Thursday, August 29, 2019


AT MY MOM'S BURIAL - October 2018

The summer before my eighth grade year my father bought me a very small acoustic guitar.  Early on I learned to sing and play and through those notes and lyrics I was often transported to a place of calm and surrender.  

When I was a sophomore in high school I learned one of the most popular songs of the day (we're talking mid 1970's here!) and I loved it so much that it was always my go-to song during youth group fellowship time, shut-ins, camps or even school events.  The melancholy melody was fairly simple, but the words constantly put my heart and soul to wondering...  At fifteen I had LOTS of questions about life, but was still all about my guitar and music.  It was, in part, a way for me to share my very innocent faith with my circle of friends.
8th GRADE TALENT SHOW - About 1973 with any life...I got busy.  I fell in love...started painting...fell in love again...started drawing...fell in love...learned to sew...went to college...really fell in married and eventually had two babies.  My guitar playing and my early introduction to Christian Folk Music sort of fell to the wayside.

Fast forward thirty-five plus years and I could not have imagined how much the lyrics of that one specific song would come back and minister to my own very broken body and spirit.

Car accidents can mess you up.  And they can even wreck your life if you aren't careful.  The one my Mr. AGPMan and I were in (along with our daughter) back in 2016 nearly did both.  I shared a little about my injury in May of that year and how I ended up having months upon months of PT before finally accepting the fact I needed to have spinal fusion on my neck.  In March 2017 I had surgery and that was followed by many months of even more PT and just plain healing.

My doctor told me it would take a year and then some to heal...but that he couldn't put me back together again like I had been before the accident...

Here is a bit of the back story I wasn't able to share at the time...

The pain from the injury was excruciating.  I was deeply depressed.  A deep, dark depression like I had never known.

My mother was still living at that time and I would often go over to her home just to be in her presence.  I felt like my head weighed a hundred pounds and the burning and nerve damage from my crushed vertebrae was life altering and I was afraid.

More than afraid.

I was terrified.

Add the mounting medical bills, lost work and then needing to obtain legal counsel, I thought I was living a complete nightmare.  I tried my best during the day to go about doing normal things...but sitting down, even for five minutes, would cause my neck to spasm so by the time evening would come I was in very bad shape.

I made eleven or more trips to the ER for morphine injections because that was the only thing that would calm the nerves down in my spine long enough for me to fall asleep.

Eventually they stopped helping...unless I wanted more and more.

I didn't.

Pre-surgery I spent a great deal of time propped up in my bed leaning sideways while wondering how in the world my life had spiraled down and so out of control.  I had been healthy, strong and active and in the blink of an eye everything had changed.  

I tried my best to continue with my local booth and also work two days a week at the Vendor Mall I was a part of.  But it was challenging.  Still, I tried to do everyday things as much as possible.  You know, act normal...go to dinner, watch a show, go to church...

Whatever I did before...

Only I did it all standing up.  

My hubby raised my sewing machine up so I could sew while standing.  My computer, too.  I would go to church, but stand in the back...same thing with the movies.

But...night would always come and there was just something about lying down...the spasms would return and the cycle of pain would worsen and start all over again.  I don't remember doing this, but my Mr. AGPMan has told me I would cry out to him, just begging him to help me.

I feared this would be my forever.

  He would massage my neck for hours (literally) in the middle of the night and I took prescribed medication.  But truthfully, it did little to help the pain.  I was freaked out by the opioid problem blazing across America so I took meds that were less likely to cause addiction...

Mostly I prayed.

We prayed.

And I cried.

  I leaned greatly into my faith and somehow, by God's grace, it sustained me.  I read books about healing, health, faith, hope, prayer, everything.  I would angle my body heavily to one corner or the other of our sofa so the pressure would be on my hips instead of my spine.  Often I poured through aging hymn and music books, strummed my old guitar and sang the words to sweet familiar songs. 

I read something positive every day.

And then cried some more.

One day while trying my best to organize a way-too-full closet I came across a small booklet that held the lyrics to the song I shared with you earlier...  

With fresh eyes I read again the words that once poured out from my lips...  Words that spoke of another's sacrifice and death...words that told me I would never be left alone or forsaken.  Words that reminded me that when I was thirsty I would be given drink...and when I was ravaged with pain and the tears wouldn't stop flowing, He would be there...

 The song, when sung as a young teenager, was sometimes difficult to fully appreciate.  I mean...I think the lyrics are fairly easy to take in when one has yet to really face life-trails.  I was a baby-believer back then and couldn't really imagine my life with true sorrow or loss.  I certainly couldn't imagine it with life-changing pain...enormous financial pressure and an unknown physical future...

Since my surgery I've continued to heal and grow stronger.  I'm grateful for answered prayer and I'm thankful I no longer face daily life with immeasurable pain.  Although I know I will never be as I was before and I no longer can work the hours I once did, I'm thrilled to be back on the other side of wellness.  I have a permanent loss of motion in my neck and a nice scar across the front...but I'm alive...and I'm good!

As I reflect upon the lyrics today of the song I once knew by heart, I'm reminded of God's goodness, grace and mercy in my life.  I know while I was suffering my Savior was by my side.  He saw me through some very dark days and will never forget every good and perfect gift comes from Him.

"You said you'd come and share all my sorrows 

You said you'd be there for all my tomorrows 
I came so close to sending you away 
But just like you promised, you came here to stay 
I just had to pray 

And Jesus said, 

"Come to the water, stand by my side 
I know you are thirsty, you won't be denied 
I felt every tear drop, when in darkness you cried 
And I strove to remind you, 
It's for those tears I died.

(Marsha Stevens)

 It took many months after the surgery to begin to feel even a little better.  I promised myself if my health was ever restored I would be faithful to make the changes in my life I felt moved to make...

On the day we settled my insurance claim (May 1st of this year and we had to sign a non-disclosure agreement) I sent the owner of the Vendor Mall I'd been in for nearly eight years a 30 day notice as I giving up my longtime space.

I'd known for a long time I was being led BACK to two things...

One...Was to close my large retail booth and return to selling online


Two...To start writing on my blog again.

For those of you who are still around, thank you.  I've missed connecting with you more than you could possibly know.

 I have much more to share...this is just the beginning.

A fresh new start to my already wonderfully imperfect life...

Love to you...



Junkchiccottage said...

Rebecca I have tears right now after reading your post. You are so brave and so faithful and this is remarkable what you have been through and are now on a good side of health and wellness. You stayed the storm for a long time which took a big toll on you but you continued to be faithful this was not over for you. So happy to hear the surgery worked and you are now doing better to come back into what makes your life happy. Bravo girlfriend for staying in there and fighting depression to take control again of your own life and health. When you are in those dark places it is hard to see the light that will see you out. I am excited to see that your posts are flowing once again and you will be selling YEAH! on line. I have always loved your sweet and talented soul and all you create. You go girl you got this.

Mary Ann said...

So thankful Rebecca to see this post. You have been missed.

Nita Stacy said...

Rebecca -
I'm so glad you shared you story. what a terrible ordeal. I am glad you are feeling better. I know you will never be the same but so glad you are in less pain. I recently came back to blogging too. I was working all the time and finding it hard to find the time to do projects and blog. I will be anxious to see what your online store holds within it. So happy to see you back. I almost didn't come back cause I figured no one cared but I was wrong may were happy to see me back and I missed it so much. I'll be checking in to see how things are going with you.

Rose L said...

It is difficult losing loved ones. I have lost so many. I lost my beloved husband in 2012 after caring for him for 6 yrs with frontal lobe dementia. After 37 yrs together, it was difficult. I lost 2 of my best friends I had known since high school (1966-1970) and was very close to them over these many years. My father passed in 2018 and father in law also. My heart breaks with each loss. In 2016 I almost died after a knee surgery as had a heart attack. Life can hit hard at times. God always supports me.

the other beth smith said...

Glad you are back ❤️

the other beth smith said...

Glad you’re back ❤️

Kay G. said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. Blessings on you! I am such a strong believer in music. It is a gift from God. "Didn't I Walk On The Water" is a song I am sure you would like. If you play it on your guitar, please let me know.

Rämmengården said...

I love your blog and follow you. have a nice weekend hugs Nina

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Rebecca,
So glad you managed to live through this rough period in your life.
Opiates at times don't even help, they didn't do anything for me in January 2010 with excruciating pain till I became paralyzed. Not easy to live through it all but by Faith we all manage.
Last year I had another set-back when I had a double pelvic bone fracture at the end of March and that took 3 months of walking on crutches and not allowed to lift things, walk or move... Pain was rough too and with my CKD stage IV I'm not allowed to even take over the counter meds... So you tough it out and somehow that time passes. I've scanned all of Mom's letters and more.
We might heal but we never become younger and with age comes also decline of mobility... Still, like you, so grateful for being alive!
We managed to go one more time across the Atlantic, at least for Pieter it was one more time... his heart condition does not allow him such long trips anymore. It is too risky. But I'm grateful for following my ESP as I felt I had to see my Dad, one more time, one LAST time that is. And he was oh so happy and talked and we visited several times. We were back in the USA and he passed away peacefully in his chair in his garden... So grateful for those special hours spent with him! He was 98.5 with only 4 days short!
Hope your calmer life, with less stress, will make you heal faster and more complete. Stress does affect all of our health and healing and that store was great for the time you managed but now it had become almost a burden. Wishing you well and hope you're on the mend still.

Sharrieboberry said...

Thank you, thank you for posting! Change is hard. Aging is hard. Bless you on your path to healing.

Dogmom Diva said...

Dear Rebecca, thank you for sharing your journey. What doesnt kill us makes us stronger, so the saying goes. Looking forward to each of us blogging and getting to know each other!

Jen said...

After reading about your ordeal I can't help to think how we take mundane every day tasks and accomplishments for granted. I try to be grateful every single day. What a long a difficult road you've been navigating. I'm happy to see you back Rebecca. I'm also happy that you are doing better.
|Take care

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