It’s been a long week at the piece of land we call Shady Acres. Daniel has continued to do very well, with lots of people in and out to either visit or check on and assist his progress. Daniel’s wife has had a week of unrelenting “backwards-going” things, and some of the little things make me laugh because there is nothing else to do. Like being almost late for a dentist appointment, and having an SUV pull onto my lane from the side of the road, acting like he never saw me at all, causing me to have to brake so that I didn’t hit him, and then going 48 mph all the way from Milford to Greenwood and Route 13. Or picking up an order at McDonalds and having the gal at the window say, “Sorry. There is no ice. As in we don’t have any. At all.” or the pharmacist saying about a prescription for Daniel’s Pain meds, “I’m sorry. I don’t have it. I will have to call the doctor and see if I can get a different strength, but I don’t know if I can get it today.” When Daniel was OUT. (Those were the small things.)
One of the biggest things has been this numb face of mine. I finally called my good doctor and asked to come back in. The result is another two weeks of serious meds, and an appointment next week with a neurologist. Dr. Wilson has pretty much decided that it isn’t internal shingles (relieved). He doesn’t think it is a brain tumor (comforting). And he seems confident that it isn’t Bell’s Palsy. He seems to think it is a deep seated, chronic sinus infection that has affected a nerve. I don’t have a strong opinion about it, but it seems like it is somehow connected with the sinus cavity or something dental. I’m getting tired of it, I do know that. Because it was noted that it could have something to do with stress, I’ve been mentally calling upon myself to smile whenever I find it troublesome, or to sing lots of songs when the smile just doesn’t cut it.
Maybe it is the songs I’ve chosen to sing. Maybe it is just the mood I’m in. Maybe it is all the funerals in our lives recently, but I am so incredibly homesick for the people I love who have gone home to Heaven. It seems like forever since I’ve seen my Daddy’s face and heard his voice, felt his hug. I have a dear uncle who has been scanning old pictures onto our Wert family google group, and my Daddy and Sweet Mama are on so many of them. I search that face of my Daddy to see the man that I remember, and it seems almost as if it is a sweet, sweet dream that he was here, living and breathing, loving us, praying for us, doing all he could to encourage and help us. I can sometimes forget that if he had lived, he wouldn’t be young and vibrant, and that the memories we have are better than they would have been if he had lingered and suffered.
When I let myself dwell on the “If only’s” it feels to me that I am somehow grasping for an eternity here instead of remembering that “here, we have no abiding city.” I don’t ever want to let go of a conscious awareness of the “forever part” of who I am, and the life hereafter. But sometimes, in the rush and bustle of the day and the acute missing of those voices and faces so familiar, they feel so gone. So forever gone. I know they are in Heaven. I’ve never been more confident of that than I am today, but where is Heaven? I’m trusting Jesus to take me there, but if it is a real place, with real people, then somewhere, in this galaxy or the one next over, there is a place, a real place and they are there. How does this translate into hope? I am glad for them — there, together, and forever with the Lord, but I also want this to translate into something real for me, here, left behind, and yet to make that journey.
This is a good day to remember something that came over our Wert Family google group in early April.
That journey. At the passing of my Uncle Harold a few weeks back, there was something shared on our Wert family google group that gave me cause to consider.
My Sweet Mama’s youngest borther, Uncle Lloyd posted:
Our cousin Nelson Wert, the retired Veterinarian who sold his Montana ranch and built a new home near Raystown Lake, wrote about death and his near death experience as a result of the cousins discussion of Harold’s passing.
–(This was in response to a former letter) I just had to say “Amen” to your last sentence concerning facing our own mortality (“Let us encounter it with courage, grace , hope and trust”), but may I take the liberty of adding one more word…and JOY! and that word comes solely from my near death experience which I shared with some of you. The approach to Heaven is such a warm wonderful JOYOUS experience that every ounce of energy of your soul strains to run, to push, to struggle to get in as quickly as possible. The JOY I experienced was indescribable, but an arm around my chest held me from going futher, and a voice simply said, “Look, But it is not yet your time. There is work for you to do.” I guess there was work for an old rancher to do because it was after that experience that I felt called to start Trailhead Church. But that experience changed me dramatically in how I will face my mortality and also the passing of dear friends and family members. When I see the passing of friends, I envision the JOY they experience as they approach that wonderful indescribable scene. Yes, I mourn, but I probably view the passing of friends in a manner that may be difficult for those who could not see or share my experience. To all who love the Lord, you have no idea of the JOY you shall experience. You won’t even think about lying on your back, rubbing your stomach, and singing the Doxology! Didn’t mean for this to be a “sermon” of any kind, just have to share that the journey of our loved ones will be of indescribable JOY. Do you hear them singing now? Love you all, Nelson (Wert)
Isn’t that some perspective?
Lord Jesus, grant that I would remember the JOY. May I believe that it is a good time to remember eternity and the fleeting nature of our earthly disappointments, concerns and anxieties. It will be worth it. Forever with you. That is worth everything. May I not forget. May I not forget. May I NEVER forget.