Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Stoic serene day without a cloud in sight. "Doing okay" right now. In the distance, a lonley siren. My mind is at once and immediatly catapulted to a different time. Adrenaline fuels my mind. Just as one marriage is now in two places at one time. HELP! I'm NOT helpless. I can do things. We get the laundry done pretty routinely. I actually like that job--it gets DONE! I have a sick mind--I like cleaning up after Thanksgiving--whether it's my folks' house or the Veterans hall. I also like "big picture" meetings.

I haven't written an entry in a few days. My thoughts were so scattered and on about half of those days I felt a little helpless inside. You see, in my world there are a lot of "me's." I can't really find the right words for this one. Grieving, for me, feels so incredibly self-centered. Many of you help by listening.

There's the me that's looking for Michael--the oneness that we had--the synergy of parenthood and trying-to-sort-out-how-God-wants-us-to-live-in-a-culture-that-is-so-"stuff centered." The togetherness of being at home but working on different projects. We called it 'being together separately.' It made my heart happy...when he was working with wood and I was in the garden....or just reading separate books together. Over the years he built toy dinosaurs and cut-outs that I tried to paint...pigs and cows and pull-toy bees with flapping wings...reindeer with lightbulbs...(Our entrepreneurial adventure with friend Ron--"Mic-Ron.") And then there was the tv cabinet that Jim helped him build...good bonding time...but I think we still need to build another cabinet.

Sometimes Michael used wood to protect in April when he used old redwood deck planks to keep the dog next door from coming through the fence. Why did he use the good redwood??? ...and then there's the compost bin he built when we moved here 61/2 years ago. (We'll discuss the rats later.)

Michael's not in the garden. I've looked for him there...but I see his handiwork and gifts...the fountain whose motor gave out mere days after Michael's be sure, I quickly bought a new motor which a good friend put in...wish there were other things I could buy renewed... Some dear friends come at different times to help in the garden...some on the sly (L.W. M.W. J.K. M.M.) They help me not feel pulling weeds and chatting and even enduring finding wasps. (Thanks B.A. and K.Y.) I know there are others...and it all helps my heart more than you will ever know this side of heaven. I was 2 weeks into Joni's book on Heaven when Michael went there.

In the garage (I'm back to the woodworking), the giant dresser sits. Michael was building it for our room. It was a finish-this-summer project. Some other buddies are teaming up on it now. I know they have jobs and families and health issues. But this Michael of mine...His journey ROCKed their world, too.

That's another "ME." The me that feels helpless when it comes to being able to help Michael's friends to grieve. I want to know...

What's it like to ride into the wind with no scout in front or drag rider in the back? sing songs about the Big, Big House without that crazy guy with the beard?...Or, how's the little girl with cancer at the mall who got to hear Michael tell stories like 'The Belly Button Monster?" not have a daddy when you're tryuing to learn to drive a car and your mom has pushed her feet through the floor board....when you're playing water polo for the 1st time and getting a back brace to wear for 2 years... very thankful I am for gutsy driver trainers who cover that role...

You see why it feels so self-centered? "Poor me!?"

Then there's the "me" that feels awash in foolishness by complaining...all the while looking at pictures of Metarie, Slidel and New Orleans. I've heard the names of those towns...acquaintances over the years who have called those places home. My friend Mark hails from there--his parents live there...and family...and ministry supporters. I feel HELPLESS. I'm able-bodied. I can help!?

Another "me"--watching people try to help me. I've been on the other side. How does one help someone through the crushing blow of loss? There are stages to be sure. After a while people help less. I don't mean that as a bad thing--it's just the normal cycle. It kind of has to be that way. A grieving person is tired...and life has to go on. I know pride gets in there, too....not wanting to feel helpless...

Remember I told you about the rats.--one reason to be married--no offense guys, but that's a man's job. :I They like our garage and the mouse traps just provide them appetizers. My dad's here and he's going to talk to the local feed/ag people.

I got sidetracked. I didn't mean to gloss over the pride thing--it's pretty real. somettimes it's an "I guess I've got to learn to learn to do it sometime" attitude. Or, "She's single and she doesn't have help either, so why should I ask for help?" Granted, sometimes it's just being too tired to pick up the phone-- to make a decision.
Then there's my friend Job. I don't have those kind of friends like he had. My friends have been real. Near. Helpful. Feeling helpless. (We all are, really,...Jim says...when we boil it all down...we're all helpless....then again, why did Jesus die?)

"God is our refuge and strength. A very present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1

"But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace,... " Ephesians 2:13-14a

He puts back together things that are torn--
Hopes and dreams for the here and now
He mends them with HOPE FOR ETERNITY
And dreams of sharing His life with more people...

Because really it's LESS about me and more about His help.
How does He help YOU through this time? Please know I am praying for you especially: The "other" Golden Retriever, Sonny, Ken, Pizza Guy's gal, There's-a Way, Sunflower, and...the New Kid on the'll figure out who you are!!!
Thankful for His help...and it is time to REST...
in Him,
Annie B.


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At 5:06 PM, Anonymous Pamela said...

Annie, I loved reading all you have written. You have encouraged me and my heart is blessed by your gift of honesty. Finally, a kindred heart. Your love for horses needs an outlet. Please come wrap your arms around my two girls very soon. With Grace, Pamela


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