Tag Archives: love

More Than a Conqueror

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“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. ” ~Romans 8:37

I first met her when I was in middle school.  We were not the best of friends.  Our journey continued on to high school.  We pretty much ignored each other.  Fate would have it that we would continue on to the same college.  Somehow we ended up talking casually being that we were both strangers in a strange land.  We having not stopped talking since. 

In 2005 she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I was shocked beyond words.  She was so young!!!  I felt so afraid for her and could not stop my tears from flowing.  But through her trials she never gave up.  She is the epitome of courage.

She has been a fount of strength for me in my time of sorrow.  I can’t even articulate how her support, love, and positivity have kept me afloat. 

And she is currently going through another bout of cancer.  Her faith could move mountains.  She is such an inspiration that I encouraged her to start a blog.  Because I know that her life and experiences will bless others and keep their spirits buoyed, too.

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Happy Birthday!

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Today is Evan’s birthday.  I had planned on making him this to celebrate.  Even though he is not here with us, I still have a gift for him.  I hope he can somehow  feel the love that I am sending his way!

Miss Me

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My SIL texted me the other day saying that she had talked to the boys. Morocco, they said they miss u!, she wrote. For a second I felt elated, until I realized that it really doesn’t change much. I won’t be able to see or have a relationship with them anytime soon.  My happiness quickly changed to longing.

It’s almost strange that they admitted to missing me.  I assumed that Eliza would have turned them against me by now. Especially considering that I found out through Jazmine’s mother (in the same prison as Eliza) that she has been “talking crazy” about me.  Her letter began, There are no words to express how I feel knowing that Jazmine has an auntie like you.  This caused me to think that whatever Eliza was saying somehow pertained to her perception of how I treated the boys.  I think this was her way of letting me know that she appreciates what I am doing for her daughter.  It must have been obvious to her that Eliza didn’t appreciate my contributions toward raising her boys. 

Why she has the audacity to be hateful is starting to annoy me. Though honestly I knew that it would always come down to this.  I just wanted it to be different. It’s as if my attempt to get along and be a good stepmom to the boys only served to fuel her fire. I see now that my husband was correct–with her, we could never win for losing. She would always find something about our life and parenting to pick apart no matter what I did for her or them.

When I wrote Jazmine’s mom I told her that I was praying that she would not fall into Eliza’s trap. I also wrote that this was exactly why I never told her about Eliza and vice versa (Ethan must have told her about Jazmine and her mom because I never mentioned that my niece even lived with us). I cautioned her not to feel the need to defend me against anyone’s accusations. I really hope she is able to withstand Eliza’s attack.

I do take comfort in knowing that the boys apparently have been thinking of me. I will keep this knowledge close to use as a band-aid for my bleeding heart.

Take a Bow

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Tonight two of my girlfriends and I had dinner and a movie.  We went to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.  When I saw the commercial on tv last night, I thought it looked pretty intriguing so I searched online and viewed two other trailers for the film.  I definitely knew I wanted to see it.

I won’t ruin it for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, however, I will say that it is so poignantly charming and tender despite its somber undertone (death is everywhere, but life is, too!).  I cried and loved Benjamin right from the start.  I wanted to bring him home with me!

 My tears came for many reasons:

  • My husband loved movies and would have enjoyed this one with me
  • Essentially it is a love story (not just romantic) and reminded me of how much I miss him
  • Having danced ballet virtually my whole life and as a part time teacher, I really loved this facet of the movie
  • The beautiful and timely message that you have to accept both the joys and pains of life
  • The acting was superb

Thankfully I had my two lovely friends there for support.  They graciously allowed me to cry unashamedly.  Walking out of the theatre I had a fresh flow of tears just thinking about how fleeting life really is.  One of my friends joked that perhaps we should have watched The Tale of Despereaux  instead!

But I do wonder what F. Scott Fitzgerald would have thought of this silver screen adaption of his short story…now that’s just the English teacher in me talking!

Live Through This

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2008 has been quite a year for me.  I never imagined that I would lose both my mother and my husband in the same year.  But as painful, terrifying, and debilitating as it is, I know I will make it.  The truth of the matter is that we can live without lost loved ones even when our carnal flesh feels we can’t.

If that wasn’t the case I would have died my first death when my grandmother died in 1994.

And again when my uncle died in 2001.

And again when my great-aunt died in 2002.

And again when my aunt died in 2004.

And I would have died twice this year alone.

I was very close to each one of them.

Yet I’m still here.  I have had many comatose moments in the pit of despair since he’s been gone.   I am crawling out of it at a snail’s pace.   At my lowest points I feel that I can’t go on.  However, I know these thoughts are strictly from the devil.  He wants me to believe that I can’t exist without him which spawns depression and suicidal thoughts.  But the devil is a liar.

No matter what you are going through, and I can guarantee that you will go through something in the year to come, just remember you can make it!  I hope to grow and learn from my trials .  What else is there to do?  Eventually I hope to use my testimony to help other widows and stepmoms through this difficult time.  And as long as I am alive, I have a chance to do this.  I have lived through a lot of strife in my short time. You can, too!

I hope everyone has a blessed year in 2009!

Griefcase

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I don’t think most mental health professionals support compartmentalizing emotions.  However, as a way to get through the day, I pull out my “griefcase.”   I am constantly in and out of it to examine and understand the following contents:

  • My husband:  Memories of love, laughter, and life…why so soon?
  • Nicholas:  I refuse to let him get caught in the mayhem as he has suffered a major loss as well.  I’m trying to shift my focus onto him and tend to his needs more.
  • Jazmine:  She misses him but is finally to the point where I think she understands that he is in “the sky.”  It just breaks my heart that she has to live without his gentle spirit.  He was definitely a father figure to her.
  • Ethan: I hope he believes (I have a feeling that they and their mom for that matter were told something contrary) that it was not my choice for them to leave.  I pray he feels our love and uses it to help him endure
  • Evan:  My baby…I miss him…I truly hope that his time in treatment wasn’t in vain.  I want him to know how much he is loved by us.  I hope Evan knows how much we were looking forward to him coming home!!! I’m so sorry that he didn’t get to make it!!!
  • Eliza: I have many hurt feelings about her.  Call me naive but I thought I was making a breakthrough with her.  How she was so willing to throw her own kids under the bus to punish me totally befuddles and saddens me.  I feel like I have no closure because I was carelessly discarded when my husband died.  Maybe I should try the letter writing thing where I get my feelings out and then don’t actually mail it.
  • Her brother and sister:  Oh my goodness, evil is alive and well!  People never cease  to amaze me!  And they keep wanting to interact with me for some strange reason.  Her brother called on Christmas Eve.  Her sister called twice the day after Christmas.  Neither the twisted sister or the demented brother will leave a message.  I’m sure you can guess what the brother wants.  Now the sister, who knows?  Unfortunately, I am not stable enough at this point to converse nicely with these lovely people so I continue to ignore any attempts at communication.  I just can’t tolerate any tomfoolery or malarkey.
  • Me: It’s probably more of me stored in the griefcase than anything else.  Am I still a stepmom I wonder frequently?  What do I do with myself?  I don’t want a new life–I liked the one I had.   I’m still a wife it’s just that my husband is dead.  Needless to say, I’m one mixed-up Ms.
  • Our house: Of course everything is just as he left it, especially in the garage.  The Mountain Dew that he was drinking is still in his cup holder.  I don’t want to touch anything and I can’t bear to part with his stuff.  I could try selling the house but I almost feel like I would be leaving him behind.

Coach should add the “griefcase” to their line-up–they would sell well!

What Kind of Poem Is Appropriate?

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I had the pleasure of meeting poet Jimmy Baca at the NCTE in San Antonio.  I was looking forward to hearing him speak because I love his work. 

I want to share with you all a poem that cuts me to the very core every time I read it.  This poem in particular is from his book Healing Earthquakes, and was written about the death of his brother. 

 It is  poignantly beautiful.  The intense love that he felt for his brother is perfectly palpable with every word he so carefully chose.  Here is a brief excerpt that I can really identify with:

…But your dying

made a rush of silver knives

explode through my soul,

cutting every tendon that controls my body

and in a huge surge of volcanic emotion

I want to fall on the ground and scream

at the injustice—

my heart completely shatters its composure

a fierce rumbling of pain drives a stake

from the center of my heart outward

and every flower bleeds tears at dawn,

leaves droop with green sadness,

the sand howls up in dust devils

dancing its death step

and I want to stop the world from spinning,

freeze the earth’s axis with my cold grip

and cry your life back,

change the way your life had been,

place my hands in your soul

like a potter at the wheel

and make a beautiful vase of your soul

and fill it with fruit and flowers and candies

and armfuls of brimming-over love

at the hour of your death

I crush the clock fate carries,

and sadness walks in me like rain

across the desert,

carving gullies of grief,

cutting the land with deep gouges

where in the bottom I live

never seeing sunrise again

never seeing

top-land life,

in the gullet of this grief I roam

like a mad elk seeking exit.

and finding none,

only more curves, more turns,

caught in the maddening maze of why you had to die…