Saturday, August 9, 2008

Unexpected Encounters...

Dad was on my mind when I woke this morning. I had made the long distance call to San Antonio, Texas a couple of days ago to see how things were going for him and I could tell when we talked that he was feeling out of sorts. He is walking through the stages of grief with losing his spouse and that is a hard roller coaster ride that takes a long time to go through. He misses her of course but is also grateful for her to not be in the cruel pains of cancer any longer.

There was a time when things were very strained for us. We never meant for it to be. It is just the way things sometimes happen. Sometimes we lived as far as a half of a world away from one another; me becoming a young wife and mother while he participated in a new marriage complete with step children and grandchildren all around.

There is a subtle thing that seems to be happening now that she is gone. He has a lot more time to himself. My step siblings love him and profess continually that he is the father that they never had. But their busy family raising lives keep their schedules wrapped up more and more. Though they all live in the same town, he sees them less and less now that she is gone.

He was quiet for a while while silence hung between our conversation. Once that silence was unbearable, now it is a shared thing like we are sitting next to one another.
Finally he said, "I am so looking forward to visiting you in the fall."
I swallowed and said, "Me too Daddy. But how I wish I could just hug you right now."
"I know Angel. I wish the same thing."

This is new for me. My dad has always been strong, a resilient military man who never shows emotion. But now he is in a new season. Me, being the fixer and emotional nurturer for everyone....I can't fix this. He has to walk through this and I can only listen from afar.

I was thinking about all of this today while taking a walk on the butte. My mind was counting the minutes till he comes to visit, as if that could will away his turmoil. A grandmotherly woman with 4 children around her snapped me out of my thoughts. In her broken English she asked if I would take their picture for her so that it would help her remember her visiting time.
"Sure no problem", I said. "That is wonderful that you can visit. Where are you visiting from?"
"San Antonio" she said as she smiled and discussed flowers with her grandchildren.

Isn't it amazing how God does that. As I snapped her picture, smiled, and bid her a wonderful visit, on the inside my heart was jumping at the reminder that God was telling me. "Don't worry about your father precious. He may look alone because they are busy and you are far away, but I am always with him."

This is a picture of Hydrangea blossoms that I saw while at the beach last week. Around here they bloom in the end of summer as the other plants are giving off the last of their color. While looking at this picture today and thinking about my encounter, it stuck me how the blossoms remind me of butterflies taking flight and new life.


  1. life can be very sobering when we remember the past and go through all the shoulda, woulda, couldas that can surface, but we can never know how our decisions and the decisions of others might ultimately play out...until we open up and speak what's really on our hearts...sometimes silence speaks volumes and NOW is the time to find the blessings in your relationship...I love that you can send your dad love through the phone, it is certain to help with his healing.

    Your Hydrangea blossoms are precious...they do look like butterflies...or maybe we are strong advocates of HOPE...either way, such a sight is a gift.

    ...and yes, we really do have an amazing God...absolutely amazing.

  2. I am sorry for your father's grief, but it serves as proof that God can use all things for good. He is using that grief to help you and your father forge a new and better relationship.

  3. Jules just to uplift you. please could you look at my blog.were you a bad cook or are you still.?????

  4. Jules just to uplift you. please could you look at my blog.were you a bad cook or are you still.?????

  5. Jules, firstly I wanted to say thank you for your support over the last couple of weeks - it has been much appreciated, and I'm really sorry that I haven't been visiting. I went back and found the awards - thank you very much although I'm not sure that I deserve them!

    I'm glad that you are looking forward to seeing your Dad. My Dad is also a long way away - he is in New Zealand, and sadly I have found that as the time has passed we have become much less close, so I am really pleased for you that you are getting another chance with your Dad. Its really odd when we see people in a totally different light than we have ever imagined, and provide support rather than be given it, but it also helps the relationship to grow stronger.

    I love your hydrangeas, and they do look like butterflies, very pretty!

  6. Completely forgot to say of course you can decorate my flower pics! Will you post on what you do with them?

  7. Not being able to fix a broken heart is one thing that is most difficult to endure. God can and will in His own time, but I know from experience that the waiting can be almost unbearable at times.

  8. Hi Jules, maybe you can show your blog to your dad and he get to always be reminded of what a wonderful daughter you are. Your dad's gonna be fine. God is taking care of him. Cheers!

  9. Bonjour Jules, I understand pretty well that God winked to you though the lady's camera, you're such a nice blogfriend/mother/wife/daughter that you deserve I give you back your two beautiful Awards.

  10. A beautiful post and your photos are nice too.

  11. It is hard to have to sit and watch pain you can't fix. You are doing well though to support him, and like you said, God sends you reminders that he is there with you, and with your dad.

  12. ohhh... this is so warm and touching... i know how it feels when you wish you could just hug someone to relieve them of their woes...

    the hydrangea looks wonderful.

    and feel free to use my photos... i'd like to see the result if possible, though.
    if you have any questions you can email me at: polonaob AT gmail DOT com

  13. Joni...You are such an encourager. I really appreciate you. true. I have learned more about my dad since December than I ever thought possible.

    Alan...giggle okay I will head over that way. Me a bad cook? I don't think I am horrid and sometimes I can really make things smell good in the kitchen. I just don't care to very often. do deserve the awards by all means. You are amazing and I cherish you.
    I am so sorry that things are hard between you and your dad. I wonder what things he is carrying emotionally that builds such a wall around him.

    Jeff...right you are. God's timing happens in his timing for a reason. I find that I end up learning and growing from the waiting much more than if he would have just let me fix it all in the first place. It is just that the waiting is so stretching huh. That is why we need our friends to help lift us up in encouragement....just like you are doing right now. Thank you.

  14. Scott...welcome. Glad you could come by and share your opinion. Your name seems so familiar. Do you blog?
    You are right about sharing with my dad. I am really looking forward to the talks we will have when he comes to visit. Thank you for sharing here.

    Kitem...thank you for enjoying the story and the God winks that I experienced. I love how He does that.

    Abraham...welcome. I am glad you came by for a visit. Thank you for enjoying my little world.

    Cathy...thank you for your hugs and support here. glad you enjoyed. Having things like that happen makes the hurt not so bad huh.


I love to hear from other. Your opinions and viewpoints are always a blessing and encourage other readers as well.