Monthly Archives: October 2010

Australia or bust?

Hindsight is always 20/20, whoever said this first was a mighty smart person.  As I think about my dooming Australia trip this quote seems so true.  Not long ago my sister grieved her greatest loss in the arms of Australia after her daughter passed away.  How could I think of booking a trip to the place that takes us Matson girls in and gives us a home while we tend to our open wounds and weeping spirits?  How silly of me to think I could flippantly wander around the country without the luggage of a broken heart.  Nieve and ignorant, thats what I feel tonight.

In ten days I am supposed to be boarding a plane to the other side of the world.  A once overly anticipated trip seems to linger on my mind in the form of a big black cloud now.  I do not want to go.  I have had one simple month to gather my thoughts after my fathers passing.  I haven’t caught up on bills, on thank-you’s, on friends, on me.  When was I supposed to fit in planning a trip?  Time since Dad’s death has this strange warping ability.  It feels like I just found out of his passing three days ago and I have yet to peel my broken body from off the floor, yet the gut-wrenching thoughts playing over in my mind seem to be familiar voices for what feels like years.  Time, she’s a tricky one.  I cant keep up, I cant escape it, I have not moved forward one inch.  I dont know how to leave home; literally I am just learning to shower again, to get ready for the day, to leave the house, to be away from my mom.  Life has been too busy to sit down and grieve for longer than a simple moment at a time, so packing my bag and flying to the other side of the world seems all too impossible right now.

BUT (there is always a but), it is hard not to go.  I never planned much this past year so my Dad was always up in the air as to what I would do next.  This is the one thing he knew I would be doing in the future.  The ONE thing.  All those big life events (or even the mundane ones) Dads get to know about their daughters, my father didn’t get to find out about me before he passed.  He didn’t know what my next job will be, when I would get married, how many kids I will have, or anything about the rest of my life.  The only definitive thing my father knew about my future was that on November 9th I would be packing my bags and heading to Australia with Quinn.  I suppose I want to go because this trip is the last thing my Dad knew about where my life would bring me next, some of my very last moments with my Dad were spent talking about my plans to Australia.

So what do I do, stay or go?  Today I believe I will go, yesterday it was out of the question.  I dont know what would be best for me right now.  Australia has the potential to break my already volatile spirit into a million more pieces but it also has the potential to give me time to breathe and heal in a unique and new way.  This folks is a tough one and once again I cannot make up my mind!

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I promise…

You held my hand as we drove.
Softly reassuring me I was alright.
Continuously reminding me I am bigger than any problem.
Hours we drove.
You, praying aloud and calming my fears.
Your heart broke when mine did.
Wiping my tears, unable to contain your own from falling.
You promised.
Again and again you promised that no matter what, I was strong, brave, capable.
I am strong, brave, and capable.
Tonight I hear your words, the only difference is I dont get to hold your hand this time.
But I hear you.
Loud and clear I hear you.
Oh Jenny Wren, you are going to make it through this.
I promise.

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Strength…

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Can you…

In the last few weeks ive been reminded by a person or two that I SUCK at reaching out in certain ways and so many people want to help but just dont know how.  I have had friends specifically ask me what they could do for me and I thought this would be the easiest way to say the most important things that are helpful to me at the moment.

Sending Prayers
I feel so blessed and uplifted when I crawl into bed and think about how many people around the world took the time to pray for me and my family.  I remember the day after my dad passed feeling the presences of a million prayers so thick through the air it was almost tangible.  I knew SO many people were bringing me to God on a regular basis and I felt very comforted.  Some people have even taken the time to call and pray with me over the phone while others have written me emails of the specific prayers they say.  Every time I sit on the receiving end of the phone listening to someone pray my heart instantly relaxes, when I am sad I dig through my inbox and read through the prayers I have been sent and instantly I am comforted.  I will never get sick of hearing your prayers.

No Pressure
I am not ready for certain things.  I have yet to leave the house on my own, I have gotten together with few of my friends, and I am terrible at returning calls.  Please dont take it personal, I am not meaning to offend anyone.  I cannot wait till my heart is ready to receive a bit more support, so please dont stop and dont make me feel pressured.  I just need some time.

Dont Worry
Right now, hearing the question “how are you” is rather frustrating but I know it is a habit and I know you didnt mean to offend me.  For the record though, if you are wanting to avoid the whole awkward question and response gig, I am not doing well, my Dad just died.  Also please feel free to tell me how your life is going, even if your having a really bad day and you just want to vent.  When you tell me your life is horrible because you were late for work and you burnt the cookies, I will indeed think to myself “humph well doenst that just blow, at least your freaking Dad didnt die”.  BUT, I know that is my issue and not yours and I DO care to hear about what is going on in your world.

Hearing Stories
My brain is so fried right now it feels like it is a struggle to think of memories.  I do love hearing stories about my Dad though (especially ones that include me) and I enjoy hearing people talk about him.  My family has gotten many emails from people sharing stories about my father and I cant tell you how much I enjoy reading them again and again.  When you have a chance write me a memory you have of my Dad, funny, sad, encouraging, anything; they are all treasures.

Dont Lie
Please dont say “this will get better”, if you think it will get better then you didnt know my Dad.  This pain will not get better and will not go away, it is a reality I need to deal with for the rest of my life.  I will eventually learn to cope with this hurt better and I know I will get stronger as time goes on but please be cautious not to minimize my fathers life by throwing out simple thoughtless comments.  I have many years ahead of me without the most important man of my life to see me through the most momentous moments of my life; this is a sad forever ache.

Keep Calling
I feel terrible that I am failing miserably at answering my phone lately or even returning messages.  There are so many people I want to talk too, people I even make plans to talk too.  For some reason I am really struggling to do this.  I am definitely experiencing a combination of shock and denial, talking to people seems to bring such a dynamic of reality so I suppose I have been avoiding it a bit.  Please keep calling, I love seeing your name pop up on my phone, I am encouraged by your messages and I think im finally ready to talk more anyway.

Think First
Please do not ask me what happened.  HELLO PEOPLE, think about it!  Do you really believe I want to talk about my fathers tragic death?  I cannot even bring myself to think about the situation on my own let alone discuss it with someone else.  I understand it is difficult for some people to know what the right or wrong thing is to say to someone in a situation like this, but I am sensitive to people who are treading lightly.  I promise I will not judge you and I will not take offense to most anything you say, but this question I will!  Honestly give your head a shake, it was a freakin PLANE CRASH, do I really need to say more?

Dinner
Although I wish I was one of those starve-myself-when-im-sad people, that is definitely proving not to be the case.  I love eating and I dont have a lose of appetite…bummer!  However life has been insanely busy around here lately and the only reason we have food in our bellies is because take-out is officially on speed dial and my sister Christa is here spoiling us with her cooking.  To those people who phone to say “dont worry about dinner tomorrow, we will bring something to you around 5”, you are a blessing, thank-you!!

Thoughtfulness
My love language is definitely quality time.  Thankfully I have had such a support system of people willing to give me their time and their thoughtfulness.  People have came by just to watch me do the dishes and keep me company, others have taken my car to change my tires and my oil, some load me up on decaf coffee, and some have even thought to bring my phone in to the shop just to get all my text messages permanently saved.  All of these things are such a wonderful gift.  To be simply thoughtful, or to help with tasks because either my father did them for me or my head is not in the space to do them myself is pure magic.  I cannot say thank-you enough to all the thoughtful people in my life; you make me feel loved!

Everyone in my life has been simply wonderful and I am so grateful for your support.  Thank-you for encouraging me and uplifting me throughout this time.  Each one of you is so very amazing.

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Larger than Life!

Through death, so much is discovered.  I never realized how much my Dad did for the community and how respected he was.  I mean, I did to an extent but the outpour of praise and of powerful stories from people and different organizations has been somewhat surprising for me.  For example, I never knew my father as a front-page newspaper-worthy man.  My father abundantly blessed others but rarely were those times spoke about, not to his family and not to other people.  He kept those blessing private between him and God; he was after all only able to bless others because of the blessings that were poured out to him.  I will say though, it has been such a treat to hear some of the stories people have shared about ways my Dad was able to help, support, or encourage them.

“With great rewards come great responsibility” this was one of my fathers most used verses and life mottos which he took so very seriously.  To have a God-loving man splashed all over the papers and to have that man be my father, is such an honor.  My Dad never was a preacher and he surely didn’t force God down someone’s throat.  The God I was raised with, the God my father taught me about was a loving, kind, forgiving Father.  My Dad believed in the whole “attraction rather than promotion” theory and I loved the way he put Christ as his center without having to announce it to the world.

The newspapers and media rarely talk about “religion” anymore as a beautiful thing.  Christianity has been made out to be a curse rather than a gift.  I was so proud that every paper who mentioned my father spoke about how he was a “deeply spiritual family man”.  One particular article was titled “Chuck Matson remebered for his generous farm-boy ways” and went on to speak about how he “reflected daily on spiritual e-mails, sending off bits of scripture to those he thought needed them” in large capital letters they quoted my uncle saying “Chuck knew in a deep and clear way he was who he was by the grace of God”.  So reading the papers, listening to statements released about my Dad, and watching the news after my fathers death made me so very proud.  Not just because I got to hear all the wonderful things people said but because even just for a week God got credit in our media…this among many things would make my Dad very proud.

I am so proud of who my father was, to me, to my mom, to my sisters, and his grandchildren.  I am proud to who he was to his family, his siblings, his parents, business partners, and his community.  But most of all, I am proud of who my father was for God, how proud his Saviour is of him, and how God eagerly anticipated the expected arrival of my Dad in His Eternal Kingdom.

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A big fat thanks…

To every kind person out there, I thank you, from the bottom of my heart I am sincerely grateful for each and every one of you.

Although these past couple weeks have been a total haze and I dont remember much, there are certain moments that have somehow attached themselves in my memory, most of which I am grateful for at this time.  A couple days after my father passed away I had to go out in public (my worst nightmare right now) and I was most definitely not a “people person” during any of those outings.  I had little to no patients with people, I resented everyone walking around with giant smiles on their faces, and I probably didn’t treat people in the kindest way myself.  I remember going into one store in particular and being pretty short with the lady helping me, she payed no attention to my attitude and continued helping me in such a kind way.  I cannot tell you how good that made me feel.  You see this girl did not care how I treated her, she cared how she treated me.

It is so true when people say “hurt people, hurt people”.  I wish that wasn’t the case and I wish I could say I am completely free from that label, but that isn’t the truth.  I have no terrible stories of how ive treated others these past couple weeks, but I do know I haven’t always been at my best.  The grace strangers have shown me is something I am so very appreciative of, especially the lesson it taught me.

I challenge you, to challenge yourself on your response next time you run into a rude person.  You never know, that rude person could have lost her father the day before, and that rude person may be totally refreshed and uplifted by the grace you give through a simple smile.

Thank-you to everyone who has shown so much kindness to my family and I lately.  Thank-you to the person who came over to my house and made my bed while I was doing funeral arrangements, I cannot express how loved I felt when I walked into my bedroom.  Thank-you to those people who have continually held us up in prayer.  Thank-you to the people who came over and prepared food, who spent their evenings cleaning up our mess, and taking out our garbage.  Thank-you to everyone who spent hours driving just to be a part of honoring my Dad and supporting his family.  Thank-you to those people who are constantly writing me messages to let me know my family and I are on your heart.  Thank-you to everyone who gave me big hearty hugs, real hugs where I didnt want to let go because I could feel your love.  And tonight I am sending out a special thank-you to the strangers who have treated me so kind, even when I probably didn’t deserve the kindness they were offering.  Thank you!

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Rewind…

So the sun has set and the sun has risen many many times and I am still not quite sure how I feel about the sun.  Sometimes I believe the sun is my friend gently urging me every morning to look out the window and appreciate the beauty of the day, other times it feels as though it is my new arch enemy reminding me the world revolves, moves on, continues, without my father.  Each night I count as the sun falls off the horizon, for sixteen evenings I have wondered if this is really my world…for fourteen mornings I have been woken up only to be reassured it indeed is.

I want the sun to stop.  I want everything to stop.  I want the cars to stop driving, I want the street lights to deny their ability to turn from red to green.  I want work to come to an end, people to stand still, time to stop turning.  I want the world to stand in protest, unwilling to wavier on their desire to go on with life until my Dad is given back to all of us.  I want to hit rewind.

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The Impossible…

And just like that my life has turned upside down.  The world began spinning in circles, the centrifugal force dragging me around, and my mind unable to keep up.  I have so much to say about my Dad, so many beautiful thoughts rummaging through my mind but I dont know where to start and I dont know how to make sense of anything I am thinking.

“No doesn’t mean no, it means not now”.  Growing up my father used to say this to me often.  He was a business man through and through and rarely ever said a straight out no to me.  He believed there was a way around things, or that certain things just needed time.  Any no he received he usually believed he could talk his way out of and he proved again and again that he indeed could.  My Dad always found a solution, he could always make things better.   This was a quality I loved so much in him, and it was a quality that contributed to me having him up on a pedestal; he was simply heroic in that way.  So now that my father is gone, I am not ready to accept no as my answer.  I am not ready to hear “no he is not coming back, no you cannot change this situation, no this cannot be fixed, there is not a solution”.  I am simply not ready.

Our family and friends have been a tremendous furtherance and in a time like this I dont know what a person would do without a team of people rallying behind them for support, but picking up the phone when a friend calls, replying to an email from a family member, answering the door to the latest visitor seems so hard for me right now.  When people call, they want to see how you are doing and I dont quite know how to answer that question, when you see someone face to face you recognize the sheer pity they have for you and that expression seems too foreign to accept.  Im not ready to talk about it, im not ready to accept that expression of pity is for me and not for someone else.

A memory seems like such a rip off right now.  How does a life that large somehow slip into a category of just a memory?  A man that could light up a room and captivate everyones attention, suddenly becomes a quick whispered apology from those once attentive ears.  You see, although I am grateful when people remind me to think of all my memories, I do have a desire to ask them how my memory is going to give my future children a Papa.  And yes memories are lovely but a memory is not going to walk me down the aisle.  A memory cannot captivate the straight beauty your ears hear when my Dad laughs, a memory loses mannerisms that you love to watch, a memory loses a scent.  A memory is unable to hug you, a memory is unable to reassure you that you are the most beautiful, intelligent girl in the whole wide world.  A memory is too little, too insignificant to summarize my Dad.

In a matter of one short moment my father became a memory, he became past-tense, he became a fading smell; it seems impossible.  This will take work, long hard work.  I will get there, one day (probably soon) I will accept this, or at the very least acknowledge it, but I suppose for now I am just going to have to go on a bit of a journey first.

Thank you so much to all my friends and family who have supported me.  I know there are a ton of phone calls and emails I have to return, and I will, I just need a bit of time first.  Wish me luck and please pray a million different prayers for me and my family.

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