Thoughts from a House with no Furniture

AZ trip summer 2013 Ohio Willoughby cemetary sissys note and our handprints the last day
It’s funny how life can change completely in just a moment. And nothing will ever be the same again.

Sometimes we get complacent in life. We get comfortable with the mundane…the status quo. We think what we own is ours, that our job is permanent, and that we can keep our loved ones forever. We say “that’s my life” and expect it to stay that way.

God told me in January that this would be my year of new beginnings. I was excited to see what was in store for me.

The first half of the year, I spent a lot of time with doctors and specialists trying to figure out why I have this pain in my lower left abdomen. Hundreds of dollars later, they still had no answer for me except that I have weird blood and unexplained pain (thanks, I figured the latter part out on my own).

In March my dad who had been battling COPD and Emphysema for 6 years, found out he also had Adenocarcinoma…lung cancer.

Then in May that terrible tornado hit Oklahoma City and some ladies from my church and I headed out to offer a hand. It was oppressive and devastating to see the destruction left in its wake. It was emotionally as well as physically draining. Meanwhile, my family was going through a very difficult time. Dad sent a midnight text the last night we were there asking me to call as soon as I could because my little sister needed some help.

When we returned to VA, I posted the pics that I had taken in OK on my Facebook page in hopes that it would spark others to go and lend a hand. My dad made a comment on one of the pictures that I took as an insult (for 38 years, dad and I spent a lot of time misunderstanding one another). I called and yelled at him. The insult had cut DEEP. He told me to call back when I knew what I was talking about then sent me a nasty email. One week later he was hospitalized.

Those were the last words I had with him….and I’ll tell you now, it wasn’t worth it. It was a waste. Our fight was ridiculous and stupid. My sister tried to talk me into calling him. “I don’t want you to regret this, sissy” she said “I’ll hold the phone up to his ear for you”. At that point he couldn’t talk with tubes down his throat, but he could react still. I missed my opportunity because of stubbornness.

On July 12th my older brother flew me to AZ to see my dad who had been in an induced coma for weeks. He picked me up and we went straight to the hospital. Dad knew I was there, his stats changed the second he heard my voice. We spent the next couple days deciding when we would let him go.

On, Monday July 15th my dad left this world. With his hand in mine and his eyes on me I felt his soul go home. Exactly 1 week later my ferret Bug, who I had for 7 years since he was a baby, died. I spent the month with my family.

When I got home I made Hubby’s life difficult with major pressure on him to look for a job in Tucson so I didn’t miss any more opportunities with my family. We got in a huge fight and he said “just go then, Nikki. I have a great job here; this is where I will be if you decide to come back”. I snarkily replied “you can’t guarantee any job!” and stormed out the door. After a long walk (walking has been helping me with depression) and a long make up talk, he agreed to diligently look for work in AZ.

I think I spoke it into existence. 2 weeks later Hubby lost his job. He was the go to guy there, the one who everyone relied on; all of his reviews were “exceeding expectations”. This was a complete shock!

Then I had a friend die in a car accident. We weren’t real close, but this is a tight knit community, and I cared about her. She had such a bubbly personality. You’ll be missed by many Jackie. I pray for your parents all the time and will continue to.

I yelled at God. “What are You doing to me? Haven’t I lost enough? You told me this was my year of new beginnings and all I see are endings!” I was already angry with Him for taking my dad away before we resolved our issues. At one point I stood in the middle of the road and demanded He give my dad back.

Like I said earlier, when dad died I took up walking. Like Forest Gump ran for 3 years straight, I have this sudden urge to walk (“Walk, Nikki, walk”). It’s great depression medicine. My dear friend and spiritual sister started walking with me. One evening she made me sit down and talk things out with God. I’m so grateful for her.

I felt a weight lifted off me. The pressure I’d been feeling on my chest was gone. And I realized that there has to be an end to have a fresh beginning. I was seeing things through my eyes instead of God’s. When we look through our eyes everything can look muddy and smeared….and just plain crappy!

We are moving back to NM and can only take what fits in 2 cars… a Cruz and a Scion. I am learning a new lesson on what is really important in life. I am a photographer and have 38 years worth of albums and scrapbooks….and miscellaneous pics that haven’t quite made it in to those yet. We accumulate “stuff”. I always joked around saying “if something ever happened with my marriage, you’d see me driving down the road with my dining room table and 8 chairs strapped to my roof”.

I sold that $1100 table for $450 yesterday and I’m ok with that. My house is nearly empty, but there is laughter in my house. My 16 year old, Hubby and I have no living room TV any longer, so we entertain ourselves. We have our health (except that pesky pain in my abdomen which is NOT life threatening) and each other. Next week we will get in those cars and drive back across the country to family and loved ones.

I’m sad to leave the dear friends I have made here but it is time for this chapter to end.

It’s time to see what the new beginning looks like. See you soon. I’m checking out for another minute.



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