Just not feeling so fantastic..........trying to rest up this weekend...promise to tell all about the rest of our adventures in Africa as soon as I am up to it....
Oh gosh I am so exhausted...I tried to stay awake all day today so I could get back on a regular sleep schedule. My body wanted to go to bed at about 1pm......I am gonna hit the sack soon....But first I gotta post a few photos.......such a wonderful time...seriously, I love looking the photos...all of them.....between all of us we took over 2000 photos, so I will start with the ones that sort of embody the whole wonderful feeling of the trip....friendship, FUN, the raw beauty of South Africa....relaxing, surrenduring, absorbing it.....it was just so much fun....
I will tell more about the terrific event later....as I don't have all of those photos yet...here's some that I already have downloaded from one of our 5 days in Kruger. Wow....our Creator took extra special time on this place........I will share all of the animal photos later, Safari enthusiasts will be amazed that we not only saw the BIG 5 but the MAGNIFICENT 7.....and several rare animals as well....our guide said he'd never had a day like that in his 13 year career...those photos will be later....
So there were 6 of us on this weeklong portion of beautiful safari/exploring/playing/learning/having fun.......Retha and Zander, our wonderful hosts, who were responsible, along with Canon Camera for bringing the 4 of us to South Africa and showing us the time of our lives...after spending 2 weeks with them...even living in their home with their family for part of the time....we are lifelong friends.....and...our old and very dear friends, Ben and Christy Tomlinson.....such a treat to do this with them....the class, the whole South Africa experience.....
I am still pinching myself. So much to tell you once I am coherent again...so so much.....
HELLO ALL! We made it home, in clothes we'd been wearing for 36 hours, ready for a hot shower after lots of hugs and trip highlights with the kids....
Just wanna say goodbye before we leave for our trip today. I finally get to go back to South Africa...and I promised last time I was there that I would come back with my husband next time...no matter how long it took to get him well enough.....we are SO EXCITED, SO THANKFUL and so IN AWE at all that's happened in the two years since I was in that magical country.
This is a photo of me in Cape Town, South Africa 2 years ago. It just occurred to me that I am going back there, leaving TODAY...a completely new person....in a completely new life. This girl in this picture looks confident and on top of the world....she was actually so brokenhearted that she could hardly take her next step.
I absolutely do not have time to do this right now...I am leaving for this big soul trip with Marq and Christy and Ben to my favorite country in less than 6 hours.....but, I can not get the feelings out of my gut that someone needs to hear the words that are in my heart and have been for days. Today is an important day. It is time.
I have been reluctant lately to talk about all of the stirrings going on inside of me. I keep thinking that I have had enough time to heal up and be whole...and I am..I REALLY AM...I FEEL MORE AUTHENTIC AND WHOLE THAN EVER....day by day by day....but... The fear...the old pain...the memories...things that I think my body wants to deal with once and for all....after caring for Marq for these 4 years and stuffing my own feelings down..I have been confronting those things in lots of different ways and the overall feeling of heart/soul freedom and healing has been intense and wonderful and difficult too. I have been confused when wierd things make me cry or make me angry....like when my personality test said that I am most certainly a YELLOW who is motivated by fun and looked myself in the mirror and realized how far away from that person I let myself become......(and I really am doing SO GOOD...this is all just a much slower process than I had hoped) I want to share more about that soon because I know from the law of attraction that people who are in this kind of pain keep being drawn to me and I get so many emails, calls, letters, etc. about how to move forward in really difficult/devastating/painful situations. I have not known what to say...and, finally, I am breaking through all of this...finally...in layers...I do FABULOUSLY for days...then get to another layer of it....then I have to start over...figuring things out...dealing with it. I will tell you what I have learned from it all soon, I promise. We women get WAAAAY too good at looking brave all the time...so that we make each other think that we must be the ONLY ones who are afraid......or sad....or scared...or confused.....SO NOT THE CASE! We all go through this stuff. I love that we can learn from each other and borrow each other's BRAVE CROWNS when we need to.
Yesterday I was listening to Marq on the phone with his doctor in Denver....the one we FINALLY found last Spring who has made all the difference in the world. They were talking about how it's been a few months since he went off most of his medications, how he was feeling 100% pretty much since July, and how they were going to cycle him off of his last medication when we get back from Africa in a few weeks. I felt slow little tears going down my cheeks because I realized that it was all true and that it was ok. No more doctors...no more medications...no more living without my husband. What a miracle.
Yesterday I was talking to one of my attorneys, who said as of midnight TODAY, it was over (I even stayed up most of the night to FEEL IT)....all this yucky horrible business/legal stuff from our past is over...and we can move on....
Yesterday we sat in the living room...all 7 of us...just talking. It was normal, too. That's what we do now. We have dinner together and we make things and we share the chores and we argue and debate and we brainstorm and help each other with our homework and jobs.
Yesterday we had to pull our luggage out from under the stairway closet...because it has been SOOO long since we've been on a long trip...though I used to LIVE out of my suitcase....and was traveling for business sometimes for half the month. I love being home more than I can even explain.
Yesterday I was looking through photos to find a few things for my project that I am doing in South Africa next week......and found these notes from my kids......if you can not read them...just double click and they will get bigger. These are very personal....and there was a time 2 years ago when first I thought my husband was completely recovered...then shortly after he crashed harder than ever and I thought for sure he would never be recovered...and I talked to my counselor about how worried I was about how my children were dealing with this....and she told me to just ASK THEM...so, I did. I knew at the time that these answers were precious and wonderful and that we were really gonna be ok...but, then I put them away with my photos and........found them on just the day that everything feels new and real.....
(If you are new around here.....my husband sustained a traumatic brain injury while surfing in 2004 that completely changed his personality...once he was up and around and awake....we realized the TBI made him mean and horrid and angry and without love or affection even for his family....he went through horrible bouts of depression, anxiety, rage and mostly severe personality changes....he had debilitating headaches and exhaustion and I could not work in a job or be with people or function at all really.....he wanted to die most of the time.......I get so sick of saying and typing that sentence or paragraph....but every day the words that follow that sentence are different...today...I must say...the words that follow are finally this....THAT I would NEVER change that experience....ever.)
These were written Winter 2006 or maybe early 2007....we had just found out that after those years of struggle after Marq's accident...that there was a storm brewing underneath in other places too...we were losing our business that was our livelihood (so complicated and yucky...but essentially I couldn't hold it together after marq's accident and we ended up getting the business taken from us...), losing our house and we had no idea what was going to happen, where we were going to live, or how we were going to make it. I would put on a brave front for my children but I didn't REALLY know how they were feeling....it had already been SO MANY hard years...trying to hold it all together with such a broken heart...I was so afraid that they weren't doing well at all....but I never asked....then I just wrote it out and asked them to answer each separately.....
2 years ago I went to South Africa alone....while the shell of my husband lay at home....and had a very life-changing experience. I was CERTAIN that I was coming home to a brand new life....that the last few years of excruciation were over and that things would be different when I got home. Things would turn a corner and our life would be happy and successful and wonderful, that all of the messes would get cleaned up and we would live our happy dreams on our farm with our children. I WAS CERTAIN. I traveled there alone, met up with industry friends....smiled as much as I could though my heart was broken into millions of pieces....got very introspective....rested...listened.....
....had so much going on in my heart and mind...so many messages.
At that time in 2006...I figured it was long enough...that God would SURELY bless us in this way and that after those 2 horrific years, my husband would be healed. If you are not a big "GOD" person, I apologize. I don't know that I really was so much before all of this happened. I can not go a minute without seeing God's hand in my life, in our life, so....I must be honest. God has been here, all along. All along....when I angrily screamed His name, when I challenged His existence, when I was angry and resentful and felt forgotten and forsaken. He was there all along. He was there when we begged for it to be over, and He was there to teach us about His timing.....
I came home and Marq WAS better, but it wasn't permanent.... it really seemed that way, honestly. I went back and looked at this post from when I came home....he DID show me a piece of his old self for a week or so...he kissed me, he talked to me, he loved me. He worked outside on his tractor. He seemed 100% back. Here's a photo from the day I got home...
here's the post I wrote about it 2 years ago.
you can read there that I did admit that I didn't know if it would last....but I REALLY REALLY REALLY believed that it would.
I remember coming home and writing that post and then getting a call from my niece........who I am very close to...she is one of my best friends. She was away at college and called me late one night. She said she couldn't get me off of her mind....and that she felt VERY compelled to call me, after some time in prayer....she said that she got the strongest impression to tell me that I WOULD BE GIVEN THE STRENGTH I NEEDED TO HANDLE THE VERY DIFFICULT TRIALS THAT WERE AHEAD FOR ME.
I told her she must have gotten that message late...because I had just made it through these horrible few years...and now it was time for it to be over. Things were going to change.
I really believed that Marq was honestly BACK and going to turn the corner back to happiness, that this wasn't just a brief wierd episode of normalcy that he was having like what had happened a few times before....I really believed it was going to last this time.....
Our life didn't all come together after than trip either.
It completely fell apart.
And Marq spiraled down again........into that horrible dark place that neither he nor I could break into to rescue him....and it lasted a very long time.
It was to last a few more years.
Get out the violins....it gets worse. (I can laugh about all of this now because I can finally really see all of the gifts inside of it)
A month after this photo.............we lost our very successful business and as you can imagine...it cracked my heart open and I went on a numb autopilot...and it caused all sorts of giant heartbreaking messes with cherished employees who soon became former employees.....with people we had done business with for all of those years. I felt brokenhearted guilt over all of it...I felt foolish, that I didn't see what was happening right in front of my face....that I couldn't save it.....it all felt so cruel.
The dominos kept falling...we lost our farm and the 100 year old house we restored together. We lost Marq's cherished tractor and our cars...our "stuff"....
We lost lots of our friendships either because they didn't understand why Marq was so different....so mean and sad....or because no one understood what happened to our business so they made up reasons of their own.....
I was even sure we lost the marriage we worked so hard for....though it sure didn't feel like work when it was so beautiful.....the man I married was held hostage and not able to talk to me or relate to me or love me....
I did all sorts of crazy things to evade my feelings...I worked out at the gym like crazy...a few hours a day before anyone even woke up. I worked like crazy...as much as I could....I hardly slept and worked while everyone was asleep. I didn't ever want to deal with all that was happening.
I made deals with God.
I fooled myself into believing that we could get that old life back.
TWO YEARS HAVE GONE BY
these have been very hard years, in just about every way.
it is 2008.
It occurred to me as I was reading those notes that:
Today I took Max and Mitch to school (see Max's note where it says I WISH MY MOM COULD TAKE ME TO SCHOOL)
I work from home every day. (I wish my mom could be home)
Marq is back to 100% (I wish my dad was better)
We have a house....(so funny and sad that they were so worried about that)
Maybe it took giving up EVERYTHING to get to HERE....where we BELONG...but I promise you that i would do it all over again to get to here.
WE ARE DIFFERENT PEOPLE - we made it.
I didn't think we were so bad before......we weren't...but certainly we were not awake. We were living on autopilot. We were not seeing.......SEEING.
OUR FAMILY MADE IT.
We are all completely IN LOVE with each other........our dad is back...my husband and soul mate is back....for REAL this time. No medication, no straining and trying. He just IS. We made it through stuff that I never EVER would have imagined we could get through.
Our old life is gone. I do not want it back. We are walking into a brave new place.........and today, I can not believe all of the things that just happened to be beginning or ending in our life all at the same time.
Life falls into pieces sometimes. And, many times.....it is not the best or right thing to do to try to pick the old pieces back up. Sometimes we just have to wait for new growth.....like a forest that burned down.....
or sometimes we think something is dead when it was just dormant.
like a tree in the winter.
a tree that grows leaves and blossoms and fruit without trying....
I have been feeling buds growing on to my dormant branches...and they feel like they may be blossoming soon...then a promise of fruit later on.........and...surely, there will be another winter.
But I will love the spring while it is here.
KEEP GOING. BE BRAVE. KEEP GOING. JUST SHOW UP EVERY DAY IF THAT'S ALL YOU CAN DO.
WE ARE GOING TO AFRICA!!!!!!!
it's our honeymoon....of our new life, new marriage....
coincidentally we are doing a whole album in South Africa called THIS IS ME.
Here's my personal pages that I completed for it...it's going to be sooo fun. We are using those cool albums with different page protectors...some with 3 or 4 different slots...total album dimensions are 8x12....all different configurations of page protectors...fun and simple...