Monday, November 26, 2012

It Won't be the Same this Year

It hasn't been the same since... 1997? 1998?  Whatever year it was that my uncle died.  (or any of the friends & family members who have passed since then)

This time of year is always hard, there's always the stress and anxiety that we bring into the holidays - have to clean the house, have to have the food just right, the decorations just right, get the right gifts for the right person... the list goes on.  When you've lost a loved one, it gets that much harder.... I mean, you eventually get used to the every-day activities without that person there, but when the holidays hit, you can't avoid realizing that there's someone, or multiple "someones" missing from the table.

The first year we had to survive a holiday after someone had passed, this is the song that brought me peace.  I can't tell you how many times I listened to this song on repeat one, how many times I would get to church early - sometimes hours early - to pray, light a candle, and play the piano... figuring out this song by ear, and singing it over and over again.  Oddly enough, I can't seem to remember how to play it now.... *sigh*

This year, I am missing both of my grandmothers, a lot.  This year, I hurt for the girl in youth group who lost her younger sister to cancer over the summer.  This year, I cry a few tears & pray for my friend who just lost her husband, and my friend who's mother passed away, and for my other friend who was unable to attend her grandmother's funeral last weekend, and I weep for all those touched by depression, mental illness, and suicide.  This year, I pray that all of my loved ones, and their loved ones are safe and able to share another holiday season with us.  I pray that we can all feel the presence of those who have gone before us, surrounding us with their love and prayers still.  Who knows- maybe a heavy smell of roses will overwhelm you, or you might hear that bell ring when nobody's standing near the tree... little signs that it's okay to cry, okay to miss them, and okay to move on...

When you can't seem to find peace, when you don't think you can make it through another day with the absence of that person lingering, pray.  Sing, write, talk, cry, scream, vent, pray.  God understands that you're hurting, and He will help you.  He will always help you.  He understand if you need to be mad a Him for a while, and He will welcome you back in close, open arms, as soon as you're ready. 

(again, let me know if the link doesn't work!)
by Vince Gill, album Let There Be Peace On Earth

It's time to pack our bags and hit the highway,
And head on out for Christmas holiday,
I'll fall apart when I pull in the driveway,
It's my first time home since brother passed away.

His favorite time of year was always Christmas,
We'll reminisce about the days gone by,
Oh how I wish that he was still here with us,
My memories with him will never die.

When the stockings are hung,
And Silent Night has been sung,
And Christmas is finally here,
It won't be the same this year.

Losing my big brother hurt so badly,
It's help me learn what Christmas really means,
There's nothing more important then your family,
We're all the children of the King of Kings.

When the stockings are hung,
And Silent Night has been sung,
And Christmas is finally here,
It won't be the same this year.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Giving Thanks

I have lots to write on this, but not a lot of time to write right now.... so please, read these amazing words by Crystsal Mazzuca!

A Different Way to be Thankful

Wise words, ma'am!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Counting Blessings & Little (or big!) Miracles

I tentatively share with you that I have been almost completely (almost) symptom free for the last 5-6 days!  No chest pains, no dizziness, no near-passing out, no tingling arms & legs... HURRAY! 

I really started noticing a difference after I threw up a few prayer requests to Saint Kateri Tekakwitha and Saint Therese of Lisieux.  Both of these women suffered illnesses and were determined to continue serving God despite the challenges of their conditions, and my spiritual director suggested I have a little chat with them.... spend time in prayer with them.... "breathing in the presesnce of the Holy Spirit"... That was October 30th.  I prayed & asked St Kateri & St Therese to pray with me, for me, every single day;  within nine days I started feeling better!  It wasn't any sort of official novena, by any means, but nine straight days of prayer....

Thank you, everyone, for all of your prayers - I know they are helping!  I still have to take the medication & supplements, but just being able to do... anything... without being afraid of passing out, without being in constant pain, constant fear.... AMEN.

I plan to spend some time at the Catholic book stores, I really want to find medals for Kateri & Therese, and wear them.  I don't ever want to forget that these amazing women of faith are with me every single day.