Do you have a few words or a saying you like to use? Maybe they are ones that either you created yourself or got else where. Continue reading “Two Special Sayings”
Have you ever cried the first time you heard a song, or as that saying goes ‘balled your head off’? I sure have. One certain song called Because You Loved Me, by Celine Dion, sure did that to me. Still to this day it dampens my eyes.
It has me think of the brain illness called Encephalitis I went through years ago. Not so much about me but my husband who went through it all right along side me. I couldn’t have made it through it without him. So as you listen to every word, you’ll see how it shares bits and pieces of just how he was my eye when I couldn’t see and lifted me up when I couldn’t reach. If you know my story, (click here for part of my story.) then I suggest you get a hanky.
I could have chosen many different videos for this song but, as you begin to watch, you’ll see why I had to choose this one. Sure, it is opposite of who’s who, being I was the one laying down. I’m sure you’ll see why I wanted to use this version of this song.
It’s not just about my husband and the love he showed me, but also about God and the love He showed me. Now being close to twenty-nine years since, I still ponder on just how God carried me from the day it hit me to now. As the song says, He was my strength when I was weak.
I want you to listen carefully, seeing if a person comes to your mind that was holding you tight through a tough trial? Or better yet, how God showed you much love, carrying you even tighter. If this song words if perfectly for you as it does me, please let me know.
Sometimes I don’t make sense to myself. I take that back. Quite often I don’t make sense to myself. For instance, one day I can’t wait to be with a crowd of people from church, at some party, and the like. But other times, sorry but I’d rather be by myself.
What is it about crowds and me that sometimes don’t click? My memory problem is what I blame. Let me explain. God saw fit to have me endure a brain damaging illness years ago called Encephalitis (‘E’ for short) Thankfully I am, I like to say, 90% recovered from it all but that 10% can sure be a pill: remembering names of people, places and things. I like to call it my ‘noun ailment’
Being around others, hearing most all popping up names, places and even sometimes things, I have to do a lot of extra thinking. Including myself in these talks is sure not easy. I give my ‘oh, really?’, my ‘Ya.. I know’, or just give that nodding-head look making it seem like I know all that’s being said. But deep inside I’m often thinking ‘I wish I could remember which person it is they keep talking about.’ or ‘I think that’s the same movie I saw last week. Not sure. I’ll just be quiet.’
What makes dealing with all of this bearable after all these years (notice I said bearable, not tearless-able) is knowing God saw it best I went though this back then as He still holds my hand though it now.
Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Corinthians 12: 9-10 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, (and even in a big crowd) for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
I’ve shared bit’s and pieces of my story on my website but here is a different way to explain it. Click here to read.
– My Third Birthday and a Blank Spot –
We all naturally think a birthday marks that special day a person was born. But I like to say I’m one who had three birthdays. The first of all three was when I popped out of my mommies tummy fifty years ago. (1*) Yep. Good ol’ April Fools day. Continue reading “My Third Birthday and a Blank Spot”
– I live here? (Part 2) –
As Chris began opening that door, I asked again, but this time just to myself, “I live here?”
That was the last sentence of my last post about the first time visiting my home while staying in the hospital. That illness called encephalitis affected my memory big time, keeping me from remembering anything about that sweet little apartment my husband, myself, and our two young daughters called home. (1*)
As I felt uncertainty about all that was around me, my husband opened the door. There I was, standing in my home that, to me, felt like the first time. Pretend it was your first time visiting your friend’s new place. You go in, begin looking around, curious at what you see. Even though I had lived there a few years, that is exactly how I felt.
Once inside, one of the first things I noticed was my mom, who was standing in the living room with my two daughters. She held our six-month-old, Trina, as our three-year-old, Cassie, was standing there glued to her Grandma’s leg. I did recognize the girls, since they had visited me a few times in the hospital, but not instantly. After all, that was my first time seeing them outside the home I was used to: the hospital. Sad to say, but having a Mommy-type feeling toward them was still hard to find.
“This is where all four of us live,” Chris said, as he and my mom sensed a cloud of questions floating over my head while looking around. They knew not to overflow me with information about the things I was looking at. Slowly I began asking questions about those things that stood out.
“Who gave this to me?” “How long have we had this?” “Do we use this a lot?” “This is a paper towel, right?”
I’m sure I more than once asked, ‘What is this?’ After all, things like a microwave, rocking chair, or changing table, were things I didn’t recall seeing before.
“It’s time we now go downstairs,” my husband said, finally sensing I was enjoying looking around.
“Oh, cool! More neat stuff to look at,” and down we all went.
“You mean all these clothes are just mine? This shower is a lot bigger than that one at the hospital. I know what those are,” I said with a grin. “Toothbrushes! Is this one mine? It’s yellow, right?”
And now the one thing I can perfectly picture me saying. “So this is where I sleep?” feeling all around while sitting on it. “This bed is huge!”
Remember, I was only familiar with twin-sized beds from both hospitals.
I stayed on my bed most of the time in the hospitals, so of course seeing that bigger bed stood out.
The things I saw that, to this day, stand out the most:
“What are those little boxes? They sort of look funny?” I asked while looking under my bed.
Looking under my bed? Yep. By this point I was having fun looking above and below, inside and out of almost everything.
“I don’t know,” Chris answered. “but they do have a certain look that gives me a clue what they are. Let’s pull them out.”
Chris and my mom must have giggled inside, knowing that was the best time for them to explain what wrapped Christmas gifts were all about. My face must have had the same look of excitement as a little kid who is about to unwrap Christmas presents.
“I wanna see what I got for people,” I said, grinning from ear to ear.
Of course I forget what they were, but I do know I’ll never forget sitting on my huge bed, my three-year-old-daughter, Cassie, who was now a bit more comfortable standing closer to me, hoping she would get to see a gift that was meant for her.
Christmas time, ever since, is very special to me when watching little kids open up gifts. And I believe it’s because I got to experience opening up Christmas presents as a twenty-three-year-old little kid.
Marianne Petersen is a member of Northwest Christian Writers Association and author of a forthcoming memoir about her experience with encephalitis. You can follow Marianne on Twitter at @marimemoirs and read more at her blog, MariMemiors.com.
– God’s Puzzle Began Making Sense –
God’s plans and timing are perfect, as my first blog about my encephalitis shows.
What started as one crazy puzzle seemed to have many pieces thrown all around. Thankfully, however, a few important pieces were obviously put together by God that first day. He knew when and where it was best to place me when I had my seizure, and who was best to have right there with me. –
That day I left the hospital, eighteen days later, was also perfectly planned.
If you are assuming that God’s plan for me was to be going home that day, with a quick stop at McDonald’s on the way, you are wrong. That stop was on my way to another hospital.
The first hospital I went to was the closest for the ambulance to take me to on that snow-filled day in December. It was there that it was discovered I was, for the most part, physically fine. Much worry still, for they realized that my brain was far from being fine and needed more care. 1*
They knew a hospital that specialized in brain damage was a must. The car ride that day—shared in my last blog—was to my next new home, the next hospital where I had to spend a few more weeks. -2*
This part of the story shows, again, how God went the extra mile in planning, with love, this entire ordeal He knew I needed. That second hospital, a forty-five-minute drive from the first hospital, wasn’t even two miles away from Chris’s parents’ home. But that’s not it. They both WORKED at that hospital! Yes, you read it right. Both his parents worked there. Their hours were very flexible, and both were able to help immensely. I can’t write enough how thankful I am for that simple fact. Dorothy, Chris’s mother, was able to adjust her hours to help watch one or both of our two girls from the start. Their home was the perfect spot for Chris and the girls to spend many nights while I was in that hospital – literally – just down the street.
Having been sent to that second hospital showed us that God was putting a few more puzzle pieces together. It sure felt like it was one huge puzzle, but we were comforted knowing God was the one who made it.
As I started my next chapter of recovery, God kept His fatherly love right there. Even though the ‘why, God?’ question was still floating around, knowing my brain wasn’t affected nearly as much as it could have been sure helped. And, knowing that God was there helped the most.
We all just hoped He would put that puzzle—me—back together very soon, and that no pieces would be missing.