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From the fog…

…wherein Nattie’s Daddy vacillates between, “What happened?” and “I know what happened, but I still can’t believe it!” here are some random, sometimes rambling, thoughts.
Natalie will always be my baby girl, but that beautiful child didn’t die. She grew up. Sometimes I feel myself wishing for the return of those early days, but it is more for my own vanished youth that I mourn than hers.


Keepsakes of the era–the Fort Wayne Komets T-shirt I made for the 10-day-old hockey fan to wear on her first Christmas, the Christmas Rose book her grandmother gave her on her second, the Raggedy Ann doll her babysitter made for her third, photos of other moments of our younger lives together–bring moments of sadness, but not in the way that reading her blog posts do.
These are actually small pieces of the young lady I miss. The “realness” of her writings causes feelings that approach those of one taking Communion.
The little girl I miss is the one who left us–the mother of my two grandchildren, the reader, the writer, the 30-something “God’s Girl” who departed her body on the oncology floor of Methodist Hospital.
I am reminded of a theory discussed by Dr. Wayne Dyer. He opines that everything is thought. Everything that we see, hear, smell, taste or feel–in other words, everything we know–is merely the manifestation of mental images.
You may think your tongue, your ears, your nose and your eyes are talking to you, but is the brain that processes–and stores–all the data these sensors transmit. And virtually everything you hold true is the result of the accuulation of this data.
If we accept this, we can project that the people, places and things in our memories are also real. We may no longer be able to exchange messages, phone conversations, or hugs with our Nattie, but as long as we can hold on to the memories of our previous contacts, she will live.
This is some–albeit small–consolation for Natalie’s grief-stricken survivors, for barely an hour passes that I don’t think of something I want to tell, show or ask her. And the disappointment that comes with the realization that I can no longer do this is palpable.
But I guess you already knew that.

9 Responses to “From the fog…”

  1. Liza Says:

    Interesting thing happened today at church. Our guest speaker, Danny Lehman (director of Youth With A Mission in Hawaii) asked at the opening of his teaching who among us likes going to a funeral. Without second thoughts, I raised my hand. Then I realized I was the only one among hundreds who raised a hand. I think Danny wasn’t even expecting that someone would raise his/her hand….Not that I don’t feel sad when people die…but attending funeral services makes me reflect about life and death and that aligns my perspective.
    I will be posting more about this on my blog. In the meantime I would like to be able to send you a copy of the CD of today’s teaching at church. Please e-mail me at lizamaui at yahoo dot com if you’re interested.
    In Psalm 39:4-5 David wrote:
    “Show me, O Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. You have made my days a mere handbreathe, the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath. Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro: He bustles about only in vain; he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it. But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you”.
    As I read through the many pages of Nattie’s blog, I can’t help but cry and be sad for you and her 2 kids. In the story before Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, the Bible said “JESUS WEPT”. I think he wept because he was sad that Mary and Martha are grieving…
    I know this is hard for you. I don’t even know Nattie, and I am sad that she is gone. I can’t imagine what you are feeling right now….
    I pray for Nattie’s 2 kids. I pray that they would be comforted when they cry for their mommmy…Oh, I wish there’s something more I can do for them…
    Nattie’s hope is in God, and I trust that God will take care of her children. I think she’s watching over them too.

  2. Wendy Says:

    Thanks for sharing that – I cannot imagine the pain you must feel in missing Nattie. You said: “…for barely an hour passes that I don’t think of something I want to tell, show or ask her. And the disappointment that comes with the realization that I can no longer do this is palpable.”
    And I say: Go ahead and talk to her – she’s still there with you, in your heart, watching over you with God – I believe Nattie can hear you, even if she can’t respond back.
    I think of Nattie almost every day – as I know lots of people do. She is living on in all our memories and here in her words on this blog.
    *hugs*

  3. hailey Says:

    healing takes time. but for sure it will happen. God does not allow pain that we can’t carry; for he is the greatest healer.
    I say, when we lost our father 14 years ago, it took us a long, long long, time to heal but looking back time healed our wounds.
    I say, count your blessings. and count how many people’s lives have been touched by nattie. for sure she’ll be smiling knowing that…
    God bless us all!

  4. Dana Says:

    I spent a lot of time this weekend thinking of natalie and of how I feel and am dealing with losing her now that it has been a month.
    She is very very much alive in my mind and heart, and i love that thought. But if it were true and the same as having her here I wouldn’t miss her so freaking much.
    I know this probably wasn’t very comforting except maybe in knowing that you aren’t the only one still grieving everyday.

  5. cousin mark Says:

    dear uncle,
    after mom passed away nearly 5 years ago, dad would talk to her all the time. mainly, he would be doing something and know that mom would make some sort of comment, so he would answer back! When he would get frustrated, dad would talk to mom or complain to her. it was therapeutic for him and he readily admits it. he talks to her less now, if at all, but that doesn’t mean she is out of his thoughts. there are photograph’s all over the house. the piano, central to our family, is right there in the main room. mom’s angels adorn nearly every wall. the reminders are there but the grieving is over. sure there are still days of grief; I have them as well, but the deep hurt gets less and less each day and the longing to join mom in heaven grows stronger each day. That longing goes for my grandparents, nephew Cody, Natalie and all those I know who have gone before.

  6. Joy Says:

    We talked about funerals in church on Sunday, too — and how when you’re 20, you don’t really want to go to heaven unless you’re in a real jam and can’t see a way out. But the older you get and the more people who precede you, the more you start looking forward to heaven.
    The gist of the comments was that heaven is so much more than we could ever imagine — so much more than the “streets of gold” and “gates of pearl.” The good part is that we’ll be living “next door” to Jesus! It’s all about relationship.
    Right now everything reminds you of Nattie — and that’s not a bad thing. Remember — feel the good memories again — live through the pain — let yourself grieve.
    Yer gonna be okay, honey.

  7. Skipper Says:

    Words fail me now, as they always do when I try to comment on this blog. I backspace and backspace my words…I wish I could just kinda backspace through time and say all the things I wish I could say. But no more backspacing today. Natalie, I miss you. And I can’t text you anymore like I did every day for the last week you were alive. And I know you didn’t get some of them…or even any of them…but you’ve got them now, don’t you? My sister kettle. My true friend. I want you to know that I’m praying for your precious kids. And for Wes, because I know that’s what you were doing before. I love you.
    And Nattie’s dad…I’m praying for you guys too. Thank you for what you are doing. You are debriding a painful area…but healing comes.
    (((((((wah))))))))

  8. Heather Says:

    I was explaining something similar to hubby this past week, about how once something happens it always is happening. Natalie may always be gone, but she is also always here… always laughing… always filling our hearts and minds. And, today is a new day… with no mistakes in it… yet.

  9. Cynthia Says:

    …I can still feel it, the deep pain of those who knew and loved Nattie best and most – it brings me to tears. I wish I could make it better, but grief runs its own course for each soul that walks its path. Every day I see Nattie’s picture on WAH and at first it was really emotional, but now it is comforting. I know she isnt here, but with Him who loves her, and one day we will see her again. All anyone can do is step thru the grief as they need to, for as long as they need to…the loss will always be there, but the grief will fade with time. It seems strange to write that and I check my heart to make sure that is true…I have lost people and grieved and I still feel the loss of their presence in my life to this day, but the grief part has changed. So I suppose its true, even though it doesnt feel that way now, cuz it feels like who cares that it will or should, cuz man it just hurts too much now…and that is just where you (and everyone grieving her) needs to be and that is just that…(((((hugs)))))

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