Monthly Archives: December 2010

For I am drowning…

Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck.
I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold.
I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me.
Psalms 69: 1-2

I don’t even wanna breathe right now
All I wanna do is close my eyes
But I don’t wanna open them again
Until I’m standing on the other side

I don’t even wanna be right now
I don’t wanna think another thought
And I don’t wanna feel this pain I feel
And right now, pain is all I’ve got

-Steven Curtis Chapman, I Will Trust You

Image Source:  Suzy Wire

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Merry (?) Christmas…

We are going to suffer.
And it is going to shape us.
Somehow.

We will become
BITTER OR BETTER
CLOSED OR OPEN
MORE IGNORANT OR MORE AWARE
MORE OR LESS

turned in to the thousands
upon thousands of gifts we
are surrounded with every single
moment of every single day.

This too will shape me.
The only question left is, how?

-Rob Bell, Drops Like Stars

 

 

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Redeem…

Image Source:  The History of Redemption

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Google, I hate you…

Google.  This website browser is set on my home-page so that every time my internet is opened it is the first thing I see. It is a tool I use regularly to search almost anything, it has created a link between me and nearly anything I want to know or learn.  Up until eleven weeks ago, I considered google a friend of mine but our friendship was abruptly disrupted when my once-was-friend leaked a secret I wasn’t ready to know.  Google told me my father was dead.  Google.

For ten hours and fifty six minutes my father was no longer alive and I had no clue, none of us did.  Newspapers had already printed articles for the following day, the story had been broadcasted endless times on every news television station across Canada, pictures had been released, media was calling the house, our neighborhood was a buzz.  It seemed the people who mattered the most were the only ones blissfully unaware of the tragedy which had already taken place.

Since my fathers death I have often wished I could go back into moments of time and stay frozen there.  Favorite childhood memories, moments of my life that were impactful, important, or even simple or mundane; endless, endless moments shared with my father that I wish I could permanently return too.  But a more realistic moment I would love to go back too would be the day my father was gone and I didn’t even know it.  You see living in memories of the past with my father is impossible but what isnt impossible is having my world shatter without even knowing.  I want that back.  Hours before I found out that my life was forever changed I was watching a show on canadian hockey, playing Uno with my boyfriend, and talking on the phone till late in the evening with my sisters.  I want that moment back, the moment where my greatest lose had already happened yet it coexisted with the gift of ignorance.

In my favorite game of “would you rather” I have asked myself a million questions “would you rather know your Dad died right away, or would you rather have the slowest team of people imaginable trying to contact a family after a death”?  The later option (although frustrating at times) always seems to be my choice.  I would rather live my life simply unaware.  I would rather have gone to bed believing my Dad had a busy day and forgot to phone to see if I had made it to Eston safely, that he was too busy to return my calls, that he was just too tired to pick up the phone because he was already safely tucked into bed sound asleep.

I could have waited, I knew an officer was coming to the house, one more minute, a half an hour, who knows how long they would have taken, but it would have given me more time.  More time of hope, more time of not knowing, more time of believing my Dad was still a part of my world.  Instead, I opened my trusted google, I searched “Calgary news” and read “Sundre plane crash, three victims, no survivors” and I knew.

Google, who would have thought it would be the one to tell me that the most important man in my life was forever gone?  I suppose you can google anything now-a-days, even the exact moment your heart breaks in pieces and the world as you know it forever seems broken.

Image Source: GOOGLE…of course!

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Walk out those doors…

There are moments of clarity for me where I feel I really grasp what is happening in my world, but those moments are few and far between and right now I am thankful for that.  I am alright with still playing pretend months later.  But there are always those times that no matter what you try to believe or how hard you try to believe it, the truth stings you into a bitter reality. 
 
Tomorrow I will be home.  I cannot wait to be with my family and yet I dread getting off the plane.  You see, my family flys more than the average family, and flights home work like clockwork.  I email my mom with my itinerary and that’s it, the rest is taken care of.  From there my Dad picks me up at the airport and my mom stays home to greet me with one of my favorite home cooked meals.  We have blue jobs and pink jobs in my family, we always have, and its always worked.  Never once do my parents write to see if ill be getting a friend to pick me up because they know I always prefer them to get me, never once do I call to confirm my Dad will be at the airport because I just know he will.  My parents sincerely love to be the ones to pick me up and welcome me home. 
 
I love being greeted by my Dad at the airport.  He pulls up in his truck with a big grin, always offering one of those gigantic only-a-dad-can-give hugs, sometimes he brings me a coffee, usually he brings my dog, and he always gets out of the vehicle to tell me how happy he is to see me, and load my luggage into the truck.  The day before my Dad died I drove him to the airport for his last commercial flight.  I experienced a rather high amount of road-rage that day and the two of us laughed hysterically at how I pretty much lost my mind on every driver possible.  We had good drives to and from the airport.  Catch up drives, I missed you drives, drives that began or ended in hugs.  It is wild to think I will not have anymore of those drives, not even just one more time. 
 
Tomorrow I am scared my feet will turn into lead as I clear customs and walk out those doors.  I don’t want this reality.  I don’t want to see my poor cold mother driving around in the snow coming to get me.  I want my Dad to pick me up from the airport, its his blue job and I want his hug.  Who does the blue jobs now?  Tomorrow my Dad will not be there to pick me up from the airport, he will not be there to pick me up, he will not be there to pick me up.  Like clockwork I rehearse these words wishing they would just sink in yet desperately thankful they don’t.  And all I can think is…is it possible?  Will I round the doors out of the airport only to be greeted by my grinning Dad in his big truck???  Is it at all possible that this is one big nightmare, that tomorrow is the day my broken heart is put back together again?  Oh please, just lie and tell me it is possible…
 
Image Source: Deviant Art

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Walking a mile…

Today is my niece Kiya Jades second birthday and my heart misses her so much.  I fittingly decided to spend the day at the same waterfall that Tiffany visited while mourning the death of her daughter in Australia.  Tiffany wrote a poem at that spot titled “shoes” and I was thinking of it as the water crooned to my tears all day long.  Below is part of the poem that Tiffany wrote less than two years ago and following it is the poem I wrote as I response to her words…   

Shoes by Tiffany Matson:
I write this as a warning,
To the one who finds my shoes.
Looks can be deceiving.
They are not gently used.

I’m trying to send this with love
Not with jealously or spite,
But those shoes weren’t just any shoes
They were “The Shoes” that fit just right.

I imagine you found them parched,
On the rocks beside the water.
I carelessly left them there,
While searching for my daughter.

Though my feet are no longer graced
With their comfort and style,
Take my shoes dear stranger,
I dare you, walk a mile.

They don’t come with a handbook
There are no rules to abide
Just a baby step of faith
Which gets longer stride-by-stride. 

Sometimes this journey is a struggle
But His promises are true
And yes, I’m going to miss them
But they now belong to you. 

Just in case you’re wondering
I found her on the ledge
She was swimming in the waterfall
When I looked over the edge. 

I could have jumped in with her
But when I turned around,
I could not see my shoes
They were nowhere to be found. 

I took it as a sign
God wants to show me more.
So while she lives in Heaven
For now, I’ll stay on shore. 

I write this as a warning
To the one who finds my shoes.
Looks can be deceiving.
They are not gently used.

 Walking a mile:
I was sitting at this waterfall when I found a pair of shoes
They were lovely and looked comfortable, although they had been used
I tried them on regardless to see how they fit for size
And suddenly I was looking at life through someone else’s eyes 

I tried to lift my feet, I tried to move around
But the load these shoes have carried just weighted me to the ground
With every step I took my broken heart would not cease
And I realized the shoes I wore were from the mother of my niece 

I could no longer stand the pain of keeping these shoes on
So I took them off of my feet and began to move along
Suddenly I was saddened as I realized my sister couldn’t do the same
You see her hurt is forever, these shoes her eternal pain 

I felt torn as I walked away then something caught my eye
I looked down at the waterfall and instantly began to cry
I saw a carefree girl giggling and splashing in the water
I took a second look and I swear it was her daughter 

She’s grown since I saw her last, but still looks strong and brave
So I caught her attention and frantically began to wave
I told her who I was and that I loved her so
I begged her to come home with me, I begged her not to go 

She looked at me and smiled, she knew just who I was
And as our conversation began, my heart just went a buzz
She told me she had a message that I should pass on to her mother
She said to say she misses you and she knows how much you love her 

And in a tiny whisper, I gently heard her say
Tell my mom I heard her celebrate my second birthday today
Tell her I was held so tight in Papas arms all day long
And that Jesus helped to serenaded me in my Happy Birthday song 

Tell her all my strength I got was from those shoes she wore
And Im glad she had to wear them for the gift that is in store
One day soon I will see my mom and when I finally do
I will greet her with a great big hug and a brand new pair of shoes 

I love you Tiffy Jade and I am so proud of the Mom that you are.  Happy Birthday to your little girl, I pray her big day was celebrated well!

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And sleep became my friend…

There are moments in your life where the weight of sorrow on your heart feels like it is completely suffocating and consuming.  Like if you thought one more thought, or you allowed one more pain into your heart, you would actually combust.  Sometimes my heart aches so bad I think it will actually just explode, or crumble, or just simply melt away until I stop breathing.  It is amazing the pain tolerance that the muscle of the mind and heart can handle; it blows me away every day.

Before surgery the nurses let me call home collect.  I sat on the phone with my sister and my mom and we talked and cried and laughed.  I laughed a hearty laugh, a laugh I have not had in a very long time.  The sound itself startled me; it made me realize how foreign it is to my world lately and how I need to make decisions for myself in order to make that laughter not so unfamiliar.

Yesterday I had to have surgery and the moment I met my surgeon I liked her.   Her personality invited me to pretend to be as strong as I would like but her eyes invited me to show my fears.   People die or things go dramatically wrong all the time from the simplest of procedures and I was nervous, especially given my situation and given the fact I am doing a fairly big surgery without being at home with my family.  I played the tough card until we were about to roll into the surgical room and then I simply let go.

Right before surgery the nurse asked me to take off my jewelry and instantly my heart broke.  I cried and cried and cried.  Everyone stood around my bedside stunned not knowing what happened.  The only piece of jewelry I was wearing was my airplane necklace, this simple object around my neck seems to comfort me at the touch alone and I wasn’t prepared to take it off.  Eventually, broken heart and all they wheeled me into the surgical room and moved me onto a different bed.  I had hidden a picture of my Dad under my back and when I moved beds it fell out, the nurse once again told me she would need to take it away and I lost all control.  I haven’t done that yet, I have not cried the way I cried at that very moment.  I screamed and I wailed and I could find no words of expression to come from my mouth.  I didn’t care what they thought, my body told me it was time to release.  I looked around the room and I was furious, why could my dad have not at least made it to a hospital, at least had a fighting chance?  I wept, for what seemed like hours and nobody moved.  My heart shattered on that table and I cried in pain, in fear, in lose, and frustration.  I cried because I didn’t know if I would be more disappointed if I didn’t wake up from surgery or if I did.  I cried because it was the only thing left in me to do; breathing, speaking, venting, none of it is working anymore.  And suddenly my surgeon walked over to me, tucked my picture under my sheets and just over my heart, looked me kindly in the eye, and with a broken heart herself she whispered, “Jenelle, I am going to put you to sleep now”.  And she did, and it was perfect.  It was magic actually, to carry all that pain, to release it and then just calmly fall asleep.  It was the best gift I have received during my time in Australia and an outreach I will forever appreciate. 

Home is on the horizon and I couldn’t be happier.

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Welcome baby Gertrude…

Sometimes all you can do is chalk it up to a bust…Australia has been one large bust!  A car accident, a lost computer, being sick for much of the time, not to mention terribly lonely, and now….drum roll please….a live parasite roaming around under my skin!  Yes folks you heard me right!  Australia’s rarest parasite with only a handful of cases recorded has indeed implanted itself into me.  Typically this parasite is ingested so you don’t really notice it, but on me, I am the rare and only case recorded here where it has burrowed itself into the top layer of my skin….on my bikini line!!!  After our car accident we were stuck on the road for a few hours where I proceeded to pee in the ditch, I thought I felt a bite during my little urinating session and quickly pulled up my pants with the heebie-jeebies and a half full bladder; I soon discovered that bite was about the time when my new friend decided to hitch a ride. 

So  I can now feel this parasite crawling around under my skin, I sit down and I am getting in the way of my new little friend (and she makes quite a scene), I go to bed and try to fall asleep and the only thing I can think of is the alive creature disturbing (and infecting) my body.  This means I am a complete mental nut-job right now.

After two days in the hospital I finally drove to another town who I heard had better suited doctors for a more immediate solution.  They indeed did and were able to book me in for a surgery right away.  So this evening was spent in surgery under anesthetic where they “hopefully” removed it.  If they did not get it all I am on a parasite medication that will kill poor Gertrude (we felt she deserved a name) within 21 days.  Until then my new friend may be sticking around, but for my sanity please cross your fingers that isn’t the case.

Seriously though, ive been sat on by an elephant, my sister had the youngest baby in the world to be born with cancer oozing from her every orifice and my Dad fell out of the sky…literally!  Why wouldn’t I get Australia’s rarest parasite?  And why wouldn’t I get it on the most awkward place possible?  Australia was supposed to be the easy country, the fall back country to an effortless travel experience, but of course with my luck nothing can be that simple.  Tonight before surgery the anesthesiologist asked if I was aware that death is possible when put under, she also made it very clear “it is very unusual”.  I was talking with my mom and my sister on the phone as she said this and the three of us burst into a nervous laughter – “unusual” is pretty much the understatement of our lives, in fact it may have turned into our life motto. 

So on that note I am itching (hahaha) to get home.  I am going crazy and it is possible I have already lost my mind.  This is too much, wayyy too much!  Wish me luck that I can find an earlier flight home and until then pray that me and Gertrude learn to co-exist in a much more productive manner…or at least be nice to one another.

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