Sunday, April 29, 2012

Monday Morning Musings

Looking back to Christmas 2010, I never would have thought that within four months both my parents would be in Heaven.  Life changed for our family with a phone call January 9, 2011 when my Dad had a heart attack.   

My Dad spent the last eleven years of his life taking care of Mom, who had had a series of strokes in 2000 which eventually took away her ability to do anything for herself.  We had all those years to reconcile ourselves to the mortality of life and to see that death for Mom would be a release from the prison her body had become and to embrace the joy that would be hers when she finally was called home to Heaven and would receive her perfect body and mind. 

But my Dad--like all dads--was strong and tough and in many ways, we felt he was invincible.  We knew he was hurting as he watched Mom slowly lose all her functions...the ability to walk, to talk, to feed herself, and finally to even get out of bed.  But he would do like he always had done, he would do what he needed to do and it would be OK in the end.  But even he coudn't push away the toll the stress of being Mom's caretaker had taken on his body. 

My Dad was called home to his rest in Heaven on March 3, 2011.  Mom followed him there on April 1, 2011. 

These two events turned my world upside-down.  My Dad was more than a parent;  we had become friends.  He encouraged me to start my business of painting glassware and helped me create many of the designs.  He pushed me beyond what I thought I could do...which is what he had done for me my whole life. 

I have not been able to pick up a paint brush and paint since I took my last design into the hospital for him to see.  I'm not sure if I will ever be able to return to painting with the same enthusiasm.

But the desire to create, that desire that Dad encouraged and helped develop remains strong.  I have been teaching myself the art of making jewelry and this helps me feel close to Dad.  Dad loved to fish and we would go out on the bay to fish many times.  Being near the ocean has been a part of the healing process for me over the past year.

A friend introduced me to the beauty of sea glass and imagine my surprise to discover a small beach near my home where sea glass washes in with the tides.  With each piece of sea glass I collect, and each piece of jewelry I create using it, I feel a peace in my life as I remember the times I spent with my Dad. 

God has been with me through my entire life but I have had no greater assurance to His love and His hand on my life than throughout the past year.  I do not understand why things happened they way they did and I still struggle with the "whys," but my faith in God's promises that He uses everything to work good in our lives has not been shaken. 

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