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Despite my expectations:

  • Our hearts keep beating
  • The sun keeps coming up every morning
  • Birds still sing
  • The grass still grows
  • and Life continues…..

Mom and Teresa have returned to the homestead after being away for a while. Mom spent some time with Tonja in Missouri, where she was pampered and loved. Mom got to watch her Grandson, Jason, graduate from High School. She got to visit with lifelong friends, Shirley and Jerry Holle, a healing salve for a broken heart. Tonja and Gil helped Mom celebrate her first anniversary without Dad. They would have celebrated their 61st anniversary on June 11th…Now Mom is wearing a shiny new ring and a locket with Dads photo close to her heart.

Teri picked up Mom and together they flew back to Oregon, where they attended the District Convention in Salem. This years theme was focusing on God’s Kingdom and the words were no doubt comforting and soothing to the two of them as they sat and listened to evidence that Jehovah is yearning to fulfil his promises. Those promises are what Dad had faith in and tried to instill in all of his children.

After leaving the Convention, Teri drove Mom back home….home to a yard blooming with poppies and house without our Poppy.

So how do you move on and recreate your life?  That is just what Mom is doing … making changes, tweaking, adjusting and taking one day at a time, with one foot in front of the other. Thankfully, because she is one beautiful, dynamic, giving, loving, generous…..and every other description of wonderful… Teresa is with Mom, guiding her through this process with tenderness, grace, beauty and love.

Teri is enveloping Mom in love and keeping her busy with new resolve, new goals, new projects. They have turned a page and started a new chapter…. and doing so without closing the book of Ray. Together, they are writing with a flourish, creating new experiences for a woman who has to find her identity now that she has lost half of herself, with the loss of her soul mate, our Dad. They are going to surround themselves with Shiny and Bright….sprucing up their nest and getting cozy.

Together, we will go on…we will go on with rejoicing knowing and trusting the our God cannot lie…He will resurrect the man we love so much.  Jehovah will continue to guide our steps and comfort us and we will be okay….because He promised…we will do it together by putting one foot in front of the other.

Dad…One month has passed and I am still in disbelief that he is gone. I watched Dad die and still I do not believe. How is it possible that someone who was larger than life should not be here…here where I can talk to him, touch him, hug him and kiss his forehead? How could this have happened?

I miss him so much. I miss knowing that he was just a call away. I miss the reassurance that he was there with Mom, loving her and teasing her and taking care of her. My foundation is shaken and I cannot find my footing. My heart is shattered and nothing feels normal anymore. Grief is ugly and messy and so very inconvenient. I can find no place to set it down and walk away from it. Grief follows me and grabs my heart and squeezes so hard that I cannot breathe. Grief hangs over my head and rains on me if I experience any sort of joy, jerking me back to the fact that I cannot share those moments with Dad and making me feel guilty…how can I enjoy anything knowing that my father is not here? Grief invades my dreams and wakes me every morning and socks me in the face with the reality that Dad is gone…every single morning. So many things remind me of him…I see him everywhere and then gasp when I realize that there is no way that I could see him…he is gone and I cannot stand that fact.

And….what makes this ugly grief thing even more distressing is that while I get doused in it everyday…so does my Mother and my Brother and my Sisters, our Spouses and our Children and Grand-children and all of our family and friends too. So much pain. So much grief…So many hearts that need healing. So many of us who miss Dad. So many of us whose hearts are aching and broken. I wish I could wipe away my family’s pain…I wish I could rewind time and kiss him and hold on to him. I know we will see him again, but until then…we have this grief thing stomping on our hearts…and it just seems so wrong, so hurtful and so very, very ugly.

We miss you so much Dad!

June 2011
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