Your Rose Garden

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I watched you for what seemed like hours as you tended your rose garden. I never understood why you would want to have so many roses and why you would want to spend so much time out there. You would always say you loved the way the dirt smelled. You would spend countless summer days bent over the garden, sweat dripping from your brow, pulling the weeds and pruning the roses. You would come inside sweaty, dirty, and looking exhausted but you always had a smile on your face.

I don’t get it I would say. You would reply, what’s their to get. It’s my time to do what I love and it’s my time I spend all alone with God. You should hear the conversations we would have. I would always reply I don’t know if I want to and we would laugh.

Even in the dark cold days of winter you would get bundled up and go outside to walk the path through your garden. Talking to them, touching their dead branches. Of course, I didn’t get that either. Why on earth? You would always say that they aren’t dead. There is life inside of them. They are like a lot of people in this world. Walking dead but there is life in them. It’s up to us to bring that life out. Waiting patiently, for today they may appear dead but with tomorrow there is always hope.

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You are like that. You had a natural beauty that I was instantly attracted to but it was your inner beauty that would light up my heart. You could walk into a dark room and it would be like someone turned on the lights. It is the type of person you are.

Until one day you were taken from me. A teenager was texting and driving and ran into you. Neither of you survived. God needed his angel back and I had to pay the price. At your funeral the pastor recited your favorite bible verse, Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Forget you God. If this is your plan then I don’t want any part of it. I looked out the back window and saw your rose garden. In my grief, I ran outside and I pulled and broke and cut every rose bush. I screamed and hollered your name. I screamed at God.

Out of breath, cut, scratched, and bleeding from the thorns, I dropped to my knees and let my tears water the lifeless dirt.

Summer turned to winter and, like the days , my heart grew darker and colder. I didn’t know how to live without you. I didn’t want to live without you. God should’ve taken me with you. My pain was too much to bear.

I looked out the window and saw the bare garden. I finally understood what you meant. Even if they appeared dead, at least they were still there. Now there was nothing but bare dirt. I grieved more as I recalled that day I destroyed what you loved.

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As seasons go, winter turned to spring. We had an early spring this year. I looked out the window and could not believe my eyes. Somehow in the very back of the garden, barely visible from where I stood, a rose bush had survived and now had two roses blooming.

I ran outside as fast as I could. I had to touch them to see if they were real. As I did, I could swear I caught a faint scent of you. Then in the spring breeze I could swear I heard your laughter. I immediately dropped to my knees and grabbed a handful of dirt. It smelled so full of life.

In that moment, I felt my heart start to beat again.

I went out and bought as many rose bushes as I could find. There had to be at least a hundred of them and I was going to fix what I destroyed. I was going to fix your rose garden.

I labored for hours that first day. I went to bed exhausted, sore and smelling like dirt but I would wake up refreshed, ready to start again. I realized I could not do it on my own.

I looked at my phone, hesitant to dial their number. I dialed anyway. I called the teenagers parents and they came over to help. I think all of us healed a little bit that day.

I watched every day as your garden came back to life. I spent hours out there talking to you. I slowly learned to talk to God again.

Summer rolled around and I was still in the garden. Sweat rolling off every inch of my body but it was okay. I stood up to take a break and I swear I felt your hand touch mine. I closed my eyes remembering what your touch felt like. I looked down at my hand but yours was not there. I started to lift it up when a beautiful butterfly landed in my palm. Then a sliver of light fell right on it, giving it its own spotlight. I smiled, then the butterfly fluttered toward my face and touched my cheek, as if giving me a kiss. Then it flew to a nearby rose and I did something I hadn’t done in a long time.

I said your name out loud. Kim?

Then a summer breeze picked up and I swear I heard it carry your laughter. Tears fell down my face but I smiled.

In your rose garden I found life again. I found you again. I found God again.

I miss you every minute of every day but it was right there and then that I knew I would never be alone.

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Four Years Ago

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Four years of school seems to take so long

But I blinked and four years have gone

Seems like just the other night

The last time I held you tight

Seems like just yesterday

In my rear-view, you waved

I can hear the drums you played for me

You could play them all, George Strait to Bon Jovi

I get my work ethic from you

A piece of you in everything I do

If you could, ask God to give me a break

You know from fishing I don’t do well having to wait

Tell our loved ones hello

And that we miss them so

I had to laugh the other day

When I remembered something you would say

Funny how things like that pop in your brain

Life goes on but it’s not the same

Tomorrow I will watch the sun rise at dawn

Can’t believe it’s been four years since you’ve been gone

dad

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My Old Man by Zac Brown Band – 

Not All Heroes Wear Capes by Owl City – 

The Other Side by Colton Dixon –  

You Should Be Here by Cole Swindell – 

From Where You Are by Lifehouse – 

The Last Leaf

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painting by John Edwards

 

I watched her clinging to life. The last leaf on the tree.  I didn’t know if I should feel sad for her or if I should admire her.

Should I feel sad for her? I mean, she is the last leaf. All the other leaves are gone. Her husband, her kids, her close friends, her distant relatives. All of them were gone. Why was she still clinging to life?  Why would she want to hang on?

It was then that I thought I should admire her.  She was strong. She had more to say. Yes, she longed to be with her friends and family but she wasn’t done with this life yet.

She gave me hope.  She gave me a reason to continue. The cold winds blew, she held on.  The rains came, she held on. The snow came, she held on. I knew if she could do it that I could do it too. There wasn’t anything that could take me down. I had a story to tell. I had a reason to hold on.

Every day I looked at that leaf. I wondered how she could do it. Some days were worse than others.  At least that’s how I felt. I swear that she smiled at me. Even in the worst conditions I felt like she was smiling. I wondered what she was up to. I wondered what did she know that I didn’t know.  Where did she find her joy?

Winter faded to spring. The warmer weather brought the green buds to life. The leaf held on. The new leaves overtook the tree.  I had to look hard to find her but she was still there.

Then one day she was gone. I saw her on the ground.  I imagined she stayed long enough to teach the new leaves what she knew. I could see her looking around with a smile on her face. I could see her saying it’s okay. I could see her saying it is now my time and then letting go of the branch.

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I had to pick her up and take her home. I put her in my scrapbook along with the picture of my grandma. She reminded me a lot of my grandma.  Tenacious, stubborn, lived longer than most of the people she knew, and she passed down her words of wisdom. She passed down her Bible, with all her underlined and highlighted passages. Words that spoke to her.

I know it may be silly, since she was just a leaf, but she taught me a lot. She helped me to remember a lot. She helped me to be thankful for what I have. She taught me to cling to life.  It is precious.

I am thankful for that leaf. I am thankful for my grandmas and grandpas. I am thankful for my parents. I am thankful for my teachers. I am thankful for all the military. I am thankful for all those that have come before me, that have paved the way for me.  The ones who gave me words of wisdom and taught me lessons. The ones that encouraged me, that gave me life, that gave my dreams life. To all of you I say thank you.

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If you have not read this book, I highly recommend it.

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In The Time That You Gave Me by Bradley Walker feat Joey Feek – 

My Last Breath Here (Joey’s Song) by JK Nick Nichols – 

Tears Of Joy by Phil Wickham – 

See You There by Joey Feek – 

To Say Goodbye by Joey & Rory – 

Live On by Olivia Newton John – 

After You’re Gone by Iris Dement – 

Love, Me by Collin Raye – 

Sing Me To Heaven by Bradley Walker – 

The Last Leaf by Blackmore’s Night – 

Last Leaf by Tom Waits – 

Last Leaf by Ok Go – 

Last Leaf On The Tree poem spoken by Dr. James Dobson – 

 

A Daughter’s Gift

 

Part three of three poems I wrote many moons ago. If you missed part one or part two here they are :  A Mother’s Gift     A Father’s Gift

A Daughter’s Gift

I am too small to  speak

And I am still oh so weak

I don’t understand what you are saying

I will try to figure It out while I am playing

Don’t know what it is, but I’m missing something

From what you say daddy, she’s in Heaven with wings

I know I cry and I pout

But daddy, I am just trying to figure out

How someone could be taken away

Without me hearing one word she would say

I can hear the care and love in your voice

Even when I am making all this noise

You don’t know this but I hear you cry

When you think you are alone, I hear you ask why

Just promise me you will love me no matter what

And I’ll try to remember things I already forgot

If I remember right, mommy left so I could live

I won’t let you or her down , that’s the gift I give

You Should Be Here by Cole Swindell – 

Heaven’s Garden by Kieran Brennan and  Paul Kealy – 

If You Could See Me Now by The Script – 

Best Seat In The House by Locash Cowboys –  

I Still Miss You by Hawk Nelson – 

I Miss You by NllU – 

Go On Without Me by Brett Eldredge – 

With Hope by Steven Curtis Chapman – 

 

A Father’s Gift

 

The second of three poems I am sharing this week that I wrote a long time ago.

If you missed the first one here it is:  A Mother’s Gift

I also posted another poem on Monday about spending time with your significant other, you can find it here :  If It’s Only An Hour

A Father’s Gift
It’s just you and me now

We will get by somehow

I promise to give you all my love

You’ll always be who I’m thinking of

I know you’re sad, I am too

Oh no baby , I don’t regret you

I know that we lost your mother

So you may never have a sister or a brother

I know no one will ever take her place

Someday, you may be asked to let another be that face

Until then, it will be just you and I

So we must remember, even when we don’t know why

Everything happens for a reason

Good and bad, in every season

We’ll both make mistakes, but nothing you ever do

Could ever, ever , take away my love for you 

A Fathers Love For His Daughter (commercial) – 

Don’t Take The Girl by Tim McGraw – 

Car In Front Of Me by Luke Bryan – 

Save A Place For Me by Matthew West – 

Without You by For King & Country – 

Sissy’s Song by Alan Jackson – 

One More Day by Diamond Rio – 

If I Had Only Known by Reba McEntire – 

Say Hello To Heaven by Collin Raye – 

 

 

A Mother’s Gift

I did not know April was National Poetry Month.  I just read that the other day. In honor of that, this week I will share three poems I wrote a long time ago. Twenty one years or so. The only reason I still have them is because they were published. Yes, I paid $30, I think it was, to buy the book and they, in return, published the poems. All three have to do with a dream I had when Kayhla’s mom was pregnant. Here is the first called A Mother’s Gift :

All I have left in this world

Is you, yes you, my little girl

Your mommy left, yes she is gone

No, baby, it wasn’t anything you had done

Her smile would move Heaven and Earth

You know, she passed it to you at your birth

Her eyes sparkled just like yours

When she cried, my eyes  would also pour

She loved life and all its pleasures

She did so much but you’re her greatest treasure

Mommy couldn’t wait til the day you were born

There you were, I was happy, yet I mourned

I see her in everything you do

Sshh now baby, looks like you have her temper too

It’ll be hard, but you and I, we will survive

‘Cause mommy passed away to give you life

Mama’s Arms by Joshua Kadison –  

All The Way to Texas by Coffey Anderson –  

Mother I Miss You by John Tesh –  

Thank You by Johnny Reid – 

You Should Be Here by Cole Swindell – 

 

My Children I Never Saw

We were living in a two bedroom apartment at the time. We were starting to look at houses in Westerville but we were really just undecided on where to go.  Plus it was a large “luxury” two bedroom and the girls had their own bathroom.  We made it work.

Then Kim told me she was pregnant. We had talked about it but we weren’t exactly ready. At least I didn’t think so. I guess neither did God because we miscarried.

A short time later we were pregnant again. Again we miscarried. It hit Kim more than it did me. Both times were less than six weeks but they were lives being started in there.

All in God’s time. We found a house. We did all the moving ourselves. We packed up an apartment and a storage unit, unloaded, and had it all unpacked and set up in the house all in one day. One long day.  We could not have done that if the first two pregnancies took. And lo and behold, right after we moved in we found out Kim was pregnant with Kylie.

That’s the background and I don’t know why almost eleven years later the two miscarriages have been on my mind. Were they boys or girls? What would they look like now? What kind of personality would they have had? What would they be like now? Is Kylie a combination of those two? Will we see those two in Heaven when our time comes? What was God’s plan ? Was it all for us to be able to get a house and be able to move? Was it for me to talk about eleven years later? Maybe help someone else?

I don’t know. All I know is that for some reason they have been weighing on my heart and my mind the last few weeks.

God has a plan. Sometimes that doesn’t help to hear when you are going through a loss but you will get through it. Whatever your loss may be. Loss of a child, a parent, a friend, a pet you will get through it. The memories will be there and some days will be hard. You will have good days also. You will have days when you will have a memory and cry. You will have days where you will have a memory and smile. You will never forget. Hang in there and let God walk you through it.

Lucy by Skillet – yes I know this song is about abortion but it touches me every time I hear it. 

Who You’d Be Today by Kenny Chesney – 

Heaven By Tonight by Matt Baird – 

God’s Will by Martina Mcbride – 

When I’m Gone by Joey and Rory – 

Gone Too Soon by Daughtry – 

Home by Nicol Sponberg – 

From This One Place by Sara Groves – 

Held by Natalie Grant – 

What Is Heaven Like by Robert Rogers –