summer 2011

summer 2011

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Thursday, December 31, 2009

goodbye 2009

By the time I get comfortable writing a year on my checks, it goes and changes on me. If I had the time and skill, I would write one of those neat little re-caps, complete with photos. I am up with only Sonja and Rosie right now, and my time on the computer is limited.

2009 started with Emily going to Norway for a year. It was a good year for her, she got to practice her nursing skills, learn Norwegian, and meet people from like 20 different countries, and all the year long attending super encouraging youth meetings and getting really established in her faith. But for me, here on the other side of the Atlantic, oh I missed her.

It has been a year of loss. My brother, my dear dear brother. (bear with me while I write about this, or skip it...but I have to write about helps...)....On March 6, 2009, Paul and I were having a wonderful time together. He left work early and picked me up, we went shopping for flooring for our livingroom. Just the two of us. Then we went to dinner. On the way home, my sister called. Paul answered, then gave the phone to me. She asked me where we were, and if I was driving. By then the hair was literally standing on my arms....then she said that Billy shot himself. There is no nice way to say that. And I asked, "Is he dead?" And I quickly thought of Paul, and told him, "It's only Billy.." I didn't mean, ONLY Billy, that is just what I said. I told Cheryl I would see her soon, and hung up. I then said some words I didn't know were in me, as I told Paul.....he drove me over there, and on that cold cold night, all my siblings and I huddled in the dark until they took him away. Billy had taken care of both of my parents when they were so sick. He treated them with honor and respect. My father got almost unreasonable at the end of his days, as his obsessive compulsive disorder took over, but Billy would just give us that smirky grin, and do everything the way Daddy wanted it done. All of that must've taken a toll on him. Billy's autopsy revealed very high levels of carbon monoxide, from the way he heated his place. We wonder if he thought he had a terminal illness, and didn't want to be a burden....I wish he had talked to me. I wish he had known there were other answers. Of my six siblings, he was right older than me. He was the fifth child, I am the sixth. We were friends. He was so smart, he was always right. He was a book absorber. He sacrificed alot when my father got sick to help take care of my mother, but he always seemed fine with it. It was hard for my parents to see him do that, but he did it. This loss of Billy is still an open wound, I cannot yet fathom it.

Okay, so then I found out right about that time that I was expecting again, and I think I just latched on to that pregnancy as something healing, it was LIFE. When I had that miscarriage, it wasn't just that I lost the baby, it was almost like I hadn't really grieved about Billy yet...I don't know. Life went on with the kids and school and ....well, fast forward to Rosie. To everyone else around here, Rosie is annoying and smelly. Well, some of them love her. I love her to pieces. I just do. When I got her, I put so much time and effort into her, it was therapeutic. I can't help but thinking sometimes how much my parents and Billy would love her....

Our swimming pool was broken until we replaced the liner when half the summer was over. But I did bring the kids to the beach several times. (this summer for sure, Martha!).Joseph was gone for the summer, wah, and Mirielle and Mali were traveling around Europe for three weeks or so. Aaron and Sam were in Norway for a while, so it was a bit lonely here for a chunk of time. Sending Jonathan to kindergarten was another interesting thing that happened this year, wah for me, but he loves it. My brother got three , yes THREE new grand-babies right when I was supposed to have a baby. But I am glad for him, and for his kids. They have been raised to appreciate and love babies. Then our honeymoon trip, oh looking forward to that was fun! Jamaica was amazing. I knew I loved Paul. I knew we have fun together. But I did not realize the extent of that love or that fun! We had such a good time. Oh, and the sun, and the tan...and now the cold and the snow.....but having Emily come home was pretty exciting.....right now is one of those periods of time that is just so special it is hard to explain. We are all here, all home. Emily has had some job interviews, and as an RN will probably get a job rather quickly, but for the time being, we are all home (except for Paul going to work). I know this will probably never happen again, this vacation full of family time and fun and fooling around and enjoying each other. Em will be working and probably moving out, Ab might go with her, (not too far away, but still), Ben will be enlisting in the Navy, Joseph will probably going back to Norway, Mirielle is going back to college.....

And so the new year will begin tomorrow. Come what may, I know God is causing all things to work together for my best, and I take comfort in this verse:"Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due time we will harvest if we do not lose heart", Gal. 6, v 9.


Martha said...

It has been a trying year for you full of heartache but also full of joy and laughter. You are blessed beyond measure and surely you cup is running over.

The last four months of 2009 have been the hardest for me, though I felt early on the Lord was preparing my heart and mind for something. I have been missing my dad more intensely the past few days, but know deep inside he is only waiting for us to arrive also. I too, have been blessed beyond measure and, in spite of the tears, 2009 has been a good year.

(Next year at the beach. :) )

JCF said...

I'm so sorry about your brother. My heart just breaks for you and your family reading about him. My brother hanged himself three and a half years ago, and I think that night will be perfectly clear in my mind for the rest of my life. I'll pray for comfort for you. It did get easier after the first year. I guess because I knew that we made it a full year without him and that we could do it again.

Anonymous said...

What a year! How unexpected life is!
I cried and laughed with you at reading this post. I hope you have a wonderful 2010! Seeing your kids leave must be hard.. I am so happy to be moving back closer to my own family :) But if I hadn't leave I would not be coming back now with a husband and a baby ;)

Many blessings for 2010 " I can do all in God who strengthens me"

Book Lover said...

I am so sorry about your brother. That is so tragic and leaves so many unanswered questions when a person takes their own life. You have been a true christian in your reaction to this tragedy, remaining upbeat and positive and not losing your love for God. I admire that. Love your beautiful family and you are very wise to recognize change is coming and to enjoy every minute with each of them. Wishing you a New Year full of joy and blessings.

Kim Chrisman

Robin said...

Bless you, Della. You are an inspiration and encouragement to me. Hope your 2010 is wonderful!

maureen said...

Happy New Year to you! I have been reading your blog for over a year now and really enjoy getting to know your family.

I wish you continued good health and look forward to reading more in 2010!

cheryl said...

I'm so glad I'm reading this while everyone else is in bed.. Of course I'm crying my eyes out.. What an interesting life we have here, unbearable pain and heartache, yet so much love and joy. It's good that God is looking over everything and because of Him we can be thankful!! To Martha.. I can fully understand what you are going through.. and Joceline.. I can see how "that night" will always be perfectly clear! And that's okay. Thanks Della, for sharing your thoughts and family, and for the fellowship and encouragement.. and I still hate that you have a tan in the winter and I do not..

Lisa said...

I have not 'blog read' for about two months and I have enjoyed the past couple of days where I have caught up with your family.

We too have had a hard year with a lot of unwelcome surprises and I know there will be a lot of hard times ahead for us next year also. I am trying hard to enjoy every day as we never know what is waiting for us around the corner!

I wish you all a wonderful 2010 and hopefully some lovely surprises xxx

Sherah said...

Don't forget about the fire! That was quite the ordeal to read about. =)

16 blessings'mom said...

Martha, I never realized until I went through it how difficult it is to lose a parent. I somehow thought that they get old, and die, and that was life. But now I know. And the missing them just goes on and on. Joceline, I am sorry about your brother too. And I know what you mean about the night it happened being perfectly clear. It is like time stopped. And Sherah, the funny thing is: I forgot all about the fire!