Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dead Trees

Last week we had a tree company come to remove 2 dead trees from our backyard. The children were totally entertained watching this man climb up the tall tree and cut off the branches with a chainsaw, while the other workers helped to remove all the limbs from the ground. I think it kept the kids entertained for a couple hours!

My mind is filled with many thoughts these weeks. First of all I'm remembering my friend Kelly, our good times together, her final days, her memorial services, and thinking of her boys and hoping they are doing well with their father overseas. I know it's going to be very emotional as we start to sort through her belongings and prepare them for sale over the next few days. I'm looking forward to finding a few little treasures to keep in the house to remember her.

Today I'm also remembering Linda, the other mother of young children who died of pancreatic cancer last week. Her funeral is today and I so wish I could be there to honor her beautiful life spent serving others. Natalia was the young lady who died of Leukemia. Just before her diagnosis she had started a group to collect shoe donations for children in need. Shelly was a mother and grandmother who was part of an online community which has been a big part of my life the past 6 years, who passed suddenly last Friday of a possible heart attack. She was a devoted homeschooling mother who served the youth of her parish, attending World Youth Day and working in the food pantry ministry.

Throughout the day I am thinking about the lives and deaths of these beautiful ladies. I'm dealing with grief, processing my sadness, and shedding tears. I'm having to let go of these earthly friends, somewhat like sawing off the branches of the trees. As the branches fall, I'm watching their earthly bodies fall to the ground, taken away. I can hear their voices though, still loud and clear, encouraging me to continue on my journey.

Their earthly smiles and the charity they showed to those around them were like the beautiful living branches of a tree, offering shade to those in their presence. The bright green colors of their leaves will not be seen on earth again. But I know we will see the fruits of their prayers for us. As a Catholic, I believe in the Communion of Saints, that those in Heaven can pray for us. We can ask their intercession and imagine them praising God with all the saints and angels around the throne!

But right now, the tree branches seem to all be scattered among the yard which is my mind. I am working on letting go, working on the joy which should come with knowing that they are no longer suffering, but experiencing the true happiness of seeing God face to face.

As I work through this grief and try to let those branches be taken away, I also have to work through the other grief I've been facing...the fear and unknowns about the possible heart surgery for Steven Joseph next year. Thinking of my healthy toddler on a heart/lung machine and ventilator is almost to much to bear and I need to put that in God's hands for now, hoping and praying for a miracle. May God heal his heart defect through the intercession of these faithful women and Father Solanus Casey! (more on that later)

Unfortunately I'm also still dealing with the grief caused by the scandal of the founder of the lay movement I've been a part of. I am having to let go of the trust I had placed in this man, my false hopes that his earthly life was like one of a saint. I had spent many, many days meditating on his words and reflections in prayer. It has now done harm to my spiritual life as I'm really having a hard time moving forward and grieving this person who was not who I thought he was. Again, I need to put this in God's hands, recognize that all men are sinful, and try to put my trust in God and not in man.

The challenges, losses, and health issues of this year have been very hard. But I have a lot to be thankful for. Even though those branches and big trees are gone, I still have a big backyard where children run and play and find joy in the little things. They see those tree stumps there but don't dwell on them. They don't entertain the "should have done" or "could have been" thoughts. They live in the present and see life for what it is now.

But I'm still glaring out the window. Hopefully I can run out and play in the grass soon.

1 comment:

Neen said...

This is a wonderful post. I am sorry about your pain. I know it is piercing. It took me almost a year to mourn the loss of the movement when I realized that I believed the accusations and not the lies. The pain was as real as my heart broke when I heard about Linda passing. I trust that I am growing closer to God in these trials, as I am sure you are as well. Know that you are loved by many here and many that we embrace in the Eucharist. Lots of love,

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