Posts Tagged ‘faith’
Posted in acceptance, Chronic Lyme Disease, co-infections, home, hope, parent, son, spiritual growth, Tucson, unemployment, tagged blessings, faith, family, fatigue, Gratitude, health, inspiration, surrender on April 9, 2017| 1 Comment »
My friend shared with me that his beloved 12 year old pup suddenly passed away. This has been on my mind…
As a result, I am mindful of when I was 4 years old & living with my family in Michigan with my Doberman, Hans. I have vivid remarkable memories of Hans. He was a true Doberman Pinscher, as the breed is known for being, “Always Faithful”. He was a big boy – I remember the age I was standing eye to eye with him & then I grew to be a little taller. My father was a brilliant dog trainer & the original animal lover. And my big brother & I loved playing with Hans in our back yard in the winter snow & the summer grass. Quite often, as I dashed out our back door, my dad would hand me a small paper bag full of trash to toss out in the big metal can in our yard. Each time, Hans would hide behind the trash can & as I approached, suddenly Hans would leap out & he’d jump & hop around me with glee! I laughed till my sides hurt! I fell for this again & again as he continued to lovingly play his own brand of hide ‘n’ seek behind the big trash can. I never got my dad to admit if he taught Hans how to hide & tease me in this way. But what I do know is that when our family suddenly moved into a small apartment the summer of 1962, before I started kindergarten in California, sadly we did not bring Hans with us. I am unable to remember where my beloved play mate’s new home would be that day – but I do know Hans took a piece of my heart with him. I wonder if it is possible to fill that special void of the loss of a fine dog. Perhaps it is due to that lost love that we must freely give to every dog we see in our new life with out our faithful friend at our feet. I do know, that with out the great companionship of Hans, the unexpected fun & laughter, the feeling of being protected – I would never have experienced that great level of unconditional love & compassion – as my heart grew to realize I’d never see Hans again, I experienced a painful sense of loss at much too young of an age. Hans was one of my greatest teachers. Perhaps my first teacher. My memories of Hans are my strongest childhood memories of Michigan when I was only 3 & 4 years old.
My entire life since the summer I turned 5, when ever I see a Doberman, my joy filled heart gravitates towards him & I hear myself softly say,”Haaans! I remember you. Thank you for teaching me about unconditional love. I will love you forever, right back!” For I too, am “Always Faithful”.
Posted in Dad's throat cancer, home, hope, pain, parent, sober, spiritual growth, tagged alcoholism, blessings, California, faith, family, fatigue, Gratitude, health, inspiration, surrender, Tucson on October 21, 2014| 6 Comments »
Once I thought that I’d live in California forever. But I didn’t.
Once I thought that my dad would live forever. But he was not able to.
I never ever thought that I’d live in Tucson, surrounded by my father’s memories.
But suddenly, I do.
I’ve never known the depth of this grace.
I’ve never known this level of humbling fatherly love.
My gratitude is bottomless. My blessings quiet me.
My love is deep. Therefore my grief is deep.
I am a lucky girl because I am my father’s daughter.
I am just going through the motions day after day, missing my father immensely.
But it is with these motions that I will persevere & find my way & a new life.
Because this is how my father taught me to live.
Keep on pushing until I reach the top of the mountain.
Posted in Dad's throat cancer, Fibromyalgia, home, hope, pain, sober, spiritual growth, tagged alcoholism, community, faith, health, insomnia, Iris, recovery, Tucson on July 8, 2014| Leave a Comment »
For tonight, I will execute one of my little feeling better tricks: The Gratitude List. More often than not, writing it works a heck of a lot better than thinking it… And I am so grateful, that, somehow, I am still sober…
Posted in Dad's throat cancer, Fibromyalgia, home, hope, pain, parent, spiritual growth, tagged blessings, faith, family, fatigue, Gratitude, health, High Sierras, Tucson on June 8, 2014| 9 Comments »
I am forever eternally grateful that I listened to my heart and still was in Tucson, and not in LA, when my father suddenly took his last breath. Dad was my entire family on his side of the family. Gently, yet tightly, I held him as I looked at him with his perfect haircut he had just the day before. I carefully, gently, slid my hand underneath the back of his neck and shoulders so I could hold him for as long as I needed – no one would dare ask me to let go of my dad. I intuitively knew that he could still feel my love, protection and admiration. My tears, endless, as I softly spoke into his ear, “You did good Dad. I’m so sorry that you were sick. I understand that you were sick. You did good – please know that. Please know that I understand. Know you are incredibly brave, strong and sensitive to my feelings all in the same moment… I love you Dad… You did good. You did a good job raising me and my brother. You were the original full-time single dad and you did a good job on your own with out help. God is with us.”…. As I slowly lifted my head off of the crook of my father’s neck, one of my gigantic tears had dropped to the inside of my glasses. Ironically, my vision blurred. So hard to focus. To take it all in. The moment important. The pain unbearable. My dad so handsome. His features resembling my grandmother so much that, momentarily, it startled me.
My heart has been so painfully broken since that morning on February 20th, 2014, that I am worried that I will never be my self again. It has been 3 and a half months and it seems I have lost my true voice. The voice I hear is not the old Julie I once knew. I don’t like to talk on the phone. I don’t like to talk to people when I go out side. My body continues to decline from chronic pain and bone crushing fatigue.
What I especially don’t like or appreciate is, on the 9th day after my father passed and I saw him for the last time, I was coldly, cruelly and bluntly greeted with being told I must now get out of my home of 5 years. Who was this self-seeking self-loathing mean old woman who believes her own life of lies? The impostor drill sergeant stepping on landmines waiting to explode in the depth of her self imposed victim’s pot of poison – orders screamed with ugly eyes of misplaced rage and envy, a block of black ice where a heart never ever was to begin with. Was it blood that I witnessed dripping from the black crevices of her empty soul? A clearly planned betrayal with the absurd transparent demand to immediately give up my familiar surroundings upon my return from Tucson and to say good bye to my many neighbors who had become my supportive friends. I especially don’t like that I was forced to move away from my precious, precious little neighbor-friend Emma, who, once a week for 2 years, helped me with chores I had become physically unable to do myself.
I don’t like that the majority of my belongings, my few pieces of furniture, my comforting photographs, my old books of recovery I’ve read over & over for 27 years, sentimental knickknacks and all my clothes except for the suitcase I packed in my haste, are all in storage somewhere, I do not know where, but in Northern California somewhere, while I find myself suddenly living in my refuge, my safe haven, in my father’s guest room in Tucson Arizona. Along with my cat and my father’s 12 year old cat.
Now is the time. Now is the time that I have been given. The opportunity to find out just what I am made of. How deep does my courage run? How strong is my faith? Will my love and belief carry me though this time? Am I steadfast and true as I allow God to continue to lead my way? I continue to demand that my voice be heard. My vision is still as blurry as the morning my tear drop landed on the inside of my glasses as I leaned to hug & kiss my father goodbye…
I become mindful of my father’s words to me when I was a young teenager. We were back packing the switch backs up a particularly steep mountain in the High Sierras. I was looking up and feeling defeated as I was taken in by the gigantic mountain that was still in front of me. It was looking down on me, daring me to come closer. I did not like not knowing how much further I had to push myself before my father set up camp for the night. Exhausted I stopped and reached for my canteen that my father had hooked on my belt for me hours earlier. Being acutely aware, my father gently held my shoulders and said, “Turn around Julie, and see how far you’ve come.” As I turned, with my father’s hand guiding me, I looked down behind me at the path we had just climbed. I was overwhelmed by the dense beauty of the vast Sierra. The view before me was breathtaking and magnificent. And it felt good. I had done good and my father was able to prove it to me… Today I can turn around again, and see just how far I’ve come from LA. It was not in my best interest to remain in my home – because home is where the heart is. No heart to be found there. I do not need to double check this lesson from long ago. This stage of this journey of mine remains in God’s hands. And His plan is too brilliant for me to see right now. I look forward to that day when I will once more “turn around and see how far I’ve come”.
My father peacefully passed away 12 days ago. I have vivid dreams of him almost every night. While my grieving has been quite unbearable and I do not seem to have the energy to answer my phone – I am comforted to know that perhaps my father has finally found my brother. My dad would be so happy to see him again. . . I love you Dad. I know you promised that I will be happy again – but I just don’t think that it will be today. . . but maybe tomorrow. . .