The God who created, names, and numbers the stars in the heavens also numbers the hairs of my head.... He pays attention to very big things and to very small ones. What matters to me matters to Him, and that changes my life. -Elisabeth Elliot
A photo of my father and me from my dear mother's photo album...I say, Daddy and me. I am missing these times long ago, oh my heart. Many don't understand because of my father's shortcomings later in life, and therefore the grief process for me this Advent season is a difficult one, a very, very lonely one. Death is a very permanent thing on this side of Earth.
And trust me, I've walked outside stepping down quietly off of our back screen porch hearing those airplanes or perhaps the sound of silence here in the forest and I say to the sky as a little girl would, up to my dad...Why did you do that to me? Who knows how the Eternal on the other side works exactly, I do not pretend to know what our loved ones know or hear. I know this, and that is that God hears.
Many have canned answers but I do know I have seen unbelievable, many would say uncanny signs that my dad is with God, for he had time to repent in that far away hospital. I still weep to remember seeing his poor face the last time, his teeth were worn to almost nothing and he had just a small glimmer of those once beautiful blue eyes as the light of his life on this green earth was going away. This was the last time I was to see him, we had no idea he was dying in a hospital far away. Previous entries tell the tale more so.
The only reason I was able to see him was an elderly distant cousin's wife found my daughter's number on the wall of his home as she felt strongly she should stop by his house to investigate what was going on since it was noticeable we were not at the far away hospital. Unfortunately a preacher's wife turned my dad's heart against us, basically talking him into staying very far away from us after he had wanted to sell and come live near us, his family and support system. She then took advantage, not only taking my dad's willing and deceived heart but my inheritance also. We don't feel he was in his complete right mind. One day I will have to go through the process to warn others of what can happen.
I know this though and am still learning more, as always, I've had disappointments in life before...God allows pain and suffering and would like for us to use the pain and suffering as the talents in the Bible, it is up to us what we do with it all. We can share and thus be full in an emotional way, for if we stuff the feelings...Our emotions will never be whole and we cannot be whole and healing to others. We will be missing that compassion. We must face the suffering symbol.
A book I have started is 'A Crazy Holy Grace, The Healing Power of Pain and Memory' by Frederick Buechner. I really enjoy most all of the books I've read by Frederick Buechner, he's like a long lost uncle I've never met. He lost his father when he was a little boy by suicide, the story is a poignant one. One of his memories he has is as a little boy hiding his father's car keys under his pillow as his father sat in his room.
I can relate. One of my early memories is of my mom and dad having an argument, I do not know why. I do remember I was very little and my bedroom was still a pale yellow from my nursery, I had a single bed though instead of the crib at this point...My little bear lamp my dad had jig-sawed and mother made a decoupage of that little vintage bear, the light glowed. The large rectangular plug-in heater was purring the way those old electric heaters did and the lines of fibers were that bright red orange. Daddy, with his handsome face came and sat on my bed and put that face in his hands and just cried, and cried. I remember the silhouette in the golden room, he with his curly hair like yesterday. I was so very helpless, not knowing how to console my father. I still find myself moved to tears when I remember this.
I haven't finished my new Frederick Buechner book yet, but so far, it seems to be one I will read more then once.
May we be that Christ-bearer to others. Just as I have some of my father's natural mannerisms, the way I kick my shoes off and plop backwards on the bed to nap, or the way I hold my fork up, prongs up as to give my fork poise next to my face...that is my dad. ...And so many other things...
May we also have characteristics of Christ in His most beautiful, loving way. They will know we are Christians by our love. There is also a very strong Companionship of Brokenness. May we be part of that Companionship of Brokenness. May we be like a tiffany lamp, broken but put together by Christ's loving hands to shine our gentle Light to others. Let's be wise yet vulnerable. There is a sweet freedom in that.
...And yes, we may feel alone in our vulnerability at times as not everyone is going to be part of the Companionship of Brokenness, they may seem rudely preoccupied, some may even walk away as we are quietly shocked and taken aback ...But Christ, Christ is with us. And that? That is all that matters.
There are so many things to be thankful for this Advent season.
To be Quiet this Advent Season, ...and to Smile and Laugh When Needed
I have found to be quiet, even in decorating for Christmas, the Advent season, to just methodically decorate, precept upon precept, just quiet thoughts. I'm carefully choosing music, perhaps that beautiful Bing Crosby voice.
Do you know Bing Crosby's wife lived in smalltown? I know where the beautiful treed lot is among other very old homes still there. I also had the pleasure of meeting their veterinarian and talking with him about Bing Crosby and all that good stuff. He tells me Bing would practice his golf swing in the front yard when visiting. Yep, I rode on a hayride with Bing Crosby's vet! He's an older gentleman and still gives tours dressed in historical costume. I think that is so great. Just last year, Marianna and I were driving to the grocery store and there he was giving a talk in his historical outfit to a group of people at a marker.
Tonight I think I will make a very light pasta gravy, more like a tomato based soup broth with asparagus and spinach and such over pasta. It's a very soothing supper.
I'm creating a Collette pattern, Zinnia, skirt. I'm slow-sewing, once again, just delighting in my project, precept upon precept. Trying on, taking in, very carefully placing the zipper. The fabric is a darling holly berry and leaf on cream background. Very retro. This skirt will be worn with a black top and red velvet belt. I was inspired by Modcloth to create this skirt for Christmas.
I'll close with a quote from the above book, Frederick Buechner is talking about a true friend who risked coming to him when Buechner's daughter was close to death. Here is what he says:
"It was a trading of lives, where he gave of himself and received from me of myself. What a sense of peace we had. We didn't talk about holy matters. We didn't talk about religious things. We didn't talk about anything much at all. We smoked on our pipes in the woods and took walks. He was there a couple of days, but it was a blessed event, because he was willing to trade with his life. A good and faithful servant trading with his talents."
My dad smoked a pipe too. Yes, along with his chapstick that myself and one of my daughter's always have he always had his pipe tucked away or in his mouth. (A smile).
Sometimes? We just need someone to listen, just to sit and listen and be our friend. I remember being my Grandpa Oddo's friend. I would sit next to him quietly and we would watch television together. We just quietly watched television together.
I hope you are having a sweet Advent.
May we allow Advent to make a mark on our heart this season.
Good evening, loves, Amelia