Thursday, February 10, 2011


...forgive us OUR sins, as we forgive those who sin AGAINST us.....

When was the last time you stopped to consider the meaning behind the Lord's Prayer? How many of us just "say" it out of life-long habit? Today those words brought me to tears and reminded me that they are so much more than words.

Yes, I've sinned. Lord knows I am no where near perfect. And, yes, people have sinned against me. The challenge I hand myself starting today, is learning how to forgive those who wronged me, betrayed my trust, and hurt me beyond comprehension. Gotta start I choose by beginning with 2 people specifically, and pray that I will find a place of forgiveness, and ultimately peace. I can't reach out to one yet, I'm just not there. I have reached out to the other, trying so desperately to understand. Sometimes it starts with listening with an open heart. Painful as that may be. 

But when the pain is so real and the reality so harsh, where does one begin? It's hard to even imagine myself feeling whole again. 

Here's what I do is short and in a SNAP, can change and never be the same. You can wake up one morning to a call telling you your brother has taken his own life. You can receive a call one afternoon telling you your mom (or aunt in my case) has died unexpectedly. You can go into the ER for a headache and come to find out 3 days later you've got Stage 4 Melanoma, and begin the fight of your life. Maybe it's not that significant....maybe you "wake up" one day to realize it's just not about you anymore. Whatever the only takes a.....   ***SNAP***  .....and it's all different, forever.

I know I can't and won't apologize for what I feel I was justified in saying - for what no one else was saying, especially when my "mama-bear" complex surfaced. I also know I'm human and a woman (who is, by genetics, "strong-minded")...and so that means learning to forgive may take a little longer. 

So, I guess, here goes...

A Dream

Have you ever had a dream (or nightmare) that after you woke up, perhaps, you recalled to the most finite detail?  Perhaps it was something so outrageous, you laughed knowing it would never actually happen.  Perhaps it then made you wonder what you might have eaten too close to bed to prompt that?  Or, perhaps, like me, you woke up startled and shaken.

It was mid-morning, I believe, and suddenly I was in one of the pretty sitting areas in the assisted living/nursing home my Aunt Eileen lived in prior to her passing.  

(She passed away probably 7 years ago, just before Christmas.  I'm a little ashamed that I don't remember the exact year, so forgive me please.  Aunt Eileen and I had a very special relationship.  She never married, was always a family person, and faithfully cared for my grandmother and uncle for as long as they lived or she was able.)

Though Aunt Eileen passed away years ago, this dream was in present times.  She looked amazing -- healthy, happy, and energetic.  She gave me the best hug - one I remembered from my childhood.  I'd like to think I always held a very special place in her heart.  We immediately began to "catch up".  She was disappointed the kids weren't with me because she really had wanted to meet Owen, and see how Theo had grown, but mostly wanted to meet Miss Claire Aileen.  

It was then that she took my hand in hers -- and looked at me with such tender eyes.  She said, "Claire, I've been so worried about you.  I hear you crying every night and I've heard your pleas and prayers.  I wish I could make things better for you.  I'd take away every moment of your pain if I could.  I also wish I could talk to Ben.  I wish I could help him see he doesn't need to leave you to be happy."  I tried to explain to her....but she just said, "Oh honey, you don't have to tell me because I've heard it all.  I've been right there, you just didn't feel my presence."  I was crying at that point and she just shook her head and said, "I'm always going to be here for you, even if you can't see me.  Please feel my love and support.  And if I had anything to say about it, that man wouldn't walk away from your marriage.  He'd suck it up and stick it out."  

(Just so you know, that last part is totally something she'd's a Walter thing to be so blunt.  I'm afraid the whole fan-damily has this impecible ability to "tell it like it is.")

That's when I woke up.  I was crying and shaking and wondering what had just happened.  

In the hours that followed, I had some very serious realizations.  Some of them made me angry, some of them just made me cry harder.  But perhaps, mostly, it left me wondering many, many things.  Is my overwhelmed heart, mind, and soul trying to tell me something?  Is God finding a way to speak to me, when perhaps I haven't been able to hear him before now?  What am I supposed to do with all these thoughts, emotions, feelings.....what am I supposed to do with a kind of love that I fear cannot be reciprocated by the one person I desperately wish it would?  

So what do you think?  Do you follow your dreams?  Have you ever had an experience like this?  I'd love to hear what you think.  I know that for me, it was the single most alarming (not necessarily in a bad way) dream I can ever recall having.  

Good night and sweet dreams....