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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A time to remember

Today I learned that Memorial Day is a day to remember those who died while serving in the countries armed forces. I always thought it was a day to remember all who had served at any point in the armed forces. For me, it’s always been a day to pause and remember my grandpa, who fought in World War II. Although he didn’t lose his life in that war, he did lose his leg from just above the knee and receive a purple heart. (He would have received two if he’d wanted to let them acknowledge the gun shot to his rear end, as well, but he chose to have a shred of dignity and save himself some embarrassment  rather than receive a second purple heart.)

I always remember all of us grand kids being rather proud of him as he hopped around on his crutches with his one leg, just as good as anyone with two. At some point, he took some small crutches and cut them down smaller so we could hop around after him. We always thought we were doing pretty good until he put the crutches down and used his big powerful arms to swing himself up onto things. I don’t think any of us had the upper body strength to be able to copy him then. I’m sure I still don’t have it now.

When my grandma went to park in the handicapped parking space when we went shopping, we’d wonder why we were parking there – our grandpa wasn’t handicapped, he could get around just as well as anyone else out there. I think we made her feel guilty, so she tried to just find a parking spot closer in rather than use the handicapped sign on the car. Really, she should never have even worried about our opinion and gone ahead and parked in the handicapped spot. We were just really proud of our grandpa.

What I never realized then, was that my grandpa went through a stage of serious depression as he dealt with the loss of his leg after the war. We never saw that side of him. By the time we came along, he was such a solid rock of faith, uplifting to be around and determined not to let his lack of one leg slow him down.

He will always be my American war hero.

 

Flag back lit by the sun

Flag back lit by the sun

 

Memorial Day

Memorial Day

 

Mark Morales, 12, of Portland, a member of the Young Marines, salutes.

Mark Morales, 12, of Portland, a member of the Young Marines, salutes.

 

Stars & Stripes

Stars & Stripes

 

Cub Scout Thomas Crouse, 9, of Portland, salutes as he reads the headstone aloud.

Cub Scout Thomas Crouse, 9, of Portland, salutes as he reads the headstone aloud.

 

In memory of...

In memory of…

 

 

 

 

 

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