Here I sit, 20 years and five minutes after I walked down the aisle to marry my Main Man. Here I sit, in tears at the reality of my life. Never did I think, dream, or fathom that I would be so deeply plagued with the "in sickness" part of our vows that have ravaged my body.
Just moments ago, I got off the phone from cancelling a PET/CT scan the oncologist ordered for me to determine why I am having such extreme pelvic pain. I can't do it . . . not right now. There is no peace from the One who guides me. It's postponed for now as I pray and ponder other options for treating what may be going on in my body. Before me is a pile of papers addressing alternative therapies including diet, exercise, supplements, enzymes, attitude, etc. These things are nothing new, just being revisited as I decipher what direction the Lord is leading.
Today, I should be rejoicing that a man, my Main Man, has stood by me for 20 years. I should be celebrating in the love that we share. The time leading up to our marriage was filled with excitement and thrill between us as we dreamed of our future together. The time leading up to our marriage, however, was also filled with great turmoil as the woman who was called my mother was stirring trouble, unrest and conflict as best she could over the jealousy she had upon me. Two weeks prior to our wedding, she cancelled the entire event in a fit of rage. Being the "good daughter", I begged, pleaded and promised to do whatever she wanted if we could just have the wedding. This caused great rift between this bride and groom. (WOW, just realized I referred to myself as the "bride"! My mother never allowed me to enjoy that honored role. My wedding day was all about her and what kind of display she could put on for others to see.) In order to save face, this person claiming the role of mother in my life, allowed the "event" to occur . . . of course, with much praise from all at what a fantastic day she put together. (I was not permitted to make even one choice about our wedding day because "she was paying for it". Didn't even get to have a say about my wedding dress.)
As I have spent years trying to heal from this, I still have a hard time looking at our wedding pictures. We do have one hanging in the hall, but the album is put away in a cupboard, not having been out for years. Sometimes I really consider how much of that day I have allowed her to steal. The good that came from that day is that my Main Man chose ME! He loved me so much that he was convinced I was for HIM and God had had ordained that choice. He said we'd get married no matter what . . . even if we eloped. Perhaps that would have been a better choice considering the history that followed with the meddling of both sets of parents. Neither twosome respected the vows they took when the congregation was asked to support and encourage this new young couple. My Main Man's parents were upset he would be living elsewhere, while my parents were upset that an outsider was entering the picture to "see" all the mind-games that were standard procedure at my home.
And here we are . . . 20 years and five minutes later. Those years and minutes have been filled with much blessing, yet much unexpected trial. We have five fantabulously marvelous blessings in our three sons and two daughters. Two precious blessings have already made their way to be with our Lord . . . two more dear sons. We have always had food on our table and a roof over our heads. We've been financially blessed to take care of anything we need. We have, however, struggled great spiritual battle as we try to part from the ties of family who don't support our walk with the Lord. Of those, there are many. Of those, in fact, none remain. Health for me, remains a huge trial. My Main Man has ridden a tough road beside me in hospital beds and on the couch at home. I don't think he was prepared for what was ahead of him. Life's challeges, I thought, had already been had as my childhood was filled with the misery fighting parents, a physically abusive father, an emotionally separated mother, long-term effects from open-heart surgery, and the deep internalizing of all this unsettledness. My goodness, is it any wonder I battle colon cancer?
Today, a dear someone prayed with me. Not knowing it was our 20th anniversary, she asked of the Lord to make this day a point of new start, a turning point of sorts as I further kick off more dust of days past and press on toward Him. The Lord met me there! Though I have tears, I am hopeful! It seems this process of shedding, is daily, minute by minute, moment by moment trusting in Him.
Our wedding day . . . July 27, 1991! Fresh and anticipatory for the future!
20 years later . . . not quite twice as old, but a whole lot more experienced!
Perhaps this is why there haven't been any posts for way way way too long of a time. Really just don't know where to start. There have been days I considered making time to sit down here and write of some highlights, activities, thoughts, milestones, or tears of recent days. And, while much "life" has occurred during the past few months, much in the way of tears has occurred as well. I'm quite certain I haven't wanted to open up that part of me, therefore the absence. Then I was challenged to remember why I started this blog in the first place. That purpose was for my children . . . for them to have a history of sorts about our family, them and me. So, here's to you my precious babes! Let's see, how I can bring this up-to-date . . .
In trying to recreate a bit of life from recent days, I thought I'd go to my picture file on the computer to see what's been happening. Well, that wasn't very helpful. As evidenced by the lack of pics, we must not have been up to much! How can that be? I'm exhausted, have yet to pull out that box of See's Candies Peanut Brittle (my preference over bon-bons!), the house is in disarray (according to my standards), summer projects haven't even been started, and I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a good long chat on the phone. Kinda sounds like I've just been sittin round here doin nothin! Well that's nothin of the sort. Life's been moving at a fast pace with these five blessings of mine. Instead of looking at time, I think I'll look at each of my precious people.
Let's start with my James. Since graduating high school seven weeks ago, it seems he's gotten taller, deeper-voiced, and more handsome every day. (That, of course, is the mama in me! hehe) He keeps himself quite busy with his job, thus resulting in a very healthy bank account. To know James, is to know he's thrilled to have money "saved"! He's beginning to shop the car market, but has some bigger sights on saving yet more toward the purchase of a house. There's the consideration of establishing some credit by financing part of the car purchase, being able to still have money in the bank. I've said it before, and I'll say it again . . . how can we be at this stage of life?
My soon-to-be eleventh grader, Jacob, is taking time to enjoy this summer! He was offered a job, however, chose to turn it down in exchange for a bit of respite before a challenging rigor of studies begins in September. He has treated us well with some tasty treats during his time "cheffing" in the kitchen. My favorite is probably his version of pralines 'n cream ice cream. It was fantastically delicious! Think I may ask him to whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies tomorrow . . . just because! An interesting development has happened in Jacob's life in the past few months. Due to James being gone from the home so much, a closer relationship with his younger brother has been growing. After spending many nights in each other's rooms, they both approached with the request to move bedrooms. Now, they share a bedroom and have a separate room for their desks, drum set and such. Together, they've logged many miles on bike rides, played countless games of Stratego, spent two weeks in a water polo class and last night, slept in a tent trailer on the side yard. This newly found "friendship" between them has blessed my heart and that of our whole family!
Our summer birthday dude, Jared, is now fourteen! Think I've touched on this before, but he'd be elated to stop the brothers' clocks and catch up to them in age. It does seem he's getting a bit closer as he matures and slows down some in the "race" to catch them. Jared continues to be a sparkplug in our home . . . keeping activity, laughter and life going here. A very very sad thing happened 13 days ago . . . the death of Jared's beloved parakeet, Stonewall. Jared received him for his birthday only 360 days earlier. On that Sunday morning, we were eating brunch nearby his cage. He had been singing and doing like always, when suddenly he flapped his wings very fast and literally dropped dead to the cage floor. It was very traumatic with much crying on the part of all of us. This chipper bird brought such a jolly life to all of our family from his special perch that Jared carved for him. While Stonewall can never be replaced, Jared is starting to talk of wanting to find another special friend to move into Stonewall's cage.
The flower of our home, Hannah, continues to be just that . . . a delicate flower! She is having a good summer enjoying swim lessons, riding her bike and playing with her best friend/sister, Sarah. As she is getting older, her creativity skills are becoming more apparent. Hannah especially likes to draw and do crafts, continually hiding a note or picture for me to find! A couple weeks before Stonewall died, Hannah convinced us she had found the bird she wanted for her ninth birthday present. While it's a few months away yet, her heart couldn't bear to let this new friend stay at the Bird Farm. We agreed, and for two weeks, Periwinkle enjoyed chirping with Stonewall. Hannah is very good with "Peri", taking much training from Jared, our resident parakeet expert!
The snugglebug of our world, Sarah, is getting so tall. Her baby doll, Pink Dress Baby, continues to be her main thing. She's quite the little mother, nurse and lover. She does, however, tend to get smothered from the bother's affections and can get a little feisty when they won't relent. Swinging, play-doh and hula-hooping with Hannah, while talking with her imaginary friend, "Shawbee", fill her days. She's got a lot to keep up with and does a wonderful job doing more than any seven year old in our home has done before her! The highlight of her day still remains the moment her "boyfriend", Daddy, walks through the door! Squeals of delight can be heard from any spot in the house!
Then there's us . . . the Main Man and me. We've endured some rather steep roller coasters of emotion in recent days. From the high school graduation of our firstborn to the diagnostic testing for our youngest's mysterious condition. From the just about certain life-changing move to North Carolina (that didn't happen) to coping with me who can get just a little overboard with the tears through it all (not to mention the lack of sleep the sudden onset of menopause has brought about). From questioning the uncertain pain in my body to the intense stress my man deals with everyday while at work. These are very real situations gripping our hearts, messing with our fears, deepening our reliance upon the One who created us. In another four days, we will celebrate TWENTY years of marriage! It's been a journey gone in a direction we never anticipated. This said, however, we have grown in our faith and trust in the Lord in ways we could never have dreamed. Regardless of the situation, our Lord is still the Lord of our life, home and our hearts. For this, we praise Him!
BONUS: Now, for those who endured this very long post, here's a 20-point question! Who can tell me which boy is wearing these shoes AND who autographed them? C'mon, give me your best guess!!