Grief and Cloudy Thinking

Sometime, a lot lately, I get it wrong. I was focused on my sadness at circumstances ces beyond anyone’s control and fixated on that. And here, under the weight of it all, I focused on me and my emotional of the moment. Who!e emotions are valid, they are not an excuse to not see my friend in need and be there. Sadness in myself is not an excuse for me to be inhumane. I am still responsible for my love. So, I am truly sorry, friend, I focused too much on myself at the moment and neglected you. And I also negated seeing my Father God in the emotions too. He is there, always and forever and comforts us when we ask Him and never leaves us alone. We need other arms but He provides that too. He provides everything in His timing for His glory and our best. That is truth. That is all.

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The Forgetting

So today, I visited my Daddy as is my custom for 2 years now, as that is how long they have lived here and that is how long he has been sick. I am so thankful that I have been able to care for my daddy in his home as long as he could be there now in his new home in the nursing home where he can get 24 hour care. But today, for the first time ever, I was met with blank, empty eyes that did not know who I was. Dementia is a horrible disease and I knew this was coming, seeing it in so many patients and understanding the clinical aspects of it, syptoms, knowledge, I know more about this hateful disease than most people do. But. All my head knowledge flew out the window when my hero of my life, my sweet Daddy, my champion and the only man on the planet who has not betrayed me in some way, this man did not know me, his baby. It is rare that my emotions get the better of me. But I can tell you I am a mess. To my closest loves, I rarely unleash my heart, it is difficult for me because I feel so strongly and most cannot handle that. But. Right now, if I don’t let this sadness out of my heart, I may break under its strength. All day around people, no matter where I went, people were, good people, some amazing people that help, my sisters, my best friend, my children, all are amazingly important to me and helped so much but this therapy of screaming to the world in text that I thought I was ready for my Daddy to go to heaven but I am not. It about killed me that he diidn’t know me. My champion. Who will be my champion? Who could love me like that? No one can. I am not lovable enough for anyone else on the planet to love me like he has my whole life. I have been so fortunate to have such a Daddy. I have not always been the best daughter but he never stopped loving me so much that it gave me wings. I could never have accomplished all I have in life without his support and knowing he was there loving me, my hero. A girl needs a hero who she knows she can run to if it doesn’t work out and just be loved and taken in and held so tightly that no harm can get in. Why does this disease toy with us? It is a horrible thing. I lose him in seconds, in minutes, and it is not what it was. My base of support is crumbling and I am a lost little girl holding out her hand for her Daddy and Daddy can’t come this time. He is lost in his mind. He is fading away. And I am left here to watch him trail off. My tears flow as I write, my nose runs, my heart physically hurts me. Torture would be easier to take. Physical abuse I could handle better than this. This is a slow shredding of my heart. And I write this down not to torture you also but to voice words for pain that I cannot say the words to. My mouth cannot say but my fingers are my voice. Maybe you have such pain for whatever reason. Voice it somehow. It has to get out of your mind. It has to leave your body somehow or it consumes and becomes a stronghold or rift in the balance or change in your psyche. How you see the world can change if it stays in there. My tears are slowing as I type. I am realizing that the release of the emotion is as important as the capturing of them. Water flows in and must flow out. There must be balance. Where there is balance, the catcher is not thrown down when the next pitch comes in. And I realize that I still am loved. My support structure may no longer be one man, my Daddy, buuut it is many friends and family members and my love and those who love me and have shown such amazing support during this difficult time. And please continue praying as my mom has surgery to remove her breast cancer as well during all this. Life keeps going. It changes. When I was young, I thought everything adults did was mundane and repetitive and boring. HA!! I could use a little boredom right now. I wish I had been right. lol Laughter heals. I firmly believe that, there is proof. So, I will not live here, though I am definitely here for a visit with grief. I will visit but I will not live here. Dear God, please grant a fast transition through it!

The Risk of Truth

There are great risks you take when you tell the truth and even greater risks when you are open and honest. There is an imperfection that is obvious the more that I talk and an unforgivable realness to me that turns many away. I do not mean for this to happen but it is a familiar experience. People want you to feed their lies, their denial to stay comfortable. Truth isn’t comfortable anymore. It is easier, simpler, yes, but not comfortable for those who do not want to hear it. I mention too much about God or Jesus and I am some dreamer, judged as judgmental before another word is spoken and anyone who knows the me I am would understand the ridiculousness of that. But there is an idea that is uncomfortable in someone talking too much about the truth of God and they either feel afraid or guilty or incringed upon, these precious truths of my loving heavenly Daddy. And I don’t get it. I don’t understand it. I don’t try to. It really isn’t for me to understand. I am no longer surprised by it. It is an anti-truth spirit in the country that feels heavy to me. And the spirit realm is such an uncomfortable topic for so many people, who either think you are crazy or irrational or deluded or an idiot or obsessed. Oh the options. But to deny the spiritual is to deny the breath of the universe. It is to deny God saying He was Spirit. To pretend the spiritual aspects of our lives do not exist is to pretend there is no God, and how foolish is that. It is like Pinoccio telling Gepetto that Gepetto doesn’t exist and Pinoccio made himself. Really? This is not crazy, irrational, deluded, idiotic and obsessed? So, stop accusing people of being judgmental when you are judging them without just cause. Then your words may matter to me. Your attacks may be something other than noise then. If you are pointing a loaded gun at someone telling them to disarm to protect themselves, there is little motivation to disarm, little weight to your order, little apprectiation for your concern. So, truth may be a dangerous game, especially as it concerns God and Jesus Christ, but I will still tell it. I am answerable to God for my actions, my words. I will not get off the hook because someone else suggested I ignore His command to tell other people about God. I am still responsible. I fear God not people. People can only torture or mock or kill me, worst case scenario. God deals in eternity, not temporal. Eternity is a heck of a long time. I really don’t want to be without God all that time. He is so much more important than my comfort or popularity or whatever the heck else people find important in this temporary physical realm.

Love That Heals

I am a doctor of audiology. I wanted to be a physician. I studied medicine, have a degree in premed, learned a lot in four years at a notable hospital, studied much about herbs, medicines and homeopathic remedies. It is safe to say that healing people and helping them has been a focus of most of my life. I became a doctor of audiology because my first husband didn’t want to have the enormous student loans that medical school requires so I have semi ridiculous student loans to be a doctor of audiology, the doctorate taking 5 years post bachelor of science degree. Nonetheless, I helped people hear and balance better for 14 years. And I incorporated my knowledge to make my patients’ lives better or at least pointed in the right direction. A fountain for healing, a flowing river of health from me to my patients has always been a vision of beauty in my mind. And I have faith, the faith that truly believes God heals, believes God provides us the means to heal ourselves sometimes, believes the Bible- every word of it- is true, believes I can do anything God leads me to do. I have faith. Faith promotes healing. Faith believes though no evidence in the physical is present. Faith believes without seeing the results but trusting that they are there nonetheless. Healing happens most often to those whose faith is high and pride is low. My main job as a healer is to remind people of that and guide them along that journey to freedom from illness. Sounds spiritual, doesn’t it? Hard to conceptualize for most. This is how my mind works. This is normal to me. The physical is a result of the spiritual to me, a big picture person. It is much harder for me to grasp the tedious details and sort them out. Such a challenge there. But the road to healing is absolutely stamped with love. Love (because God is Love) is the greatest force on the planet or universe. Love lifts and encourages. Love demonstrates passion for life, joy, beauty and peace. Love is the core of healing, the fastest way to health. Love is a reason as much as a determination as much as a fact in truth. Love generates healing faith and hope and runs right over skepticism and lies. Love wraps warm hands and arms around, kisses the worthy spots, massages the tired areas, runs a warm bubble bath for relaxation and keeps company all the while. Love heals and promotes healing at a much higher success rate and much much faster than those without access to such love. Love overshadows doubt with belief and casts out darkness by providing light. The sunshine always glows beautifully under its rays and love is always the glue that binds the union and rectifies doubt and disintigrates mistrust so healing can take place. Love is the answer to every problem. It is everywhere you are willing to put an effort in and direct its course for vitality and strength. Love holds and heals the ill or hurting or stressed or weary or grieving souls respectfully but honestly compromising nothing and apologizing for nothing as it works.There is nothing Love cannot do. Not. One. Thing. Love has already won every battle and needs only the embrace to be your champion or champion of anyone feeling the least bit poorly. Love is perfectly capable of taking care of the lover and the loved.

Conforming vs Contorting

Society has laws in place which we should follow and conform to to keep people safe. Rules are very important and very crucial, especially when dealing with a lot of people. If there were no rules, we would have chaos. And when people decide those upholding those rules should be punished, we are in trouble. People want other people to follow the rules and complain very loudly when they don’t but they don’t always want to follow them themselves. It is horribly unfair. And unfairness is also a part of society. Norms seem to supercede that. However, when we get into rules that force contortion of one’s beliefs rather than conformity, there is a disconnect, a very real problem. When lawmakers think with their own personal agendas, against the common good, there is a forcing gradually of people to follow laws against their religious or moral or ethical internal beliefs. Then we have chaos but also some sort of tyrannical dictatorship where people don’t matter, only the agendas matter. That is very dangerous and a form of terrorism in of itself. when we go against our beliefs, we lose our identities and voice and freedom. So contorting is not the way to go. We are not obliged to follow unreasonable requests, rules that go against our personal freedom. We are at liberty to not follow those rules or just follow it until it comes to a point of no return to our identities. Because when we face the judgment after this short life is over, we have to answer for what choices we made. And I believe if we act against how we know we should act, even if we are persecuted for that, we will be held accountable for that. Dwight L. Moody has a story about that. He picked up a hitch hiker, as he used to a lot, and the guys pulled a gun on him as they were driving down the road and told him to pull over. Moody kept driving. The guy told him again and Moody calmly kept going. The third time, Moody asked the guy, “Look, are you threatening me with heaven?” and took him right to the police department. We are responsible to hold to our beliefs or we cease to be who we are supposed to be. We cannot live our lives in fear but in faith. So rules that don’t go against your faith, follow those. We are obliged to and for good reason. But rules that go against our faith, we cannot every obey those. Our country would not exist if we did not believe that. It was founded on faith, despite what others would tell you. People tried to come to our country out of greed. They did not succeed. But when men came to escape others imposing on their faith, there was success. God takes care of those who obey Him. He doesn’t give two shakes about us obeying people who disobey Him. That is my belief. I believe I am right. 🙂 Doing what is right is rewarding, even if it hurts a little at the time. It is always worth it. Always worth it.

Stopping Off a Bit

The biggest thing I have learned through many many roadtrips (usually unplanned) is that bathrooms are much more important than anyone ever gives them credit for. Know where they are, for heavens’ sake. Next in importance is so very important. Stop off a bit on the way. Rest, refresh, involve yourself in a new place, understand a new spot, a foreign piece of soil, a new tree, a vivid flower, especially the tiny little wild ones at your feet. There is a peace and tranquility that only occurs in the stops, the breaks, the taking a minute to just be and just be in a new space that you can never match by any other means. Most importantly is the notion that we must breathe to be. We must rest sometimes to continue on and we are richer for it. Do not feel guilty in life either to need a break now and again. It is much more unnatural to force yourself to continue and be poorer for not having enough oxygen to your lungs. Must breathe. Must take in the air to revive and be better at everything else. Addition things to note:
1. Crunchy snacks are invaluable.
2. Drink only what water you have to and as much coffee as you can handle without more frequent bathroom stops.
3. Wear shoes you can slip off.
4. Be sure your car is in tip top shape.
5. Prepare (like with a gallon of water or fix a flat or full spare tire, etc.) in case.
6. Take turns at the bathroom and someone stay with the car. Rest stops can harbor thieves sometimes, better safe than sorry.
7. Determine if you have a destination or are winging it and feel free to swap those as needed. 🙂
8. Never forget where you come from in the excitement of where you are going. Then never forget you went there.
9. Pictures. Take them. Clarity dims with time. Take the shot. Make notes at what you shot.
10. Only take people with you that appreciate and uplift or go alone. If someone starts being negative, even if unexpected things happen, leave them at the closest rest stop with their phone to call a taxi and enough money to get them home. The money is worth parting with. So is the negativity. Warn them first so you don’t feel guilty. lol
11. Even if you have done that trip before, find something new to try, a new place to go, a different route, whatever.
12. Invest in a map of the area. The road less traveled by may be amazing but also may not connect up again to the highway or go in a straight line. 
Enjoy!!!!!

The Places I’ve Lived

What follows appears tedious and has a point, though silly. It is a list of all the places I have called home, some for short periods of time and some for considerably longer.
1. Trailer in Buchanan, MI on Red Bud Trail N (10 years)
2. Farmhouse in Buchanan, MI on Chamberlain Rd. (7 years)
3. Campground in Bloomfield, IN at Beechwood Lake Camp with Adventures in Missions. (2 summers)
4. Campground in Niles, MI at Michiana Christian Service Camp. (1 week at a time for years).
5. Modular home in Buchanan, MI on Chamberlain Rd. (2 years)
6. and 7. 2 different Dorm rooms in Johnson City, TN at Milligan College (1 year)
8. Dorm room in Kalamazoo, MI at Western Michigan University (1 year)
9. and 10. 2 different Studio apartments in Kalamazoo, MI in town (1 year)
11. Bedroom of a home in Portage, MI with the Bannisters (2 years)
12. Church in London, England at Manor Way (2 weeks)
13. Church in Bielsk Padloski, Poland (2 weeks)
14. Bedroom of a home in Bellarus, Russia (1 week)
15. One bedroom apartment in Kalamazoo, MI (1 year)
16. One bedroom apartment in Kingston, PA (3 years)
17. One bedroom apartment in Boca Raton, FL (1 year)
18. Townhouse condo in Coconut Creek, FL in the Township (3 years)
19. One bedroom apartment in Glendale, CA (9 months)
20. One bedroom apartment in Clearwater, FL (5 months)
21. 3/2 House in Lakeland, FL in Wellington Green (4 1/2 years)
22. 3/2 House in Lakeland, FL in Country Oaks (6 1/2 years so far- current location)
This is documentation for my children to prove that I am truly as insane as they believe that I am and proof positive that I understand and embrace moving when the need arises to do so. I have friends who never have moved, still live really close to their birth place, who do not even have any natural curiosity about the world outside their town or city. I have other friends who have moved more times than I. Regardless of how much travel you do, reading can suppliment travel in many good books but some form of reading or travel or speaking to travelers must take place to grasp the enormity and diversity of the world as well as the smallness of it all. Communication is extremely important and somewhat easy in other places for everyone has similar loves- family, food, sleep, pets, entertainment. Communication has differences everywhere you go in the states or abroad but always is read best through body language and eye contact or lack thereof. And when traveling and moving, it is a beautiful understanding you get quite quickly to simplify your life, belongings, clothes and take with you what you need to live not want to beautify. It is important to appreciate God’s world He made to worship Him the best way possible. It is difficult to praise the Creator when we see little of His creation, in my belief. The more we see and travel, the better we understand some degree of His greatness and also His richness, that He owns it all and so much more. These are beautiful things to ponder. I have traveled much also while living in these places, many road trips, many vacations, many beach days, many many hikes. It always points me back to quietness and simplicity and God’s amazing greatness and attention to detail and love for differences. But home should always be where you feel the most comfortable in the world with those you love. And never underestimate the power of a decent bathroom and kitchen!