Posts for Tag: Mel

What's In a Year


 

There are times in one's life that are clearly marked, times where dates are etched in one's mind forever. I am certain many of those within my circle of life can agree with me on this.

 The etched times that are obvious to all are the mundane ones, the wedding dates, birthdates and graduation dates. We all share those, but for some there are more terrible dates.

The date your friend died in combat.....

The date you or a friend were wounded in combat.......

The date your child died.......

The date your child was wounded in combat...........

The date someone close to you chose to die at their own hand........

The date your son went to prison........

  These kind of memorial dates cannot be truly understood until one has owned one.  I know folks who own more than one of these. I own a couple myself. I think once you own one of these you are drawn to those who also own them. You begin to understand, to truly feel the weight they carry, to be grieved by it, to hurt with those who hurt.

 I have known many moments of sorrow, and yet in this past year, an exact year from 3/12/13 to 3/12/14, I have begun to see things more clearly.

the grief between the lines of the mother who posts phrases from songs.......

the grief from the mother who posts words of endearment to her departed son........

the struggle of the young wife left behind to raise children alone.....

the pain and sorrow in the Vietnam veteran's words as he struggles with PTSD and panic attacks.....

the sorrow of holidays for those missing someone....

the soldiers who like a well-oiled clock, post their memorial comments and photos on the exact day, on a monthly basis…....

the young warrior weeping in front of the computer.......the site a memorial site for the fallen....

the song….”Paint Me a Birmingham” and the sorrow he feels when he listens to it.....

the young warrior and his bottles of Jack left on the memorial stones.....

the mother and her website declaring all out war on the PTSD that took her son's life....

the soul angry at God for allowing such loss......

the soul clinging to God for the strength to endure such loss......

the sister feeling guilty for that moment of happiness......

the father who wishes he could have changed things......

the warrior drinking to excess, seeking to drown the demons, to shut their voices, to squelch the memories...... 

the mother begging for prayer for her incarcerated son....

the mother waging war on the Army on behalf of her incarcerated son....

the feelings from many that they are forgotten, that people don't really care.....

the young warrior who twists his prosthetic foot around and around making us laugh....but behind his eyes you can see pain.....

the young warrior and the dog who just might have saved his life......

the angry young warrior in the parking lot instigating a fight....and the sad father of another young warrior who rose to the occasion.....until he saw his own son in the young man's eyes and walked away.....

the worry in the little boys eyes as he tries to be the man for his grieving mother.....

the frantic intensity of a mother as she drives back and forth countless miles, as she prays, as she frets, as she seeks with all her heart and soul and strength to make it better..........and she can't make it better....

 And so many more that I could write and write and never capture them all....

    These many years of war have caused a lot of pain, pain felt personally, pain witnessed from a distance, and yet this past year, the year that brought all the pain to a head, to an eruption that simply could no longer be contained, also brought healing, and a stronger faith, and a deeper love, a pain that ripped open the heart and laid it all bare, torn beyond human capacity to repair.....but not beyond His capacity. Throughout it all He has been close and I stand here today, this March the 12th, 2014 forever changed, forever scarred, but able to behold the beauty and grace in those scars and in the scars of others who suffer. I am grateful for every bit of this journey, from the broken times when I could not stand, to the moments of joy when I caught the glimpses of His grace.

 I have learned that I cannot save people, no matter how hard I try, in fact often when I rely upon my own strength and ability I often make things worse. I have learned that sometimes there simply are no words to say, and pretty much anything you do say will not help, and in fact may make things worse, and the best thing to do is to let people know that you care, that you love them, and that you are praying for them. Sometimes in life there just are no answers.

 I have learned to look between the lines, for this is where you often see the heart of people. What may appear to be hateful, cynical, hard or sarcastic is often a mask that hides deep hurt and terrible pain and grief.

 I have learned to hope, not that type of hope that is most common in life, as in "I hope I win the lottery" but the hope that comes of a deep and abiding faith in a personal God who works for my good and His glory, who works His most glorious works in the painful places, often unseen, unfelt and not understood, but present always. Hope that comes from the knowledge that He redeems and He loves, and He blesses.

 I have learned to see, to open my eyes to the many gifts He gives to all, the simple things, like a hawk in flight, a flower blooming, the song of the trees as they bend in the wind, the look in a dog's eyes as his head rests in your lap, the sound of the breathing of a loved one as he sleeps, the laughter of a child, the feel of the sun upon my face, the beauty of poetry, the mountain covered in snow, sun striking white until the peaks gleam like gold, the look on a young warrior's face as he sits quietly with dog in lap, the photo of the old guy, beloved brother as he crosses the finish line, the moments of peace, the moments where love is felt strong within the breast, the moments so often missed but when noticed take your breath away............life is full of so much beauty, beauty often missed. We only have this moment right now.

 I have learned to believe in His promises, to listen to dreams, to look for His grace, to sing in the mundane, to rest in His love and mercy. I would like to say that I have found happiness, but as we all know, happiness is an elusive creature, dependent upon circumstances, and sometimes the truth of the matter is........circumstance suck......but joy is in the knowing that He is working, that all is for a purpose, even if I never come to know exactly what that purpose is, and that this place here is temporary and one day everything will be made right, and I will dwell with Him, and there will be no more sorrow, no more sickness, no more despair, no darkness and best of all......there will be no death and He will be the Light there!

 There is joy in that knowledge, indescribable joy.

  So here I stand, on this Memorial Day, one year ago today my daughter in law, Melanie Griego, stepped from this life into the arms of her Lord, leaving behind nothing but questions and sorrow and guilt and pain. A few months ago God was gracious to me and sent me a dream. It was a long dream, but I can only recall one portion of it. My father was there, and Melanie was there, we talked a lot, I felt such a sense of peace and purpose. At the end she laughed, a laugh full of joy and childlike delight, and she said to me, "do not worry Ma, it is all going to be okay, in fact it is going to be more than okay!" and I awoke. I could recall nothing that my dad had said in the dream, but I knew I had seen him for the memory of his presence was strong in my mind, and I could recall nothing of what Mel had said......except that one sentence and her laughter. If I close my eyes right now, I can see her laughing, I can hear it; can hear her clearly saying......

"Do not worry Ma, it’s all going to be okay, in fact it's going to be more than okay!"

 

It’s been a long road and I know not how much longer the journey will take, but I move ever onward, over obstacles, through the deserts, and the valleys, sometimes running, sometimes walking, sometimes crawling and occasionally just curled up on the side of the path weeping for a moment……then onward again, my eyes are upon Him, the Author and Finisher of my faith, my hope is in Him, my trust is in His goodness, His righteousness, His grace and mercy.

 

I remember…….I have not forgotten…….dance for Him, sing for Him, it must be glorious……I look forward to the day when I can join the dance.

http://allisgrace.posthaven.com/in-his-presence-all-is-well

)

 

I'm thinking today of friends that I used to know
Who lived and suffered in this world below
They're gone off to heaven, but I want to know
What are they doing there now?
Oh, what are they doing in heaven today
Where sin and sorrow have all gone away
Peace abounds like a river they say
Oh, what are they doing there now?
There's some whose hearts were burdened with care
They spent for their moment with fighting and tears
But they clung to the cross in trembling and fear
Oh, what are they doing there now
There's some who were poor and often despised
They looked up toward heaven with tear-blinded eyes
While people heedless and deaf to their cries
Oh, what are they doing there now?

 

 I cannot speak for everyone, but I know that she is dancing and singing and laughing...............