Thursday, June 19, 2008

"All These Thoughts In My Head"

That's a quote from a song off Alanis Morrisette's new album "Flavors of Entanglement". I happen to be in love with the it and find myself listening to it over and over and over again in my car especially when I am alone or feeling heavy emotions about what is going on in my life with my dad.

The circle of life is an interesting thing. We come into this world and are cared for by our parents. We exit this world being cared for by our children. We start off wearing diapers and being fed, we end up in diapers and being fed. Sometimes babies are just plain cranking and don't know why or what they really want. Not hungry, not tired, just fussy (as Teri once descrbied her mood to me). My dad was just fussy for several days dealing with his pain and feeling helpless. Now he is not so fussy but helpless lying in his bed not able to communicate or move about freely. This is the price for not being in pain or so we believe. It was heartbreaking to see him lying in his bed today, his eyes glazed over but still holding the familiar blue tint and kindness I have know all my life. He is still very much "in there" and still fighting the fight. How difficult it must be to have to lie there and wait for a chance to communicate with your loved ones or those taking care of you. I have no doubt he'd rather be up in his wheelchair visiting with us and his friends smoking a cigarette but the pain is strong and the need to find relief stronger.

I wish I knew the answers. I wish I knew who this lesson in life was for, myself or my dad? Perhaps both of us. I know I am trying to learn from every second of it but how long will this course take to complete? My whole life I assume but I am ready for this chapter to be over. They say God doesn't give you anything you can't handle. I never thought I was very strong because all my life I have had a fairly easy time of things. I hope this is my test and I hope I can pass it. My friend Minda sent me an e-mail the other day with this story. I want to share it with you.

You always hear the usual stories of pennies on the sidewalk being good luck, gifts from angels, etc. This is the first time I've ever heard this twist on the story. Gives you something to think about.
Several years ago, a friend of mine and her husband were invited to spend the weekend at the husband's employer's home. My friend, Arlene, was nervous about the weekend. The boss was very wealthy, with a fine home on the waterway, and cars costing more than their house.
The first day and evening went well, and Arlene was delighted to have this rare glimpse into how the very wealthy live. The husband's employer was quite generous as a host, and took them to the finest restaurants. Arlene knew she would never have the opportunity to indulge in this kind of extravagance again, so was enjoying herself immensely. As the three of them were about to enter an exclusive restaurant that evening, the boss was walking slightly ahead of Arlene and her husband. He stopped suddenly, looking down on the pavement for a long, silent moment. Arlene wondered if she was supposed to pass him. There was nothing on the ground except a single darkened penny that someone had dropped, and a few cigarette butts. Still silent, the man reached down and picked up the penny. He held it up and smiled, then put it in his pocket as if he had found a great treasure. How absurd! What need did this man have for a single penny? Why would he even take the time to stop and pick it up? Throughout dinner, the entire scene nagged at her. Finally, she could stand it no longer. She casually mentioned that her daughter once had a coin collection, and asked if the penny he had found had been of some value. A smile crept across the man's face as he reached into his pocket for the penny and held it out for her to see. She had seen many pennies before! What was the point of this? 'Look at it.' He said. 'Read what it says.' She read the words ' United States of America ' 'No, not that; read further.' 'One cent?' 'No, keep reading.' 'In God we Trust?' 'Yes!' 'And?' 'And if I trust in God, the name of God is holy, even on a coin.
Whenever I find a coin I see that inscription. It is written on every single United States coin, but we never seem to notice it! God drops a message right in front of me telling me to trust Him? Who am I to pass it by?
When I see a coin, I pray, I stop to see if my trust IS in God at that moment. I pick the coin up as a response to God; that I do trust in Him. For a short time, at least, I cherish it as if it were gold. I think it is God's way of starting a conversation with me. Lucky for me, God is patient and pennies are plentiful! When I was out shopping today, I found a penny on the sidewalk. I stopped and picked it up, and realized that I had been worrying and fretting in my mind about things I cannot change. I read the words, 'In God We Trust,' and had to laugh. Yes, God, I get the message. It seems that I have been finding an inordinate number of pennies in the last few months, but then, pennies are plentiful! And, God is patient..

Thought for the Day:
If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it.
If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it.
He sends you flowers every spring.
He sends you a sunrise every morning Face it, friend - He is crazy about you!
Send this to every 'beautiful person' you wish to bless.
God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.
Read this line very slowly and let it sink in...
If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.

I really liked that last line. I have never been an overly religous person as most of you know but I have always believed in God as a higher source and now I am looking to that source to help me find the answers I am seeking and to lead my dad to a peaceful place with his family that has already passed on.

I need to pray tonight to get back in touch with God. I was praying a lot when all of this first started happening. I seemed to find strength and solace when I did. For some reason lately I haven't been. I seem to find a reason not to. I am too tired. I am too angry. God already knows what I am thinking but what if he doesn't? What if I need to voice my thoughts as part of my lesson of life I am learning? I will try tonight and every night after. Maybe that will help guide me in the right direction with my dad's illness. I hate questioning every decision, every thought I have. I feel guilty when I don't go see him every day. I feel rushed and anxious when I have to arrange for someone to watch my kids when I go visit him. Do I want to visit or have to visit? I want to visit as this is precious time I have with my dad before he leaves this earth forever. I should be thankful for every smile, breath and word we share until it is no longer possible to be together in this life. I am tired now and need sleep and with it some peace of mind and soul.

Be happy and loved and feel freely with your heart and thoughts.