Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Learning to Navigate Hopefully

Coming home from our long weekend in the mountains, I find that I am filled with more questions than answers.  In so many ways, I am more grateful at this point in my life than at any other time in my forty-six years.  I have my loving husband and our four incredible Angel daughters.  We have our furry and feathery family members, the souls of our home, our constant companions.  We have our home as well as our other spaces in which to hide and retreat.  We can afford to have two daughters in college.  We are secure, happy and solid.  We are alive.

Yet this has been a year that has brought more despair than I have ever known during my forty-six years.  The death of my beloved brother in February created a domino-effect that we are all still trying to cope with almost ten months later.  I have experienced biting betrayal that left me in a state of pain, confusion and depression for much of the first half of this year.  We have been kept from my nieces, our other Angels, my brothers daughters, without any rhyme, sense or reason.  And now we must fight.  Fight for what we know is honorable and good and right.  Battle for love.  And although I know all too well that many others have walked this path before us, it rips at my heart to have to follow in their wearied footsteps.  When I look down at the path that lies ahead, I see things that have been shed both necessarily and by choice.  I see old growth which has been discarded and seedlings of things that may someday grow into something more.
Yes, indeed, the road is covered with more sharp edges and prickliness than I would ever care to navigate on my own.  Yet I know that I am not alone.  Never alone.  I am guided along by God, a Force much more powerful than I can even begin to understand.  I have my husband, my forever-partner and our daughters, our heaven-sent Angels.  And I have my brother, sometimes whispering, sometimes yelling, reminding me that we are the connection.  I am the connection.  He tells me that he will do whatever he can to help us to make things right.  He reminds me that he walks the path along side of me, his older sister and will remain here until the journey is just and complete.  For however long it takes, he will walk the tightrope between this world and the next.  He will stay between, balanced only by the hope and the knowledge that I will do what I must in order to bring his daughters back into the circle.
Along the path, there is renewal and there is hope.  There are words that come to me and I listen as carefully as I am able.  And when I look down and see the hope which grows along the path I feel gladdened and peaceful and safe.  Because if something that begins as tiny and as vulnerable as this...
can grow into an enormous giant that will, most likely, outlive me then I can hope.  And even in the midst of the darkness, there is always light.  Sometimes only as tiny as a glimmer and sometimes bright enough to guide us through places in which we are hesitant to go.  But how will we know if we aren't willing to muddle through the prickly, dark spots in order to find our way?  There is bittersweet beauty in all of it because it is a part of the process.  And if hope can create a towering canopy of Ponderosa trees out of a pencil-tip seedling, then it can certainly sustain us on the path that lies ahead.

May you honor that which you have lost by holding tightly onto the hope that you have gained along the road.  May you always feel guided, loved and surrounded by the things that allow you to believe in the journey.  If you aren't happy with the way that your story is going, may you search for a way to change the ending.

Thank you for hanging with me over a bit of a blogging break.  You are always appreciated.


Ness said...

Oh Deb, this paragraph said it all to me:

"May you honor that which you have lost by holding tightly onto the hope that you have gained along the road. May you always feel guided, loved and surrounded by the things that allow you to believe in the journey. If you aren't happy with the way that your story is going, may you search for a way to change the ending."

I wasn't happy with the way my story was going in 1993 and the day after my college graduation at age 39 I told my husband I wanted a divorce, it was done 6 weeks later and I took my two youngest and left for NY and a new life. It was the best thing I ever did for ME. I have my soulmate/best friend like your Mark is to you and I shudder to think what my life would be like if I hadn't reached out to that tiny glimmer of hope and embraced change.

And what started it all? The teacher of my last college class ended our last class with the words, "If you're unhappy, find out why and do something about it."

Your post tonight just reinforced all of that. I will walk this journey with you and your brother and by prayer and keeping the faith, your angel nieces will return to the fold. Much love and hugs to you tonight.

Tracy said...

After reading your post full of hope and reading Ness's comment-I can't help but feel hope for the struggles that I am encountering and trying to find the hope, the light and the way to make this journey so much more than it is right now.
Thanks once again for the inspirational post!
Tracy from Kansas

Just the 2 of Us said...

Sometimes all we have is hope. Hope that there will be sunshine again after the rain. Hope that wounds will heal and in their place will be a greater amount of kindness, compassion, forgiveness, love, and strength.

Your words, as always, are very inspiring and encouraging.

Peggy Payne said...

I'm glad your brother is with you, Debbie.

Sylvie Van Hulle said...

A wonderful post, again. My best friend died 8 years ago and I still feel the pain. It never goes away. But I have hope, allways, and I try to enjoy the little things in life. I think it changed my life a lot, in a good way. I have more respect for my parents and friends now, and I appreciate their company more than ever.

Debbie said...

You are always such a great writer. Love the header - it's new, isn't it?

Lorrie Veasey said...

I feel like I am right along beside you in the battle you march towards. It is clear from your words and the thoughts you share that your niece angels NEED you.

The soldier who walks into battle certain of the righteousness of his cause is always well armed and prepared.

Glad you are back

Laura ~Peach~ said...


Karen Deborah said...

The Earth declares the glory of God. We know that He exists because of this creation,if we didn't praise Him the rocks would cry out.
For me what filled my vacuum of loss and pain is Jesus. Learning of His love for me, and that He will never leave me or forsake me.
I am walking this hard path too.
My daughter isn't an angel. She hurts her children, we have two of them. She won't communicate with them at all. They just found out she moved and threw away all of the rest of their belongings and baby pictures. Everything. So even miles away after two years without any contact she can reach out and hurt them at Christmas.
BUT GOD is able to save. His arm is not to short to save. HE is a stong tower and a deliverer. The name above every other name and one day EVERY knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Faithful is he who begins a work to complete it.

kari and kijsa said...

What an incredibly moving post...you are a truly gifted writer....may the days ahead on your journey be filled with blessings!

Have a blessed and wonderful day!

smiles, kari & kijsa

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

You said you are left with more questions than answers but I don't see it that way Deb. I think you are left with more resolve to move forward and do the right thing than you even realize.

You have been strong throughout, even when you felt at your weakest, and you've grown in your beliefs and convictions ten fold, just like those Ponderosa pines you spoke of.


Irene Latham said...

HOPE. It's such a great word. I may choose it for my 2009 focus word. (This year was JOY.) Or BELIEVE. Love the close up prickly pine cone pic. xxoo

JenX67 said...

I can't imagine how hard this year has been with the loss of your brother. I think about it more than you could imagine since that is where our feel real connection was found. I came across a picture of me hugging a Springsteen poster in college - and I thought of you and your bro and I think all these thoughts are like prayers.

I love this line: "And if hope can create a towering canopy of Ponderosa trees out of a pencil-tip seedling, then it can certainly sustain us on the path that lies ahead."

That is the truth.

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