The Tree

tall tree with leafy branches
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The phone rang, I wasn’t going to pick it up. It was 9am and Sammy was just about to start his homeschooling. I then thought I had better do so, as I didn’t recognise the number.

I was in total shock and didn’t quite understand what was being said on the other end of the phone? My ex mother-inlaw had just dropped dead. My daughter’s two grandparents, divorced but amicable, had died in two months.

I spoke with Neil, and realising we live in the ever present world of social media, it was decided I needed to ring both the girls at work and get them home. As if grieving their Poppa (my ex father-inlaw) whom they were both very close too, wasn’t enough, now Nana had made her exit smack bang in the midst of Level Three Lockdown here in the greater Auckland area. There would be no rushing down to be with their father, no being with their relatives. No funeral, no memorial. Nothing. Covid rules need to be obeyed…..

The grief we feel is palpable. I was still very much part of the Hornell family, as is Sammy & Neil; we are a big blended ex inlaw/outlaw bunch who fight and love and have each other’s back at the end of the day. Things are day by day at the moment, but we hold fast to Yeshua, our rock and strong tower.

My last great Aunt died too. Level Four Lockdown. Her daughter is stuck in Australia and can’t come back at the moment. My Aunty Tuppy was like a surrogate Nana to me. In fact she was the younger sister of my Nana, and when my Grandpa died, her and Uncle Fred made a solemn promise to be there for us and be the surrogate grandparents. They did so well in that role. The only thing that bugged me about Aunty Tuppy, was she insisted on calling me Sarndra. I allowed it out of respect, even though my actual given name is Sandra. It was her term of endearment for me, and I understood that.

So yes, three deaths in three months, all in different levels of Covid19 Lockdown.

Poppa Ken and the kids

Poppa Ken, insisted on calling me his ‘Number One girl’, namely because I was the first daughter inlaw. We had the most amazing chats, he was a great conversationalist, who had big dreams, a grumpy temperament and so much untapped potential. He was gruff and hard at times, but never with me. I could get him crying easy! I loved him, and I miss him so much. He would turn up in his beat up old four wheel drive, and just beam with joy when he saw me. His health had given him what for the past decade, but that smile always came out when he was with us. He didn’t believe in God like I do, but he sure did believe in his love for us. He saw things very differently to me, but he taught me a great deal. He had the biggest, bushiest eyebrows I had ever seen! They grew so wide and deep, he longer had to wear sunglasses 🙂 Typical Ken, it was always his way.

Nana May

Nana May, well she used to scare the daylights out of me! She was a hard taskmaster of a woman, who seemed to live most of her life hiding. Again, I managed to reach in and hear the heart of a woman who had been deeply misunderstood and so incredibly broken. I ended up being the only one who knew she had a heart condition, and that has puzzled me. She had three sons whom she adored, and yet no one but me knew. I found that out the day of her death. Again, so much untapped potential and dreams locked up in a woman who lived mainly alone, later in life, and who didn’t allow people deep into her heart. I guess I am fortunate – for I know some of those precious secrets.

I pulled up the family tree on the MyHeritage website, and with tears streaming down my face (what else is new?!) I put in the three recent death dates.

Ah, this year really has been shite for breakfast, hasn’t it? I don’t think there could be a living soul out there that would say 2020 has been a true blessing from Heaven. No one would believe them if they did. But what I am learning to do is seeing things from both a Heavenly and an earthly perspective. Some areas just aren’t as black and white as we’d like them, but they’re not meant to be. Yeshua reminded us, our Kingdom is invisible, not for this earth, and therefore as my tagline says, we are just Pilgrims passing through. We can’t make this world the be-all and end-all because it’s not. This is just a mere vapour, and one day soon, we will all be with Him, forever. Until then, we must occupy until He comes, and share our Beloved Yeshua with this cold dying world.

So yes, as I said a couple of blogs back, I had been feeling spent, until the Lord showed me the word ‘grief’. There’s no time limit on grief, and I’m not one to walk away from a challenge, so moving through this with the family in tow, is quite the journey indeed.

The Mind Goes….

dark darkness loneliness mystery
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He sat me down, closed the door, cancelled his appointments for the next hour and asked me one huge question, ‘Sandi, do you still believe in God?’

I looked at him with tears streaming down my face, and quietly uttered the word, ‘yes’.

I did and I do. But I was terrified. Terrified I’d never feel God’s presence again, or hear His voice. What kind of world was I signing up to, taking anti-depressants and walking into a world of counsellors, psychiatrists and psychologists? How did this fit in with my faith, God’s word and everything else I held dear?

The Doctor looked at me as I responded, and said, ‘good, now I know you will be ok.’

He was a Muslim doctor and I was a Christian patient. He was amazing, very humble, very capable, and yet he and his wife were my clients too! I was a Domestic Cleaner and I cleaned their home every week. It was nothing for me to watch the Doctor walk inside, take off his shoes, position his mat and do his prayers.

I didn’t care. I just wanted to know that I wasn’t going mad. Apparently I was having a Emotional Breakdown….

Those words resonated with me, simply because Mental issues were a big deal in my Maternal Grandmother. Mum witnessed Nana have at least one emotional breakdown, and declared that she would never allow herself to become that way – she often would say I was cursed with my own emotions and Nana’s. Funny how it all came to a head when she watched her own Granddaughter have a full psychotic breakdown. Actually it’s not funny at all, but if issues aren’t dealt with in one generation, they will come back in another – and another until they are sorted.

I’ve witnessed a disturbing trend or recent years. People who seem to have it all, or seemingly have a great life etc, suddenly up and commit suicide.

My Doctor asked if I had suicidal thoughts – hell no! I had too much terror to reign on people and too much life to live yet!

But I needed to sort out my mind, and apparently going on Aropax was going to help me do that.

Wrong!

I got a burst of energy for the first twenty four hours, so I went out and dug a vegetable garden at 9pm that night! The rest of the time, it did nothing for me, so after six weeks, I flushed it all down the toilet. People are amazed, simply because here in New Zealand, there had been many cases reported of the withdrawal symptoms from Aropax actually being so bad, and some leading to suicide – but somehow I knew God was with me and that I was gaining inner strength.

The point to all of this is not self pity, or even about me. This is about not being alone. This is about reaching out and sharing your troubles. If that person is unable to help you, there are lots of places to reach out too.

I made one phone call. That lead to an amazing charity called Strengthening Families. These people were brilliant at helping me get sorted through the myriad of mess and emotions that I was dealing with. They helped my children. They helped my friends. And by some amazing stroke of serendipity, I opened the door for this charity to help many others within my community.

So, the long and the short of it is, we are never alone. Every single person on this planet matters to God – despite race, gender, religion or ethnicity – and every single person has the God ordained right to be seen, heard, appreciated and loved.

If you are having Mental issues or need to chat with someone, I encourage you to reach out – and please stop believing the lie that you are alone – it’s simply not true!

With love and much blessing

Sandi 🙂

Content © SparkleMoon Publishing.

My Dearest Friend….

With every message that goes unanswered, every email that no one seems to respond to, excuses made and heartache booming in my soul – there you are. For the longest of times, you have stood by me, loved me, helped me, cherished me, made me laugh until I cried and been with me. You believed in me when everyone gave up, you cheered me on when I made the smallest of steps, and now here we are. I cannot remove the pain of the past or the wounds of such terror, but I can be a safe place as you are to me. I can love you, as you have loved me. In the darkest of souls and the deepest of nightmares, I will stand with you as you have stood with me. I adore you. I love you. My sister and trusted confidante. And so I dedicate this poem to you, My Dearest Friend.

Ancient Ruins, 2002

I walked through the ancient ruins today

And saw some ghosts of yesteryear

I looked through the brokenness and found

You were still sitting amongst the mess

Won’t you come my way sweet child?

And walk into the fresh air,

Breathe and let the sun’s rays warm your body

Let the light fill your cold soul.

I wandered around and saw many things

Images I recognised from years gone by

I felt the pain, but it was no longer mine

I let it go, many moons ago

I saw things that could have haunted me

And walked all through the mess

But nothing can touch a heart that is now

Wrapped with grace and armed with forgiveness.

I left the Ancient Ruins today

My heart completely in one piece

I took back my inner child and now – she’s safe again in me.

A Sword in the hands of a Mighty Warrior Princess.

Dance of Dawn

 

 

 

A flock of birds fly by at break neck speed as the sound of a car alarm disperse the early morning calm.

Engines humming as boats leave the shore to head out to fish the waters of the Hauraki Gulf.

Large grey cottony clouds hover over the island of Kawau, the whistle and songs of the native birds rousing the melody of the morn.

The occasional seagull dives and squawks as he nears his prey, whilst ducks quack their loud honking call to all who dwell in this fair Bay.

Faint whisps of colour brush the sky with the promise of another glorious sunrise, as shards of firey pink gold peak through on the horizon.

It’s the Dance of Dawn, a scene she has watched hundreds of times from this very spot, a time when majesty and wonder collide to bring forth such promise and mystery to any given day.

Not a chance of accident or evolution;  the morning glory tells the ages past of the ages present and the ages to come.

More shards of firey glory are breaking through as she looks straight ahead and watches in great anticipation.

This dance of hope and wonder, never gets old.

She sits watching as a lone bird flies past the firey scene on it’s way to join it’s friends.  She feels the warmth invade her soul as the peak of the burning sphere rises above the Island.  She covets the residents on that island, watching the sunrise without interruption….

God’s glory rises in her heart….

The wonder of a new day….

A mystery to unfold….

Not rules and principles to govern this soul, but movement – grace and hope wrapped in this ball of light.

The silence of this moment is interrupted by the sounds of vehicles revving;  the golden glow spreads like magic thoughout the sky.

She glimpses it’s reflection in her own golden hair.  Grace upon grace enfolds her heart as love awakens the Dawn.

Clouds part as shards of light disperse and the morning song becomes a crescendo of melodies calling from Heaven.

Relections of gold shimmer and dance on the water as this autumn day beckons her to the fro.

A row of trees on the island look like they’re dancing in front of a seductive camp fire…

The sun peaks out and bounces off her page as she writes.  Ahhh, the warmth of the sun, the golden glimpses that enrapture her imagination.

A snapshot forms in her mind, to go with all the other hundreds of snapshots she has taken of this wonderous moment.

For a brief time other island in the Gulf come into view, bathed in this glorious light.  Ah such awe inspiring visions of love, sent from the Father of lights, to garner our day and show His great pleasure in us.  We, He, I.

The Great  Unfolding timeless mystery of Sunrise.

 

Photos and writing copyrighted by Sandi Wilson 2019.