Friday, June 18, 2010

The Positive and The Negative….Bearing Our Cross

Vol. 2, Issue 2

Hello My Dear Friends!

I hope you are all doing well!  Now that we are in mid summer, I’ve been enjoying a reprieve from the endless irritation of cold air, bitter wind chills and all those other horrid things that winter weather causes, which produce very real pain for me. Yes, the disease is still there, but at least it is not affecting me (with the exception of my migraines) and I have been able to get out and spend wonderful days with my horses, my beloved family and enjoy the fellowship of new friends!

Which brings me to the title of today's blog.  In the past year, our family has been through some very real trials and tribulations.  We all have our crosses to bear and sometimes I think that we all get to a point where we look up and wonder, “How much more can I take?”  Well, I’m learning that apparently, I can take a lot.  There is a passage in the Bible that I stumbled across (or rather I like the phrase, God turned the pages of my Bible) and it is quite relevant to the situation.

Philippians 4:8 - Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.

How is this relevant? Well, I believe that even when all around us we are surrounded by fear, ugliness, mean or unfair treatment, the moment we allow ourselves to take our focus off of the things mentioned in this passage, we open the door ajar for Satan to get in and poison our thinking. We get bitter, angry, and critical of others. Then we become insecure and ultimately, very unhappy.  We may start to feel the need to control things or more important, the negativity becomes our main focus.  Then what happens?  We take our eyes off of what God’s plan is for our lives and try to make it on our own.

Well, I believe that we are never the One that is truly in control.  God gives us choices in our lives.  Sometimes the right choice isn’t black and white, we don’t know which choice to make, but if we make our choices knowing that we carry our cross by God’s GRACE, that HE is there all along holding us up, when the choices are not clear, He will guide us to where we are suppose to be.

I believe that my journey over the last 18 months has been truly one of God preparing our family for something that we don’t necessarily understand; at least not at this time.  As time goes by, we will look back and be able to see what it is that He is trying to teach us, or perhaps wants to show us. Perhaps not.  Perhaps it isn’t about us at all.  Perhaps it is about HOW we carry our cross, how we handle the trials that come our way.  I don’t have all the answers.  I don’t know how we will manage, what will become of my husband’s health, or my own.  I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but the LORD doesn’t want me to know that.  He wants me to trust in Him….TODAY.  He wants us all to look to Him at this very moment, each and every moment in time,  one by one. The Bible tells us:

Mark 8:34-38 - "If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For who ever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me and for the Gospel, will save it.  What good is it for a man to gain the whole world yet forfeit his soul?  Or what can a man give for exchange for his soul?  If anyone is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His Father's glory with the holy angels"

Our time on earth is our time of Grace.  I tend to believe that life is a series of peaks and valleys, good times and bad.  We just need to remember that what really matters is our Soul.  While still on this earth, I have faith that the Lord will keep His promises and care for us as He does the lilies of the field and the birds of the air.  I do know that when my time comes and I return home to be with Him in heaven, I can look back and say, “Now that wasn’t so bad, was it?”

I’ve thought a lot of my father lately and the many times he gave me very simple and concrete advice.  He was a wonderful man, I miss him so much and He was and still is my hero.  If anyone had a good excuse to be angry or bitter, it would be a person who became paraplegic at the age of 15.  But that wasn't his way.   He overcame many crosses of his own, but when he passed away well into his 60's, it was very clear that he lived his life looking at the positive things and never let the negativity of others stop him or prevent him from enjoying his life.

So my message today would be that no matter what struggles you carry, remember that you are never alone in this world.  My husband and I have a rough road ahead of us because of our health and the consequences it puts on us financially, we know that well.  But we also know that God has put wonderful people in our path to lift us up when we are down, and more important, that He has the plan and it is always for our own good and to God be the glory!

For all my friends who fight chronic illnesses, don’t give up hope.   Don’t worry about those that would bully you or don’t understand.  Look to the higher things in life.   There is a purpose for you.  No matter what we must endure, God always has a plan that is much better than our own.

Many blessings to you and it is my hope that you all enjoy the rest of the summer!


© Robynn “Bobbie” Dinse / Bobbie’s World Blogs
Please note that this short story is copyrighted and should not be reprinted in any form without permission from the author
Feel free to link to "Bobbie's World Blogs"
Thank you!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Special Tribute - A Letter to My Mom

Vol. 2, Issue 1

To My Readers….This is a very special letter written to my mother on the anniversary of her death.  It is filled with memories that are very personal to me.  I hesitated to put this out on the board because it is very personal and contains a lot of raw emotion.  At some point in time, we all must say goodbye to a parent or a loved one who goes before us to Glory.   So I decided to publish it anyway.  Perhaps by sharing  this letter and the feelings that can come from the long separation death brings, I could possibly help others who are grieving the loss of one they love.  I hope that as you read this, you will see the love and bond that we shared.  I thank you for your time!

Hi Mom,

I've been thinking about you so much the last few months. I always do at this time of year. It's so hard to believe that it has been 17 years since I last saw your face, hugged you, or smelled the perfume that you love to wear.  It was always the Avon perfume;  MoonWind.  I use to love the little bottles that were package in a solid tube form, like a lipstick.  You would let me have the empty ones because I liked playing with them. Do you remember? I thought they looked like jeannie bottles and my favorite show at the time was I Dream of Jeannie!

I tell myself every year that I can handle this month, I'll get through it no problems, it will be easier, but I just find that I lie to myself.  So instead of fighting it this year, I'm going to honor you and just write to you like you are sitting here beside me having a conversation.  

I never realized that one of the things I would miss the most was the feeling and touch of your hands. What they look like and how soft they were, regardless of your constant need to use them to get around in your wheelchair.  They always smelled like Rose Milk hand lotion. I also remember how you spent hours braiding my hair.  You always used that ugly green comb and a Tupperwear glass full of water to wet it down.  OH YES., let’s not forget the “No More Tears” from Johnson & Johnson.  We both remember how well that stuff worked on my hair!  My hair was all the way down to my backside! I remember sitting there for hours on a small stool and a pillow, but you know something?  I secretly enjoyed it.  Even though sometimes you pulled so tight I though my eyebrows would stay in that position!  But especially in the summer when I went swimming every day, it was easier to take care of.  I don't know if I ever told you that I enjoyed our time doing girl things.  I was too little to appreciate it back then.

Mom, you died so suddenly and there was so much more I wanted to say, but I just didn't get that chance.  In my heart I know that you understand, you're waiting on me and taking care of the family that went before me.  I close my eyes and picture you in my mind, holding my baby girl that never made it into this world.  I can't wait to see you again and to see little Rebecca Dorene.

I loved spending time with you; especially our trip to Texas that special summer when I was about 11.  I enjoyed listening to you tell me stories about your horse, Buster.  You had all these adventures with him when you were a little girl. You use to tell me stories about your brothers and sisters growing up on the ranch in Nebraska. You just loved Buster and I know that when you developed polio at 13, it broke your heart to be separated from your family and to no longer have the use of your legs.  It never stopped you from smiling though and I can prove that!  I still have your high school yearbook!  You were so loved by everyone around you. .My favorite picture in it is of you as Valentine's Day Sweetheart. Regardless of the loss of the use of your legs, you never lost your ability to love others and LIVE!

Making the Christmas pies - a family tradition that even my boys have learned!

You most certainly loved your daughters. Even though we aren't close as sisters, we were placed with you and dad by God, not by the adoption agency;  at least not in my mind.  You and dad did nurture something precious in us. You brought us up to know Jesus. "Prov. 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Little did I know that this would be your greatest gift to your daughters, to know God's Word and to know our Savior. But this wasn't the only gift you gave to us. Just by your example, you taught me acceptance and unconditional love for others.  No matter what a person looked like, you taught me to look deeper, much deeper. Deep into the heart and soul of a person. You taught me to ask myself, what are they like within their heart?  How do they treat those around them?  What they look like on the outside does not matter.  Neither did the amount of money in their pocketbook.

Mom, today is Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, I don't know if it is a coincidence that it falls on the anniversary of your death or not.  I developed FMS after I had a bad accident 10 years after you died. While your disability was visible to the world, mine is hidden away unless I tell others about what happens to me.  You see, without knowing it, by your example you raised me to fight my illness and so did dad.  I'm not ashamed that I get sick sometimes, but rather I'm proud that regardless of this disease, I fight it hard and I think that is why so many don't realize I'm ill. I may have this disease, but it does not define WHO I AM.   Polio did not define you, dad's spinal injury did not define him, they made you both stronger individuals because you overcame so much.  For me, my FMS made me want my dreams more, so I fought even harder once I became ill to reach those goals and make the dreams come true. It is very appropriate that FMS Awareness Day and your date of death fall upon the same day.

I can remember you being with me when I was 16 years old. I had major surgery and lost one of my ovaries. You were there.  You were always there. You sat in the waiting room for hours and worried.  Due to the size of the tumor, the surgery took much longer than expected.  You were exhausted and scared.  At least that's what the nurses told me later on. When I came back to my room I didn't remember much, I would wake up and get terribly sick, then pass back out.  Do you know what I do remember?  I can still hear your soft, comforting voice clear as a bell and sometimes I think I can still feel the touch of your hands on my face and forehead. All night long you cared for me from your wheelchair.  You constantly placed cool hand towels on my face and forehead.  You wouldn't leave my side.  You had school that night, and exams to take.  You were recovering from the divorce, going to school after staying at home with my sister and I for 18 years.  Your life had been turned upside down.  Regardless, you still stayed with me, you just couldn't go and leave me alone and so very sick.  You were the first person I asked for in recovery after the surgery, and the surgeries that followed in the years to come.

You were there when I graduated, got married, when I had the second surgery in hopes of getting pregnant. You were there when I miscarried, rejoiced with me when my two boys were born and then baptized and you cried with me when I lost my marriage. During all the important times, you were always there, just a phone call away.

You couldn't walk, you were confined to that wheelchair. But you were such a big part of my life, you were a part of me. You still are a part of me. I will always remember the smell of that perfume, hand lotion and the touch of your hands.  They were still soft, but had a few calluses from pushing your wheelchair for 40 years (like the callus on your left forefinger, middle knuckle).  Funny the details we remember isn’t it?

I was devastated that you died alone, Mom.  If I had known you were sick that morning, I would have come over right away.  I know you must have been trying to call me, the phone was right there beside you off the hook.  I felt so much guilt for years, but now I know that it was just your time.  God wanted you to come home and be with Him.  Grandma and Grandpa were waiting for you, too.  You had fought life and your disability long and hard and it was time for you to be with Jesus.  He stopped all your pain and suffering and all your fears about the future in that moment. He even restored your broken body!  In time I learned to accept that we may be apart for a long time, but we will share eternity together.   We have so much to catch up on. When my time comes, we will all sit together and talk about the things we missed while we were apart. Although, something tells me you already know a lot of what is going on in my life!

Right after you passed, I found out I was pregnant again.  Can you believe it?  Wow it was such a miracle!  Three weeks to the date "surprise" I discovered I was pregnant.  Even though the doctors said it could never, ever happen again. After the miscarriage they figured my first son was luck, my second son a miracle;  but  4 1/2 years later to have the third son?  Well, let's just say I believe that God felt I needed something beautiful and full of life. He gave me something (someone) fresh and new to look forward to after losing such a huge part of my life when you were called Home. You will really love him, Mom.  He's something special.  All of the boys are something special. They have grown up in the faith, strong, kind and loving.  Each child is a part of me, but each child totally unique and individual. They are so close to one another. Something I prayed that they would have to cherish and something that God has seen fit to provide for them.

I've been sad at times to see so many other people who still have their parents. They are even older than me and some don't realize what they have. But I'm doing my best to appreciate what I have and be happy. While the older boys remember and love you, I've had to be content to tell Peyton all about you.  I know he loves you, too.  I've shared stories that you shared with me and done my best to keep your memory alive in some way for all of them.  They all three still have the special bears that you bought when they were born.   I bought one for Peyton for you since you could not be here.

Well Mom, I just wanted you to know that I love you with all of my heart and that many of my dreams have come true. Even though I have this horrid disease, I finally got my own horse, two, actually. They keep me happy, active and healthy. Your youngest grandson loves them as much as his mom, so the second horse came along about 2 years ago. Your grandson is on a National Championship Drill team. Brandon is going to be a teacher,  Curtis is going to be a police officer and hopefully someday, a detective. You would be so proud of them! I'm sure that if God let's you look down from heaven from time to time to see special days, you would burst with joy!

So mom, while today we try to educate the world about this unseeen illness that can ruin lives, I want to honor and celebrate your life as well. Because between you and Dad, you both taught me that in the face of disability, pain, and tribulations, we are survivors. We fight it, we go on and chase the dreams we have. Fibromyalgia has not and will not ruin my life. I won't give it permission. It has actually pushed me to fight harder for my dreams and you and dad are the two best examples a daughter could ever have!

So keep the tea kettle warm for me!  When my time comes (although it may be awhile) we have a lot to catch up on!  I'm so glad that you have not had to suffer. I know that you were in a lot of pain,  I know that you were very weak from the post-polio syndrome. God is gracious and wise and I'm so thankful he spared you any further worry or agony. I get great comfort knowing that you are in paradise. I think of you holding Rebecca each time I see a rainbow in the sky and I know that someday, I'll see all of you again and I will also be in the arms of my loving Savior. In the meantime I will remember what you taught me and what is in God's Word, "that with Him, all things are possible.

I love you, Mom.


Your Daughter

© Robynn “Bobbie” Dinse / Bobbie’s World Blogs
Please note that this short story is copyrighted and should not be reprinted in any form without permission from the author
Feel free to link to "Bobbie's World Blogs"
Thank you!