May 16, 2014
I don’t think I’ve ever sat on a picket fence. I can’t imagine it would be a very comfortable place to perch. But perhaps that’s where I’ve been sitting for over twelve years now. Perhaps it’s where I’ve been sitting since my Daddy died when I was 21 years old. I continue to try to get comfortable: I believe in God and the promises that His Word teaches; I pray; I sing praises to Him; I lean on Him daily. But my human heart, body, and brain just can’t settle on that fence. Not without pain.
Every day I wander through the beautiful meadows of life’s offerings, what I see in front of me. Busy raising a daughter who challenges me in every way: heart, body, and brain. Trying not to over-react to what I know is normal for a child. Finding that balance of teaching her independence. Encouraging her in ways that will bring her success in making ‘right choices’ in her life. Teaching her to eat well and enjoy what her strong body can do, i.e. treating it as the temple God created it to be. Giving her the foundation of a family who follows Christ’s teachings. And, hopefully, inspiring her to listen to that ‘still, small voice’ inside her, what I believe is The Holy Spirit.
Then the other side of the fence, the one my back faces, is there. It rests on my shoulders. Daily. It’s the dark side. The death side. The one full of pain. Death has been on my land since Daddy died. I swore then to dig in that soil until I discovered the treasure of my life.
So maybe I’m not really sitting on that fence. Maybe I’ve jumped off and am digging. I love digging in the dirt. I dug up three hydrangea bushes on Monday and replanted them. I bought two more yesterday to plant near these. I needed five. One for Daddy, Moma (that’s how I spell it), Sister, Wes, and Andy.
Determination. I’ve discovered that in my soil too. But dirt is dirty. Pain is dirty. And life doesn’t happen without pain. I could choose to dig in the soil of pain and death. But my perseverance and determination…and my God…continue to teach me to dig in the soil of life.
I have two wooden crosses that were made of white picket fence pieces. They were made the day after the accident. The car that Wes and Andy died in hit that fence.
Someone took time to nail four fragmented and splintered pieces of wood together to form two crosses. That still touches my soul. So I will place those crosses on the ‘better side’ of my fence to remind me to keep digging. I’m going outside now to plant those two hydrangeas.
(In loving memory of my son, Wes. Born May 16, 1985 at 3:05am.)
Lynne Hauser said:
Every time I visit Karen Wyatt, I go down the street where Wes and Andy died. I shed tears silently for them and for you. Life’s pain does overwhelm us sometimes and yet I choose, like you, to focus on life as much as possible. I love your “land” metaphors. The earth is very calming for me too…
Kathy Shoaf said:
Yes, its a daily choice – and sometimes struggle – to decide which side of that fence we’ll face. Love you!