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Archive for August, 2014

down the shore with the boys

This is one of my favorite pictures of “The Boys”. It was taken (by me) at the Jersey shore, probable Seaside and I have no idea what year. I would think the boys were 6, 4 and 2 give or take. Brittany was probable 2 but not sure of all the sand and the ocean at this point. So Christopher ran to the waters edge with such exuberance and joy, he wanted to see, do and experience everything (in hind sight, it’s almost as if he knew he had to crowd a lot of living into such a small amount of time), Stephen followed albeit with some reluctance, but the funny thing was Michael who always would march into everything and anything full steam ahead,  grabbed gold of Greg’s hand and they brought up the rear. I can’t say what Michael was thinking at the time, we never talked about it and now I wish we had. Was he afraid? I doubt it. Was he just amazed at the magnitude of the ocean and how the waves crashed upon the shore? Maybe. All I know for sure is I wish I had found this picture before he died so I could ask him if he remembers that day. More than likely he would respond with his potty mouth F… No!

Many years ago, I came across a little booklet called Thought Conditioners by Norman Vincent Peale. This is is description if how and why the book came about:  Over the years, I had noticed that certain passages
from the Scriptures had a particularly potent effect on
human beings. I began, therefore, to list the life-creating
words from the Scriptures that had done me the most
good. 

He later went on to say this about why there were 40 in his booklet:

The booklet contains 40 creative and vital passages.
Why 40? Perhaps because in His own deepest spiritual
experience, Jesus spent 40 days in the desert
withstanding temptation. There is no magic to the
number 40, but it so happened that when I finished my
list it totaled 40.

One of these thought conditioners was a phrase from —Isaiah 28:12,  This is the refreshing. —

I have been waiting for that moment in time when I could sit back with a deep contented sigh and say ……This IS the refreshing……. Now, as I look at this picture of my beautiful boys and there father, I realize I let one moment in time that WAS the refreshing go without even seeing it for what it was.

Under each of the 40 conditioners he wrote a little bit about how to use this phrase to open our eyes to all the possibilities  and the way to see them

 These few words remind us of a spring of cool water
because of their renewing quality. The frequent use of
today’s text has an invigorating effect.
Sometimes, after a busy day or even in the midst of
exacting activities, stop and say these words over to
yourself and note how they dissipate weariness and
refresh the body, mind, and spirit.
The best method for using these words is to say
them slowly, emphasizing their soft quiet melody. At the
same time conceive of peace, rest, and renewal as
coming to you. 

In my quest to find my new normal, to find that balance within and to deal with the loss of my 2 precious sons, I need to remember these lessons Norman Vincent Peale so eloquently shared.

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Grief….

it comes in waves like the ocean, pulling you under into its deep dark abyss without any warning. One moment you’re standing there, knee deep in water, you turn around and a wave crashes over you and brings you down and out into deeper water. With no idea what’s up or down or where you are in relation to the shore, you flounder.

It comes in like a thief in the night to steal the only sanctuary you have left, which is sleep. It plays a slide show in your mind of pictures, memories and snippets of conversations you’ve had and those you wish you’ve had.

It comes at you like a fist to the heart when you finally gather the courage to look at pictures or watch home movies. That moment in time when they were so alive so vibrant and you wake you silently screaming for one more …..moment, conversation, one more I love you and you realize that all your moments are in the past, there is no future or someday or one day.

It steals your breath away when you watch a friend of your child marry, or have a baby and you try to be brave and fight to keep the tears at bay as you smile and wish them well. And you truly do wish them well, it’s just that your mind play games on you and a litany of all the things you’ll never have or see run through your mind like a broken record. You’ll never be the mother of the groom and dance with him at his wedding, he’ll never come to me and tell me about the love of his life, he’ll never know the joy of fatherhood, they’ll never be anymore memories to be made and he will forever more be 24.

And then, you lift your head and straighten your spine because you know, deep in your heart and soul that grief cannot take your memories and you KNOW deep in your bones this one truth, LOVE IS THE ONLY THING WE CAN TAKE WITH US WHEN WE DIE. IT IS ETERNAL

 

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