Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Today, I sold stock.  Did I just say that?
I still shake my head in disbelief that I'm even considering investment strategies and financial goals...not the skill set I thought I would be honing.  
 I knew it made sense to let go of some shares in order to take advantage of better income opportunities, but giving the green light made me sick. Not from fear or ignorance...purely from raw emotion; Rob and I invested our meek savings in this start-up Seattle company early in our marriage and selling even a fraction felt like letting go of a part of him. 
I don't surrender well. Like last fall when he was so ill...I remember that sinking feeling of knowing I could no longer hold on to him; I had to release him to God.  Yet, I thought I might just drown in all that surrender!

Stocks aren't the only things needing some paring, so does Rob's closet full of clothes.  My brain knows his wardrobe would serve other men well, but is my heart ready? I wonder if, like fall pruning, timing is critical in order to produce more health than harm. If I let go of them too early, will I regret that I can't take back that part of him? Maybe, I need to protect myself from any unnecessary exposure, any more damage. Will I ever be ready?

Culling is such a difficult part of grief work, but at some point, I must put aside a few cherished items that will preserve memories, but make room for new ones.
As I face the painful task of pruning the past, I'm reminded that "Christ is faithful as son over God's house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast." Hebrews 3:6 NIV 1978 
Praying that I will hold on tightly to courage and hope, the things of faith.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Dearest Rob,
Were you watching from above as we played this beautiful autumn day? There was a hole as big as a trophy pumpkin in each of our hearts as we celebrated "I love Fall" day.  We missed watching you run after your little guys. 
The boys loved crawling and balancing on their new found playground.
Can you believe our youngest is crawling and pulling up on everything?
Here's looking at you, Granddad.
Your little cowboy is growing up so quickly. He chats it up with the best of us and can be so silly.
Look how sweetly he loves his little brother.
Their sweet little hands holding on together...just like us, holding on to each other through all the sadness of missing you.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Where do we run...where do we hide?
Storms surround us on this dreary Monday morning.
We yearn for a safe place to lay down our burdens, our brokenness.
Armies, viruses, spiraling markets shatter our shallow security...Chemo packs and work loads, too heavy to carry alone... 
Take shelter in the strength of the Unshakable One. 
Leave today's squalls with the Protector, the One we are convinced can keep all that we entrust.
Take cover and rest.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1

...for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. 2 Timothy1:12

Thursday, October 9, 2014

How am I going to walk through those doors once again? I stood outside the same big double doors leading to the surgical suite where Rob's doctor and I leaned over him and delivered the news all of us fear: stage IV cancer. I was about to relive every detail of that nightmarish morning. 
But like most hurdles, I feebly grasped my faith and took that first timid step. The admission/waiting room was my biggest fear, the very place my world fell apart. 
As I scratched initials on forms, J.R. Martinez, an actor and wounded vet, discussed the burns he sustained in Iraq on a nearby flat screen.
God arranged for me to hear this man's wise words; I know it! It was no coincidence that my surgery had been bumped up twice that morning, clearly rescheduled so I would catch his brief interview on a t.v. show I never watch.
This courageous soldier shared three things in the short time I sat in that room:
"You are not alone." 
'I still make a choice every single day to wake up and say 'I'm going to go out there and make the most of it.'
'It took me about four and a half years to fully accept my injury.'
I heard:
You are not alone; God is holding on tight!
You must keep making a choice every single day to not only do the hard things, but to choose joy.
It's going to take a lot of time; be kind to yourself.
Yesterday's surgery on my leg was minor; God's reminder for my heart...profound.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Dear Rob,
Your Royals move on in post season play! Yes, your "Boys of Summer" swept the Angels and we all agreed that last night's victory was for you. I almost heard your staccato applause in the fourth inning when Larenzo Cain robbed the great Albert Pujols with his diving catch and again, in the fifth, when he shattered another Angel's dream with an amazing sliding catch.  I saw you smile along with George Brett as our home town boys tasted victory.  And, of course, I grinned wide as I thought of your fairy tale trip to Royals Stadium 29 years ago. You and Brad left two young wives alone at home with four kids, but we didn't mind. How many times do you get to witness your beloved team win it all with your little brother?  I remember you calling us later that magical evening and admitting that you were afraid the stadium might collapse from the loud roar of the fans. 
Rob, I loved watching you enjoy life with childlike delight; I treasured those times when you could briefly escape from the world of three-piece suits and corporate pressure and celebrate the sweet things of life.  And, boy, you did! Today, you remind me to put the daily grind on hold and simply enjoy the things I love.
I'll be watching Friday night, sweet Rob, and wishing we were cheering together from Camden Yards.