Ups and downs and hearts’ desires

Lately I haven’t been giving my posts a title until they are finished. Writing a title beforehand presumes you know what you are going to say, and I don’t. As I sit here with this blank slate of a computer screen before me, I have no clue where this post will go and which of the many things in my heart will find their expressions on the page.

When we first started this journey I used to tell people who asked after us, that it is a very up and down road.  Part of my motivation for saying that was to assure them, if they caught me on a good day, that I was not always in such a good place. I seem to have most of my ‘down’ moments alone and I am sure that there are many people in my acquaintance who marvel at how ‘strong’ and normal I seem to be.  Not so.

It does seem to me though, that there are up and down cycles, that often last for days. This is relatively speaking, life still always has that sad void but sometimes you notice it less. I asked hubby if he feels these cycles too and he does.  I was on an ‘up’ cycle for the weekend and most of yesterday, ever since our precious visit to the cemetary last week.  Last night, just when I was starting to wonder whether there was something wrong with me because I felt relatively normal,  I started spiralling down. My day today has been a missing-Jenna-acutely-almost-every-minute-of-the-day one.  I think maybe God allows these cycles so that there is a respite inbetween the days of deep sadness. Surely life would be very bleak if we were to be in the depths all the time.

I watched short video clips of her last night from when our camcorder was still working. I had taken these 60 second clips at the time and downloaded them directly to my computer to email to the family at SA. Jenna was obviously much younger in these video clips but I was still struck by her ‘joie de vivre’ and sparkly personality in them. She was so happy and full of life. I am longing to see the actual video footage that we had taken at the time.  Some sweet friends offered me the use of their camcorders so that we could play back the cassetes and convert them to dvd, but they weren’t compatible, so I am scanning ebay for a replacement camcorder.

I went outside this morning to let the dog out, and since she scales the fence at every opportunity to go and leave parcels on the neighbors’ lawn, 🙂 I stayed in the backyard while she did her business.  I lay down on the trampoline, looking up at the tree canopy above me, like Jenna and I had done so many times before. We would lie out there on lovely spring or fall days and watch the birds flit from branch to branch or see how the aeroplanes make ‘stripes’ in the sky. I missed having her little snuggly toddler body in the crook of my arm.  I was lying there, sobbing, when my middle son came out to tell me something. But he had left the door open, and Tom, Jenna’s big fat coddled-by-Sumi cat, snuck out.  I had to apologise to the boy for overreacting afterwards.  Tom will likely be back tonight, when he gets hungry.

Since Tom got out, I let Smuffy and Kiki in.  They were kittens not too long ago and Jenna used to often  cuddle them while she watched Noggin.  Smuffy didn’t know it, but he ministered to my heart today, in all his cute and cuddly cat-ness.  While the boy and I were doing math on the sofa he crawled on to my lap and fell asleep there. I gave the boy some work to do at the table and slouched down until Smuffy was tucked in the crook of my arm, with his furry head under my chin. We both took a little nap like that. It was bitter sweet. 

Of course nothing can compare to having Jenna cuddle me like that again. I had a fleeting moment of anger at God today because she went away so soon, taking all those lovely cuddles and hugs and kisses with her. I have not been angry before, and this anger was but a quick thought. I am determined not to fight my feelings though. I suppose I have to walk this journey and every possible emotion will have to find it’s way to the surface so that it can dissipate and leave just the peace and glory of God behind.   

Deep in my heart I know this is all for the glory of God. I know he is going to make something beautiful come out of it. Jenna’s little life will have touched many, by the time my life here on earth is through. I thanked her for that the other day.    

I am grateful for the lives that Jenna has already touched but in all honesty my hearts desire is for something quite selfish.  I want Jenna’s life, and death, to change me. Grief cuts deep, but I have in my mind’s eye the picture of it carving out a pocket in my heart. The deeper it cuts, the more space there is for God to ultimately fill. This is my prayer.

I have always longed to have the ability to carry the presence of God into any situation. To be like Peter or Paul who said: “Silver and gold I do not have, but such as I have, I give to you…”  I want to have  something to give to those who are needy, weary or thirsty. Yes, I do dream big.  I do want a whole lot from God. I want everything he’s got for me.

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11 responses to “Ups and downs and hearts’ desires

  1. I’ve often likened this journey (for that is truly what it is) to being on a roller coaster or a yo-yo. My yo mostly stays up these days, however, it does still swing down.

    I continue to pray for you and your family. You are in my heart.

    HUGS.
    Rachael

  2. your words really hit home. i can just see you laying on the trampoline looking up. i am supposed to be thinking about how sydney’s life/death has been significant and meaningful. i KNOW it has affected many people and changed many. my guilt is that right now, i don’t see the beauty and the good for MYSELf – i am like you, i want to be the changed one. so right now i have no words – and that pocket still seems pretty empty sometimes. j

  3. Sumi, I have read your blog a couple of times. I lost my 4th son on Jan. 31, 2008. I think I am just a few weeks in this journey ahead of you. I often find our hearts to be the same. I would like to talk with you outside this blog if possible. My email is dnmeadows@comcast.net. if you get a chance.

  4. Hi Sumi, Sorry I have been so quiet lately. Alot going on in my world and in my heart. I got your message about going with you to Jenna’s grave and I would be honored. I am out of town until Thurs or Fri. I have some things I would love to talk to you about in my life. Call Me!! We can do this but wouldn’t it be nice to do it together?

  5. Sumi, you’ve written the cry of my heart. I love how you describe how the grief carves a spot for God to come in. I never would have believed that the prayer I prayed years ago to be “more like Jesus” would have been answered in this way, though…I have to trust that He knows best and He is good or I’ll go crazy. *HUGS* from mom_of_3

  6. I just wanted to say “Thank You”. Thank you for telling me about your blog and Thank you for being so open in your blog. I cannot even imagine what you go through each and every day. I praise the Lord for your faith and trust in him. When I am facing difficulties in my life I always refer back to this verse.

    “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. PSALM 28:7”

    Now I think of you every time I remember this verse.

    I read your blog and I just feel like I should run down the street and give you a BIG hug to let you know that you are loved and that I am here for you anytime. I haven’t because I didn’t want to weird you out :). I am here for you if you need anything. Even if it is just cookies :).

    Did Tom come home? I wish I would of known he was out because I think he was in my driveway when I got home yesterday.

    Call me anytime. I will be down soon to visit and I will bring my scrapbooks.

    Luv,
    Mer

  7. That cavity being carved in your grief is being filled with His Spirit only to be poured forth and spilled on to us. Thank you, Sumi. (((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))).
    Sita

  8. Keeping on is sometimes the only thing one can do and keeping on, keeping on is hard. bless you, sister. there are many walking this road with you and your family.

    greg

  9. (((Sumi))) You are such a tremendous blessing to me.

  10. Sumi,
    You are changing each of us, as you share your dear heart and transparency, thank you. Please keep sharing.

    I had a message on my washing machine yesterday and think it applies to our life here on Planet Earth. It said,

    “Unbalanced. Waiting to rebalance.”

    Christ’s blessings as you wait to rebalance. Praying for you all, and for all those who mourn,
    Martie

  11. Liefie Ding! Ons leef hierdie pad saam met jou al is ons nie daar nie! Dink gedurig aan julle en aan Jenna – en se dankie vir haar – die klein dierbare ding! Ma.

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