Throughout my life one of my coping mechanisms for getting through any difficulty is to face it head on and then once I do all that I can about whatever it is, I turn and direct my attentions elsewhere.
Having experienced some news recently that I wish could have been better, today I found my attentions directed at some old family photographs when sometime later, I realized that I had been sitting there for hours remembering the times and “seasons” of my life.
Looking back at my life in pictures, I was amazed at all the changes I had been through and how I fit into each era. I had the best time though seeing all the changes in clothing and hairstyles that I'd been through.
When I was a very young woman, I wore my dark hair very long and enjoyed a kind of Bohemian style of clothing.
As I perused that time in my life I realize how much I still love and miss the rich colors, soft fabrics, comfortable lines,boots and the long skirts of beyond beautiful prints that came together harmoniously.
My Mother used to say that I dressed like a gypsy, but I didn't care because those clothes made me feel beautiful.
The trip through the 1980's brought classic lines and shoulder pads.
My hair was still long but permed.
I caught myself smiling as I remembered going to see “Ferris Bueller's Day Off” during that time. It was a great film and a lot of fun, but I have to say that I was seriously appalled at the clothing “Mrs. Bueller” wore in that film!
I admit that I was always a bit conservative clothing wise and had neither the nerve nor the inclination to go too wild. No checks on strips for me!
The 90's saw me as more casual. My hair was still long but no longer permed and I kept it pulled back almost all the time.
My favorite things to wear in those days were jeans, pretty tee shirts and sweaters.
My personal favorites though were turtle-neck sweaters.
I loved them the most and having lived in a colder climate back then, turtle necks and my cable knit sweaters were perfect for pretty much the whole year round.
I had a wonderfully busy life with children at home and practicality both financial and regarding wardrobe went hand in hand.
The turn of the century saw me with a desire to harken back to my beloved Bohemian look.
Yet by then I had moved to a much warmer climate and menopause taking hold provided me with an unwanted constantly over-working internal heating system and so as the new century progressed, l cut my hair short and found that less encumbering clothing items were definitely more.
When I finished with the photo albums today, I realized that the journey had provided me with a unique view on my life so far.
In the space of only six decades, I have been blessed by God to have become the wife of the man of my dreams, a mother, a grandmother, as well as having realized some of my own dreams of becoming a professional writer.
I feel that somehow everything I encountered through those various seasons of my life, are still so close and often feel as though they happened only yesterday.
Though raising a family is not without its myriad challenges and surprises, both pleasant and sometimes not so pleasant, just as with most people's life experiences, not everything that came my way was happy, as a matter of fact some of what happened was quite sad.
I lost my Dad in 1980, my mother in1987 and my brother in 1994.
Then seized by a feeling of extreme tiredness that I could not seem to shake, that began in earnest in 1995 eventually gave way to the diagnosis that would find me in 1997, with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia or CLL.
Looking back, I am very grateful for the time I had with my parents and my brother and I am comforted to know that I will always carry them in my heart.
Yet my journey back through time today as it turns out had another purpose all along.
Anyone who deals with chronic illness has those days when it flares up and recently I have been dealing with this very thing.
These are times that are to say the very least uncomfortable, because they come with the reminder that the weakness we feel is testament that the illness is still there.
I didn't see this coming until it arrived. God wanted to show me something today.
My trip down memory lane was not about clothing or hairstyles, it was a portrait that God has been painting of my life that has served to remind me of the warrior that I am, the fighter that I have always been and the Victor that through Christ Jesus, I will always will be.
To wit... as far as this illness goes:
I may have “it”...however, “it,” does not and never will... have me.
It's a new season.
I cut my hair short again today and it feels wonderful.
And though I am considered by now to be somewhat “well seasoned,” I find myself eagerly looking forward to the decades to come, for with God on my side and my family and loved ones around me, my heart tells me that the future looks brighter than ever.
Perhaps even that Bohemian look I love so much may well come back again...we'll see.
"To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under Heaven." (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
So here's to your seasons....God bless you all and may you find them filled to overflowing with the Love of God, family, friends, great health and the very best of everything.