Forever in Our Heart

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Dear Pat, Its been three years today since you have been gone. You left us too soon! We will never forget you Pat, you will always be in our hearts! We met when we were young, when you swept my dear friend off her feet. Oh the memories! We laughed through the years, and cried, and laughed again. You always had a way of making people smile no matter what! While you were sick people came to cheer you, but often left feeling like they had been the ones cheered up! Your smile was contagious and even through the tears we had to laugh. I remember when you could barely talk, for your battle with cancer was almost over, but you still had it in you to make a crack about my driving! You were one of a kind, dear friend and we miss you, miss your hugs and just miss you being you!  Your family is simply amazing with the inspiration they been to others, the strength they have shown.

And Pat, just so you know,  you may not be able to keep me on my toes anymore with your wit, but I do have friends that continue to do that very well. Your wife included, you would be proud of them!

Love you Sherry, I know Pat will forever be in your heart and I know my dear friend that you will continue on. Pat is cheering you on through life. I am so blessed by your friendship! Keep shining on, and remember, when this pandemic is over, to the beach once again we will run!

Once again ….

I once again find myself without words.  How can I adequately express my sorrow at another story of 12 lives snuffed out by bullets from a gun. In the town of Virginia Beach, twelve people went to work yesterday not knowing that they wouldn’t be returning home. Not having any clues that their lives meant nothing to a disgruntled employee that had a gun.

12 people had their dreams forever silenced, due to one angry man with a gun. 

12 people will never see another gorgeous sunrise or sunset.

12 people will never walk here on earth again, not feel the soft green grass on their bare feet, or smell a rose, so very sweet.  Not hear the call of the mourning dove or the sound of a mighty waterfall.

A countless number of people, friends and family members of the 12 victims, now have had their lives forever altered. Heartbreaking pain, all because of one angry man, who had a gun.

What has happened to respect for human lives? What is happening to society? When did the Golden Rule disappear?

Why is it so hard to just be kind?

Why are so many still so blind?

 

 

 

 

Emotions of the Heart

Have you ever been in a situation where you had to give very bad news to someone?

I think of the Doctor’s who so many times have had to give their patients devastating news and I wonder how they do it. I could never be a surgeon, and have to look into someone’s eyes and tell them that their loved one didn’t make it!

These thoughts have gone through my mind before, but especially these last couple days. Yesterday marked 35 years since Nelson, my brother, died. 35 years since we received the phone call that forever changed our lives.

The phone call was devastating for us to receive but yesterday I couldn’t help but think about the one who had to make the phone call. The one who had to call my Dad and tell him that my brother had collapsed with a massive heart attack and died.

My brother was working at Goshen College. He had graduated from it and been hired on to work in the Communications Department. Over the years that my brother was in college my parents and the President of the college had developed a friendship.

I think of the shock and sadness he must of had when he first heard the news about my brother, and then of the dread that filled him knowing he had to call my Dad. I can’t imagine having to be the bearer of news that I knew was going to devastate not only my friend, but their whole family.

I think about the little time that passed between when I answered the phone and he asked for my Dad.  How he probably was wishing he could hang up as he was waiting for my Dad to come to the phone.

My thoughts also went to Nelson’s friends who were with him when he died. The ones who saw him collapse on the field. I can’t imagine their emotions. One minute you are playing a fun game of soccer with your friend and the next minute you are performing CPR on him!

The EMT’s that were called to the scene, my brother worked as a EMT as well, so the guys called to the scene knew him. How agonizing for them to realize that this time they knew the person whose life they were fighting for!

My purpose of writing was not be morbid, for it is so sad, but its real! Its real emotions that so many people went through on May 1st, besides just my family.

So often we can be so caught up in how an experience affects us and we can forget all the others that were affected in various ways. From the friend who first started the CPR to the Dr. who had to make the call to tell them to stop, that nothing more could be done.

How did that Doctor feel when he went home that night. Knowing that a young man’s life had ended. No matter how many times a Doctor has to make that call, it still has to be rough, unless you develop a heart of stone. If he had children, did he hug them a little tighter that night?

My thoughts went to Nelson’s friends who had to go back to the apartment they shared together and see his stuff all around. See all the reminders of him knowing that he would never step through that door again. Having to look into the sad eyes of my brother’s dog, as they cuddled him and their tears fell on his fur.

Seize the day! Cherish the Moments and remember how each day is a gift from God, how are you going to unwrap it?

 

 

 

Let Us Run…

Today I want to share a post that I posted back in 2017, I don’t think I have posted it since then.  I hope my followers who have been with me for a while now don’t mind seeing it again and I hope my new followers since then can be touched by it. Perhaps there is someone out there whose heart needs these words today.

This poem came to my mind yesterday when I was reading another blog post about how we can get caught up with emotion when writing emotional pieces. How those emotions can help us write better as we let them bleed out on the paper.

I don’t consider myself a poet by any means, but this poem that I am going to share came out of a time when my heart was full of deep emotion.

My heart poured it out on a night when it was breaking. Breaking because the prognosis was not looking good for a good friend of ours, cancer was going to win.  The tears fell as I didn’t know what to say. What could I speak  to my very precious friend;  his wife. How could I encourage her? I felt that I had no words.

 

Come Away With Me My Friend (Let Us Run To The Ocean)

Come away with me my friend

***

Let us run to the ocean,

Where you can let the pain in your heart

Be overpowered by the roar of the waves.

Let us go where you can shout ”Why?” to the sky,

And scream as loud as you need.

Where you can fall to your knees on the soft sand.

***

Let us run to the ocean,

Where I can hold you tight, and let you cry.

Where you can let your shoulders sag.

Where you can let your tears fall,

To be carried away by the waves.

Lean on me. Let me be your strength.

***

Let us run to the ocean.

Oh, my dear friend… let us just go!

You need not think about the future.

Let us walk along the water’s edge.

Remember when we were young?

Our lives were so carefree

***

Let us stand in the water.

Let the waves splash your face,

And gently wash away your tears.

Let us run to the ocean.

Let us go where the waves go on forever.

Life can be hard my very special friend.

***

But let us run to the ocean.

Life we cannot always understand.

Things happen that cannot be explained.

But the waves will go on forever

Through night and day; Through rain or shine,

As will my love for you.

***

Let us go to the ocean my dear friend.

We will face the rolling waves together,

And if you slip… I will be there to catch you.

If you feel you are losing your way…

I will be there to guide you.

***

Let us talk in silence,

For our love does not need words.

We have a special friendship.

Let us run to the ocean.

Let the waves mesmerize you.

Let the ocean’s rhythm soothe your soul.

***

Let us go to the ocean, my friend.

Go where no words are needed.

Where we will let the waves speak.

Let us go the ocean my friend.

Let us go… and be as one,

For I will never let you fight this on your own.

***

Come away with me my friend.

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If you enjoyed this poem, you can find it in Colin’s book of poetry , “Just Thinking.” The book is available through  Amazon, Friesen Press, and all other online book retailers. He helped me fine tune this poem into what it is and I was very touched when he asked me if he could include it in his book. Your heart will be touched by his poems as well, as he simply speaks from his heart.

The Hurting Hearts

About a month ago I posted a 2 part story, that I said may have a 3rd part coming. I wasn’t sure whether to post this one because unlike Part 2, this leaves you hanging some.  I know though that some of you said how you wanted to read more, so I decided to share it. Yes, I will warn you, this story continues to be sad for now.  Here is the link to part 2 if you missed it.  The Wings of Love… Part 2  Thanks for reading and would love to know your thoughts, even if you don’t like it, you are always welcome to comment.

  The Hurting Hearts, (Part 3)

Madeline was jolted out of her memories when she heard the beeping of the horn from the taxi. She grabbed her suitcase and headed out the door with tears still fresh upon her cheek. She looked out the window as the houses sped past. She wondered about the families inside of them. Had they faced heartbreak like her? Houses can shelter you from the raging storms outside,  but they can’t shelter you from the storms that rage in your heart.  The storms that come with no warning,  when  you feel like your life has been torn apart!

She longed to already be at the beach. The beach was a place of serenity for her, a place where she could let the waves speak to her tortured soul. 

At last she finally arrived.  She stepped out of the taxi and the smell of the saltwater filled her senses and she heard the seagulls calling.  She quickly paid the driver and  took her luggage to her condo, but didn’t stay at the condo long. She would unpack when she got back, right now the beach was calling her name and she had to answer.

The waves crashed up against the shore. She had walked along the beach for quite awhile, now she just stood letting her feet sink into the sand as she watched the  huge waves. She watched as they would come and kiss the shore with passion and then flow back into the ocean again. The sky was growing darker by the minute, and the waves kept growing. 

Madeline stood there watching them. Knowing she should head back to her condo, but feeling mesmerized and not able to move. Another one came and she felt the spray from being too close, she needed to move back, but she didn’t. What would happen if she stayed? Would the waves sweep her under and away? Would she be set free from her load of pain? Should she stay? She had no words, but she felt like the waves were speaking to her. What were they trying to say?

She jumped as thunder cracked through the sky and another large wave rolled in. Turning to run back to the condo she spotted something lying in the sand, half buried. What was it? A bottle filled with purple balloons. Who would put purple balloons in a bottle and why? She grabbed it as the rain began to pelt down on her and she ran back to her condo.

After a hot shower and some cold pizza she stretched out on the couch. Her gaze landed on the bottle again that she had set on her desk. Seeing the purple balloons made her think of Connor. O to hear his laugh again! He always laughed when the balloon would rub up against his face.

 Why did she grab the bottle of balloons? What would she do with it? She looked at the bottle wondering about the story behind it. No one just accidentally stuffs balloons into a bottle. She knew that messages could be put in bottles and thrown out to sea, but balloons? She decided to put it on her desk for now because it made her remember her precious little boy.

 

Drew pulled out another frozen TV dinner to put in the microwave. They definitely were far from being the tastiest kind of food that he could have, but these days he didn’t care about taste. Everything tasted bland to him, things had lost their taste and life had lost its color. Everything seemed to be a dull gray.  He really wasn’t hungry, but forced himself to eat anyway.  Forced himself to eat because he knew he had to, but eating still couldn’t distract him from the questions running through his mind.  What was he doing? Why had he left Madeline?  She knew he still loved her, that he just needed some time away, but what was he thinking? She was as heartbroken as he was!  She needed him! 

He hung his head in shame. He couldn’t get her haunting eyes out of his mind as she watched him pack the car and leave. She didn’t say a word. She didn’t need too. Her eyes had said it all.  Madeline always wore her heart on her sleeve. You could see the emotions dancing on her face.  She was hurting terribly and he was putting one more knife in her heart.  What kind of husband would do that?  He still remembered their last kiss as he hugged her goodbye. They clung to each other as tears poured out like a waterfall from her. They stood there weeping, 2 broken people who were lost and didn’t have a clue as to what to do. 

 He really didn’t want to leave, but he knew he couldn’t stay. He couldn’t face seeing the anguish in her face, the deep sadness in the eyes that used to sparkle! Most of all he missed her laugh, her laugh was like the sound of bells, it had always made him smile. Madeline could always laugh, it was her gift, she knew how to find the joy in things. But when Connor died her it seemed that her laughter had died with him.

The house felt like a tomb, they walked around the house barely saying a word to each other. Memories of Conner would jump out at him in every corner of the house.  He just couldn’t handle it. They each were caught up in their own sorrow. They didn’t have the strength to hold the other one up. They cried together, but it seemed like they couldn’t do much more than that. He needed to get away, he needed to breathe! He felt like he was drowning and somehow he needed to find a way to come up for air.

Crash! The glass that he flung across the room hit the lamp and shattered as pieces fell to the floor. Drew looked at the broken pieces scattered around, feeling like they were the shattered pieces of his heart.

 

 

The Wings of Love… Part 2

If you missed reading Part 1 on Monday, here is the link to it.  The Wings of Love

“Should we “fly” over to the Ice Cream shop?”

The Ice Cream shop was just a little walk away from the grocery store. 

“Yes, yes, I  may see more butterflies Daddy!”

They pretended they were airplanes as they stretched out their arms pretending to fly. Before they knew it they were at the Ice Cream shop!  Conner always got his favorite, mint chocolate chip. They were having a good time eating and chatting, but Drew noticed that Conner was starting to get  sleepy. Ice cream was dripping from his cone, as well as dripping down his chin.

“Hey buddy, why don’t we head back to the car. You can finish your cone on the way.” Drew reached over and tousled  his hair.  Conner agreed as he rubbed his eyes with one hand.

They soon made it to the car and Conner had finished his cone.  Now he was using both hands to rub his eyes. Drew buckled him into his car seat and then spotted a cart that someone had left in the parking space beside them.

“I’ll be right back,  I’m going to put this cart away.”  Conner nodded sleepily. Drew smiled, he probably would be asleep before they got out of the parking lot. He grabbed the cart and pushed it back to where the other carts were. Went to his car and got in, looking in the back seat at Conner. Drew was right, he was sound asleep. 

Drew was sitting at the light waiting for it to turn green, thinking that perhaps he would surprise Madeline. Take her and Conner out to dinner tonight at the new  Italian restaurant that she has been wanting to try. 

The light turned green and he went. He only saw the speeding car for a split second before it crashed into Conner’s side of the car. The car spun and Drew heard the sound of crunching metal as his heart was wildly beating. “Conner! Conner! Do you hear me? Conner!”  There was no response to his cries.

As soon as they got to the hospital they whisked Conner away.  Drew had to stay to be checked out, but he was fine except for minor injuries. His bruises didn’t hurt at all compared to what his heart was feeling right now.   His heart was on the floor as he watched the stretcher carrying his precious son roll down the hall.

It wasn’t too long until Madeline burst into his room. Her face was full of worry and fear. They embraced and he assured her that he was fine. Her bottom lip trembled as she asked about Conner. They embraced again, not being able to speak a word. 

It seemed like forever until the Doctor came to them. He was wearing a very grim expression. “I’m sorry, we tried everything. He had massive internal bleeding. He took the full impact of the crash. I am so sorry! I can take you both to see him now.” The words were like arrows piercing their hearts!

Bile started rising in Drew’s  throat. Madeline felt faint and started to sway.  He quickly grabbed hold of her and held her tight as they numbly followed the Doctor down the hall.

Madeline was crying as she softly spoke when they entered the room. 

“Oh Connor, is that you? Is that really you underneath all those tubes and laying there all black and blue. Your beautiful black curls are matted with bright red blood. The beeps of the machine are going to drive me out of my mind. I want to take you home! I’ll place you on the couch and Jasmine can snuggle up to you.”

The lump in her throat was hard to swallow, she was squeezing Conner’s hand with one hand and Drew’s with the other. Drew felt like his hand may break as she was squeezing so hard. His heart was being squeezed  at the same time. His hand may not be breaking, but his heart sure was!

“We can watch your favorite movies and cuddle on the couch until you are well again. When you get tired of movies I will read your favorite book to you over and over again. Please don’t leave me sweetheart,  please! Wake up my son!”

She turned and collapsed into Drew’s arms. He was standing there, his face was pale staring at his little boy. 

How could this be? How could they be here right now? He wanted to go back to this morning when everything seemed so perfect. How could things have taken such a sudden and drastic turn.

“Conner, my boy, wake up please! I’ll push you on the swing as high as you want to go. I’ll make you feel like you are flying. “

The words came back to Drew so suddenly, they felt like a punch in the gut.

“Daddy push me high, as high as my purple butterfly!”

Beep … Beep … Beep went the machines and all Drew could do was to bury his head in Madeline’s shoulder and cry. They clung to each other feeling like they were drowning in an ocean of sorrow.

The  days passed by in a blur.  At the graveside service everyone had butterflies to release. Madeline caught her breath as they watched the beauty of hundreds of butterflies flying into the wind.

Drew made sure to get two special purple butterflies for him and Madeline. She was touched by his thoughtfulness. Purple had now become their  favorite color as well. 

They softly spoke to the butterflies as they released them, “Fly butterflies fly, carry messages of love on your wings to our  precious boy  up in the sky.” 

They were wrapped in each others arms as they watched the butterflies.

I know I probably just got a lot of you upset with me. I know several of you talked about how you wanted a Happy Ending!  Part 2 though had already been written. My eyes teared up as well while writing.  I am sorry. 

Surviving the Waves

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Life knocked her down and she stood up only to get knocked down again. It was brutal. The darkness refused to give up, but what the darkness didn’t know is the strength of the one it was dealing with.

The darkness didn’t know how strong and amazing my dear friend was and is still.

Yes, her heart may be heavy and her face has had tears roll down it more times than it can count, but those tears aren’t a sign of weakness. Oh no, those tears are a sign of how precious life is.  A sign of the powerful emotions of love and how hard it is to let go! A sign of being real with yourself and knowing that through the tears you can heal.

It’s horrible, the struggle is real. The pain in your heart hurts like hell, so why shouldn’t the tears flow!

Yes, there is darkness, but the light can also shine through and I have watched my dear friend stumble in the darkness and at times fall, but I also have watched her dance. I been there as she has danced in the waves with a beautiful smile on her face.

I love you Sherry and though this has been a year of more pain than you have ever known you haven’t given up. You have made it through and I have every confidence that you will continue too. And you can believe that I will continue to walk through this journey with you.

Come, Let us Run to the Ocean My Friend!

2018040495174528951522878353414.jpg We Miss you Pat! Your smile, your laughter, your presence! ❤

(The following poem was written a year ago for my dear friend Sherry when she lost her husband. I am NOT a poet, but this poem poured out of my  broken heart. Thanks to Colin ( who is a poet) for his “magical touch” in helping to smooth it out.)

Come Away With Me My Friend (Let Us Run To The Ocean)

Come away with me my friend

***

Let us run to the ocean,

Where you can let the pain in your heart

Be overpowered by the roar of the waves.

Let us go where you can shout ”Why?” to the sky,

And scream as loud as you need.

Where you can fall to your knees on the soft sand.

***

Let us run to the ocean,

Where I can hold you tight, and let you cry.

Where you can let your shoulders sag.

Where you can let your tears fall,

To be carried away by the waves.

Lean on me. Let me be your strength.

***

Let us run to the ocean.

Oh, my dear friend… let us just go!

You need not think about the future.

Let us walk along the water’s edge.

Remember when we were young?

Our lives were so carefree

***

Let us stand in the water.

Let the waves splash your face,

And gently wash away your tears.

Let us run to the ocean.

Let us go where the waves go on forever.

Life can be hard my very special friend.

***

But let us run to the ocean.

Life we cannot always understand.

Things happen that cannot be explained.

But the waves will go on forever

Through night and day; Through rain or shine,

As will my love for you.

***

Let us go to the ocean my dear friend.

We will face the rolling waves together,

And if you slip… I will be there to catch you.

If you feel you are losing your way…

I will be there to guide you.

***

Let us talk in silence,

For our love does not need words.

We have a special friendship.

Let us run to the ocean.

Let the waves mesmerize you.

Let the ocean’s rhythm soothe your soul.

***

Let us go to the ocean, my friend.

Go where no words are needed.

Where we will let the waves speak.

Let us go the ocean my friend.

Let us go… and be as one,

For I will never let you fight this on your own.

***

Come away with me my friend.

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The Illuminated Half — Hablando Sola / Talking to Myself

You start getting used to being just you again. Even if you don’t want to—you do. It’s not like everything is always a surprise every day like it was at first. It starts out like “50 First Dates,” with you having to tell yourself the whole story from beginning to end every single morning, but […]

via The Illuminated Half — Hablando Sola / Talking to Myself

The above was written by my friend Diana, who recently lost her husband. I feel she has captured her emotions so well in this piece that I just had to share it. I hope it touches your soul and perhaps you know someone that could really identify with this right now. Share it with them, help them know that they are not alone with the feelings that they are having. Most importantly continue to be there for them in their silence, and when they want to talk. BE that friend that helps to light up their dark!

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Sharing the Rain

colorish-eye-watercolor-painting-svenja from Pinterest, name of artist not mentioned.

                                                                           Sharing the Rain

The rain was gently falling as the worn Mother looked out from the window of her son’s hospital room.

His Mother wished that she could fall asleep and not feel the stabbing pain in her heart. Unfortunately sleep was evading her,  even though the moon was full in the sky.  She sighed as her heart clenched.

Her son was in a coma, in critical condition. The Doctor’s said there was swelling on his brain and  the prognosis was grim.

The car had came out of nowhere and ran the red light.  Hitting her son head on.  The other driver had died instantly.  The screams of the other Mother still echo in her head as she looks out into the dark night.  They both were in the Emergency Room together when their sons were brought in.  She shed tears for the other Mom knowing full well that the screams could have been coming from her.  Her son could have been the one covered completely with a sheet.

The Mother looks at her sleeping son once again and breathes another prayer.  She walks out into the silent hallway to the vending machine to get something to drink, and to get some air.

She gets her drink and turns to walk back and then she sees her.  She sees the other Mother sitting in a chair with a vacant stare, as silent tears are running down her cheeks.

Her heart is tugged and she sits down on the other chair and gently takes the Mother’s hand in hers.

No words are uttered as the 2 Mothers grieved.  As their hearts meshed together in shared brokenness.  The Mother of the one who caused the accident and the Mother of  the one fighting for their life as a result of the accident.  Tonight  they were just the Mothers of two loved sons.   Tonight they were one.  Two  women in sorrow.  Two women in pain, sharing life’s rain.

The Unexpected Gift

How can I speak my heart?

Today marks 6 months since you, my dear friend, has passed away.  Where did the time go?  It just keeps going on not realizing that for some,  Time has stood still.  Our hearts grieve, but Pat I know that through the tears you would want our hearts to smile.

Smiles are what you were so good at passing on to others.  Who could not smile when in your presence and around your dry wit!  I still shake my head about the story you loved to tell,  which to you never grew old.  The extra emphasis that you would add to a couple words, just to make me blush.

You kept your humor even when you were sick.  Short jokes and comments about my driving would still come quickly to your mind, as a smile would cross your face.

My dear, crazy friend, you are missed!  Your time here on earth was much too short, but know that you will never be forgotten.  You are forever in our hearts and we are so grateful for the memories.  Thankful for the impact that you had on our lives and the times that we still feel you near.

Our hearts are speechless, especially the hearts of your precious family, as they recently felt your presence in a way that they never expected too!  The picture that will hang on their wall will give them  grace, and strength, to keep walking through this dark tunnel.

We know there is light up ahead and every time we gaze upon this picture we will feel  you gazing down with a heart full of love!

The following picture  just recently showed up on Sherry’s,(his wife) phone.  This is a picture of her and Pat’s hands at the beach, where they always loved to go! The beach was his favorite place to go.  She doesn’t remember ever taking this picture and both of her kids never remember seeing it.  They had went through the pictures on her phone several times when they were choosing pictures for a slideshow for his funeral this past April.  A good friend put together the slideshow and went through her phone several times looking for pictures.  She also does not remember seeing it.

Some things there are no answers for… you just look up and say with a smile on your face and tears in your eyes, ” Thank you!”  

 

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