Sunday, March 30, 2014

...who has cried over a phone number?

Yup. A phone number.

I thought I was ready. I mean, I've been paying $40 a month or more extra for an under-used phone, so really it was past time to take care of the issue. You'd think it would be an easy decision to make.

I thought I was ready. I mean, we've been short one "device" for quite a while now, which has caused a few impatient arguments among the younger set. Making this swap would solve the problem for all. You'd think it would be a no-brainer.

I thought I was ready. I mean, I know I don't retain much information thrown at me these days, but I had a helper along to help with the decisions, so the bases were covered. And most folks my age do this without any help!  Surely I could do it WITH help! You'd think it would be a breeze.

But I wasn't ready, I guess.

I wasn't ready for the waves of emotion that assailed me in the Verizon store.

The memories of the one who had done all these types of things for our family before hit me full force. I began to remember how he was in such settings - his quick comprehension, his competent decisiveness, his money sense, and his amazing ability to have great conversations with folks everywhere - from doctors to clerks, from nurses to janitors!

And then I thought of the fact that I was asking them to deactivate the only mobile phone number Michael had ever had.

I know in my heart of hearts that I can never again contact Michael using that phone number or any other. I know that texts sent to that number are only read by those of us left behind. But there was something dreadfully final in deactivating that number.

It served to hammer one more nail into the coffin of loss.

I began to feel as though I were drowning under another wave of reality.

I also began to cry.

Not crazy sobs or hysterical hiccups, but the soft, uncontrollable rain of pain-filled tears.

wanted to dash back out to the van and sob my heart out, but the embarrassed adult inside me kept me endeavoring to hide the panic behind a Kleenex one more time.

I'm SURE Thomas P. of the Verizon store at 95th and Quivira was extremely puzzled by my demeanor. He might have even thought me nuts, but he was very kind and patient nonetheless.

And my kind personal assistant was just as understanding and patient. I even landed a pitiful and squeaky "help" on him one time.

But we made it. I made it. One more difficult task completed.

Other widows have mentioned what their difficult tasks have been. Maybe theirs was buying a car with the life insurance money. Or maybe it was ordering the grave marker. Or taking the loved one's name off the house deed or the car titles. Or making the loved one's favorite dessert for the very first time since the funeral. But we have all had them. And more than one.

This was just the latest installment of tough realizations for me this past week. You see, I've been hit right between the eyes not only with a feisty cold, but also with a new understanding - the WOW of knowing that I and I alone am responsible for everything regarding the welfare of this family.

Yup. Just little ole inexperienced, unsure, wobbly me. Even if someone else does the work, I'm still the final decision maker.  I'm the one to blame for any mistakes. I'm the one who will be at fault if my kids aren't getting what they need. I'm the one who has to make the final call - popular or unpopular, successful or unsuccessful. I have not one single soul with whom I can truly share this load.

Or do I?

No, maybe the right to bear this burden doesn't belong to any other human, but one thing I know for sure is this:
My God loves my kids waaaaaaay more than I do. 
And since He does, I can trust Him to know what they need and I can rely on the promise that He will provide it for them.

That means that He will provide the wisdom their mother needs.
He will provide through Himself all the love they crave.
He will provide comfort for their hearts when mom can't or isn't aware of their needs.
He will provide father figures and male role models for them.
He will provide for their needs financially and physically, emotionally and...spiritually.

I can trust the God Who has cared for my husband and me to care just as sweetly for my children!

And even though some of the objects that tied us to Michael are slowly needing to be set aside, put away, or deactivated, I can trust my sweet heavenly Father to help my children remember the man who used those items, the one who inspired the children to be who they are, and the one who made it such a priority during his last years to make sure they knew where he was going and how to get there.

I pray for wisdom often. I crave God's help and grace. I feel so needy and weak without them.

"For he will deliver the needy when he cries for help,
The afflicted also, and him who has no helper.
He will have compassion on the poor and needy,
And the lives of the needy he will save...
Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel,
Who alone works wonders.
And blessed be His glorious name forever;
And may the whole earth be filled with His glory.
Amen, and Amen."
Psalm 72: 12-13, 18-19

When your heart breaks from earthly sorrow
You feel that you are all alone. 
Tears fall as rain, your soul is anguished.
Faith now is tried, all hope seems gone.

You're not alone. Jesus is with you.
He said He always would abide.
Just speak His name
You'll feel His presence.
You're not alone. He's by your side.
~ Squire Parsons

"Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You have taken hold of my right hand.
With Your counsel You will guide me,
And afterward receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but You?
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever...
But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord God my refuge, 
That I may tell of all Your works."
~Psalm 73: 25-26, 28

God has been so incredibly good to me. I want so to bring glory to Him in any way I can. Maybe someday I can take what I have learned from Michael and his way of interacting with those he met and try to touch the lives of people like he did...but for now, for today, I'll just do my best to not scare any more clerks with my tears.

Resting in the Presence of the One Who is ALWAYS present,


  1. Every time you mention a new "hurt", a new wave of grief, I ache with you. But, I also marvel at your strong, beautiful spirit and the way you allow God to shine through you. I'm sure He's using you to minister to more people than you realize.

  2. As I was reading your post, the song, You'll Carry Me Through, by Greater Vision came on and played while I was reading. How appropriate knowing that no matter what God will carry you, me and all the rest of us through.

  3. You'll Carry Me Through

    Chorus 1
    You'll carry me through Lord
    Like You always do Lord
    You'll hold me and hide me
    Like good shepherds do
    This valley's no different
    Then all those valleys that came and went
    I know You'll be true
    Like You promised You'd do
    You'll carry me through

    Verse 1
    Lord when I first met You
    I thought my troubles were over
    But I soon found that sorrow heartache and trouble
    Still lingered though I was walking with You
    I discovered what a comfort You were
    In those hard times
    And now my faith is tested and true
    So as I enter this valley this old familiar valley
    I've learned Lord just what You'll do

    Verse 2
    How could I make it through the storms
    Without Your help Lord
    From whom could I borrow the strength in my sorrow
    If my strength wasn't coming from You
    So Lord I'll keep trusting
    'Cause I know You'll be listening
    When this little lamb's calling You
    And when danger is nearing my cry You'll be hearing
    And I've learned Lord just what You'll do

    CCLI Song # 4736279
    Rodney Griffin
    © 2000 Songs of Greater Vision
    For use solely with the SongSelect Terms of Use. All rights reserved.
    CCLI License # 11077698

  4. Thank you, John, for posting those words. Such an encouraging song!! And may God bless you for always being so faithful to reach out to Michael and me in caring kindness!