January 16, 2009

Whats Your Earliest Memory?

Time to Remember Pt 2

My earliest memory was my fourth birthday. My father was still living, so he was able to come in to my crib and carry me into their bedroom, where a beautiful blue cake was waiting.

They encouraged me to blow out the candles. However as tiny as I was my cake was enormous and I had no idea how I could get to all the candles. I think they finally helped me.

It's only a brief glimpse, but I remember being together, and I remember that beautiful blue icing. I later found out that my mother thought it was purple, and she had worked so hard on it trying to get it just right. It didn't turn out the way she wanted, but it was absolutely beautiful to me.

Even though that was the earliest thing I could put a date next to, there are so many other shadows in my childhood. Glimpses and snatches of color and shapes, peoples faces, small activities. Like the time I remember laying on my parents bed plucking my father's guitar strings, while they were in the living room watching TV, I guess. The guitar was enormous next to my tiny body. I had to reach up over the side to reach the strings. They heard me too. I guess they decided I would be a musician,after that.

Oh how I loved music. I still do. I remember my father singing to us at night, with his beautiful big guitar. Some people said that he sounded like Chet Atkins. Others said he should go to Nashville, but he didn't want anything to do with the star life. He was content with his little family. My mom said she used to sing with the symphony orchestra in Albuquerque. Too bad I never saw any of those days.

The earliest memories I have of my mother were working hard, fixing wonderful meals, taking care of the house and wrapping up my broken bones... mostly after the doctors had refused to touch me, or removed her previous wrappings, just to get an x-ray. She spent a lot of time propping me with pillows and making clothes that were easy for me to get in and out of. She crocheted a lot too. Taking an odd jobs sewing and crochet... anything she could get for a little extra money.

So many memories. I remember God making a way for my sister to go to a private school for 12 years with my mother on widows benefits and my sister and I on SSI. It's really physically impossible or financially impossible except for God.

I remember being carried around on a pillow, or a canvas, and maybe even a padded Board, taken from place to place. I remember dreaming of a chair that I could push myself. When I was six years old, I got one. But I could only push it a little. Then I remembered for years, dreaming of a chair that I could just push a button and it would go, exactly the direction I wanted it to, so I could keep up with people. And they wouldn't have to push me around. At the age of 13, that dream came true.

It's amazing how you can envision things in your mind and they happen. Or just maybe, God puts a dream in your heart, or a promise from His heart to bless yours, and though it may seem like a lifetime until it comes... It will come. Don't lose heart. From six to 13 is a long time. When your child.

And I remember dreaming about living on my own. People said it could never be done. Don't most people say that? Do you have a huge dream? Small minded fearful people that maybe never tried anything outside the box in their whole life! I knew it was going to be hard, but I never stopped dreaming.

I remember my mother falling out of her wheelchair in 1995. Broke both her arms. She couldn't do anything for herself. She was in the hospital for one month. Even after she got home, she really couldn't help me with much of anything. Before that she was my sole caregiver. My God sustained me. He kept me alive. At first I didn't even know when I could go to the bathroom or have a drink of water... right after she fell. The Lord sustained me.

For a whole month he took care of me and taught me how to do things for myself that I had never even tried before. Maybe I was afraid before? Maybe my mother was too protective? But sometimes you have to do what you have to do no matter what the costs. And when you're alone, you have to learn how to do a lot on your own.

But the Lord sent people to help me 2... 3... or maybe 4 times a day. Volunteers. Good people. I may have waited some, I never went without. I realized if the Lord can care for me for a month, He could care for me the rest of my life.

Five years after my mother fell, I moved into my own apartment. A lot happened in the meantime, but I know it was the Lord that made it possible.

I remember most of my life, dreaming of having my own vehicle. My mom and I used dream and talk of having a van we could travel around with, in our wheelchairs. We used to plan all the places that we would go. Like out to lunch and then decide to go shopping on the way home. Doesn't seem like much does it? But when you have public transportation, that would be impossible.

I remember when my mother died in December of 2000. Sometime in January, I got a check for the life insurance. It made me angry! It was as though some big corporation was compensating me for my mother with money. Of course, I came to my senses and understood that was what insurance was for. Because of that money in September. I finally had a van that I could ride in, sitting in my wheelchair.

I remember almost all of my life, dreaming of being married one day. There was a longing in my heart, through Times of rejection and loneliness. But then in March of 2002 the Lord brought a wonderful man and into my life...Bill. Funny thing... I really didn't want to be married then. I was very content to be single at that point. I had built up many walls from being very hurt 10 years earlier. But for the grace of God, those walls would have never come down... My Father showed me the key... how to let Bill in. In January 2003 we were married. We just celebrated our sixth anniversary.

It really is amazing, if you look over your life. Yes, there may be some very painful things that you'd rather forget. I still cry when I think about that check after my mother died. How cold and heartless... how it all seemed so final, sending a check to the grave-diggers. On the other hand, all these dreams that I had, from a tiny child on up. Not long ago, I looked back over my life, and I realized that every last one of my impossible dreams come true.

All but one actually. I still dream of inspiring people with songs and poetry. Bringing them closer to a clear vision of the heart of God. Helping them somehow to see just how beautiful he is and how much He loves them. If only they knew. If only they could see the Heart that I have seen. My heart breaks when I think of people who are mad at God, or who think that he's mad at them. If He could send His own Son as a sacrifice to bridge the gap between Heaven and Earth, watch Him die a painful awful, indescribable death... just so we can be near him... how much more love could someone offer than that?

May all your dreams come true, in 2009. But even if they don't... wait a little while. You never know what can happen. :-).

Love always,