In October / November of 2014, I had flown into Arkansas to once again spend an extended time with my mother and father; something I had begun to do on a yearly basis, especially after my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimers. They had left Arkansas as a young married couple, my sister and I in tow, and permanently moved to Northern California, where my dad spent his days as a logger, until he retired. A few years after retirement, the two of them, decided to pull up stakes once more unbeknownst to me , and return to Arkansas, back to where it all began, leaving behind my younger sister, and youngest brother, and a slew of relatives mostly on my mama’s side, in Red Bluff, California and the surrounding communities. It came as a total shock to me when upon calling them one day, the number so familiar to me as a kid growing up, and into adult hood, was disconnected! I panicked big time, started making calls, and finally my sister told me they had driven off into the ‘sunset’…(well, more or less). When I finally was able to talk to my mother, she said to me, “it’s our last BIG adventure!” Yes, Indeed, I just wish I’d been privy to it!
As stated above, I was visiting my folks, mama’s memory had slowly been fading, and though I knew it, nothing prepared me for what lay ahead. The year before, in 2013, I had a wonderful visit. I decided I would paint her kitchen all white, something she wanted for awhile, and feeling that time was of essence, I jumped into it with all my heart and soul! I just wanted to do whatever I could do to bring her joy and be close to her, as well as help support my dad. My main goal in going this time again, was to pour myself into loving and supporting my mother as well as my father, who was dealing with his own grief. It was in my heart to take photo’s and video’s, and to journal my time with mama, daddy and my other family and siblings when we were together. I am so glad that I did. These pictures, and videos are some of my most treasured possessions. I cherish these memories. I knew the inevitable would happen, that soon enough she would forget who I was, so I would hide my fears, and my tears as I hugged her, held her hand (she often would reach for my hand) and almost every night, I would sit on the edge of her bed, or lean over her and we would talk, and I then would pray with her before she went to sleep. That was 2013. Several months later, 2014, things changed.
Mama forgot who I was when I walked into the house. At first, she seemed to kind of know me, but I knew she was struggling the first night I was there; I was laying next to her in the bed, we talked and I was sharing some of our memories growing up. At one point she quietly said, “You’re Karen, aren’t you?” I said, “Yes, Mama. I’m Karen, your eldest daughter.” Oh, my heart. Oh, my heart. Oh, my sweet, sweet mama. To this day, that still brings tears to my eyes. I had fun ‘moments’ on this trip, but it was bittersweet, and my heart hurt. I had to stuff my pain and hide it as much as possible. I had to be strong. At the time, I posted on Facebook only the positive and left out the really hurtful experiences, mostly to protect my mother and my father, and to hide my pain: I was too vulnerable. I hurt for her, and for my dad, and our family. It was on this trip that I began to grieve the loss of my beautiful mother, the essence of who she was and had been. I saw glimpses here and there, of my mothers humor, and her fun spirit, including the time my husband came to pick me up. He stayed a week…and though she did not know him, and for the most part wasn’t sure who I was, she asked me with a twinkle in her eye, why didn’t I ‘tell’ her that I had gotten married? I said, “Mama, you were at the wedding.” I even showed her a picture. She still insisted I had not told her. She was chuckling, and I said, ‘Well, mama, I’ve been hiding him under the bed!” We both had a good laugh at that. Precious memories…how they linger ❤
This video, was made on my phone, my first attempt, and the lyrics of the song, ‘Love is Never Ending,’ spoke volumes to me about my folks, my mother, and father, and about the brevity of life, about God, and His love. When we said goodbye to mama in 2015, and the angels took her to heaven, it wasn’t the ending of a life of loving and giving. It was just the beginning for mama as she reached out for the Saviors hand, and for those of us who were left behind (for now), her legacy lives on in us, her children and grandchildren, as do her prayers. ❤
Love is Never Ending
Seasons come and seasons go
One day sun, the next day snow
Flowers die and flowers grow
But love is never-ending
You can’t kill it with goodbye
It always finds a place to hide
Inside your heart for your whole life
Love is never-ending
When the lights have all gone down
It’ll still be hangin’ ’round
Even when you think it’s lost, it can still be found
When every memory has been made
And the pages start to fade
And every prayer you ever prayed is heaven bound
When you think the ride is over
You’re back at the beginning
Oh, love is never-ending
When a man and a woman start growin’ old
The fire of passion may grow cold
But what they got still warms their soul
Love is never-ending
Time may change what you believe
But one day the truth will set you free
Just have faith and you will see
Love is never-ending.
Love is never-ending…
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul, Dear Lord
Let me feel Your gentle rain
upon my face
within my heart
Wash me clean
Remove the sludge:
the sorrows and the cares
of this world
that have kept me from moving forward
My hope is in You
In You alone
Like a refreshing rain
saturate me in Your Love
and in Your Presence
Let me not lose heart
in the storm
You are my Portion
The Lover of my Soul
The Joy of my Desire
My Strong Tower
In You I live and move and breathe
I will Praise You with My whole heart
My Prince of Peace
I haven’t blogged for a few days as it’s been a real struggle, not because of a brain freeze, or lack of oxygen (low blood sugar), or writers block …but mostly because of health issues stemming from Type 1 (insulin dependent) diabetes. I am on an insulin pump, and was actually one of the first 700 people at the time to get hooked up. The pump was huge compared to what I share in the video below (see the picture at the left of your screen, that’s me in the blue, and that black thing on my side is my first pump). It was so big, people asked me if it was a pager (that’s a big pager), or some kind of radio. You can see in the video below, how much smaller the pump has become. I was thrilled as the size of the pumps began to decrease in size and the technology became more and more fine tuned.
I was probably about 28 or 29 years old when I first started on the pump; our eldest was about two years old (pictured on my husbands shoulders). Our first baby, born 8 lbs 4oz, was stillborn, which had left me wondering if I would ever be able to have a healthy child . In the video below, after sharing some humorous idiosyncrasies about myself, I shared a bit about that time of loss in our lives. I had not expected to feel the emotional wave that hit me as I recalled the day of delivery. We had known for a week that our precious baby was gone before the scheduled delivery date at the hospital. Needless to say, it was an extremely sorrowful time. Thank God, we did not give up, and we were finally blessed with two boys, albeit 7 years apart. I am ever so grateful to be a mom (for the most part, “she said with a wink and a smile”). 😉 Motherhood hasn’t always been easy or a ‘breeze,’ especially as they entered the teen years and beyond, but that’s another story or two, for another time. 🙂 Just being real here. Would I do it all again? 100 times over, “YES!”
So, back to why I haven’t blogged, and my own personal struggle…having used insulin pump therapy for about 30+ years, and having wonderful results, I now find myself plagued with all kinds of issues that I never really had before: Extreme highs, and extreme lows. It started a few months ago, and my overall A1c (blood glucose average over a 3 month period) was hanging around 7.0, which is relatively good. I can’t even imagine what it is now after all I’ve been through these last months. I have never had to call the ambulance except once in all my 50+ years of being a diabetic, but at the end of last December my sugars dropped to 21, and knowing if it drops to 0 you are comatose, your out for the count, no longer here. I could feel myself blacking out, and as I looked up at the nice paramedic, I kept saying over and over…” Please don’t let me die.” He assured me I was going to be fine, but in the back of my mind I thought, he has to say that even if he doesn’t mean it. I have never felt so out of control and vulnerable. I ended up in the hospital the next day for about three days. From that point on I’ve had trouble stabilizing my blood sugars. In January it happened again, and I ended up in the hospital as my blood sugars kept plummeting no matter how much sugar I had taken by mouth or how much glucose they stuck in my veins. Talk about a ‘sugar rush!’ Since that time, the blood sugars have been extremely high. Last night, my blood sugars reached 490, and target rate for my sugars, being I’m diabetic, are between 100 and 150. Rarely has my blood sugar been lower than the 200’s since my last hospital visit. Long term health issues can result from poorly controlled blood sugars. I’m eating what I should eat, I’m testing several times a day, and still sugars are climbing, though they tend to drop some during the evening. Night time is one of my biggest concerns if and when my sugars happen to drop while I’m asleep; this is what had happened the first time I called the ambulance. I can tell you from experience, fear can come in from such traumatic episodes, and it can rob you of your joy and peace in a very subtle way. That’s where I found myself lately…
This week I was so overwhelmed that I told my husband I would not be going to Mid week services at church. I knew what I had to do, I had to go to our room, close the door, put on worship music and cry out to God. I sat there with my head back and I sobbed all my frustration and grief out to the Lord. One of my friends had told me that she had felt God saying to me, let go, free fall, let God carry me through this time and just trust Him.
As, I sat in my room that night, A song by Bethel Worship, began to play called ‘It is Well With My Soul.’ As I listened, I continued to weep and pray. I told God, “I can’t do this by myself anymore”. I hadn’t even realized until that point, that I was carrying the weight of so many losses and unmet expectations from the last several years. All I could muster was, “Help me Lord, I Need You.” I felt this ball of grief and sorrow come up out of my heart that I know had been stuck there for a long time. God began to bring to my mind those things that I had been holding onto; grief over my mother who had passed away two years ago, losses and unmet expectations, wounds that were still like arrows in my heart, concerns about my grown children and grandchildren, and so forth and so on. When the tears subsided a bit, I grabbed my ‘Passion Translation’, of the Psalms. I felt led to begin a prayer journal with at least one Psalm a day, where I can just pour out my heart to God. I am more than hopeful for what lies ahead. I already feel a sense of release from the burden of what I was carrying, but I know that it is one step at a time, one day at a time. I’m learning to ‘free fall’ into His loving arms; He will always and HAS always been there to catch me.
God has always used humor to help me through many difficult times. Learning to laugh at myself, to be transparent and real is a must for me.
HAPPY 4TH OF JULY
Those who would try and remove God from the foundation and beginning of the United States of America deny the truth of it’s history. I am brought to tears every time I view this video and hear the story of the men and women who gave their lives “for the the land of the free, and the home of the brave.” In the name of God and for the love of Country may her Banner yet wave as a symbol of freedom for all. God bless America.
I have spent the last few hours trying to figure out some of the technical aspects of this WordPress Theme. The technical part of this is a real challenge for me, but I think I’m finally starting to get the hang of it. I worked with the widgets again today and figured I was safe, that not too many people would see my Gravatar traveling all over the pages, up, down, center, right, left. I’m dizzy just thinking about it! The real challenge for me today came with trying to figure out pages. I thought I had really messed up big time, but then came that ‘aha’ moment, and voila, here I am (I think). We shall see. lol
‘Love Lifted Me’ is the underlying theme throughout my blogs and my life as I share my thoughts, heart matters, funnies, poems, and other things, along with family memories. In reality, I’ve been putting bits and pieces of my life’s story all over the internet for awhile, and even have a Blogger site that I haven’t really blogged on since 2014/15 http://www.pureheart2heart.com/2014/05/memories-here-i-sit-tears-flowing.html , but it just never really felt like home. I also totally embarrassed myself as a YouTube Partner around 2010, raking in a whopping $100 dollars by the end of the ‘year’, after which they canned me, along with 1000’s of other YouTube ‘stars.’ See one of the video’s below for a good laugh, which my husband so graciously edited, and wonder along with me, ‘What in the world was she thinking!!?? God has always had ways of keeping me humble, and I’ve always been a more than willing participant. lol (can I use lol in a blog?) I have also journaled on Facebook, with friends and family over a spattering of about 5-6 years as my mama battled Alzheimers. It was a difficult journey for all of us, especially my father. My hope is that I can use all these various places that I’ve scattered myself, my thoughts and memories and plant them here to take root.
Last but not least, I am a Christian minister, and I love to worship Jesus. He’s my best Friend, Savior and the Lover of My soul. My heart’s desire is to connect heart to heart with God and then with humanity: to laugh, to cry, to bring a word of encouragement and hope, to be a light in a dark world. As you watch the video below, I hope it brings a smile to your face, may not be funny to you, and I myself am totally aghast, but my younger grand kids just love it. lol
A merry heart does good like a medicine… Proverbs 17:22
Deep in my heart of hearts there is a room with a special door, that oft’ these days I choose to open, full of precious memories.
Precious memories, unseen angels,
Sent from somewhere to my soul.
How they linger, ever near me,
And the sacred past unfolds.
Precious memories how they linger,
How they ever flood my soul.
In the stillness, of the midnight.
Precious sacred scenes unfold. Continue reading