• 21Mar

    Caleb (baby) gave me a real honest to goodness chuckle tonight.  I love baby laughs.  It’s what makes having babies all worth while.  Much as I dislike being pregnant it’s a real bummer to think that I probably won’t have the fun of hearing my baby’s first chuckle again.  He’s (Caleb) getting big.  He’s sitting on my lap right now staring at the computer screen intently and talking up a storm.  If he’s not careful he will get to be just as good as his daddy at talking me to sleep. Smile

  • 20Mar

    I feel like I had lots to laugh about today.  I think I must have gotten a good nights sleep last night.  I don’t remember getting up to feed Caleb, but he was in my bed this morning so I must have slept through it.

    The kids had me rolling at one point.  I would love to tell you what I was laughing about . . I’m dying to tell someone . . but I don’t dare.  They had me blushing and laughing for more than half an hour.  It still makes me laugh and blush and it’s hours later.  The things they remember about their Dad. . .  Laughing

    We watched America’s Funniest Home Video’s tonight before bed and that gave me something to laugh about, too.  And I got an e-mail with church bulletin bloopers, too.  After the heaviness of the last two days, the light heartedness of today feels like taking the training weights off for the big race.  It won’t last, but it is nice to enjoy it.

    Honest, pure, carefree laughter in one of the best medicine’s I know.  I love to laugh.  I was SO wanting to pick up the phone, call Dan at work, and tell him what the kids said.  Better yet, wait till he got home and see if he blushed as bad as I did.

  • 19Mar
    Categories: Grieving Comments: 2

    Back when we were dating I remember how Dan would come for a visit or I would visit him and it would be a fabulous time.  It was so exciting to have him close, to be able to see him.  We long distance dated (while engaged) for about 14 or 15 months if I remember correctly.  We told all our friends it was a STUPID thing to do!!!  Don’t do it!!  If you get engaged, then plan the wedding for two months later!  I would be miserable for at least two weeks after he left.  Then I’d resign myself to waiting some more and try to get back into the swing of things.  I hated GreyHound.  That awful bus always showed up way to early for my taste.  And then that same service almost made Dan late enough to miss our wedding!!  Like within 5 minutes kind of late!!!!

    Anyway, I’ve been feeling some of that same misery today.  Yesterday I could see him, literally.  Today I’m miserable.  He’s gone again and this time I don’t have GreyHound to blame.  The anticipation for Heaven is sharpened once again.  My poor children . . at least my parents knew why I woke up grouchy.

  • 18Mar

    There he is.

    I breathe a sigh of relief knowing that someone else is keeping an eye on the kids too, as we play at the park.  He’s wearing one of his dark blue United shirts and his black jeans that I like so much.

    Then he stands up and it’s not him at all.  Uh oh!  I’ve got full responsibility.  Are all the kids all accounted for?  Have any of them wandered off?

    I can see him standing in the kitchen slicing some cheese for a snack while I clean furiously as we discuss some topic that’s got me all heated up. 

    I can see him sitting at the head of the table as we eat supper, lecturing on about some topic like how NASA needs to get their own funding rather than mooching off the government and then maybe they would start researching something worthwhile.

    I see him sitting out back at our house in WV that last week or two, playing with the wagon wheels (that he borrowed), and wanting to take the wheels off my lawnmower to try out his latest scheme.

    I can see his pleasure in my pride as I cheer him on while he’s chopping wood or cutting down a tree and putting it in just the right spot (without hitting the house).

    I can see his hands gripping the armrests of the van as he struggles with his desire to be in control as I drive home from shopping.

    I can see that passionate look in his eyes, when all the kids are in bed and I surprise him with something special.  I see the worried look as he reminds me of how to use the moped and then sends me off to a FYP night with the ladies.  I can see his intent look as he stares at his computer screen, oblivious to everything else, as he tries to work out a kink in his program.

    His hands, his eyes, his shoulders, . . . watching him move, watching him talk, seeing him sleeping in our bed, playing with the kids, driving the van, starting the fire, standing on a ladder, playing a video game, working at United, . . . .

    It’s all so vivid!  The memories are assaulting me today and I find myself bending under their crushing blow.  I’m crumpling like a paper bag in the hands of a toddler.  For a moment I am hopeless, lost in the grief, torn apart by the hurricane within.  Then God speaks and says “I am here” and resentfully I beat on His chest and say, “I don’t want you!!”  And then slump against Him in despair.  He lets me cry and I know that He will stay.  He will be there for me whether I want Him there or not.  He will not interfere if I choose to leave.  But He will stay right there and wait for me to come back to Him.  He will wait forever if need be.  And knowing that, all I can do is rest in His arms and wait for the storm to pass me by. 

    I can remember crying in Dan’s arms, too.

  • 17Mar

    Two days without Grandma.  Two more to go.  We miss you!!

    Four days on my own.  A small taste of what the future holds for me.  I try not to think about the future too much.  It scares me.  It sounds even lonelier than I feel now.  It has the potential of driving me to exhaustion.  It makes me feel weak, helpless, and hopeless.

    Fear of the future is something that I have battled before.  Every time I got pregnant I hit a stage where I thought, “How in the world am I going to be able to handle another child?”  And every single time the Lord reminded me that He would help.  And He never failed me.  True the first month was usually difficult as we settled back into some kind of a routine, but I’m still here, aren’t I?

    I may not be able to see my future.  I may not even be able to handle my future.  But God can see my future and He has promised to be with me.  He will carry me through.

  • 17Mar

    How many of you clean your houses in bits and pieces?  You sweep the floors one day, dust another, wash the tub today, the sink tomorrow, the toilet the next day . . . I’m beginning to feel like I clean my kids the same way.  I gave the girls a bath the other night, but didn’t do their hair.  Today the boys got their shirts changed, but not their pants.  Caleb (baby) and Maranatha (2) got their hair washed tonight, but nothing else.  How am I supposed to feel like I accomplished something if nothing is ever done? 

    I just had to laugh when I realized that I’m cleaning the kids the same way I clean my house.  Some day I’ll get it together!  Smile

  • 16Mar

    I seem to be in a bit of a stew.  I’ve been thrust into the position of sole caretaker and decision maker for my rather large family and with that comes a certain amount of responsibility with which I am unfamiliar as well as some requirements that I would rather avoid. 

    One of the joys and privileges of a wife is to be in on the making of a decision, but not having to be responsible for the outcome of the decision.  I was very comfortable sharing  my ‘two bits’ with Dan, giving him my thoughts, feelings, and sharing my experiences on any given topic.  I knew that he would take what I said (he usually asked for it), process it, and come up with a decision that he thought was best for the family.  So, once I told him what I thought I would often totally dismiss the problem from my mind.  It wasn’t mine to deal with anymore and if he made a faulty decision the blame would rest on his shoulders, not mine.

    Now I find myself in the position of being the one to shoulder the blame, the consequences, the results.  I’ve been taught good methods for making decisions, I’m not totally lacking in brain power (although my blonde streaks do show up on occasion), I have a confidence in what I know and don’t know, and I have a God who knows everything I don’t know and has promised to guide and direct me if I look to Him.

    The real problem lies another direction.  One of the helps for making a decision is to seek counsel from those around you.  But how does one accept the counsel of one and reject the counsel of another? 

    It makes me think of Solomon . . nope, it was his son Rehoboam.  The people come to him with a request for him to lighten their work load that Solomon put upon them.  Rehoboam gets counsel from the old men and from the young men.  The old men say “Yes, go easy on them.  Lighten their load.  Show them you care.”  The young men say “Beware, if you go easy on them they will think they can walk all over you.  Show them you are tough.  Make their load a little heavier so that they don’t think you are a softy and have no idea what you are doing.”  (my paraphrase, of course)  We belittle Rehoboam for his choice to follow the young men’s counsel, but fail to recognize that there were probably hundreds of other little details that contributed to his choice and not only that, my Bible says that “the cause was from the Lord”.  Meaning that the Lord made that appear to be the right choice so that He could “perform his saying” and make Jeroboam king.

    Rejecting the “old men’s ” counsel in favor of the “young men” has always been put forth as a stupid thing for Rehoboam to do.  So now, when thrust into a position similar to Rehoboam (a man’s home is his castle–or woman’s in this case) I am finding it difficult to put aside the “old men’s” counsel in favor of the “young men’s” counsel. 

    For those of you who think that I am a wimpy, shy little thing, and are afraid that people will be able to run all over me, I have to remind you that I am a Mother.  Mother bears defend their cubs to the death and I am no exception.  I will do what I feel is necessary for the care and protection of my children regardless of others opinions.  But that doesn’t mean that I won’t feel anxiety about the choices I need to make.

    And Yes! I can blame this on you, Dan.  If you hadn’t wandered off I wouldn’t have to be dealing with all this and trying to figure out how to shoulder Your Responsibility as well as my own.  I liked being able to toss it into your lap . . . .

    But  I find I’m falling asleep at the keyboard so I must save any further comments on this conversation for a future date.

  • 15Mar

    We went to the beach tonight with the cousins hoping to wear the kids out with some running around on the stairs and the sand.  It must have worked because they all fell asleep rather quickly.  However, I would like to ask that you all pray that Abigail doesn’t get sick.  She got a little closer to the water than was planned.  There were some big chunks of snow in the water and the kids thought it looked like great fun to play on.  We quickly discouraged them from playing on them, but on the way to safety Abigail slipped and ended up soaking wet.  I took her home right away and she got a bath and got warmed up, but it’s enough to make me worry.  I worry about Abigail already. . . I’m just afraid she isn’t mine to keep.

    None of them are mine to keep.  They are God’s children and He is fully capable of taking care of them.  And even if Abigail isn’t mine to keep, I shouldn’t waste my time with her worrying and fretting about what I can’t control anyway.  Today has enough problems of it’s own . . .

    Worry, worry, fret, fret . . . . Give it up, Liisa.  God is big enough.  He will not give you more than you can handle.

    Yeah, but I worry about how much He thinks I can handle!

    God’s grace is sufficient when we need it, not before we need it.  You have experienced that, REMEMBER!!

    But drowning!!

    God’s grace is sufficient for her, too.

    Here comes the fear and panic . .

    You know Satan is using this as a tool.  A hint of distrust, worry so that all the world sees is a lack of trust, fear to cloud our vision, panic so that we are unable to make wise choices, pride as we try to handle the situation on our own without God’s help . . .

    And no, having Dan here wouldn’t have changed anything . . .

    Focus on the one that matters.  Thank Him for His goodness, His protection, His love, His watchcare over the widows and orphans.  Remind yourself, “He will never leave you, nor forsake you.”  He loves you!!  He wants what is best for you and for your children!!  He is perfect and His way is perfect!  You were willing to trust Dan, why not God ?

    O.K. I’m going to quit talking to myself and get to bed.  You have been a witness of the dual natures of Liisa.  Nothing that has been said can be held against me since the other me will probably deny that I was talking, or that both of us were there.

  • 14Mar

    I’ve got a great weight loss program for you all to try!! 

    I went to a spa this week.  Some friends from our church in Clarksburg thought I needed some pampering and they set me up with a local spa.  THANK YOU!!  I put it off for awhile ’cause I’ve never done anything like this before, but I finally gritted my teeth, picked up that hated phone, and made my reservations.  It was GREAT!!  I had a 30 minute massage that almost put me to sleep.  Going to have to teach Abigail how to do those I think. 

    I got my nails done.  I really don’t know why I did that.  I don’t usually like nail polish on my fingers and with kids and all it’s not like it stays long.  It didn’t take long to chip them, that’s for sure.  But it was kind of fun anyway.  So I guess I did it just to say I did it.  When I get the chance to pick up a hammer I’m sure it will be all gone.  Manicured nails don’t go real well with hammers anyway (despite the fact that hammers and nails are often associated with each other). 

    And I got my hair cut.  That is actually where the weight loss came from.  I think I lost two to three pounds just by getting my hair cut!  Doesn’t help much with muscle tone . . .  I’m still trying to get used to the new style and I’ve been wondering if Dan is up there trying to convince the Lord to zap me with a lightning bolt for getting it cut.  There is actually a zillion emotions and thoughts running through my head about this new hair cut.  Dan really liked my long hair.  He would trim it for me occasionally and he hated cutting two inches off to get rid of the split ends!  Well, I donated my hair to “Locks of Love” if that tells you anything.  It was heavy!!  The idea is that shorter hair will be easier to take care of, thus being more efficient.  Extremely useful, especially while I am still dealing with the baby stage with Caleb.  He just has a way of destroying any kind of schedule I set up. 

    But sometimes efficiency isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

    I’ve long had a compulsion for efficiency.  I can remember reading “Cheaper by the Dozen” and “Belles on Their Toes” (the sequel) and being totally fascinated with the Dad’s job.  He was some kind of efficiency expert that would go around to different factories and the like and show them different ways to improve and increase production.  He, of course, had to do things the same way at home.  I’ve actually used some of the ideas in the book as well as come up with several of my own.

    The thing that brought all that to mind was the amount of time I spent waiting for Dan.  For those of you who knew Dan in college (I’m told it was a bit different in OR) you knew that he was always late, or at least, never early.  So I spent a lot of time while we were dating just waiting for him to show up.  Realizing very quickly that I wasn’t going to be able to change him, I came up with a substitute plan.  I took something with me to do while waiting.  Sometimes I memorized verses for class, sometimes I read a book, sometimes I crocheted, sometimes I wrote, whatever the case I always had something with me.  (Fine Arts were cool because a girl just didn’t leave the dorm until her date showed up, which meant that Dan would have to show up “early” and WAIT FOR ME!!  Smile)

    Anyway, all that kind of carried over into married life (of course).  I wasn’t necessarily waiting for him to show up since I was usually with him, but there were still many occasions where waiting was still a necessary evil.  I had taught myself to be doing something while I waited, but I’ve never really grasped the concept of doing something with someone while I waited.  Consequently, while waiting for things I would be occupied, but Dan or the kids wouldn’t necessarily have that luxury.  I wonder just what kind of relationships I could have been building if I had been taking those waiting moments and used them for conversation, for touch, for play, rather than trying to get another project done, or another task accomplished. 

    There is the arguement that playing during all those waiting moments adds up to a whole lot of time wasted, but when you think about it, it’s our relationships, our contact with other humans, our reaching out to those around us that is really important.  It’s our fellow humans that have eternal value, not the projects and tasks that we fill our days with here on earth.

    Yes, there is a time and a place for efficiency and I’m not saying that learning to spend those little moments in “profitable pursuits” was wrong, just that sometimes the perspective is wrong and the “why’s” and “wherefores” of such “profitable pursuits” are selfish and not serving.

    So, to wrap this all up . . yes, my new hair cut is more efficient.  No, Dan would not have liked it.  Yes, it was given to someone in need.  Yes, I do need the time for other things.  Yes, I would probably do it all over again.  But no, I am not sure I really wanted to be efficient, yet.

    Maybe I feel like I’ve lost another link to my Danny.  I’ll go cry about it and then I’ll be just fine.  Makes me feel like I’m grieving in pieces.  Grieve this little bit, then that piece, then something else over here . . . once I have had a chance to grieve for all the pieces  . . . guess I’m still waiting for that day.  So until then I will try to use my time efficiently and with the goal of People/Heaven in mind.

  • 10Mar

    Just a note.

    I added some family pictures to the “picture” page.  Check out my cute kiddo’s!