Observations after a long and difficult day

Today marked the 11 year anniversary of the day my sister’s van hit a combine in the fog, killing her instantly, and sending her off to wherever God takes His children. I wondered what specific day of the week she died on only to discover it was actually Tuesday. So today was actually the exact day she died 11 years ago.

Morbid, I know. But bear with me here…

My oldest niece took the day off work so we could celebrate the life of her mother by enjoying a relaxing day together. Little did I know that lunch would cause havoc in my intestines and ruin half the day. I swear I used almost every restroom in every store we pasted by!! We were in a shopping district and I found myself spending more time in the restrooms than shopping! After a long, rough day I found myself the only one still awake. I began to look back at my life as I scrolled through social media.

I have lived 6 years longer than my sister. She was 30 when she died and I will be 36 in April. During the years without her a lot has happened that I have been unable to share with her or talk to her about. When I had my second daughter, I needed an emergency c-section. She was a nurse and I know she would have been there for me during such a difficult time. But she was gone already.

I cannot help but play the what if game every year on October 30th. But I can’t do that anymore. It drives me crazy and just makes me feel sad.

I have learned some things about handling death since losing my older sister and brother (2007 and 2017). These are in the order I thought of them:

1) death is something we all face therefore since I know that I need to be prepared. Have a living will, God-parents for my children, and yes, assurance for my afterlife.

2) never, ever, ever bother to ask “why.” It only brings pain. Knowing why doesn’t take away the hurt of the loss. My sister is still gone.

3) I am not the only one who lost someone. My sister had kids, a husband, parents, 3 half brothers, aunts, uncles, etc. I miss her and am hurting and I am not alone.

4) Accept that she is gone and love the moments she was here. No, she isn’t coming back, but I have to think of the good times we had instead of struggling every day to be happy because I focus on missing her.

5) Someone else cares and I am loved. God does. He is there the moments I need and want Him, and waiting for me when I don’t. He is there and He loves me.

6) I must avoid ruining everyone else’s day just because I feel unhappy today. I know my sister died on October 30th, 2007, but the stranger checking my groceries out for me does not know. So I shouldn’t react unkindly toward the strangers who I think should treat me with kindness. I get what I give.

7) I remind myself every time I think of her (and my brother), I will see them again. It is within me to feel and know that we will all be reunited someday. That brings me hope that no human can take away.

8) there is no good day to die. Though some circumstances make it easier to let some people go, there is never a convenient time for a loved one to die. Hands down, it is never something I welcome. Death, for me, is the worst suffering of life. My sister died on my half birthday. I didn’t care because we never celebrated that day. But it kinda drives my point home…

I hope some of these observations provided some insight for some of you. And I hope I wasn’t too morbid on one of my least favorite days of the year.

Be blessed with a long and healthy life… emphasis on healthy!

Maggie A. ‘Spoon

(Written and published from my phone. Please forgive all random errors and spellcheck failures. I did my best on the fly.)

The Back-side of Life

sometimes life is tough and all we see is the messy back-side of life. but I believe in the flip-side of life. It is a beautiful tapestry and I know God has a plan.

I was once told our life is like a cross-stitch piece.  On the back-side of life, the strings are a multi-colored mass that seems like nothing but a complete mess.  However, if we could just turn the piece over and see the completed project we would see that it is a stunning work of art.  Unfortunately, the work of life is never finished and sometimes all we can see is only the messy-looking back-side of life.

backsideofcrochet

If you could let the pain of the past go perhaps you could recognize the amazingly beautiful tapestry that is being built by the contrast between our struggles and joys. Our struggles are a mess, but God in His infinite wisdom knows how to turn that mess into something lovely.

Today I choose to believe in the flip-side.

flipsideofcrochetpeace

I believe the flip-side is full of beauty, and above all it is full of purpose.  Nothing in my life happens without a reason OR a valuable meaning (even if I never see it in my lifetime).  I truly believe that.  If for no other reason, struggles and trials and so-called bad things happen to me to help me grow.

Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you make be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  James 1:2-4 NIV

Each string on the backside of life has purpose.  Someone once said, “If you knew everything God knew – everything – then you wouldn’t want to change a thing.”  To me, this means that God knows what He is doing, and is working through all the things I go through.

In your process of looking back at life, believe in the flip-side, knowing that God has something bigger in mind that we can know right now.  We can only see the small bits and pieces of life, but He sees the grand picture – the tapestry being made.  Trust Him.

May you be blessed today and always.

Maggie A. ‘Spoon

(I am working on a book about the traits of God drawn from my personal experience and study of scripture. I look forward to sharing it with you.  It is a work in progress as I study to understand the nature of God but I believe it will turn out to be a good read.)

**I did not make the lovely pieces of cross stitch.  I found them searching bing.com on someone else’s blogspot.  I am grateful I found matching pieces that were front and back.