Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Sweetness of Life

"Sometimes we need the salt of tears
to remind us how to savor the sweetness of life."
~ Lysa TerKeurst

Walking a rough road brings realization.
It's not easy.
 The salty tears burn your soul.
The burden is heavy.
The pain deep.
You weep.
You grieve.

You stumble.
You fall.
You crumble to the floor in a ball of utter sadness like a lost child.
You lose yourself completely in the heartbreak.

But
as the waves of pain crash around you,
tossing you like a seashell in the ocean...
God stills the storm to a whisper

and

you learn.

You learn that your brokenness can become something more beautiful

somehow.

God is the sweetness of life;
rising from the darkness of pain.
His Presence is strong and clear.
He's right in front of you.
Lifting you up.
Holding you close.
Showing you the goodness of grace.
Assuring you of hope.
Washing away the pain and heartbreak.
Remolding you.




There are so many things that I've learned while traveling this path during the past month.
So many things that I wish I had done better
said more often
embraced tighter
realized quicker.

I always told my parents how much I loved them.
Every time I saw them or talked to them.
In cards, in notes.
Uncountable times.
Over and over again.

I always hugged my parents.
Warm, loving hugs that melded hearts and buoyed spirits.
Hugs that lasted minutes instead of moments.

I spent many hours and days with my parents.
Talking, walking, listening, laughing, crying,
traveling, shopping, eating,
worrying, caring, loving,
and always praying.


The piano my dad used to play for my mom while she napped.


But....
I wish I had loved them even more ~ if that was even possible...
hugged them even more
spent even more time with them.

I wish I could tell them I love them
could hug them
could spend one more day with them

just ONE more time.





So, I plead with all of my friends out there who are blessed to have your parents yet...

don't waste any time.
Don't procrastinate.
Don't put it off any longer.

Use every single day the Lord gives you
loving your parents as much as you can.
Right now.

Sit down and talk with them.
Often.
 Encourage them to share childhood memories and write them down so that you won't forget.
 Reminisce about your grandparents, great grandparents, aunts and uncles.
Sort through the old photographs stored in those boxes stored in the attic,
 and write the pictures' stories on the back.

Talk about your parents' finances, where they have investments, and who their financial advisor is.
Write it down.
If they don't have an advisor, get one.
Visit their attorney with them and write up a Living Trust.
If they don't have one, get one.
A Will doesn't mean much at all, neither does a Durable Power of Attorney at times.
Know where they keep their important papers.

Have them pay for their funeral expenses ahead of time if possible, and
write down their funeral wishes (scripture, hymns, pastor, cremation or not).
Assign a Representative Payee and sign the legal paper for it.
File it all in a safe place.
During a painful time of grieving,
it will make your life a bit easier and will be one less burden for you to carry.

And then...
do the same for yourself so that your own children have an easier time when you are called Home.
Please don't wait.
Do it now.

And most of all ~ give thanks.
Constantly.

Get down on bended knee and thank God for the sweetness of life that He's giving you
right now.

Even through the saltiness and pain...
there IS sweetness.
He promises that.
So, expect it.
Count on it.
Thank Him for it.

Live gracefully.
Live lovingly.
Live like it's your last day.




That may sound like doom and gloom statement,
but trust me....

you never know when that warm hug or whispered "I love you" will be the last one.

Count your blessings and thank God for them.
Right now.





...and finally...

devote yourself to live a legacy of





~   Eucharisteo  ~



P.S...I have no idea how to even begin to thank each and every one of you for your words of comfort, your prayers of strength, and the constant love you continue to surround me and my family with.
I thank God for you all.
May He bless you and keep you...

 

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50 comments:

  1. Your words touch my heart, as my parents are in heaven too. It is good to leave the papers you suggest including our own death wishes such as burial requests, hymns, etc. It is common to just pretend loved ones will live forever!

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  2. I feel very uplifted hearing your words that evoke strength, even in the hardest of times. And you are so right...have all the affairs in order so you can be there fully when you are needed and in the afterward, have that very important time to reflect and grieve. I am thinking of you, Laurie, and sending much, much love.

    Jane x

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  3. So beautiful Laurie, and you are absolutely right. Embrace every moment. Let stupid things go. And always love your parents. You can't love them too much, no way. Wishing you peace. xo

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  4. Bonjour chère amie,

    Une très belle publication... Vous avez choisi les bons mots... Mon petit père avait organisé son départ et j'avoue que le moment venu fut alors une bonne chose. Dans la douleur, c'est un lourd fardeau. Il m'a évité cela et je le remercie.
    Il est bon d'en parler, il est dommage que cela reste un sujet tabou pour la plupart d'entre nous.
    On devrait dès la scolarisation, en parler aux enfants... On leur parle bien des moyens de contraception... alors pourquoi pas celui du grand départ ?...


    Gros bisous ♡

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  5. Your advice and words of wisdom are so good. The grief comes like waves doesn't it, ebbing and flowing. I pray for God's continued comfort to envelop you.

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  6. Oh, my. I receive these words as though directed specifically to me from the Father through you. My 87 year old mother is in the Memory Unit of a nursing home about an hour from me. My heart is there also. My body makes the connection at least 3 times a week; more often if at all possible. Daddy is near her in the condo they shared since retiring. EVERYTHING in this post and the previous one has significance for me. I'm praying for your heart as it slowly wends its way through the process of relinquishment....

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  7. This table is so cute and such a good idea! And both of my daughters are on the floor writing/coloring right now, haha. Maybe I need to make them a table like this!
    interior-design

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  8. You are so right here Laurie, as difficult as it can be to think about death, it is a part of life and needs to be dealt with. My MIL was telling me her parents have their funerals all paid for and planned...of course, she prays they'll be around for many years to come but it'll be a comfort for her not to have to deal with all that when the time comes.

    You were very blessed to have parents like you had Laurie! For some of us, those relationships are not good. I come from a very fractured family with really no extended family due to leaving England years ago. You are blessed with happy and loving memories of your parents, which is a wonderful gift!

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  9. beautifully said, laurie:) thanks for the reminder to do what we so often choose to put off. wishing you comfort:)

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  10. Laurie, I am so sorry for your loss. I just now found out. I pray God will give you grace and comfort. I know I will be facing this same situation in the near future. Sending you hugs and love, sweet lady!

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  11. Beautifully written sweetie... as you know, I lost my mama many many years ago, and my daddy is now in Heaven as well... I promise you, your days will get a little easier... some days I still cry, and you will too... but your tears will be more out of love than sadness... and a smile will come to you as well, knowing your mama and daddy are together, happy... and safe in God's loving care... I guess that is why I often posted about my family, growing up, memories... I think we all need to keep our beautiful memories alive, and share them with others... treasure your photographs, letters and cards... special moments... your parents are always there with you, close by... watching over you... protecting you... and forever in your heart... I find that by carrying on our family traditions, I feel a closeness that truly comforts me... and brings life full circle... love you honey, xoxo Julie Marie

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  12. Such a touching post and good advice. My mom pre-paid for her funeral after my Dad passed in 91'. We had a "lady bird deed" created so her property will be in our names automatically upon her death and there won't be any need for probate. She's soon to be 92 and her memory is fading. Somehow it seems like it's easier on her that way. Take care and God bless, Liz

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  13. Oh Laura, having lost all my family members, father and both sides, (grandparents) I am left with my mother who has major health issues. I often think of my father who died whenI was 14 from an illness, and it's never far from thought when it come to remembering those days, and one more day with them.
    My prayer for you is memories that over shadow the sorrow, and the beautiful memories that live on.

    Such a beautiful tribute to your parents, and your parents want you to know joy in every way possible.
    See you soon.

    Blessed you were with loving parents, and knowing love.

    Xoxo
    Dore

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  14. Dear Laurie,

    I've lost my sister. And my mom. And my 10-year-old baby grandson. I can't think of how I could have loved them more. And I doubt there is any way that you could have loved your parents more.

    What I've learned after all the pain and tears, is that we continue to feel their love every day. It stays. It holds us up, helps us get through each day, and in time we can begin to smile and laugh once again, remembering all the sweet moments we shared ~ so very grateful for having them in our lives.

    Everything is in balance, even when we are not. And there is comfort in that unquestionable knowledge called faith.

    Sending gentle hugs your way,
    Lin

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  15. Dear Laurie....

    I read your post today and felt your sadness deep within my soul. Your words for us to love those while they are still here resound well.

    Those of us who have lost our parents know there will always be a part of our hearts missing until the time comes when we will meet again.

    Your parents' legacy is YOU, dear Laurie. And you will carry on their courage and spirits, laughter and joy of life! You will see them in your beautiful flowers and in your own gentle way of living. Susan

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  16. Laurie,
    As I sat and read your post, tears flowed and I will simply say I agree with everything you said. Loss is like climbing a 90 degree incline for a year, loss brings memories and in it realization of things that could of/should of been said. Our hearts ache and our loss grounds us and causes an undeniable appreciation for what once was. Laurie as you know I truly understand and I also know we are becoming stronger and more loving because of our loss.
    Sending my love,
    Vera

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  17. Sending you prayers, hugs, and much love. Keep writing, He is always listening and will never leave you alone.
    Blessings,
    Patti

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  18. Laurie,
    Precious words written from your heart to mine, dear friend!!!
    Of all our parents, only one remains.
    We try to do all of the above as often as we possibly can.
    None of us is ever promised antoher tomorrow.
    I agree. . .make every day, every minute, every moment count.
    My prayers continue daily for you, dear one as you continue to face difficult days ahead.
    May you feel His presence, His comfort and His peace.
    Fondly,
    Pat

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  19. Hi sweet Laurie, you are so kind to be thinking how to help others as you are healing, just part of the beautiful person you are. You are still in my thoughts and prayers...hugs to you! xo

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  20. Oh sweet girl. I feel your pain and your joy of precious memories. My parents have been gone for almost 4 years and they died within 6 months of each other. They were my heart and I miss them so much. We had precious time together. I spent a year in the book that you have, Jesus calling and I also ready Heaven is For Real after Mama died. Both helped me to see things in a different life A beautifully written post. Thanks for posting. The holidays are especially hard for us all.

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  21. Those are some good words of advice. I believe that we have that taken care of with both sets of our parents right now. My MIL is already in hospice care from a stroke, so I know that things are in order for her. I just hate that you've had to deal with so much in a short period of time. That can't be easy. Hope that you are coping well and adjusting to your new life now.

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  22. I don't think there is ever enough time or days to say I love you, give and receive heart-felt hugs, or share stories. I had enormous regrets when my Mom passed a couple of years ago. Until I stopped and realized I could not function under regrets but chose to learn and move forward. I still have days where I dwell on what I could have done, but that is too slippery of a slope to stay on. I hope I am more kinder and aware now. Your parents knew you loved them deeply, I don't think another day would have changed anything but to love you for another day : ). Peace be with you. xo Patty

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  23. My prayers are with you. No words I can send will help but I pray that you are comforted now and always. Hugs my sweet friend...

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  24. Having lost both my parents I can so relate to wishing all the things you wished for, more time, more saying I love you, more getting things in order. It's funny I always wish if I could only have one more time with my Mom. I so miss hugging her, smelling her and her very gentle and loving presence. You words as always so beautiful. There are there by you still, looking down on you from above. They are in their eternal home, and one day you will have that one more time!

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  25. So sweetly said from the reality of painful living. Thank you for your desire to help others from your bittersweet mixture of pain and peace. God bless you Laurie.
    Cindy

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  26. Dear Laurie, Your post is so well said and heartfelt filled with truth and the importance of planning for a time when we move to our forever home. I lost my parents with 22 months of each other and I am so thankful we and my parents had everything planned and done ahead. They made everything easy for me and it was so helpful at such a difficult time. You are so giving to share your thoughts about this too as it helps those that need to know and do now.
    Laurie the sadness does get easier in time but like all ways of life, it is a process and one we travel easier with God's faithful grace. HE knows just what we need and how to heal our hearts. We never ever forget, but can finally feel the comfort in knowing that as we loved our parents, Jesus loved them more and called them home. I still tell my mother and dad I love them each and everyday and I know that GOD delivers that message to them.
    Sending my love and prayers your way my friend.
    Celestina Marie

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  27. Laurie I love this wonderful post. I know that God is the rock the everyday every minute source of strength for me since losing my parents. I am like you and wish that we could express to all just how important it is to cherish every single minute! Words don't seem strong enough but you sweet friend have certainly done a wonderful job of it in this post.

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  28. My heart is with you my friend. I lost my Dad 2 years ago and often wish I had one more day with him. I know he is in a better place and he is always with me but it's never enough !
    I live close to My Mom and treasure our time together I know she is aging and time could be limited. Life is nothing without Love so I try to share the Love...Hugs Sweetie xoxo

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  29. God bless you my friend xo ( Thank you for sharing your sweet blog at the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop. ♥)

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  30. Beautiful post, Laurie. You are still in my prayers. Big hugs.xoxo

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  31. As I read the first part of your post, tears welled up in my eyes. Each description of pain and sorrow is spot on. It breaks you. But the ONLY thing that gets US through this part of life on earth, is the love that our Father has for us. I speak from experience...he carried this broken girl and has picked me back up.

    I am so sorry to read that your heart is breaking, too. Great advice here and so true.

    Big hugs....
    Becky

    PS: I'm so happy to have found your blog. It is lovely!

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  32. Bless you, Laurie. Sharing your experience, your pain, and your gracious words of wisdom will help so many to navigate their own difficult situations. My dad is battling a very serious illness now, so this really resonates with me.

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  33. Grieving is a Process that takes as much time as you need it to take. May the Lord give you a Peace beyond all understanding as you move thru the Process of your Grief. Hugs from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

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  34. Beautiful, Laurie. So very beautiful. And such practical advice. Our parents thought they had everything in perfect condition for us but they didn't. And I'm very sure that your parents knew how very much you loved them. How could they not? Your love for them flowed so very freely in everything you did.

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  35. What a lovely way of sharing your love for your parents, their love for each other and for you, and their sweet spiritual legacy - and what great tips you remind so many of for preparation. A very sweet visit via Anything Blue Friday.

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  36. Oh, you cannot possibly know how often I have had you on my kind this month. I know your words are true, so true. It isn't easy.. This life we are given. I admire your sweet faith and hope you find joy in the ashes...

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  37. Such good advice Laurie. Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home.
    Sherry

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  38. Hi Laurie...thanks for the reminder and sending you much LOVE !
    Gail x

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  39. So touching Laurie. Yes, let's live for love! thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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  40. Such a beautiful post Laurie. We all need that gentle reminder occasionally. Thinking of you during this difficult time my friend. xx

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  41. Oh Laurie,
    All those wonderful hugs, I love you's, gentle warm Kisses of grace, everyone of them have been stored up in our Heavenly Fathers bank so they could gain interest multiplying in numbers this way your parents will continue to receive them often enough.
    Very wise post, wisdom in all things prepared.

    You know Laurie, your parents are looking out for your well being wanting you to live your days with gentle thoughts. I am sure they are so very well taken care of sitting and sharing there memories heavenly.
    It's never easy to lose a parent let alone two of them so very close together, I lost my dad when I was 14 to a disease he was born with, my grand parents followed on both sides of our family, I only have my Mom who is ill, and most of the time her thoughts drift and memory weekend by the loss of memory. It's always been hard for me to deal with such a small family, and the loss of it so young. I treasure the childhood memories like they just happened, taking time to look inside where my heart is full with knowing we will all someday be together again.

    You my dear were so blessed to have had this beautiful loving nurturing life with parents there to embrace every moment of your needs. I know that God is going to fill your days with peace, he will not allow anything to rob you of that joy. This was a post that even though there was so much sadness wrapped up in it, I also saw the joy in the full life you had being able to show them how much you loved them.
    Laurie, you my sweet friend are so blessed, I pray that comfort, and blessings in abundance to you and yours.

    Thank you for taking the time to visit, your presence is always a beautiful sight, and your comments truly joy my heart.

    All your worries, and grieving just nail it to the cross my dear for he is there to comfort you.

    Xoxo
    Dore

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  42. Laurie you are a gifted writer. I admire your unwavering trust in god. So sorry that you have to walk this difficult path of losing your parents so close together. What a gift to recognize the moments of joy that are wrapped within the incredible pain of loss. thinking about you and sending you love.

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  43. Laurie,
    I am stopping by to extend a big cyber hug to you. Your words are poetic, your heart wide open and beautiful. On the 25th which will be the 3 anniversary of my brothers passing my kid brother and I are having a memorial service for my Mom and Dad and remembrance of my brother. A memorial 4 years in the making. You see my parents had a true love story marriage, Mom made my brothers and I promise no memorial for her until there would be one for both. Mom was so convinced Dad would be so heartbroken and couldn't live without he would die in 6 months. Well Mom never factored in Alzheimer's, as your Dad my Dad passed on Memorial Day May 26th. Losing my son in November and now my Dad all I have left is my brother.... Yes Laurie you are a wise woman always express your love, say it, show it, feel it and honor it.
    XO,
    Vera

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  44. A lovely post...I take it to my heart...
    Love,
    Titti

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  45. Oh Laurie, you are such a dear friend to so many of us here in blogland. Your words truly resonate and we just want to reach out and hug you. I'm sure your parents knew very well how much you loved them and were so blessed for it, as you were (and are) from their love. Your advice is timely - we just celebrated a 70th bday party for my Mom, where lots of family reminisced and laughed...looking at old photos. My Dad recently retired and is spending the day with my children on Friday. We don't see him often enough (my parents are divorced), and your words remind me we NEED to. Thank you ever so much.

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  46. thinking of you and sending ♥ your way xo

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  47. Beautiful heartfelt words Laurie...thank you so much for not only sharing your joys with us, but your sorrow as well.
    Warm tender hugs coming your way.....xoxo

    All my heart,
    Deborah

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  48. My mother passed fifteen years ago, too young at 51.
    My mother in love passed a few months ago at 73, still too young.
    I understand the longing.
    I'm so glad my mother in love had prepaid her burial expenses. She'd made nearly all the decisions and it helped so much.

    Blessings to you!

    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

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Bless you and thank you for visiting! I read each of your comments and treasure them all. So, please make sure your settings will accept emails, or leave your email address so that I can reply! ♥ Laurie