new faith

I was off yesterday and went to mom and dad’s house for the day.  Helped dad pay the last of the medical bills (we think) and balanced his checkbook again for the 64th time.  He’s confused.  Mom took care of the checkbook, the bills, the house, the grocery shopping, the laundry, everything as far as I can tell.

Dad’s a little lost.  We all are.  As I sat on the porch swing that we bought her for mother’s day, (the porch swing that she never got to sit in or even see) and looked out over her backyard I thought about how different it would look if she were still here.  There would be flowers.  Lots of flowers.  But there aren’t.  There is basil and sage and a few tomato plants…she planted those the week before she died.  She kept saying, “I’m buying flowers after mother’s day weekend, I can’t wait to buy my flowers.”  But the only flowers are the peace lilies from the funeral.  Yuck.

Still trying to read this book called HEAVEN.  I guess it’s supposed to be helping me.  Sometimes it does.  Sometimes it doesn’t.  I’m not really sure what helps.  I am trying to pray.  Sometimes that helps, sometimes it doesn’t.

God is in control.  He will do what He will do…and we will live (or die) with that.  I just never doubted that He would heal her of this.  Now I doubt everything.  Will Bob die too?  I guess we’ll see.  That too is in His hands.  Why pray?  It feels like it doesn’t matter if I pray or not.  Nothing really matters.

I will continue to try to pray; because I think I’m supposed to.  I still love God and I know He still loves me.  It’s the faith thing I’m a little confused about.  I think I’m supposed to continue to trust God.  Even though I trusted Him for something really big, that I thought was His will, that I did not receive…I think I’m supposed to continue to trust.  Is this faith?  Trusting no matter what?  This is hard.  But I guess I’m going to have to trust Him to get me through it.  I have nowhere else to turn.  So maybe this is how I learn a new level of faith.

 

 

bad stuff

I have some anger and some unforgiveness in me right now that I want to spit all over this page. Then i may erase it. Or not.

There were some people at mom’s funeral that came out to show their love, show there compassion toward us, show us that they loved mom too. There were people that came to help us, to hold us up, to hug us, cry with us, laugh with us, remember her with us.
And then there were people who came to…disrespect us? Anger us? Abuse us?
Those were the people who smoked weed at my dad’s house the day after the funeral. Those were the people who disrespected my mom and dad AND our family. Funny…. these people were family.

I get that everyone grieves differently. I get that. I get that there were people drinking wine…I was drinking wine! But bringing drugs into his house, illegally…
Anyone who knows my family, and knows my dad KNOWS his absolute HATE of drugs. It seems like a slap in the face. It seems like a complete and total disregard for what we were going through, and a complete disrespect for us. It seems like something that is unforgivable. Is it? Will i forgive? I need to.

This is bad stuff. Embarrassing stuff. If you have an addiction, not my problem. If you bring your addiction to my dad’s house the day after my mom’s funeral….my problem. My pain. My hurt. My feelings.

Why?

what i miss

I was thinking about going to a movie this weekend. But it’s hard to do things that I used to do with her….without her. Which lately seems like EVERYTHING.

I miss that mom could go to a movie with us and get SO MUCH ENJOYMENT out of a movie, large popcorn with extra butter and a coke.
I miss that she could get so much enjoyment out of a trip to Big Lots…and a bargain.
I miss how she stopped at every end-cap in ANY store we were in, trying to justify a needless purchase because it was such a deal.
I miss her cooking.
I miss her phone calls every day (all 8 of them). I even miss the calls that started with, “Well….I don’t know why I called this time…”
I miss her infectious laugh.
I miss her arguing with dad. He doesn’t seem to be arguing with anyone right now.
I miss going to church with her and watching her sing, and clap out of sync.
I miss how she squeezed every ounce of life out of life. She really did.
I miss her generosity. She would give any of us, everything she had…with a smile and a genuine longing to give it.
I miss going to the grocery store with her, even though I do not really enjoy the grocery store…and I was annoyed with the amount of time she spent going up and down every single aisle to look at every single thing.
I miss her.

Rusty says, “I always thought I was her favorite”, sort of as a joke. But really, mom made each one of us feel so special. What a gift she had for being so much to each of us. (and…I was obviously her favorite Rusty!)
I wonder if she misses us? Not that I want her to feel this pain, and not that she’s capable of feeling this pain in heaven. But…is it selfish to want her to remember me, to think of me, to miss me just a little? Because somehow that connects us. Somehow if I think of her still thinking of us…we’re still in this thing together.

our story part 2

Paula and I helped mom to get dressed, she was weak and in pain. Where was the pain coming from? Couldn’t figure it out. We got her into the car, dad was still in the house, mom said, “If we don’t hurry up I may pass out…”

“DAD! Hurry up!! We need to go!” Dad rushed to get in the car, later realizing that he’d forgotten to put his teeth in. Rusty had to take him home later to get his teeth.

Too familiar ride to the Emergency Room, felt like my heart was racing as I ran red lights and drove too fast. Mom was pretty weak when we got there, we pulled up to the door and got a wheelchair. Dad and Paula wheeled her in while I parked. The woman at the desk was asking us to fill out forms and taking her sweet time about it. I tried to sign for mom, the receptionist became irritated with me and walked around the desk to have mom actually sign the papers. I wanted to scream at her. I’m sure I was rude…I came back a bit later to apologize.

Once mom was taken in and settled, she asked for pain medicine. Her knees still hurt. ? Still don’t know why. Even when the Explanation of Benefits from the Insurance company came this month and the diagnosis was “lower extremity pain”…why? I hate that she was in pain. I hate that she had to suffer at all. I …. hate all of this. God why? God when will I stop asking why? Will I ever know the reason for all of this? Is there a reason?

So while mom was in the ER, hooked up to the machines that read her blood pressure, heart rate, and respirations we took turns rubbing her knees for her. Paula used her phone to turn on some music, she and I sang. Dad and I paced. Rusty showed up and sat with us. The doctor said, “We’ll wait for the blood work to come back and get you some pain medicine.”

While we waited I smelled incense, or annointing oil? We had used annointing oil earlier when mom passed out at home…but this was a very strong smell. Too strong to be from 12 hours earlier. I asked Paula if she smelled it, nope. I smelled it so strong that I went out to the hall and checked to see where it was coming from. It wasn’t in the hall. It was in mom’s room. Maybe that should have been comforting. It wasn’t. I was confused as to why I was smelling it. But I was.

The doctor came back and told us that they would be admitting mom, her blood work was crazy. WBC was over 200.
Still, even as my brain heard that number, my faith said, “It’s okay, God doesn’t look at the numbers. We don’t care about the numbers. God is in control here, not a doctor and not a blood test. We do not fear bad news, we do not fear a blood test.”

Before the room was ready Aimie and Nikki showed up. We had called everyone for prayer…the troops were mobilized. Aimie said she’d tried to reach Stan, he was in New Mexico with Teresa and her family with no cell reception. And we were in an ER with no cell reception.

Enough for now. Even as I write the events of that last 24 hours I wonder if we could have, should have done something differently. I hate the would of, should of, could of’s of this whole thing. It’s so hard to imagine that this is JUST THE WAY it was supposed to be. How can that be true? How can I find peace in that? Will I ever understand this God? Will I ever find peace with it? I hate this. I miss her, but I didn’t want her to suffer. If she would have had to suffer to stay…I would have chosen that she not suffer. But I thought we could have both…not suffer and stay. Is this world so messed up and so wrong that we can’t be completely healed here? Does complete healing only come in heaven? If any of us do suffer disease and receive healing here on earth…is it only for a short time? Only a gift of time? Did we use that gift of the past 5 years with mom wisely? I think yes.
God I’m not angry with you. I’m sorry that I was. I still have questions, and I hope that you help me to find the answers. I love you God and I trust you. I’m so fragile right now, please hold me together. Please tell my mom that we love her so much, and that she was a great mom, grandma, great-grandma. Tell her that we will be okay, and that we are leaning on you. That would be what she’d want to know./em>

dreams

I haven’t remembered any of my dreams for a while now.  Connor and Stan had such comforting dreams…I prayed for God to give me dreams.  Good ones.

The first dream I remember was of the funeral.  (not good)  It was not the actual funeral, but I was aware it was mom’s.  We were outside, in a garden and we were all setting up chairs.  We were in dresses and suits…mom came out of nowhere in her robe and slippers, she started helping move chairs around and told me, “your dad likes it this way.  make sure you do it like this…” then she moved his chair.

hmmmm….

Then I had another dream night before last.  I was sleeping in mom and dads bed, on dad’s side of the bed.  I heard someone walking down the hall, it was my Pastor and another man.  They walked by the room and just looked in at me.  I woke up (in the dream) and looked at the clock – it was 2:30 AM and I thought ‘oh I’m not late, I can go back to sleep’.  Then 2 ‘beings’ entered the room.  they floated in, they were in the loose shape of a human, clear but blurry to see through…and were full of pockets of light.  one was obviously bigger than the other.  I was immediately afraid.  they came to the bed and the big one hovered over me, as if it were a human laying on top of me.  the small one got into the bed on the right side of me.  on mom’s side of the bed.  I tried to speak, but couldn’t.  I was afraid.  I tried very hard to speak and heard my words garble as they came out.  I felt like my chest was getting tighter, smothered.  I focused very hard and finally said “JESUS…send them away if they’re not from you”.  I think I said it out loud as it felt as if I was gaining consciousness.  immediately after I said it, the fear left.  the beings didn’t.  the one on top of me came closer, almost smothering me but I raised both arms up and stuck them straight through this thing, wrapping them around it.  I felt like it was full of butterflies, fluttering inside my chest and my gut.  the small one on the side pushed against me too.  it felt very fluttery on my right side.  i just started to feel peace/happy and they were gone.

before bed last night I prayed for God to let me see mom.  I dreamed last night that she was sitting with me.  I asked her if she was in heaven.  she said, “I think this is heaven”  I asked what she was doing.  “planting”  I asked if she’d seen Jesus.  “not yet”  I asked if the planting was hard.  “oh no, not at all”  I asked if she was with her mom.  “yes”  (don’t know why but…) I asked if she had bowel movements in heaven.  (?? I don’t know ??)  she smiled and said “no”   that was all.

wish I had someone who could interpret all of that.  weird.

grief is weird.  we are all going through some pretty weird things.  I used to hear people say strange things regarding their grief process after losing their mom.  I thought it was weird.  now I know.  it IS WEIRD, but it happens.

2 + 2 = ?

I used to like math.  Everything made sense to me 2 + 2 ALWAYS = 4     It’s all black and white.  We don’t have to guess.  There IS an answer.  ALWAYS

I’m not really sure of anything anymore. 2 + 2 … does it equal 4? Unwavering Faith + God’s healing touch should equal mom being here. But she’s not. The inverse is true in this case.

Stan was saying the other day, with his engineer brain…”It seems like the further away from mom’s death we get, the easier it should be right?  Then why do I feel worse?  Why is this getting harder?”  He’s right, shouldn’t it get easier?  The more time that elapses away from a horrific event should somehow dull the impact of that event…right?  Then why is the pain not more dull?  Why is it still so sharp, maybe even at times more sharp?

Prayer + Faith + God’s Will does not always equal healing.  But that would mean that everything I’ve ever believed is shattered now.  I’ve had the rug pulled out from under me.   I refuse to believe that this was God’s will.  I cannot believe that.  If I do…why do we pray?  Isn’t it a little sadistic?  Pray in faith and you receive.  Nope.  Pray in faith and believe…and you get whatever I give.  I give, and I take away.  I’m sorry God…but I’m so hurt and confused.

Was mom praying the same thing as us?  Or not?  If mom was praying for healing, and believing for healing, then was she disappointed?  Was she betrayed?  Hurt?  That’s how I feel.  Betrayed, hurt, alone, unloved.

What if mom was not praying for healing, what if mom was saying “I don’t want to fight.”  (because…ummmm HELLO she was)  BUT…hold on a minute.  We were all praying against that, telling her that we’d fight for her.  That we would hold her up.  Didn’t that count?  But what if it doesn’t count?  What if God only listened to her?  What if He told her it was her choice, her fight?  Why did she not fight?

Nothing makes sense right now.  Maybe this is ‘new math’.

EOBs

There should be some sort of policy that the health insurance companies abide by that makes them STOP sending those annoying Explanation Of Benefit (EOB) forms to a persons house after they die. Dad has received no less than 100 of those forms. They not only detail what amount of money the insurance has paid and what amount dad is responsible for BUT also every single event that took place the final 24 hours of mom’s life in the hospital. So, because I am the designated child to help with the health insurance bills…I get to read everything over and over and over again. Acute myeloid leukemia, fever of unknown origin, sepsis, lower extremity pain, shortness of breath, respiratory distress, ventilator, atrial fibrillation, cardiogenic shock, etc etc etc etc
It seems unfair. Like so many other things in my life right now. unfair.

Can someone send me an EOB detailing why? Why did this have to happen? Why is my mom gone? OK…it may help to know that she didn’t want to fight like she did last time…but why did it have to come back? We live in a fallen, cursed world. the ruler of this world is satan. our enemy. does that help? i don’t know. Maybe it starts to help to think more eternally and less worldly. But I still live here. I miss her. I miss her so much. It still hurts, it’s still so painful.

I think maybe I am moving into another phase of grief. I don’t wake up and cry every single morning anymore. I still cry a few times a day, but not the shoulder shaking – sobbing – can’t breath cry. So now I feel sort of guilty for moving past that, sort of like “what’s wrong with me? why have I stopped crying? I can’t move on yet.” But why can’t I? What am I waiting for? Do I think that if I stay in that horrible place she’ll come back and pick me up? Can someone explain this feeling to me? Where is the insurance company now with all of their Explanations….

I’m also past this phase:
For awhile I hated Bob. Hated him because he was still alive and mom was gone. Hated him because he’s not strong and supporting anymore. Hated him because he’s just someone that i have to take care of right now. Hated him because he stopped being my husband and became my patient again. Hated him because he complains more than my mom EVER did. Hated him because….because he’s not mom…because she’s gone and he was an easy target.
I also hated him because he was grieving her loss. Maybe harder than I was! How dare he! She was MY MOM, this was MY LOSS. But…Bob knew mom for 25 years. 25 years! They had a special relationship. Mom sat at Bob’s bedside every single day of his horrific hospitilization in 2004, she read aloud from the bible every day. She didn’t leave him. She loved him. She respected him. She fought for him. She stood by him as he walked away from death, she encouraged him. She prayed for him this time and told him, “Bob, you will live.”
So when I watch Bob grieve, and cry, and pull away now…I listen to him. “She was my mom too.” I guess she was. I guess I need to find a way to let this help me and not let it pull us apart. Not there yet…but at least I’m not hating him anymore. I am starting to feel compassion for HIS loss. But just barely. Not totally over this yet.