Sunday, February 01, 2015

All That Matters

It seems my vow to make certain I blogged a couple times a week has been broken yet again, but this time only because I was busily trying to prepare for leaving home again, and also because a lot is going on that is emotionally challenging and I am a little overwhelmed at the moment.

So let's backtrack, shall we?

When I last posted here, I was on the brink of an Excellent Adventure, heading off to Massachusetts to meet a new friend, Candi, whom I had developed a strong long distance friendship with.  Lo and behold, we both struck gold, and it was an amazing week spent getting to know one another in person.  What a delight it was to talk for hours and hours, to wander the coastline together in the brisk winter weather, to laugh and cry and celebrate together.  Never have I felt so connected to a friend, and though I was missing my family back home, it was a great gift to be "Cindy" for an entire week and to focus just on myself...something I don't think I've done in perhaps 20 years or more...maybe ever. Candi is the pastor of a small church, and she invited me to participate in worship with her so we offered a joint sermon in which we spoke about answering God's call in our lives.  

What a blessing it has been to stumble upon such a wonderful friendship with someone I ought to have never met. Actually, it was our beloved Miss Mary who introduced us via Facebook after having met Candi at a conference this past summer, and she kept gently nudging each of us to connect until finally we did, telling us that she just knew we had a lot in common and would be a good fit.  Man, was she many ways I have met my twin.  Seriously.  We have found so many unusual similarities in our lives that if we didn't know better, we would get a DNA test performed!  Candi has filled a gap I didn't even quite know existed, but surely felt.  Her deeply connected faith, her love of others, and her kindness are all great gifts in my life.  Nothing can be as sweet as meeting someone you know is "forever".  The challenge for us is living so far apart...

Here are a couple of photos of our time together:

Lunch after worship...and no, the color choices were not planned...we are just really that much alike that we weren't even surprised we selected the exact same colors without speaking to one another about it.

Dear friends make life so much richer, and our family has been blessed ten times over with "framily"...friends who become family. appears we will need them and their support now more than ever.  I learned upon returning home that we have indeed lost the contract at the airport for the restaurant, and as of May, we will lose our main source of income and an era will come to an end.  So I came home feeling so peaceful, so rested, so cared for, and WHAM, 3 hours later all was chaos in my heart, and fear overtook me.  I had not yet moved past the emotions of leaving behind a dear new friend and meaningful time together, and already we were on to the next crisis as only Team LaJoy seems to have happen to them.

I pulled inward for awhile, part of the reason I didn't blog or post much on Facebook...I just needed to be disconnected for a bit to grieve and process everything.  What are we going to do?  How are we going to feed and clothe everyone?  Why hasn't God done God's usual thing and whacked me over the head with a 2 x 4 with some insight about what our next step is?  I spent 3 or 4 days living in an unusual place for me...Terror City...and then things started to settle down in my heart, and we started getting busy brainstorming.  It is not as if we have not been proactive, and in fact we have spent the last 2 years actively searching for Dominick's next career.  At 50 years old, we have long known he can't physically detail cars forever, and we had an inkling we were not going to be at the airport much longer, so we have been checking out every possibility for a new business for him for at least 2 years.  Thus far, nothing has risen to the surface as "the thing", though we have been quite serious about a couple of opportunities.

So, we continue to pray, we continue to look, we continue to think and brainstorm...and did I say pray?  Yea, a lot of that going on around here.  The kids are handling the news fairly well, showing us great faith in our collective ability to figure it out and trust God.  Josh has struggled more, and as he said through his tears, "I don't know what to do...the airport has always been in my life, and I am scared about it not being there."  Blankies have been broken back out again and are being snuggled with around the house, which is quite telling as they had gradually drifted away over the past couple of years, so we know a great deal of insecurity is beneath the surface for him.  All four older kids offered to go out and get jobs to help support us, which touched both Dominick and I so deeply, but which we kindly declined saying we know everything will be OK and their job is to be students at the moment.  

But we will both admit it, we are very scared and trying hard to trust all will be well.  Somehow, it has to be, right?

In the meantime, we continue to press on, working hard, taking care of business, and moving forward.  We had a grand old time at the optometrist recently, as not one, not two, not three, but FOUR of the kids needed glasses!  Olesya already had them, but needed a stronger pair, and everyone else but Josh was suddenly joining Olesya and I in the "four eyes brigade"!  Angela opted for contacts,  but needed a backup pair of glasses.  Matt wanted contacts but can't seem to get them in his eyes, so it is glasses for now and he will keep trying to see if he can get them in.  Kenny is glasses only as he can't be certain he will remember to take care of them effectively.  All look wonderful in their new optical wear!  More importantly, all were stunned at all they had been missing...Here are pics of our 3 newest wearers:

Today, as I write this, suitcases are packed and beside the bed as Matthew and I head to Salt Lake City for his back surgery, which will be tomorrow.  So far, Matt is doing fine with it, but I know he is nervous as twice he has awakened and joined me late at night on the couch, admitting he is scared about the procedure.  I am sure that on the long drive together this afternoon, he will share and talk, and we will be able to be honest about his concerns.  He was offered the chance to go to work one last day today before leaving, but he declined, saying he'd rather be in church this morning, so that told me everything I needed to know about where his heart is right now.  We hope this will finally bring some much needed relief after years of pain and limitations, but it is scary for him and we don't even know for certain exactly what will happen during the surgery.  Malnutrition was likely the cause of the broken vertebra, and they don't know for certain if that will cause problems for the hardware holding solidly, so they are planning one type of procedure which will take 4-5 hours, but if they get in there and screws don't hold well, they will move on to try something different.  

Needless to say, we are all feeling a little helpless and praying for a great outcome for Matt.  I am so grateful not to be alone through this one, as Candi offered to fly out and be with me through the surgery. Dominick has to remain home to work and take care of the other kids, and others are so graciously pitching in to help with transportation, etc. so that he is not alone in handling everything. Our lives are not easily managed with just one parent around, and we will be gone about a week and a half. We are so blessed to have support, to be able to have the surgery for Matt in the first place, and to feel God's presence through others all around us.

Another couple of weeks have passed, but it  seems a lot happened during them.  We'd sure appreciate any prayers and thoughts thrown our way right now...for a successful outcome for Matt, for work opportunities for Dominick, for peace in all our hearts.  Team LaJoy will make it somehow, but this is definitely a very hard time in our lives.  It feels as if we are spiraling out of control, and yet we are all clinging to one another and know all will be well somehow.  I am not yet sure how, or what our life looks like in the coming months, but somehow, we will make it. We desperately want to remain here in Montrose, where all our support is, but are reminding ourselves that we need to remain completely open to God's leading, and if we do that, we will find ourselves in the best situation for us.  I can't imagine leaving home here, and am praying that we find a way to stay in our beloved community and still be able to support our family somehow.

Now it is time for me to close this with a couple more pictures, a strong reminder to me of what is most important in our lives...being connected to God, being kind to others, raising our children to be thoughtful and decent human beings who contribute to the world.  How we all love each other!!  How we will somehow manage to make it!!  Here are Kenny and Joshie, reflecting the love back to the world that they receive from so many others. When I saw this happening at the Food Bank, I was reminded to keep it all in perspective.  Continue to give back, continue to love others...that's all that matters:


Trudi said...

Prayers and hugs, hugs and prayers. BELIEVE it will all work out.

Anonymous said...

Prayers for your family!

Oh my, if I happened upon you and Candi together, I wouldn't even think twice that you weren't sisters.