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lilyjohn

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I usually write in the grieving forum. I just think what I have to say to day belongs here. I have been thinking long and hard about this. I hope that it really can be an inspiration to all of you.

How did I get here? Why am I here and why did I have to go through so much to get here. Those are teh questions I have asked so many times. The only answer I can come up with is that for some reason God wants me here.

I was in a marriage that I had held together for over 40 years. Many problems were part of my everyday life. Stress and unhappiness where things that I had a very personal relationship with. I never dreamed that my life would be any more or less. I had my home and my family, three wonderful kids that I am so proud of and 8 grandchildren that are the light of my life. How could I ever consider that to have more life and less stress that I would have to move away from them. I never even considered it.

I know now that when we are meant to be somewhere it is taken out of our hands. Events take us where we are meant to be. Events that only God could engineer.

Out of the blue I had a dream about Johnny, a man I had't seen for over 40 years, a man I had pushed out of my thoughts and I thought out of my heart. From the moment I had that dream I felt love like none I had ever known. I had no idea what lay ahead.

My marriage was getting worse by the day but I never would have given up on it knowing that I had to leave my family and set out to make a life on my own. I was so weak and so unsure of myself and my family was my life. Still day by day my marriage became more unbearable until my hand was forced and I filed for divorce. Telling my children and grandchildren was one of the hardest things I ever did in my life.

I just couldn't understand why my life took such a huge turn. Then with the memory of that dream still in my heart Johnny and I found eachother again. The future looked like it held real happiness for me again but we were together only a few days when he was diagnosed with LC.

He did so well. He convinced me and everyone around him that he would beat the beast. He was doing it too but the professionals taking care of him had other thoughts and voiced them. They took his hope away and with it our future that we dreamed of. In five short months he was gone and once again my world was shattered.

I was blindsided by his death. I was hurt, angry and confused. I felt that for some reason God was punishing me. I felt that I had lost everything. I made the move to Southern California and with in a short time I found this wonderful place with all of you. I met people in the assisted living home where I worked who inspired me and helped me get my faith back. All the while I was having those wonderful signs that my Johnny was still around.

Once more fate stepped in ( I say fate but I know now it was God) and brought me North to the wonderful little town of French Gulch. I lived in an area of extreme beauty and slowly started to know both myself and my God. The people in that small community embraced me. They became like another family. I started to feel all of the love of friendship that had always seemed missing in my life.

Then my ex husband died. Once more I was blindsided but somehow I was able to use the heartache from Johnny's death to not only pull me through the days after Denis died but to help my grandchilren who were suffering like no other time in their young lives.

I began to realize too that had we still been married I probably wouldn't have lived much longer myself. I would have been isolated in a place that I didn't like. I would be living in a house that was surrounded by in laws but no other neighbors. I had no real friends there. My children and grandchildren would have been there for me but their lives were growing and expanding. I would have spent most of my time alone. I would have felt like a burdon on them.

Now I am retired and once again I see God's hand in bringing me here. When I decided to retire and move to senior housing I started putting in applications. At every place I was told there was a one year waiting list. I came here last. I almost didn't even apply because there is a creek here that is left wild and the grounds are not as well groomed as the others. Still I wanted to retire and the only way to do that was to move in to Senior subsadized housing.

I sent the application in and continued to work thinking it would be at least a year before I could retire. Two weeks later I got the call. Within a month I was retired and living here. The rent and utilities have gone up so much where I used to live and the price of gas that if I had stayed there I would have had to went back to work full time to afford it.

This is an apartment complex but in many ways it is one big family. Everyone who comes here can feel the love that is generated here. Of coarse we have our differences once in a while but never anything serious and everyone looks out for eachother.

One of my neighbors got with her daughter and they got a couple of churches and outreach services envolved. Yesterday they made us a large Harvest/Thanksgiving Dinner. We had games and entertainment and my neighbor who got it all started broke out her harmonica and there was singing together. There was so much laughter and as we all said our prayer of thanksgiving it was so obvious how much love there is here. Each person thanked God for being here with all of these wonderful people, our family. There was laughter and tears.

I still don't know why God wants me here. I am just thankful that he does. I don't know why I had to lose so much to gain so much but I can't question His wisdom. I can just be grateful, not only for now but for a dream and the love of one man who brought me to a place in my life where I know the true abundance of God's love.

Sorry this is so long but I just felt the need to share it with all of you. My other family.

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Lily,

There is always pleasure and a lesson

to learn from your posts.

You sure give love around you and that

is one reason you are so welcome where you

are, you join with people and give them

the love they may need ot don't think

they may get on their own.

Keep the posts coming, they show love and

understanding of the human side of life

and the spiritual one all the time.

Thank you to be in this family.

Jackie

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I'm glad its come full circle and there are still mysteries and joys around each corner. More importantly, there is community and love and the fact that you are never alone.

Thank you for sharing a little with us.

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Lil, it's so very good to hear joy in your words. There have been so many times we have shared heavy hearts and faced days when we thought the sun would never shine again. And yes, we never really know why things happen but we usually find that God has a plan for us. You're such a wonderful person...so sharing, caring and giving. I can imagine that God brought you to this place in the road so that you can offer hope to some that may have lost hope in their lives. Your story is certainly one to share with others. You have overcome so much in the five years that I have known you and I am very proud to be your friend. I'm so glad that you are in a place that truly feels like home!!!

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