Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Chad Has A Crush On Me (Part 2)

"You have a tat-TOO, Miss Renfroe?"

"Yes, Chad."

"Did it hurt?"

"Yes. It hurt alot."

"I like girls with tattoos"


"Really, Miss Renfroe. I REALLY like girls with tattoos."

"That's not hard to believe, Chad."

Get Me There!

So, I get to move on Saturday. Usually moving is crappy. I guess maybe it will be a little crappy. I mean, having to box everything up and rearrange and get rid of things. I actually don't mind it. It makes me feel like I have my life together when I can do all that. I think what bugs me is having to get furniture I need. I guess I should think about owning a dining table. One with chairs, you know... and a futon would be good for guests to come sleep over. Some bar stools - two would be fine. Oh, and washer and dryer. That's necessary. : )

I am really excited to be moving. For many reasons, really. One being that I will have 45 minutes to an hour EXTRA every day! How much would some people pay for an extra hour in their day? I can't wait. So much I can do with that! I can cook! I can take my dog out before it's pitch black! I can ride my bike to the climbing gym! I can read! I am so grateful for that. And Wyatt will be grateful, too. I'll get to sneak away for lunch when I want to and sit on the back patio in the sunshine. A little solace in the middle of my day away from the craziness of 498 small children.

Another thing is that I am so excited to be in the community that I have been a part of for three years. I used to think that I didn't want to live near my kids. I didn't want to be 'inconvenienced' or to run into them everywhere I go. What was I thinking?!?! I love them. I invest in their lives. I love their families. Why would I not want to dive in and become a part of the entire community? I can't wait to see them biking down the street and have them ring my doorbell to come play with Wyatt. I am thoroughly stoked.

And another is that I am 45 minutes from Denver. 20 minutes closer to my parents, to Meghan and to Danielle, and to Max. It will be so easy to see any of them at the drop of a hat! Imagine... Max and I could meet for dinner in Castle Rock in less than half an hour. I can head to Denver for a show and be back in bed in a quick hour drive. It makes me so happy I can hardly stand it.

I guess the stress of being a landlord hasn't hit me, but with any luck, these guys will be an easy set of tenants and I can get this house off my hands in a few more years. Oh, and waking up to sit in front of my new fireplace or to drink coffee on the back deck or to soak in the giant tub or to ride my bike to get errands done will be such a joy!!!

Now, if I can only find a roommate! : )

Monday, September 15, 2008

Love and Trust. Trust and Love.

Can we trust without love?

I am reading The Shack by William P. Young. It details an interesting discussion between a man and the Trinity - God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. One of the ideas it poses is that "Trust is the fruit of a relationship in which you know you are loved" (p. 126). Today I had to let that sit in my mind for a while. And still it moves around, gaining momentum. Can I trust someone who doesn't love me? I don't think so, really. Because one who loves me has my best interests in mind. Someone who loves me has a vested interest in protecting me. And because of that love, I don't need to impose expectations or rules in the relationship. I can just be. And trust takes over.

But then, I think, sometimes love isn't enough. Sometimes it takes a choice - the choice to do what is right regardless. To stick it out and to do what is best for a relationship despite wanting to run away. Wait. Maybe that IS love. There are so many dimensions to love. And I'm realizing that love is less about passion and more about a deep sense of wanting good for another. Love is about setting aside your own needs and pursuing the fulfillment of the needs of another. In this environment of giving, I think it is impossible not to trust.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


At one time in my life, I had a perspective that was far outside myself. I feel like I used to care for other people more deeply than I do now. That sounds terrible, I know. What is it that has turned my perspective so inward? The things that have transpired in my life in the last few years has left me wondering about my own life. Maybe my perspective has changed because there is so much in my own life that I can't control... so much that is unsure. But it's always been like that, hasn't it?

I remember when Rob was sick and I knew it was something I couldn't control, I still had a healthy perspective.

It's funny. I think when people get married, they fall into this false sense of security. I certainly did. And that security made me forget that I wasn't guaranteed anything. Nothing. I wasn't guaranteed a happy marriage. I wasn't guaranteed years or children or family. I wasn't even guaranteed another single minute. Yet I felt so secure and so settled. How deceiving are our emotions? It makes me curious about what my security is based on. It has got to be based on something solid and secure.

This brings my thoughts back to faith. I used to be so steady. I can get that back. Putting aside those things that are temporal and pursuing what lasts... love and relationship, right?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Bleary, Bleary Eyes

I couldn't really explain exactly what I'm thinking now. It's a mixture of many things, I am sure. But my eyes are bleary and I can't breathe through my nose. It's been a while since I had a sob-fest. But here it is...

I married a wonderful man. There was so much to love. So much to be grateful for and so much to hold on to. Yet, after a series of years of leaving our issues unspoken, a rift cut through every good thing. And all that was left between us was bitter words and threats and painful, seething wounds. And if that was all it was, maybe that would be bearable.

But no matter which way you look at it, I was bound to lose. We were bound to lose. Because today he is a shell of who he once was. You would never recognize him if you saw him. And one of the only things that remains distinguishing him as my beloved husband is his love of mint chocolate chip icecream. His crippled body can't even position itself for rest. But I look into his eyes and I can see he understands every bit of what is going on around him. He isn't in a fog. He isn't confused. He knows. Yet he can't scrape together the syllables he needs to convey what he is thinking. And for me, the rift is gone and I can't remember the bitter words and the painful, seething wounds. To be truthful, I can barely even remember the good times. But what I do remember is that I loved him. And that has never - not for one second - faded away. So when I look in his eyes, I see the eyes that promised to love me forever. His swollen hands were the hands I held as we walked happily down the aisle - finally man and wife.

He is no longer my husband. It is what it is. Who is to say if I am better or worse off? But I don't want to leave someone that I love without hope. So I stay by his side.

I wonder sometimes what he does remember. Do his medications leave him with little memory? Or are those memories all he has? Does he remember taking his bride into their bedroom to make love for the first time? Does he remember all the silly jokes they had? (This picture is of us sucking our cheeks in... he isn't so good at it).

He called her his partner in crime once. And does he remember how beautiful life was? I hope he does. Because it is hard to see the beauty in the life he has now. And if God had any mark of decency, wouldn't He take him now? How can he leave him in this condition to die... or even worse - to simply grow old?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Lake Was Glassy And Cool

His speech and hearing and mobility have all taken a dive. His brain is still undergoing swelling as a result of the extensive radiation. And so he is stuck in this holding pattern. Not being able to move or speak... just to think. And what goes on in his brain all day, I wonder?

I sat down near him on the couch as he was lying there. I set my chin on his knee. And I looked him in the eyes. I told him I love him and then my eyes filled up with tears. And so did his. And some of the words he can manage to say are, "It's ok." ... What's ok?? What is it that is ok, Rob? Because none of this seems ok to me. It would seem ok if you could get better. And it would seem ok if you could pass quietly into the next world. But this does not seem ok. This holding pattern. This lengthy stall of inability and frustration.

I swam across a lake this weekend... just as the sun was reaching its fingertips into the sky. The lake was glassy and cool. And a man and his boy were fishing at the southern edge. Why did I jump into that water? I sat there for a few minutes... tottering the line between jumping in and just dangling my toes in the water. And as the sun quickly made its ascent, I knew there were precious few minutes to enjoy this moment. To float softly across the water just as the sun made its way into the open sky. Only 200 miles south lay a man that I loved and that I still love that couldn't jump in even if he wanted to... unless he wanted to just roll off the dock and sink through the murky water to settle at the bottom. And here I was delaying a beautiful moment simply because the water was cold?? Insane.