Help for Healing

Bitter & Sweet, living daily with grief


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I Got Sunshine

I am on the last day of my trip to Florida.

Day one:
Couldn’t be more perfect. Arrive at 4:45 AM and my friend and I go to breakfast. We drive to the beach and watch the sunrise. 20150413_071156_resized

Go back to her house and sleep for a couple of hours and then return to the beach. Spend less than two hours on the beach, smothered in sunblock and still get utterly fried. 20150413_134734_resized

Oops. (Later, other Floridians told me to never go to the beach between 11 AM and 3 PM. I guess my friend didn’t know that.)

Lunch at a cute little patio bar where I had amazing seafood. Oh yea. I forget I’m in Florida and am startled by the small lizards crawling around the floor. These were special. I took a picture and this old couple was cracking up. I asked if I thought they were doing what I thought they were doing and they said yes. Well, at least somebody is getting some action.
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Day two:
My friend goes to work for the day. Thus begins the comedy of errors.

When she said she had to work, I didn’t know she meant 13 hours. I have no car. Nothing is in walking distance.

That’s ok, I brought my computer so I could do work.

Her Wi-Fi doesn’t work on my computer.

She texts me the password to her brother’s computer. Yes!! Except he has no sound on his computer. After spending an hour researching solutions, I find out there are no speakers.

She texts me the password to her laptop. Yes!! Except I can’t find her laptop. Ok, it’s under the bed. Silly me. It works!! For a little while, then it completely dies.

Ok, I don’t normally watch TV but today is an exception. I try every remote and button in the house. Can’t get it on.

Ok, I don’t normally exercise, but there are bikes in the garage and I have a map of a bike route. Except I can’t get the garage door open. That’s ok, I will go out the side door. Nope, big boat there. Can’t squeeze by it, much less with a bike.

I can’t even figure out how to turn the light on in the bedroom.

13 hours. I decide I’m taking a taxi to the beach tomorrow.

Day three:
Oops, I realize I forgot to pack underwear. Great. (Ok. I wore sundress on day two because I was so sunburned and couldn’t wear underwear anyway. That’s why it took me til Wednesday to realize I didn’t pack any.)

I load “Uber” on my phone. What a great app! The driver comes within ten minutes. Sweet! Except the driver got lost. He was very apologetic and he turned off the meter, but no lie, he got lost. What are the chances? The beach is five miles from the house and we got lost.

Finally get to the beach. I had called ahead so I knew there was Wi-Fi. I get everything out of my backpack, plugged in, set up, and order a beer. Can life get any better than this?
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Then I realized the Wi-Fi doesn’t work. I pack up and try another part of the restaurant but no good. I finish my beer, pack up for the third time and try another place.

Success! I get my work done while watching the beautiful ocean. I have to stay in the shade but its gorgeous here.

Day four:
I’m at the beach. Now I’m an informed beach bum (perfect timing seeing as I’m leaving tonight!). I hit the beach by 9:15 smothered with lotion. It’s already in the 80’s of course. 20150413_125856_resized

Chat with a couple of girls and now I’m back at the pizzeria with my computer. Its almost noon so I’m out of the sun. A couple more hours and I will take a taxi home and shower for the plane ride.

Hundreds more stories I could write about all the “gone wrongs.” Comedy of errors, far from perfect. BUT I HAVE SUNSHINE :)!!!


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The Sun

Feb 21 Myrtle Beach (3)

Feb 21 Myrtle Beach (5)

Feb 21 Myrtle Beach (7)We just spent five short days at Myrtle Beach. My sister and her husband go every year for three months so Frankie and I tag along briefly. We try to do new things every year, but I told them that nothing beats just walking along the beach every day.

There is something about the ocean. I love the look, sound, smell. I have a sound machine at home by my bed that I keep on ocean every night. I don’t need the weather to be hot when I’m there. I just prayed for it to be warm enough to walk the beach.

I often think I should have been a minister. When I do things sometimes, I keep thinking of all these analogies for life that would make great sermon illustrations. The last day there I got up early and walked the beach and watched the sun come up. My mind was spilling over with great sermon bytes.

First, the sun peeked out through the clouds. Then it came out more fully, then got clouded over again. Eventually it came out full force.

I was singing a very old worship song while I was walking. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies will never come to an end. They are new every morning, new every morning…”

It was the perfect song to sing. New every morning. Love and mercy, new every morning. Sometimes it peeks behind a cloud, but it is still there. Whatever the clouds are- loneliness, hardship, sickness, heartbreak, financial fears, parenting concerns… There are plenty of days when it’s hard to see the sun. But it is there every morning even when we can’t see it. And apparently so is God’s love and mercy.

I had to turn my back on the sun to get back to the condo. I so didn’t want to. I glanced back every few steps, but it isn’t the same as walking directly into it. Life is like that though. Sometimes you have to go in a direction that isn’t as pleasant as you want it to be. But knowing the sun was at my back made it a little easier to go to the condo to get in the car and drive to the airport.

Of course pictures can’t capture the beauty, but I thought I would at least try to share the spirit of it with you. I am back in cold, dreary Buffalo but I am trying to look at the pictures often, then close my eyes and smell the air and remember the feeling inside while I was walking there. My last words on the beach were to ask the sun to please come and visit me sometimes in Buffalo. Do you think it will?