Nothing

As a child, I would lay in my bed, stare into the blackness and think scary things, like monsters being under my bed, or ghosts hiding in my closet or little men with knives crawling through my windows. But the most frightening of all was when the darkness transformed into a gigantic scary monster of nothingness. Total void and emptiness. No beginning and no end. No God. No heaven. No earth. No life. Nothing! And I’d cry till my crying became sobs.

Panicky, mom would rush to my side and ask what was wrong, but as hard as I tried, I couldn’t explain it to her. I didn’t know how to tell her that my mind had spiraled down a deep black hole of fear and despair; a bottomless pit of absolute nothingness.

Frustrated, mom would leave me, still crying, still consumed by the void and emptiness.

Then, through the oppressive darkness of my mind, I saw a soft glow and I knew God was there. Hope began trickling through my veins, the darkness dwindled and I drifted into a peaceful sleep.

Even today it is difficult to explain what I often felt as a child, especially in the oppressive darkness at bedtime. But I can tell you clearly that I am so thankful that my mother taught me that there is a God and that she took me to Sunday School where I learned more about Him and His awesome, unfailing love for me. I’m thankful that I learned to believe and trust in Him and that He has the power to dispel the darkness that often overtakes me. Most of all I am thankful that because of God, the Author of life and Creator of all things, the feelings of nothingness are mere ashes in the wind.

Dee Dee Voltron

voltron

When I’m jogging I’m thinking. Thinking about the good old days. Thinking about the movie I watched last night. Thinking about soaking my feet when I get home. Thinking, thinking, thinking. Sometimes I’m in such deep thought that I can’t remember jogging up the hill I just came down. Now that’s scary!

Today I thought about Brandon, my first grandchild and how he picked out names to call all his grandparents, except for me. For some reason, he couldn’t decide on a name for me. Maybe, because I was the youngest, in his mind I didn’t fit the typical granny image. Maybe he just couldn’t figure me out, I don’t know. Whatever his reasons, he didn’t have an endearing, grandmotherly name for me.

Then, one Sunday afternoon my daughter-in-law smiled and said, “Brandon’s picked out a name for you. It’s Dee Dee. He was trying to say Sandi but it came out Dee Dee instead.”

“Well okay then. Dee Dee, it is.”

Brandon loved for me to tell him stories. In the car, at the mall, in the grocery store, on the porch swing . . . everywhere! All I’d hear is,”Tell me a story, Dee Dee! Tell me a story!”

Now, there’s just so many stories a granny can make up about the two of us riding on Mrs. Eagle’s back over the highest mountains or talking to Mr. Tree in the enchanted forest or creeping into a really dark, really spooky house deep in the woods. But if I didn’t make up something he’d drive me crazy until I did. That’s the way it works for those of you who haven’t figured it out yet. 

His most favorite story was when the two of us teamed up with Voltron and battled all the bad guys. We’d wield our shiny swords, conjure up our magic powers and fight till the bitter end. Then, we’d crawl into a cave where we’d regroup and strategize our next sneak attack.

 Suddenly, in Brandon’s eyes, Voltron was no longer a plastic action figure. Voltron was me, his hero, the one who came to his rescue, who bandaged his wounds and killed all the bad guys. Never again would I be just plain old Dee Dee. I was Immortal. I was invincible. I was Dee Dee Voltron!

And after all those battles I had to fight, and all those stories I had to conjure up, I earned that title and wore it well . . . at least in Brandon’s eyes.

Brandon’s now grown with a family of his own. And, although he no longer begs me to tell him stories, he remembers them all so well and still fondly refers to me as “Dee Dee Voltron!”

Be Your Own Cheerleader!

cheer

Dragging my exhausted, sweaty body through the front door, I excitedly told hubby, who’s still laying in bed, that I jogged an hour and a half!

Barely raising his head off the pillow he murmured,”That’s good.”

That’s good? I felt like jerking him out of bed! If he only knew how my feet burned the entire time and how difficult the hills were and how many times I just wanted to stop!

Disappointed in his half-hearted response I started a much-needed  shower. Then, as if he had cleaned the entire house and mowed the lawn, hubby yelled from the bed, “I cleaned the commode!”

Sometimes we have to be our own cheering section. Not everyone is going to jump up and down for our accomplishments. Not everyone is going to share our enthusiasm. And if that’s the only reason we do something, then we’re doing it for the wrong reason.

And to let hubby off the hook, he is my biggest fan, he just doesn’t always cheer as loud as I’d like him to.

The Great Pretender

Pretenders

Rather than a game

Pretending was a way of life

I became a master at hiding my feelings

I’d just pretend I didn’t care

That I didn’t need friends

That it didn’t hurt me at all to feel invisible

Over and over again

Day after day

Year after year

I stuffed down the pain

And pretended it didn’t hurt

I didn’t realize I was building a bomb inside me

A mighty bomb of anger hate and rage

With a hair-trigger

That kept exploding inside me

Blowing up my sense of reason

My self-control

Shattering my mask

Exposing my nakedness

And I couldn’t pretend any more

It’s been a long painful journey

And it’s far from over

I’m slowly putting back the pieces of my life

Embracing the good the bad and the ugly

Changing what I can

Accepting what I can’t

And enjoying the freedom

Of not pretending anymore

~Sandi

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Old Woman

Mirror mirror on the wall

I am my mother after all

My face is lined and wrinkled

My eyes are growing dim

My throat looks like a turkey’s neck

And hair’s growing on my chin

My butt’s the size of a barn

And my belly’s not far behind

All my body parts are sagging

And I’ve nearly lost my mind

I hope I’ve finally made her happy

As she looks down from heaven on high

To see that her fateful words came true

Before I roll over and die

~Sandi

Quiet, Please

QUIET!I don’t like noise

loud music

Barking dogs

Four wheelers zooming through the neighborhood

Sets my soul on fire

I feel violated

That the walls in which I live have been torn down

That intruders have stormed in

Destroying every thread of inner peace

And there’s no place to run

No place to hide where I feel safe

Where I can drown out the noise

Where My heart can stop pounding

Where my nerves can settle down

And all is at rest again

~Sandi

Squirrel Capers

Squirrel By Colin

Every morning he amuses me

Scrambling up and down the tree

Chasing his buddies

Jumping from limb to limb

Sitting on the ground

Eating from his tiny hands

His white belly glistening in the sun

He’s so cute

Until he jumps on the bird feeder

Chases all the birds away

Costing us a fortune

Dumping birdseed on the ground

That’s when I want to wring his scrawny neck

Cut off his bushy tail

And hang it on my car antenna

For all his fellow critters to see

Instead

I let the dog out

He likes squirrels

As much as I like snakes

Like a raging bull

He charges out the door

Barking and growling

His hackles sticking up

His Iron jaws clamping down

Barely missing the little guy

As he scrambles up the tree

Where he belongs

Where I wish he’d stay

Forever

But then

I’d miss all the fun

~Sandi

No Language Barrier

Photo1

I walked with my neighbor this morning

It wasn’t planned

We just began walking at the same time

She speaks very little English

I speak no Philipino

But we walked

Laughing at ourselves

Struggling to help the other understand

She said she is sixty-two

Patting her knees she grimaced

Arthritis

Pointing to the cloudy sky she stammered

The rain is coming

When we reached her house

She pointed to the weeds

In her beautiful flower bed

Patted the small of her back

And I understood well

The pain pulling weeds entails

Stopping at her driveway

We hugged and waved good-by

Wishing each other well

Our walk together helped me realize

That speaking a different language

Or wearing a different skin color

Doesn’t make us different at all

We are all people

Created in God’s image

Our hearts beating the same language

All over the world

~Sandi

The Garden of No Return

Paradise

She had it all

A home in paradise

A husband who adored her

The perfect wardrobe

The perfect diet

No bill collectors

No noisy neighbors

 No rebellious teenagers

But it wasn’t enough

She wanted more

The one thing she couldn’t have

So on that sunny day so long ago

She stood before the forbidden tree

Lusting

Her mouth drooling

To know more

To see more

To be like God

At least that’s what the Deceiver

That slithering snake led her to believe

Shoving her closer to the tree

With his lying forked tongue

Convincing her that God was holding back

I can hear his demented laughter

As she sunk her teeth into the luscious fruit

I can feel her horror

Her grief

Her shame

As the cloak of righteousness

Was stripped away

And her nakedness exposed

I can see her shivering in the freezing cold

Of reality

Of seeing what she had

Of knowing what she lost

Never to own again

I can see her young firm body shriveling

As death began running its course

I can hear her screams of remorse

As she staggered from her beautiful home in paradise

Never to enter again

What a terrible fate had it abruptly ended there

For Adam and Eve

For you and me

But it didn’t

In His love and mercy

God provided a way back to Him

When He sent His Son to die

That we may have eternal life with Him

In Paradise

Forever

~Sandi

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

The Deep, Dark Dungeon

Hope in the Darkness

Into the darkness You came

You whispered my name

You took my hand

And the journey began

Down the steep dingy stairwell

Into the dungeon of my soul

Where I dare not tread before

And I was afraid

From the shadows of the past

I saw glaring eyes

Angry faces

Backs turned

Arms crossed

The condemning screams

Pierced my heart

Shattered my soul

Rocked my world

I felt worthless

Unloved

Unwanted

And I wept

I wanted to turn back

Then I felt Your gentle nudge

And we moved on

To the bottom of the stairs

Where I saw a tattered little girl

Gazing into a hazy room

Where her dad sat

Like a corpse

Staring into the abyss

Unaware of her tears

Her pain

Her longing to sit on his lap

To sink into his arms

To feel his heartbeat

His love

His protection

From the angry world in which she lived

But he never looked her way

Ever

Her eyes streaming with tears

She slowly turned around

And there He stood

Like a gentle Giant

Shining like the sun

Smiling down at her

Whispering her name

She stumbled to Him

 Collapsed into His open arms

And cried

And cried

And cried

And there at the bottom of the stairs

Of the dungeon of my soul

I traded my unloving dad

For a Dad who has always loved me

I just couldn’t see it before

I couldn’t believe it

I couldn’t feel it

But now I do

 ~Sandi