Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Dad

Happy Birthday, Dad. I wish you were spending it with us instead of in heaven this year.

You would be 68 years old today. It's been 8 months that you've been gone, 4 days shy actually. Not a day goes by that I don't think of you, miss you, miss something in my life without you there.

I miss your infectious smile.

I miss hearing your voice.

I miss your hugs.

I miss being able to call you when things aren't right in my world.

I miss calling you for directions, no matter where I am.

I miss planning surprises for mom with you.

I miss you taking care of anything and everything for me.

I miss you teaching me about everything.

I miss our shopping days together, talking you into buying something for the house, or for mom, or buying something just because I think we need it.

I miss camping with you.

I miss bandaging up your scrapes - and scolding your for not being more careful.

I miss your cooking.

I miss going to football and baseball games with you.

I miss picking out and planting flowers with you.

I miss going on trips with you.

I miss you as my designated driver - or me as yours.

I miss hearing your stories - no matter how many times you told them.

I miss hearing about your crazy plans, trips, and ideas.

I miss you always knowing what to say to make me feel better.

I miss the way you always "bragged" about your wife, children and grandchildren to anyone who would listen.

I miss talking to you, minimum of once a day.

I miss you visiting me at work.

I miss your requests to go shopping to buy "in style" jeans and clothes.

I miss packing you for your trips at midnight the night before a 6 am flight.

I miss labeling your dress shirts, ties, and pants so you made sure you had the matching combination.

I miss your yellow spray painted line in the driveway to show us where not to park - if we didn't want to get backed into.

I miss your collecting of travel sized anything from all of your trips.

I miss you getting mad at me for doing things on the computer instead of showing you how.

I miss worrying about you.

I miss you running around on your scooter.

I miss the way you could always talk yourself out of things.

I miss you snoozing in the recliner.

I miss you being the leader of this Griswold family.

I miss being able to always count on you for anything.

I miss what a wonderful, proud grandpa you were.

I miss the way you never thought any food was old or outdated - no matter how much green stuff was growing on it.

I miss hearing you call me by my nicknames.

I miss your presence in this big house.

I miss everything about you ...

But most of all, I just miss my daddy, and being your little girl.

Happy Birthday daddy. I love you.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

This house is about to get crazy!!!

Okay, so I know what some of you are thinking ... "Isn't the Logghe house already crazy?" Why yes, it is! So maybe a more fitting title would be that our house is about to get a little crazier!

We have a new football/wrestling coach at the local high school here. Oh, phy ed teacher too! He is from a town in our neighboring state of MN, about 1 1/2 hours from our little rural city. He and his wife have 4 children, and they haven't been able to sell their house in MN yet to fully move here. Since the end of August, "coach" has been living here during the week with his eldest son, "Big C", a 4th grader, so they don't have a 3 hour round trip drive to/from school each day. It has been going really well, it's nice to have someone else in the house - especially a man, who can take care of bats and intruders! (ha, not like we are inviting either!)

There have been some major life changing events within their family in the past 2 weeks. Things that really make it necessary for their family to be together - not split apart for the majority of the week. Since the 3 hour round trip drive is still not possible, what are we to do??

Invite their entire family to live with us, of course!!!

And that's when the crazi*er*ness begins!

New roll call for our household will be: Me and my mom, of course ... Coach, his wife (who we will call H), their eldest daughter (referred to as Sister C) - a 6th grader, their youngest daughter (named K) - a 1st grader, "Little C" - the youngest boy, who is 18 months old, and of course Big C, the 4th grader. (I think I have myself confused ... did they have to name 3/4 of their kids C names?? lol)

They are a very sweet, loving, caring family. I'm not sure when all the moving will happen, but soon, as the girls need to get enrolled in school here as soon as possible. I am looking forward to them moving in, as I heard H is a great cook, I'm already attached to Little C, and I think it will be good to have more than just mom and I here all the time.

My Dad would be in his glory, having all these people here to talk to and entertain! Even if we did have reservations about doing this, which we don't, we know it's what my Dad would want - he would open up our home to them in a heartbeat.

So it's on! I'm picturing reality-TV-like-Logghe-living for awhile. You know ...

"It might be a crazy life, but it's our life!"

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Casting Crowns

I have been looking forward to this concert for a long time. I bought my awesome second row seats months ago, and have been patiently waiting for the date to arrive.

Last Thursday night, I finally got to see Casting Crowns live ... and it was amazing. A wonderful night of singing and worship! I have forgotten how to change the settings on my camera to take decent pictures during a concert, and didn't want to waste time playing around with it too much. But I did get a few good pictures!

I walked away from the concert with a lot of things on my mind ... but good things. Things to think about and ponder. I also walked away with a renewed faith, and a reminder that only God knows the plans He has for me - I just need to wait for them to be revealed.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

All God's Creatures

On Sunday, I went to the MN Zoo with my sister and her 2 little ones. As we walked around and saw all of the animals, birds, amphibians, etc., I was reminded how great God's creation is. Then we entered the butterfly house ...

I learned that a butterfly only lives for 2-4 weeks. "Seriously???" I thought. Such beautiful, delicate creatures only live that long?? I was amazed ... and then reminded of how fragile life is. Reminded that I need to appreciate my life, while I'm here, appreciate the things I'm able to do, and appreciate the people in my life.

And in other news - I'm going to the Casting Crowns concert at the MN State Fair tonight. I'm super excited!! I've seen their concert special on tv, but haven't been to a live concert yet. Love their music, and can't wait to see them live!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Odds n' Ends

Phew, it's been awhile! Almost 3 weeks since my last post ... and when I published it, I vowed to myself that I would start blogging more regularly, have thought of a lot of things in the past few weeks to blog about, but just didn't get up the time and energy - at the same time! - to actually sit down and blog!

And of course, now that I do have a little bit of time, I can't think of a thing to write. Go figure! Things have been busy, a lot of end of the summer fun to be had. My mom went back to school this week, and all the kids go back to school next week.

Work has been extremely busy, and I've been putting in some extra hours. It helps keep my mind occupied - and it's been tiring me out! Work has been good though ... I had my yearly review, got my raise, and have joined a couple extra things to get more involved.

I went with my Mom a couple weeks ago shopping, we took all of the school-aged kiddos in the family shopping for school supplies. It was a riot! We were armed with lists for all of them, they each got their own cart - which they were ecstatic about, and got to pick out their own things. There are 4 of them - 5th grade, 2nd grade, 1st grade, and kindergarten. It was so much fun watching them pick out everything they wanted, and seeing my Mom so happy and excited in doing it all! We were a sight to behold ... we took up basically the entire back to school section in Target! After filling up their carts, they each got to check out themselves, and Grandma gave the money to pay the cashier. It was such an experience, it was a blast for all of us!

It's set to be a busy weekend. The MN State Fair one day with one sister, and the MN Zoo another day with another sister! Hopefully I'll have some cute pictures of the little ones when the weekend's over. :)

Hope everyone has a wonderful, blessed weekend!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

"How are you doing?"

Ah, the million dollar question. If only I had a million dollars for every time I've been asked this! ha But seriously ... I continually get asked this on a daily basis. And I continually give the same answer. "I'm okay." It's the easy answer. An answer that won't require getting hit with a barrage of questions. An answer that won't make the asker feel obligated to follow up with those questions.

But how am I really doing?

An honest answer - not so great. Some days are better than others, but the majority of the time I feel like I'm simply putting on a show and acting like everything is hunky dory. But it's not. I spend most nights laying in bed crying, or thinking about Dad and remembering the things we used to do together. I've been keeping myself in this bubble, trying not to let anyone in, trying to be strong for Mom. I guess I'm just good at hiding it all. I don't know if I want to be good at hiding it anymore, but at the same time I'm scared of what will happen if I don't.

I have yet to spend a night in our motorhome without crying before going to sleep. I sleep in the big bed with Mom in the back, and before I fall asleep the last thing that goes through my mind is always that I shouldn't be laying there. That I would give anything for Dad to be in my spot, and for me to have to take my usual place out on the uncomfortable sofa bed. But yet again, I'm good at hiding it - because Mom has never once caught me.

I've also put myself in a bubble as far as my friends go. I stay at home, not wanting to do much, comfortable with just spending time with Mom. And that's great - I love spending time with her. But I think I've just been afraid that I will have to talk about everything if I do go out. I've realized this in the past month, and have really started to try and break that cycle. My trip to Nashville, a night spent at a friend's house, dinner and drinks with a co-worker. It's been really nice to get out, and I realize how much I kinda miss it.

I want to "burst" the bubbles I've put myself in. Talk to someone about my bad days. Discuss what I'm feeling with someone else, and cry on someone else's shoulder. I just don't know how. But I'm trying, and I guess that's better than nothing!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Never Forgetting ...

A week ago I spent some much needed time away with some great friends in Nashville, TN. I had a wonderful time ... worshiping at Fellowship Church, eating at Pancake Pantry, doing some shopping, visiting the new Show Hope offices (awesome!), and of course - playing games!

Over the weekend, I found myself starting many sentences with the same phrase: "My dad ..." Unintentionally, I was inserting something about dad in almost every conversation. I don't remember talking about him quite as much before March. I realized it was because even though he's not with us anymore, I don't want anyone to forget him. I don't want to forget him. I know I never will - but talking about him somehow makes him feel closer, somehow ensures that we will never forget such an amazing man.

I thank God I had such a wonderful Daddy. And even though he went to heaven much too soon, I am blessed to have had him in my life for the time I did. I need to continue reminding myself that ... it's what helps get me through some rough days.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

If Only ...

Last week was a rough week - continuing on into this week. I'm not sure why I'm having such a hard time of late. Maybe it's because now that summer is here, it is finally hitting me that he's really gone. I can't pretend he's on a trip anymore, or still in AZ. I picture his face, bright smile and twinkling eyes, and I'm reminded that I will never see that face again. Or at least not for a long time. I really can't pick up the phone and call him. I can't ask him about my 401K at work that I just got a letter on. There will be no more Brewers game with Dad, no more shopping for Mom with him, no more camping or grilling out over the summer.

We camped over the weekend, and all weekend I was painfully reminded about the simple things that I can't ask him anymore. We also had some big family events - on Friday it was Drew's birthday party, and Sunday was Langston's baptism. He would have been so proud, attending all the festivities with a big grin, playing the part of the picture perfect doting "bapa."

The other night on my way home from work, a song came on the radio. It was a song by Steven Curtis Chapman, titled, "Miracle of The Moment". The song begins with these lyrics:

It's time for letting go,
All of our if only's
'Cause we don't have a time machine.

And even if we did,
Would we really want to use it?
Would we really want to go change everything?

I thought about these simple lines, and broke down in tears. Because the truth is, YES. I would want to use a time machine. I would love to go back to the beginning of March, and change the life altering events that transpired in that month. I have a lot of "if only's" regarding that time ...

If only ... I had pleaded with Dad to go to the ER on Saturday night, after he called and said he had bronchitis - and I had a feeling, I just KNEW it was something more than that - instead of waiting until Sunday

If only ... I had talked to him earlier on Sunday, and had realized how sick he was that day

If only ... I had talked to him about how he was really feeling when we first arrived in AZ, instead of talking about and making plans for when he got out of the hospital

If only ... I had talked to the pulmonologist more about a breathing tube when he first mentioned it, instead of being too scared to ask the right questions, afraid of getting the answers I didn't want to hear

If only ... I had spent the night with him the night before he stopped breathing, since he was getting worse - would I have had the nerve to request a breathing tube be put in, saving him from coding?

If only ... I wasn't so afraid of switching to a trach, and had listened to his wonderful nurse Tammy and requested it be done

If only ... I didn't have to be caught in the middle, a nurse knowing what was going on but still afraid to ask the right questions - the daughter in me terrified of what the answers might be

Would any of it have made a difference? If I had done even just one of those things, would Dad still be with us today? Would it really have changed the course of the last 3 months?

I know I need to stop beating myself up over everything, because it was out of my hands. But for the past week, I've only been able to picture Dad laying in his hospital bed, breathing tube in, monitors beeping, IV's running, being poked more times than a pin cushion, and wondering what I could have done differently to obtain a better outcome.

Deep down, I know there is nothing I could have done. Nothing that would have made any of this different. But that doesn't make my mind stop thinking all of it. It doesn't make my heart hurt any less, or the days any easier to handle. It hurts so bad, and I miss him so much ... so I do continue to wish for that time machine. And yes, I really would want to use it.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I want to be like ... Dad

Tonight I attended a retirement party for my Godmother, Jeanie. She retired from the bank in town after 25 years of service - Congratulations to her!! It was a great retirement party, and it reminded of just how much she reminds of my Grandma - and my Dad. That Logghe blood - and craziness! - runs deep!!

The women that she works with got up and spoke, gave her some gag gifts, etc. They asked if anyone else wanted to get up and say anything ... my Mom turned to me and said, "Your Dad would've been the first one up there." And he would have been. He would've loved to get up in front of everyone, tell some funny stories about Jeanie, and probably talk about how he would miss seeing her at his weekly bank visits. Mom tried to coax me into "taking dad's spot", and getting up to say something - but I just couldn't do it.

It made me think about how I wish I was more like my Dad. He was never afraid to do or say anything. Now, I know at times I can have a big mouth - but times like tonight, I prefer to sit on the sidelines and let others do the talking. I wish I were like my Dad in that I could talk to anyone. I used to tease him that he could strike up a conversation with a brick wall, and in reality I teased him because I always wished I had that ability - the ability to talk to anyone, to be so friendly, to always know and remember people.

At work today, as I was walking out to my car, I heard my name called - and turned around to find the sports therapist who works at RCMC, who also attends sporting events in Glenwood as the trainer. He wanted to share with me that he will really miss Dad. That when he came to Glenwood for sporting events, he always knew he would be welcome - in part because my Dad was always the first to greet him, and make sure he was doing okay and had everything he needed. That was my Dad - always there with a smile, and always willing to lend a hand and help people out no matter what.

I find myself tonight not only missing him more than usual, but also making a mental list of ways I can try to be more like him. I only hope I can start to be like him, start being someone people remember as kind, friendly, and sincere. And always with a smile.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sunny Days and Sleepless Nights

I'm supposed to be at work right now. I was scheduled until 3 am, however I got to go home at 7 - the perks of people not being sick! I thought, wonderful, now I can go home, get to bed early, and get a good night's sleep. HA, or not. Here I sit, almost 2 am, not having slept a wink.

I used to have no troubles getting to sleep - I LOVE sleep! My mom would say I sleep too much, I say I'm resting up for when I have kids and can't get any. Well I don't have those kids yet, but lately I still can't get any sleep. Or at least not at the right times. Nights are the hardest around here, that's when Dad should be walking through that door with his dogs. Or when he'd be firing up the grill, making supper for the family and whoever else wants to stop by. Instead, our nights are filled with silence, unanswered questions, and mom and I asking each other what we're going to eat for supper - usually deciding on ordering out. And, sleepless nights.

The weather here has been amazing the past couple of days. Sunny, 80's-90's, simply beautiful. Something that 99% of people around here are happy about - when the dirty melting snow finally gives way to green grass and flower blossoms. For me, it's hard to be happy right now. Each sunny day brings startling new reminders of not having Dad here anymore.

Our lawn looks awful - something Dad took great pride in, fertilizing and mowing until dark many nights. We have yet to plant any flowers, Dad would already have cased out all the greenhouses in a 60 mile radius to find the best, most colorful flowers to plant in his 10 flower beds around the house. We are going camping this weekend, something I would've looked so forward to - and this year I'm having a hard time even getting the camper picked up and ready to go.

And even the simple things ... like turning on our air conditioner. Who knew that Mom and I wouldn't even know how to get the air working in the house?!?! It was literally over 80 degrees in the house today, until Mom called an air conditioning company to come turn it on for us.

Each new realized missing piece in our lives brings about sleepless nights. So here I sit, once again, questions running through my head, looking for answers that I'll never get. Trying to be thankful for the sunny days ahead.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Leaps and Bounds

When I started back to work, I asked to not have any patients with pneumonia or in the end stages of life. I just couldn't handle it. Baby steps first - I eventually started taking patients with more stable pneumonia, the ones not on oxygen or doing poorly. It went okay, each day getting a little easier. It brought back some memories, of course ... all the different antibiotics, breathing treatments, basically a lot of the same things they were doing for Dad in Arizona. Only on my patients, they were helping.

I worked over this past weekend, and apparently thought the baby steps were overrated - and started on my leaps and bounds. I took a patient who I knew was in the end stages of her life, quite possibly might not even make it through my shift. I thought that was a big step in itself ... but then not too far into my shift, I had to have a conference with my pt's family regarding her care. She was unresponsive to begin with, and when her blood sugar became extremely low I had to speak with them about not treating her hypoglycemia ... that her doctor and I felt it would be too hard on her, and that this was her body's way of shutting down. (mind you, the patient had already been on hospice and the family new she was dying)

I was nervous - I surely couldn't break down in front of this poor family! I sucked it up, dove right in, and it went well. We all agreed on a plan of care for the pt, and that was that. It was later that I broke down. I went in to turn the pt, and she all of a sudden woke up a little bit and was doing some communicating with her family. I stepped back to the outside, to let them have time with the pt. while she was awake and coherent. Then it hit me. This family didn't know how lucky they were to have some last time with her. To get to hear her voice again, see her eyes, hear her answer them. The tears started to well up, then started to fall, and I had to leave the room.

Because I never got to do any of that with Dad. I never got to tell him good bye. I never got to see him awake one more time, to hear his laugh, see his smile, see that mischevious glint in his eyes. I never got to exchange another I love you with him. Of course even when he wasn't responding, we talked to him - and I know he heard us. And I know he knew I loved him, we always told each other - and I have no regrets where that is concerned. But it all happened so suddenly, it just feels like we got cheated out of time with him, time to say our last good bye's and words to each other.

"Those who live in the Lord never say good bye for the last time."

My Mom has used that quote for years - I believe starting when my aunt lost her son suddenly, over 20 years ago. I need to keep reminding myself of that - and I need to look forward to being able to say hello to him, when we get to spend eternity together - and never have to say good bye ever again. It's hard, to have to keep reminding myself of that. Because it all hurts so badly, and I would do anything to have him back. My heart is hurting right now, it seems more broken than ever. And sometimes I wonder if it will ever get any better.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Perfect Faith?

I read a quote last week in my daily devotional, and it has stuck with me for the long haul. Continually I think of this quote, especially through all that is going on in my head the last few months. The quote?? It's by Beth Moore ...

"We won't walk in perfect faith for the rest of our lives, but we can walk in prevailing faith."

This message has meant a lot to me - and has helped me get through a lot of my own thoughts since I read it. I have been struggling through where my faith lies at this point in my life, because I'm not as "perfect" with my faith as I would like to be, and I'm not as "perfect" in my faith as others that I know or others around me. This quote spoke to me ... letting me know that it's okay, I don't have to have that perfect faith that I've longed for for so long. But if I have prevailing faith, a faith that leads me to Him through all of life's ups and down's, then that's enough - and that I'm right where I need to be.

My faith has definitely been tested the past 2 months. I have gone through all of the questions ... most of all, the why's - why him? why my daddy? why at that time? why in that way? why so soon? I have found myself questioning my beliefs, questioning everything I've been taught for the past 27 years. At the end of every day, I realize that in order to get through everything - in order for my questions to be answered, in order to see my daddy again someday, then my faith needs to stay intact. I need to continue to believe in Him, even though everything in me right now is so angry with Him, and wants to scream and ask him my questions. Every once in awhile, for just a split second, I want to NOT believe. To not have faith, to just throw down everything and give up.

Then I realize that my faith is what has helped me get this far, and I wouldn't be where I am today without it. It's not a perfect faith - but it has been a prevailing faith, no matter how hard it has been tested lately. I need it to hold onto right now, I need something there to get me through the rough times.

We got Dad's death certificates in the mail - finally! - this week. Not that I was in a rush to receive them, there's just a lot of business that needs to be taken care of that we need them for. Anyways, there were three things listed ... 1. Bacterial pneumonia, unknown source 2. Failure to thrive 3. Ischemic cardiomyopathy

The first one is what hurts the worst. The cardiomyopathy - we've known for years he has that. It's what we always thought would end up taking his life. When in fact, it was the pneumonia. Of an unknown source. The why's return yet again. Why couldn't they figure out what bug he had? Why wouldn't any of the 4 antibiotics he was on help it? Why could they never figure out what was happening, what caused it, and how to get rid of it?? I can't help but still continue to think that if only they had figured it out, Dad would still be with us today. And it makes me angry as hell that with the medical advances being made, they couldn't figure out why my Dad was so sick.

So yet again, I'm back to that faith. I need to have faith that the doctors did everything they could, that all the tests that could have been done were, that it simply was just his time - time to end his suffering, his pain. I try to believe it - but darnit, sometimes it's just so hard.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

It's a Boy!!!

I am the proud new auntie of another precious baby boy! Christa had her baby last night, April 29th, at 11:05 pm. I present to you:

Langston Charles Walz
8 lbs. 13 oz. 20 in.

The extremely proud and excited big sister:

My new little bundle of joy!

That makes the count 5 nephews and 1 niece now - yikes, all the boys! Mom and baby are both doing great, and will be going home tomorrow.

Isn't he just the most precious little thing you've ever seen?!?!?!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Crown Bearer?? More like Dance Captain!

Update: The music got muted through YouTube. So some of you may have watched the video - and wondered why you had to mute the music at the bottom for a silent video! I have re-uploaded it, and it should be good to go ... with music!

Saturday night was the high school's Junior Prom. My nephew, Drew, had been chosen to be the crown bearer ... which turned out to be oh so much more!

He had to wear a tux, which he was extremely handsome in. He let me do his hair - but not too wild, he had to watch in the mirror the entire time to make sure he liked it! And he had to escort the little girl crown bearer throughout the gym - who happened to be his cousin Aubrey. He did an amazing job, and in my opinion, stole the show! (I'm not biased or anything. Nope, not at all.)

Here he is, waiting patiently to do his job ...

Doing a good job multi-tasking ... presenting the crown, and escorting his "date!"

After getting the job done is when the fun began! The music started, and all caution was thrown to the wind. And I must say that not only is he a handsome, excellent crown bearer - but he is a mighty fine dancer as well! Ladies, watch out!

(You will need to go to the bottom of the page and mute my other music)

Where did he get those moves from?!?!

Friday, April 24, 2009

One Month

One month ago today, we buried my Dad. It still doesn't seem real. I vividly remember giving him one last kiss, whispering in his ear, and watching as they closed the casket. The last time I ever saw my "Dad." I know, I still see him in pictures, in my mind, in my memories. But when they put that lid down, it was more real to me than ever that I would never see him again ... at least on this side of heaven. Ultimately, if everything I believe is true, then I must remember that I WILL be with him again someday. I will talk to him, hug him, and be his little girl again. It's just hard to remember that, when I want so desperately to talk him right now - I don't want to wait until eternity.

Dad attended cardiac rehab faithfully for the past 15 years at the hospital where I work. He has been lobbying for a long time for the rehab facility to be moved to a different part of the hospital - a bigger, roomier area, with actual windows to look out while working out! It was finally happening, and he never got to see it. Cardiac Rehab at RCMC moved into their new facility this week, and I am just so sorry that he never got to attend rehab in their new location - he was looking SO forward to it! I haven't been able to make my way over to see it for myself - I don't know that I want to see what Dad is missing out on. In a way it's a blessing that it has moved, because their old room was right across from our cafeteria. So it's nice that I no longer have to walk right by the room where I always used to see him.

Okay - I don't want this to become a "Debbie Downer" blog! I have been down in the dumps and heartbroken a large part of the month, but there have been some ups as well. For instance, my nephew is going to be the crown bearer at the local high school prom tomorrow night, pressed tux and all! He is going to be adorable - and I know he will steal the show. Hopefully pictures by this time tomorrow night! Also, my sister is due - as in, having a baby - any day now. It is so exciting! She is due April 29th, she's been having some small contractions, but nothing noteworthy as of yet. She wants that baby out NOW, so hopefully I'll have news about that soon!

One last thing ... something that's been on my heart and my mind lately. I have a chance to go on a missions trip this summer with Shaohannah's Hope to Guatemala for a week to visit an orphanage and see more of God's amazing "hidden treasures." I so badly want to go, but I don't know if I'll be able to. First of all there's the finances. I am in debt up to my eyeballs ... I would like to use my tax return to fund the trip, but Mom thinks I need to put that towards bills - some of which I'm already behind on since being on personal leave without pay for a month. She's got a point, but I keep picturing the children's faces and feeling in my heart that I want to show them the love and hope they deserve. Please pray that I am able to make the decision God wants me to make, that He will ultimately guide me in the right direction.

And please pray that I start to actually get some sleep! This 2-4 hour/night stuff is really wearing me out!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fear Not

Today, my daily devotional talks about fear. It tells me that 90% of what we fear never comes to pass. My first thought was, REALLY?? I have always been a worrier. I'm not sure why, it's not like I'm a glass half empty kind of gal. I guess in some ways, I just don't like the unexpected - yet in a lot of ways I love surprises. Figure that one out. In reading today's message, two phrases come to mind ... "If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it." and "God never gives you something you can't handle."

Being honest here, right now it all seems like crap. My worries and fears right now are outweighing everything else. How will I get through this grief of losing dad? How can I make it without him? He took care of a lot of things for me - and was always there for me. I talked to him no less than once or twice a day, no lie. What do I do now when something is wrong, when I have a bad day, who will I call when I want to talk about things? Selfishly, one of my big fears right now is my wedding (provided that I ever do get married) ... who will walk me down the aisle?? I have dreamt of that day since I was little, I even knew what song I would have as I walked down the aisle, and what song we would dance to at the reception. A wedding is supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life, but I can't help but think and fear that my wedding day will be a day of great sadness because of one missing person.

I have many other fears that have plagued me my entire life. Fear of failure. Fear of disappointing my Mom and Dad. Fear of being alone, of not finding my "soulmate." Fear of never having any children. Fear of not giving my children the wonderful life and experiences my parents were able to provide for me. One of my biggest fears is in the 10% that came to pass - losing my Dad too soon. Fear of not figuring out what I want to do with my life. And now that I have, fear of choosing the wrong thing. Fear of making a mistake at work, because ultimately I am responsible for people's lives.

Rather than focusing on my fears, I need to think about what these fears are preventing me from doing. What they are stopping me from accomplishing. When I was little, my Mom used to put the "fear of God" in me - or at least the fear of the wooden spoon! - so that I would obey her, and not misbehave. Is satan so sneaky as to put all of these fears in my head, so that I will obey him, and miss out on what God is calling me to do? Where He is leading me?

Today, I will try to live without fear, without worries. I will not think about the future, I will think about the here and now. I've lived through worries and came out on the other side just fine, so I need to teach myself to push those worries and stresses aside, and focus on the good things - focus on getting through one more day.

Somewhere in the Middle ...

The start of my third blog ... this one is significantly titled "Somewhere In The Middle," after the Casting Crowns song by the same name. I actually was trying to choose between that title and another, "Stained Glass Masquerade." The words in both songs in some way fit my life right about now.

My father passed away on March 17th, 2009, after battling pneumonia for 2 weeks in the ICU. I was very close to my dad, very much a daddy's girl - the youngest of 4 children. I spent those 2 weeks at my dad's bedside, not only as his daughter - but also as a nurse, having to relay any and all information to the rest of my family. At that time, I was caught "somewhere in the middle" - in the middle of wanting to know exactly what was going on - good or bad, yet wanting to be just a daughter, hoping her dad would beat this illness, and not have to know and understand all of the complications and medical implications of what was going on.

And now after his death, I have found myself "somewhere in the middle" again. Wanting so badly for life to be the way it was 2 months ago, when I was able to call my dad just to talk at any given moment. Yet knowing I can't, and trying to find my new normal - a life without him.

I have never been good at journaling, let's be honest - I hate to write. Or at least, I hate to write with pen and paper. But I don't mind typing, and lately I've felt that maybe writing about my thoughts, fears, hopes, wishes, will in some way help me get through all of this. I sometimes feel like I don't really have anyone to talk to about everything right now - crazy, I know, since I have a long list of family and friends that I could call at any given moment. But in my mind, I just can't talk about what's going on in my head with them - instead I need to talk about it here. With myself. And just get it all out, where no one - or anyone - can read it. As I type this, it seems strange to me to not be able to talk to the people closest to me, yet I'm plastering my feelings on the world wide web. For some reason though, it just seems "right."

It is getting late, I should be in bed, and I'm in tears ... how I end most of my nights these days, in the quiet of my room where I'm consumed with memories and thoughts of my dad. Wondering if I did all I could, asked the right questions, requested the right tests ... but that's a different post all in itself.

Somewhere between the hot and the cold
Somewhere between the new and the old
Somewhere between who I am and who I used to be
Somewhere in the middle, You’ll find me

Somewhere between the wrong and the right
Somewhere between the darkness and the light
Somewhere between who I was and who You’re making me
Somewhere in the middle, You’ll find me

Just how close can I get, Lord, to my surrender without losing all control

Fearless warriors in a picket fence, reckless abandon wrapped in common sense
Deep water faith in the shallow end and we are caught in the middle
With eyes wide open to the differences, the God we want and the God who is
But will we trade our dreams for His or are we caught in the middle
Are we caught in the middle

Somewhere between my heart and my hands
Somewhere between my faith and my plans
Somewhere between the safety of the boat and the crashing waves

Somewhere between a whisper and a roar
Somewhere between the altar and the door
Somewhere between contented peace and always wanting more
Somewhere in the middle You’ll find me

Just how close can I get, Lord, to my surrender without losing all control

Lord, I feel You in this place and I know You’re by my side
Loving me even on these nights when I’m caught in the middle