• sarah@healingeyes.org

grief

Hope and Joy

….perhaps I need to make a sign that says Pain and Suffering.

Beauty and pride….Plain and humble

….perhaps I need to learn the lessen of … KNOW IDEA.

Progress in Africa is slow but really encouraging because they are doing the work and I am not. They have the tools to clean wounds and a car to travel to the village. Maybe that is what God wants right now while Sarah heals from cancer. It just seems too darn ironic that I would get cancer when that was what started this non-profit.

Patience and pain go hand and hand. This is a blog and a business but I have to share last night I was in incredible pain all night and found no comfort until I took a few more pills. Yet we are told to pray to God for peace and relief. Where was he last night? Watching and letting me experience suffering because that is just what I have to do right now.

Right now my new husband of 5 weeks must sit back and helplessly watch me cry in pain with no power at all to fix it. What an intense stress to put on a new marriage but we are relying on God in the middle of it. He is the only one that can see past all this Pain to where the healing lies.

Healing Eyes….Letting go of the pain and seeing past it in order to allow the Healing to begin or in my case continue. So I have to put my words where my mouth is, or do as I say and not say as I do? Seeing past beauty of what I was to the beauty that is ahead and the future of the mission in Africa where when I go back I can connect more with those in physical pain. I have known the emotional side but now I will have learned another lessen of pain….both are awful and I feel such sympathy for anyone going through cancer and grief.

Let go….and find yourself.

See past the pain…is my Hope and Joy

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Healing Eyes

When life isn’t as we want but as He wants.

“I am a stranger in a foreign land and quite worn from it. My time here feels like an eternity indeed! I long for home even though my home is gone. Where do I belong, Oh God, where do I call home? I feel lost in a sea of people, in both lands I am not at ease. Torn from my life, in grief I now live, longing for the day long passed.

When my husband held me at night and morning. But gone is he and I remain to wander the earth in mourning – but for how long will I roam? Is there hope for me? Can I ever smile again and feel safe?

My soul feels like dust and my bones are weak, if only you would save me from my grief and restore my splendor to what it was and more. Let my teachings not be in vain and don’t leave me in the shadows of death. A life bearing fruit again, where my education is used and I can prosper in my works.

I will praise you in the evening and praise you in the morning and wait in hopeful expectation for the plan you are artfully displaying before my tearful eyes. Let me see your beauty and not become bitter or angry at my circumstances but see beyond them knowing you are at work to rescue me.”

 – A widow cries for the past, journal entry from June 6, 2015 while serving in Kenya Africa (Sarah a missionary).

Psalm 116

I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
    he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me,
    I will call on him as long as I live.

The cords of death entangled me,
    the anguish of the grave came over me;
    I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
Then I called on the name of the Lord:
    Lord, save me!”

The Lord is gracious and righteous;
    our God is full of compassion.
The Lord protects the unwary;
    when I was brought low, he saved me.

Return to your rest, my soul,
    for the Lord has been good to you.

For you, Lord, have delivered me from death,
    my eyes from tears,
    my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the Lord
    in the land of the living.

10 I trusted in the Lord when I said,
    “I am greatly afflicted”;
11 in my alarm I said,
    “Everyone is a liar.”

12 What shall I return to the Lord
    for all his goodness to me?

13 I will lift up the cup of salvation
    and call on the name of the Lord.
14 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
    in the presence of all his people.

15 Precious in the sight of the Lord
    is the death of his faithful servants.
16 Truly I am your servant, Lord;
    I serve you just as my mother did;
    you have freed me from my chains.

17 I will sacrifice a thank offering to you
    and call on the name of the Lord.
18 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
    in the presence of all his people,
19 in the courts of the house of the Lord
    in your midst, Jerusalem.

Praise the Lord.

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

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

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

Fog

I awake from a fog of loss. Last week a storm blew through and now a light mist lingers over the dew of morning. Seeing for the first time the depth of damage done in the wake of a great storm. Lives touched by the loss of Andy, loss of family, loss of fuzzy kids, loss of self, and loss of dreams.

Each wave that crashes shakes free another memory thought long gone. In those days after Andy died I dived deep in the pain felt from losing part of yourself. Feeling hopeless in knowing he’s gone but I remain, as if his life was more important than mine.

Now as the fog lifts I see my chance to view life differently. Andy was taken from me tragically but I blame no one. For this loss I don’t blame God, I don’t blame myself, death just happens. I am thankful for knowing Andy and loving him but now I am thankful for a second life.

Thank you for the rain and thunder of the waves.

Thank you for the clash of thunder and lightning.

Thank you for taking everything away to set me free.

 

Timeline for newbies:

Valentine’s gift from Andy

Cancer Sucks

42 Days 

It has begun..now what

Healing Eyes

Re-learning what I forgot

It’s becoming ever clear that each morning I have to RE-LEARN how to live without my husband. For instance, 13 years of my life I had legs but one day they started to decay from disease and then the doctors amputated them. I wake up in a dark place and with shock therapy am being told to learn to walk on prosthetics.

God is teaching me quite painfully how to re-learn everything I once did with Andy. Even breakfast is an opportunity to miss my legs.

I had eggs in the fridge but NO bread. A simple solution is to buy bread but it’s sooo far away and I have no motivation to get it. But I did it anyways and bought some carrots and bananas. So $16 later I can have an egg sandwich and some snacks for the week.
Lesson of the morning it’s easy to make an egg sandwich but it’s not easy to repeat it each morning. Just like it seems easy to walk around on your legs, you might take for granted, but when you have them but cut them off see how you approach each morning.

Last night I chose to fall asleep naturally (which took a long time) and my reward was dreams of Andy. Now that isn’t really a good thing since when you wake you realize, Damn I’m on an island still and Andy isn’t here. Then later in the night I hear him calling my name over and over, “Sarah, Sarah, Sarah”. It sounded so real that I tried to look around my room for him but he wasn’t there. A cold chill went through my heart since I again realized I am an amputee.

So now I have to learn to make it through another day and tonight the dreams will creep back in and taunt me with memories long gone. In the morning I’ll have to decide again whether it’s worth it to try and wobble around or dive back down to the darkness of grief, waiting to see what person wakes up.

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Cranberries, carrots, bananas Yay

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12 Grain Bread! Yes Healthier

Healing Eyes

Lost Memory of my Husband

Sweet Andy 

Found a video from a year ago… God I miss your kiss!

Healing Eyes

Gone from me

I see emptiness where once was life…
I see nothingness where once was you…
Gone from my gaze
Taken in the night
Robbed of those dreams.

I feel death where once was life…
I feel loss where once was hope…

Gone from my touch
Taken from my grasp

My breath clings to your love.
I can’t ask why you had to leave me first
Why I had to love and let you go

I fall into the darkness
Bathing in the moonlight
The stars, as if tears of pain, dance on my skin
Morning won’t come until the darkness lifts

Breathe life into me
Mixed with yesterday and today
Grow me gently from this suffering.

I want you here song by ‘Plumb’…

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Healing Eyes

Dear Andy

Andy my best friend I miss you.

I miss you more today than yesterday…

Last night I had a terrible nightmare. I sleep on the futon now because it seems less sad than an empty bed with you not by my side. I woke thinking the power was out because it was pitch black and then I felt this presence that was evil. It felt like I was not alone in the room and then I closed my eyes hoping it would go away. Then I felt a tap on my shoulder and a creak on the futon as if someone was sitting on the arm rest. My eyes wouldn’t opened, it was as if they were sealed shut from exhaustion but I forced them awake because I was scared. I thought I heard your voice saying something to me but I don’t know what. Perhaps you were trying to comfort me as you used to. That it was only a dream and I was ok. It didn’t work, I only was more terrified by the after taste of that dream. I thought for sure I was not alone. I checked the doors to be sure they were locked and I looked over my shoulder constantly in case ‘it’ came back. I am not sure what’s worse, missing you constantly or sleeping alone.

So many new things to experience and fears to conquer. So many other woman out there right now experiencing the same loss, the same pains in the heart, the same gasps for breathe. Oh Andy, why are we torn apart…why am I left to walk without you.

There is hope…I cling to it..I search for it. 8 months and a few days since you left me, since I last said goodbye to you. Since I last heard your voice and felt your breathe. My sweet sweet Andy I know you are still here. You remind me from time to time that you are watching me. When I visited the dogs you placed a little reminder of your love for me to find. What would seem to be trash to others was a gift from you. The same purple 25 cent ring discarded in the trash after I awoke from cuddling with the pups, cuddling with you. When I saw that ring I smiled, you wanted me to see the dogs and find that ring again. The ring you used to propose to me in that college dorm room when we had nothing to our name. I didn’t care then that we had no money … no flashy ring for us … no we just needed our love. Years later when you surprised me with a new wedding ring You were so proud of it, our birthstones and a gorgeous diamond, you always treated me special. Perhaps that’s all we need in life, love, even if it hurts to say goodbye to it. Goodbye to my love. Goodbye to us. I would marry you all over again if you just asked.

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My little fighter and Love

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Priceless

Andy, today and yesterday were very odd days. I still don’t understand why I am here but you must be laughing when you see the people I hang out with now and what I am doing. So I got burned standing outside yesterday with my friend as his car was broken down on the side of the road. I experienced first hand how no one will stop to help based on appearances..but once you put me there you get a few more people willing to stop since I am a young woman. Then today I gave him a ride around town and then the power went out in Kmart and his plans to buy a new shirt for his trip were thwarted. He was so looking forward to making a good impression when he saw his family again back in the states. So we figured we better just get him to the airport asap before something else bad happens. Determined as he was we tried again to find a polo shirt and we were successful at last. Life is weird..very weird! But my friend is safe in the air now after 10 years apart from his family. I pray he has safe journeys and a loving homecoming.

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Success.. made it to the airport

 

 

 

Healing Eyes