Saturday, February 27, 2010

It is Three Years Today

Today , February 27th, 2010 marks the three year passing  of Tim to his eternal home with God.  For my blog posting today, I thought I would share a poem I wrote in the week following his memorial service, capturing Tim's personality, his loves and his friends. This poem and his eulogy became the first few things about Tim I began to pour out on paper and in my computer within  the beginning  months of my grief.  Tim's spirit as well as God's ever present prompting Holy Spirit has given me many amazing gifts of insight over these long three years.  The second item  I am posting is a story I wrote for the subject "Bold (emotionally)" for my Faith Writers web sight in the first year (2007) I discovered this blessed place of growth for me.  In reading these postings, may you remember Timmy today, get to know a little about Timmy and myself, but most importantly, know and feel the Love and Hope God can bring to you even in your most desperate hour of need,  especially in our most desperate hour of need. Timmy suffered greatly in the last three years of his life, God answered prayer by giving Timmy true peace and eternal healing.  I will not cover up that there are hard days for me when I really miss Timmy, but I will shout to the roof tops,  to the mountain tops,  that God's Grace, His Amazing Grace sustains me, lavishes on me and empowers me to continue on.

                      MY TIMMY

              My Timmy embraced life
When pain he was free.
Youthful and idealistic,
Energy like a bee.

Charming and quick
With wit to tease,
An entertainer he is,
An audience to please.

My Timmy loved life,
Every minute was busy.
His voice filled the air,
A personality that was fizzy.

Bubbling and brewing
With effervescent steam;
You had so much potential,
You did have a dream...

Go to college, of course;
Communications he'd take.
To be a sports analyst, your knowledge
You could not fake.

From the Olympics to
World Cup soccer you knew.
The players, their histories,
Baseball and football too.

But college basketball was
your favorite sport season.
To be at Duke or UCLA
Would give you reason...

To jump up and down and
Be a crazy fan.
Your team spirit was contagious;
It was seen in the Chino Football Stand.

There are other things you loved,
Your dog "Chance" for one.
He would make you laugh
And gave you so much fun.

That big pooch could cuddle
On the couch and not get "busted".
Because he was snuggled next to you,
His best friend that he trusted.

You loved to do stuff
With your Dad by your side.
Helping with hardware at work
Brought you much pride.

That tool belt was so cute
around your small hips;
but manly you were
With all your drill bits.

You loved your brother Corey
When in the womb you did inquire,
"Does the baby have Jesus in his heart?",
Your desire,

To love him unconditionally,
Even twice your size he became.
Your big younger brother;
His heart will not be the same.

Timmy loved his Aunt Lauren,
A special bond they did share.
Love of sports and jokes,
Often they would compare.

And the house in Paradise
Where Oma and Opa reside;
A retreat with laughter
And family at your side.

That soccer team was special,
All the boys in red, blue and white.
The memories we'll treasure,
You all bring us joy and delight.

My Timmy loved to "party",
A lot of friends he surely had.
There is Jody and Susie and Jennifer,
Across the street, their pad.

Pier fishing and camping
Or just hangin' out,
Timmy you were fun,
In this there is no doubt.

Kyle and Kurt, some troubles
You two did stir,
But we love you, you know that,
And Timmy was "cured"...

When he hung out with you guys
He learned some hard lessons.
Many memories of growing up
And counseling sessions.

Kasey, Tim wanted to marry you.
His good friend's sister
And great listener too.

I know he must have driven you nuts
But thanks for your patience
And friendship so much.

Rick, you are special,
A "big brother" you portrayed.
Looking to you for courage
And to be brave.

A few short weeks in Tucson;
A chance to be on your own.
But home is where you needed to be.
It is your comfort zone.

James, Jessica and Nate
You are loyal to our family and
Timmy's favorite fans.
You'll be in our lives forever
A reminder of God's plans.

My Timmy was a groupie
Of a band called “Solacz.”
Sam and boys , you rock,
       What excitement, that “party bus!”

Play a new tune now
When you remember your number one fan,
An in”spirit”ational member
Of your soon to be famous rock band.

He loved strawberries, cantalope,
Spunky Steer and Round Table.
Del Taco Chile Cheese Fries
And Sweet Tarts were a staple.

He put sour cream on everything
And Christmas cookies we'd love to bake.
Cheesecake and crochetchas at New Year's
Beer at Kelly's and steak.

To sing Karaoke
And make the girls laugh
You loved to entertain
A great gift to have.

My Timmy loved his game of golf
And quite serious you took it.
From the clubs to the balls and clothes,
You would never want to quit.

Even when at times
You could never walk a course.
You relied on the cart,
And that's OK, it's what works.

I know you loved me Timmy
Because frequently you told me,
By your hugs and your kisses
In silence, they were all we would need.

They told me of frustration,
Forgiveness and hurt.
The tightly held squeeze
Another way to assert.

The words were not spoken
But I know what you felt.
And that always would
Make my heart melt.

My Timmy, I am sorry
For your pain here on Earth.
But I am happy for the memories
And joy you brought forth.

I will love you forever
And a day on top of that.
Hang out with God now,
And to Him I will chat.

To bring me peace and comfort
To know you are all right.
Perfect, with a glow,
Shining in my heart so bright.

Love, Mom
(Written a few days after his Celebration of Life, March 2007.)

A Dark Night...Writing of Tim’s Eulogy

It is surreal.  This cannot be happening, but it is.  It is one o’clock in the morning and my son’s memorial service is tomorrow at five o’clock p.m.  I am facing my computer screen, ready to put down words only God, my son and I know.  These precious words, this “Gift” needs to be shared.  I have not even told my husband about the precious words Tim and I shared just a few days ago...and now he is gone and I have this “gift”...  I am the only one to do this.  I must eulogize my son.

How am I ever going to stand in front of all those people and be so vulnerable, so broken hearted, yet convey this all so important message of Hope and Eternal Life while I speak about my first born, who has now passed into Eternity?

I am one-step away from rolling up like a pill bug and crawling into a dark corner. God has brought me here now and I am sensing His presence and strength as I call on his name to surround me with the Holy Spirit and Timmy’s Spirit.  I open up my word document and begin to unravel the tightness in my chest and give testimony to a special child and a loving God.

I begin to punch the keys and the words are too numerous to describe my son.  I tell about his precocious nature, his energy, his “gift of gab”.  I recall a funny anecdote and talk about his school days and love of sports.  I explain his diagnosis at age four, his relapses, medicines, doctors and surgeries.  I include his struggle that he did not so much convey to many outsiders who knew him as this somewhat annoying, yet funny and charming Tim, who could play eighteen holes of golf with the best of them.

Now it comes, the not so fun side of this life, my son’s life.  I must be honest.  “God, please help me with these words.” 

I tell of Tim’s pain and frustration, his wavering faith and impulsiveness, his cries out to God in anger and his desperate search for healing.  I divulge about a not so perfect son and a not so perfect mom.

“You need to know, there is Good News, and Timmy is OK!  Listen to the gift God gave me!  While he was in his hospital bed in intensive care, he was hallucinating a little bit from the pain medicines and I asked him something, and Tim began to tell me something of great importance to him.”

“Mom, the pencil sharpener is singing to me.  Mom, can you hear it?”

 “It is? I laughed.  What is it singing Tim?”   You proceeded to sing to me; eyes shut but with a smile as wide and as bright as I had seen in days.

“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.  I once was lost but now I am found; was blind but now I see.”

Yes Tim, Amazing Grace!  Four days later, you passed into Heaven’s gates and that sweet old hymn will abide with me forever as God’s assurance to me that your healing came through God’s sovereignty in Glory.

I have to share this special moment with the grieving faces that will come to my son’s Celebration of Life service to remember our son and share in our pain.  Tim had a difficult life but he enjoyed it to the fullest whenever he could.  In the end, he trusted God and he knew he would be OK when he let go.

“Through Tim’s short but exuberant life, his bold spirit lives on and the not so perfect kid with the not so perfect mom stands here today to tell you there is hope in an Oh So Perfect God!  Thank you God, for the privilege of being Timothy’s mom.”

I hit the save button on my computer, then print.  Tomorrow I will eulogize my son and share this Amazing Grace.  I will be bold and strong for I must continue this love between a mother and her son and a God and Believers, between the Saviour and the lost.

Matthew 10:19...”Do not become anxious about how or what you will speak; for it shall be given to you in that hour what you are to speak.
Matthew 10:27 “What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops.”

Monday, February 22, 2010

Have you been enjoying the Winter Olympics? We have.  Ted and I watch as much as we can, late into the evening.  My favorite sport to watch is the speed skating; and yes Shani Davis and Apolo Ohno do make it even more enjoyable to watch.  One of the things I enjoy most about the Olympics, whether it be summer or winter, are all the back stories, the personal stories of individual athletes overcoming obstacles, of perseverance and sacrifice, of recovery and retraining after injury.  These athletes should inspire us to many things.  Most medal stand winners are made not just because of their superb athletic ability and physical training, but have usually overcome some limitations as well, which somehow I think give them that extra edge mentally and emotionally.   They would share with you about their many slips and falls, head-over-heal crashes, spilled blood, deep bruises and even equipment failure. Emotional limitations can also set one back to the "bunny hill"  or even bring you to the point of setting the skis out for the garage sale.  They would share with you that giving up was not an option, that even though things may be very painful, and that sometimes sacrifice has to come into play, true joy awaits on the other side. 

God wants all of his trained athletes to be on the medal stand.  Maybe you feel like you are just racing around in circles, concentrating on who may bump you instead of looking towards the finish line God is pushing you towards. The weather is not perfect, the snow too flaky, you are not sure you can trust what is underneath you;  maybe you are even pursuing the wrong sport.  

God has a crown of jewels for all of us.  In our chosen time, He will award us according to our training and performance here on Earth.  While many will make it to the games; just how many will only be spectators instead of participants.  You have trusted enough to receive your opening ceremony ticket, yet you remain in the stands. 

I challenge you: sharpen those rusty skates, wax your skis, take a few slap shots towards the goal; reconnect with your Personal Trainer and Coach. Sometimes it is very hard to work out and work through intense pain. You may need different types of physical (and spiritual) therapy to get your self confident, to feel His power, to know His will, to be ready to inspire others. 

The torch never looses its flame.  Do not miss the opportunity to be a torch bearer for God.  He has orchestrated that opportunity in your life. God has no limitations when it comes to serving Him in obedience and using our gifts. An award awaits those whose focus in on the team, and raises the torch to bring glory to their Father.  

"The richness of human experience would lose something of rewarding joy if their were no limitations to overcome."  Helen Keller.

Phil. 4:13  "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." 

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Jar of Love

If you could put love in a jar, and store it on a shelf, what would it look like? 

Today, I was at the drug store picking up a prescription and looking over the Valentine's Cards trying to choose the special one for Ted and one for my son Corey. The pink and red cards lined the shelf with the shiny-foiled hearts, the sparkly hearts, the pastel hearts and the puffy hearts. Yes, I picked two,  to give tomorrow to my two loves.  Thursday night, I also purchased some Dove chocolates to give to the kids I work with at school. (Just what ADHD kids need…chocolate).  My roses are trimmed down, so no blooms until probably early April.  And, guess what? I have never been to a Victoria Secret store.  (They really don't keep much a secret there).  So, are these things some of the symbols we associate with Valentine's Day?   

Psalms 126:5-6   Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.  He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, shall indeed come again with a shout of Joy, bringing his sheaves with him. 

If I could put Love in a jar, it wouldn't be confetti hearts, or chocolate kisses, or rose petals.  It would be my tears. The tears would not lose form, but gather together to form a picture.  There would be tears of youth: the tears of a baby in need, of a child who now requires  stitches, of a middle school girl after  loosing her beloved pet, of a nine year old laying on her bed after VBS and asking Jesus into her heart. Collected  tears of a high schooler insecure about everything having to do with boys, and the tears of regret when you know you have disappointed your parents. For the first time, I would experience a heavier, thicker tear...dark...the tears of loss and saying goodbye to a cousin, a grandmother.

  Time for a new layer, a joyful layer of tears. These ones sparkle.  The tears of my mother holding me to her breast, my mother's same tears as I held my own son to mine.  Tears of  my father weeping in the garage after I arrived at home, (way before cell phones) after several hours of not knowing where I was.  My father again several  years down the line, with glistening eyes, reassuring me He had Jesus in his heart.  Silver tears of joy as "Sweet Caroline” (my parents favorite song) played as they danced at their surprise 25th Wedding anniversary. These  top off that rich layer. 

I would have saved these tears...They are memory tears. 

The layers continue with my own family.  Tears of hope, excitement, victory, reward,   Tears of new life, pregnancy, birth, awe-struck wonder at the beautiful, needy little miracle in your arms.  Tears at the t-ball game, tears at the soccer games, tears getting the sand out of all those tender places, tears from the snow inside the shoes, tears from the needle that hurts so much and the doctor who says it won't hurt much. Tears when a brother holds his new brother for the first time, tears from the sticker bush trampled on in the middle of the night chasing down your love-struck pooch. Tears sitting in the principals office,  tears of frustration,  fear, anger and exhaustion.  Tears of pain. 

Time for a new layer.  The tear when your son asks if the baby in your tummy has Jesus in his heart, and when that same baby in your tummy, one day asks you to pray with him on the way home from church to ask Jesus to come into his heart.  Tears of Joy when you realize God is ministering to your husband through song in such a special way and he begins to share his spiritual side with you, a special intimacy begins, only created by God. 

The layers continue.  More of those dark tears,  ashen gray tears left over from a fire,  tears reflecting blue ink from pages and pages of  journal notebooks, pages stained and  smeared with some of those tears. Tears captured in the jar from God sent prayers of restoration and healing. Surrounding those are more tears of Joy, answered prayer tears and friendship tears. 

The tears of loss do not remain on top, they infuse throughout, like a special ribbon in a tapestry, tying the tears together.  When the jar is opened...the joyful tears shout. They shout loud Hallelujahs to the Lord,   Hallelujah for these tears are not wasted, they indeed serve a purpose.  They are sovereign tears,  tears in which to use to help others, tears that have allowed me to grow, to seek His will, tears of Love, gathered together in a jar, the lid barely able to contain...Oh, and the picture these tears  are forming? ...A True Love picture of a cross and an empty tomb.   The tears spill out, and I pray for the Harvest to come.