come what may

I feel like I have a about 25 posts all piled up in my head.  We are home now, as of 2:30 am.  The vacation was eleven days and not long enough, as it always isn't.   I feel refreshed and excited for the new year.  I'm anxious to make some changes and start fresh.  I know resolutions are so over done and quickly abandoned this time of year, but I can't help but hope for a new era with the start of 2010.  Not just for myself, as I lead a rather charmed life.  There are things I would like to change about myself, things I'd like to do better.  But as far as wishing for sunnier skies, I reserve those wishes for my parents and the siblings I have still at home.

On Christmas evening we were sitting around the kitchen table playing a game when Marielle (my eleven year old sister) came upstairs sobbing. She had found Josh, her beloved dog, barely breathing and almost frozen outside. We all rushed to help and found some wounds on his neck. He was alive but unresponsive. We wrapped him in towels and warmed him by the fire but nothing helped. As he faded I sat there with Marielle, mom, dad, Marlee, and almost everyone else gathered around him. I thought of Marielle. She is having a hard year in school...a difficult teacher who doesn't appreciate her, no real friends, no sisters left at home, and now here was Josh who slept with her every night, listened to her every word, anxiously awaited her return from school. Her best friend was dying.

I prayed with all my heart for a miracle, but despite all our prayers and best efforts his condition never improved. Marielle went off to bed with my mom when Josh stopped breathing. My dad and I worked to keep him alive for about 30 more minutes until his slow heart beat stopped completely.

In bed I cried to Kevin and tried to make sense of the loss. It was late, and I tend to be overly emotional when I'm very tired. It was just so sad to me. I'm not particularly attached to the dog, but Marielle was and my mom really loved him.  I just wish I could always understand.  They have just been through so much.  Why the dog too?

The story of their life is theirs to tell, so I haven't known what to say and not say about it in my personal account.  But briefly, here it is:  In February 2008,  my dad went on a campout and used a heater in his tent that was not meant for indoor use.  He came home feeling very sick and sleepy and acting very strange.  Later we relized that he had carbon monoxide poisoning.  This resulted in a major personality change, loss of confidence, depression, self doubt, no enthusiasm, unusual OCD behaviors, the loss of his ability to work in his industry, confusion, short term memory loss, etc.  Experts said that these neurological issues often work themselves out in about a year.  It will be 2 years in February and this trip home did give me a lot of hope.  He is seeming like his old self more than ever.  His main focus now is to find a full time job.  My mom is preparing to go back to school.  These two years have brought wave after wave of questions waiting to be answered.  I have seen my mom move forward with trust and patience, seen my siblings adapt, grow, and become better people, seen my dad slowly learn to see the happiness in his life again.     

Since I've been home I've been desperately searching the internet for a replacement puppy.  I guess in my mind it feels like when one is found it will be the first answer to the questions of the past few years and an omen that 2010 will be a turning point for my family.  That uncertainty will fade and the purpose of it all will be clear.  But honestly, being home with my family filled me with a peace that no matter what, be it a year of more questions or long-awaited answers, the Lord knows what is best for us in life.  That as we put our trust in him he will give us what we really need to become all that he would have us be.  That blessings aren't always what we expect them to be.  So here's to 2010.  Come what may, it's going to be a great year.


  1. Your love for the Lord and your family is beautiful, Natalie....

  2. I didn't know that happened. I am so sorry. I know what it is like to go through ups and downs and lots of rollercoasters with family and it's amazing how everything works out in the end. Here's to 2010!

  3. I read this yesterday and have been pondering about it. What a sad, hard trial for your family. I'm happy to think things seem to be getting better.

  4. I hope and pray that things only continue to improve. I appreciate your spiritual optimism.

  5. I feel for your sister, as I had a dog that helped me though the hard times of teenage life and moving when I was in High School. I cried the day she died. I will cry harder when our beloved Fox leaves us. He came to me in some of my darkest days of infertility. There is nothing like the unconditional love of a dog.
    I feel for your family. It is so hard to see someone have to go through what your dad has been through. Your mom is an angel. I can see why you have such a hard time coming home when you go to visit.

  6. Your poor sister! And I'm sorry your parents have had such a trial the past two years; my dad had a rare neurological disorder that completely affected his ability to function mentally over a year ago. He had many of the scary symptoms you describe, plus paranoia and strange, scary behavior. He's had some ups and downs and is doing much better in general, but it has really shaken my mom and our family.


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