Since I last wrote, I found out that my cousin, age 48, fell over and died from a heart attack while waiting at the bus stop. I didn't know him very well, as he was pretty introverted, but his death got me thinking:
1) We really DO need to take care of ourselves, because even if we don't see the immediate consequences from our actions (in his case, years of heavy smoking and morbid obesity), it will eventually catch up with us (many times, without warning)!
2) I know my grandma, my aunt (my cousin's mother), and my mom are in deep mourning over his death. I keep coming back to my aunt, though- I couldn't imagine what it would be like to lose a child after 48 short years, where he lived in constant self-doubt and self-condemnation. And that brought me to the remembrance that I, myself, nearly up and died from almost the exact same thing! Anorexia and heavy smoking is just as dangerous as the latter and obesity, and yes, it can cause one to keel over from a heart attack (especially considering the miles of walking and running I did in the 105-degree summer heat). But that's not really what concerns me; what saddens my heart is knowing that my mother would have had to deal with that, just as my aunt is grieving the death of her son. And I've lived 25 years LESS than my cousin did! That being said, I'm determined to start living my life, and spending more time with my mom, even if it means feeling a bit uncomfortable sometimes. Just like I said above... LIVING LIFE ISN'T NECESSARILY EASY!
Anyway, Easter was, as it should be, a big day of celebration, though I didn't really go to any egg hunts, scarf chocolate, or eat tonnes of ham with generations of my family. I spent the morning at Westside Church of Christ with my mom-in-law so she wouldn't have to go alone (my dad-in-law is away for work, and my husband won't go to church). Afterward we picked Kevin up and went to lunch at Cactus Valley. Later that night, I picked my mom up, and we both went to my new church called New Life Center. The worship there is a lot louder, instrumental, and charismatic than Westside. I'm actually going to their women's Bible study for the first time tonight- the workbook we are starting is called "Emotionally Healthy Spirituality"... sounds good, eh? But yeah, I was really glad that my mom came with me, since she had spent the day in bed, depressed about the passing of my cousin. Sometimes getting out helps to get your mind off things...
At any rate, I think the service helped remind my mom (and myself!) that she is not condemned by her past because the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ covers us all- I started crying when Pastor James drove that point home, because I certainly have screwed up in the eyes of a lot of people. God is so good, though! (There I go... saying that phrase again!) I just refuse to be defined as the anorectic anymore, and it's like, I don't even really want to associate with people who are choosing to stay stuck in that mentality. (This, however, gets me a little torn up because I don't want to associate with those people who continue to make the wrong decisions for my own sake, but then again, I know that if the staff at Mercy hadn't firmly persisted in breaking through to me, I would be dead! It's one of those things that you really have to patiently wait on the Lord to give you discernment on what to say or do, you know? :/)
Exciting news! On Monday, I rode my bike to the Starbucks I have been hoping to get a job at, and had a short interview with Ally, the manager. At the end, she said that she wasn't sure how many hours she could start me off with, but that she really wanted me on her team no matter what, because I have "great energy" and she felt like she had known me forever (her words!)... Awesome! It's amazing how God really works through you- when you let Him! So yeah, on Friday, she's going to call me with my training schedule and I'll start working within the next couple weeks! WOOHOO!
Later on Monday, my mom and I rode our bikes downtown, so she could get her lymphedema arm sleeve thingie measured. We ended up having lunch at the Garden Spot, and then rode home. On the Kern River Parkway path, though, we got flagged down by a newscaster and interviewed. The video of it is below, and we were interviewed around the 3:15 and 3 minute points. Haha...
Yesterday evening, we had our friends (a couple) and their 1.5-year-old son over for dinner. It's amazing how utterly grown up their little one is now! The last time I saw him, he was JUST starting to roll over on his own. Now he can say words, stand, walk, and even run! He knows all his body parts, and definitely knows how to be mischievous! >:D He's so precious, and yes, it was great to get to see my friends, as well!
Anyway, as I sit here on the couch with my big boy cat snoring next to me, listening to great worship music on the Contemporary Christian music channel, I will leave you with these awesome verses (Psalm 118:5-6) that I re-read today:
"In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and he answered by setting me free. The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"