FROM MY HEART TO YOURS

tl-from-my-heart-to-yoursFebruary is a rough month for me – I’ll just admit it.  It’s a time when I remember a lot of happy times that I’ll never get back.  My mom’s birthday was the 15th and my dad’s birthday was the 21st – just a week apart!  I always baked a heart-shaped cake for my mom – and put pink or red icing on it with little red-hot candies.  We never had fancy celebrations, but we had each other and that’s what really mattered.  I can’t remember any of the gifts I gave her, but I remember the love in the room while she opened each of them.  ❤

2-15-80

My dad loved German chocolate cake – and I’m not a baker – so to the boxed cake aisle I’d go to pick up a mix and some icing – although I’m not sure you can call that icing – I suppose it is…  that coconut concoction.  LOL!  Dad’s cake was a simple 9×13 sheet cake – I never made a cake that had to be stacked – I’m practical – and if that puppy had to ride in the car with me – it was going to be a sheet cake!  ❤

dads-b-d-2-21-85
Dad’s Birthday 2-21-85

I have memories recorded on 8mm film – which a few years back I had put on DVD.  There’s no sound, but I can read lips just fine.  I remember every word, even though I can’t hear their voices.  I can’t hear their voices…  but I will hear them again.  I’m not without hope – nope. 

I’ve made a sort of study out of this grief journey.  This blog is one manifestation of my grief experience.  I hope it’s made me more empathetic to others, if nothing else.  When people you love die, you don’t have anywhere for that love to go anymore.  This month I went out to the cemetery and replaced the flowers – but there were no hugs, no smiles, no warm greetings.  Thankfully, there was no snow, or it would have been colder still.  There’s nothing quite so cold and, well, dead…  as a cemetery.  Without faith to sustain, it would appear that it’s all over and there’s no hope.  Ah, but there is faith – there is hope.  I’m not without hope – nope. 

One of these days my Savior will come for me and all who have asked Him into their hearts and lives.  Whether I have the opportunity to live out a full life and die – or get snatched up and fly away…  it really doesn’t matter because I’m going to see Christ face to face.  These memories I hang on to for now…  well, I won’t need those anymore.  I’m not going to pretend to know exactly what lies ahead – but I trust God, through my Savior – and whatever it is…  it’s okay by me.  ❤

Here’s what I do know.  I will see my family again – and it’s going to be great because there will be hugs, smiles, and warm greetings – and we will never have to say good-bye again!  ❤

A Prayer for the Grieving

Lord, please come sit with me today. I need you now as I’m so sad. My heart can’t take much more. Just let me feel again. God, please heal my broken heart. In the quietness, I feel closest to you. Help me to serve others despite the pain. Let peace and love surround all who grieve today, tomorrow and always. I trust you to carry me through this long journey of grief and pain. Thank you for allowing me to share the life of my precious loved one. Please give me comfort in my pain, your love to see me through, and your strength to keep me going. Amen.

When they died, I thought I might too.  But somewhere along the way, the memories took over where the pain was once so raw I thought I couldn’t stand it.  ❤

You know, everyone in school was a bit jealous of me because I was an only child and didn’t have to “share” anything with siblings when I was at home – but let me tell ya…  there’s a flip side to being the only one – it’s lonely when you realize you’re responsible for everything.  I relied so heavily on my parents, not only for moral support, but for spiritual support.  I knew they prayed for me every day.  I miss those prayers so much.  ❤

 

Advertisements

VISIT A CEMETERY DAY

TL 10-26 VISIT A CEMETERY DAY

My father died very suddenly at 63… For a long time afterward, I’d ask myself, Why didn’t I ask him to play golf more?  Why didn’t I spend more time with him? …  There’s nothing you can do about it.  So you just forge on.  – Clint Eastwood

My daddy died at age 63 also – weird.  I called him at the hospital the evening before he died.  I suggested that mom and I should come visit, but he insisted that we wait until the next day as he was scheduled for surgery.  He died during the night – I wish we had made the trip to the hospital to visit him.  But – we do indeed have to forge on and find a way to forgive ourselves.

10-26 I'VE COME HERE FOR A VISIT

Today is VISIT A CEMETERY DAY!!!  There are more obvious days to visit our loved one’s final resting places – like Memorial Day, but today is a day to set aside to honor our loved ones again.  Even though those who have passed do not know we visit them, we know.  It’s important to honor them in any way we can.  On occasion I like to visit cemeteries to photograph unique gravestones and read epitaphs in an effort to know the ones buried there.

I am a confessed taphophile  (“taph” from the Greek for tomb and “philia” meaning an inordinate fondness).  The art involved in engraving gravestones fascinates me.  My husband and I have purchased our plots and our gravestone.  These days, a gravestone is a personal expression of who you were in life.  When a person reads your stone, they should get some idea of what your values and personality was – would you agree?   My husband had his badge engraved on his side and I had an angel and the treble clef  first line of the song PRECIOUS LORD, TAKE MY HAND engraved on my side.  We also had our names (obviously) and wedding date engraved.  There was not much space left – especially on my side.  LOL!  Once I can no longer speak, I want that stone to speak for me.

Everything comes to pass, nothing comes to stay.  – Matthew Flickstein

Taphophilia involves epitaphs, gravestone rubbing, photography, art and history of famous deaths.  Many taphophiles enjoy walking cemeteries to find lost relatives.  They are the ones who are seriously engaged in genealogy.

The cemetery my folks are in is cared for and has large, mature trees.  It’s beautiful year around but especially in the spring and fall.  Shortly after my mom died, we bought a cement bench with a verse engraved on it.  We put it next to my folk’s graves.  I don’t go there to sit and chat with them like I thought I would, but it’s nice to know I could if I wanted to.  I’ve had a few picnic lunches with them, I admit.  I know they are not there – they are in heaven with Jesus.  I would never wish them back here after seeing the pain they suffered.  In heaven they are young and in no pain.  I miss them but I’ll see them again one day.  ❤

CEM2804148_108942617469

5827669_123457250430

What was your parent’s favorite song?  My dad used to sing this to my mom all the time:

It makes me smile to think Daddy might be singing this to Mama in heaven…  hmm – now that’s different, huh?

Hey – on a fun note – Halloween is around the corner.  Have you ever wanted to know how to make those spooky tombstones?  I’d probably make one that was funny – but that’s just me – LOL!  Here’s a tutorial on those tombstones: