Memories for Memorial Day

It’s been a week since the last post. With this past recovery I finally immersed myself into the world of blogging. Even though I’ve written for some time now I just discovered the “WordPress reader” and have been truly inspired to write more by all the blogs I’m running into. Thank you for the recent “follows” I didn’t know how exciting it is to meet a new fellow blogger. To be apart of this community is another aspect to healing. From poetry to travel it’s definitely inspiring me to write much more but please be patient as I start purging my stories. I will continue to let words flow out as they can and find an inspiration to pull another memory, an insight, or vision… Which maybe a story that  goes back and forth but I hope you enjoy the ride.

I was thinking about what I should write about. I started to reflect on this past week. My youngest son last day of school which reminded me of another year fighting Valley Fever. Which pulled me from being an active PTA board member along with so many other things I loved to do. I thought about how I was able to attend his last baseball game. The first game of the season is when I got the call that I was going into acute transplant rejection and needed to be hospitalized. The worries of my oldest son presenting his 8th grade portfolio. Thinking about how he still managed to be on the honor roll, attend class trips, play sports all while we had such a rough year.

It reminds me of a season wrap up in life. Just like a TV show season finale. Which I’ve watched quite a few:  Grimm, The Finder, Etc.. to name a few. All  ending with a season climax. In the Grimm he would finally reveal to his wife his identity as a grimm, the finder would find his long-lost mother for his dad’s dying wish, etc..  Could I compare my life to this? Maybe in some ways. Life is always ready to reveal something new.

I started to think about Memorial Day and didn’t want to take too much away from what this day is about. With the many years of my husband working at the VA/Veteran’s Hospital we have a high regard for all that has served and protected our freedom. We also lived by an Air force base for several years where my kids attended school with many military families. We aren’t military but our lives have intertwined to have a certain connection. My husband had the privilege to care for many Veteran’s in their last days.

My husband comes home and never fails to share a story or two. Pretending to be a patrol officer to someone with severe dementia who still thinks he’s in the war. Having to fight someone who is incontinent and still in his old age proud to have anyone care for them. Sometimes he comes home with screams stuck in his head. The pain of war memories is very much a reality. My husband is a witness to it.

My thoughts take me down memory lane where it all began…

I started to think about  how my husband got into the medical field; earlier in this decade when the economy plummeted. Right after high school he was able to go into the telecommunications industry. This was a big break as we started a family very young (Literally graduating with a baby). He went from working at Mc Donald’s making minimum wage to making almost triple the amount overnight. This provided the opportunity to get our own place at 19 years old. I was able to go to college and pursue a degree. We were able to have an awesome wedding. Provide for our son. Best of all we were able to create a life together.

When the reality of job security was no longer there. The lay offs started and here he was in his early 20’s finding himself at a crossroads of what to do next. Things always seemed to fall into place for us but I could remember this was a hard time. We already envisioned buying a house, maybe another car, etc… We were stable and things were already heading in that direction. In a moment we had climbing debt and insecurity.

He looked to the medical field to bring that security back. At this time I wasn’t sick yet. I was working full-time and I would be able to step up to the plate along with my husband. It seemed to always work that way. Even though obstacles threw us off track we had this ability to keep on moving forward. He never stopped working even as he pursued his certification as a nursing assistant. He worked any job in between. Package handler at FedEx, Painter, etc.. We kept going. He kept providing.

Our goal was to head in the right direction. To break patterns that to a life full of dysfunction. Addiction, divorce, abuse, etc… Which was very much what statistics said our lives should have lead us to. But there was something in us telling us both that there was much more to life. Even though each trail could have easily pointed to the direction to take the easy route.

We were young, naive, undisciplined but we knew that we could do it someway, somehow. We had our kids to keep us focused. Than our faith kicked in when the hardest moments came. Having a premature son, sickness, and “true uncertainty” was in our midst. The realities that the life we were making together could just suddenly be gone in just a moment.

But we kept pushing forward. We both worked hard to strive for more. This wouldn’t define us. I worked in the day, he worked at night. This gave us more. This fixed the problem. As we thought. The sickness never went away. I could no longer work and we can no longer afford. “The American Dream” seemed to be slipping away as we started to live paycheck to paycheck. All that we “thought” we worked hard for seemed to be stripped away. The dream yet again collapsing.

My little red journal which my sister gave me in the hospital when my kidneys failed recorded this time:

“Here I sit 6 days in a hospital with very little contact from my boys. The days and hours seemed to move so slowly. I’ve been receiving dialysis treatments over the week and hoping to get my kidneys back on track. In a situation like this I could just take back all those days that I took stressing off work, bills, managing house, marriage etc.. It’s ironic how petty it all can be when you are hit with a situation that can be life threatening…”

I think in the hustle and bustle of life it’s easy to lose focus on what really matters. This morning I read from my little red journal that I still write in from time to time. It’s now mainly used writing messages at church. I don’t bother so much to read how the journal started but it’s all there. It brought me to tears thinking about that time. All that we’ve walked through. What we were able to overcome yet still achieve much more.

The cycle of life continues. The seasons continue. The finale gives a preview what the future may hold. Yet not revealing it all but just enough to keep on going.

Yesterday’s message at church was about the “Faith Journey” (by: Pastor Sidney) and he illustrated how anointed oil is produced through a process. Just as our faith journey is processed. The oil that he used as an example was from the olive tree (my life example which I’ll one day explain). In order to get the oil you had to get to the olive tree; which wasn’t always easy to get to as many is planted on rocky mountain sides. You couldn’t just pick the olives off the tree you had to swing out the olives. Which would hit the ground and get bruised and battered. Than to get the oil it needed to be rolled out and pressed into to produce the oil from the olive fruit. He used this example to challenge us with these questions: Maybe you are the one on the side of the mountain; bruised and battered? Maybe you have been pressed down? Under pressure? Maybe God is telling you to roll it out again? To receive the anointing that the oil produces.

This was another great illustration from the olive tree that really hit a cord in me; on how important it is to go through the process of life. Rolling it out time and time again. To continue to produce the anointing that all that life can offer. Healing, happiness, joy, forgiveness, etc..

This Memorial Day as we remember all that have lived to serve and protect. I think it’s also a great time to remember all that makes our journey’s possible. The people who stand by your side.

I know this season is just one of many but I see the true climax comes from us giving it our all especially in the hardest of time.

Photo taken over the weekend with my husband at the driver’s wheel. “We will continue this journey together…”
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