Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Seasons change

When your spouse dies, your whole exsistance of who you are - changes.  Days seemed to tarry on in the begining - it was a dark time in my life.  It was summer -without light.  Fall without color. Winter without warmth.  Spring without life.  It felt as if I was abandoned, and forgottten.  Life had changed-it continued to spin but in slow motion. I had countless moments of confusion, forms to fill out, closing accounts, opening new ones, fear, disorientation, frustrations, dealing with a broken heart, guilt, anger, utter saddness, and even a sense of relief.  Not an easy word to say- even relief. Relief is knowing that cancer didn't win - because he walks with effertless ease - seasons even changed for him.

When I look in the midnight blue sky filled with brillant stars gleaming with beauty, I think of him always.  A brilliant star gleaming with ease.... Forget this still can't seem to write again.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Angel By Your Side by Francesca Battistelli (Lyrics on Screen)

It's been six months since you've gone, and not a day goes by that I don't think of you.  So much has change in six months, we laugh at your stories, cry because we miss you. I can't seem to write much lately, but I want to start again.  I miss you Phil. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Heart Broken

I miss you more today than yesterday.......................I love you.  Stupid Myeloma.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

It's Like Going to the Dentist

Romans 5:5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.

The definition of a broken heart is "devastating sorrow and despair".  At times I feel as if my heart has been crushed with grief.  I think the definition can go even deeper to include there are no words, or emotion to describe a deeply wounded, grieving heart.  Mine is broken, broken into a million pieces, scarred and left with a big crack down the center. Insufferable as it feels at times, it is mending, but quickly heals when I allow God to put the right ointment on it.  God is teaching me slowly, and yes at times it's painfully slow, not because of Him but because of my own resistance.  I find myself running away in the opposite direction to avoid the pain.  He is there, covering the wounds with love, strength, and courage to face a new day, I just need to come to Him.

One day, I recall having the sudden realization that Phil will never walk through the doors of our home ever again. It was a painful thought, filled with sorrow, and my heart just ached - if I could just hear him walk through the door again one more time. I kept pushing what I thought was just an obvious thought to the side. As I was thinking to myself, "I must be crazy that I am having this thought, and that this thought is bothering me. Of course he won't walk through our doors." So in my stubbornness I would push it to the side, not wanting to acknowledge it.  It would cross my mind again, and I moved around it, scurried it away, thinking "this is just down right ridiculous".  I bottled it up, quickly moved to another thought, then I said OK it's fine - I put a little band aid on it, and became angry.  Again, I felt as if God has left me here alone without my best friend.  Then that pain of loneliness began to ease its way deeper into my heart, and the wound began to open wider, tear at my heart strings, and pierce its way to the center.  If I would have only brought it to God in the first place, it wouldn't of taken so long to move through it, instead of circling a thousand times! I am so stubborn, I can even get on my own nerves. Why must I do things the hard way?  

I will be honest, when it comes to dealing with pain, I am a slow learner in how to cope with it. I am one who will avoid an argument, shut down when it comes to confrontation, or just ignore it so "it will go away."  It doesn't matter how insignificant or "crazy" my thoughts or emotions may appear, it is rightfully mine to own, and process. However, it's when I don't take it to God, that is when I find that I am drowning deeper in my pain, and  flooding in my sorrow. My heart feels like it's an open wound that I have just poured a bottle of rubbing alcohol on, and boy it hurts. The scar opens wider, the pain intensifies, then the roots of my emotions become deeply planted as if to stick around and grow forever.  Oh my stubbornness, grrrr.

God is teaching me how He can use those "little" things to get my attention, pour out his love, mercy, and strength during those "crazy" moments of grieving.  “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit,” wrote David (Psalm 34:18, NIV).  It seems so simple, but yet you never know what emotion, or thought will stop you in your tracks, until you go through them and in order to move through them you must walk with God.  He is there, and he does apply the right "ointment" to heal the brokenhearted.

Pain is something you have to deal with in life, it's like going to the dentist for me - no offense to my wonderful dentist who knows me all too well. I will cancel an appointment just because I am having the thought of the pain and anxiety I will endure. When it's cancelled then I regret I didn't just go and get it over with. Instead, I will postpone, avoid, and wait until I am woken in the middle of the night with a toothache that is aching, and throbbing. What should of been a small filling has grown deep now it is requiring a root canal, or even worse it needs pulled. I am finding that dealing with grief is much like a cavity.  The pain, thoughts and emotions of losing Phil, no matter how insignificant they seem - if I try to avoid, scurry around, or ignore the thoughts that I feel that are "little", or "crazy obvious" - well it's still pain, and left alone will get bigger requiring more extensive treatment.

I am learning how grief can affect my thinking, behavior, emotions, relationships, and health. I have had sleepless nights, exhaustion for no apparent reason, lack of appetite, over eating, memory lapses, and the notion of my little thought that turn into deep valleys. I am learning to own these are part of my reactions and personal walks with my grief. Once I realize my actions, and I turn to God, then He will lead me safely through "the valley of the shadow". Do you know what's on the other side of every shadow? It's light. God will walk with you to the light on the other side, and bring you back stronger.

Ecclesiastes 3:1,4 says “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance."  I miss you Phil, but we will meet again one day.


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Under Construction

I have fond memories of multiple trips to our local Home Depot with my beloved husband.  The other day, I had to make my "new first" trip without him.  I was prepared to recapture the priceless, and cherished moments of my life working on certain projects with Phil.  Just as I had predicted, I was instantly engulfed with Phil at the entrance of the door.  It was the scent of fresh cut wood that lingered in the air as I walked through the automatic doors.  It was a time of reflection of all that I learned from him in our backyard or in the "man cave" measuring, cutting, planning and laughing.  All the things that we have torn down, then rebuilt with a better structure, quality, and strength.  The most important part of rebuilding is the foundation, and I had a wonderful husband whose life was built on the foundation of God.

Just as God is, Phil was always was specific, detailed, and meticulous in his design of the foundation.  "The foundations are what make a structure solid", he would remind me.  He would spend what felt like an eternity digging the hole deep enough to poor the concrete, set the beam, and allow it to set.  He taught me much about patience, because I would continue to say, "That's good, what's next."  Just as in life, you can hurry along, put all your money and time and effort into a beautiful house, but without a solid foundation it will all come crashing down.  What is your foundation in life built on?  Are you anchored securely to God? 

Everyone of you can expect to experience storms in your life - nobody is exempt – both the rich and poor, young and old we will all face storms. Jesus says that to build a life that succeeds, that will last, you have to build on ROCK - on Him and His word. He is the unshakable foundation we need to face the challenges in life.  Everything else that we trust in, rely on, changes, fades, washes away, and fails. 

The first step is believing in Him, Christ loves you, and accepts you just as you are. He is faithful and just to forgive us.  How great is it to think of God wrapped around you during your storm. He is willing and able to rebuild, comfort, and strengthen you in your weakest hour. Just call on Him, and he will be there.

I am not perfect in this challenge of losing my loving husband.  At times I feel as if my life that has been structurally chipped away, torn down, and left deserted.  I had a realization one day, and it hit me all at once.  "One day I was married, and the next day I was a widow."  Wow, it impacted my identity, faith, and strength at different stages over the past month.  At times I have felt alone, fearful, depressed, and lonely.  I went as far as telling God he has left me in destruction, only to find out I am under construction.  He is rebuilding, remodeling, and teaching me on His solid ground, for He is my carpenter.     

Some of you may not have lost a husband, but maybe your dealing with divorce, drugs, alcohol, relationships with your children, or whatever it is in your life keeping you from being what God wants you to be.  Before you can begin healing, mending, and repairing your life you need an overhaul with God, you need to set firm in the foundation built on Him and His word. 

Father thank you for your strength to hold me in this storm.  Thank you for carrying me through the rain, trials, and learning process's of life.  I ask for your guidance, comfort, and to let your light shine through me during this difficult rain in my life.  I place my life on promises of Your word, and ask that you help me keep the foundation solid as you work in my life.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Matthew 7:24-27
    Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because its foundation on the rock. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Moving Forward

I find few things in life that more more heart-rendering than the loss of my husband Phil.  He passed away July 10, 2012 and it will forever live in my heart as a date that I will remember forever.  He fought such a heroic battle with Multiple Myeloma, and I miss him deeply.  I am now learning of the work that is involved in the grieving process, yes it's work.  It has become at times, unpredictible, unbearable and very chaotic when I attempt it on my own. All are equally as tough for me since I consider myself "usually" a well planned, consistent, and organized.  In this grieving process, well, I am finding it has no specific time line or direct path.  However, God is teaching me so much about the impact that He has in my life, and the strength that only He can provide in the moments that He chooses.

In the begining days shorly after the burial of Phil I was filled with anxiety and worry.  I was lost in the thought of how will and, how can life go on? I lost track of time and it seemed as though the world just kept spinning and the days blended together. I couldn't imagine going back to work, enjoying life, and I didn't want to do it without him.  I began to carry this heavy burden of many regrets, worry, anxiety, fear, and loneliness. I felt like God had abandoned me at times, and taken away my best friend. Oh, but God has not forgotten me, or my girls. He has wrapped me closer and provided many comforts from words of love and kindness from friends, coworkers, and family.  I thank all of you, and my God.

I find great peace in knowing Phil's death is not a defeat.  (2 Corinthians 5:8) Far more than just being "absent from the body"; death means being "present with the Lord". I look forwarding to seeing him again one day. I often look up to heaven and smile because I know he is walking around with no more pain, and wonder what is he doing up there. It is not always that easy, and at times I have even become angry with God, why did you take my best friend from me.

I opened my bible to  (Romans 8:28) "All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose". I am filled with a loving God, and I am reminded that Phil left a legacy of his love for God, his family, and friends. It was God who shined in Phil's fight with the pain of dealing with Myeloma, treatments, and suffering that he still thanked God for all that He gave him. I know the impact that Phil has left on so many lives during this time, and God was honored through it all.

God is counseling me, and teaching me through my life.  His words guide me and comfort me when I don't do it on my own.  The moments when grieving strikes and I am left again feeling alone, I now fall on my knees and pray to God.  I have found some of the most difficult times in this journey our my "new" firsts.  I found sleeping alone in our bed one of the most difficult times, having my morning coffee without him to face a new day, or a new challenge or decision that needs to made without his input down right discouraging. 

One particular Tuesday I was rushed into the emotions of grief.  The mounds of emotions, regrets, sadness, worry, and anxiety I carried for the whole day. It started with to many of my "new" firsts, followed by what to do with my house. I let myself hibernate in my bed, covers over my head for the whole day. I moped around in numbness, dispare, and discouragement. When I finally mustard enough energy to get up, I realized what I was doing. Processing on my own, I picked up my bible, and I read the verse, "who will save me but God." What a lesson I learned. As I began to pray, repent, and release all of it I was filled with peace and strength. I was quickly reminded of a whole day ruined in unneeded, unhealthy, unproductive worry and fear.  God is there always, waiting for you to call on him, and he will guide you.

He has provided me with healing moments in the beauty he creates and sometimes we miss in our hurry of a day.  I can was comforted by a double rainbow one day on my way home from work.  A gentle warm summer breeze that filled my soul with His holy spirit.  It's still a learning process daily, but God does walk with you if you let him each step of the way.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Celebrating 41 Years Young

 We unfortunately spent his 41st birthday celebration in the hospital, and I say unfortunately only in the setting aspect.  If you would've asked me a month ago if Phil would see his 41st birthday, I had my doubts.  He was on oxygen, his kidneys failed, we are no longer doing chemotherapy because treatments are not working, and his health was failing rapidly.  However, he's been given a new kick start while off chemotherapy, and dialysis.  God's not finished with us yet, and I praise you God for all of these moments together.

He had a fever on Wednesday night, and with his white blood cells at a whopping .81 I took him to the ED kicking and screaming.  OK he might not of been that bad, but no way he wanted to go.  I am thankful he did, and grateful he's home.

His birthday was Saturday, and we enjoyed every ounce of a corn beef sandwich, followed by carmel apple cheesecake, and chased it down with root beer.  It was the best birthday dinner ever!  His appetite is  always a hit or miss with Phil, and that evening it was on!  His  appetite fluctuates as much as the temperatures here in Cleveland.  However, this seemed to be just what the doctor ordered, oh wait, probably not, but just what the wife ordered!

He is still doing dialysis, he has a radiation appointment tomorrow following his dialysis for new tumors on T5 - T11 on his spine.  It's his simulation appointment to set up for the real treatments.  It will cause him pain, so pray for him around 2:30 pm tomorrow.  They will fit him with a mesh like thing and bolt him down with it, and it will cause pain.  We are taking one day at a time, and enjoying each one we are blessed with.  Myeloma is a roller coaster to say the least.  However, God is steady and consistent for all of our needs. 

It has been many days in a row at the Clinic and it continues to be the same, but one thing for sure Phil is a fighter, and continues to amaze us with his power, will and strength.  I am not sure how I could do this somedays without all of your prayers, thank you all for praying for us.  God Bless.