Thursday, November 16, 2017

holding my breath ... but i have to let go

I have to learn to let go...
and let God ...

In keeping with my initial statements when I made this blog  of staying honest I am going to o-continue with that here today. This IS NOT a post about brain injury... 

Our youngest and only daughter has gone to Mazatlàn, Mexico with YWAM (Youth With a Mission) where she is doing her DTS (Discipleship in Training)...and we couldn't be more proud but now that her outreach has been announced I feel like I am always holding my breath ...

She will be in Mexico until Dec. 18, (unless something changes with the travel plans) that will be the start of their outreach. She will then be traveling with TWO groups to Spain where they will leave the Spain outreach team and leave for Algeria, North Africa.  We don't know where exactly in Algeria  they will be going as it can compromise their outreach.  From what we understand it is dangerous to spread the Word of God there (Islam is the main religion - 99%). So that is a little unnerving for a momma's heart.

I have been working hard to let God take this heavy heart and let Him do the work of "worrying" (and yes, I know He doesn't worry...) but I am not very good at letting Him to keep that issue.  To be honest I am scared for our girl. I have prayed and prayed. I keep handing my love for Hannah to Him like I did with Sam when he had his accident, but I don't seem to feel that same peace that I did when I was able to let Sammi go home if that was what God wanted. I don't know why I can't find that peace... it bothers me so much that I can't.  honestly I am scared that something will happen to her while she is there. I am scared. I am scared for so many things that are unreasonable and some that are possible.

 I can't even explain it.

We have seen such amazing growth in our girl since she has been with YWAM. She is honest in her struggles, but she is just as excited in her own and in others growth and revelations. She is more open about her faith and she isn't scared to say when she is feeling lost or less than and I think that is because she HAS stretched her faith further than she ever has! She has seen and been apart of so many miraculous things. She has seen God at work everyday through not so rose coloured glasses, for people who believe in Him and people who don't.
Hannah has been able to see that not everyone is as privileged as we are here in our country, our community ... our home.

I have seen her face light up when speaking about playing soccer with kids, sitting with young children who doesn't speak english (or at all), with talking to people who live in a garbage dump and when they have prayed for someone who is in YWAM, or for people who are on the street. Her eyes sparkle when she talks about going to North Africa and when they come back to Mazatlan for carnival. Her heart is so huge for spreading Christ's love and His Message.

Even so ... even though I see this light, I hear the love in her voice, I can see His plan beginning to work in her ... I still wish she wasn't going to somewhere where that is a reason for others to use it against her. Even though I was alright and at complete peace with God taking Sammi home if that was His plan, I am not with Hannah.

I have found every "excuse" in the book -- she's my baby, my last born, she is my only girl, she is so kindhearted, her love for God and others literally shines through her (and I admire that), it is a very dangerous country, she is not overly street wise, she is too trusting.
I have always told her that when I grow up I want to be just like her ... this makes me feel so guilty and sad. I really do want to be more like Hannah; to be seemingly fearless in my faith and not be scared to step out into the unknown for God. I know that anything can happen anywhere at anytime to anyone... but who can listen to reason when your heart is hurting?

Before Hannah left she and I got matching tattoos on our forearms:
LOVE YOU in each others handwriting and verses to remind us to
go to God always. I used to pray numbers 6:24-26 over the kids
each morning before they left for school.
And on our wrists: 
a reminder to breathe and go to Him when
things feel like they are closing in and you can't breathe...

and I look at them everyday to remind myself to pray, to take it to Him, to let Him give me the peace that passes all understanding... and just breathe

and I keep praying:

Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours]. Philippians 4:6-7 (AMP)

He has it all in HIs hands and He knows the outcome to everything...

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

maybe this is my epiphany...

but then again, how can it be an epiphany if I have always known it?

So daddy is still sick. Not getting and worse and yet not any better either...
On Saturday the care home sent him up to the hospital to see a doctor and he was admitted and will be there for a few days. The medical staff at both the hospital and the care home are all confused as to why he is on medication, starts to get better then gets sick again. So now he is in the hospital and is getting his medication via IV.
The resident that saw him last night said (after looking at his file) his pneumonia would start to get better in his right lung then his left would get it; then as it got better it would go into his right lung. Totally not making sense. So th hope is that the IV meds will work and wipe it out.
Dennis and I were with him yesterday at the hospital until they got him settled in and the IV inserted - so we could help keep daddy calm-ish and he was ready to go to sleep. Then I arrived this morning and spent a good part of the day with him. He was white, unusually quiet and didn’t eat much... but he DID eat. The nurses suggested to get dad’s chair sent to the hospital so we got it and had him sitting up in it for a few hours in hopes of breaking the chest issues. Time will tell.

I have really been struggling with this bout of sickness with Daddy. He looks so tired and so small. He weighs almost nothing 60.2kg (about 132lbs)and he is 6’2”. He is literally a rack of bones. My daddy was always really thin but not like this. His appetite has decreased so much of late and he is wasting away before my eyes. He doesn’t talk a whole lot but he will sing bits and pieces of old songs that he loved — but only if he is in the right mood it seems. Today was not one of those moods or days. My prayer has been {and always has been} that if it is God’s will to take Daddy home, I can live with that. But there is enormous guilt that has gone along with that prayer. I have had friends tell me to “enjoy every minute with him while I have him.” “Don’t be so selfish to pray like that.” And other things, but I know my dad didn’t want to live like this. He told me about a year and a half before this happened, what i was to do and what he wanted and didn’t want - but that doesn’t stop the guilt.
Then this morningI was spreading my bible and God led me to a devotion by Carol L. Baldwin called “Trust and Confidence” I was based on Matthew 26:39

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” 

It made me think that maybe I am looking at this all wrong. Maybe I am to be rejoicing  in this trial with Daddy and his entire injury (not just the pneumonia) Maybe He is granting me time to appreciate again what I have in the Daddy I have left now... and not mourn the man I lost 22 years ago.
the further readings I read were:
1Peter 1:6-7
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

1Peter 4:12-13
12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.

Not so much that I am ‘suffering’ for being a Christian but in that I need to learn to lean on Him and trust in Him way more than I do. When I look back on the things we have gone through since daddy's accident in 1996 -- right up to recently -- I can see when times that I had viewed as challenges {or even negative issues} occurred actually really helped me in a time later o down the line. Now I have known this and think about it quite frequently of how maybe Daddy 'accident' {choices really} really an truly helped me to get through everything we have gone through with our Sammi. I don't know how I would have even began to grasp the enormity of Sam's accident if I hadn't have had my experiences with Daddy first.

So I will continue to pray for God's will through it all. And try to focus on Him and what I am supposed to be taking away format or learning from it! A daily reminder of this will be in my heart, in my mind and on my fridge:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart

    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight

Proverbs 3:5-6NIV

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Sometimes people suck ...

What would YOU say if you found out that someone you loved and is in someone else's care and the one you love has been sick for over three weeks, has been to the local hospital for chest X-rays and is now going for a second set?

This is part of this other persons {to be fair there could be more than one person who has this job to do} job, to keep family {in my case ... only me} updated on your loved ones health issues and the like.

I got a phone message yesterday afternoon/evening from th care home where my daddy is taken care of and lives, asking if I could call them back regarding some,thing with my daddy. I didn't get my message until this morning and I called right away. I was informed that my daddy is going to the hospital on Monday morning for a second chest X-ray because his pneumonia doesn't seem to be getting better....

Excuse me?

His pneumonia?

Second chest X-ray ....

I told the woman I had not been informed of the first X-ray OR his pneumonia and we had just been in to visit last week and he didnt seem to be or sound sick.

She seemed quite shocked to hear this.

Like I said earlier, I am the ONLY person who needs to be called when things happpen.
I mean they call me about:

- holes in his socks and what should they do about them.
- missing shavers from his bathroom - would I know where they are?
- no batteries for a clock in his room.
- if I am shopping he could do with a new pillow.

 Y'all get the idea.

For the most part, I absolutely love where daddy is. He gets fantastic care but wonderful staff.
But sometimes when it comes to big ticket items {insert almost any issue here} they really drop the ball. This is NOT the first time this has occurred either!

Dennis and I were on our way out today to do some grocery shopping and whatnot, so we stopped in to see daddy, and his chest was quite rattley with lots of moistness in it, so I am glad he's going to get another X-ray. I AMA little concerned about the medications they have Him on not working, but he is in Gods care and He knows what is needed to get daddy on the mend, if that's His will.

Daddy went for X-rays yesterday and the pneumonia is definitely back and more in his right lung. SO a new and stronger medication and a nebulizer every 2 days (because the medication can do damage to his kidneys -- it never rains but pours right!)

We will be back on Wednesday to check in and see how he's doing.

Daddy just looked so tired and small. How can someone who was such a giant in my life be reduced to looking so small?

Saturday, August 5, 2017

like it was yesterday and yet it was 21 years ago...

Today marks the day -- 21years ago -- when at 10pm i received a phone call that my daddy had been beaten up and may not make the night. my daddy was taken from me by a selfish man and his girl friend. Today is the day that I not only lost my daddy (in a purely emotional and mental way) but my kids lost the most amazing Papa. It is so hard to believe that it has been 21years! It seems like just yesterday he was calling me to tell me a joke or just to 'yak'.
My daddy was a  man who would give you the last dollar he had to help you out. He would phone you to make you laugh to cheer you up or to see how things were. He would buy lotto tickets and give them all to you and sincerely hope you would win big! Family was everything to my dad - he would pick me up for a weekend and we would drive to Muskokas to visit with my gramps and gran and aunts and cousins. He would smile and laugh, hugging us, giving us a bit of money for pops and treats.
He was a trucker, who spent many hours and days on the road, hauling semi's from one end of the country to the other. He hauled cattle and other freight to all corners! He was maybe not the best ever husband but he sure was an awesome daddy.
We would spend hours singing to all the tapes in his truck as we drove the Yellowhead highway through Canada and then the TansCanada once it was done. We ate copious amounts of kielbasa and ritz crackers and cheese on the road. We stopped at all the best truck stops for coffee, pie, dinner, lunch, breakfast and pee breaks. We would laugh talking to other truckers on the CB radio and daddy would be reminding them every so often that his little girl was listening so please watch the language (most of the truckers complied and would talk to  me about school and riding with daddy).

I miss him ....
and there will never be another 'him'.

He was so handsome and it used to drive me crazy when he would come to pick me up at school and girls would giggle and gawk at him...but only a little because I was so proud to him as my daddy. He would take me shopping for clothes and tease me about bras and new styles, but he was so much fun to be with, everything we did was a crazy, fun adventure.
i remember once getting caught swearing (I said sh!t when I was trying to make something for him and mom) and that night as we drove to pick up my mom from work he said' you know Jo, I heard what you said earlier and Iim pretty disappointed that you would choose to use that language' (even though he used it), I remember being so heart broken and disappointed in my self to have disappointed him and those words were all it took to make me want to try to be better for him to be proud of me.
He taught me a bit about Jesus growing up and i know he believed in Him. This makes me very happy to know!
When I had our first child, Joshua, on June 19 (Fathers Day) we called him from the hospital and he cried. He showed up at our house for the September long weekend to see not only Joshua be dedicated to God, but to see Dennis and I both baptized.

When our second son Sam was born on dec 16, 1995, Daddy showed up on my doorstep with a car loaded with gifts for the boys on Dec 22 and he stayed until 27 then headed back to Alberta go to work. He head Sammi and beamed with smiles! He was so proud to have a baby Holmes (sam's middle name). He played with Joshua for hours and wouldn't let me do anything for the boys that was usually my job (diapers, feeding meals, etc.) He took over and helped as if he lived with a hundred babies all the time!
That day he left for home, was the last day I ever saw my dad in person. He came running back into the house after he got in his car and gave me his favourite jean jacket and told me to look after it for him....
and I have.

I can't begin to describe the empty hole left by him. How my kids will never know how amazing he was, how funny, how generous, how caring. Ask I can do it tell stories and show pictures... because the man that is left is nothing.... and I mean NOTHING like my daddy.

I miss you Daddy.

One day we will be together again in heaven...

I know it;

I can't wait.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Some days he's the windshield... but not today

A few months back, Sammi had some minor surgery, which was the removal of some lipomas (fatty tissue deposits and they have come back. Yesterday he went to the doctor who removed them and he was informed that he has something called Dercum's Disease and that he will continue to have these lipomas pop up from now until he is 35. If they cause him discomfort or pain he will have to go back to the doctor and have them removed....

which is done surgically and in a hospital...
minor... yes...
but still a surgery ... every time to remove them.

The few he has had, have caused discomfort (which may be a good thing since that may mean that he caught them before they have gotten too bad and caused any pain).

I am so frustrated at this new development as it is once again NOT a well known (it is rare in fact) 'disease' and the info we found on it seems even rarer as it is typically WOMEN aged 45-60 who get these and not 20 year old young men (although it can affect anyone of any age)!  I have posed a question to Dennis (not that either of us have any real medical knowledge) that if his BI could have anything to do with this new issue? He doesn't fit into any of the categories of symptoms other than he has lots of Lipomas ( at last count -- about a month ago -- he had about 13-15 'decent sized' ones)

So maybe when the bullet ripped through his brain, it caused a rewiring that is causing his body to not breakdown the fatty tissues in his body... but since there is no real information on why this is all pure speculation....

and frustration....

Each surgery will mean a week or more of work (depending on where the lipoma is located) and that means no income. We have applied for the disability credit for Sam  but have been denied both times. This credit is not an income for Sam but just the ability to earn a bit of extra money before he would have to pay taxes. And he is on his own, working and living... which means he has bills to pay! So a few days off even will effect his paycheque and bill paying abilities!

We have now waited for almost 3 months for an appt for this round of lipoma removals, and he has more than when he initially went in for... sigh... and I can't do anything because he is 21. He forgets to call, or maybe doesn't want to call, to gets too busy to call to check on why he doesn't have an appointment.

I try not to worry. I keep handing it to God, but I keep taking it back...

this that and other stuff

emotional rollercoaster rides... free of charge!
Just trying to get off before it flings me off...
the last few months have been hard to say the least.

We don't see Isaac too much as he is very busy with school. Sam is busy with his job (and until April he lives in Neepawa). Hannah is now getting ready to graduate in June, work at camps this summer and then in September she is off to Mazatlan, Mexico with YWAM (Youth With A Mission) for 3 months, ending with 2 months in either, Mexico, Asia, South Africa or Europe.

Someone had asked me this past week about Sam's accident and I started shaking, my chest got tight, I choked back tears and I had a rushing in my ears.... it was weird because that hadn't happened to me since right after his accident! And now we are almost 9 years in....

We started a new church this fall and I have had some serious anxiety issues going each week. So much so that my chest gets tight and the tears start. I think part of it missing our old church family and going through so much and not knowing anyone really made it all that much more emotional. I love the new church and what is it doing for Christ and the community, but I hadn't been able to really talk with anyone, until this last Sunday. It feels like I am 10 and starting a new school and having to make new friends all over again. I am the new kid on the block and everyone else is sorted for friends and who wants to be in charge of the new kid!? I am tired of always being 'new' to people.... and let's face it, my life isn't that interesting to make people want to talk with me! {I attended 17 DIFFERENT schools in. my day - some I left and went back too at a different grade even! so trust me when I say I KNOW the new kid in class feelings!}
When comparing churches (whixh i know i shouldnt do), I find the men in this church to be so much more emotion filled with they lead praise and worship and that sometimes hits me hard -- this Sunday was no different. I had to leave the sanctuary because I couldn't regain myself.
I headed to the nursery and sat there crying feeling so incredibly stupid. when I heard someone walk in. I thought it was Dennis or Hannah but it was a wonderful lady from church that I had spoken with a few times and enjoyed her company. she asked if I was ok and told me how she had seen I had struggled a few times during the services. I told her about my anxiety and bi-polar issues and how I have had a time lately dealing with things and church was one of them. as I spoke to her a few things started to come to light for me and how i think it really is a grieving process I am going through missing our old church and church family. Not that we can't see them or spend time with them, but they are all making this new transition into a new church family too and I don't want to keep pulling people backwards..... even though I feel like I am going backwards all the time.

I have been working on my emotions (insert anxiety and bi-polar) with prayer, breathing exercises and as soon as my essential oils come in I will add them to my repertoire. I don't want to go to the doctor as they always seem to make me feel as though I am crazy (which, lets face it, is a very good possibility) and they want to put me on drugs. I don't want the drugs. Years ago I was started on a drug that put me into ICU for a couple of days  and I don't want to do that again! I don't like the way they make me feel, I don't like the trial and error factor, I don't like that it costs a small fortune and that adds more to my anxiety and depression.

I may see if I can still go and talk to a counsellor at the health unit. But that requires me to go out in public and I just don't want to "people". Because then I have to talk and act normal (whatever that is), I have to put on that facade that makes people happy because face it.... who wants to talk to Debby Downer.... cuz "we all have problems right" (sarcasm at its best right there folks!)

I miss writing on here -  I found it incredibly therapeutic  but my MacBook Pro is on its last legs and we can't afford a new one and writing on the farm computer isn't the same as I feel that everyone walking by can see what I am writing or worse yet look into my writings ... which is silly since I post it for the world to see. But when I type I get into a zone, my own little world and type out all sorts of blathering stuff and until I hit publish it is safe with me.

sigh.... I will work things out. I will not go crazy totally...


not this week....

I will not drown in my own tears. (although I might meet Alice though and share a cookie)

My memories of the past will not haunt me forever (maybe they'll exorcised leave next week).

My head will not burst under the pain and strain of these darn headaches -- even though it sure feels like it some days!

I promise to not use so many sarcastic, smart assed references next time.... maybe... maybe not

maybe I should write a book.... "How not to go crazy! Even when you already are..."

Sunday, February 5, 2017

saying goodbye & forgiveness -- all in one day

On December 31, 2016, before midnight, my uncle Norman had a dance with his beautiful wife(my daddy's youngest sister), Lois, at their local legion,  after they decided to call it an early night and head home.  A short while later in the parking lot of the legion, Uncle Norman, started their car, pulled out of their parking space. He then proceeded to re-park the car, turn off the ignition and have a massive heart attack and pass away.
To say the least his entire family (my aunt Lois, their 4 kids and all their grandkids) and the rest of the family were devastated. Dennis and I headed to Alberta to be with my aunt and cousins during this time. My uncle was awesome! He taught... OK he TRIED to teach me... how to peel potatoes KP style (he was in the British Army back in the day) when he was home in Ireland. He taught me how to make amazing Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo, he taught me other kitchen tricks. He had a laugh that was infectious.
I personally felt very guilty about going to his funeral, as I had hoped to go last fall to see them but we went to see my mom instead, so the plan was to go out this spring. I didn't want my last visit with my favourite uncle to be at his funeral, but God had other plans. I am so happy though to know I will see him again and then it will be for eternity!

While at the celebration of his life, my aunt asked me to have a drink with her and N, (N was my daddy's second wife and she and her boyfriend played parts in where my daddy is now in life) and to put the past behind us. It was a very hard decision for me to make... so incredibly hard that I almost didn't want to go to Alberta, because I knew she would be there. But I went, I went and I spoke to her. I told her that I had forgiven her long ago, but that it didn't do a thing for my heart to know that my kids would never know just how awesome of a man my daddy was. I told her how whatever her part, and her boyfriends part... and my dad's part, was in it all I can not convey to my kids how much he would have loved them, how proud he would be of them all and how much he would have been THE BEST PAPA EVER to them! I told her how each of our kids remind me of my daddy and how that breaks my heart (and makes it soar) every time I see it in them. I told her how our Sammi looks SO much and acts SO MUCH like my dad it is scary! I told her that I forgave her because I did it for ME.... not for her, not for daddy, not for anyone but ME. I had to because it was killing me. I told her how I had told dad that if he truly felt he belonged with her that I would support him and love him no matter what. She told me how she thinks of him everyday and she loves him (even though she is now married again) but I told her that I not only think of my dad everyday, I MISS him everyday because my daddy is gone. He effectively died that day and all that is left now is a shell.
I don't ever expect to see her again (but I may if I go to visit my aunt), but I am glad to got to say my peace with her. I am glad she knows that I forgive her but that the choices that were made that day affected not only her, her boyfriend and my dad but they affected me, Dennis, our kids and the future generations of my family that will never know him. Never hear HIS laugh, hear him tell a joke (but insist you clean it up before you pass it on lol), here him tell them how much he loves them and how proud he is of them. I often say to Dennis "I wonder if dad would have....
- had a cell phone and learned to text to communicate with the kids
- had a FB profile
- rode with Josh in his Mack hay hauler
- sat and enjoyed a beer with Sammi on a Saturday afternoon
- talked religion vs. faith with Isaac
- bought our Hannah a bouquet of flowers and had them delivered to the school for her birthday
- would have been proud of me and how I have raised my family

all these things I wonder but I will never know because he was taken from me, from us. But I am so glad I got to tell her. I still want to hate her but I can't. I can't because they not only took my dad from me, they took my awesome kids from their lives too...and sometimes I think that is punishment enough.
With this being said, I still cry about talking to her. My anxiety was so bad that day that it was crushing me. There is more I could have said, maybe should have said, but I hugged her and that was it. I left the area where we were talking and headed to the bar of the legion where the celebration of life was and enjoyed the rest of the evening reminiscing with my cousins and sharing their grief. I buried mine that night.... again and maybe one day I can have someone to share my grief with.....