Saturday, August 9, 2014

Sixteen Months

Yesterday marked the 16th month that Amy has not been with us here on this earth. I handled the day much better than I have yet. I think it is because I am relying more on God's Words and not so much on my emotions. On the 26th of July I posted this on Facebook.  "Instead of always feeling like my arms are empty and my hands have nothing to hold, I need to remember this instead...........My arms will forever be full, my hands will never be empty, because you were once in them."  

The Lord has been giving me strength as I lean on Him. 
I have been very busy getting all the art supplies ready for Bible School and making samples of each of the crafts. I haven't helped with Bible School since the children were little and I thought I would try this year. It starts tomorrow evening and will keep me busy each night for the next week! 

I also attended a Women of Faith conference in Fairfax, VA a week ago.  http://www.womenoffaith.com/#revival 
I had never been to one before and it was a life changing event for me. They had a wonderful worship band and the second song we sang was Amy's song, "Amazing Grace, My Chains Are Gone" I was able to get through it although there were tears. It helped that my daughter-in-law was right beside me. Her  baby bump reminding me of the new life soon to be with us.  The speakers were great and I was encouraged to be brave, to be bold, and to use the gifts God has given me. I decided I don't want to just exist and keep wandering in the desert. I want to cross over the Jordan and enter the Promised Land and let God lead my life as He wills. He is writing a different story to my life than what I expected Him to, but I want to live in my story; I want to be someone.......someone that my grandchildren will be proud of and look up to. 

God also gave me a precious gift at the conference besides the speakers and the music. During the first evening, I looked down and on the landing was a young lady in a wheelchair. I knew I had to talk to her during the break. I did. She had a huge beautiful smile. She had trouble talking and keeping control of her arms, so I did not know how much she could understand. I gave her a brochure of Amy's story and told her that I was glad she was there and able to enjoy the conference. Of course, I cried some more!
Toward the end of the evening Sheila Walsh sang the hymn, "Amazing Grace," and I just closed my eyes and enjoyed the beauty of her voice and the music. When I opened them, the young lady was gone. I wondered if she was real.  Did others see her? Did she still have Amy's Story?  
The next morning we were running really late and I didn't see her until we had already sat down and there she was! It made me happy and I knew that I would try to interact with her again. So during the break I talked to her. I asked her if she remembered me and if she had someone read Amy's story to her. And then she said very slowly but clearly ."I ........ can ........  read!"  Wow! I asked her if I could give her a hug and she smiled and nodded. I hugged her and told her I missed my Amy. She said, "Amy happy."  I was so touched, almost if God was speaking through her to me.  During the lunch break she had someone with her, a friend and she gave me the young lady's business card. Her name is Angela and she is an advocate for disability rights and an educational presenter. She works in Washington DC in a senator's office.  Her personal motto on her card is, "Sharing the Gifts of Life." I told her that I had a small gift for her. I had just purchased some toddler books for my soon to come grandson and they came with a pink teddy bear that has Women of Faith on it. I asked her if she would like the bear. She gave me another big smile and said, "yesss!"  Her friend said that pink was her favorite color.  She has a website: www.angelaywest.com
She hasn't posted for awhile but you can see her picture. 

She asked her friend to take our picture and we exchanged emails but I haven't heard from her yet, so I emailed her and I hope to hear from her soon. I saw Angela one more time on the last break before the conference ended. I introduced  Laura to her and then asked for another hug. She agreed and as I hugged her she said, "Amy happy...with Jesus." And again a huge smile on her face. She was and is so precious. My gift from God to bless me that special weekend.  Anytime I think of her, I just can't help but smile. 
Amy is with Jesus and she is gloriously happy. I am slowly learning to be happy also. Thank you, my Jesus. 
 Laura only has 6 or 7 more weeks to go!

And today I signed up to do fundraising walk for a little friend of mine who is battling a disease. Something else I have never done before! 
 Chloe
And if you would like to help me reach my goal of $250 you can donate here:
fundraiser for Chloe

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A birthday and a new birth.

On Sunday, I had my 56th birthday. My second birthday without Amy. The family is finally all free from work to celebrate it tonight. This year I have a son-in-law and a grandson soon to be born in less than two months that will be celebrating with us.  

I can't help but hate that Amy is missing this. 

This morning I went to the hospital to get some blood work done in preparation of seeing my doctor next week. I could just feel the dread coming over me as I walked through the doors on this beautiful cool  morning. There was a gentle breeze, the humidity was low and the sun was shining. A perfect summer morning. So why could I not shake this feeling? I don't like getting stuck. I don't like being in a hospital around other sick people and I don't like the feeling of just being a number. But it is more than just that. This is only the second time I have been to the hospital since Amy died.  I avoided looking at the ER waiting area, right next to the waiting area I was at. That was where we sat and had to make the decision not to use any measures at all to save Amy's life or the hospital would not admit her. It was a horrible time. I still didn't think she was going to die. It's still hard to believe that she did. 
I waited and waited, my stomach growling. I didn't leave as soon as I wanted this morning and so I needed some coffee or at least strong tea, but wasn't allowed anything until after the lab work. I finally got it over with but not without pain. I tense up so much, that I think it hurts so much more. I couldn't get out of there quick enough. I almost started crying on the way to the car and then I remembered, we had some young friends who just had a baby and she was still in the hospital with little Caleb! I would start some new memories. I would go see her. 
I did a 360 and headed back inside up to the second floor. I am real good friends with her mother-in-law, and Laura and James are good friends with the young couple. But I felt I knew her well enough to visit. I hope she was okay with me stopping in.  She asked if I would like to hold him. He is so tiny. She swaddled him and he just snuggled right into the crook of my arm. He is so precious. It was so hard not to cry. 

I am so afraid. I am afraid that something will happen to Laura or to the baby. I don't want any more sorrow in my life. 

In my teen years my mama had this verse taped on our bathroom mirror :   2Timothy 1:7  "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."  So I know the fear is not from God, but from the evil one trying to steal my joy. 

In our local department store (aka Wal Mart) I ran into a mother of a special needs adult. She is about 15 years older than I am and I would think her daughter is at least 10 years older than Amy. She is in a home now, because the mom is unable to take care of her needs anymore. She also filled me in on some of the other older mothers whose children are still alive. One has had a heart attack, another passed away, another one is in a bad way with her health. I don't think many of their children are still living with them. She asked me if I was a granny yet and I told her soon. She said that it was a blessing that Amy is in heaven and I don't have to make the decision of where she will live out her years. I nodded my head but inside I was screaming. I know she is right, but I miss my Amy so much. We did not have to make a decision of putting her into a group home or a private home with full-time care. But we did have to make a decision to let her die. Nothing compares to that. Nothing ever will compare to that. 

On my way home, the cemetery drew me to it. It is still such a pretty spot, but I cried and cried. Amy is not here, she is with Jesus.  The next to last verse in the Bible says, "He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus."  Revelation 22:20.
That is how I feel. I can't wait until the Lord returns!

This afternoon I worked up in what I am lovingly calling the Spare Oom. (Spare Room) Emily said it would be cool if it had a wardrobe in it! Narnia fans will know what I am talking about. 
Amy stayed in that room for a few years......but that will be for another posting.  

I need to leave now to celebrate 56 years of my life. I'm so thankful I had Amy for 31 years of it.