I haven’t been here to blog in over a year. Almost a year and a half actually. Not quite sure why. My husband mentioned to me recently that he missed my blogs. Blogging takes me into some very deep spaces of my mind. I think I go through seasons where those places need to stay locked so I can function. Then the door bursts open like a volcano and the emotions ooze in ways I can not manage.
I’m doing a Bible Study right now “It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way”. I started it 3 weeks ago. God’s timing is always perfect. I look back on my life 15 years ago. I had a full time career in non-profit work. I had a 5 year old and a 4 month old. The future seemed laid out for me, for all of us. A year later our world was rocked. I thought it would be the end of doing anything worthwhile for me. I could barely care of my children, much less expand my sphere of influence.
As time went on it became clear that God had a grander plan for me, and that our rocked world refined me in order to carry it out. I took on roles I never thought would be mine yet somehow it came naturally, not effortlessly but sort of that “meant to be” role.
I spent 3 years caring for my Grandmother until she passed. We laughed, a lot. We argued, a lot. We joked, a lot. She taught my son how to properly make a bed with hospital corners. Apparently that lesson didn’t leave a lasting impression. Though she did teach him a bed should be made every single morning, so the tossing of the comforter counts, I guess. She taught him how to count coins. If he did it correctly he earned $ .79 to get a fruit drink at Cashion’s. But she didn’t share quarters, those were strictly reserved for gambling at her bridge games. Y’all she was Presbyterian, so of course she gambled. She also spent $2 on the lottery every Friday. I have no clue why anyone 97 years old needs to win the lottery, but ok! She was a character and I was the lucky one to spend some of the most precious years of her life with her. I was her caregiver, and she was my caregiver.
When she passed I was lost, for a very long time. The hole in my life was huge and the hole in my heart was huge. I’m not sure you ever get over the loss of someone that big in your life. I spent several years spinning wheels, trying to figure out life again. Looking back I see that it refined me. I have often said that epilepsy won’t define me. Instead it will refine me. Caring for my Grandmother refined me as well. Raising two boys has refined me and will continue to do so. Bless….
Three years ago I felt the nudge that I needed to step back into the role of caregiver. I was back in my element. Stretching my mind and opening my heart to places I had held secret for some time. It was a joy, a pleasure and a privilege. It’s how I do love in action. And now I’m back in that difficult space of grief. I opened up my Bible Study this morning and looked back on my notes from two weeks ago. This morning my view is so vastly different. I keep finding myself thinking it’s not supposed to be this way. Yet, I know, without fail, that it is supposed to be this way. It is just my aching heart that causes my head to shake and leave me speechless. God has proven to me time and time again that His timing is perfect.
Twice now, I believe I made life easier for people I loved beyond measure. A career in non-profit didn’t define me. It prepared me to understand the needs of people. Epilepsy prepared me to pay closer attention to people. Loving people until the end has refined me. My grief is huge, but I’m better for it, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
Copyright © Gatewood Campbell, February 2019
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Thank you, Gatewood, for sharing so well your feelings and your faith. I am glad you are “embracing change.” Love you, Sue
So beautifully written. I’m so, so sorry about Leland. I know he was very special to you and you to him, and I’m sure you already miss him terribly. Thinking of you. Love, Peggy Ann
Welcome back, Gatewood! I’ve been missing your blog. Your writings are thought-provoking and inspiring. Please continue.
I needed to read this today. I’m sitting in the parking lot of a church preparing myself to go inside and say goodbye to a good friend and coworker. Thank you for your words of wisdom and continue to cherish each day❤️❤️❤️
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