The memory garden

We stumbled upon this garden in the fall. It’s called a memory garden. In the center of the garden is a curious little tree with strips of ribbons hanging off it. The strips have peoples names on them. Or they would if the rain hadn’t washed them into illegible smears of ink. You put the name of a loved one who has passed away on the strip of paper and hang it on the tree. Seen through the little gazebo below.

We did a photo shoot here, featured in this article: How to thrift store shop like a pro 

I’d like to go back and take another look at it. Maybe put my moms name on a piece of paper or ribbon and tie it to the tree.

I must say, this grieving stuff is hard. There are days I don’t want to get up and go out the door to work. And others where I get up and get going just fine, only to get there and want to turn around and leave within the first few hours. I keep wanting to stop and get a whole bunch of lottery tickets so I can win the lottery and not go in ever again. Nothing against the place I work. I just don’t want to be there lately. Staying home and wallowing in my grief a bit longer sounds good to me. Maybe it’s better I don’t, but I want to all the same.

I’m finding that I’m feeling angry at God. They were singing a song about the God who saves at church last week. I was pissed off. God didn’t save my mom. I stopped singing and started having an angry conversation with Him in my head. Why didn’t He save her? Why doesn’t He bring her back? I sat there crying angry tears. Perhaps he did save her. It just doesn’t feel like it from here.

I tried to look up the song they were singing last weekend. I hadn’t even heard it right. The chorus goes like this:

You’re the God who stays

You’re the God who stays

You’re the one who runs in my direction

When the whole world walks away

You’re the God who stands

With wide open arms

And you tell me nothing I have ever done can separate my heart

From the God who stays

Wow. My head is such a jumbled up mess right now I hadn’t even heard the words right. The song is titled ‘The God Who Stays’ by Matthew West. So I had to have another cry because He is the God who stays. Despite my pain, my hurt, my sorrow, my anger, my grief. He’s the God who stays.

It’s really hard to tell what will trigger grief. I started crying on the way to work a week ago when the song Maybe it’s Okay by We are Messengers came on. (mentioned here.) I wanted to pull over and turn around and go back home.

My sister and I are both trying to be okay with not being okay right now. This grief thing is a process. It may never be all the way okay again. Or at least not the same. There are moments when I’m okay. And moments when I’m not. There are moments when my B.S. tolerance level is down below zero. Watch out. She-Hulk may emerge when this happens.

Grief sucks… I miss my mom. I want her back already!

To my mom: I know you’re in a better place and free of pain. But I most certainly am not.

Til we meet again in that garden in the sky…

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I could really use a wish right now, wish right now, wish right now

I haven’t been on here much. All I can say is “I can really use a wish right now, wish right now, wish right now…”

I hold in my hand a wish. A tiny spark of hope.

I hold in my hand a wish. A tiny spark of hope. Hope for the future. Hope for life. Hope of things to come.

A miracle, new hope. It feels like God’s grace is running out for my mom. Where is the grace I felt God telling me about way back when I wrote the blog post What’s Grace got to do With it? Really, who am I to talk? I am not God. But I am me, and that’s what it feels like. We pray for a miracle, knowing it may not be granted. Knowing many before my mom have succumbed to the awful disease called cancer with nary a miracle in sight. Yet I pray every day for one, knowing my answer may be ‘No.’

My mom took a turn for the worse after getting on the new trial drug she had been getting a placebo of during her two years in the trial program at OHSU. The trial drug caused excruciating pain in her stomach and a loss of appetite. She was in the hospital twice in less than a week. Now she is home in hospice care and was taken off the trial drug. Her stomach pain has subsided and her appetite is very slowly coming back. She’s mostly eating soft food or liquid.

To those who have thought to send gift of fruit baskets, Omaha Steaks, Freshly or Instacart so my dad can get groceries delivered to his door or who brought home cooked meals or goodies. Many thanks to you. A special thanks to the writer of the note on one saying “Mary, eat!” When I read that to my mom. She smiled and decided to try eating a slice of apple. Thank you for being God’s hands extended to my parents during this tough time. For any who stopped by their house, thank you for helping lift her spirits. Thank you also for any and all prayers sent out way right now.

It doesn’t feel like Christmas around here. Mostly we stopped shopping for Christmas when things took a turn for the worst for my mom. But I honestly feel like we have Christmas all wrong. It’s not supposed to be about commercialism at it’s finest. It’s about God sending his gift to us – baby Jesus in manager.

I think Charles Schulz got it right with Linus’s speech in a Charlie Brown Christmas:

Linus Van Pelt“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not:
“for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'”
That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.’

So, at the risk of sounding like my Christmas spirit person (animal?), The Grinch. I leave you with this:

And on earth peace, good will towards men…

*Photos taken by me on a trip last month to Edgefield, mcmenamins in Troutdale, OR

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