Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Navigator On The Way

This is a repost of one of my first blog entries, when I began publishing my journal here on Blogspot as well as at my Carepage location, in October of last year. I learned the hard way that I can not edit an entry once it has been published. To do so makes it disappear from the archives. So please forgive me for posting this again.

I attended the Pages (writers group) meeting at my new church this week.  I have been so blessed and inspired there! One of the exercises we did was to explore the new art exhibit in The Gallery@ Common Grounds Coffee Bar: "the gathering place, where emerging and established artists share their creative expressions". We were instructed to choose a piece of artwork and write about it. I chose a photograph titled: The Way. I would like to share what flowed out through the inspiration from the photo.

Cairns on the trail leading to the summit at Mount Washington in New Hampshire

This photograph depicts the path stretching from the Lake Of The Clouds, to the summit of Mount Washington, in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. It is the highest point on the east coast and has a reputation for having the worst weather in the world. My late husband and I hiked that path one summer day and saw the piles of rocks called cairns, pictured in the foreground and along the length of the trail.

I'm sure the stony stacks have guided many a weary traveler and thru-hiker who needed a sense of direction across the sea of boulders. These beacons will always be of critical significance,  just as importantly as a lighthouse on a rocky shore; especially if a fog would move in suddenly and the way wouldn't be obvious. Confusion would be life-threatening in that hostile setting! Certainly, if a fog or cover of snow would arrive suddenly, the hiker would have no way to get their bearings without the assistance of the trail marking rock pillars jutting out of the ocean of rocky obstacles.

Cairns are critical to navigate the trail in foggy conditions such as this!

There is a warning sign posted at the beginning of the most treacherous part of the trail that cautions the traveler to turn back now if the weather is bad. It also explained that many people had lost their lives because they weren't adequately prepared for their journey. We traveled to the highest point via the cograil on our honeymoon in mid-October, 13 years ago and encountered blinding horizontal snow and had to make a run for the observation building. Survival hinges on careful planning and preparation, as unforeseen, forbidding weather is always a threat at that elevation.

Warning posted on the trail. Weather is a very serious matter at this elevation!

Sometimes, the way feels uncertain as we journey through life, not just in widowhood, but in any personal circumstances. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. (John 14:6). Drawing a parallel between these photos and Jesus being "The Way" are welcome reminders that listening to the wisdom that Jesus offers us in His Word is the "only Way" to get to our desired destination safely. That being: spending all of eternity with Him, because we placed our Faith and Trust in Him. We can be confident that He will guide and help navigate as we journey through our lives, if we take the warnings in His Word seriously and if we remember His unconditional love for each of us.  I am so thankful that I have that assurance that God's Word is Truth for my future as well as the gift of Peace for each new day!


Friday, September 2, 2011

Hey Honey, I'm Home!

A favorite photo of Buck and I

As the first day of September came to a close, I felt compelled to put my thoughts into words; as keeping a journal of my journey of grief continues to be cleansing and therapeutic for me. September 1st is a significant day because it is/was my sweetheart’s birthday. Those days don’t pass by without deep emotion. I anticipated that yesterday would be difficult, and I was right!

It was a beautiful day here in Pennsylvania when I woke, but clouds started to gather as the afternoon approached. I had decided a few days ago, to do something to commemorate the day of my husbands birth. For some time now, I have had it in mind to start walking again. Buck’s birthday just seemed a fitting day to make a commitment to take better care of myself. I’m sure my plan would please Buck, because we had planned to utilize the nearby walking trail as soon as we got settled in our new home.  

I was glad I brought my umbrella; determined that I was going to get an hour’s worth of walking in, rain or shine. It was a pleasant light shower and I prayed on and off as I walked. A flood of memories interrupted and I welcomed the distraction with free-flowing tears as I reminisced about the times Buck and I walked hand in hand, side by side. I have come to accept tears as my friend and a necessary component of the healing process.

On occasion, I have asked God to deliver messages to Buck for me. As I walked, the thought came to me to have a conversation with the birthday boy. I had never done that before and I was comforted by the experience. I was surprised by how quickly the time went! An hour felt like fifteen minutes! I can’t say that I sensed his presence in any way, but I enjoyed the one-sided chat just the same, confident that my words would be shared with him! While I walked, I couldn't help but notice the intoxicating fragrance from the new rain! I think I mentioned it in my chat with Buck.

Yesterday, I was thinking about some of the things I miss about my man. I could go on and on about that subject, but what came to mind on Buck’s birthday was his husky voice as he came in from his workday and cheerfully announced, “Hey Honey, I’m hoo-ome! I can hear the echo of his voice in my heart! And the tears come again as I visualize his warm smile, twinkling eyes, and best of all: his unforgettable hugs that made everything right in my world!

As the memory of Buck’s voice made my heart pound; the realization dawned on me again that his words are truer now, than ever before! Buck is indeed HOME; where he often spoke of going to claim his mansion someday! He looked forward to that day with great anticipation, even when we were in the emergency room the night of his heart attack! In the big picture of his life, he was heaven bound and he couldn’t wait to meet Jesus, face to face! If God was calling him, he was ready to go HOME!

Happy Birthday Bofren!
So, my precious husband - yesterday, on your birthday, I put a large candle in a brownie and sang Happy Birthday to you. I thanked God again for the precious gift I had in you and for all the wondrous memories I have to cherish! I enjoyed the brownie. Well, okay, so I had two! One for each of us. We’ll just have to walk and talk longer today! Happy Birthday, Bofren! Your Girfren will always love you and is missing you everyday, but I’m moving ahead one day at a time with the Lord’s help and the support of all our loved ones! I like to think you are proud of me as I search for joy in the gift of each new day and journey on with the Lord by my side.