Saturday, July 26, 2014

Quiet Seasons

 As I sit here with fingers on keys,
words seem to fail they have been lately.
Instead of words and stories and creative projects that I normally share with you,
a huge void has taken up residence in my heart.
I've pushed this computer away time after time.

Time seems short.
The desire to write, sorely lacking.
My camera collects dust.

But I needed you to know that I am still here.
Still moving through life....though in a slight fog.
Still consumed with my parent's estate and paperwork....but making progress.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
The bumps in the road are gradually smoothing out.
Comfort is found in quiet routine,
and old photographs reflecting a simple, content, happy life.

My parents and me on Port Sheldon beach at Lake Michigan where my grandparent's cottage once stood.

It's a bittersweet season.
A season of many firsts.
A season of extreme heartbreak;
a season of letting go;
a season of remembering and understanding;
a season of discovery and growing;
a season of trust;
a season of love.

My favorite watercolor painted by my father.

A reprieve is found in my garden.
Moments spent with the sun pouring warmth onto my back.
Green beans fall into my bucket.
A pail of cabbage, squash, and broccoli wait at the garden gate.

My thoughts wander to the months ahead.
More seasons of firsts....of change.
I let my thoughts linger and I hold them close.

I've watched two hatches of bluebirds hunger in their nest, grow, and fly away.
I've heard tiny wren babies in the red bed tree out front chirp as their momma brings them food.
They too will eventually spread their wings and fly away.

 I stood in awe at the strong determination of a mother turtle laying her eggs by the arbor in my north garden.

I've watched wobbly legged little turkeys follow their parents through the yard,
pecking at the fallen birdseed by the old pear tree.

A family of rabbits have taken refuge in my garden 
and scamper through the roses each evening.
Ears standing tall.
Noses quivering.

Farm tractors rumble by pulling trailers of freshly cut hay.
People glide by on their bicycles.
The mail truck putts down the road.
Pickles are canned and beans frozen.

Life quietly goes on with slippered feet.

I lift my face to the starry heavens each night and wonder what my parents are doing -
how they are doing...
wishing they could tell me what it was like up there.
I thank God for the faithful life they had lived here on earth,
and for raising me up the same way. 
I am blessed by the family who lived before me;
traveling from the Netherlands, France, and Scotland...

My mother's parents ~ and the car my grandfather was killed in.

My dad and his brother traveling out west with my grandparents.

and the family I still have around me.

To everything there is a season.
I will learn to live the seasons with a tangible void now.
I will learn to carry it, embrace it, tuck it away and go on.
I will discover more,
understand more, 
trust more,
and love more...

in these quiet, blessed seasons of life before me.

~  Eucharisteo  ~

 Linking to the linky parties at the lower right of my sidebar.




  1. Hello Laurie,
    I know what you're going through. My parents have been gone for a very long time, but at times it is quite fresh. I too wonder what they're doing, seeing. I miss talking with them and sharing events that happen in our life. When I'm in the garden I think of Dad - he gave me the love of gardens and animals. Mom was the steadfast one - I hope I'm half as strong and good a mother and wife as she was...she gave so much of herself. We can honor our parents by emulating them as much as possible - by loving hard those who are still here - taking joy in the sunrises and sunsets - in the routines and seasons of life. God can and will give the most incredible peace knowing they're with Him - and one day there will be a grand reunion and no more goodbyes - Going through and taking care of their estate I know can bring laughter and tears - but that's what we're supposed to do. I wish I could sit on your back porch, sip tea and listen to stories of your parents - to laugh, cry and to hug...but, I will do much better - I'll talk to our Father and ask that he send angels of comfort your way and of strength. Continue to write, observe and create your life. This will greatly please your parents.
    Blessings and prayers my friend,

  2. Sweet Laurie,
    It really all eventually becomes about memories and engaging in our daily life while we form more to draw on, to find strength from to share through love with others in our circle of living. Sending you a warm understanding cyber hug and a bond in this time of loss.

  3. Hey Laurie! Take the time you need ... be kind to yourself, there is no right or wrong way to grieve and deal with loss ... and focus on things that bring you comfort and joy in the quiet times, because it's often in the quiet times that we feel at our lowest. I bet your folks are together holding hands, telling Father how precious you are and urging you to squeeze the life out of every day and embrace your loved ones (friends as well as family) to find comfort and share love. And if some days there are no words and you just need to sit quietly snuggled in a cosy corner ... that's just fine ... do it! And know that your blogging buddies are thinking of you, praying comfort and peace to you and sending virtual hugs your way. Bear Hugs! KRIS

  4. To remain in the quiet while your heart mourns is a good place to be. When we lose the ones we love, it is the separation from them that hurts so deeply. Remember that Jesus experienced the agony of separation before you which caused him to cry out to the Father. He knows your heartache like noone else. He will renew your strength in his timing to carry on knowing that this separation will not be forever. Eternity is before us...Paradise xx

  5. Hi, Laurie! Wow! I love looking at old photos and hearing the stories surrounding them! They are a way of keeping our memories (and our family heritage) fresh and alive. Sometimes, life seems so bittersweet. The older I get, I too realize that the seasons of life continue in their ebb and flow...some things that happen are good, some not so good. In spite of this, God is faithful! Thanks for sharing. (p.s. Sometimes, it seems like when we don't have anything to write about, that's when God truly puts His words in our hearts and then onto our keyboards.)
    Ann @ Christ in the Clouds

  6. Sweet Friend, this is such a beautiful, poignant reminder of the cycles of life. I too often wonder about my father and what it is like for him now. I still speak to him as I sit quietly, and know that I will see him again. My thoughts are with you as you go through this time. Your pain is still fresh and sharp, but will dim as time goes on, although we always feel the loss of our parents at a deep level. I am thinking of you. xo Laura

  7. What a beautiful post Laurie.....i enjoy ...have a Nice from me!

  8. Laurie, You are not alone. Many of us have had to go on without our parents being physically here. They are with us in our hearts and memories as you so beautifully wrote about today. For some reason I have not been getting my blogs from you and several others. Not sure if it is AOL or Google or what, so I have not been keeping up. You are strong. You are loved. You are appreciated. Blessings and Peace, Nancy

  9. Oh so beautiful dear Laurie. I've been praying and thinking of you... I've recently had to deal with a similar family moment, and Gosh not easy... I thought of you many times. The "firsts" are always our learning point. Dear, I'm wishing all of us comforting seasons to come, I know we are in His hands. And like you, I frequently wonder what would my grandmother have to tell me about being up there... Love, Vanessa

  10. lovely post, laurie:) full of nature, memories, emotions and life. hugs:)

  11. Your words move me, Laurie. We are traveling the same path, and wondering the same kinds of things, all the while forever grateful for those that held our hands and still continue to lead us, quietly with love.
    Sending hugs,

  12. Dearest Laurie,

    I had no idea about what has happened in your life this summer. (been out of touch for the most part, just now coming up for air and getting reconnected. Nothing bad, just life.)

    Close your eyes and imagine all of us lifting you up, with hugs and prayers.

    With love,

  13. Beautiful post. These firsts will bring you through. I have been through it. Sometimes when we think too far ahead it seems to scarry, concentrate on now, Tomorrow will take care of it itself. your parents seem like wonderful people, you are strong. Where you live seems like it is the perfect place to be, there is a lot of "life " there. Think of you often, my thoughts are with you.

  14. Laurie, I have missed your blog posts and have been thinking about you a lot. Thank God for memories because they will always be there in your heart and keep your loved ones close to you. My father died 23 years ago and in some ways it still seems like yesterday, but life does go on and the grief begins to mellow little by little. LIke you said, it helps to focus on the people you love that are still here and the many blessings that are in our lives. You remain in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs to you, Diana

  15. Dear Laurie, Your heart found the words for this post and how special they are. I know the many firsts and then there are firsts to the firsts. Life goes on as we carry the memories in our hearts along with to "carry on" what we learned from our dear parents. We take over the lead, not really wanting it that way, but it happens according to God's plan. He loved them and wanted them home.
    Your photos are beautiful and I know seeing this around you brings great comfort.
    Keeping you in prayers for healing and sending BIG TEXAS HUGS your way.
    Blessings and Friendship~

  16. Beautiful post, Laurie. Remember to take time for yourself and do things you enjoy.

  17. So hard and tough to miss loved ones, even if we know they are safe with God, they feel far away. I am so sorry. The warmest thoughts and prayers from me up here in the North. Life is a struggle for me too, now. A lot of saddness, big losses, many tears. Some loved ones leave us through death, others just leave us behind with a broken heart and a big bag of questions. Life is a very rocky road sometimes. But God is ever faithful and our Rock of ages. I have a cross and the word "Always" tatooed on my arm. To remind me who to turn to, Always. Blessings, Pam xx

  18. ...............thank you for your heart! It blesses many...I am always touched and awed!

  19. It is so very good to hear from you and to read your gentle thoughts. Dealing with your parents estate can be difficult at times, confusing, frustrating, but mostly sad. Give yourself time and try to find something that will give you a smile. Memories will come from all directions, from any where, unexpectantly. Catch you off guard. Wishing you peaceful times through your journey ahead, one day at a time. Patty/NS

  20. Such a beautiful, sad, and even encouraging post. I don't think we ever get over the loss of loved ones, but the loss becomes more bearable over time, and knowing your parents are with god and you'll be reunited in time makes a difference. I lost both my parents many years ago and my husband lost his last year. Memories of loved ones are sweeter when shared with those who also loved them and your post must be a balm to family. Blessings to you Laurie.

  21. Hello sweetie... what a beautifully touching post... I love seeing you as a little girl, and all of your photos of your family... these are treasures money cannot buy... I am happy you are savoring your memories... writing them down... going through old photographs... keeping traditions alive... the baby birds and turtles in your gardens are amazing... as are all of your homegrown veggies... your pickles look so yummy!... and the photo of the sunlight filtering in is so soothing, calming... and speaks to me of sunnier days ahead for you... love you sweet sister...xoxo... Moi

  22. Laurie, This is a beautiful, poetic post about the seasons of life. Joy, sadness, memories of lives well-lived. You were a beautiful little girl. I love the photos of your parents and ancestors. I found photographs from my mothers childhood so comforting when she passed away. I became consumed with our family history while going through trunks of old photographs. Thinking of you during your time of mourning and sending you love.

  23. Hi friend, I so understand what you're going through. All of the paperwork and settling the estate. Your parents left you such a beautiful legacy, and you have been blessed with the gifts of writing and creating. We will continue to get to know your parents through you, and that is a gift to us. Your parents will live on in your heart, in your words and in your works. Jesus understood the pain of separation, so he knows what you are feeling. You never forget but in time the hurt does lesson. I know that doesn't help now. Let the tears flow when you need to - it is a part of healing. And let your parents' love continue to flow through you and be seen in your works and your attitude and your faith. And know, always, that you are in my prayers. Susan

  24. Laurie,
    Going through the motions . . .
    that's what "Mr. Ed" & I did for many years
    as one~by~one our aged parents passed from this life to the next.
    It takes time for healing and time to seek new purpose.
    Give yourself all the time you need, dear friend!
    You remain close to my heart and in my daily prayers.

  25. Hi Laurie,
    Such beauty here is all your quietness. It's been quite the time for you and your healing process, taking refuge in his arms is a consoling place to be right now, and time is of the matters of the heart.
    Love the beach photos, you look exactly the same, that beautiful face, and all the love beams.
    The water colour your father painted is amazing. It needs to be framed in a gold chippy falling apart gently frame, showing that prairie shabby style of your homes charm we love so well, what a prized piece to cherish.

    Memories tucked away in your heart will be treasured, and know that you can pull them out when ever you need a gentle hug.
    I hope days are lightening for you and the heaviness is lifting.



  26. A beautiful post dear Laurie. You have done what needs to be done in this season of your life my friend, and that is continue on with life. There is comfort in routines, in the flow of the everyday. Your parents sound like they blessed you with wonderful memories and I know they are proud of their little girl.
    sending hugs...

  27. Grief takes time, it hits in waves. The routines of home and gardening are comforting. God sustains and comforts. Take all the time you need. Your loss of both your parents so close together is not something to be taken lightly. Sending you much love.

  28. Hello Laurie,
    As many times as I come here to say hello & something to be a comfort...words fail me as I think of this overwhelming walk you are going through & yet I know the Lord will bring you through! I also feel sure that your sweet parents would want you to continue to write & take pic's. It can be the very ministry that God gave you for this very season, sharing this time with so many, you never know who and why, but I imagine there is someone and many of us that are thinking and re-thinking our "TIME" with family! I have lost my Momma, and can not imagine what you are dealing with and I look at the pic's of your childhood and I can see the love you and the memories that are keeping & helping you today...I am thankful your parents left you this to go back to. May it be something we all take to heart today...are we leaving these memories, times, mostly love for our children to reflect on if & when the Lord calls us?
    We have a family that lost their Mom this past early Sunday am....a heart attack leaving 10 children and a hubby behind. She was fine and this was sudden (ouch) my heart aches for all and for you Laurie. May it some how, be a comfort that so many do care and pray for you & yours and may you find the strength to continue to write and share to help others as you heal and God brings you thru......................
    hugs~ Lori

  29. beautiful words.......I know you hear this all the time, but time does will have wonderful memories....and take comfort in the fact that you have has been 12 years since I lost my dad and 10 my mom, it still hurts....not quite so much.......but, I have come to the conclusion, that the loss of parents is one of those steps & chapters in life we must face.......I am just grateful that I too had so many wonderful memories..........hugs across the miles......

  30. Oh my heart aches for you. I wish I could wave a magic wand and have it all be a dream ,but unfortunately I can't. I will say a prayer for you each day as I remember you and your heartache at this time. I am so glad that you have amazing, happy memories of your parents. So many don't so that is truly a blessing. Hugs dear one!!

  31. Well Laurie if this is you when you can't write - the rest of us are in BIG trouble - this may just be my all time favorite post of yours ( and that's saying a lot - because I simply love everything you write - photograph - do.........
    What gorgeous photos - especially the ones on the beach - took me right back to my childhood.
    Your parents are looking down and beaming at the lady you are - without a doubt.
    Much love,

  32. Laurie,
    Thanks for checking in..... you are in our thoughts and prayers. You will come out the other side closer to the Lord and strengthened through His grace. One of my very favorite Bible verses is this one....
    Isaiah 46:4
    Even to your old age and gray hairs
    I am He, I am He who will sustain you.
    I have made you and I will carry you;
    I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

  33. Laurie, this is beautifully written- keeping you in my prayers during this difficult time. I'm so sorry for your loss. I loved seeing all your old photos too. They seemed like such treasures and how special to have some tangible bits of your family history. Thanks for linking up today!
    -S.L. Payne,

  34. I remember how it felt when my Grandmother died. I kept thinking how can every day keep going on when she is not here. It took a while till that feeling went away. I pray for your peace and comfort.

  35. Keep strong in your faith, knowing that our Lord will lift you up and carry you through.

  36. May God bless you in this season.
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

  37. I wrote to you , but you know as well as I know how painful it is loss-parents ....... there are no words to comfort ...... it's a piece of emptiness around us ... a hole in our hearts that never fills up .... but love is what we are sending you a warm hug and lots of lots of love !!!!!!!!!!!
    Kisses from me sweet Laurie !!!!!!! xoxo

  38. My heart is with you, many of us know all to well the sadness you feel , Take comfort in the fond memories In time they will replace your grief my friend xox

  39. It's nice to see you back to writing on your blog again. I bet it will be therapeutic for you at times too. I'm so sorry that you've had to endure such a huge loss at one time. That can't be easy. Do you have any siblings? I was curious. It might be helpful if you do. Y'all could lean on each other.

  40. Laurie I just came over to say hello.
    I loved to hear your heart and to see those photos of days gone by and well lived.
    Thinking of you and knowing He is keeping you and is even closer still in these days...holding you...sustaining you. Tender hugs & love to you sweet friend xo

    All my heart,
    Deborah xoxo

  41. Hey I have missed you and wanted to stop by and speak!

  42. Laurie, it definitely is a time of change and acceptance. Know that they are in a beautiful place and watch over you. I'm sure that they hope that your heart heals quickly. There will always be a void, but the fond memories grow ever more fonder day by day! Those old photos are priceless and will help carry you through. Hope your heavy heart becomes happy again! Always love your poetic words and look forward to you sharing again! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  43. Thank you, Laurie for sharing this wonderful post with Home and Garden Thursday - I will be featuring you today,

  44. Such a lovely post, filled with wisdom. Blessings to you.

  45. Dear Laurie, I think that the historical photos are it. Your new feather blog is super cute and I think the vegetable must be soo much delicious...yumi!
    Have a nice summer Vlaďka

  46. So sorry, friend. This will certainly be a year of bittersweet firsts for you as you remember and celebrate, and mourn your parents. Praying that these memories bring you peace and comfort. Thanks for sharing,


  47. sending you love and prayers as you find your way through Laurie...
    wonderful photos you share with us ....
    Gail x

  48. This was such a beautiful post. I love hearing your reflection on it all, I don't even know how to put into words how reading this made me feel, other than how we are all timeless, and how the little things like watching the turtle and bunnies, and bird hatchlings come and go is so much about the circle of life, and we are all so similar in our experiences...


  49. I stumbled upon your blog just now and I'm so glad I found it. Your writing moved me, took me back to my childhood and to my beloved brother who died suddenly at the age of 49 three years ago. Its his birthday on Sunday and he's been constantly in my thoughts the past two weeks. My parents still live in their little holiday cottage at the sea and I'm so blessed that we can visit them there and celebrate my brothers life. Happy 30th wedding anniversary! Our 30th anniversary was last year.

  50. lovely words & images ♥ such a blessing to have wonderful memories.
    your father's watercolour is gorgeous.


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