The Aftermath

Have you ever thought about the word ‘aftermath’ and actually looked up the definition? That word came to me this morning of this new day after my Uncle’s funeral service.

A cold front blew in yesterday during the service and it is chilly today. I am now emotionally exhausted after the last 2 days. What comes now is the real hard part I imagine. That is what people say. We are in the aftermath of this terrible, awful event and now that the service is complete we have to find the ‘new normal.’ I think I really dislike that word, normal. What is normalcy?

I do not want to talk about normal because it does not exist, I do not think, but I do want to talk about aftermath. Have you ever looked it up? I just did:


Merriam Webster:
1. a second-growth crop —called also rowen
2:  consequence, result <stricken with guilt as an aftermath of the accident>
3:  the period immediately following a usually ruinous event <in the aftermath of the war>
Origins: Aftermath dates to the late 1400s and was originally an agricultural term. Its two parts are transparent—but only if you’re familiar with an ancient word math that is now used only in British dialectal English and that means “a mowing of a grass or hay crop” and also refers to the crop that is gathered. The original aftermath came, of course, after the math: it was historically the crop of (usually) grass cut, grazed, or plowed under after the first crop of the season from the same soil. It wasn’t until the mid-late 1600s that aftermath developed its other meanings, both of which are now far more common than the first.
Synonyms: aftereffect, effect, backwash, child, conclusion, consequence, corollary, development, fate, fruit, issue, outcome, outgrowth, precipitate, product, result, resultant, sequel, sequence, upshot
Related Words: ramification; denouement (also dénouement), echo, implication, repercussion; afterclap, afterglow, aftershock; blowback, by-product, fallout, offshoot, ripple, side effect (alsoside reaction), spin-off

Dictionary.com:
noun
1something that results or follows from an event, especially one of adisastrous or unfortunate nature; consequence: the aftermath of war; the aftermath of the flood.
2a new growth of grass following one or more mowings, which may begrazed, mowed, or plowed under.
Origins1515-25; after + math a mowing, Old English mǣth; cognate with Old HighGerman mād (German Mahd); akin to mow1
Synonyms: outcome, result, upshot.


Is that not interesting? Two completely different meanings. I only ever thought of it in a negative light. I never knew about the agricultural derivation. There are two sides to every coin and this word has two sides. Well, really, it is like a coin spinning on the counter like a top. This life, this world, and everything in/on it is continuously revolving and evolving. Life keeps going whether you move your feet or not. The plants keep growing and changing with every season just like us. Everything comes full circle on their own timelines. You cut the grass, gather the crop, and it grows back anew with new life. That crop feeds the stock. With fire or torrential storms comes new growth. With death comes birth. That is the light and the life. Look at the synonyms in the Merriam Webster definition: child, fruit, outgrowth. AHA moment.

I have been struggling with the why and the questions without answers (I admit most of my prayers have been for my Aunt and Cousins). The why does not matter and the answers are not there. That is for God. We must however, look for Him, His light, and His will in all things. I do not believe that God wanted my Uncle to die in this way. I do believe that it was not my Uncle that did that. He was sick and not in his right mind. He was not treating his illness. I do believe that God was there with my Uncle at all times. He could not see Him there with him.

How can we see the good that can come out of this? He was a man of God. This I know with all my heart. He was a CPA in both his career and in his faith. He was a Certified Public Accountant. He was also certified by God, Public in his faith, and gave his personal Account of God (I took that part from the service, and it is all true). We will never know, in this realm, why this happened. I know he is survived by his siblings, his wife, his three children, and his three grandchildren. There has been new life. Those babies. AHA moment. We must all be certified by God, public in our faith, and tell our account for the children. Children are resilient and and have full faith and trust. We need to learn to be like that as the adult children of God and show the kids the right path. He is our Faithful Father. Trust in Him and leave our burdens with Him. We all have so little understanding and this earthly life, however hard, is short.

This story, however hard, can also save somebody’s life. It is not a dirty secret to be kept in a closet next to that itchy sweater your cousin once removed knitted for you that your mother makes you wear and you wish you could burn. It must be told to those worthy of hearing. You never know who is currently or has dealt with this exact same thing and has felt alone. No person is alone here and we all have a story. We all have more in common than anyone wants to believe. Be proud of who you are where you come from. It makes you who you are. We are all divinely and uniquely made in HIS vision.

Please share your story.

Harvest the crop and fruit from the bad and grow the new life into good.

Lead with love, dear readers. LOVE.

 

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Today

Today I must attend the visitation of my Uncle. The service is tomorrow. I am charged with being by my Aunt’s side to be her support. She has lost her support of forty years. A week ago today, almost to the hour, my Uncle committed suicide. I can not believe that I am saying this, but it happened. It is not a secret. It just is. Life is still going and moving on. Until now I had only told three people. We are survivors. I have a whole new feeling about that word.

We are still in shock and are gathered together. We are all here: Grandparents, Parents, Aunts, Uncles, Brothers, Sisters, Sons, Daughters, Nieces, Nephews, Grandchildren, Friends.

It does not compute in my brain. To be perfectly honest, I am not quite sure what my feelings are beyond utter sadness. Yes, he was depressed and was forced to retire, but no one knew the severity had reached this point. He would not talk about it with anyone except his doctor. We are not an out of touch group. There are no answers.

We all need prayers for peace and strength. To feel His presence. Come Holy Spirit.

Go hug your people and tell them you love them. Let them know that they are not alone. You are not alone. Love them and yourself. AHA moment. It is hard to find the AHA moments in times like this, but they are there. Thank the Lord for this life and find the hope in prayer.

The communication needs to start here. Mental illness (is that politically correct?) is not something to hide or be ashamed of. It is an illness that needs to be treated like cancer or anything else. It is more common than most people think.

I would rather be telling you about how I had wonderful rides this weekend. I just hugged the horses and Darcy, breathed them in like oxygen. They can feel it. Man, I am so grateful for them. They are healing.

I will be singing this on repeat today. I know I shared it with y’all yesterday, but I am going to share it again.


“The rising of the sun, burn away my sorrow
Chase away the night, and pull me to tomorrow
Fill in every part of my heart that is hollow”

 

 

A Prayer You Can Borrow

I have a little something for all of you. You might have figured at this point that I am really into Sean McConnell’s music. I would link him up here, but I am sharing this with you real quick from my phone. Blogging from your phone is NOT easy. Enough of that, though. Let us get on with it. Between it being the holidays and events of late, I am way past introspection and my music choices sometimes show it. I have been leaning more towards faith based, which I think is good. Typically I listen to more depressing stuff. This song in particular came up exactly when I needed it.  I hope you enjoy it. I also have some sunrise shots from this morning at the farm. 




I am not looking forward to work tomorrow or the other things I have to do this week, but I am looking forward to moving on. 

Lead with love, dear readers. Talk to y’all tomorrow. 

They do not lie…

No, they do not lie about the Texas sky. 

I hope each and every one of my followers from the USA had a great Thanksgiving. I am thankful for my many blessings. All of you, my dear readers, are included in that. I will be back next week with my regular postings. 

Here is this evening’s sunset. Walk your walk in love. 

Thanksgiving Eve

Today I am thankful for the rain. Thankful for my family and this time of togetherness. I am thankful for you, dear readers, for being here, for being you, and for your continued support. God is working in our lives and I am beyond thankful that I can see it! 

I am sorry if yesterday was a little ‘too’ real for some of you. However, this is life and what it is about. One can not cherry pick, everyone is dealt their hand of cards. We will get through this together. When I started this blog, I told myself I would be as open as possible. My struggles are not a new concept. No one is alone in their challenges or in this life. 

My hope and prayer is that my story relates to even just one person that stumbles upon this blog and they realize they are not alone. I hope they find comfort in that and develop the courage to share their story with someone worthy. We are all worthy. Did you hear that? YOU are worthy! 

A sunrise shot from this past weekend.

How do I title this?

I am not even sure where to begin today. I am in a fog and in shock. I am full of questions that the answers do not really matter in the big picture. I have been acting almost as if nothing has happened since I found out yesterday afternoon. It is shear shock. I cleaned out the pantry because I just could not sit. I would have to take sitting breaks because I would get weak. I was actually, physically sick. I stayed home from work. I would scroll through the ‘book of face’ and the blogging sphere ‘liking’ and commenting like it was any other day. Who am I? I have only told one person.

Yesterday was a day my family and I will never forget. I am not sure we should even if we could. I can not elaborate much more than that for now. One day, you will know the story. For now, I just can not. It feels like a bad dream that we will not figuratively wake up from for a long time. If I ever thought that any of my troubles were big or a lot to handle, they are all trivial now. This has been a hard year full of wtf WTF. Pardon my language. There is really no other way to put it.

I am asking for prayers. Prayers to lean into Him in this time of tragic loss. I just took a big breath having said that. Literally. Prayers to grow in our faith and to grow together in this time of need. Prayers for strength and peace. Prayers for understanding. Any inkling of understanding.

To say such a thing is unfathomable. How will we ever understand. That feels more like a statement or rhetorical question rather than an actual question. I am not sure it is for us to understand in this earthly realm.

I pray that He can speak through me for them.

We will never know why things like this happen. Our time here on earth is so short. Hug your loved ones and tell them you love them. I am grateful for my family and friends, my horses in the pasture, my dog in the house, and that there is a bunch of cooking that needs to be done. Life goes on whether or not we are moving with it.

Lead with love today and always. Thank you for being here and being you.

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SOS

It is Monday before Thanksgiving and I am home sick 😷. Sore throat, coughing, and congestion. 


This is me right now watching Hallmark.

I was fine when I went to bed last night, but I woke up in the middle of the night with a very sore throat. I got basically no sleep past that point. I am currently waiting for the phones to open at the ENT so I can go get my throat swabbed. 

A very sad ending to a great weekend. I got a lot of chores done, let Darcy on the couch, rode, and took Lito for a long walk down the road. I hope everyone had a great weekend and got outside. Lead with love, dear readers. 

Listen Linda!

Today is Friyay if you did not know! Now you do. I read day 12. On to day 13. Next week is a short week and middle sister and her hubby are in town!

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I am flyin’ solo in the office today. I do not like flyin’ solo in the office. It is too quiet. I am playing Christmas music out loud to compensate though, and I had Christmas coffee this morning! Out my office window I can watch the cold front blow in. I am to head out to the farm with my Darcy pup directly after work. Then on Sunday, I ride Bella the buckskin and do my Thanksgiving grocery shopping. I might even get the Christmas decorations down and ready to put up.

I hope each and every one of you have a great weekend. Enjoy the cold weather if you have it. We will! Get rest and ready for Thanksgiving! Think about what you are grateful for this Thanksgiving.

What are y’all doing to get ready for Thanksgiving? What are you grateful for???

Interesting.

Life is interesting. I have been very introspective as of late. You have probably noticed this. I would say it is the holidays, but really every year it begins in October because that is when my birthday is.

I began 2016 with such hope and many plans. Even with the state of the oil & gas industry and the death of our Mr. Man just a few months prior, I was prepared to make it a good year. Here is a little confession time, I put myself in a safe and protected position. I moved back in with my parents in case I lost my job. Bless them. I am so grateful for my parents allowing me (and my Darcy dog) to move back in. It has not been easy. This was really not something I wanted in my life plan and do not like to admit, but plans change so we change. We accept and move on. It is always hard. It was/is temporary. It was/is the smart thing to do.

I was going to focus on the good and make it good. I still had a job and I was saving money. I worked at a place that allowed me to have a schedule and life and they were great people. I was going to continue going to bible study and start reading my bible daily. I even got one of those read the bible in 365 days deals. Really, I bought it way before that, but I was going to start it. I was going to start riding my Lito man in the spring. I had some goals set for us. My middle sister was getting married in the summer to a wonderful man. At the end of the summer I would find out if I got accepted into this exclusive, ladies group. If accepted, we would go on a week long riding retreat vacation in the fall. I am person who tends to be resistant to change, but I was ready and open for the change that could happen and wanted things to start moving in my life.

2016 has been a hard year. Some are extremely difficult to digest and talk about. Our ranch hand that took great care of my babies and buried Mansebo was tragically killed in a car accident. He worked for us for seven years. We have yet to find a suitable replacement after trying three different people. The river flooded twice, taking fencing, water lines, and water troughs with it both times. Lito’s goals came and went like a flash before my eyes without my say thanks to the weather. We have lost a few big calves for no apparent reason. There have been several unexpected deaths, human, equine, and bovine. Since spring I have only been to bible study a handful of times. I am currently on day 11 of my daily bible reading. Day 11. I read day 11 yesterday. Go me, and I still live with my parents.

Many great things did happen though. I still have my job at this wonderful company with great people. We are hopeful to see this thing through to the other side. I still have two full sets of grandparents. I am a proud new member of an equestrian sisterhood and had a blast on our week long ride. My sister is happily married to that wonderful man. They are coming home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. My niece turned 1 year old. Lito has been started under saddle and is a great youngster. I could not have dreamed up a better one. I am in no hurry with him and have no reason to rush or get upset if it is not as I expected or planned. This is about him and us, not me. I even got to ride him through the shallows of the flood at a big, floaty, water splashing trot. Think big boy trot down the diagonal and that was only his 4th ride. We had several grass growing rains, even if they did flood. Better than the drought. I am trying to make reading my bible part of my routine, absorbing the messages He is trying to teach, and pray every day.

I feel in some ways very much the same as I did almost a year ago in January, in other ways I am different. I adapted and changed my plans. I moved on. Made new goals and kept some old ones.

I still feel stagnant in my life. Change is happening, but it feels as if it is happening around me. I still am unsure if I am doing what I am supposed to be doing with my life.

I did read my bible yesterday and prayed a couple of times. Here is the interesting thought were I started off writing this post. How it took that many words to get here, I am not sure. I woke up twice last night and remember even though I was not fully awake thanking God for everything I have and everything He has done for me, with me, and through me. Hello Holy Spirit! Something is happening inside me even if it feels like am standing still, my feet stuck in concrete blocks. Today I am praying for intention. To be intentional in my bible reading. To be intentional in my prayer with Him. To be intentional about being open to His will for me. I am going to read day 12 when I get home.

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Spread the peace, love, and joy my dear readers. We all need it. Everyone is walking in their own shoes. Help each other focus on the good and the positive.

Tomorrow is Friday. That means the weekend. Then it is Thanksgiving! Then it is Christmas! How is that for positive!

Darcy

My Darcy girl. Darcy’s story is truly a special one. At least to me anyway.
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It begins with a ‘long story short’ kind of deal. I was ready for a dog. I was wrapping up my first year of grad school. If you have put two and two together, you have gathered that at this point (I suppose that it dependent on my story telling skills, which are not that great, but let us not focus on that at the present moment) I have 2 horses and am in grad school. Perfect timing for a puppy! I would not recommend it for most people. I arranged a deal with my eldest sister to get a female puppy from a litter sired by her Irish Field Setter (because I love her dog) as her stud fee. She was to give the pup to me. Here comes the long story short part. The litter did not make.
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My sister’s Irish Field Setter.

It was August at this point. I was pretty upset. I broke a cardinal rule and had already bought a collar with a name plate. What did this mean? Do I not get one? Do I try to find one? If I was going to get a puppy, now was the time. I would have plenty of time to train a puppy while in school before I had to join the full time adult world. I needed to either get one now or wait till I was settled in a job. I am not one for waiting once I get my mind set on something if you have not figured that out yet. I decided to ask and look around. If I found a puppy that somehow was available and filled the necessary qualifications, I would THINK about getting it.

My chances were next to none. Most field bred, bird dog litters are only bred when the breeders know a full litter is committed for. I decided not loose heart and began my search for a Llewellin Setter (basically a specific line of field bred English Setter) which is what I really wanted in the first place. I grew up with English Setters and they are easier to find than the Irish.

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My childhood English Setter.
One thing led to another and I got in touch with the owner of a stud dog in Minnesota that sired a litter with a few puppies still available. She put me through a little bit of an interrogation until she heard my story and figured out I was not making an impulse decision. She deemed me worthy enough to get me in touch with the owner of the dam…in Michigan. That is really far from Texas, but I figured it was worth a call. If anything, they might be able to recommend me to someone in a more reasonable location.
I called him on a Sunday on my way home from the farm. We talked for almost the whole hour drive. It was great. I had a feeling. I had a feeling about the dogs. I had a feeling about him. I had a feeling about the owner of the stud dog. It all just seemed right. I needed this puppy that was not even born yet, but I could not let my feelings get away from me. I had to be logical and practical. Despite my ‘feelings,’ I had never met either of these dogs. I had always intended to get a dog from down here that was used to the climate. Anyway, How does one get a puppy from all the way up there to all the way down here without spending more than the cost of the puppy???
The next day I called him back and expressed my concerns. Now, here is where it gets really good. He tells me that it is really no big deal. He just so happens to be driving right by the stud dog owner’s house right when the pups would be 7 weeks old (which would be within the week before my birthday). He already spoke with her and she just so happened to be driving all the way down to Ft. Worth that very next day he was driving by and would be happy to bring the puppy along for the ride. He said not to worry about it, they would work it out to ensure the pup had a good home with me. How crazy is that?! It was fate. I agreed to drop my down payment in the mail that day.
Fast forward to the beginning of October and my mother and I drove up to Ft. Worth to pick up my Darcy girl. I chose a ‘D’ name after Darcy’s mother, Daisy. Darcy came from Pride & Prejudice because I am obsessed with Jane Austen and that particular novel. With Darcy cuddled in my arms, my mother and I checked into a fun hotel for the evening. Middle sister came to meet the puppy and spend the night as she lives in the vicinity of the Metroplex. We had a grand time with takeout for dinner and right before bed, I look over at my bag and what do I see? Darcy is curled up in a ball IN my bag, looking at me. It was at that moment I KNEW I made the right decision. I had found the sidekick I had been waiting for.
The first weekend home together we loaded up and went to the farm. She learned everything from riding in the back of the pick up to being around the horses to drinking out of a water trough. The rest really is history, as they say. She has been at my side ever since. I take her everywhere I can. She has a huge personality and is extremely expressive. She hangs out at the barn with me and goes with me on my rides. She is my farm buddy. She is 3 yo now and I would not change a single thing about her.
That is all for today. I hope y’all liked it. Do any of you have wingpups that do with you what you like to do?
Lead with love, dear readers!