Location: MICHIGAN, United States

Thank you for stopping by. It's my hope you find glimpses of my Savior interwoven thru my writings. I am the wife to one husband for over 25 years, a blessed mama to a dozen children, yes each born from me ~ two of which see Jesus face to face & ten at home, all of us yearning to see Jesus someday. We have been home educating for over 18 years with . . . well, another 15 years to go (the youngest is 3, the oldest 23!) I have walked through rejection, to continually learning I am CALLED, LOVED and forever KEPT by God - never, ever to be rejected by Jesus! (Jude 1:1) I've walked through deep sorrow to find that joy does come again, though the night may be long; I've witnessed God orchestrating miracles with my children still beyond my comprehension, & I am seeing new love forming as we begin a new road of older children finding life mates. My life has and is a journey, from the deepest, almost rock bottom pit, to stumbling through my faith and looking towards the ultimate climax of everlasting life in heaven. Will you be joining me here and there? ~ Loni

Friday, January 28, 2005

Leftover Mashed Potatoes . . .

It's strange what things trigger in our minds, and bring tears. We never use to have left over mashed potatoes. We do now. We usually do a full 5 pound bag of red potatoes for a dinner. We add in sour cream, chives and butter. They were one of Matthew's favorites. He always had seconds, thirds . . . there was never any left - now we have leftovers. We've had mashed potatoes several times since his death, but for some reason it hit several of us more yesterday.

Today Katie (2 years old - her birthday is the day before Matthew's in May), asked me why I have all Matthew's candy in my room. I told her I didn't have Matthew's candy - to show me. She took me in our room, and it's Matthew's little "treasure chest" we have in our room with his special things in it - but it's where he kept candy he'd hand out to the kids. So, I showed her that there was mainly his papers and special things in it - but a few suckers in there, just for memory sake that I am going to keep. She then asked me when Matthew is going to come back. It really took me off guard. I told her he went to heaven, and he is staying there. "Well, I want to go be with him - I miss him" . . . and she ran off. Ohhh . . .these hit the heart. (Katie is still very insecure if I need to leave for anywhere without her, and even noticed tonight at church that she was very careful to know where I always was and didn't want me to leave her. This is definitely something new with her).

It seems as though the younger two have had a delayed reaction to Matthew's death - probably realizing the finality of it all. Melody (5) cried tonight, just saying over and over how much she misses Matthew.

Both Norm & I sense from some that we should be so much further with our grieving and getting things back to "normal" but we just don't see that in the near future. We've been told how we "look good" and it's so good to see us smile or laugh or told that they are glad to see us "getting on with life" but so much of it seems like we are just going through the motions to do so. Our whole lives are not "just Matthew" but the hole he left in each of us - and all of us working together to let at least be able to find our new normal. I think it's all the pain we each share - and have of our own - that makes it hard. For me it can be filling out insurance forms, or answering someone how many children I have. For the children, it's memories of games and no night time stories from him. For Norm it's been walking in the garage to see his bright red moped he loved to ride and looking at the outside of the house to the various things he painted for us this past year (around windows and the children's playhouse). Different things strike each of us.

It hit Jayson the other day how he is now the "second oldest" and told me quite bluntly how he does not want to be referred to that way. He had been telling me how much he had looked up to Matthew and how disappointed he had been with him. We went through the many good memories, but also told Jayson that he still has a responsibility as being the "second oldest here" and that his brothers & sisters are going to look up to him more since Matthew is missing. He just kept shaking his head - he doesn't want to be referred to that way.

Several have asked how I and those that had trouble are sleeping. I think the children are doing a little better. They generally fall asleep listening to a story or music and it's been better. I don't hear complaints of not getting enough sleep. Our oldest son, Stephen (17) has gone back down to the boys' bedroom to sleep since the truck accident. He needed to get more sleep with the headaches and the younger ones were waking him up to early. He does not have the visuals as the others have, so it's been easier for him to go back down. At first we though the other two boys would follow, but it hasn't happened. Jayson & Benjamin are still upstairs sleeping on the couches. They want a light on too. Jayson has said noises during the night still abruptly awaken him. But, I think it is getting better. I am taking a prescription medication to help me sleep. I did not want to do this, but get only a few hours of interrupted sleep a night was not doing any good either. It's "helping" but it still takes me awhile to fall asleep. Thankfully, I feel like I am sleeping deeper. I still deal with "panic attacks", especially when Stephen leaves to drive to his automotive class, or him being late, or little things that I know I should not think on, but it's been so much in a short time.

A totally separate thing here, but we'd appreciate prayer regarding Norm's job. He was unemployed for 20 months, and then found the job he is currently at. He started the beginning of November. The 20 months he was off was very good, and in looking back, we accept it as a gift of time we had with our whole family together, making memories. The last month or so before he got this job, it was quite tight financially, and we knew the home businesses we were working on were not enough to keep him home, at this time. He got a job through a temporary service. One of the other temp guys also working at the same place with him, was told that he would be let go next week, but they have not said anything to Norm. Norm has been able to keep busy. He works in the tool & die field, which here in Michigan is either a feast or famine type job. He has not officially been hired by the company - still gets paid through the temporary service, so it keeps him hanging to whether he will be staying at the job or if it will be indeed temporary. The job site is only ten minutes from our home, which is wonderful. The other tool & die job he had was a 40 minute drive. It is also first shift which is SO NICE - to have him home for dinner and evening with the children. NONE of us want him going back to the old 2nd shift hours (4 pm t0 2 am was his last job). He is getting about half the pay than what he was before, but with the closeness of the job, it being steady work, we can make it - lots less gas and wear & tear on the car! If this is not the place for him, then God must have something better planned.

Thanks again for your continued prayers, and notes. It's so much appreciated. :) It's time for me to try to get into the earlier sleep cycle! ~~Loni


Blogger dacey jo said...

Hey Loni,
We are still praying for your family every day. I wanted to let you know that my husband is in tool and die also. His shop is very busy and hiring here and there. The shop is in Grand Rapids, on the north side. If you would like more info please let me know. It is a good company!

1/29/2005 12:40 AM  
Blogger Luke's Mom said...

My heart continues to break for your family each day I read your blog the finality of what you have to deal with each day seems overwhelming. As you already know and have mentioned your family will never be the same again, but with the Lord's help and healing touch you will one day be able to move on to a new time of renewal. As I'm sure you already know the Bible says that weeping endures for a time, but joy does come in the morning. I cling to that verse with a passion in my life and I know as you do that God is faithful and He wouldn't of said that if He didn't mean it.

It sounds to me that our families are similar in so many ways. We also listen to Oddessey tapes, they've gotten us through some long rides in the van. Have you ever heard of the Pineapple story tapes? They too are awesome stories.

I will continue to pray that you will all get good sleep each night, that Norm's job will continue and that he will get a raise, that Jayson in God's time, will be able to except his new place in the family, that Katie will have a peace about losing Matthew and not be so insecure and that one day you will all be able to truly smile and laugh again without feeling like your just putting on an act.

Love in Christ,
Sue Searles

1/29/2005 3:29 AM  
Blogger Teena said...

Dear Loni, Norm & family,

Wow, Sue's comments are just perfect. I want you to know I stand in agreement with her. I too, will be praying for all of you. For Katie & Jayson. For Norm's job too. Even as it is another Saturday I think of all of you. I know so many things bring tears....

I do not understand others comments as with "getting on with life" so many tell me they just do not know what to say. I guess because I am a talker I just can not understand that.
You are doing just what you need to be doing... talking with each one and crying together...
May God's strength today carry you and may you find refuge under HIS wings.
In His love,
Teena wife to Billy 24 yrs
mom to 1/2 dozen

1/29/2005 12:48 PM  

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