• 19Feb

    I just read a devotional that encouraged parents not to put the good times on hold because they were going through hard times.         And I laughed.             If Dan and I had tried to wait till we had some money to do fun stuff we would have gone nowhere.

    And yet I’ve always sorta believed that the early years of child rearing were the survival years.  And if those were the only kind of years that I had with Dan, trying to just “survive,” then I am afraid that I missed out on something.

    I guess that isn’t really true.  Dan and I spent time together at the park, we had picnics and romantic get-away’s, we took trips to visit parents, there was the trip to OR, there was MOPS and friends at church.  My life was not on hold.  It’s true that we didn’t get to do as much as we wanted because of lack of money and eventually lack of energy, but we weren’t living on hold.  They might have been “survival years,” but we did more than just “survive.”  Dan would never have been content to just survive.  He wanted more out of life and he drug me along (willingly) to enjoy it with him.  I’ve been tormenting myself with the thought that “If those were the survival years then I missed life with Dan.”  It’s a LIE!

    Praise the Lord, the truth shall set you free.

  • 07Nov

    I actually got these done last winter (I pieced them the winter before and just quilted them last winter) with a lot of help from my Mom, a neighbor lady or two, my sister, and various other people that popped in and volunteered their time.

     Benjamin's Danny Quilt

    The blue quilt (notice they follow the color code that we have given the kids) is for Benjamin(9).  We quilted the shape of a hand on to some of the blocks because Benjamin means “son of my right hand.”   The butterflies also kind of symbolize the new life that Dan has found as well as his shirt’s, which we are incorporating into the quilts. =)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The green quilt is Josiah’s(8).  One definition of his name has to do with “support.”  So we quilted blocks and Bible’s on his quilt to symbolize the fact that he can’t do it all on his own.  It takes more than one block to build a wall and Dan was just one of the many blocks that supports him in his chosen path.  I also quilted Bibles on there because I want him to remember to use his Bible as his true source of support for every aspect of his life.

    This year I started on the one for Dassy(6).  For some reason I started with Abigail’s (the first one done) which is why Dassy’s is next.  This pattern is a little more complicated, so it’s probably going to take a bit longer to get it done.  Hopefully it won’t be so difficult that I can’t make my goal of one quilt a year.

  • 28Oct

    Such an array of emotions and thoughts flood my mind tonight.  Tomorrow it will be three years since my life got turned upside down.

    I look back over those years with awe, pain, sorrow, sadness, relief, contentment and joy. 

    There is the awe as I look at the way neighbors, family, friends, friends of friends, and even complete strangers chipped in to help this grief stricken family.  We had so much help and support that it is hard for me to grasp just what a needy situation we really were in.  In a lot of cases we had help before we even knew we needed it.  It is amazing to see God’s family working together the way He intended it to.  I can’t wait to see what our relationships will be like when we get to Heaven.

    There is pain as I remember again those agonizing days in the hospital and the weeks following when getting out of bed to face the day was a struggle of monumental proportions.  I can remember the agony so great and so consuming that my knees would literally buckle and I would sink to the floor clutching my heart trying vainly to somehow pull all the pieces back together.

    There is the sorrow as I think of all the milestones of which Dan has had no part.  The birth of Caleb(2), Payden’s(3) first steps, Maranatha’s(5) first words, Hadassah’s(6) first day of school, Abigail (7) losing her first tooth, Josiah(8) shooting a bow and arrow, Benjamin (9) catching a fish, etc.  

    There is sadness as I think of the future of my children and I see their loss.  Their Daddy will miss their wedding day, their graduations from high school maybe college.  He won’t be there to help them learn to drive, to mentor them, to help them get their first job.  Caleb (2) never even met his Daddy.

    There is relief as I realize that we have made it this far, the worst is over.  There is relief in knowing that God is faithful and He’s proven over and over again that He is quite capable of taking care of us.  My foundation is secure, my hope is eternal, and my future is in His hands.

    There is contentment in knowing that I am right where God wants me to be.  I have chosen to believe that no matter the choices we made leading up to the surgery, God was leading and directing and He was the one who has put me on this path and He is the one who will continue to guide me and care for me.  I am content to follow Him.

    And there is joy as I realize the growth in myself and my children as a result of our heartache.  My compassion for those around me who are struggling has grown so much that I find it necessary to rein myself in lest I play God and try to fix everything possible (good thing God didn’t give me much to work with).  My children’s sensitivity to others who have suffered a loss and to those who are in need of a Savior is convicting.  And tonight Josiah (8) reminded me that we have been blessed by the mercies of God, which he informed me was “stuff we didn’t deserve.”  Their trust that God will bring them a new Daddy, their lack of bitterness and only minor struggles with anger, their sensitivity of spirit and softness of heart cause me to hope that they will survive this experience and be the better for it.  With God all things are possible.

    So, how are we doing?  I would say we are growing and are a living testimony that God’s grace is sufficient.  God is faithful, He has brought us this far.  We have a new “normal” now.  The bad days are rare.  And tonight when our devotional book asked us to choose and pray for a specific request we all agreed that we would like a ‘new daddy.’

  • 25Sep

    I’ve been bowled over by a grief wave that I did not see coming.  In fact, I was three quarters of the way through it before I had any idea what was going on. 

    I’m hormonal and surely everyone knows it.

    I’m preparing for a trip to Dan’s homeland and he’s not going with me!  (Imagine that said with a wail

    (Calm again) I talked with someone today about the place where Dan and I met. (So many memories)  We chatted about people we both knew, we talked about places we had both been.  (Sigh) Ah, Dan, why aren’t you here to fill in the blanks? 

    I had a reminder that not everyone knows my story and apparently it’s still a bit painful at times to think back . . .

    I saw a visionary in action and oh the pain and longing that brings.  I had forgotten how much it hurts.

     

    I miss my visionary.

  • 06Sep

    8/31/11

    Psa 85:10  Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

     Dan said this was our verse. 
    I was mercy, he was truth. 
    He was righteousness and I was peace. 
    And we did like kissing each other.  =)
    Today I look down a few more verses 
     
     Psa 85:11  Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
    Psa 85:12  Yea, the LORD shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase.
    Psa 85:13  Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.
     

    “Righteousness shall look down from heaven” ?!?!?!?

    “Righteousness shall go before him and shall set us in the way of his steps.”  ?!?!?!? 

    Was he telling the future?

     Vs. 12 says “the Lord shall give that which is good;”  Once again I’m going to trust that He did give that which was and is good and will continue to do so.

  • 06Sep

    8-20-11

    We found my ring!!!!!!!!!!!!!                                                             

    Becky and Mom were at the campground yesterday husking corn and saw it lying on the ground!!  It’s the weirdest thing having it back on my finger.  Why did the Lord allow me to lose it in the first place?  Was I supposed to get used to the idea of not having one on?  Was I supposed to trust Him like Abraham did with Isaac?  It seems strange that He would have let me find it again.  It’s been missing since May . . that’s three months!  And it was just lying there on the ground . . .  Whatever the reasoning . . “Thank you, Lord!”

  • 12May

    Ten years ago today

     

    Ten years ago today I gave my Danny a big hug that said “I love you to pieces and I don’t care who knows.”

    Ten years ago today he hugged me back.

    Ten years ago today they spent more time getting his hair to lay flat than I spent getting mine to be curly.

    Ten years ago today he was late as usual, although he claimed that was Wayne’s fault.

    Ten years ago today I paced the floor in excitement.

    Ten years ago today he was told to take special note of my dress.

    Ten years ago today we were surrounded by family and friends.

    Ten years ago today we almost started a fire in the church with a candle.

    Ten years ago today we kissed.

    Ten years ago today we forgot the food.

    Ten years ago today someone made a mess of our car.

    Ten years ago today Dan carried me over the mud puddles.

    Ten years ago today we forgot the camping gear.

    Ten years ago today we picked up a friends luggage.

    Ten years ago today we loved.

    Ten years ago today we started a new life together.

     

    Today I am alone and I grieve the loss, but I know that “HIS way is perfect.”

    Today the pain is great, but “His mercies are new every morning.”

    Today my heart was sore, but “the Comforter has come.”

    Today . . .

     

    What a difference ten years can make.

     

    Psalm 23:3-4  He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

  • 29Oct

    I’ve felt a push, . . an external force, . . implying that it was important that Dan leave something behind; something that will make an impact on this world.  I have, on occasion, tied myself up in knots trying to come up with something valuable that I can say he left to the world at large.  There is always the argument that he left seven kids, but they don’t even know him.

    Sometimes a sense of panic assails me when another part of Dan disappears.  For example: A friend dies and another witness to his life is gone; his computer crashes and his work vanishes into thin air; his children don’t remember playing games with him; I can’t remember what his favorite candy was; a book that had his name written in it gets lost . .    I am well aware of how temporal this world is, how nothing will last, and even though I am encouraged to “build a monument” in his honor, I know it just won’t work.

    Today, as I faced the second anniversary of his home-going, I was musing on the verse that says we ought to lay up treasures in heaven and I realized something.  Dan’s legacy is not in what he left behind, but in what he has before him.  His legacy isn’t here on earth; his legacy is up there in heaven.

    Another part of Dan goes missing from this world because everything in this world will fade away, but the things he laid up in heaven are the things that are still there.  I don’t have to be concerned with keeping a “legacy” down here.  Dan doesn’t care anymore, God has one where it counts, and we will get to share in that legacy when we get to see him again.

    No, the things that I have and keep are just for my kids and I, not necessarily to remember (although it helps), but to give us comfort in our pain.  And as we grow in the Lord we will be able to turn more to Him for comfort.

    Thank you, Lord, for giving us an eternal legacy and a place of importance in your family.

  • 22Oct

    It has been a looooong week.  Several parties, a body that is still adjusting to Not being pregnant, doctor’s visits, over-nighter, school work, company, . . . .  and underlying all of that is the awareness that next week is our 2 year anniversary of Dan’s home-going.

    I miss his big ideas, his talking me to sleep at night, grouching at him to get off the computer and spend some time with his other wife, his hugs, his comments on my clothes, his input on the kid’s training, his assistance with the kid’s training . . .  I miss being a part of a whole.

    Apparently I’m not the only one that is missing  him, or a Daddy in general.  Imaginations have been running wild here lately about what our ‘new daddy’ will be like and all the things a Daddy will do with them.  I need to remind them that Daddy’s usually have to work and that a daddy probably won’t be around as much as they think he would or should be.  That’s part of the problem with imaginations . . they have little to do with reality.

  • 01Jul

    Had a talk with my Mom the other morning and I think I’ve traced my avoidance back to Memorial Day.  Some things happened that day that just make me want to throw up my hands in defeat and go hide in my room.  But as much as I want to and as much as I’ve tried (to hide subconsciously), I know it’s not going to work.  Things are going to change.

    I was in the car by myself the other day thinking about this and got to talking to Dan/God about this. (Funny how the two of them seem to co-exist for me. Hmmm . . but that’s another topic for later.)  Dan mentioned something one time about how I avoided responsibility.  I remembered that and I laughed.

    “I’m doing it again, aren’t I, Dan.”

    “Yep.”

    “You know that’s why our relationship worked so well.  I didn’t want the responsibility, so it was easy to ‘submit’.”

    “Interesting theory.”

    “And that’s what’s got me so upset about this Memorial Day thing.  I don’t want the responsibility!  I want to pass it off to you and then sit back, maybe make a few suggestions as to how to do it right, and then deal with the fallout after the fact.  I want you to take care of it and then I don’t have to worry about whether or not I did the right thing.  I want you to shoulder the blame so that I don’t have this burden pressing me into the dirt.”

    “Sorry, honey.”

    “Yeah, I know.  You aren’t here so I HAVE to deal with it.  And dealing with it by avoiding it isn’t doing any of us any favors.”

    “You can do it, honey.  You went to MOPs all by yourself.  You gave birth to seven children with hardly any pain medication (he liked gloating about that one).  You are a wonderful Mommy.  And I didn’t have any complaints about your skills as a wife either.  I’ll stand behind you on this one.”

    “I suppose that’s as close as I’m going to get on a hug, too, huh?”

    “He will never leave you or forsake you.  Abba Father.  Crawl into His lap, honey.”