Thursday, January 10, 2013

Christmas Miracle

My "Christmas Miracle" entry is a re-post from my first Christmas season without my sweetheart. I published it on my other blog: Christian Widow's Walk, which is my story of widowhood from the beginning. "Christmas Miracle" is one of my favorite stories that shares some of my history, as well as details about one of the best and most precious gifts I have ever received in my entire life! I would love to share my story with you! So, please visit me at if you are interested and curious about my "Christmas Miracle". See you there, my friends. Thanks for stopping by my other location!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Making Choices To Remember The Good Stuff

It’s a given that the holidays will be filled with emotional ups and downs. I’ve learned to anticipate and expect the ebb and flow as part of the ongoing journey. I spent my last overnight of my five day stay in my daughter and son-in-law’s home on New Year’s Eve. I was thankful to just stay put and we had a pleasant evening together, playing Headbanz with my grandchildren. This went on for another hour or so after we did the countdown as the ball dropped in Time Square ringing in the New Year.

I was the last one to head for bed, and in the quiet of the night my mind returned to the wee hours of January 1st, 2009, the night that changed life as we knew it. As I stared at the ceiling, all the details came flooding back and it was a temptation to be consumed with sadness. But this year was different, because instead of focusing on the memory of the emergency, the Lord helped me to choose to remember the best parts of those life-changing hours.

I thought about Buck’s question to the Emergency Room doctor. I can still see the excitement on his face as he inquired if there was any chance that he was going to meet Jesus tonight! No fear, just excited anticipation! Of course, I didn’t share his enthusiasm, but I will never, ever forget the Peace I saw in my husband’s eyes as he listened for the doctor’s answer about the seriousness of his condition.

That powerful memory led me to recall the overwhelming Peace I experienced as I rode in the front of the ambulance on that fateful night. That was a gift from God, just for me. It was as if the Lord, Himself, was whispering to my heart: “ It’s okay, I’m here with you, and everything is going to be alright. I will bring good things from this”. Even though the ‘alright’ part delivered a very different outcome than we all anticipated, I can honestly say, the Lord was Faithful in carrying us through those four months of Buck’s traumatic illness and He did indeed, keep His promise in bringing so much good out of such an ugly situation.  I can still remember what the Lord’s Presence felt like that night, and the warmth of that precious gift helped me to drift off to sleep easily, instead of facing the pain of my loss again.

Thank you, Lord, for helping me to welcome the New Year by recalling your Faithfulness. That Peace that transcends all understanding was mine once again, because of Who You are and  the promises You make and keep to those who love you.

Philippians 4:7

Contemporary English Version (CEV)
7 Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.

Philippians 4:7

The Message (MSG)
6-7 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

In light of writing this entry late last night, I was so awed how the Lord met with me this morning during my devotional reading. The scripture I was led to helped me to remember where Buck’s confidence came from in the early hours of that New Years Day.

2 Corinthians 5:6-8 in The Living Bible version reads: Now we look forward with confidence to our heavenly bodies, realizing that every moment we spend in these earthly bodies is time spent away from our eternal home in heaven with Jesus. We know these things are true by believing, not by seeing. And we are not afraid, but are quite content to die, for then we will be at home with the Lord.

Buck and I often talked about our “heaven-bound futures” throughout our years together. Buck always had a twinkle in his eyes whenever the subject came up. I got to see that ‘twinkle’ in it’s full radiance that night and I will always treasure that memory and the Peace and Comfort that it invokes in my heart. I anticipate good things this year. I hope you do too.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Trading Blue For Bright and a Happy Light

I wonder how many widows experience situations similar to what happened to me recently? I thought I was doing just fine as I made my way to my dentist appointment: an hour commute from my home. I knew I was feeling weary, but as my dental  hygienist greeted me and asked how I was today, I could only squeak out, "I'm okay I guess".  As our eyes met, I couldn't hide the realization that I was having a blue day and the tears started to stream down my face. This blue day and my emotional response were totally unexpected as I found myself in this awkward, familiar place again. I felt embarrassed and helpless to be breaking down in public after all this time. I questioned myself: Really... here, in the dentist chair? I apologized to the kind young woman who was serving me. She was warm and compassionate and invited me to talk about what was going on inside of me. I had no explanation and couldn't point to any grief triggers.As she worked,  I could still feel the emotions bubbling up and escaping from the corners of my eyes. I still hate the powerless feelings that come over me on occasion like this.

To be honest, I have observed that I have been more emotional again with the arrival of autumn. Even with my best intentions to fully embrace the fall season this year, I know that the well being I enjoyed this summer is quickly slipping away. I watch helplessly as my will, motivation and energy escape like the extended hours of daylight that disappear with the return of Standard time.  Like trying to hold onto a handful of water, I sense the brighter days slipping away into the all too familiar, shadowy place that I thought was a thing of the past.

I recently decided that it was time to find some new local doctors, instead of having to travel to Maryland whenever I had the need for medical attention. After living in this area for nearly five years, it was time to transition to a more convenient way of dealing with my health needs. While attending my new patient visit with my new family practitioner, I asked his opinion about the possibility that perhaps I might be experiencing the symptoms that come with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): a condition that comes from the lack of sunlight in the fall and winter months. He agreed that SAD was a very real condition that many are sensitive to, and he recommended either the use of anti-depressants or exposure to a very strong light that is supposed to simulate the sunshine that we lack in the cold months. He recommended a particular brand to try, so I opted to invest in what I call my happy light and sit in front of it for 30-60 minutes a day. I had heard about these lights over the past years, but was not willing to make the pricey investment. My doctor's referral made me feel more confident that I could indeed benefit from its use, so I decided to give it a shot. I hope to be able to report that it is making a big difference in my state of mind and I have high hopes that my motivation, energy and happier, more joyful days will soon return. January and February will provide prime testing conditions. I'll be sure to share my opinions on my personal experience and my insight as the winter progresses.

Although I really enjoyed the time I spent with my daughter and family, I'm glad the holidays are behind us and happy to be home again. I'm hopeful the bronchitis will disappear soon and I pray that 2013 will be a good year for all of us. Happy New Year to all of you. May we all experience a bright year ahead!