Friday, November 11, 2011

Heaven Called

Well, it’s been quite some time since I’ve posted on my blog; almost a month in fact. Many life-changing shenanigans have happened since I posted last. I’ve been busy going here and there and unable to breathe. Breathing = writing for me. Although I like to breathe it seemed every time I’d try I’d just stare at the page unable to put my feelings into words. It was strange because I knew what I wanted to say and could have probably said it beautifully (and humbly of course) but, I just felt as though I wasn’t ready to let people hear me. I wasn’t even ready for me to hear me even though I knew what it was I had to say.

You see, if I write something it clarifies it. My writing for me is a headstone and writing in stone basically illuminates the fact that this or that in my life has occurred - it can’t be undone. Usually when I write it’s like, “okay… time to face the music here Brand…” It’s my way of grieving, celebrating, sharing, questioning and just plain venting. I truly feel like writing is a gift to myself and helps my ability to function properly. It helps ME whether my writing is sloppy, unreadable, or lacking punctuation in the correct places. Freedom!

I don’t know how many of you watch Oprah’s Lifeclass on OWN but it’s flippin’ inspirational! She has several different “themes” you could say on episodes she has done.  She goes back and tells us what she’s learned and what we can take from it also. So far I’ve only watched Dr. Phil’s best marriage advice, you become what you believe and overcoming the worst day of your life. I feel those 3 episodes are enough to get me through my entire my life. What if Oprah covers even an eighth of her 4,561 episodes she’s done during her career? I’ll be dvr’ing my parent’s out of their house and writing a book the size of China! J

During the best marriage advice episode I had to giggle to myself a little because this couple they interviewed were engaged and could not see how awful of a match they were. They made pro and con lists and the cons heavily outweighed the pro’s by longer than a long shot. Isn’t it crazy how often people settle because they’ve just been together so long or because they have “potential” as a couple. I loved when Oprah jumped up when Dr. Phil asked if they think they should get married and goes, “YOU SHOULD NOT BE GETTING MARRIED!” The moral of the story: Don’t settle, ever!

During the next dvr’d episode I watched - you become what you believe. Isn’t just the title inspirational? You are who you believe you are and only YOU can let someone make you think you’re less of a person. You’re in control of that! No one can make you inferior. Isn’t it kind of a simple, yet amazing concept? It’s a constant battle in your mind to choose right vs. wrong, willpower vs. giving up, etc. You truly can do anything you put your mind to and no one can belittle you unless you let them.

Lastly, the tear jerker – the worst day of your life.  Why am I so infatuated with the dark side of life sometimes? The lady interviewed on this episode went for a morning jog and when she got home she had found her ex-husband had killed all four of her children and himself in her home. The screams on the 911 call were the most horrendous screams I’d ever heard. I was balling like a 2nd grader who was given a sticker that said, “dog breath” by the cutest boy in school. (I swear that never happened to meJ)

The 1st interview with the mother of these children was very somber and you could honestly tell anything anyone said was through one ear and out the other. The “no one understands” glazed over eyes, the trembling chin and the stiff way she sat on that oh-so-comfy looking couch kind of look.  It was painful for me to just sit, watch and wonder what her day-to-day routine was. How miserable it must be to have everyone you love the most taken from you on just an ordinary day. How there’s no one in the world who knew your pain. How awful!

The 2nd interview Oprah had with the same lady a year or so later from the first interview. This time Oprah had asked another gal who had been in a similar situation to appear on her show also. This gal with the similar experience had found her ex husband had shot their 3 boys on his weekend to visit but she eventually remarried and had 2 more kids and was living a semi-normal life. The lady who was on Oprah for a 2nd time was still pretty somber and replied to her story, “That’s great but I can’t move on. I can’t have kids. I won’t be married again.” She had the same grave shield surrounding her. It was sad that it had been 3 and a half years and she was still in the same sadness she was the day they died. She still lived in the same house with all of their belongings. Ugh, depressing.

The 3rd interview she finally smiled! Since the last time she’d appeared on television she had remarried and was blessed with twins! She was unable to have children but miraculously was blessed with two! How unbelievable! I was shocked and so happy for her that she was able to trudge through the long dark haze and find a new start to life. It was so hard for her to find her purpose in life after her family was murdered and now she can finally say she knows she had a new purpose. This why she is such a role model, a true inspiration to keep living when things get tough! (Random ponder: why do we look up to stupid celebrities when it’s people like this who make a hero!?)

Speaking of miracles, Matthew and I have encountered some crazy happenings that even I don’t understand. Perhaps I’m the only one “wowing” over these tidbits because when I hear wonder’s like this I roll my eyes. When I see books written that say, “5 minutes in Hell” or “The Kitten Survived Getting Hit by an 18-wheeler” – you know those stories? I’m think to myself, “yeah, okay!” So why would “Heaven Calling” be any different? At least I like to think of it as Heaven calling.

Before I continue with “Heaven Calling” I’ll begin with my story about a day I “wasn’t feeling good.” Actually, the sun was shining a blasted cheerful yellow and birds were chirping like motherfuckers. I just wasn’t feeling it that day. I called in sick and decided to mope around the house crying. It was probably 4 months after Thomas had passed so it was mid-June and functioning was still hard. I hadn’t been to visit his grave yet and thought maybe visiting would give me some sort of something. A feeling of closure? Okay-ness? I’m not really sure what I was looking for but I grabbed my sad song CD’s and headed to the Crocker hills.

I got there and I was pleasantly surprised by how peaceful it really was. I know it’s a graveyard but really it was very serene and calm. I just sat down for awhile and just enjoyed the breeze and reminisced about the last time talking with him. I recalled our late night chat about God a few months prior and that made my heart feel warm. It helped me reassure he was with Him and gave me real hope I’d see him again. Over the last months I’d been struggling a bit with my faith. The “why’s and if’s” believing in a higher power can often bring after death of someone so treasure. “If God was so powerful this, if he was so great that..” etc.

Well, after about an hour of thinking I left tearless – just like at the funeral. I got in my car and no more than 5 minutes later was I crying so hard I could barely blink fast enough to get the cloud of tear fog off my contacts. I was angry again with God and what had happened. I was sad because my heart hurt so much. I was mad I couldn’t cry when I wasn’t trying to freakin’ drive. I made it most of the way back paying attention as best as I could through my tirade. I said as best as I could.

I was almost to my destination right around Lunker’s which is about 5 miles out from the town I was headed for. I was following an abnormally clean, maroon Toyota prius. The dumb teenagers driving the car in front of them had turned abruptly right into the Lunker’s parking lot and the prius slammed on their brakes and I slammed into the prius. I was going about 40 miles an hour and all I heard was a huge CRACK and pieces falling all over. “Shit!” I thought. This was like my 5th accident in 2 years and my mom and dad were going to kill me after they told me they were glad I was okay. I’ve had to have my bumper replaced 3 times since 2009.

I slowed down and quickly pulled over behind the prius and watched as the driver shuffled through her purse. She was making a phone call and I just rested my head on the steering wheel to try to delay seeing the damage I’d done. I tend to play my parents’ and even Matt’s reaction when I get in accidents. They are elated I’m okay and then get pissed and lecture about how I’m such a reckless driver. After what seemed like a few minutes I looked up to wipe the mascara stains from my face and head out to meet the girl I’d just hit going 40 mph.

This is exactly about the time it’d be nice to have a camera crew following me around. The expressions on our faces had to be priceless. “What the f***!?” the girl exclaimed.

“I have no idea…” I replied.

We looked back and forth to the front of my Hyundai to the back of her Toyota. Not even a scratch – a bloody scratch! I hit her going around 40 mph!!!! We were both just standing there in awe. “What the hell…” was being said over and over. She turned to me and said, “I just got off the phone with my insurance guy to make sure I was still covered because I had heard a big shatter.”

 I nodded my head, “I know.. I thought for sure my front end was all over the road.” She asked if I was okay because she could see I had been crying. I lied and told her I was fine and after about 7 minutes of wondrous chatter we both decided that this accident was flippin’ crazy and to be on our jolly ways. We drove away a little more than a lot relieved I think. I just kept thinking to myself, “Was this God? Was this Thomas? Was this just a crazy coincidence of science?” I mean going 40 mph and not shattering my plastic front end is very unusual. I’ve hit an icy snow bank going around 10 and it completely cracked.

I still really don’t understand and it’s probably more, “what the hell!” for me because I was in that situation and saw it for my own eyes. I do like to think that it was God’s and Thomas’ way of showing me that everything was going to be okay and that God is in control. Maybe He was letting me know He's there for me to lean on and He didn't just throw me to the wolves to live out this heartache alone. That He is all powerful and sometimes the smallest things we don’t even realize are miracles (babies, most animals in baby form, missing our alarm clock, being snowed in, etc.). That God can stop anything and everything. I was questioning a lot as to why He wouldn’t stop war, heartache, etc. but I realized then that He gives everyone the choice of free will. We have choices and even though we’re not in full control of our fate we make decisions that affect our destiny. Does that make sense?

I was struggling a lot with God letting Thomas wander so far from home and in negative degree weather wearing nothing but a t-shirt and jeans. After my car incident though, I realized that God gives us choices and if He didn’t, we’d resent Him. I had to accept what had happened and put my faith in the Lord. It’s sometimes hard to remember that even though God knows our fate He always gives us the ability to make the choices about the path we choose. This showed me that He is out there in this big ol’ world and even when He seems far away He lives closer than we know. 

It felt good to feel near to Thomas and God after what had been a miserable morning. It always feels good to feel close even if it’s hearing songs that remind you of your loved ones or finding an old shirt of theirs in the boxes you’ve been unpacking after a move. For me those things help get me through. I smile inside every time I try to shut the door to go upstairs because tearing apart the wall behind the stairs was the project Thomas and I had done together. We had let dry wall slip into the slider thing the door is on and couldn’t quite get it all vacuumed up. How tough it is to shut the door because of the broken wall dust reminds me of how lucky we were to have that moment to work on Me and Matthew’s new house laughing our asses off about our “oops” moment.

I wish I could explain how refreshing it is to feel close to someone you won’t see physically again! It’s just an unexplainable emotion that leaves you skipping for sparkly green meadows. The lakes are chocolate and the rainbows are slides. It’s a great feeling obviously! And I think Thomas knew feeling close to him was what Matt needed a couple days ago.

Two days ago Matt was having an awful, awful day at work and in general I suppose. We were kind of bickering and he was tired from lack of sleep. He wakes up at 6 and now that trapping has started he doesn’t get home until around 9 and when he gets home he still has to skin those darn ‘rats. Anyways, some kids at work were annoying the shit out of him (for lack of a better phrase) and he was basically at his wit’s end with about everything.

I wish I could write exactly how I knew he felt but it’s hard for me to do so when you never know what another person is feeling. Especially when I didn’t encounter what was going on at work or I wasn’t the one skinning muskrats all damn night. I do know that Matt feels somewhat lonely in the male-friend aspect of life. I can shoot a gun and I’ll go trapping but I’m not really a guy so some things I don’t understand…at all. I think everyone needs girl time and guy time and his guy time has become very minimal since Thomas’ passing.

At 4:39 on November 9th, Matt was doing an oil change at work. He heard his phone ringing Thomas’ ringer in his pocket and immediately dropped what he was doing to pick up. No one was there obviously. Matt tried calling Thomas’ number back and it went directly to the operator stating this number has been disconnected. Thomas’ number was calling again. There was still no answer. He texted me what was going on and I immediately thought 1) my fiancé was crazy and 2) escaped to the bathroom and tried calling it several times. It went to the same disconnected message.

I got home and I immediately made him show me the missed calls so I could see for my own eyes! Again I was thinking, “Is this God? Is this Thomas? Did the phone company give away our friend’s number?! If they did give it away why would it be disconnected? If they did give it away how would they know Matt’s number? Unless Matt’s been calling or texting it?” I asked Matt if he’s been calling or texting his number lately and he said he hadn’t called since the week of his death.

 (Here’s a picture so you don’t think we’re nutso! Sorry the picture will NOT rotate no matter how many times I save it on my desktop vertically. It wants to be this way on blogger so I’m not going to fight it anymore! PS: You look sexy with your head turned that way.)

Of course this had me thinking so the next day I called the number again. This time a friendly gal named Bobbi picked up. I was kind of taken off guard and so I was fumbling for my words trying to find out more about how long she’s had this number and if she’s been calling Matt’s phone without sounding like a total creep. She was very polite and stated she had no idea what I was talking about calling (insert my fiancé’s number here) and that she’s had this number for awhile. So I settled for that and we hung up.

I was more puzzled than I was the day before. I couldn’t justify the missed calls but all I knew was it felt good for both of us and it was the little boost Matt and I needed. Things like that bring you down from your cloud of stress from school, work, money or whatever it is you’re going through and reminds you that it’s the people in your life that are important. So maybe we’ll never know how  and there maybe just isn't an explanation. I have found most times in life there isn’t explanations for why or how things happen. I just like to think of these events as Heaven Calling and am gonna leave it at that. 

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