God is always working to make His children aware of a dream
that remains alive beneath the rubble of every shattered dream,

a new dream that
when realized will release a new song, sung with tears,

till God wipes them away
and we sing with nothing but joy in our hearts

--Larry Crabb

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A little closer...

Oh me Oh my. So much going on right now and not a lot of time or energy to blog. I'll try to hit the highlights. I haven't posted anything for a while partly because our internet has been very sporatic and I've lost many drafts and partly because I have not been able to focus enough to write well. Here's a peek into what we've been up to.

The House. Selling a house is no fun. No fun at all, I tell you! Do you know how hard it is to have a house ready to show anytime? We've had few serious lookers, but no offers yet. The good news is that we got our buy-out offer and it is acceptable. We're still hoping to sell on our own, but at least know at this point that we can set a move date and closing date for our new house. In the mean time, we have been working like dogs this weekend. The helicopter seeds did thier annual pilgrimage from our neighbor's tree to our yard. I was lucky enough to get to spend quite a while pulling all of the little saplings out of my flowerbeds, landscaping, sidewalk cracks and perimeter of the deck. I won't miss that tree...or our sycamore tree. I'm pretty sure that Zaccheus chose the sycamore to climb because its leaves fall off if you even look at it funny, which would give him an excellent view of Jesus, although the trees in my childhood Sunday School literature of the story showed trees with leaves. Hmmm. Not OUR sycamore tree, though, it dumped all of its leaves last week and is working on brewing a fresh batch for the fall. That will not be our problem, thank goodness. We also mowed, trimmed, replaced a window sill, and powerwashed nearly everything we own. I think it now screams "PLEASE BUY ME."

The Jobs. Craig started his new job last week and seems to like it. He thinks it is funny and is excited to report that his office has a nice view of Lake St. Clair while his boss' office is across from the bathroom and overlooks the parking lot. (however, it is a lot larger). My job is going ok. My boss is going to offer my position to someone this week and, if the person is who I think it is, the training is going to be a party. I've also secured a couple of leads for jobs in the Detroit area and have accepted a preceptorship with Bard Access Systems where I will do hands on training for new PICC nurses. We'll see what pans out with everything. This week I am hoping to get my Michigan nursing license and am disappointed to learn that the FBI that does fingerprinting in Illinois does not suffice to provide the FBI office in Michigan with my prints. I guess in this case "Federal" really means "state." I suspect that it is just the governing bodies of nursing trying (and succeeding) to skim a little more cash out of me.

The Rest of things. Hmmm. I've got nothing. Honestly though, I am glad! My stress level has been in the red zone for a little too long. I am completely exhausted and growing sicker by the day of juggling all of the unknowns. Craig has totally been my rock through all of the tough stuff and is now in Michigan full time. Talking on the phone just isn't the same and it seems that when I am home alone in this quiet house my mind runs wild with questions and bittersweet memories...especially at night. This transition stage is a tough place to be and I am just thankful that soon the house stuff will be done, the "new" jobs will become somewhat routine, and that I'll fall asleep each night under the same roof as my husband. Each day gets us a little closer....

Saturday, May 15, 2010

My red face.

It has just been one embarrassing thing after another this weekend. I have come to realize that all of the stress we have been under has caused me to become a little forgetful.
Yesterday I was spending some time with my mom in Des Moines. My car had received a good old mud bath while picking her up on the farm, so after I dropped mom off I decided to visit the car wash. Usually I'd just pick the automatic option, but I really wanted to get all of the mud from around the wheel wells, so I went with the manual wash. First step: Bug and Tar remover--check. Second Step: High Pressure Soap in mud caked areas--Check. Third step: High Pressure soap along Passenger side--check. Step four: High pressure soap on Driver's side--OOPS! It was at that point that I realized that my rear windows were down and that my back seat was midway through the soap cycle. That is a sickening feeling. Similar to the time I went through the automatic car wash with my trunk open after grocery shopping. I should really be more careful at car washes.

Shortly after drying my back seat as well as possible with my dust cloth my phone rang. It was our realtor. "Um, I know it is short notice, but someone would like to see your house in about an hour...would that be OK?" I mentally started to walk through each room. Did I put everything away? I had spent the previous evening with my mom and Craig had been home alone, so I thought it best to check with him before giving the realtor the go-ahead. No answer on his cell, office or blackberry lines. Hmmm. I guess we'd have to wing it. I told our realtor the situation and he said he'd run over to the house and do a quick run through. Perfect!?!? He called back to tell me that he had put some papers from our relocation company on top of the microwave and had made our bed. How embarrassing. Who has their real estate agent make their bed and tidy up their house? Evidently me. To top it off when I got home I remembered that I had a load of undergarments hanging up to dry in the basement. I'm not expecting an offer from those people and am wondering if they refer to our home as the one with the underwear on display. Nice. Way to go, me!

Today we went to a friend's wedding. I've never been to a wedding at an Anglican church before. It was intriguing and I was really glad that we went, although I found myself very red faced while there. Most people know that I like to pull a prank every now and then, but not Craig. Today he got me back two fold for any time I've ever pulled a fast one on him. Here's how it went down. Everything about this wedding was a little bit different than the traditions that I am used to. The minister announced how they would serve communion, but his accent was so strong I couldn't make a bit of sense of it (plus my hearing is super bad right now because of my meniere's). I whispered to Craig that I had no clue what I was supposed to do. He told me what to do, but otherwise just to watch the person ahead of me. Lo and behold guess who was the first person in our group to be in line for communion. Yep, yours truly. There, standing in front of all the wedding guests waiting for a place to kneel was me. During this ceremony 12 people were on the altar for communion at a time. OK, I can do this. I found a place and kneeled then waited for Craig to take a place next to me. He didn't. Oh no...what did I do? I got up and went to take the place next to him, but another couple took the place I was heading to. Ok. I'll just stay here. Right here. Just like this. The bread was passed. Craig had told me to hold it in my hand until all were served but whoa...just like that the wine chalice was there and the girl next to me didn't have her bread anymore. In 17+ years of taking communion I have never returned to my seat with the bread still in my hand, but tonight I did. That may be illegal so shhh, don't tell. Craig was laughing at me. I tried to convince myself that maybe nobody else noticed. They did. Another friend thanked me for the entertainment. It was quite embarrassing.

That's it. I'm going to bed so that tomorrow I can be on top of my game. No more occasions for a red face here...I hope!

Monday, May 10, 2010

This was a very confusing Mother's Day for me. In the last year I have come to appreciate my mother in many new ways. I am so proud of the way that she has handled my dad's death. She has poured herself into taking care of the farm and making so many tough decisions that I'm sure that dad would be honored to have as his legacy. She's worked so hard, and hurt so much, and stayed so strong. My mama is one tough cookie, but even tough cookies crumble sometimes. She takes time to grieve, but still lives life as it has always been. It will never--it could never--be the same without my dad, but I am SO thankful that God gave me the parents that He did. They're awesome and I love them both so very much.

Aside from being thankful for my mama and my mother-in-law, this mother's day took on a whole new meaning. It was a painful reminder once again for me of our loss. In the days leading up to yesterday I got to the place where I missed my baby so much that I couldn't even begin to say his name without my eyes welling with tears. I stepped back from anything social. I couldn't bear the thought of facing the day without my son. That hole in my heart feels like it will never heal. I spent the day trying to stay off the radar screen. Not feeling like I could truly engage in worship, I did not go to church. I only left the house for a couple of hours to go on a nice long bike ride with Craig. We laughed and talked and shared sweet memories of our son. Not at all the Mother's day that I had hoped for, but still meaningful, although intensely painful.

This morning I was in a great mood. The anxiety that had been building up in anticipation of yesterday finally seemed to be gone. Maybe that is why I was caught so off guard when what turned out to be one of the most uncomfortable moments in the last 2 months went down. I was sitting at a nurse's station charting on a procedure that I had just finished when a nurse near me, who just happens to be pregnant and not any too happy about it, was complaining about how her growing belly was just embarrassing and in the way. She has no clue on how blessed she is. The jealous side of me was just thinking "I would give ANYTHING to have my baby be in my way right now!" My thoughts were interrupted when another nurse (who I see infrequently) asked her when her due date was ("not soon enough, but September 13") and all of the other courtesy questions that pregnant women get asked. Then all eyes were on me when the nurse asked me if I was showing yet. There were at least 7 people staring at me. My cheeks got warm. Tears welled in my eyes. I whispered across the table that we lost our baby, and everyone inhaled simultaneously before scattering. That's what people do when they're uncomfortable...they run. I don't like making people feel uncomfortable, but what am I supposed to do? I couldn't focus enough to write a note like hundreds I've written before in my patient's chart. I finally gave up, gathered my things, and went back to the office for a few minutes. I am SO glad I don't have a shared office.

Some days I just want to be 10 years from now where time has (hopefully) eased the hurt. Some days I don't want another moment to pass, because each moment is an increment longer since I've seen that tiny little face or held that itty bitty hand. If only I could go back in time to two months ago today when I could hold Christopher for as long as I wanted.

Life is chaotic right now...we've got so much going on with the houses, moving, work, applying for a new job, and just trying to get it all figured out. One thing is for sure though and that is that God is good all the time and all of what seems chaotic to me is perfectly orchestrated and waiting for time to reveal His perfect plan.