Good Grief

Good Grief

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tears (and lack thereof)

Well I made it through my birthday.  It was bearable all because of the kids and family and friends.  I got to celebrate a night early with some dear friends.  We ate, laughed and cried and laughed some more.  On the morning of my birthday Sam was the first to hand deliver a birthday card that his kindergarten teacher/tutor let him sign in cursive with a sweet gift, a deck of Go Fish cards.  Then I was greeted downstairs with a candle in a chocolate chip cookie while they sang Happy Birthday.  Then Jake handed me a typed letter.  It was a very sweet letter and was signed -Shane, then he added I know this is what Dad would say if he was here.  Barely could contain myself.  They went to spend time with their cousins and I got to go to the pool all by MYSELF.  What a gift, but honestly I missed them.  We ended the day with my parents, sisters, Murph, Shane's parents and kids for dinner and Hot Molten Lava Cake.  It was actually a good day overall.  The whole day I was recalling last years birthday.  Shane had asked  Trace to plan a surprise 40th party for me, and I was really surprised to say the least.  Can't believe that just this time last year Shane was here, healthy and so very happy.  We were even planning my 40th birthday trip to New York City in November, even though Shane was none too excited about that, but he had agreed to take me.  Its still so unbelievable to me how just 12 months ago he was so here, so well and so alive. 
I woke up the other morning with the horrific realization that I had not cried in a few days.  For some reason I feel extremely guilty about this.  I feel like I am letting Shane down in a way.  I spoke to a friend about the way I was feeling and she reassured me that this was a good thing.  She had spoken to Shane on many occasions about "after" he was gone and she reassured me that he would so want this.  She said it was a sign that I am going on with life.  I know the tears will come again, but for now I think I am all cried out.  I know they may start again tomorrow or the next day or the next and when they do it will be like the Hoover dam breaking.  I just wish I could shake the feeling of guilt for not crying all the time, every day.  I was thinking about this after dinner tonight when I asked the kids if they wanted to go for a walk.  We were going to walk to a friends house about a block away.  When we went out it was thundering in a distance and I was looking up to see if we should actually venture off.  As soon as I looked, up what did I see??  A rainbow!!!  It was not very bright but it was there.  The boys and Molly were looking at it and commented on how it looked like it was in our neighborhood.  When we arrived to the friends house we were going to, it disappeared.  Coincidence???  Thank you God for your constant reminders that you love me and that life continues through this horrible pain and when the tears do fall, thank you for wiping them away with your loving hand.

"For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of LIVING water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." Rev 7; 17 (emphasis mine)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Making a Way

A few weeks ago a dear friend asked me if I would like to speak at a women's conference put on by Battlefield Ministries.  She informed me that it would be at  the end of July at the Summit in Fort Payne AL see and it is called "Come...and Make a Way."  At first, I was a little hesitant and then after a minute or 2 became a excited.  I took that as a prompting from the Holy Spirit.  You see, through this journey I have wondered what God wanted me to do with what He has shown me through this.  I'm not sure if this is it, or what, but I keep hearing Shane say, "Deedee, this is what we went through it for, you can do it."  When I first started posting on CaringBridge people would  share with Shane how I was ministering through what I was writing, I never intended it to be a ministry but was happy to find out that it was to some. Shane read a few of my post, then said he couldn't read them anymore, that my words touched him and he just couldn't read them.  Every now and again, I would share snippets out of a few.  Later, when Shane became really ill I recall sitting in bed with him and I think it was my oldest sister, Robin, that was sitting with us.  Shane said, "I thought all along that it was me being called into the ministry but I think it may be DeeDee."  I said immediately in response to that, "I don't want it to be me, I want it to be you."  He just gave me that look and said, "You may be the next Beth Moore."  My response, "But I want you to be the next Billy Graham."  First of all, I could NEVER be the next Beth Moore, those are some darlin' big shoes to wear and I don't have big enough hair (just kiddin' Beth.)  I use to struggle thinking Shane was being called into the ministry.  I remember my middle sister Tracey saying, "You are NOT a preacher's wife."  Never really knew what she meant by that??!!  I remember thinking "Gosh, I really don't want that responsibility, to be everything to everybody."  Little did I know, where Shane's ministry would take him and me.  Then I remember thinking, "Shane is going to come home one day and tell me he is putting up his calculator and going into the ministry full-time, moving me and the kids to Africa."  That thought didn't last very long, cause Shane hated to fly.  Our sweet preacher/friend has said more than once that Shane was a true evangelist.  That he had a way about him that many people don't have.  He could immediately start talking about Jesus but never make you feel uncomfortable, and he made you want to know more.  I pray that God will give me just a little bit of that gift.  Witnessing has never been my strong suit.  I'm always afraid I will say the wrong thing.  Shane, didn't care, he knew if he was talking about his Saviour he couldn't go wrong.  Anyway, I am anxiously, excitedly waiting to see what God wants me to do with this journey and my experience with Him.  I do want to share with people, His Grandness, His love, His sustaining power.  For if it wasn't for HIM, I would not be where I am today. 

I have shared my concerns with sweet Jane, that I may just get up there and have nothing.  She reassured me that it was ok if that happened.  I've also expressed that I may wake up that Saturday morning and it may be one of those days I am not real happy with God.  She reassured me that it was ok too.  I so want the Holy Spirit to fill me up to overflowing so that the words that come out of my mouth are not at all mine but His.  I remember Shane preparing for his sermons.  He would prepare, read me his notes, read them some more. He would later come from behind the pulpit and I would say, "that is not at all what you prepared for today."  He would smile and say, "those were not my words."  That is my prayer that it won't be DeAnn up there speaking but God using DeAnn as His vessel.  Lord knows, I don't want any glory, I so don't like spot-lights (except maybe on the dance floor).  But He knows I want Him to get all the Honor, Glory and Praise.  I haven't asked for prayers lately, so here goes...Please pray that the Holy Spirit would fill me up, that He will take away all hesitations, that He will give me each and every word that will only glorify HIM.  Pray that my God allows me to have "something" that day to share that would touch someone or many.  Pray that God will reveal what I am suppose to do with what He has given me.  Pray that I can live up to Shane's request that I "don't waste his cancer."  I know Shane is continuing his work at Home, now I need to finish what he started here.  Thank you God for allowing me to be a vessel for you, I sure don't want to let you down.  I want to bring Glory to you,  "I just want God to get the Glory."  Shane-March 30, 2010.

This is the verse that came up on Shane's phone through Christ notes, the very day he passed, But I don't place any value on my life, if only I can finish my race and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus of testifying to the gospel of God's grace. Acts 20:24  Coincidence?  I don't think so, just another wink from my Dear Heavenly Father.  Robin and I were talking about, yet, another tragic event yesterday.  She was texting me after I had texted her a big WHY? She told me she is doing a Beth Moore study on Revelations and that just Tuesday night she stated that we do not leave here, until God is ready for us too...until our purpose is complete, even though we may not understand it.  Robin said immediately she thought of Shane, his testimony was complete and perfect in God's plan though not ours.  Now I just have to find the purpose God has for me so that I, too, can complete my testimony and go HOME!!!!  Thank you for the prayers. D

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Camping Out

As I clean up from our Friday Family Fun Night I realize here again its ANOTHER holiday to get through this weekend.  Last night we continued a Friday night tradition in the Richardson household.  For many many years the boys (Shane, Jake and Sam) would "camp out" on the weekends and for holidays.  By camping out I mean, we blow up the air mattress (on about the 10th one due to lots of jumping and a few cat claws) and set it up in the family room.  . Knowing this is a holiday weekend the boys would have been ecstatic to know Dad didn't have to work on Monday, so it would be a 3 night camp out weekend.  Whoopee!! Molly and I were not usually allowed, it was a guy thing.  Since Shane left, the boys have allowed us to join them for a few camp outs.  Actually, this was where the boys were sleeping when Shane met Jesus that early morning.  This mattress is the mattress that I crawled into and snuggled with my boys to tell them about Shane's run to Jesus. Where they cried over their daddy not being with us.  Where Molly's first of many, "My daddy died" statements came out. Same mattress where Sweet Sam told me that morning that he "wondered what the 2 bright white lights were he saw, and now he knew, it was the angel's coming to get daddyo."  Thankful God gave each of us our own comfort that early morning.  The boys shared lots of football, basketball, baseball, Whose Line is it Anyway, Tour de France recaps while camping out with Shane.  Some of the most profound conversations with the boys happened while camping out. The place where Jake shared with his dad that he had asked Jesus into his heart.  Where Shane asked his oldest what that really meant to him. The boys even camped out while Shane was hurling from chemo, even on his worst days, this was his highlight, to spend time with them, just them. He could no longer set the mattress up, that turned into my job, and I don't think I ever did it to his expectations. He had fixing the sheets, pillows, down to a science.  Jake can do it just like his daddy, me, not so much.    He's spot was right in the middle, with each boy laying on each arm, while he twiddled with their hair until sleepiness took over them.  He would share with me how he would watch them sleep, and just enjoy their sweet little stinky boys breath on his face all night.  Some occasions he would get uncomfortable and sneak upstairs only to have Jake and Sam feel his absence and they would head upstairs right behind him, usually while sleepwalking.  It wasn't till the very end that Shane's pain, and uncomfortableness didn't allow many camp outs. Jake requested a camp out last night so I obliged.  We ordered Papa John's (Shane's fav), finally watched Blindside, blew up the mattress and camped out.  It was, of course, bittersweet, Jake was awake last night at 12 and said, "Well Mom, it's been 3 months, at 3am it will be 3 months since Daddy left."   Yep, it has been 3 months, 12 weeks, 84 days, 2,016 hours, but seems like yesterday. Glad the boys wants to continue on with things that did with their daddy with me and Molly.  Glad that we are able to keep these sweet memories alive.  Asking for prayers to get us through the 4th, one of Shane's and our favorite family holidays.  Knowing fireworks won't be the same, or the homemade ice cream.  But so thankful to God that we have the freedom to celebrate.  Celebrate the freedom to worship Him the way we want to.  Freedom to speak about Him openly, and love Him in public.  Even though all of this is so hard without Shane, knowing life continues on for me and the children, just like Shane would have wanted it too. Knowing he would want us to celebrate all of these freedoms as usual, even without him.  **Happy 4th Everyone**