One More, Gone

I found myself the other day feeling the loss of many in my life, but not in death basically, but out of reach. Our relationship will never be the same and our paths may never cross again.

Honestly, I have had to fight through the anger when this has happened. Anger with the Lord. Why? Why are you removing them from my life. I feel so alone. I miss them. I don’t do well with change and feeling abandoned tops the chart in my emotions. Lord, why is this happening as I am alone already?

Through the last few years, more losses but now I try my best to grasp that even though another leaves, the Lord is still with me. It is that knowing deep within that He will never leave nor forsake me. I know that but I am human, too. Loss is hard. I miss them even before they are gone.

Saying goodbye to another just this week, due to his family moving to Arizona, a loss. Odds are I will never see or speak to him again. Our paths crossed. I’m thankful. This happens all the time and I am sure with you, one moves, one retires, one is sick, etc., but they all accumulate to where a sadness develops, as you miss them and the relationship.

The other day, thinking over all of those that I have lost, just in the last five years, I was sad and selfish and wanted to have a poor me, pitiful pity party. I did not do so but I felt it coming. To remind myself, I was blessed to have them in my life for the period that I did was truly a blessing. I hope that I blessed their life in some way.

As I write this, I thought about my former counselor and her last note to me about being a stepping stone in my life. While I understood that from her, I was devastated our time was done too soon, as we just talked about having one more year in counseling together. I was angry with her and reading those words she wrote and even angry with the Lord. I was not done, my dependency on her was still needed, I thought and of our plans. We were making so much progress. Just the visual of a stepping stone and her writing that to me, I wanted to pick that stone up and smash it into smithereens. No matter, it was over and done. I’m just a closed file in her filing cabinet.

As for being angry with the Lord, it is okay and it is okay to scream that you are angry, you may even hate Him at that moment, as He let you down, too. He knows it anyway. Actually, it’s freeing to do just that, scream. Go ahead.

I have had to wonder nowadays if I hear from another person in my life, calling or telling me of whatever is happening in their life and of their situation, and they will be leaving me, too. Am I putting up a wall to avoid such hurt or am I just accepting the fact that nothing or nobody is permanent in my life. Perhaps reluctant to be friends because they might leave. Is this reality or a cold-hearted feeling I have anymore. Dealing with abandonment in my life, this really knocks me off kilter. Please don’t leave me! A part of me is that I understand, and I really do. There is also a part that throws a temper tantrum, fine go ahead and leave me. The sensible, understanding adult and the anxious, fearful child fighting within.

Thankfully, in time I get it together as change and loss is hard. Even through the dark, lonely and emotional stages it all brings, I know I am not alone. Even though I was angry with the Lord, I know He loves me still and I Him. I can share my broken heart yet again but yet again be reminded, He is right here with me.

Like the sweet church song we sing, ‘I don’t know about tomorrow but I know who holds my hand.’ In life we are faced with many losses and situations we don’t know which way to turn, our steps are unsteady, our faith is wavering and we finally throw up a white flag, surrendering our need and call upon the Lord.

In those midnight hours or when you or I feel so alone, people have left our lives and no hope in sight, there is One that we can call out to and He hears our cry and sees our tears while collecting them. How sweet and caring is that?

So I have learned through my losses, I am sad and tears will flow while grief is present. I am not to build a wall to not be hurt again, as I will be, but to accept and wish them well on their journey. Hopefully, I was a stepping stone in their life as they were in mine.

A loss is great but the Love of God is even greater!

May you feel His Love all around you in whatever you might be facing or going through. You are going ‘through’ so have hope because He knows your name, He knows where you are right now, and He knows where you are going. Be Blessed

Missing Hugs

In this past year of social distancing, the huggers have had withdrawals of not being able to be themselves. They want to reach out and hug but are reminded not to hug by the face mask the other wears and of their own. No hugs! This causes a void in their daily life whether it be in social settings as in church or just running into a friend or family member.

I know of one lady that is in a public business, a funeral home, and this is her nature. In her personality, which is very caring in this role of a funeral director, the hugs given to those in mourning are an added benefit. After all the funeral plans and committal service, these people know that the hug will come from her in the days ahead. Her hugs felt safe and precious in a time of the darkest hours with a death in a family of our area. If you mention her name, they automatically smile and remember the hugs given and so desperately needed.

I have no doubt this caused a mild depression in her of not offering that hug to those needing one. Back in 1996 when my mother died, she became a rock for me, as I was lost in my grief. I have had family members pass away and friends but this was my mother. My role as a daughter had changed, I am now a caretaker of my father more so, after the funeral and financial ends were finalized. For a long while, I did not know how to process this. I was grieving but had to be strong for my dad, my children. Emotions were always hidden in our family growing up, you don’t cry, for whatever reason. Perhaps I was made to feel that way since I was seven years later and the older ones called me a cry baby. I learned early on to keep my emotions to myself, as a young child. So, I somewhat died along with her but became a robot of day to day living. Maybe they were all robots. During this time, my marriage was dying but even before, to cry on his shoulder or to be held, was also out of the question. Alone in my grief.

Two years later when my father died at home with my sister and I by his side, I was more prepared but still, it is like a rug was pulled out from me. Now I felt like an orphan. Another new role to take upon myself, as I dealt with the estate and a few greedy family members. That’s a whole other writing in itself. The morning my dad passed, I called the funeral home and it was not long until she was with me in my living room, knowing she filled a role in my life that kept me steady on a thin, raveling rope. Those hugs she offered and I accepted was a glue that I needed. Besides my boys, there were no hugs.

So that is her, a hugger of many and filled in a mother role that I needed. She allowed me to cry, she hugged me tight and stayed in touch with me, she knew of my marriage and family issues. Again, she was my rock, when I needed a boulder.

Many years have passed now and a lot has happened since. I was able to not need her as much in this role, as I have grown and adapted to my loss as in time we do, but she will always be special to me. We always have those hugs. Still and many times, gifts to and from one another are related to hugs, even now, texts will relate to hugs. I needed those hugs and I knew her two arms would tightly wrap around me, keeping me together.

So here we are almost a year since this pandemic started and the social distancing, limits all around and it is like a don’t touch sign on each person. It is sad. I decided to reach out to her a few weeks ago as I/we still do for each other. I know she is there but I don’t rely on her as much. Unselfishly, which was not always easy, others need her, too. In my text, I asked her how she was doing and how she was handling this pandemic and the rules. Again, everyone knows she hugs, that is just her. When she responded, she was happy to be asked and felt she could elaborate but had to get back with me. It was several days later and I did not think anything about it, as life happens.

Finally, a text but a different tone in her writing to me, as I started to read, which was unusual from her. I continued to read and was apologizing to me because she thought this would be easy to write about but found it was not. This lady is and has been a strong pillar in our community with the funeral home business but this stirred emotions in her.

Believe it or not, I have been thinking of you a lot after receiving the above request. SORRY to be so long in responding.

When I read your message, I really thought I’d get an answer back to you before the end of the day. As you already know, that wasn’t what happened.

You were requesting me to write you my thoughts, on how things have been going, and how I felt about not being able to socialize, or HUG during this crazy unfamiliar time we’re all living right now.

I didn’t think at first it would be so difficult to write, but I’ve been in solitary (like a lot of other people) for months now, NO hugging, touching, having anyone visit (I understand they are all trying to protect me, but I’m sorry to tell you at this time, I can’t help you.

I’ve also lost so many friends, and several family members since last March, it makes me sad to even think about it. Please forgive me. Maybe at a later time I’ll be able to help you, but right now I don’t want to talk about my feelings. I do Love you and hope and pray you’ll understand. ❤❤❤🙏🙏🙏”

I did understand. Honestly, I bet a majority of people, even you, feel the same. Our lives have been disrupted, a ‘Do Not Cross’ sign on our forehead of no touching, no hugging, no socializing basically. We are pulled from those that give us hope and laughter as a tight hug brings laughter and tears fill our eyes with joy. Now tears of sadness if we give much thought of those times together.

I have had to wonder how I would respond if I would run into her. Automatic hug or replaced with fear to hug, as we both struggle with none. I have wondered about this happening with another, my former counselor if we would run into one another. Upon leaving her practice, she said we could hug if we saw one another and I do expect it. I do know that had it not been for her and I to discuss why hugs meant so much to me and why I yearned for hugs from others, in those years together as counselor/client, among other things we discussed, I don’t doubt I would be experiencing severe depression during this pandemic. If and when I would run into her, how would the emotional side of me react, I wonder. Would it bring further grief, as I miss her? There are some people in my life and I am sure in yours that you want and expect those hugs. I do. I want. We all need them. I have been so blessed with many in my life, just like the two I mentioned.

In this pandemic, there were a few visits with my son of no hugs. My heart was broken as I went back to my room and cried. The grieving of what we have lost in just the touch or a hug, being with others, my own child(ren). The seclusion can do a number on our mental health. Even though, we are resilient.

We are made and we yearn for touch and love. This pandemic puts a wall and the masks further isolate each of us from seeing the smile of those we care for in our lives or just in passing others in day to day life. The joy has diminished from faces and in life. Hopefully, not fully from their hearts. On the surface, we are adapting but we long for those hugs and the closeness in visiting.

Yes, we will get through this season of seclusion but knowing, too we have lost friends or family members with this evil virus. Perhaps this is a wake up call to know and be reminded we are not promised tomorrow, or our next breath. Express your love and appreciation for those we come in contact however done, either in person, phone or text, as it might be the last time.

“Touch is a legitimate physical and emotional need. It’s part of the human experience, and losing that and not knowing when you will get it back is hard.”

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

OPEN and enjoy as many times as you need. ❤️ ML

A Trinket or Two

As I was driving to work, I was thinking about gifts. Gifts that I have received and those that I have given. I enjoy giving gifts, especially on just an ordinary day, no birthday or of any significance. It’s a surprise. We all love surprises, as such. Now if you jump out at me and scare me, that is one surprise I do not like.

I like to watch and listen, and if I know of a need or something that catches my eye and I know of someone that would like or benefit from, I will go on a search to find just that and give.4DC36189-F3D2-482C-B2CF-C633A90BE153

I wish I could do so much more of this, but I do when I can. I daydream of such at times of what I would like to do, which is fun to escape mentally the issues in front of me, as a break.

So as I was thinking of the gifts, giving and receiving, I pondered why I do such and enjoy both. I have always done this. Perhaps a coping mechanism although my mother was very giving. It’s not a bad trait, if you are making another happy. It was when I was asked by my counselor years ago why I was giving her a gift. Asking also what I would do and feel if she rejected the gift. It got me to thinking, I still do, I guess this is why I am writing.

Last question first. If the gift was not accepted, I would understand but I would be sad, depending on what it was, and dwell on it for a bit.  When giving a gift, again it is something I thought would look nice and this gift in particular would match her sofa and bright wall color. It was just a sofa pillow. I was in her office weekly and this pillow pulled all the colors together. Just that, the matching and 0578A2D3-E6B7-4E4F-962B-18DB693674D0accent pillow brought me a peace, like comfort at home.

A little knick-knack that means something between a friend or family member, is also nice. To me that is what you do, or that is what I do. I want nothing in return. Just as with my counselor, a pillow that looked awesome on her new office sofa. Also, I enjoy searching for just the right thing, color, etc., to give to whomever.

In this session though of asking me why I do such and besides my input just written, she asked me this question. Do I buys gifts as such so I would not be forgotten. Good question, Counselor. As I gave thought to this, I know I enjoy giving but she was right, there have been many times for that exact reason, I did not want to be forgotten. Just for instance with the gift of this pillow and since she closed her private practice office, I do wonder if she still has it and maybe still thinks of me or will I one day see it in a bin at the Goodwill store.

So in regard to this pillow, although I could mention other gifts given through the years. I still think of the time spent to find just the right pillow, thinking of her, as it was fun and I don’t want to forget her. It’s two-fold, thinking of you, thinking of me. I don’t want to be forgotten. Am I img_4669though? As it is just a pillow. I may never know.

I have had gifts through the years given to me and I still have many of them, especially the knick-knack items I can pack away to keep safe. One is a ceramic little girl about four inches tall, given to me by my Aunt when I was around six years old. Packed away in safe keeping, even with dust showing. Embarrassing but hey, it’s old, but I’m old. Still, she is safely tucked away but I remember my Aunt giving this to me and how it made me feel, that I was special to her.C62BD70F-ADE2-4F3B-8E56-DB7FB03D571E

I still have my Ten Commandments little gold bracelet and cross from a necklace my grandmother gave me, I was young also. So many things like that hold so many memories for me. Just that today holding and looking at them, I have no doubt my grandmother prayed for me. My autograph book that young elementary girls had 3D64B633-B17D-41A5-9117-F1F43D1C33C5to have and for many to sign. I have it still, of course, safely packed away with my other treasures from youth. Many wrote in my book but because my fifth grade teacher signed it, I wrote about her, too, but to say I was special to her, made that book like gold to me (The Light is On). I cannot get rid of that. Maybe I have just been a sentimental old soul all these years.

I know when I die, a lot of my stuff will end up on the Goodwill shelves, too, or pitched. My boys, well they are boys, and my daughter-in-law will roll her eyes and hold open the trash bag. For now though, these little things and some bigger things mean a lot to me, even if packed away. I still have them. The sweet memories of just writing about them makes me tear up because of the one(s) who gave it. The item itself is just that, but I must have meant something to the person giving me a gift, perhaps so I would not forget them.

I did not realize until counseling with her asking me those questions plus being so sentimental, that is just me. I like that part of me. I don’t take our relationship as a friend or family member for granted. Somewhere in there, my heart was touched and felt care and love, which I yearned for as a child and still as an adult.

I am one that dealt with abandonment issues and fear. Even as much as four to five years ago, as an old lady that I am, this counselor helped me understand ‘me’ more. In my own research, outside of counseling, I learned about transitional items. The reason why items (gifts) are special to me. Holding onto an item is to keep a person near basically, in my terms of understanding. All of those items I have from childhood, these people are still with me. I have a part of them to see and hold, while they remain in my heart of deep felt love and appreciation. While some are deceased, it is also the same, as I have not forgotten them.

6ED80AC5-761B-42CC-B7FD-F11679E6D5A7I remember this one counseling session, right before she was to leave for a two-week vacation. I hated her vacations although I understood she needed time away like we all do. Still, I was a mess due to the abandonment issues in my life.  Two weeks felt like two years. It was this one session, I was aware now of a transitional item, a thing to help such individuals, as myself, adapt through a separation period. It for one is embarrassing, to realize and admit this is an issue when an adult but we worked through it. I had to but I did not like it. I remember saying to her, as I am sitting on the sofa, next to the pretty pillow, as she is in her chair taking notes, but before I left, I told her that I wanted her ink pen and explained why. The pen was held by her hand, writing notes about me while she is listening to me. I wanted that pen. Maybe a quick note was jotted down at that point… crazy.

Just in that, I was her only focus but I was going to lose her for those two weeks (14 days). That pen would have not left my sight or would have been in my pocket those two weeks. I would have given it back to her. Sadly, she did not give me that pen to hold and carry. I survived but I never forgot that moment in the session. It all makes sense to me now why I have done things in life, as such, even having a picture. This has been a part of me all my life, unsure when abandonment started but I now have a clearer picture of the questions behind it. 7B86F61B-2DD4-41EB-905D-7347E4E051B0

Whether it is an tangible item to keep a memory alive or just the memories, each and every person that comes into our lives is a gift, and we should be the same in return.

Most importantly, God’s love for us is a gift. He understands us when we don’t understand ourselves. He loves us unconditionally.


Are You a People Pleaser?

“If you are a People Pleaser your heart is in the right place. Wanting to take care of others is not a bad thing and if more people had a little bit of what you have, the world would be a better place. However, you cannot do this at the expense of yourself. A balance is needed.”

The song that goes like this, “If loving you is wrong, I don’t want to be right” comes to mind as I write, as I would say, “If gift giving and doing for others is wrong, I don’t want to be right.” I know, silly but true.

No doubt I was noted as a people pleaser, co-defendant, etc.,  or other labels in the counselor’s notes, as I remember questions asked, etc. So what! This is one part of me that I like. Giving did not put me into bankruptcy but gave my heart joy to give and bring joy to another. When I die, I would hope many would say I was caring and generous than mean and stingy.

Characteristics of Generous People That Set Them Apart
  1. Generous people care. People that give truly and freely do so because they care. …
  2. Generous people have no expectations. …
  3. Generous people are optimistic. …
  4. Generous people have humility. …
  5. Generous people are patient. …
  6. Generous people have purpose. …
  7. Generous people are energetic. …
  8. Generous people are leaders.