Fear is a Liar

“Many still mourn, many still weep
For those that they love who have fallen asleep
But we have this hope though our hearts may still ache
Just one shout from above and they all will awake”-
Grave Robber by Petra

A restless night ; my achey joints and my dreams have kept me tossing and turning; I haven’t slept well. I think I’ve disturbed my husband’s sleep also, although he won’t complain. He is a gentleman.

It’s a welcome relief to see the sun peeking through my bedroom blinds, reminding me night time is over. I’m relieved until I remember it’s not all a dream. The virus is still out there and it is real. The world has changed in a few short weeks into something beyond my imagination. The Covid-19 pandemic has affected many lives and even caused death around the world. In my family, it has certainly caused disappointment.

In less than a week , both my adult children and I have lost our jobs until this is over. My son, my daughter and my future son-in-law have been exposed to the virus so they are in quarantine.
Since social distancing and travel bans are in effect across the continent, my daughter has canceled the June wedding we have been preparing for for 2 years. She now plans to marry in a small courthouse ceremony as soon as it is reasonable. My husband and I want to be there for them but right now we cannot say when we are able to travel out of state to be with them. Planning and doing as we please is no longer a luxury we can enjoy.

In all of this , I am trying to stay positive and courageous but I am not good at either. This is evident when I read family group texts from our kids. Both our children seem concerned and perhaps a little annoyed with the angst in my responses and suggestions in our conversation. I realize we are blessed. All we have to do now is wait and stay home. My loved ones are safe, and although the unknown is difficult, we are not suffering in the true sense of the word. We have shortages in hospital equipment and test kits for the virus, but we have modern medicine and courageous medical personnel doing the best they can. My family is safe; I am loved by my gentleman, and I have all that I need.


Yet, my mind is swirling with thoughts of family, weddings and funerals. Tomorrow is my mother’s birthday; she would be 83 had she not passed away 5 years ago. My father is in a nursing home due to failing health. His memory has been failing for some time and now he doesn’t always remember who I am when I call him.
With all of this, I have to recognize that it’s normal for me to feel somewhat fragile. My thoughts swirl with memories of family gatherings, of funerals and weddings.

I have been finding comfort from music and good memories shared with my family. These memories include my wedding day, the birth of my children and conversations with my mother and my father. These conversations offered hope in a troubled, imperfect world. I remember that as she got older, my mother would remind me that when the time came , I was not to grieve for her. She was looking forward to a perfect eternity. She was at peace with where she was going. This past December, when I visited my father, he was cognizant of who I was, and he told me the same thing. He looked forward to life eternal, and going to be with my mom. He told me not to miss him, or feel bad for him, but instead to be present with those around me and pay attention to who might need me, instead of who I might need.

In this time of fear and uncertainty, I have spent some time thinking about death and about these conversations with my parents. I try to hold onto what my parents taught me, and to reflect those teachings in my life. This is not an easy task for me. It is in my nature to overthink. Some might call this unhealthy rumination, but it is the way I’m wired and it’s a process for me to combat fear and anxiety. I am reminded to let go of what I can’t control , and not give in to the fear that struggles to take hold of me. I must allow Peace and Love and Joy to rule instead.

“When the last enemy is done, from the dust will come a song
Those asleep will be awakened, not a one will be forsakened
He shall wipe away our tears, He will steal away our fears
There will be no sad tomorrow, there will be no pain and sorrow”-Grave Robber by Petra

This One is For Sauli

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“Far better it is to dare mighty things and to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, for they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” — Theodore Roosevelt

A few weeks ago, my husband asked me why I hadn’t written anything on my blog, and I gave him my exasperated reply, “I have writers’ block!”  He literally laughed out loud at that, and so did I. It is hilarious to think that I consider myself a real writer, but here it is; I cannot write unless this burning within me takes control and urges me on.  I never know what will bring it on, but I can only imagine it might be what drives a painter or a sculptor to create something beautiful and breathtaking. At least that is my hope and desire. I do not write because I have a need to expel my verbal diarrhea. I write because I want to share something that might cause pause in my readers’ day.  Creativity in any given form, whether it is music, art or written, adds life to our world; we cannot let it die. We must nurture it so that we might breathe, and not simply exist.

These thoughts were swirling through my mind as I finished my morning swim, and I was walking back to our house. I noticed today, for the first time, that through the busyness of our summer, the cat tails in our pond had matured, the sumacs along the tree line had begun to turn red, and some of the leaves on the choke cherry tree in our front yard had begun to turn orange. Fall in all its glory is arriving, and with that, we will be leaving this wonderful state that fits us like a comfortable old shoe, and venture out into parts unknown.  We have sold our house and bought a new one; in a couple of short weeks, I will be swimming in a new pool in a much warmer climate.

With the knowledge that our time here is coming to a close comes much excitement for our future, and some bittersweet feelings about leaving our children behind.  I have felt some sadness and anger in waves from each of them, and I know that is warranted, and yet it causes my heart to churn.  I have kept my children close over the years; the apron strings have not been loose, so it will be hard to let go.

I left home when I was much younger, and I remember leaving on one  long cross country trip in particular, with my brother and sister; something like that would have been unheard of when my children were in their teenage years.

During the summer before I entered tenth grade, my parents thought it might be a good idea to let me take a road trip to Kelowna, British Columbia, with my brother and sister, who were twins, and four years older than I was.  We lived in the small town of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and had made the trip out west by car many times during summer vacation to visit our Uncle Eddy and his family, but this was to be our first time alone.  To this day, I cannot fathom how my father and mother were brave enough to allow three teenagers to travel cross country alone; but they did, and we were fine. We had a glorious time.  We loved our Uncle Eddy.  He was a mechanic by trade, and an entrepreneur by spirit; that is, when we went to visit him that year he no longer had his mechanic’s garage, but was running a urethane foam insulation business from his shop in Kelowna.  While we were visiting him, he spray-insulated my dad’s Dodge van for him. (I remember spending the trip back to Ontario picking off the bits of bubbly foam insulation while I was lying in the back of my dad’s van)

That summer, we spent a lot of time in my uncle’s office while he worked.  He had many inspirational quotes typewritten on pieces of paper and thumb tacked to his office wall.  This is where I discovered, for the first time, the above quote by Theodore Roosevelt, and I was so profoundly moved by it, that I memorized it for a tenth grade English assignment.  Since then, I have “owned” this quote and it has inspired me on many different occasions.

As our time in Minnesota quickly comes to an end and we find ourselves jumping through endless hoops of paperwork to get everything in order for our move,  I suppose it is only natural for some doubt to set in, and we, my husband and I , find ourselves wondering just exactly what it is we are doing and why we are doing it.  So many of our friends and colleagues have never moved from one job to another, never mind one city to another.  They are firmly rooted in one place, close to their friends and family, and are very comfortable with their surroundings.  As we prepare for the changes that are coming, we are a little excited, and quite frankly, a little bit intimidated at what awaits us. We have moved multiple times over the years, but somehow, this latest move has me rattled. I find myself feeling a little bit jealous of my friends and acquaintances who have never moved and who are firmly rooted in their surroundings.

It is in these brief moments of uncertainty that I remember this quote by Roosevelt, and I remember that not everyone is hard-wired the same way.  The restlessness that is a part of us has challenged us to move forward and make these changes in our life, and it is too late to turn back now. We will go forward, unafraid, and lean on the One who has breathed this change into our lives.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him.”-Romans15:13