Monday, December 9, 2013

I may be a future candidate for Hoarders!

This was my Facebook status today: "anyone else get emotionally attached to things in the home? We bought a new printer during black Friday ( more like cyber Friday for us) and I've had my other printer for 8 yrs... I'm actually sad to see it's been through a lot with us..from Jr. high school reports, to taxes, to high school assignments... fare the well my hp printer....and welcome home new hp 3510"
How crazy is it to get so used to things ,that it makes you sad to see it go? Our printer which was once a scanner, copier, printer has now become.. a no scan, copy, and barely print printer... I have held on to it for as long as possible because the cartridge is refillable and I cannot pay $50 for is crazy to me. So, when I saw that it was on it's last function I knew it was time to replace it and with all the black Friday deals on printers we couldn't pass up the opportunity. So, I have this brand new hp printer sitting on my desk and I feel sad to put out the old and bring in the new.  How strange to even think about the length of time we've had our old printer and all that it has been through. I can remember when we purchased it, we were only married for a few years and our kids were little. It really has survived 4 teenagers, a toddler, and a man who would bonk it on the head when it wouldn't work right! I know it's silly to even have these feelings, but I am grateful that the printer lasted as long as it did. I'm not trying to store up treasures here on earth so don't worry, if you come over to my house you won't see a collection of broken items in my garage( actually I may have some stuff in there right now that needs throwing). 
  I wonder if this is how Writers felt when their typewriters would clunker out?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

When my life was a mess, God sent me a widow

I was nervous driving up to the house on the hill. When we pulled into the dirt road I noticed a small pond in front of the porch. A thin white-haired, blue-eyed woman greeted us at the door. Her name was Zella and she attended the same church that my  birth son’s parents attended. Nancy, my son’s adoptive mom, had shared my situation during a prayer meeting at church. I needed a place to stay for the remainder of my pregnancy and wasn’t sure where I, along with my 2 year old, could go. After the prayer meeting Zella approached Nancy and offered her home. She had recently lost her husband and had the space in her home (as well as in her heart) for a broken 19 years old and her toddler. I was nervous and curious about meeting her. She knew nothing about me except the fact that I was placing my baby for adoption and that I’d already had a child. My circumstance was not an ideal one at all. I waddled into her home where she invited us to sit in the back yard. She brought a tray out with lemonade and cookies. As she brought out the tray I noticed one of her arms was a bit paralyzed and she walked with a bit of a sway. She immediately set me at ease with her soft spoken manner and her gentle wrinkly eyes. She asked a little about me and she shared about how her husband Ernest had passed away 6 weeks prior. At the end of our meeting she offered my son and I a temporary home. She had a fruitful garden near the front of the house and it seemed so peaceful there. I was relieved to have a temporary place to stay. I didn’t know it at the time, but GOD had sent me to the home of a widow for my provision. Emmanuel and I moved in with Zella and she would cook meals for us and I would watch her make a salad with things she had grown herself. I was impressed with how she knew so much about so many things. After staying there for a few weeks she played a cassette tape of her husband’s funeral. We both sat in the kitchen and quietly listened as one by one people spoke of her husband. At times she would quietly wipe her tears and at other times she would smile. I was sad for her and at the time thought to myself how fortunate she was that they lived to be married so long. After the tape ended she went on to share how they had planned to do things after his retirement and all that changed when suddenly he was gone. Besides cooking and keeping a home, Zella showed me unconditional love. If she ever had an opinion about my life choices she certainly didn’t treat me with any disapproval. She treated me as if I was an important guest and not a teenage girl in chaos. As the day approached to have the baby she was the one who helped me with Emmanuel. When I returned home from the hospital I was able to lock myself in the room and just recover emotionally as well as physically. She quietly tended to Emmanuel and would bring me food on a tray. I would lay there weeping and she gave me the space to do that. When the time came for me to move back home I left with a deep appreciation for Zella. I admired her, she was no longer this grandma that opened her home, but she represented what I wanted to become. A loving, upright woman of high character. To me she embodied Proverbs 31 all the way through. As the years went on and I grew up I was proud to call her and share with her my victories. When I went to visit my birth son for the first time she was there. A few years ago I went back to visit my birth son  and we were able to have lunch with Zella. She had gotten older, moved a little slower, and had added a few more wrinkles around her blue eyes. Her gentle manner was unchanged as well as my admiration for her as a woman of God. Today, I got the call from Nancy informing me that Zella had gone home to be with the Lord. I admit that I am sad at the loss for such an amazing woman. I am so thankful to the Lord for allowing our paths to cross, especially at a time when I can honestly say my life was a mess. I’m thankful to Zella for showing me His love when I desperately needed it. I can say that she had an influence on my relationship with God. She loved the Lord and it was evident in the manner in which she lived. I'm thankful, so thankful for this amazing woman!

Proverbs 31: 30-31 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Saying goodbye to a memory

Life is complicated. It is and some of those "complications" in life are often times intermingled with sweet and not so sweet things. When my son Emmanuel was born, I was a teen mom. His biological father chose not to be a part of his life however, the rest of the family did. E-man's Grandparents were very sweet and visited him in the hospital when he was born. They have over the years seen him ( not as often as they would have had his Bio Dad chosen to be there) but still there has been some interaction. For E-man the connection is a little harder because his Grandparents for the most part speak Spanish (although his Grandpa " Pa Chisco" knows how to say the phrase "you got a girlfriend?" perfectly in English) For me,I have always felt a special love for his Grandparents. I met them when I was a teenager and got to know them while I dated their son and they were there in the early years when I was a single mom. E-man's Grandma " Ma Chewy" and  I have felt a special connection with each other and she has donned me with the title " honorary Daughter in law." I have to say it again, life is complicated. So that is the backdrop of our relationship. Several months ago I took E-man to visit his grandparents. I was taken aback when I saw Pa Chisco. He had gone through serious health problems that left him somewhat frail. When I greeted him he didn't give me a hug right away but rather gave more of an introduction of himself. I at first thought he was joking around, he was always a bit of a prankster. As he settled into his recliner, the realization of how much he had changed was settling in with me. His hair was pure white, he was much thinner and moved much slower. Yet, there was a calmness to him. Alzheimer is a tricky disease, he reflected the memory I have of him, but in turn there was no longer a memory for me to reflect. Once he knew E-man was his grandson he started talking with him about working, Pa Chisco was always a hard worker and he encouraged E-man to do well at his job, work hard so he could make money and get girlfriends. I laughed when he asked E-man if he had a girlfriend to which E-man replied," no" to which Pa Chisco replied "No you don't have A girlfriend, you say you have two girlfriends." Last night I received a message from one of E-man's Tia's letting me know that Pa Chisco is not well and we should probably go visit him. I called  Ma Chewy and she gave me an update which included letting me know the Alzheimer's Disease had progressed even further as well as other illnesses. E-man and I are planning to go visit them. I doubt that Pa Chisco will know who I am, I doubt he'll know who E-man is but, we know who he is and that is reason enough for us to visit them. When I met this family in my teen years I didn't realize how quickly we would be here, where the years and illnesses start taking things away. It doesn't seem like I've known them for over 20 years but, I have. I could not sleep last night, my heart was sad. I'm sad because I could hear in Ma Chewy's voice the hurt she is feeling seeing her husband go through the physical struggles. I'm sad because there is a mourning that happens with Alzheimer's where the person is there but, you feel you've lost them already. I'm sad for E-mans Aunt's who have to prepare to say goodbye to their Dad. I'm sad for E-man because he didn't get to know them as well as he should have been able to and now I see that the time is coming to a close. When we're younger we think we have all the time in the world and as I am starting to get older (cough, cough did I just say that???) I am seeing how quickly time is passing. I cannot wait to see them. I look forward to sitting in their living room. I may have a little ache in my heart when we see them, but I will also feel the love and that is enough.
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