Friday, March 2, 2012

A Closed Door

Tears fall with dashed hopes. We cast our nets in faith, just to find them empty. Yet, we prayed in earnest ‘Thy will be done’ and for closed doors as much as open doors; for His leading, guidance, Presence along the way. Now we brush up close against the closed door, feeling its finality and wonder how could it have turned out differently? A flood of ‘what ifs’ to clog the mind. It’s amazing to see how quickly the heart grows attached, the mind spins visions and dreams—all to something that doesn’t belong yet. Just like the ‘house we used to live in’ this one has left its mark on our hearts. A silly little matter of timing, we were just too late. But looking at it all closer, with trained eyes, it’s easy to see how many events led to this outcome. We can never blame it on just one thing, like: the realtor should have responded to the email, or returned the phone call(s), we could have made a higher offer, etc. So, the old adage ‘it wasn’t meant to be’ that typically causes my eyes to roll and my heart to bristle a bit really does apply. And the tears that fall now might have as easily fallen had our offer been accepted, leaving us to say goodbye to our home. That house was just a house, but this is our home!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

No Winter in Sight

The sunshine beckons us out to play so we leave the coats inside and venture out. Plentiful sunshine, not a cloud in the sky. The forecast stretches out the same, no end in sight for this run of mid-50 degree sunny days. This might give him the wrong idea about winter! He migrates, as always, to the cat's food bowl--hoping I don't tell him 'no' like all the times before. I redirect him across the deck on still-wobbly legs, down the steps and into the grass. He catches a glimpse of his favorite pot full of sand and he turns, drops to the ground then crawls heavy over the delicate daffodil tips poking through. Deep sigh and a prayer that they still bloom.
We work our way around the side of the house where he can walk more steadily on the concrete. He sees Max through the fence, giggles as he peers through fence boards at the wet nose and sloppy face. Turning his gaze upward toward the wind blowing through the tree overhead, he flashes me a smile. My heart melts. I watch his eyes dance as he focuses on the leaves swirling in circles, dancing out their own song on the pavement. So many new sights and sounds for this adventurous boy. This little one is so precious to his Mommy.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Hoping Beyond Hope

Tips of daffodils break through the dry ground. Warm afternoons tease the brain that spring might be just around the corner. We can only hope. And, oh, to see the sunshine reflect off his bright eyes, how this mother's heart warms full. With an unsteady gait he tentatively explores the drab world around him. A few wobbly steps and a splat to the ground, all mixed with grass and dirt and the beauty of boyhood. And I know the secret that he cannot fathom yet--that this brown world will burst into blossoms and beauty and color! Though we know not when, we hope that it is soon.

We wait patiently, hoping beyond hope that soon, very soon we can throw open the windows and feel the life of spring within the musty house. And, I wait hopefully for another life to fill me once again. "I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope." Ps 130:5 . Who can know the plans of the Lord? And who can understand the fulfillment of the desires He births within a heart? All I know is that my heart and soul ache to be with child again, to grow our little family. I imagine his alarmed response to a squalling sibling. I see his little fingers pointing out the baby's noise, eyes, mouth. I see him toddle over with toys in hand to share with baby. So many little visions flit through my mind, so clear, so sweet. And my hope grows.

The long hours waiting in a crowded ER, minute hand taunting cruelly--that was a true lesson in hoping beyond hope. Frightened, confused, clenched fists shaking towards heaven. Had we lost this one, too? How many more? How could You? Why did I let myself hope at all? My lips, salty from a flood of tears, mouthed silently a psalm prayer. Psalm 138 The LORD will fulfill His purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever—do not abandon the works of your hands." Lips chanting one thing, the heart fearful of another. Another loss, another letdown, another failure. Do not abandon, do not abandon, do not abandon oh GOD!!! How I wanted this little one to be firmly rooted in "His purpose for me", the beautiful "work of His hands." The long stretcher ride, winding down a familiar path through sterile hallways towards the ultrasound room, where we had spent one summer evening a year earlier--for the exact same reason. That little one had faded so quickly. I wanted to hope this would be different--but there was so much blood. Grasping the siderail and his clammy hand in hopes to brace myself for the worst, my heart stopped when she pointed to the flicker on the screen. A heartbeat? Still? After all that blood?

That same little flicker on the screen now beats rhythmically in the nursery, trying hard to settle down for a nap. These are not easy things on a beautiful afternoon, settling for a nap and settling a doubting, fearful heart. Yet, he manages to hum himself to sleep and I resolve to find my own way to drowned out the doubts. Hoping beyond hope that life will grow once again very soon, another little miracle to teach me a little bit more about faith, hope and love.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Hello again

I cannot let the embarrassment I feel for the l-o-n-g break from blogging keep me from an update. For real, has it been over three years? And I ask myself is this something I really think I will keep up in the first place? History says no. But, my heart yearns to write, aches to express the ups and downs and questions that, as always, keep coming. I think that for a time facebook replaced the blog, not that I ever faithfully blogged prior to facebook. Yet, it's so easy to throw out a few pictures and think up some clever status update and feel as though I've expressed myself. My heart is not convinced. And I tire of the facebook black hole that sucks so much time, replacing it with a pseudo-sense of connection and friendship. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy have all my friends tucked into one place, knowing where they all are in case I need them. Viewing pictures and the little glimpses into their lives is nice. Something a pre-facebook world could not fathom. It is hard to go back. But I need a familiar place where I can share, vent, express this heart in a less public way. Very few will even return to this blog to check for updates, so it provides a safe place for me to write in case any one does listen.

I am tired, unmotivated, lazy and quite hard on myself for this blah state I find myself stuck in. I scoff at the millions who find even an ounce of motivation to make a New Year's resolution. I cannot even think of making one let alone keeping one. I will inevitably disappoint myself. Everything seems to take so much effort, so much more than when I was younger. And I don't feel old most of the time, but perhaps it's an age thing. That and a grief thing.

I was not prepared to let him go. I should have been, we had plenty of warning. And I feel guilt that I didn't call more those last few weeks. We used to talk at least once a week but as he came home on hospice I was just so worried I'd interrupt something or that the phone call would wear him out. The last time I talked to Grandpa was on December 23rd, our 'early Christmas Eve' pizza party at Dad's house. Or rather, the last time I heard him talk back. He mentioned how much he enjoyed the pizza party the previous Christmas and I told him how much I wish they could have joined us this year. He sounded so tired and I knew that pizza didn't even sound appetizing to him. They were expecting Uncle Stan to fly in later that evening. I knew that they'd be busy with him for the holiday weekend. I should have called them on Christmas day but it just escaped me. When I finally called December 26th, they didn't answer the phone. And the next few days he deteriorated quickly. We were so busy preparing our home for the inlaws and then for Ben's big birthday party. So much to do and so many people around. Lots of laughter and games and balloons and cake and chaos.

My hand rested on his foot as he took his last breath. There were sniffles and tears from all who surrounded him. It was evident immediately that he had left the earthly shell and gone to be with Jesus. I stared at him for a long time, even watched them respectfully carry his body out of the house. And still it is unreal. I cannot fathom that he isn't still here, sitting by his computer emailing crazy pictures out to the world. I miss him. I am sure that will only increase as the reality of his absence sinks in. It was a blessed and sacred time together as a family to be with him as he departed this life and went to meet his Savior. I smile at the thought of him whole and young again in the presence of Jesus.

Yet, I am still trying to process all of the emotions that grief brings.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Welcome December

The 70 degree weather of Thanksgiving week tried to trick us into forgetting that winter is on her way. But, the cold Kansas winds have erased any doubt that coats and scarves are necessities not accessories!! Chris and I made our long trip back from Indiana and Oklahoma just in time to start our Christmas decorating the evening of Thanksgiving. Our hearts have been full of hope and excitement as we faced, yet another month, of waiting and hoping for a child! This month seemed different somehow, full of renewed hope and expectancy. The disappointments and dashed hopes of months gone by seemed all but forgotten this month. God graciously replaced the pain of raw vulernability in my heart with a rich, deep peace that literally surpassed all understanding. It's as if He whispered gently "the wait is almost over", and for once, my heart was able to believe those words and cling to them for life! A week ago I was flying high on the wings of hope, for the first time in a very long, long time. But, just as the tide rises and falls, today my heart has fallen once again with the monthly disappointment strangely familiar by now. Each month gets easier in some regards and harder in others. With the exception of a few tears, I am doing okay today--not the "world-falls-apart" crash that normally happens! Remnants of last week's peace soothe my heart, and I'm grateful beyond words for His continual ministry to my spirit. It's a new day, a new month and I choose to see this as a brand new opportunity for God to show Himself to us in a new way. I only pray that our eyes will be open to see Him as He reveals himself to us, and that our hearts will not shy away from or be resistant to His workings! None of this comes easily, but I guess that's the reality of adulthood! (The five year old inside my heart screams how none of this is fair, but I guess that's the beauty of growing up)!!! When I look at the bigger picture, all the blessings in my life, I feel almost childish to cry and moan about waiting for a baby!! The other day I hugged Michelle tightly, crying desperate tears of joy, not wanting to let her go--grateful that she is okay and on the mend! I cannot imagine not having her by my side through all that is ahead! God's grace & provision in our family this year has been overwhelming--and I know He is still at work in growing the Curtis family!! So, on this cold, windy Monday, I welcome December with open arms--for all the hope and holiday happiness that it brings!! I embrace today as a new beginning--a new month full of dreams!!