Wednesday, July 8, 2015

A kick in the kimono...

Tuesday, June 7th, 8:30 a.m. Sitting on the back porch with a cup of morning coffee, having my quiet time. 

Still in my nightgown, I write in my journal: “These days have been so long, unending. I continue to relive Steve’s last days. The reel plays over and over in my mind, while I try to stop it, the images and memories of those final days crowd my thoughts. Oh Lord, help me get through these next few days. Enable me to occupy my time with something other than my self…”

The phone rings, Brooke has just dropped the children at Vacation Bible School and is on her way home. Her day is full, she is leaving for Houston around noon. Jared is out of town, but will fly to Houston to meet her. Harper has her annual appointment at Texas Children’s Hospital. The doctors will decide if further surgery on her little tummy will be scheduled for the fall. I can hear a bit of tension in my sweet daughter’s voice, but her words are concern for me and the sorrow we are each processing in learning to live life without Steve. 

We both cry easily these last few weeks when memories of Steve fill our thoughts. They are such precious memories. We laugh often at Steve’s wonderful sense of humor, we smile when we think of his concern and care for each of us, and we tear up over his gentle love, the memory of his hugs, his simple presence.

So, Brooke is checking on me this morning, making sure I’m okay, knowing she will be busy the next few days. Mid sentence I heard Brooke, “Oh no…” I hear the crunching of metal and my heart stands still. “Mom, I just had a wreck. I’m okay, gotta go.” The phone goes dead. 

Knowing she will need my help, I quickly dress and head for the door. Brooke calls to tell me, yes she needs me and gives me her location, again reinforcing everyone is fine, but her car is a mess.

Arriving, I see for myself that she is fine, but visibly shaken. Waiting on the tow truck takes forever and while we wait my strong daughter begins to cry. Why this week, which already holds such a dark space in our minds? Why this day, when she needs to drive her daughter to Houston to see if surgery is necessary? The tears come, they fall freely from both of us as we stand on the curb and cry.

I make the quick decision to drive her to Houston. Brooke is in no shape to travel with a 3 and 4 year old after this morning of turmoil. I drop Brooke home and hurry home to shower and throw a few things in a bag and by noon we are headed out the door.

Wednesday, July 8th, 8:30 a.m. Twenty-four hours after writing in my journal, asking God to walk me through the next hours, I find myself in a hotel in the Medical Center of Houston waiting for the kids to get back from Harper’s appointments.

Dancing Cows at TCH a much talked about highlight. A much needed snooze on the way to Houston.
Backseat fun with the 3 H's!

All that fills my mind is that God is steadfast, he takes care of our every need in the most intricate ways imaginable. No, I don’t think God caused Brooke to wreck her car, but I do think that God uses situations for our good. I know that in the last 24 hours I have been doing exactly what I needed to be doing. I needed to become less self-absorbed and I needed to focus on the blessings of my life. 

God has a way of kicking me in the kimono and telling me to snap out of it. Steve, if he were still alive, would have been the first person to pile Brooke and kids into our car and head to Houston. Steve, would be sitting by Harper’s side right now, listening to the specialists and giving them his opinions concerning his granddaughter. Steve, would be smiling because I have spent this time taking care of our children, instead of thinking of our final hours together.

One of my father’s favorite poems resonates in my ears as I write this entry, it is written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “A Psalm of Life.”

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou are, to dust thou returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Let us then be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.”   

So I write and I wait for the kids to return and tell me what decisions have been made concerning Harper. I am thankful Brooke is okay after yesterday’s debacle. I am grateful for her precious family. I am blessed that they live in San Antonio and that I am able to be a part of their lives on a daily basis. I stand in awe that what I thought would be a very sad second anniversary of Steve’s death has turned into two days that are so full that my head is spinning.

Tomorrow, I set off on a long adventure. Santa Fe is first on my agenda followed by a trip to the cool temperatures of the Colorado mountains. “Let us then be up and doing…”

My life is full, my life is good, my life is blessed!

For what it’s worth,

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.