My brother and his wife moved into a new house in the fall of 2015. It is a beautiful home with wooded property on the other side of the fence. Very quiet and peaceful.
On Monday, November 23rd of that year, my wife died in her sleep. Her funeral was on Wednesday, November 25th. Thanksgiving was on the next day, Thursday, November 26th.
I was asked to come to my brother’s house for Thanksgiving. Everyone knew I would be hurting, but also knew I didn’t need to be alone. I knew it as well, so I went for the day.
The house was full of family and little children. I was used to my home being much quieter with just Terrie and me. So it didn’t take a long time for me to discover the back porch.
It was expansive and quiet and the air cool. It was then that I discovered one of the few places outside of my home, that I consider a sanctuary. I stood at the railing and cried and called out to God to help me.
Since that day, I’ve been back many times. Each time, whether alone or visiting with my brother, it calms me.
Sometimes “Bear” and “Molly” their adopted dogs, come up the steps to visit with me. “Bear” is more subdued, while “Molly” gets very excited. Yes, they have strange smells sometimes or had been laying in the dirt, but when they come to you with their happy eyes, ears down and doggy smile, how can you not pat them and talk to them. They are like therapy dogs, except in an outdoor environment.
Much has changed since that Thanksgiving day, almost two years ago. I am healing, making new friends, cherishing my family more, learning more about God and myself and how we go together. I have new ministry opportunities and more occasions to talk with others about moving forward in the grief process.
“in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV
It was early in those days, that I latched unto this verse. I give thanks for what I have or have had. I give thanks for a back porch where I can go to think and relax and reflect on the blessings that are mine. I hope there is a “back porch” in your life where you go and can do a little rockin’ and a little thinking.