Yesterday I had a few errands to attend to, and as I opened the garage door and stepped out into the sunlight, and unexpected warm afternoon, I was awakened..grateful for the day, the opportunity to get in my little red van and head up into the booming metropolis that is Firestone(little not so known place that I call home,) I was going to get a car wash. I know big deal right? The “Bonkees” van was terribly dirty, disgraceful really, and so she needed a bath. The only truly hard thing about this for me is that Bianca loved the car wash. She used to absolutely be petrified of it, like she was of the vacume, but in recent years she had learned to love both experiences because I turned them into a crazy game for her. As I waited for my turn to enter the wash, my eyes began to tear up as they do daily in the missing of her. I would usually prep her for this event by saying, ” does the van need a bath?” She would squint her eyes and giggle in agreement..I think. I would say..”it’s such a dirty..dirty van..” This just caused her to giggle more, in great anticipation of the thrilling and somewhat scary cleansing. When I entered, and the loud motor started up, my eyes spilled over, and as the multi colored soap sloshed my windows I began to wail. Oh how I miss this girl…her pure delight in this simple event, her zest, her joy…The song that was brokenly trying to escape my speakers during this time was Matt Maher’s, “Deliverer” song. It’s become a song of great comfort and hope to me. If you don’t know it, I encourage you to check it out. It’s become my theme song of hope and sustainment at this time in my life when I’m hanging on with all Iv’e got to my Jesus..the anchor in my life. I cried and cried, and the cleansing water that washed my van clean also served to wash my tears away…..I loved this girl with all of my heart and soul, and so my soul grieves and moans, and yearns to be in her wonderful presence just one more time. Wait….no one time could never be enough time ….I need to be with her throughout eternity..and one day I shall be… I am most thankful for that..In my back hall there is a coat rack that has been there for at least 10 years. I have to pass it each morning as I go to retrieve the beagles from the back hall, and get their food from the closet. I have noticed that each day that I do this of late, I try to not look at the items on this coat hook. Well..the other day I looked…then I found myself falling head first into them desperate for the scent of her. These delightful multicolored ponchos and the trendy little silver ski coat belong to Bianca. I have made all of the ponchos for her, and Aunt Jenny sent me the “Oregon Duck” fleece so that I could construct one to be loyal to her Daddy’s Oregon Ducks college football team. We both have the matching “duck toque.” By the way “toque” just means knitted hat for those of you out there who don’t speak Canadian! Oh the places we have been with all of these warm and cozy ponchos and jackets….so many memories of walks in the snow , crisp Winter air chilling our nostrils,rides on the red sled being pulled by the 4 wheeler. Also last winter we rode around in the wheelchair throughout the neighborhood…with the beagles of course. Several times we had “Abby,” Bianca’s friend from down the street, sit on our saucer sled, she would hold both dogs leashes, and I would run backwards pulling Bianca as I went, in her chair, all the while throwing out milk bones to the doggies, to entice them to chase me. It worked…Abby laughed, I laughed, Bianca laughed, the dogs got treats, and we were full with excitement. One time I nearly fell over a drift on the road almost capsizing the wheelchair, or at the very least pulling a very cool, albeit scary wheelie. Apparently my neighbor caught it all on her camera phone. I’ve yet to see the footage, but am grateful that she did not feel the need to send it into social services, charging me with wreck less playtime, and possible too much excitement for a handicapped child…ha..ha…just let me try…Don’t I sound like such a rebel? I’m really just all talk , but when it came to creating fun for my girl there were no limits, and no barn doors that I wouldn’t bust through. I am so thankful for these times with her..the complete joy and abandon of just being caught up in the delicious excitement of a the sacred frenzied moment of crazy assed joy.
Both of my sons are living back at home right now. I don’t think there is any way to adequately express how grateful I am for this. Many of their friends are often around, sleeping over, hanging out, doing laundry, just living life. I’m feeling needed, and this feels good. I love cooking up their favorite things , making extras just in case extra mouths just so happen to arrive at the breakfast/lunch or dinner hour. We have enjoyed such terrific times of sharing, of conversing and debating over many sundry items. It is been a huge comfort to me to have them here. I know they are comforted too, but I wonder who enjoys the most benefits..not that it’s a contest of course! I am so filled with love and gratitude for them. They are men, and I’m deeply proud of them for their strength of character, integrity, care, and passion for life. They are each so different, but one of their dearest qualities to me is their unwavering loyalty to their family. They are deeply committed, and that just fills this Mother’s heart with a greater joy, and sense of fulfillment..” This is the day that the Lord has made, and I will rejoice and be glad in it…”..no matter what….I am filled with the knowledge that my sons are a priceless gift, and they are men who care about their loved ones and who will love and protect them no matter what, even when the hurt and the loss runs so very deep, and the pain explodes the senses at unexpected times.
As Thanksgiving Day approaches and we prepare the turkey, the green bean casseroles, mashed potatoes, dressing, salads, delectable dinner rolls slathered with butter, pumpkin and of course apple pies… I am thankful for food. I do not go hungry…many do…I am aware of this. I know I live with abundance while many suffer hunger not just now, but all throughout the year. My heart aches with how I can make a difference, how can I ease another’s discomfort..where does one begin? I already know the obvious answer to this…just do something. Don’t let me pass someone by and pretend not to see…let my eyes remain open to those who are hurting this time of year, those who are missing loved ones, and remembering them with great longing. They are wishng so badly they could still come to the Thanksgiving table, share in the company of family, feel the warmth of their loved ones’ embrace, just be reunited again. The holidays can hurt..I had no idea how much…but ….just the ache that consumes you when you see that empty chair, room, home. It is all just too much. The finality of death is ever fresh in my mind, and I know many feel this incredible sorrow too. I am not alone in this, and I feel deeply honored to share in your grief, that you let me express my own, in my own haphazard way. The entire human race suffers loss, abandonment, death…it comes and touches us all. Sometimes through disease, and long, and lingering suffering, through murder, car crashes, child abductions, and so many other heinous and horrible ways. Life is brutal..it us harsh..it is unrelenting. It is quite often so far over the top, that you feel too tired to take another solitary breath.
I am so thankful for my friends, especially my beloved girlfriends. They have loved me, checked in on me, prayed for me, brought me food, gone to the movies with me, walked with me, been shoulders to lean on, encouraged me, texted me, sent me verses, songs, and just loved me… I am overwhelmed by your great love and care..thank you.
For my family, I have so much gratitude for you. To Lorin for being the Father of my children, I am grateful. I am deeply thankful for the love and caring of all of my Oregon family. They are wonderful and I care so much for each and every one of them. Also for my family up in Canada. Words cannot express how deeply thankful I am for your love and support right now. It has healed my heart in many of its broken places, and it has allowed old wounds to grow skin again. What a relief that is. There are fresh hurts that remain open now, and I suppose that throughout life it will be a constant hurting, opening new wounds, and seeking to pour ointment on, and treat the new ones. Sometimes this feels like a rather bleak and hopeless endevour, but it’s what we’ve got…it is our lives..it matters. Healing comes if we let it…there are those who are willing to come alongside of us, to give us empathy, and to be a part of our journey. These are the gold nuggets, the diamonds, the absolute priceless gifts that we can never take for granted…….Happy Thanksgiving from my grateful heart…🍗🍖🍗🍖🍂🍃