Japan… will rise again.

I wasn’t going to write anything about Japan’s latest many, many, many… many earthquakes in the Kumamoto prefecture.
But then I watched the news and saw the photos and like a case of PTSD it all came back to me: 3.11.2011 the great eastern triple disaster.

Scrolling through tags in blogs I follow, I came across “earthquake” and I decided to jot down a few words:

Kumamoto is the prefecture on the most western island of Japan named Kyushu (and opposite of the Tokyo region in the east).
It was struck by a 6,5 M earthquake Thursday night and again on Saturday in the middle of the night a 7,3 M hits. For the next 7 days earthquakes of various sizes will continue relentlessly, experts say. Roads are broken, houses fallen down in ruins, landslides etc.
People were killed. Many have left their homes for shelter at local schools and community centers.

Kyushu does have an atomic powerplant, but it’s located on the southern tip of Kyushu island. It may be affected though so far we are told it has not. Mt. Aso is a volcano and a small eruption was observed. We can’t know if an eruption will come. Experts says no, but we also know that there are connections between earthquakes and volcanic activity.

But this is what the Lord had for me this morning, in light of the stress that followed 3.11 and I ask you to whisper this prayer with me for all the people of Kumamoto:

Lamentations 3:20-26 (GNT)

… – my spirit is depressed.

Yet hope returns when I remember this one thing: 

The Lord‘s unfailing love and mercy still continue,

Fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise.

The Lord is all I have, and so in him I put my hope.

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Dear Dad – a throwback (sort of)

We are getting closer to the date that will mark the 6 months, or half year, of your death. I still remember the month of August and the hospice where you spent the last 6 weeks of your life. I remember your ups and downs and I remember my gratefulness of being so richly Blessed to be able to spend the last months of your life with you. The Lord was more than merciful to us, giving us such Blessing when there has been 10.000 km between us for more than 10 years. I remember vividly your smile, your hugs, your room… and your pains. I remember holding your hand when you drifted off into the merciful morphine haze, crying my tears while asking the Lord if He would shorten your suffering. The cancer was in your bones and spreading fast.

Despite your pains dad, you hung on to life. You had such a love for life itself, for the nature around you. You always took pride in knowing the names of the birds and you could whistle like most of these birds. You grew up in the forest. You knew every corner and tree in the deer garden north of Copenhagen because that was your playground. The amusement park down the path there were many friends and friends meant free rides in the rollercoaster. Oh dad… I have heard your stories many times over. You even pointed out the trees grandpa, your own dad, had planted in his job as a so-called lumberjack, when we took a walk through the forest. I loved our walks dad and I will never forget those. They were the highlight of my childhood Saturdays.

As a little girl you meant the world to me. As a teenager you were controlling but generally on my side during my battles with mom. As a young woman you turned to the angrier side, didn’t you. Was it too painful for you to let me go? I sometimes wonder why you became a grumpy one during the years before I found myself a good man. And just when I did, mom passed away. That was some blow wasn’t it!? Just 6 months before that your own mom had passed away and that was hard on you, I remember.

Last year around this time I spoke to you on the phone daily. Sometimes you were sad and cried. Sometimes you were positive and uplifting. I’m so sorry that I couldn’t do more… I wish I could have taken away the pain. You were no whimpy kid – or man. But you suffered during that time and I cried many tears feeling alone and far away. I somehow know that you did too, though you never told me.

We had our arguments in life. But blood is thicker than water. I will never forget the day I had to tell you that your life was coming to an end and that it was okay for you to let go. It wasn’t okay dad, because I didn’t want you to leave… But you had to. We both knew that.

Since you passed away dad, I have carried with me my sketchbook and pencil and tried to draw my way out of the grief. I can tell you that it helps a little to put strokes on the pain of grief I felt and though I had no shock, there was a lot of grief – and now the “missing” part. I will never stop missing you dad. And though I probably will always have a tiny bit of doubt in my heart if you indeed went to be with the Lord Jesus, I take comfort in knowing that you wanted to believe and trusts God that He honored your wish.

I have painted my way through the pain dad and I hope you like it. This is you – your big broad shoulders, wearing your hunting clothes, walking across the field toward your sunset.

I will never stop loving you. I will always be your daughter.

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Dear Mom – a throwback

Dear Mom,

Happy Birthday. If you had been alive today you would have turned 71. Unfortunately you chose to leave us much too early and there is literally nothing left of you than the memories in my heart. Yeah… I get sentimental and I remember how you disliked sentimental while you yourself was one of the most sentimental women I have ever known! Go figure…

So, how about you grab a beer – or was it bloody Mary you enjoyed the most? and I’ll grab something non-alcoholic  – and we can go sit down somewhere you loved; Like Stromstad in Norway? Okay… let’s go…

Honestly mom, your death was no fun and I have blogged about it earlier “How my mom passed away”, but My Jesus told me to leave the past in the past. I did. But memories don’t leave anyone and this birthday letter isn’t about your death, mom. It’s about your life.

You were conceived in love and yet born in grief and bitterness. Your mom and dad were married and in love. Then your dad decided to choose side and fought with the German army during WWII. He was reported dead before you were born and you never met him. I have always known that it left a huge scar in your heart. I know the bullying in the many different schools you went to always ended up on the same issue: Traitor-bitch.It wasn’t your fault.

You grew up anyway as we all do. As a young girl and while getting en education in flower arranging, you fell in love and got pregnant. You were supposed to get married but your fiancé died in a car crash and… – mom, did you not dare to go home to get help? I know, your mom had remarried and had 3 kids. Her husband probably wouldn’t be of much help. Abortion wasn’t an option for you – besides, I know you wanted the child. You took off to Iceland as many other girls did who had gotten in trouble, to have your baby. Were you pushed down a flight of stairs or did you trip? I don’t know, but the story I heard was that you lost the baby. Mom, was that really what happened or did you hide some facts?

What happened next is kind of where my story begins too; When you returned from Iceland, you moved away from your family to the other side of Denmark, worked in a hospital and a few years on you met my dad. You got married in your last trimester and then came my brother. 6 years later I happened.

I remember you mom. I remember the smile in your eyes and your humor. Your laughter, your love and your… melancholic attitude. I hated that. For many years I battled your self-pity which you tried to drown in wine. It doesn’t work!

I remember the day when you loudly and proudly declared you had told a family member off. She had asked you straight out to please accept Jesus into your heart. You told her no! I remember I felt weak and strange when you said that. I wasn’t aware that Jesus was already seeking me, pursuing me and calling me to Himself. In retrospect I get it. Mom, I really don’t want to think about where you are now. So let’s just enjoy the view to the fjord of Stromstad.

How I wish I could meet you again mom. So I could whisper to you that I love you and I forgive you and I miss you. I understand most of this letter seems negative. You had many positive sides and I so wish… that I could remember more of those. But I remember you doing your best to love me. I appreciate that. The last 2 years of your life were the best ones because you and I got a relationship – because you stopped drinking. You listened and heard me. You gave great advice and I miss those talks we shared. I know you would have loved my daughter and probably spoiled her rotten. If you could see me now mom, would you be proud of me? I accepted Jesus, I say no to drinking, I struggle a lot mom but I try to follow God’s way. Non of these things were things that counted for much in your mind. I remember that and it saddens me. I do know for sure though, that you would love me… and I’m happy knowing that Jesus loves me too.

I know your life didn’t get off to a great start. I know how it ended. But what happened in between was your life journey. As my life is my life journey.

I’ll always be your daughter. Happy Birthday mom.

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Regular feature – Blogging101

I really learn a lot from the Blogging101 course. It’s challenging at times, but there is so much help to get from people who knows the how to and friends to be found in the commons… yesterdays task though were really challenging to me because as much as I want to commit to a regular feature, I simply can’t commit to a certain time to do it.

Life isn’t one happy routine for me and my calendar is always up for a juggling contest. That’s life right? But I do want to make the commitment of posting a regular feature but just not with a regular time-schedule attached to it.

I have chosen a “Throw back” feature.

I did one not so long ago with some photos of my older paintings and I had a lot of fun with it. I am the sentimental type and I enjoy dwelling on old memories so from now on you may receive throwback posts from me 😉

Stay tuned for further dwellings…

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Art – throwback day

I was just upgrading (or actually downgrading) my entire iPhoto on my mac and it turned into Photos… (and a real not-up grade of the program). However, it made me go through some of my many photos and I found some very old ones taken before I left for Japan 12 years ago, as the original paintings were left with my dad in Denmark.

Today most of the paintings are… gone.
But the photos will stay…  These paintings are not inspired by God, but I do have fond and maybe not-so-fond memories from making them (one of them is my way of expressing my moms death).

Enjoy

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