title explained

Onward and upward! something that you say in order to encourage someone to forget an unpleasant experience or failure and to think about the future instead and move forward.

My e-mail: jjmiller6213@comcast.net

Friday, November 18, 2016

Pilgrimage home................

I have been having IBS lately, like I had in July and it went away--it's back.  I left here yesterday at 10:00 and at 10:20--20 minutes away from The Farm, the cramps hit.  I must admit, the last 4 miles I was going 70 mph, which is not a smart thing to do on a country road during white tail deer hunting season.  Deer are on the move then and could leap out in front of a car at anytime.

I flew into Pam's drive, she came to the door, and I flew past her to the bathroom.
"Momma?  Are you all right?"
"I will be now."
Thankfully she was home and awake and not in her bathroom!
We chatted for half an hour, while I relaxed and waited for my gut to settle down.
"What are you doing today?" she asked.
"Going up to Aunt Susie's for lunch.  I've been real lonely and just needed to come home and get a hug."
So, she hugged me and said, "I love you, Momma."

Then, up the road and I noticed my son Mark's truck was in his drive.  So, I drove up to see him.  He had just climbed down off the roof from cleaning out the gutters.  He was bent over in severe pain in his back.  I walked up to him and hugged him.

"I'm so sorry you are in such pain, Honey."

Then, he started in.  Scared me, almost.  Shocked me, totally.  He was raging with anger and frustration.  It wasn't like he used a cuss word every other word, it was he used a cuss word every word.  On and on.  His words hit me like a smash in the head.  I know I stepped back in recoil.  I haven't heard words like that in 30 years--haven't heard anger and rage like that--ever!

He couldn't get anyone to clean out the gutters.  He couldn't get anyone to come and clean and restain his deck.  He couldn't get anyone to put a load of gravel in his driveway.  Different ones said they would, but they never showed up.  He called and called and they said, "Yes", but never showed up.

"Every ****************************************************one of them, friends, yeah ***********************************friends. ****************************never showed up!  **********************************************all of them."

I stood there. hands in my pockets, huddled, hunched over in my coat.  I thought to myself, "At least he hasn't taken the Lord's name in vain, but......................."

I stepped up in front of him, "Mark...I really need a hug from you.  I've been sad and lonely and I just drove out here to feel at home again and I need a hug from you."  He wrapped his arms around me, I nestled into his chest and oh....it felt so wonderful to get a hug from this 6'2" strong man.  

Then I noticed--"Your hair has grown back in curly.  Just like when you were a little boy."
"Well, I'm never going to *******************************chemotherapy again.  ****************************almost killed me."

This is the first time he has mentioned that he has cancer--to me anyway--and the first time I have acknowledged it to him.

"Are you still getting you infusions?"

"Yeah. *************************** doctors."

"Well, I've got to get down to Aunt Susie's.  They are expecting me for lunch."

"I'm heading that way too.  Gotta get this ******************** ladder back in the barn."

So he headed down the driveway and I followed and when he drove up near the barn, I followed, got out of my car and said, "Let me help you carry that thing in."

"Naw, Ma...I don't want you to hurt your back."

"Hey--I can carry one end and you the other and it will be easier."

"It's aluminum--it's pretty light.  I can get the ****** put back."

"Okay.  I love you, Mark", and I pulled back onto the road and up the drive to the house.

I was still shaking when Susie met me at the back door.

"Are you okay?"

So I told her about my pit stop at Pammie's and what happened with Mark.

"Oh Suz.  He is such a lost soul!"

"Jennifer was here last week working.  On Friday night, she came out to visit Mark and Cindy.  At 7:00, on the spur of the moment she called us to come up for a visit.  Mark seemed in really good spirits.  I know he is on some powerful pain meds and has started drinking beer again.  He is in an awful lot of severe pain."

"Maybe I just got him at a really bad time.  I have never, in his entire life, seen him like that! It struck me, where is that sweet nine year old who wanted to be a minister?'"

So Susan. Chuck and I had a nice salad lunch.  I didn't mention Mark to Chuck and neither did Susan.  Then we all played a game and I headed home.  

I had enough time to drive on over to the family plot at the cemetery on the way home.  Walked around talking to my ancestor's.  Ended up crying over my Mother's grave, Mark absolutely adored her and he changed when she died so young.  Brushed off my own marker--ready for me.

I moved the cement dog statue on Fred's stone, told him I wished more than anything that he were here, because he would make it ALL better.  He had a way of doing that.

Then, I strolled on over, about 150 steps to my BFF's grave.  I heard her voice as plain as day, "If I can't fix it with my own two hands, I give the control up to God and quit worrying."  That was her motto all her adult life--even her last 4 years fighting ovarian cancer.  I patted her marker and walked back to my car.

I stopped on the way home at the new Culver's drive through.  Ordered  up a double butter burger deluxe and a small order of fries.  Came home, sat in my recliner and ate my supper in the dark.

I went to bed kind of early and prayed that God would help Mark and dim the horrid words he yelled, out of my mind.

A pilgrimage is not always easy.  For all of the day's events, I DID feel better--just being in the quietness of the fields and tree lined country roads.  I almost wished I had not gone to Mark's but perhaps I allowed him to vent and perhaps my hugs helped him too.

Now--it is onward and upward.  Ever forward into the holiday season--taking it all in stride, grateful for what time I might get with my family.  So very thankful I can still go home again and walk through homes and yards that are familiar to me.

My sister told me I HAD to decorate this year and when I asked, "Why?  No one will visit to see it."  She shook her finger at me and replied,  "You do it just for YOU!"

I will, but what she and most don't understand, sometimes a brightly lit Christmas tree and decorated house just makes it feel even more lonely.


  1. Considering how upset Mark was and how much you needed a hug and probably just needed to feel needed by your children, I think you're being there when he was at such a low point was divine intervention. I'm sure you helped him defuse some of his anger. The world does not revolve around those of us in need and he is yet to learn that regarding friends who say they will help and don't/can't. It's a hard lesson to learn to be patient and wait to be fit into to other people's schedules. I'm having the same issue with my nephew right now.

    I went to the cemetery this week too. It's a good place to cry, it's it.

  2. Such a lot of sadness, and heartbreak, especially seeing Mark in the state you did. You are right, though, and I bet those hugs will make an eventual difference. Who knows what suffering is going on. Pilgrimages like yours can really bring stir up emotions. SO SORRY you have been experiencing so much sadness. You are right in recalling Arlene's words to turn it over with faith. It does work. Wishing you peace, and I wish I could come over and give you a hug too!!

  3. Wow Judy. Good to get back to your roots ... and just in time for giving a hug! I can understand not wanting to decorate ... but I made myself do it the first two years ... and now I look forward to it. I enjoy being in my tiny house!

  4. Your IBS kicked in. Like my knee "gave out." Our so-called weakest link, is where agitation strikes us. Or so a beloved doctor of mine, said. And I believe him.

    Hope the good, will outweigh the bad, from your visit 'home.'

    Perhaps just a little Christmas tree? And a simple door wreath? Not a whole lot of decorations? Might this, strike a balance, between what would make you feel better, and what might make you feel worse...?

    As to IBS, I had it for years and years. All of it! Had tests and meds and etc. And etc. And then, I stopped eating GLUTEN in any form. And mostly stopped DAIRY.

    And my IBS disappeared!!!!!!!

    A Lactaid-like over the counter pill, can control a little dairy at a time. But there is nothing, to allow consumption of Gluten!

    Imagine though! Never having to fear IBS symptoms again????

    Oh I know, it sounds awful!!! No more real bread! Having to have G/F desserts! Make gravy with corn starch! No more bun on your burger! Etc. Etc. Etc.

    But I can guarantee you, when you think back to Horrors of IBS, it will be EASY to not consume Gluten, and to cut out most Lactose.

    Just sayin'......

    Many gentle hugs,
    Luna Crone

  5. I love you, Judy. Life can be so cruel at times yet I also believe in divine intervention. Your kids needed you yesterday, and I'm thinking especially your adored son. I'm so sorry for the pain he's in physically and emotionally. I hope one, at least, of his friend's will come through for him. He's not giving up, and wanting to make his home better. God bless him; he's in my prayers as well as you, always.

    Hey, if you don't want a tree throw some tinsel on your new room divider, and put out your nativity. xoxo

    1. Or swap out the room divider for hanging christmas balls?

  6. I'm sorry for Mark and although it was hard for you to hear it probably was good for him to vent a little. I envy that you are able to go to your home town and be comforted! I'd probably be robbed if I spent too much time in my home town! Don't be alone on Thanksgiving. I'll come and get you and you can spend it with my big, crazy, Italian family!

  7. I love the style of Pam's house, and thank goodness you made it there in time.

    I'm glad you saw Mark when he probably needed a hug as much as you did. He's gone through a lot, and it's probably hard for him to accept that he's not as fit as he once was. I'm so sorry, Judy.

  8. I just went back and saw the photo of your beautiful, little Della. I don't know how I missed it. Oh, my gosh. She is adorable.

  9. Oh, Judy, I am so touched that you shared all this with us. So much to digest. All I can think is you are such a safe person to Mark, that he can unload. Maybe the pain drove him to the foul language, but inside him is still the little boy you knew.

    I totally agree, that a brightly decorated house at Christmas can make it seem more lonely. Which is why I'm not doing any decorating...anything... unless it lessens my own loneliness this year. Truly loving the one I'm with 24/7/365. Doesn't matter that family may see it differently, because where love is, God is. Maybe, through the heavens, where Fred is, our love is reaching into places everybody isn't conscious of, including us! ((hugs))

  10. What a day - huh....I decorate my house for mine and my husbands enjoyment. Others will visit and enjoy it, my sons will be here for Christmas. But I don't put up a big tree, I have several 4 ft. predecorated trees that I bring out. It makes it super easy!!

  11. Just stopping back here again to say you are in my thoughts and that I hope the IBS symptoms have lessened. That is such a painful thing to deal with. It can happen often to me, too. I wish for you a Thanksgiving Day that brings you peace, something delicious to enjoy with no pain, and company in some form. Sending you love!