Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Nuggets of Gold

My Dad passed away in 2008 at the age of 91 years old. He was an older Dad, my being born when he was 49. I was the youngest of 5 children, 8 years separating me from the 4th sibling!  I'm glad he lived as long as he did so I could have my Dad around and so that my kids could know their grandad. My Dad's name was Arthur and he was a farmer, carpenter, welder, mechanic; basically a jack of all trades. He was an avid reader and a journal keeper and a man of great faith in God!

Yesterday, I was going through some of his things that had been passed on from him and I came across a little journal called Nuggets of Gold. Most of his journals are filled with daily goings on, like what the weather was like that day, and how he had trimmed the hedge or mowed the grass or changed oil in his car, etc. This journal however, was filled with scripture verses and and the wisdom and thoughts gleaned from these readings. It was all very comforting and I felt as though I was kind of having a visit with my Dad right there in my living room, all by myself, surrounded by his journals and notes, and I was getting to know him a bit better.

My Dad had gone through a lot in his life. A lot of disappointments, hardships, losses, joys, cares, but my Dad was not one to share of what he was feeling in his heart too much. At least with me. He just seemed to go through whatever situation came up; strengthened by his faith, resolve, and will. It seemed the more trying a time got, the more quiet he got and when happier times returned, the change of heart or circumstances would be reflected in his countenance.

I'm very grateful for my Dad. He never turned to alcohol, or to drugs or violence to try to anesthetize his feelings or to try to help himself cope through hard times, I'm thankful for that, but he did have a habit of closing off when the world became too much. When I was 14, we lost my brother Ken, the sibling who was next oldest to me, to a workplace accident. My Dad became very quiet and understandably, he would remove himself to a quiet, lonely place to grieve. I know now, that was what he was doing. At the time, I just thought he was going out to the garage to change oil on the truck or a tire needed fixing. Merely a distraction I thought, something to keep his hands and mind occupied. Maybe that's what I wanted to think at the time. Not to admit deep down my Dad was as heartbroken as he certainly had the right to be, to go out and weep for the loss of his son. For maybe it was easier for me, for my sake, to think of my father as having more strength than he did. I guess I needed that strength from him and he knew it.  Yet, I do wish that as a family we could have shared our thoughts and griefs more with each other, but we were all so private in our grief, going in our own direction, to deal with our thoughts and emotions. Sharing our memories and grief would have helped SO much, but like I said, our family wasn't like that. Maybe it had a lot to do with the generation my Dad was from. Perhaps it was more to do with his and my Mom's personality types and how they felt comfortable processing their grief. I find that now, after all these years, I am still processing my grief or perhaps I'm just picking up where I left off because I hadn't finished. I was only a young teenager when my brother died, and I think after too short of a time, I looked at my parents and mistakenly thought they were "over it" and decided that I too, had better get on with it, so I did. Or least I tried to.

Yesterday, when reading in one of his journals, I came to the back of the little booklet and about the time of my brother's death my Dad had wrote this bit. I don't know whether it's a quote or he made it up, but his is what he wrote:

"Love is never merely pleasant--it hurts,
It is glorious but it is not merely pleasant.
It is the hawk and the dove
And it is the innocent air which is host to them both."

I don't know that I would love this as much if I had read it somewhere else, but because my Dad chose this to go into his journal, he must have liked it, and so that makes me like it too, in fact I love it because it shows a bit of his heart that he kept so guarded and private. Most of his journals entries were very practical or faith based, sensible. Not dramatic or ever emotional, so this was special.

I miss my Dad. Almost more now than when he first passed away. It's things like this that I wish I could share more of with him. As I'm getting older, I am opening up and because of that, I would be braver to ask him more about his deep feelings and thoughts. My father shared his faith with me and it's because of that sharing, that I believe I will see him again and who knows, maybe we'll get to know one another in an even better, more meaningful way.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Welcome to my World (Blog)

 Life is definitely a journey. For me, so far, it's been relatively good. I say relatively, because to compare with anyone else, well isn't that just it? It's all relative. What may be my good or not too bad life's experiences could be someone else's hell, or what my most awful experience has been, could be someone else's dream life!
One of being a wife and mother, (not quite an empty nester). Married for 26 years to a very good man, and mother to four children (3 boys and 1 girl). Two oldest are up and out and 2 remain. You'll hear more about them later.

My hope and desire for this blog is to share some of what I've gone through in life, the lessons I've learned and am still learning. Hence, the title The Journey. I have thoughts and musings that come to me, born out of circumstances that are happening, have happened to me or to others that I know. I'm not much of a journal keeper, and while that would be beneficial for recording such thoughts and remembrances, they do little to benefit others. So I thought if I were to record these thoughts and pieces of advice as they come to me on a blog, it would serve this dual purpose.

So for today, I might as well start with something that came to my mind this morning as I was cleaning up brunch dishes. I have a young female friend who is quite open to sharing her life's occurrences on face book. My heart goes out to her as she experiences the ups and downs of young adulthood. The heart ache of relationships and other circumstances not turning out quite the way she would have liked. I've often thought to myself, for I am quite fond of her, that I wish I could make things turn out the way she'd like them too. To see her spared disappointment, heartbreak, setback. Of course, this is impossible. What she is experiencing is life itself. I can advise, guide, give of my own experiences to help her choose more wisely, but nonetheless, she will  have times of setback and disappointment that even all the sage advice and wisdom in the world will not stop. She will still have to GO THROUGH such times. Her choices of course will largely play into what kind of life she leads, so I hope and pray she use the wisdom she possesses now to make wise choices.

Life as we know it, is indeed one big learning curve. So many young people have such wisdom. I tell my own children they are so ahead of where I was at their age. Yet, so many flounder, not having had anyone to teach them or show them the way to get a good heard start.

So my blog is really about my own continuing journey. Of continuing to learn even after having learned so much. Maybe what I've learned and will share in the coming days and months in this blog will be of some use to someone else and what I learn from your feedback will teach me new things as well. At least I hope it to be a wonderful sharing experience and opportunity to meet new people that share a desire to grow in their lives, relationship and faith.