Sunday, July 25, 2010

My first time alone...

It was the sky yesterday that reflected my inner turmoil the most. In the midst of blue and sunshine and warmth, dark clouds formed and rain poured down from that one spot overhead... while the sun streamed all around.  Its exactly how I have been feeling... sunshine around the edges of the thunderstorm of grief.

It was a rough week...

Monday, the 19th, two weeks after my Dad passed away, his older brother Marvin joined him in his heavenly home.

I felt ripped open even wider.

On Wednesday, my computer hard drive crashed. Locked within are all of my photos from Dad's funeral and the week or so before that.

On Thursday, our internet stopped working which actually is kind of funny when you think about it. What isn't funny is how slow it is now as the provider tries to fix it.

On Friday we drove to Marvin's funeral which is almost 4 hours from where we live and is the place where my dad grew up.



The tidal wave of emotion that flooded over me as the "big cow" loomed in front of us... caught me off guard. You just know, don't you, that we played "who will be the first to see the cow?" back when we drove an old brown 1970 Ford Galaxy 500, the speed limit was 55 and it felt like we drove to the end of the world to get to New Salem.





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My senses were flooded.  The sweet smell of wheat ready for harvest.  The sea of purple, otherwise known as flax, carpeting the sides of the road.  The red scoria rock covered gravel roads that leave a rusty film of dirt on your car as you travel out in the country.  The friendly waves from every car you meet on the road.  The smell of candy mixed in with wooden floors and medicine at the drugstore my other uncle used to own on the main street.

Everywhere, I turned, I was reminded of Dad.  I realized at some point this was my very first time ever visiting New Salem, without my Dad.  Although, I am sure he was with us most of the day.

During the sermon at the funeral I had to remind myself they were talking about Marvin because I've heard the same words said about my dad.  They were gentle, quiet, trustworthy, faithful, hard workers, who loved their families.  I also heard the word "sentimental."  I think they portrayed Marvin "just right."





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While Dad's casket had tools inside, Marvin's had tractors wedged into the flowers on top.

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The funeral was held in town, but burial took place out behind the old Bethel country church. We used to attend church out there when we visited Grandma. I was entranced with its simple beauty as my cousin gave us a tour inside. Its in some disrepair, but still used on occasion.
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Whenever we came to visit, Dad was in his glory and loved socializing after church with all the people that were always so happy to see him. He would have loved knowing his grandchildren got a chance to see the church.

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Marvin was blessed with 13 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.  My own two boys were even given balloons to release as well.  And do you know where those balloons headed?
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... as we held our breath, they flew up over the trees, into the sky and headed collectively... straight to the family farm... there were lots of chuckles as they hurried on their way.
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A kind gentlemen showing the kids where the farm is at, after reassuring them there are no snakes in the grass.
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After driving past the farm that was recently sold to another family, we headed for home.  I left with a sense of knowing where I come from.  I gathered a couple of wild sunflowers from along the road... just call me sentimental.



On our way home, we stopped by Valley City, where my dh's family farmstead resides. The boys enjoyed standing in the wheat fields.
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I shouldn't have been surprised to find a few pieces of wheat tucked into the back seat of the car... they're learning as well.  Their Grandpa would be so proud. 

17 comments:

  1. This whole post could be a beautiful little book. The pictures are exquisite and the narrative - so heartfelt. These are hard times, but they're precious. To know what's important and to honor your feelings and share them with such grace is inspirational.

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  2. Oh Vicky ... what an incredible commentary on the cycle of life, the love in strong connections, and the wholesome values of country living. Your Father's legacy is imbedded in you and is already radiating in your beautiful sons.

    He could not live forever, and gave his life to make room for the next generations. How blessed you are to have had such an amazing relationship and such a rich legacy to pass on to you sweet boys.

    You have to grieve. Much has been lost. At the same time, you have so much to celebrate in terms of what you had and what has been passed on to you.

    How wonderful that you can express yourself so clearly and not suppress the feelings that come with the absence your dear Father. You provide a model for us all. I so hope I can handle future losses with such dignity.

    Funny, my word verification is ablednes - abled-ness - which is SO what you model for us in the way you manage your life.

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  3. I wish I had your way of beautifully articulating the flux of emotions during this time of grief for you. I so admire your ability to find the love and life which is always with you even during such difficult times of loss.

    Your Dad must be smiling from ear to ear as he watches your boys every single moment. Today is my dad's birthday, and I take comfort believing that he sees all his grandkids and watches over them.

    God bless you Vicky and your family. You give so much to us here in these posts. You're helping me too. Hugs, my friend :)

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  4. What a great area your Dad lived in. I loved the pictures of those wide open fields and that church, so simple.
    You said you wished your Dad knew your boys visited his church. I'm sure he does.
    Loosing a parent or relative is a very trying time, I know. Nothing I or anyone can say will change that. I know that too.
    Hang in there. Believe it or not, the pain lessens with time and you'll be rewarded with great memories instead of sadness.
    I know that too.

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  5. This is such a beautiful post! I am so sorry you have had to experience so much heartache. Nothing we can say can ease the pain, but your faith will help you through. I will continue to pray for you and your family.

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  6. The photos of the simple country church, the wheat fields and those boys big smiles... great shots.

    I'm sorry you've suffered yet another loss, Vicky.

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  7. The memories are a treasure as you adjust to a new season ... be comforted knowing His arms are around you.

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  8. Wow, you've had your share of emotional ups and downs over the last few weeks.....but you are strong and I know you will see the good in everything that happens Vicky.

    Hang in there my friend. Give those boys a BIG fat kiss tonight before bed!

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  9. How beautiful!!!!

    You've been on my mind - praying for you and that you may find some peace.

    I love the wheatfield pictures - those are gorgeous!

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  10. Hi Vicky

    what a time you have had...a real season of loss and sorrow...
    But you are inspiring- you have shared your grief and loss, but also your comfort and connection and I am sure your boys are learning through your example, how to cope with the rigours of life.

    Thinking of you.

    PS we have a BIG COW on our coast too...

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  11. After losing a loved one there seems to be endless 'firsts' to remind us of what we've lost, but our family and memories give us great comfort in time.

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  12. Vicky, I can't believe all you've been through. Going back to the little town where Mom lived and visiting the places we went together just leveled me for days...going to the first funeral, which was about a year later, also leveled me...
    I hope you're being gentle with yourself...giving yourself time and space and nurturing. sigh.
    I'm praying for you every single day. Sending my love...
    The photos are simply gorgeous. What beautiful places.
    xo

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  13. Vicky...what a wonderful friend you are to me. Through your blog, I grew to love your Dad very much. I have been grieving over his passing. The death of your Uncle Marvin brings tears to me, also. I send you love, Vicky. You have a close-knit family, and I pray that you draw strength from one another and from the Lord....

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  14. My sweet girl. I wish I could scoop you up, bring you here and hug you while we cried. I'm so sorry about your Uncle, and how your heart is hurting. I want you to know in every moment I feel crushed, I pray that you feel me in your moments. I love you, friend.

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  15. I always feel so hopeful and rich when you talk about your dad and now his brother. I'm very sorry you lost your uncle, especially so close to your dad's passing. But all these legacies they leave are mind blowing. I want my kids to have memories like yours. I want the days and lives to be simple, honest, straightforward, AND sentimental. Your uncle had your dad's same warm face.

    God bless all of you as you work and struggle through the huge loss of men like these. Love to you, Vicky.

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  16. Just gently dropping in to tell you I'm thinking of you and love you. Big cyber hugs to you...from me.

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  17. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss Vicky. I sure can understand how hard it is for you at the moment. It comforted me to read "Although, I am sure he was with us most of the day".

    I feel your pain through your words and I wish you great strength in the days to come. Loads of love to you

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I welcome what you have to say. Thanks for taking the time to grace me with your thoughts and words!

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