Posted by: Marie | August 15, 2012

(690) Family connections – Part 2 of 3

Post #690
[Private journal entry written on Saturday, September 10, 2011 – continued from previous post]

By that time, we had all finished our breakfast. So, we all pitched in and had the dishes and the kitchen cleaned up in no time. Caleb headed outside to do some chores while Nell invited me into the living room area to listen to the music CD created by her son. She suggested I sit in Caleb’s recliner . . .

My sitting in that chair was quite comical . . . it was custom ordered for Caleb . . . he is about 6-foot-7-inches tall (nearly two meters) with relatively long legs (short body) while I am 5-foot-3-inches (1.6 meters) with relatively short legs (long body). I had to literally climb into the chair on my hands and knees and then turn around to face outward . . . I felt just like Goldie Locks must have felt when she sat in Papa Bear’s chair, LOL. My feet stuck straight out in front of me! I laughed and laughed . . .

As she played the CD for me, she pointed out passages in the music that really spoke deeply to her. Her son wrote the music, including the lyrics, and he performed it on the CD along with a couple of his friends.

The entire CD is Christian music . . . as Nell talked about the passages that spoke to her heart, I just listened . . . what she was saying didn’t really resonate with me since our spiritual beliefs are different, but it was clear to me that the music has a huge impact on her. I could appreciate how powerful the music is for her.

When the CD was finished playing, Nell said that she would really like for me to have some time to create music with her children. I have played with them a few years back . . . we had an ad hoc jam session at a family get-together. Nell was hoping we could do it again some day. I agreed with her that it would be fun!

Listening to the CD caused the conversation to shift to spiritual matters for the first time. She said to me, “You know, it is common for people to carry their experiences of their earthly fathers over to their understanding and concept of the Heavenly Father. And, sometimes, when people have experiences in childhood like we have had, we feel God doesn’t loves us or isn’t available to us. I wonder if that is the case with you . . . ”

I told her that it had been the case for me . . . that I had been angry with God but that Edward has been helping me separate the feelings I have towards my dad from how I experience God – and, that while I still have some work to do in that area and it is something that Edward and I are continuing to address. She said, “Good! I’m glad to hear that.” That is all she said – she didn’t push me to embrace her beliefs around this matter.

Nell did talk a bit about her relationship with God . . . not in a pushy way, just in a relaxed “sharing” way. She said that neither Caleb nor she “knew the Lord” when they started dating. Nell “came to the Lord” first and Caleb did so later. She said that having God in their lives has made all the difference in the world. I responded with, “I bet it does make a huge, positive difference!”

I didn’t feel that she was trying to push me into being a Christian; rather she shared her experiences like I would talk to someone about the value of therapy in my own life when I hear someone is struggling with a psychological issue. When I talk about therapy, I’m putting it “out there” as a valid option, but I’m not pushing them to take the same route I have taken.

I imagine Nell is more invested in me becoming a Christian than I am in encouraging someone to get into therapy, but I didn’t feel that pressure from her. I don’t know if that pressure would increase if I continue an ongoing relationship with them . . . especially if we have a conversation in which I tell her I am not a Christian and I’ve made a deliberate choice to not be a Christian. But, during this trip, that was not the case.

Caleb came back into the house and joined in the conversation. About that time, another of their kids called and Caleb took the phone call. After a few minutes, he called Nell to the phone and he came to sit with me. It seemed very important to them that at least one of them stay available to me every minute of my visit. I could sense that they were making my visit a top priority and making an effort to “fuss” over me . . . and that felt very good to me.

Caleb’s dune buggy

Caleb told me that he had pulled his little 1970’s VW bug out of the garage – he has converted it to a baja sand dune buggy – a convertible with no doors . . . and he wondered if I was game to go out for a little tour of the surrounding area. Of course!

So, we got me buckled into the car (the seatbelts have to be adjusted manually and it took me a few minutes to figure out how to do that) and off we went! He showed me all the nooks and crannies of their little town (population 300) and we took a tour of the library where Nell works. We wandered up into some of the well-treed hills and enjoyed some beautiful landscapes.

As we were turning onto one little road, a large pick-up truck towing a large travel trailer following us didn’t notice the buggy’s little turn signal blinking. When we slowed down for the turn, the driver of the truck locked up all his brakes in an almost-failed attempted to not run us over. He swerved and missed us by less than an arm’s length. Phew! That was a bit unnerving! But, all’s well that ends well, I guess!

[Continued in the next post . . . ]

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