Sunday, February 28, 2016

A twisted path....

I feel like I start so many of my blogs the same way.  

I verbalize the struggle to bring words from my soul to my fingers.  

I often talk about the sounds and scenery surrounding me.  

Somehow, it helps my fingers warm up.  

Somehow, it allows the words to flow more smoothly from within my heart.  

And so, here I sit.  Not sure who my audience is or if these words will even make a debut on my blog.  But I'm writing.  If anyone, it's for me and my Jesus.  

And for old kicks sake.... or new sakes, I bring words to my surroundings.  I have some worship music slowly coming from the speakers of my computer.  A car just honked outside and I can hear the slow bustle of traffic.  No chickens yet.  I haven't quite reached Uganda.  Instead, I hear a few birds greeting the day.  My friend's husband is mixing something in the kitchen.  I can hear the clink of the spoon against something and anticipate that the microwave will turn on any minute.  The day has begun.  I've been awake for just over 2 hours.  That's pretty good.  Jet lag has been kind to me.  A 12 hour jump forward in time and I've only had a few times of the jet-lag fog.  

That's pretty good.  I'll take it... no complaints coming from me.  

I'll be hopping on another jet plane soon. This time, the once seemingly long 5 plus hour flight will pale in comparison to the 15 plus hour flight i just took.   

Leaving the States and preparing to fly over the ocean was a bit more emotional than I expected.  

Grief seems to be a journey that has a lot of twists and turns.  And it doesn't seem merciful to whether or not you have journeyed it before.  

It's there. 

It's here in my heart. 

And yet, I refuse to let it reign over me.  To deny it would be wrong.  To allow it control over my heart would be equally wrong.  And so, today I acknowledge that it remains.  


It's there.  My heart and mind often wander to memories of my sister.  And to her family.  

God has graciously brought memories to mind.  

Good conversations.  


Lots of laughter.  

Grief.  It's a loaded experience.  The twists and turns can be daunting.  And I've realized that Grief demands your attention.  You can't stuff it, deny it, run from it, or really avoid it.  

It is there.  

In the thereness, I have done my fair share of letting the tears fall. I've smiled through those tears as memories floated through my heart and mind.  I've struggled to believe that she really is gone. I've been tempted to text her, send her a message, call her.  

And yet, somehow, the reality of what happened a month ago is slowly becoming a reality of my today.  

And that is a mixed bag for me.  

Glad that Grief isn't hanging over me likes an overcasting cloud.   

But torn, because somehow as the deep grief somehow begins to lift, I feel somehow guilty that life is moving on.  

How can I move on right now?  

Somehow, (that seems to be the word of the day)I don't want life to move on. Somehow, I want it to go at a snail pace. I don't want to get lost in busyness.  Don't want to get lost in life so much that I forget my baby sister. 

Her smile, her laughter is so clear in my mind right now.  I can see her looking at me and my heart smiles.  I do not want to forget.  

I've replayed the day of seeing her body at the funeral home.  

Countless times in my mind.  

I hated feeling her cold hands.  And can still feel the coldness from when I kissed her forehead.  

Those cold hands. I just wanted to keep holding them.  Wanted them to be warmed up.  

I don't want to forget.  

And then I remember her laughter.  Her spice.  

Her spice.  

Goodness, my sister had some serious spice.   

And then I find that in my remembering, I've actually taken a handful of steps.  

I've kept walking.  And I am pretty sure that is exactly what she would want me to do.  

To keep walking.  

To embrace the day in front of me and to walk.  

And so, sweet baby sis, I'm walking. 

And I am confident that as I continue to walk.  As I continue to remember. And as I lean up against my Jesus... That the grief will change.  It will hopefully lessen.  And my memories will only deepen.  

And so, for my sister's sake, I get on a plane tomorrow.  

With an open palm.  And I keep walking.  

And skyping with her kiddos.  And laughing with my siblings.  

And pouring in as able.  

And remembering.  

And trusting.  

He's got this.  And He's got me and for that I am so thankful.  

"You can shed tears that she is gone, or you can smile because she has lived.  

You can close your eyes and pray that she'll come back, or you can open your eyes and see all she's left.  

Your heart can be empty because you can't see her, or you can be fully of the love you shared.  

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday, or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.  

You can remember her only that she is gone, or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.  

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back.  

Or you can do what she'd want:  


open your eyes, 


and go on."

- David Harkins

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