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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Monday, April 21, 2014

the call between prayers

I held the phone in my hand listening carefully to the voice on the other end.  She spoke slowly with a bit of a rasp.  Announcing my name as though it was a matter of importance to her, that I understood, she knew who she was calling.  Dropping the white sport socks, I had been trying to mate, to the bed, I now paused to give  her my full attention. She continued to tell me who she was and why she called.  Her words were spoken loud and almost with a happiness, that she had managed to reach me with ease.  Very deliberate, and genuine she chose the words that would touch my heart.

I had been battling earlier in the week, with sorrow and sadness.  My heart heavily fought back at the despair that taunted me inside.  I was struggling with another phase of Duchenne, as my middle son Cody was beginning to lose the  ability to climb up and down stairs, independently.  Amongst the sadness, that was attempting to grasp at me from  another day in the Duchenne world, I was also,  just beginning to feel the deep demise of my marriage.  Heartache and loneliness screamed at me  from all sides. Fear of what was ahead for us echoed through my mind, as the  crashing of my world slowly  played out before me.

 I had awoken that morning determined to get through my daily duties of caring for my  three sons and running my house, without tears.  Zealously I wanted to be the strength that would carry my sons and I from the hurt were just beginning to accept into our lives.  It was summer the sun shined bright in the sky.  A warm breeze filled the upstairs room  where I had been  sorting laundry.  My children were happily busy building with Lego's one floor directly  below me. Through my open window their  laughter escaped up to me, from their playroom.  I felt comfort knowing somehow amidst all the  madness that had entered in to our lives it was the sound  of joy that I was hearing  from my beautiful sons.

The image of the voice speaking to me on the phone flashed through my mind.  I could see her smiling warm friendly face as though she was in front of me now. Very sweetly she asked " How are the boys, this is Marlene".  I recognized her voice almost the instant she told me her name. I paused momentarily with question after question flooding my mind.    Marlene was a friend of my deceased mother.  The last time I had actually seen Marlene was at my wedding.  The last time I had heard the mention of Marlene's name in my world was at my mothers funeral.  Marlene, one of my mothers dearest friends was unable to attend because she was recovering from a loss of  a limb in her battle with cancer. Here,  she was now  some 8 years later calling me, out of the blue.  I had moved since my mothers death.  How could she have my new  number I wondered .   She also used the word sons.  When my mother passed away years ago I had one son, and had just learned  myself that I  was expecting.  I had not announced it to anyone, other than my two sisters at that time.  I continued to  listen, as she gave me the words I needed to hear.

Almost as though she was reading  my thoughts she spoke to me. Shakily I answered her back.  "My boys are good" I replied.  Laughter from downstairs reached my ears just as I spoke into the phone. The sounds filled my heart with joy.  Without hesitating she said "your mom is with you now" and then continued. "She knows your pain and that you are scared."   "You will get through this, she is with you  at your side." She added.  I turned to look at the photo of my mother that sat next to my bed.  The photo  I  talked to daily, the photo that I cried to some nights.  In silence I  held the phone.  A single tear rolling down my cheek.  Taking a deep breath I started to ask her why she called.  "Your tears are from love not fear." She said so confident.  Almost as though she wanted to convince me.  She then told me she had been praying this morning with a priest at her home.  Very clearly she said, she   heard our Lords voice tell her to call me while praying.  I wiped at the stream of tears that now fell freely from my eyes.  Almost choking  on my sobs I managed to ask her why me.  Why would God tell her to call me,  I had to know.  So effortlessly she said, she was dying. She had only days left.  I muttered, I  was sorry. She  cut my words off, and  said.  " No sweetie, I am happy. I  will be with God very soon, do not be sorry for me.  This is why I am speaking to you now.  He hears your sorrow.  He loves you.  He believes in you".  " Marlene" I  said softly in the phone.  "I am not my mom I do not have her strength".  "Rita" she said softly to me "You have your mother, Jesus and me with you on this journey. " You will find strength from your love for  your sons."

Before Marlene hung up she told me she loved me and asked if she could have my number to call and check on me again.  I told her she must have my  number because she was the one who  called me.  With laughter she said "no Jesus dialed the phone because you needed hope".   I gave Marlene my number.  However I  never did hear back from her. A week later I was saddened and shocked to learn through a mutual  acquaintance that she had passed away.  The day after she spoke to me on the phone she slipped into unconsciousness and died in her sleep. Marlenes phone call to me earned some attention. Through a chain of acquaintances I learned her son was particularly interested in hearing about our call because on the day she called me, she was in a semi conscience state most of the day, accept for when father came to pray with her.  She was left alone to rest after they had prayed.  I kept her her call on my caller ID for several years later.

On occasion when I am sad I still turn to my mothers photo and talk to her.  I also on occasion recall my conversation with Marlene. Marlene never told me my sons would be healed from their terminal disease or that  my marriage would not fail.  What she did tell me was  I was strong, my sorrow was real and most importantly that God believed in me and loved me.  Those are simple things, things-  we are taught God might say to us when we are in need.  I was the  last  person Marlene  had a conversation with on earth.    So what  I took from all of this is, and what I hope to share is,  that God is so awesome, he asked  a dying woman to give something of herself to someone not very connected to her, who was hurting. He heard me cry and answered.  Not in a way I would have imagined but in his way.   I still will have doubts in myself from time to time, I am human, and will still struggle with  despair at  times.  Sometimes I will even  fall but, every now and then I will get that call that will give me what I will need.  A call just to say hey, I believe in you.  How awesome is that!!!!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

the kiss

The wind whipped at my hair.  I fought to brush back the strands that had freely found there way to my  lips.  Sticking almost instantly to the shimmering  moist lip gloss I had just applied.  A twang of nervousness rushed through me. As I finally managed to set my hair free, only to be tossed by the wind once more, I could see my date.  Standing across the parking lot,  in cowboy boots and blue jeans, waiting patiently for me.  I was instantly pleased at his appearance.  He was early and he had chosen to wait for me outside in a very visible place. I found that to be a very kind gesture on his part.  His handsome smile broadened  as I drew nearer.  I noticed he was thinner than in his photo. I smiled happily as my eyes traveled upward.   His height was easily 6 his profile stated and his  face showed like his photo, that aging was definitely being kind to him.

His immediate embrace felt warm, and strong.  He had just a hint of cologne which  complimented him nicely, and for a split second I found myself relaxing in his arms.  It was almost as though I was being reunited with an old friend.  For two months we had emailed, texts and spoke over the phone.  He had  patiently waited all that time  for me to agree to a date, with out giving up.  Even with my delayed responses to his messages, he did not give up hope.  Here we were finally face to face.   His eyes actually twinkled as he stepped back to look at me again.  Like all the text messages he left for me each morning for the past month, (that let me know how beautiful he thought I was), he wasted no time to share with me now how truly captivating he found my beauty was in person.

 I was pleasantly surprised when he told me he  had brought  me a present.   Even more pleased when he handed me two lip glosses  in different shades of pink. The tubes each had a light attached to the wand  and a small mirror on the side of the tubes.  He had most definitely put some thought in his gift and did his homework in reading my profile.  I was the girl who never leaves home without lip gloss. He also said he  had brought a little something for  my two younger sons- baseball caps.  I was touched at his sweetness.
Dinner was wonderful and our ability  to converse with each other came so naturally. Not once did we have to wrestle through awkward silence.   He listened as I  spoke about my boys asking me questions with deep interest and shared with me bits about his own children. We spoke briefly about our divorces.  Sharing just a small tidbit of why our marriages ended.  I noticed as he spoke he was very respectful toward his ex, another attribute I found to be pleasant.  When dinner was done we both knew very well the feeling was mutual, we wanted to see  each other again.  He had passed all my immediate requirements  and I knew with in five minutes of seeing him face to face, I would not mind meeting his lips with a kiss sometime if we were to go out again.

As he walked me to my car we embraced again. I  was almost sad to have the  night end.  But I wanted to also hang onto the newness we shared, and let the magic of two friends bloom slowly. I  felt his lips slightly brush the top of my head as he tightened his arms around me. It felt good to be held in his arms, he was strong and I felt safe, something I had not felt in quite awhile.  I stepped back to look up into his soft warm deep green eyes, he seemed so genuine.  Slowly we moved toward each other with our eyes locked,  and ever so gently as we met, I felt his lips very lightly rest on mine. The first kiss, with our lips only partly parted, so perfect, so light and so sweetly genuine. Umm- yes we are going out again, and every morning he still is sending  me a text-  wishing me a wonderful day and  to tell me how beautiful he thinks I am.