Saturday, October 26, 2013

Moving Forward

As I woke this morning, thoughts flooded my mind with the force of a tsunami. My brain seemed to be going through an exercise in free association with phrases and sentences coming at me from everywhere. I wondered if some kind of dam had broken inside me and this was my mind’s way of releasing the grief. Was it part of the healing process? I had prayed that the grief cycle would not take five years with Paul as it did with the loss of my first husband, Bob, thirteen years ago. Could the Lord be answering my prayer and speeding things up? I hope so.

Yesterday, I was pretty stern with myself when the denial came rushing in again. Accept it, Laura. He’s not coming back. And even if he could, why would he? He has seen the face of Jesus and experienced heaven. Would I? Of course not! And so I resolved once again to take one day at a time and move in the right direction - forward.

My sweet little cat, Callie Marie, is finally beginning to return to normal. How it pained me the first night after I returned home following  the service in Louisville when I watched her searching for him. She walked from one side of the bed to the other, trying to find him.  She sniffed between the mattress and headboard. She made the journey repeatedly across the area rug on his side of the bed,  trying to detect his scent. My heart wanted to break for both of us.

On the last few mornings, Callie has returned to being excited about her Fancy Feast ® and once more she is putting her tail in the air when she walks, demonstrating that she is adjusting and feels better. Callie is processing her loss – and so must I - particularly with the official release of my newest children's book, Catie’s Secret, on November 5.

I am convinced I must do what is necessary for the successful launch of my book, in spite of this sad and unwelcome event in my life. Paul was my most enthusiastic cheerleader and often would tell me how proud he was to be “married to an author".  I know he would encourage me to move on with my books and I can almost hear him cheering me on from the halls of heaven.
So I will move forward with God's help and continue to pray that this time I will pass through grief faster than before. After all, there are children waiting for more God’s Secret Garden Adventures.  

            ©2013 Laura Allen Nonemaker    All rights reserved

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Watercolor Memories

Yesterday, Joey, our lawn guy, dug a hole and planted the gardenia bush the family sent to honor Paul’s memory. There are some blooms on it already and, combined with the jasmine growing nearby, it distributes a heavenly scent along one end of the lanai.  

Later on, I puttered in the garden, attempting with all my mind and all my senses to pull memories of Paul close to me. Somehow, although I knew there was beauty and color all around me, everything seemed pale and incomplete without Paul to share it. It reminded me of an unfinished watercolor painting that the artist has set on a shelf and never returned to finish. One has to strain to visualize how the finished painting would have looked.

Paul used to love to watch me deadheading, pruning, and weeding among the flowers and shrubs. “You belong in a garden,” he would say. I would agree.  I began gardening, after a fashion, when I was two years old. That is when my daddy marked off a small plot just for me in the flower garden that bordered our front lawn. Daddy used to love to tell the story of how I would discover snails on the undersides of the leaves and quickly pop them in my mouth before he could stop me. Fortunately, I eventually learned not to eat the snails and developed a love of gardening that has endured to this day.

I imagine one day I will see my garden in full color again, as it was when Paul was around to share the experience. For now, I reach out and pull the memories close, sensing his presence with me.

                              ©2013 Laura Allen Nonemaker All Rights Reserved

Thursday, October 3, 2013

High Flight

     My dear Paul went home to be with the Lord on Monday, September 16, 2013 during a flight from Johannesburg, South Africa to the U.S. We were returning from a 12-day mission trip with a group of 19 other short-term missionaries.
     During the past two weeks, I have begun the painful process of learning to live without my devoted husband, lover, best friend, companion, and fellow-adventurer. In addition, Paul has been a most enthusiastic cheerleader of my writing efforts.
     Someone mentioned that I should share this sad event on Facebook, particularly for those who may want to know about Paul’s passing. I know we are living in a digital world and “everything” gets out on the internet, but how could I share in such a public way this personally painful event that has changed my life forever.
     Last night, during a particularly fitful, sleepless night, it came to me that God ordained me to be a writer. That is what I do. That is what I need to do, not just for my own need for expression, but also to pass on my thoughts, ideas, and experiences in order possibly to make a difference in someone else’s life.
     That is why I have decided to use my blog, “Digging in God’s Garden,” to initiate some of my memories and musings and funnel them through my Facebook page. It will be a sort of catharsis for me and, goodness knows, I need to get back to blogging with the official launch of Catie’s Secret coming up in November.
     The following poem will, I hope, set the tone for what I share here in the days to come. It is symbolic of the enthusiastic and adventurous way Paul, who was a pilot for most of his life, lived his earthly life and embraced eternal life.

                                                                        High Flight

                                       “Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
                                    And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; 
                     Sunward I’ve climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds -
                                  and done a thousand things you have not dreamed of -
                                  wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence.
                                     Hovering there, I’ve chased the shouting wind along
                                     and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air.
                                             Up, up the long delirious burning blue
                                     I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
                                              where never lark, or even eagle, flew;
                                         And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
                                           The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
                                       put out my hand and touched the face of God.”

                                                                             John Gillespie Magee, Jr.