I can't begin to share everything that's on my heart and mind in this post. And I know that even if I don't put it all into words, God knows because He hears it all.
We decided to continue with our planned family vacation and left last Thursday for the Gulf...yes, despite the oil spill and all. And I am so glad we came. We needed it. Several of the locals have thanked us for coming, and my heart just breaks when I look at the oil in the water and what is washing onshore. (But, honestly, I am not sure if it's as bad as the media makes it out to be.) We have been coming to the Alabama coast since I was about 8 years old. I have such treasured memories of Orange Beach and now Fort Morgan. My children have begun their own memories of this place. We needed each other and this place this week.
We needed Mamaw, (Ms. Sue), but I guess God needed her more. Last weekend and the days that have followed still seem like a dream for us all. The last conversation she and I had was about what to pack for this trip. I walked alone along the beach a couple of different times over the last few days, and I just talked out loud to God. I know God can hear my thoughts, but it just made me feel better to say it out loud. No one was around me and the sound of the wind in my ears was so loud, I just imagined it drowning out my every thought and worry. Good thing about that is that all it would allow me to think about was God's goodness in the beautiful things around me. And despite the pain and sadness still harboring inside me, I gave thanks to God...thanks for my mother-in-law, Ms. Sue, and I asked that she watch over "our babies" from Heaven just as she helped me watch them so many times here on Earth. Lord, I thank you so much for the life of Ms. Sue. She loved us and her 3 grandchildren more than anything, and I just ask that You and she would be the divine protectors of our family, especially my children, so that they might live lives free from destruction, disease, & injury. We may not fully understand the reasons why You chose to take her right now, but I will trust in Your plan. Thank You for the time we had with her and the memories we will take with us. Thank You for the beautiful ocean and Earth You have created for us to enjoy. Thank You, God, for hearing my heart's prayer.