couldn't mention anything about God, or Faith or anything-and they were all over me-that, was scary stuff. I had to pray for guidance and generally, keep my mouth closed until they were ready to go to God. I am not the Miracle Maker, God is. Scary stuff, like I said-I have had to be reminded a time or two myself!

Now, it is a known fact that I will speak my mind if asked, my faith is my rock and the only way I choose to go through this life is being guided by His Light. I have had too many opportunities to fail on my own, and it is not in my best interest to tackle this life single-handed. When the girls ask, I answer, I pray first and then talk with them about their concerns, it doesn't have to be scary stuff.

As I grow closer to finding myself in total awe of what is to come next, I ask myself-have I done something good today? Did somebody smile because I cared enough today? Have I thanked Jesus for the chance to serve Him today? I know it sounds a little cheesy, right? But it works for me. I don't need to know all the answers anymore, I just need to know I am giving it all I've got today!

Giving it any less, would be scary stuff!


Monday, October 14, 2013

Moments Create Memories

Moments captured, create memories-agreed?
I look back on the moments that stay safely tucked within my heart, and understand at the time, I did not realize those moments would become precious memories. That is how life is every day.
A moment here, a thought there, something profoundly stated tucked in the middle all come together to create a memory. We are gifted with thousands of them every day, and we have to pick and choose which ones we keep and which we discard. It is like going through negatives in our memory box. Our minds cannot hold every precious moment we take in even in one day's time, so we must learn to make them all count.

I did not learn that until I lost my daughter from this life. I know I will see her again, but I am limited with the number of moments I have to remember from her childhood and young life, as well as her young adult life. Shanny on the other hand, made every moment matter. Both Jason and Shannon would take an ordinary moment with the kids and make it a magical memory captured on camera. There are countless pictures of their beautiful family-being just that-a beautiful family. Not all pretty and posed, everyday life, pajama mornings, late night couch snuggling, sno-cone stained t-shirt smiles, it's all there in living color. Their family made life amazing!

How I love that Jason shares their many photos and home movies with me and the family. He knows how I crave to see her, and hear her voice. His strength and courage continue to amaze me, as a husband and a father. As a son (in-law) I wouldn't be any prouder if he were my own. He is truly an awesome man taking on the role of parent on so many levels. He is such a blessing! I respect and admire him more than he will ever know, Shannon knew that would happen. In one of our talks, she told me-one day, you will know the Jason I know, and you will love him the way I do, he's awesome, Mom.

And here we are today, that moment with her created a memory I tucked away. A mother-daughter talk. We had lots of those. Sometimes, we just giggled. Sometimes, we actually talked. Shanny always persisted when it came to spending time together. No matter how busy I claimed to be, she would say-you're never too busy for us, Mom.

Sometimes, she made me feel guilty, other times, I couldn't stop hugging her. Never, did I stop loving her-even in the craziest of times, we muddled through-because that's what people do that love each other. You get past it, you hug and you move on.

Shannon always seemed to be teaching me not to take for granted the Moments or the Memories. She always wanted Family Time. It was so very important to her. And, I must admit, some days she wore me out. Along with her intensity came a great deal of energy and running: errands, shopping, in circles..with Shannon you never knew where you might be running!!

And always love of her children. I am not saying she was a picture perfect Mom. She had her moments when she spoke in anger and said mean things. What I admired was her reflection and ability to own her mistakes and step up and apologize to each one individually for her wrong doing. I don't think any one could fault her for loving her kids as much as she did. She and Jason made a great team! Together they built a home of love and warmth and encouragement. The belief was to build self-esteem and respect not to beat them into submission with force or fear. I loved the way they parented and Jason still does. His love always shows first. 

When I close my eyes and think of all the moments in my life, I realize how much God has truly blessed me. My family, my friends, my career, my love for nature-most importantly, my Faith, God has strengthened my Faith when I called out to Him in distress, He answered me. 

This journey, this biography and autobiography of myself and my Shanny holds such precious moments that I will forever cherish, and the memories-I am joyful because God is allowing me the strength to keep on making new ones with my beautiful family and friends of this world, until I am called to see my Shanny again and catch up on old Memories!