Friday, July 24, 2009


I think life is perplexing to me. I have been pondering the fullness of loss as Karen's friend loses her 2nd and last child, after losing her other child 10 years ago. it is too much for me to try to understand. it is the greatest fear of a parent-to lose their children before them---and to lose all you have-even for me, my one and causes you to ponder~as well as many other things...but today, i am pondering.
these days can take you out and that is a "not good place to be".

in this new land of "losing your child", i have met many people who are trying to find their new sea legs to walk.
i was telling Rick the other day-after I did the women's conference in Washington, Pa., where i told my life story as i shared about the weavings of joy and sorrow in our tapestry that represents our life---that the women at the conference who had lost children, they hugged me in a different way then the ones who hadn't lost a child...maybe i have just begun to think it feels differently to me...maybe they hug alittle longer, maybe hug a little more like---"my heart is broken too"
----maybe i am just thinking it so...i can do that sometimes...think more into something than is there...

but to meet others who have lost more than one, or lost one that you were in conflict with and hadn't resolved the difficulty, or lost due to suicide or overdose or something else like that---is just harder than the alphabet has letters to help explain. i am at a loss for words for any of this, but it becomes life to us...a new land, a land we never bought a ticket to visit.

i never in a million years thought this land would be one i would be exploring---i am an adventurer...i love to explore and find and seek and see and learn and understand...but never in a million years would i think i would explore this land...

it has been almost 2 years now---2 long and quiet years without her voice and her influence in mine. i have met people and have a new family and new children...and still have an unsteadiness in my step...a limp maybe only really noticeable to me at times...but it is there. i want to keep my arms open for all the wonders and new and joys this new land brings...i am trying hard...some days it is too hard....

wish i could find words to say what is in my heart...the words of deep colors and heavy that are still there, swirling around, longing to have understanding and freedom to be loose from my heart. is always there...i am more accustomed to the feeling of it now, can live a whole day or two and not truly lean into it...and then...if i do lean into still sore like it has always take care to lean when can and have the ability to process and then wrap it back up into the fragile place it lives...

i ache today for Karen's friend who walks this journey again...and for my new friend Karen someone whom i have never met except for our blogs, but this woman has now hugged a woman in italy who has touched me and my family like no other...our dear paula...and also Karen has walked and seen where sarah dear is that to me...more than any words i can find. brings tears to my eyes and a closeness that no words could say---she took time to touch a place that touches me...thank you Karen...more than you will ever know.

so, to end this post is like saying i have said it all--and that is a lie...i have so many words and questions and feelings...but they must keep swirling for now---i sometimes question the place of what sanity is when i say my heart thoughts as they look so raw and real when i type the words of my thoughts here.

so, today is a day of pondering, a day of being careful to walk~ not too close and then to go too far~ but to stay in prayer for the one's who hurt fresh today and to pray for those of us who have a grief of loss that is fresh in its' long journey...

Saturday, July 04, 2009

To Cameroon, Africa and back

Here we are, on the trip that has taken me almost 40 years to get to do. Since I was 16, I have wanted to go to Africa-only to see the hopes get crushed a few times. The day we were to leave--June 18th, we got to the airport and found out that we still may not get to go as our plane was delayed by 2 hours and that would throw off the whole flights to Yaounde. The next flight there would not be able to be done till the following Tuesday, which would be one half way through the Health, Hygiene and Sanitation seminar we were doing with Carol and Mike Nowlin from Thirst Relief International. I was crushed, hopes gone...and then Rick asked what it would take to go through Douola Africa--which was 120+ miles from Yaounde. They could do that--so off we went. Of course this changed all things for Peter-our host...and Carol and Mike were still flying into Yaounde. Needless to say, we finally all met up and had an incredible journey...full of wonder, stresses physically as the roads were in bad shape for much of our journey as we were often far from any cities. We traveled alot-got to see many things we have never seen before, met people who were just beautiful inside and out.

I traveled with Sarah's ashes--as she also always wanted to go--so took a small amount with some sand from our beach. Often I felt her presence...somehow laughing and delighted that her mom was there---on her first wedding anniversary with the most wonderful husband...and then also on her mom's 57th birthday---almost as a gift...a treasure...

Always I was looking to see where to leave her ashes, and near the end of our trip, after all the workshops were done and we ended up in Limbe on the coast, the other side of the Altantic---was this spot. A set of stairs that led to the beach, a beach made up of volcanic rock and black sand---from Mt. Cameroon---which had erupted in the 90s the last time and sent ash and lava to the ocean. It was here we found these stairs that looked so like Manorola. As we climbed down the difficult and steep stairs, I felt your strong presence...Sarah and my dear Heavenly Father...

we were so quiet...Carol and Mike joined us...we just waited for the perfect wave...and released the sand and part of you...just then, a beautiful white crane with a black neck, flew solo right past us the full length of the beach....and Rick and I looked at each other and smiled through tears.

Who knows whether this is true or we make it true, it blessed both of our hearts and touched Mike and Carol...who never knew you.

I miss you...I am glad to have had you for the years we had. Such memories my sweet girl. We carried both of your packs on our back too throughout this trip and felt close too.

We are now in a new time, a new season. Christopher and Tiffany are now married and are beginning their journey. It is a new land. We will live well, we will remember you and also Rick's wife, Shyrl. We are all blessed to be living~not small but full. Embracing each day, each other...with fullness and joy. You, who have gone on now---have taught us so much and we will embrace the memories, yet live fully present.

love sweet girl.