My life - from the impact of great loss, to a refreshing new take on life and a place where I now share ............... my favorite Plant Strong recipes....

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Blessed in the Mist...

… Or should I say fog?
We had a wonderful time camping at the beach this last week. Yes, there was fog - but just enough to enjoy it without it getting too cold and dreary. The weather was great (warm & sunny) up until the last day, and even the storm I enjoyed since we stayed dry and cozy.
The sand, surf and sunshine are always good for my soul. It was a little difficult the first day, because it was the same spot that we camped at with Chelsea back in June. We had reserved these dates 9 months ago before we even knew of her diagnosis. Sometimes I’m still shocked at how quickly our lives have so changed.

Yet it was really good. We had sweet memories of our Chels there. I did have an episode where I got pretty upset with a man who was determined to burn the log where Chelsea had spent much time digging in the sand. Funny that I let a log get so precious to me, and embarrassing at the same time. Okay, so it wasn’t just a log, it had part of the root system that stuck up causing it to stand out a bit, and it was just feet away directly in front of our site on the beach. I asked (okay, pleaded) with the guy not to burn it, but his immediate and determined response was that he had to because he had a 30 person party coming that night and they needed a “wind barrier”. I couldn’t believe it - the log survived all these weeks since we had been there last - and then bam! On my first day someone wants to burn it! He didn’t have an ounce of compassion towards me, but thankfully, his wife did, who had walked up and heard my request. I later saw her grab the shovel from him as he was digging a pit under it, and they were still able to have a great fire there without touching Chelsea’s log.

Chelsea's log back in June when she had written

really big in the sand next to it,

" I (heart) U MOM ! "

It took about an hour for the emotional flood to pass, and once I was able to get the focus off of me and my loss, I really started feeling sorry for that guy. He seemed so calloused. I really felt bad for him. I had to wonder what would cause a person to respond the way he did. I mean, I totally understand the lure of a great fire - it’s Jeff’s most favorite part of camping and he would LOVE to torch such a hunk of wood. Yet if Jeff (or pretty much anyone I know) had been approached with such a plea during the preparations, he wouldn’t have thought twice about halting his efforts and coming up with another plan. Now when I remember the incident, I simply hope and pray that that man will find peace and joy someday…. And I realize how blessed I am to have the husband, friends and family that I do - a support of people who without even thinking put the needs of others before their own.

We had Jackie and her kids with us, and Kati was constantly entertained and looked after. Shovels, buckets, kites, dogs, boards, shops, farmer’s market, chowder, sunsets , campfires and books filled our time. Jeff’s parents surprised and blessed us with not only a visit, but an overnight stay! We hope to have them join us more in the future, and I’m pretty confident that they’re up for such expectations. All in all, it was a wonderful week. Now if I could just get my mounds of laundry done and calls/emails answered!

Plenty of time to monkey around!

On a more sobering note, a very special uncle of mine passed away recently. Uncle Greg will always be remembered for his constant teasing when I was little. When I was around him, I always had a smile on my face. I am blessed as I remember that Chelsea Rae got a taste of his humor and jesting when we camped with the family at Yosemite when she was almost 7. Yet again, another big blow and loss for my family - and my heart and prayers go out to the Dutra’s. I love you guys and am so sorry for the pain that you once again have to endure.

Though we are hurting here, we are doing really well considering. I know that we are being carried and changed. I am not as traumatized by those final days, and I find myself smiling more as I remember my baby. I’m not expecting a quick fix and know that I have many difficult days ahead - but I do rest in knowing that each day it’s going to get a bit easier as we transition. That phrase, “life is hard” that was so prominent in the 80’s comes to mind. I agree now more than ever. It is, but God is good. He never promised that it would be easy - and I look forward, now more than ever, to entering those Heavenly gates and forever being in His presence.

I guess you could say that I am “Holding onto Heaven”.

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Krissy Keelan said...

I'm so glad that guys wife had some compassion. Lots of people out there are only focused on themselves and are also full of hurt and pain so it's understandable.
I'm glad you guys had a good time!!!
Hope to see you sometime soon.
Krissy Keelan

emily said...

I am holding onto Heaven right with you.
I love you and you are in my prayers and thoughts. I hope God is blessing you today and you are enjoying the sunshine.
Can't wait to see you again!
Love, Emily
Lamentations 3:22-24 Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I hope in Him!"

emily said...

It's me again! Just wanted to tell you how much I love you! Since we left right after the sermon today, I wasn't able to give you the hug that I wanted to give you -promise me you'll reserve one for me on Wednesday!!
Love you lots,

Lori said...

Celeste, you continue to amaze and inspire me. Through day after day of painful migraines, you say "God is using them for something." And when confronting a clearly calloused and uncaring man, you find a way to feel sympathy toward him. I would probably allow the encounter to sour the trip and then spend at least a week recounting the story of his self-centeredness to everyone I met. And yet your faithful spirit and gentle soul finds a way to see through his armor. Thanks for sharing this story and the pictures. And thank you for teaching me a lesson in Christian compassion.

celestemc said...

Thanks guys, for all your love and encouragement. Lori, you are so sweet - and I am no saint! You mentioned that you would probably be recounting the story for a week... and that's exactly what I've done by sharing it here! Ouch!! I have to laugh as I type this. Seriously though, I think focussing on what's right and true (Phil 4:8) is key for me these days. The pain is already overwhelming without the help of guys like him. I don't know if I could bear any more if I didn't focus on God and His truths... it would be too much. So really, looking at the guy through Christ's eyes was really selfish of me, for I was doing it to "ease my pain". Make any sense??

Anonymous said...

Dear Celeste and family-

I just want you to know that you are loved this morning! :o) You still continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. Jesus bless you today and give you peace and joy. May many memories of Chelsea bring you pure joy today. May the Lord bless you in a special way today... and may you feel Him closer to you, holding you gently, and helping you walk through this journey all of your own. You still amaze me... and I thank Jesus that no matter what, you have remained faithful to Him... praising Him in all things. May He bless you abundantly for your faithfulness to Him. I know He cries with you and perhaps when you are smiling or giggling over one of Chelsea's silly moments... Jesus and Chelsea are laughing with you.

Love you,

Denese Lawson