Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Wednesday Gratitude #32 at Heart and Home

I am back, in time and even a little early for
 Wednesday Gratitude.

"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us." -Albert Schweitzer

I was touched beyond measure when I finally returned home to my computer and Internet access, and saw  the comments and emails from all of you, my dear Heart and Home friends. My heart is full, thanks to your considerate thoughts and gestures, and my home is brimming with beautiful flowers and thoughtful cards and notes.

Thank you for your uplifting words, your prayers, and your good wishes. I appreciate all of you so much! I am so thankful and grateful for your gracious and gentle spirits, which lifted me up when I was at my lowest, and helped "light the flame" within me as I struggled to maintain my composure during what have surely been the most profound and trying weeks of my life.

I knew it would be sad and painful to say goodbye to my father.

These past few weeks have gone by, the days ticking off slowly, with a million details to attend to.
And now, all of a sudden, it's been almost one month.

 I had heard that a death of a loved one often brings out the worst in some people, and unfortunately, we've found that to be true. Our grief has been compounded by several individuals who have exposed their darkest sides to us during our saddest days.

We have been the targets of reprehensible, threatening, opportunistic and profane behaviour.
Startling and surprising, even shocking, but sadly not unexpected, their actions have made these weeks more heartbreaking.
If I had any enemies, I would not wish this on them. Yet, I know I will get through it, and I'm so grateful for  the help of my husband and my daughters, whose unwavering strength and love are a constant in my life.

And, as always in any days filled with painful emotions, there are moments of grace that shine brightly in my memory.

I am very thankful for this Air Force Honor Guard, which presented our family the United States flag after performing a solemn ceremony honoring my dad's 30 years of service.
"Taps" was played slowly and reverently, each note from the trumpet carried up into the sky by brisk  breezes on a cloudless, perfect Autumn day in October.

I am grateful for the respect they showed my dad, and and for their service to our country, and for their ability to present themselves at their absolute best, for a man and a family they didn't even know.

They are so young and yet so serious, honorable and dutiful.

"Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion. Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude. Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road." -John Henry Jowett

The day of my dad's memorial was filled with moments of love and kindness, and the support of friends who traveled many hours to be with us.

As Daddy's first-born daughter, I have years and years filled with wonderful memories. It will take my remaining lifetime to revisit them all.

I can not explain it very well.
But somehow, knowing you would be here when I returned, made this all a little easier for me.   Thank you so much for your friendship and support, and for your empathy and patience as I ease my way slowly into a regular routine again.

"No love, no friendship, can cross the path of our destiny without leaving some mark on it forever."
- Francois Mocuriac
Until next time,

As always, link up if you have a gratitude post to share! Due to my slowed pace right now, and my state of mind (!) I will leave the link open for one week this time. Thanks for joining Wednesday Gratitude!


Blondie's Journal said...

This is a very heartfelt post and one that must have been very difficult for you, Heidi. I am so sorry that you have lost your father and my prayers go out to you and your family. And it is a shame that these things can bring out the worst in some people. I hope you are able to get through it okay. In the meantime, you will be in my thoughts.


Claudia said...

Heidi, I am glad to see you back,but so sorry for what you've been through. I know you are mourning your father and the fact that you had to deal with such terrible behavior makes me so sad for you. I hope there is some light and love in your life right now.


Rose H (UK) said...

It's good to see you back.
I'm glad for you and your family that so much respect was shown for your Dad. It's very sad that some folk's behaviour makes a sad situation worse - I'm sure that in years to come justice will be served. In the meantime you and your family still have many precious memories which cannot be taken from you, and while you have these memories a piece of your loved one is forever with you in your heart.

Sincere best wishes
Rose H

deb said...

Heidi, I didn't comment when you posted about your dad's death and I'm not sure I've commented before, altho I've followed you for quite a while. I didn't comment before because I was dealing with issues with my mother. She died last nite (a blessing with her condition) and already, a toxic family member has reared his ugly head. I've decided, on advise of a dear friend, to "divorce" him. He's certainly not my husband, who is wonderful, but maybe a "divorce" isn't such a bad word for what needs to be done with toxic family members. I hope each day is easier for you. Take care.

Sue said...

I have thought of you often. My mom has now been gone 5 months and all I can tell you is that the time does pass and there are days when it is almost okay and other times when the tears start for no obvious reason. Somehow, you just get up each morning. I am also the oldest and there is a certain feeling of having to "take care of everyone else" that goes with that even if no one asks you to.

I am so sorry that you are seeing the dark side of some people. I didn't have that to deal with. I did however find that my friends in Blogland were wonderful, supportive and kind. I'm glad that they have been there for you as well.


Glenda/MidSouth said...

((((Hugs)))) So Sorry you had to deal with the dark side of some individuals.
Take care of yourself.

michelle said...

It is good to "see" you again. I am so sorry again for you loss and so sorry that you had to deal with individuals that made it more difficult. I hope that you can begin to heal and revisit the good memories of you and your father. Hugs to you!

Jane said...

I know this has been a difficult time, but it is so wonderful, a real blessing, to have you back for Wednesday Gratitude this week. Perhaps reading everyone's posts focused on thankfulness will help to lift your spirits and bring you a measure of Peace. God bless you and hold you close!


Jemsmom said...

Oh my friend! I am so glad to see you back, but so sad that you have had to go through this. Losing a parent is never easy. I was only 26 when I lost my mom. My heart has gone out to you right along with all the love and prayers I could send. What an honor for you and your family to have the Honor Guard there. That is such a respectful and moving tribute to someone who was obviously a wonderful man (I mean, he raised YOU didn't he?!?). I am so thankful that you had your husband and daughters there with you. They will never know how much it means. I know how much it meant to me to have my husband by my side. So glad they were there for you.

As for the people who have made poor choices. As my dad always says, "What goes around, comes around." I have always found this to be so true. You keep your head high and know that you are doing the right thing and that what goes around will come around to them.

Still sending prayers your way and so happy to see you back!

Gypsy Heart said...

You've been in my heart and on my mind all this time. I didn't have your mailing address, however, I hope that you felt the love and prayers surrounding you and your family during this difficult time.
There really are no words that are adequate...I just am so sorry for your loss and also that you had to endure the negatives some people chose to bestow upon you.

Grief is different for each of us. Please don't expect too much from yourself. Sometimes you will feel you're in a really good place and then perhaps the sadness will occur. It's ok to allow your feelings and the tears ~ a release is very healing. Be gentle with yourself my friend. Losing a parent leaves a huge void in our lives and it takes time to process the loss. My dad passed away suddenly in '83, my step-dad eons before that and my mother in '03. If there's ever anything I can do, please feel free to just yell at me, ok? :-)


Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Heidi, so glad you are back. Sorry that bad behavior and negative things had to take place during this sad time in your life. I hope that things get easier and better from here on.

cindy said...

So very sorry to hear of your father's passing. And really feeling badly that you had to deal with unkind people at such a time. :(

I hope as you begin to remember the happy moments, your grief will lessen some.


Karen said...

Have been wondering how you are doing, Heidi. I'm so glad you've gotten thru those trying weeks. Don't be too hard on yourself, let yourself grieve all you need to. Grief can rear its head at the most surprising moments.
Praying that you and your family feel the everlasting arms of God surrounding you. blessings on your day! *hugs*karen

Allison said...

Heidi - I've thought of you often over the last several weeks. I am so sorry you are going through this difficult time. The service for your father sounded lovely and very meaningful. I lost my mom recently and know it is tough. Be gentle and patient with yourself and cherish all of your wonderful memories. Surround yourself with the love of your family and friends. Take good care of yourself. Thinking of you.

Pinky said...

Heidi, I am so sorry that you had to experience the negativity of some at this very sad time. I ahve lost both of my parents and no one really knows what it is like until you go through it. There are days that the littlest, silly thing will set me off with the tears and other days are fine. Grief is a very personal thing, do whatever YOU need to do. We all are happy you are back and will keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers. XO, Pinky

Pinky said...

Heidi, I am so sorry that you had to experience the negativity of some at this very sad time. I ahve lost both of my parents and no one really knows what it is like until you go through it. There are days that the littlest, silly thing will set me off with the tears and other days are fine. Grief is a very personal thing, do whatever YOU need to do. We all are happy you are back and will keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers. XO, Pinky

Apron Senorita said...

Here in prayer and in thought. May your journey bring courage, tears, healing, and peace.


RedBettySummer said...

It is so nice to hear your fond memories of your dad. I have a great relationship with my dad and I know I am going to be sad when he passes, and grateful of all the great memories of him. Thank you for sharing her today.

Create With Joy said...

Dear Heidi,

This is my first visit to your blog and I have signed up to follow you. I am so sorry for your loss. I hope that my Gratitude post (3) will be a source of strength and comfort to you during this difficult time.


Anonymous said...

So glad you're back! Wednesday Gratitude is a very special event.

Brenda Pruitt said...

I never knew my father, but I can tell how very painful this has been for you. The photos are gorgeous, by the way. I don't know why these things happen, where people put their butts forward instead of their handshake. But we have to realize there are just people like that out there and go on. It's hard, I know. Hugs from Texas!

gena said...

Welcome home, my friend. I was so glad to see you here today ! Losing someone you love is not easy and the pain never goes away really, you just learn to live with it. I remember when I lost my Papa, that I thought how I never, ever wanted to forget how much it hurt, because I was so scared I'd forget how much I loved. But, you know what ? The hurt faded and the love grew. I wish for you the same peace.

many hugs from jersey,

Sonia said...

Dear Heidi,
I identified with so many things in your post..I lost my Dad who was also in the Air Force and we had an honor guard with the gun salute..the emotions are hard to put into words and I know you understand this all too well. I was also the oldest daughter and it's been almost 10 years and I miss him so much everyday...the sting is a little more dull now..but there are days that a flood of emotions just pour. I am praying for you that each day you are comforted more and that you gain strength from the wonderful memories and life you shared with your precious father. Dwell on those beautiful moments!

Cindy Adkins said...

Dear Heidi,
I read about you on Yoli's blog and just wanted to come over and extend my heartfelt condolences on the loss of your father...What a beautiful tribute you have given him and I pray that you will get through this difficult time with help from the Lord and your dear friends.
With love and blessings,

cjvierow said...

Heidi--glad to see you've returned, sad to hear you've had to deal with hurtful people. I've allowed those types to become "invisible"--so far it's worked quite well. Be gentle with yourself and those you love--it's been 14 months for me and there are times it seems only yesterday. I've not stopped missing my Mom, but it becomes more bearable with each passing day. You all continue to be in my thoughts and prayers each day. CJ

Dena E's Blog said...

Hey Sweetie,,,hope you're well,, safe and HappY...
As you trust in Him~~~
May the light of our Savior Jesus Christ continue to shine through you Sweetie!!!
Hugs Dena