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Author Archives: Healing Eyes

Saying Goodbye…for now

I cry…
I smile…
I worry ..

About the kids I’m saying good bye to for a month and half.

Thursday we made Christmas cards that I pulled together last minute. Trying to think of a fun craft that was more than coloring a print off. I wanted the girls to be creative and get gluey fingers haha.
I was running between desks cutting pipe cleaners, punching holes, and flying cotton for snow.

Does this all make a difference? Really?

My favorite girl that reminds me of me was sassy and also loving during class. She came because I told her mom I had a special treat. The French truffles for her to experience. She at first turned her nose up but then she came around and loved it. She is sooo like me lol.

Before class she pulled me aside and asked if I would taker her out after class one more time before I left. She said it was out last chance before I flew out. Normally she doesn’t like goodbyes but this time she was facing it head on by trying to squeak out more time with me.

I gave in of course.

I picked her up in the projects at night. And contrary to beliefs there was no gunfire or drugs, that I could see, when I drove in with my jeep. I did stick out though and a couple guys peered at me but didn’t do anything.

We want to see a movie and she brought her little cousin with. He annoyed her by talking too much. I need to work on her temper.
When I dropped her off I begged for a hug goodbye and she gladly gave me one. Normally she doesn’t do goodbyes. This time she did …

I cry..
I smile…
I wait..

For what’s next.
Africa?
Non profit ?
How will it all come together ?

I am so uncomfortable not having control!!!!

Yet all I can think of is a sassy, stubborn, little girl who might be missing me.

Healing Eyes

Chocolate from France oh lala

Forgive me readers but today I am a bit under the weather. Since Monday not much has happened and not many kids have been coming to the Lighthouse for after school. Bit disappointing since I have an amazing treat to share with them from France. A couple of the girls got to taste a bit yesterday but the one girl I really want to give the candy to hasn’t shown up yet. Hopeful she comes tomorrow, the last day of class before Christmas break.

The treat is chocolate truffles straight from Strasbourg France. I asked an old colleague/friend to mail some from my favorite chocolate store since one of my girls didn’t know what a Truffle was. As you can see they really liked them!

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Healing Eyes

Christmas Party at Lighthouse Missions

Healing Eyes

An Anniversary of Life

The heart breaks again today…the anniversary of a death. The one moment in life where everything stood still amidst the crumbling walls around me. December 15th was the longest day of my life a moment I will forever ask Why. We seem to cling to ‘anniversaries’ of time and yet time is fleeting. It’s been a year and today the sky cries with me. The dark clouds are coming in from the east and shedding silent tears overhead… Tears are meaningful and yet we hide them to help others arounds suffer less. No more will I hide the tears, today is a day of transparency. The mountains are shrouded in darkness and yet the sun is awaiting its turn…patiently waiting to shine again. We grieve loss but we don’t die ourselves. We trudge on through the gloom because there is hope that one day we will meet again…

Some of my readers found this blog when it was called SarahAndyAdoption…Some of you when it became SarahAndyCancer…and now it is called HealingEyes. It started with hope of a ‘new life‘, interrupted by ‘reality‘, and now it is again about ‘Hope for a New Life‘.

Andy you left at 10:03pm on December 15, 2013…but the story continues.
You never left a legacy behind in the shape of a child but you have left a legacy behind of a transformed life.
Even in your last minutes you relented and found peace with God… and me.

Now a new life begins and never fear Andy I am not alone. I have been surrounded by children…a life we never could have…you would be amazed to see who I am today. Tomorrow may come without you and though I may shed wild tears for you I know you are smiling down at me as a child wraps their arms around my waist and says I missed you Miss Sarah. Perhaps its a bit of you left behind to comfort me.

Hug

Healing Eyes

Filling up fast

Fighting the genera feel of ‘ick’ today. But when I see others taking notice of what I am trying to do with the non-profit it makes me smiles. Raises my spirits a little bit.

Yesterday I picked up my first donation from a mother down in the projects. Awesome lady who just spoke Spanish but we managed. She had a huge box of clothes to donate for the Africa Mission Trip. So now I almost have my entire container full, which makes we worried a bit if I get anymore donations while on the island, since I only have 1 free checked bag. If anyone wants to donate for the Africa trip I can purchase items in Michigan with help from others. Out of Chicago I can check 2 bags for free! Contact me to help. I also still need help financially for the trip if that’s an option for anyone.  and PRAY I don’t get sick during travel this time.

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My packing has begun to downsize a bit in order to spare the other container I used to move down here. Which means I now have to get my belongings into just one container before I leave island for a month. It’s good to not have a lot of ‘stuff’. Which makes Christmas time a bit harder this year because I don’t really want anything physical. What would be great is to see more supporters join in this story, help finding a CPA or bookkeeper for the non-profit, and more prayer for the coming months of unknowns. Donations for the kids on St. Croix would be awesome for when I return in February too. I don’t know how this Africa trip in January will shed light on next steps but I hope it leads me to where I am to go next and how to pull this crazy faith walk off.

Serve others and live simply. Cute Video I took at Lighthouse Missions with one of the Girls.

Healing Eyes

Patience can pay off

What if you had no voice?
What would you do?

What if you had a voice but no one heard you?
What would you do?

What if you were too scared to talk?
How would you cope?

There is a little girl who started this year who won’t talk. When she does it’s barely a whisper and a squeak. Yesterday was so cute though since she squeaked a lot. She really likes making rubber band bracelets but is sad when she can’t keep the one she makes, I almost want to break the rule and let her so she smiles. At the end of class on this day I was hurrying to finish the last polar bear snowmen when I was asked to go over to her class and see why she wouldn’t leave with the other kids. She was sitting politely at her little table all alone with her head hung low. I kneeled down and asked what was wrong and she squeaked madly and pointed at her pages and pages of homework not completed. I patiently tried to calm her down and began working on the math problems with her. I got her to say the numbers as we added them! In between squeaks of course. Each day she gets bolder…it won’t be long before she talks all the time. Sometimes we just need patience and perseverance to be heard.

Healing Eyes

To that ONE widow

Widows you may not realize this but you are stronger than you think. There will be those dark nights and dark early mornings where you feel all is lost. Your heart will physically ache and you will clutch your heart and ask why keep going. The tears will just start flowing and you’ll look up to the ceiling and memories will flood in…you used to have someone next to you to hold you when you cried. Your mind will turn dark and you may think of doing something thinking it will end that pain. It’s going to be ok though. Just OK though ha. If you are facing a milestone in your grief soon, 6 months, 1 year, 5 year marker, whatever number it is…you have strength inside you didn’t even know was there.  This morning I made myself get up and jog (this is a milestone in itself as when your depressed you do not run) after getting an amazing email from a friend. It was as if in my darkest hour at around 3am God decided to throw me a hand and remind me ‘everything is under control’. Just like earlier with my Jeep and the out of the blue donation to fix it.

It’s in those darkest hours where you find helpstrength you never knew was there. Now even if you don’t believe the God thing and all that religious stuff there is SOMETHING in you that is keeping you alive. There is a widow story in the bible about being persistent and asking over and over for something and eventually the person will give in to the widow. Maybe it is not JUST about the NEED the widow has but it is showing the underlying strength and perseverance the ‘widow’ has. Great Loss Sucks! Grief sucks! But something happens after that awakens you…just don’t give up…if it’s that ONE widow reading this today that feels as if the world under her feet is caving, that her heart is literally breaking…it’s going to be ok and someday maybe your heart won’t feel crushed.

Now to that email. One of my supporters back in Michigan sent me a delightful email this morning about a door opening on a possible connection with a church I know there. This has been a door closed for almost 8 months, it cracked open a few times but quickly shut again. She shared how she prayed on an opportunity and that she was given it on a silver plate one day and overwhelmed by the response. Maybe it is true if you just Ask for something and don’t give up after the first denial you might be pleasantly surprised. I want to go into more detail but I have to rush to get my laundry together for my friend who is amazing and does it for free for me. Yes I did have to swallow my pride a bit for that but hey Free Laundry and maybe folding!

So stay tuned for more…I hope:)

And you that ONE WIDOW reading this… You are going to be ok! just might suck for a bit… contact me if you need a shoulder to cry on.

Healing Eyes

Love hate relationship

There is a mosquito hunting me. I can hear him buzzing in my ear and then he’s gone. One mosquito can cause so much frustration!

and that leads me toooooo…. MY JEEP

It’s a love hate relationship with my jeep. We might be on the mend again with our friendship as long as she keeps cool and doesn’t blow her lid again. Her radiator cap was the problem today and hopefully it’s snuggly secure and won’t let off steam anymore. I am going to ignore the burning smell by the driver’s side tire, hoping it was just a random smell and not the brakes or something worse.

Now that mosquito may be carrying a virus that I do not care to experience and yet it really wants to share it.

Card from my favorite girl

Today Grecia made me a cute card that I wasn’t expecting. She was very quiet and well behaved which I also was not expecting. So even though it seems everything else around me is buzzing at least today I was blessed with this beautiful card..

It seems me going to Africa is having a bigger impact than I had thought on the kids. I started going through my stuff in order to downsize a bit in order to have room to ship donations back to Michigan with me for Africa. I am always downsizing and packing, never able to stay settled long in one place. It has some positives but really hard to feel at ease anywhere. It’s preparing me for something more in life, hardening my shell as one of my past managers would have said.

Every little thing is gonna be alright!

Healing Eyes

Don’t worry..I have your back

After arriving late to the boys and girls club due to my Jeep being indisposed again. Yes my Jeep is my thorn in my side but it is teaching me patience and to roll with calamity. I took her (aka Jeep) to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles today for registration renewal and it was not as awful as an experience as I was prepared for. The inspector was nice and charming, the people inside were cordial and the wait wasn’t terribly long. Now the system of calling your number (which is handwritten on a piece of scrap paper) was a bit illogical but all in all it worked out. I still like to call this place 2.5 world country since it really has a lot of idiosyncrasies to it. All the St Croix readers will understand what I mean:)

Sadly I failed the inspection test:( my reverse lights were not working. So it is at the mechanic for that and also to see why my radiator fluid is slowly disappearing and why there is a greasy residue below it. I hope its not oil.

But I am not going to complain because as my anxiety level was rising because of the Jeep I got a wonderful email today from a supporter who wants to help out with my Jeep Expenses. So YAY! Don’t worry..Be Happy Now! yes I did just quote a caribbean type song…I think I am allowed to though.

Last night I thought about how I could quit this mission. What it would take to return back to Michigan and get a job, settle down and be normal. I really was close to throwing in the bag since the pressure of succeeding is weighing heavy. Having to find a CPA and tax experts, liability insurance, 501c3 status, board of directors, fundraising, it’s all enough to make me think I can’t do it. It’s too much and I am too broken to continue.

But

With a single email from a Michigander I feel like I can keep going and it will be ok. I will not end up in a cardboard box! Timing is everything I guess.

The kids today were ‘behaved’. Yes, behaved! One of the boys said, ‘Oh your here’. One of the girls apologized for calling me Mean because I guess once I arrived the kids were saying ‘Miss Sarah is here and she isn’t coming in to say hello to you.’ and so that one girl said I was mean. But later she apologized because I did come in and say hi to her. These kids are so attentive to my comings and goings.

Three boys needed me today for Social studies and spelling words. Two of them like to cheat off each other and so that was a challenge. As always he called me ‘mommy’. So weird.

Later on we worked on bracelets some more. The boys counted them and we have 213 so far! They are so proud of their work and excited to think they are helping kids in Africa. It seems counting also is a way to keep them from being wild and crazy, allows them to see their accomplishment, and teaches them math. Picture this…2 boys counting bracelets while kids are screaming and running around doing several different things, an adult is screaming out names for pickup, and I am just standing there watching the magical rhythm of this club. I still don’t understand how yelling out kids names and showing anger towards them when they don’t respond is at all a positive experience for them.

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Healing Eyes

A look back and a Stove

It would be nice to say I have moved on and learned to deal with grief and loss.

it would be nice to say it does get better over time.

It would be nice to say that I don’t miss how I used to live.

It would be nice to say only good things about how wonderful the kids are and how they are touching my heart…that they fill the void of losing a husband.

It would be nice…

But let’s be honest, as I try to be transparent and honest on this blog, grief sucks and the upcoming 1 year anniversary of Andy dying really stings. Giving up my belongings, my house, my cars, and even my puppies to move to an island to show love on other’s people’s kids makes it all worth it. Can I sound anymore disgruntled and bitter? I could but then what would that solve? Would it bring Andy back? Would it allow me to go back and get a ‘normal’ job and buy a house? I am now on a path that I can’t turn back from. Maybe over time I can get a bit of it back but really no matter how I look at it that life is gone. My mind can keep playing it over in my head how it could be different but the same. Nope it’s gone. I made the switch from blogging about grief and widowhood in order to change the direction to the mission. Truthfully you can’t really separate the two, the one made the new path. Now crazy part…can a stove really break a person? Yes, I mean a STOVE. A minor convenience of a house but can it cause a person to change paths in order to have it back.

Some of you may not know but I moved and now I can’t cook my comfort food, I am cutting back in order to last longer for the kids. If I can save a dollar here and there in order to stay through the school year than the Stove must go. Warm and gooey tuna casserole, delicious lasagna, oh a spicy chicken rice bake. I miss my remodeled kitchen that Andy and I made together, its beautiful tile backsplash and quartz countertop hand laid with love. The fake slate linoleum flooring we sweat over while pushing out each air bubble so it was perfect. The piddle spots from the dogs. Or that time when I was on the phone talking to his palliative care doctor about the meds and they were all scattered on the countertop while Andy was passed out in the other room.

I’m told it’s bad to relive the past memories, drudging them back up is a set back.

I miss my STOVE and Andy hugging me while cooking.

Sometimes its not the inconvenience of not having something, or the complaining of missing something that’s the root of the problem. It’s the memory of what is gone and can never be as it was. Stove or no Stove, Food or no food, that one year mark is fast approaching.

Healing Eyes