David Bowie Ain’t Got Nothin’ On Me…

In another world, in a different time, David Bowie sang that it was time to turn and face the strange changes

Indeed.

In the same song, he also said he didn’t want to be a richer man, instead, he was just gonna have to be a different man.

Yes, indeed.

While I wouldn’t sneeze at the opportunity to be a little more financially independent, being rich materialistically is not one of my life-shaping goals.

I’m just gonna have to be a different man.

How many times can a guy say indeed in one blog post?
Apparently, at least five times…

So once again, indeed.

I am just gonna have to be a different man and I am.

Strange changes abound. Strange changes indeed.

I suspect as long as I am alive, there will occasionally be moments of anger and pain, heartache and rage–yes, joy comes in the morning, but there are plenty more nights of questions and grief to come.

And I am ok with that.

Indeed (somebody stop me…).
There’s one of those strange changes… I have learned to not be afraid of it–grief serves its purpose and while tears can be bitter, they can also be cleansing…

I am thankful for many of the changes in my life.
I am thankful for lessons learned.

My reality has changed.
I am enjoying life.
To quote the Foo Fighters, who will have their own post fairly soon (as in almost done), I am learning to walk again…

Strange Changes.

I am wrestling with a new name for my blog. Desperately Wanting to Believe Again has served it’s purpose. I never quit believing. I do believe. I still struggle with trust at times, but I trust God even if I don’t always understand.

I am done with bitterness. I may be bitter at times or for a moment, but I never want to embrace bitterness again.

I may still have hurt. Pain will raise itself once in awhile, but I never want to be that guy again whose hurt turns him into a pariah.

It’s time to move forward.
It’s time time live again.
And I am.
I am.

Ok. So I am blathering on like the crazy strange man I am.

Four more things:

1. I am going to recommit to writing here more often–giving it the good old college try (whatever that means).

2. I am going to make significant progress on my book (call the first two New Year resolutions if you want).

3. If you have an idea for a new blog name reflecting my new reality, please share it ASAP.

4. Here’s a sermon from the first Sunday of 2015 (last week)–it ends with what I call a story of redemption, restoration, and reconciliation…

God bless and Happy New Year!

Les Ferguson, Jr.

and oh yeah, one more piece of happiness…

My beautiful wife and our new house in Madison, Mississippi! (This picture was from yesterday–after we closed on the house!)

New_house

Basement

I think five times.

Just five.

I have visited five times.

I have this strange urge to go now, but three and a half hours is a long way to travel for a visit that has never quite lasted even ten minutes.

I am not a fan of cemeteries. They are not places of peace. They don’t engender moments of quiet reflection. They don’t inspire sweet memories.

They do, however, spark moments of rage and anger. They do inspire transcendental and irrational thoughts. They do bring a fresh feeling of horror and pain. Of disbelief and incomprehensibleness.

I don’t like cemeteries.
Especially this one.

Especially this one.

Maybe there will come a time in our journey where I can visit. Say hello. Or spend a quiet afternoon. But not now. And knowing me the way I do, quite possibly never.

It is hard to write of these things. There is renewed grief. And an aching in my chest and tears in my eyes that make it difficult to say anything of much sense or value. At 8:00AM on a Saturday morning as I write this, I am already exhausted.

So much has happened since the first day we traveled in the company of hundreds of others to that particular cemetery. So many changes.

Casey is growing up fast and missing his front teeth.
Conner is a Junior in High School, talking about colleges, and becoming this new man-child I hardly recognize.

So many changes. But one remains. I still don’t like cemeteries.

I don’t go there, but I do go to our basement.
Reluctantly.

Outside of October 10, 2011 and the subsequent funeral services and burials, the hardest days of my life were watching my mother and sisters pack up Karen’s clothes and things and the day I finally emptied Cole’s bedroom in preparation to move.

We boxed up some items for the boys when they are older. They will each have some jewelry, dishes, keepsakes, etc. Things they can look at, use, and remember. Or at least in Casey’s life, he can hold something tangible that once belonged to his mother.

Do you get the inherent unfairness of what I just wrote?

In my basement are stored things for their future lives to help them remember what must seem like a distant memory even now.

And I want to rage at the senselessness of it all.

In my basement are two footlockers once owned by a former neighbor. Those footlockers traveled all over the world on various US Navy Sea Bee deployments. These days they see no travel at all.

None whatsoever.

I hate going to the basement.
For anything.

We store lots of stuff there. Things that are helpful. Things that are seasonal. So sometimes we go there to bring up and out those things we might need for the occasion.

I hate going to the basement.
When I do, I am always drawn to those two green and battered footlockers.
Cole no longer has a bedroom to store his earthly treasures, so I store them there.

His Sea Wolves hockey poster.
His favorite CD’s.
Hats.
Balls.
His graduation cap.
Books.
Stuff that he surrounded himself with.
And Brett Farve memorabilia.

Going to the basement is hard.
Opening those footlockers is an agony all its own.

As it turns out, basements and cemeteries have a lot in common.
At least for me.

At least for me.

For those who are hurting and grieving, know we are fellow travelers. May our hearts be healed. May our painful places be less so.

Thank you for reading.

Les Ferguson, Jr.