Wednesday, August 27, 2008

She came to me!

My mom came to me! In my dreams that is!

I remember after my grandma died, my mom told me she'd pray God would give her dreams of her mother. And He did. She had many wonderful dreams of my grandma.

I've been praying the same thing, asking God to give me sweet dreams of my mom.

Last night my prayer was answered!

I dreamed I was at my aunt Becky's house and all the family was there. I was down stairs and looked up to see my mom coming down the stairs toward me. We embraced tightly in a long hug. The embrace felt so real, it was so sweet, so warm, so deep...

She pulled back from me and said, "let me see my ring." She took my right hand and held it in hers looking at her wedding ring that I now constantly wear.

I asked her "mom, are you sad that you no longer wear this ring? That you're no longer with us?"

With tears of joy streaming down her face she responded, "no, I'm so proud of you and feel blessed you now wear my ring and carry on."

In my dream I told her, "well mom, one day I'm going to put down your ring and join you in heaven." She was nodding her head saying, "when you put the ring down is when we'll see each other again."

I woke up with tears on my cheeks and my pillow damp.

Immediately I praised my Lord for this wonderful dream! What a loving, caring heavenly Father I have! He is worthy of all praise and glory.

I believe this dream is an answer to prayer.

Yesterday was a very tough day for me. Darkness clouded my heart, a shadow swept over my mind and loneliness crept in, cold and ugly.

I picked up the sword of Truth and quoted Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

I fixed my mind on what is true- I'm a child of the most High King, on what is lovely-one day I'll be walking in heaven with my loved ones, and on what is excellent and praiseworthy-my God is a great God and worthy of all praise and honor.

Light pierced my dark mood and peace and joy took it's place.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Traffic and pocket Bibles

Every morning Claudia, my 4 year old has to be at school at 7:30am. She started pre-k which apparently is the new kindergarten. She has homework everyday and is quickly picking up Spanish as that is the language spoken at her school.

We live about 4 minutes away from her school with no traffic. But traffic here in the mornings is HORRIBLE, it takes me 50 minutes round trip. Most of that traffic is standstill. There are so many cars, so many people, so many schools in such a small area. You just have to patiently wait your turn to creep up slowly to the school and then scoot your child quickly out the car door. And be very careful not to hit your side mirrors with other passing cars as you twist and turn your car to fit through too narrow streets, lined with illegally parked cars.

I don't like wasted time, so I take a small New Testament pocket Bible with me and read and pray the Psalms as I sit and inch my car along.

The other day I pulled my pocket Bible out of the glove box and looked at the cover. A picture of Jesus sitting on a mountain side preaching looks back at me. I remember when I got that Bible! My mother took me to a Christian book store and let me pick out whatever I wanted. She loved to buy me Christian reading material, she said it was a good investment.

That day I picked the pocket Bible and took it with me on our Orlando vacation. Early mornings sitting on the balcony I would read, then later share with my mom that great finds I came across.

While sitting in the car the other day reading, it dawned on me that almost every single Bible I own was bought by my mom. All different sizes, covers, translations, and study Bibles.

The loss of my mom has left a gaping hole in my heart. I ache, I miss her, tears don't do justice to the pain. But while looking at that pocket Bible, I realized my mom gave me something that can never be taken away from me, never lost, never die and slowly it's filling up that gaping hole. It's the living Word of God!

Wow! What an investment she made! One that will pay off big time! It's as if she always knew I'd need all those Bibles. While she isn't here to guide me in my adulthood, she gave me something that can!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The wisdom of a child

Javier and I rode in silence down the road. It had been a long day and riding in the dark in silence was a comfort.

A huge plane broke the night sky and flew overhead, heading to the nearby airport.

Claudia excited sings out "oh, look a plane! Look Lorenzo a big, big plane!"

Claudia, ever eager to chat tells Lorenzo "I remember going on a plane to nana and papa's house!"

In the nonchalant way only a child can speak she continues, "But nana's dead now."

Lorenzo picks up on this and chants "Nana's dead, nana's dead, nana's dead."

"Look, Clau-ya!" He says, his two year version of Claudia's name.

"Nana dead like this." He rolls his head back against the cushion of the carseat, eyes closed, jaw slack, mouth open wide.

Claudia ready to impart her wisdom as the older sister, puts her hands up in the air as if to say hold it and with breathless excitement exclaims "oh, oh, oh, I know, I know!" "Lorenzo, Nana is in heaven now! She's not dead. She's in heaven with God and her heart."

For a rare moment everyone in the car is quiet, reflecting...

Something new dawns on Claudia and she asks "Mommy, how did nana get to heaven?"

I sit there trying to quickly come up with the best answer, knowing my atheist husband is also listening. What pressure! In my quick pause, Javier throws in "she took a plane!"

Before I could even think, I head the words coming out of my mouth, "No, Claudia. Jesus came down and took nana up to heaven with Him."

The beauty and truth of that simple statement daily wraps it's arms around me and comforts me.

I look forward to the moment when I share with Claudia in detail how nana went from papa's arms to the arm's of Jesus. That sacred, holy moment when nana let go of this world, of papa's hands and grabbed hold of her Savior's.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

37 years

37 years is a long time. Today, August 14th would have marked 37 years of marriage for my parents.

To say "would have marked" is very hard for me type. I still find it unbelievable she is gone...

Don't you?

Before my mother got really sick she sat my sister and I down and went through her jewelry. While it was incrediable difficult, I'm so glad she thought to do this with us. It means the world to me to know she wanted me to have some of her pieces.

For me, she gave her wedding ring. What an incredible honor. I wear it daily on my right hand, only taking it off at night. My dad let me take it back home with me and I'll be forever grateful.

I'll never forget after I put it on my finger and showed him, he looked at me with such pride and love shinning in his eyes and said "I'm so proud and honored for you to wear it." That meant more to me than I can ever express. I'll never forget the look of love and pride my dad had for me in that moment. I feel sure my mom was looking on in pride at him! In that moment I felt her legacy being passed on to me.

Her wedding ring that I now wear is a symbol of undying love, faithfulness, and commitment. It stands for 37 years of what I pray to be.

It is a constant reminder that love is a commitment. That marriage CAN work! 37 years ago my mother made a vow to love my dad unto death, and boy did she ever! Like wise my dad made a vow to love unto death and I've never seen a person do that like my dad did. He never left my mom or gave up on her. In a time and world where people are giving up like crazy, my dad never failed to love her or be there for her. He was her hero and he lived up to that word in every sense.

When I wear her ever familar ring, I feel like a piece of her is with me. When I soap Claudia's hair, I'm reminded she wore this ring when she soaped my hair as a child. When I make her famous meat balls, I'm reminded she wore this ring when she made meat balls for us. I think of the people this ring has touched while praying for those in need. I think of the hundreds of task she did all while wearing this ring. There's a lot of history, a lot of legacy, a lot to live for and a lot to live up too.

In a hard to describe way I feel her with me, helping me, encouraging me, cheering me on. I don't feel like the same mother or wife anymore. Everything has softened and there is a peace about me. Even those around me have commented saying there is a glow about me, something different.

I close for now saying thank you for support and prayers. I know many haved emailed me or sent cards and I want to say that it means the world and has held me up when I felt like falling down.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

God speaks to a child

Last night I was reading a Children's Bible my mom bought Claudia before she got sick.

We just finished reading My Little Ponny and Claudia picked out her Bible and opened up to the Parable of the Pearl (Matthew 13:45-46.) I was amazed this story was the one she picked and felt it was God speaking to us through his Word. In bold letters the story topic read: Heaven is more wonderful than anything on earth. We should let nothing on earth keep us from heaven. I will thank God for making heaven for me!

The next story she picked was the parable of the net (Matthew 13:47-50.) In bold the topic read: All Christians will go to heaven. Heaven is a wonderful place. I love God. I will go to heaven!

Two stories on the topic of heaven, direct from the Word, written so children can understand and see pictures and from the very Bible my mother picked out for Claudia!

Heaven has been a hot topic for Claudia lately. She's fascinated with it and trying with her little mind to understand.

We talk often how nana is in heaven. Nana had her birthday party in heaven with Jesus (August 2nd) and we pray every night for nana. We pray: "Dear Jesus, Thank you for this day. God bless nana in heaven." We've always prayed for our family each night and after nana died, there was a giant hole in our prayers. How could not pray for nana? God put it into my heart that we can pray for her, for her blessings in heaven with Him!

Claudia's hit me with some hard questions. After the funeral we went to the grave. Julie and the four kids and I walked up to a fresh mound of dirt, with beautiful white roses on top. Tons of flowers surrounded.

Claudia said: "mommy is nana in that dirt?" I swallowed hard and had to say, "yes, honey she is." I'll never forget the look on her face. She couldn't believe her sweet nana was down there. With pouting lips and tears in her eyes she shouted "NO FAIR!"

She's later asked me how can nana be in heaven if she's in that ground? I've explained that nana's heart is in heaven. The part that makes nana who she is, is with God. She asks all the time if we can go there. Last night in her prayers she said: "Dear God, bless nana's heart and please bring her back to us."

These are hard times but God is good through it all! I can already see a major blessing from all this pain. Heaven is now a much talked about subject in our house! That is not a small thing, living with an atheist! Now there is a Holiness, a reverence that even Javier can feel!