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The Cost of Anger-Guest Post/Shirley Jones

Back in October I wrote a post called Listening to the Littlest where it dealt with one of my not-s0-mother-of-the-year moments. I received an email from a wonderful person, Shirley, who took the time to reach out to me. Now I am now blessed to call her my friend. Shirley describes her blog Sketches of a Common Life as a scrapbook of common life. I describe it as a blog jam-packed with wisdom, truth, hope and faith.....now throw in a twist of humor and what she likes to refer to as "demented conversations". But don't take my word for it.....hop on over and read for yourself. But don't go yet.....

......now back to that email.......It blessed me beyond words. Not only did Shirley encourage and remind me of the rewards of mothering.....but she also opened her heart and shared a story about her daughter Missy. I was so moved by her story that I asked her if she would mind doing a guest post for my friends.

So without further adieu.....

The Cost of Anger
~by Shirley Jones

Toward the end of the summer of 2007, our daughters, Missy and Karri, hopped into the car, mostly on a whim, and took off for a week's vacation in Florida. I have jokingly called the trip their Thelma and Louise moment, and I am so happy they had that bit of time together and for the memories they made. I am an only child, so I don't understand the bond of a sister, but they were both sisters and best friends.

However, I was not happy that they both came back with souvenir tattoos. I was livid and hurt and disappointed, and I had actually decided that I would show them how hurt and angry and disappointed I was by pulling back from them...by withholding my love from them in an old fashioned pouty fit.

I am constantly amazed at God's mercy and how He can intervene when we're about to do something irreversibly stupid. After I found out about the tattoos, I called a friend to cry on her shoulder and to vent. I don't know what it was, but there was something about that conversation that God used to stop me from doing something I would have regretted the rest of my life. By the time I hung up, I had decided I was being silly and that I was just going to let it go...and I did. I realized that they were both still my beautiful daughters and that I loved them no matter what and that tattoos are just ink and certainly not worth destroying a relationship over.

Thank You, God! Thank You!

Four months later, Missy was killed in an automobile accident.

How dear the cost my anger would have been had I withdrawn from her! How could I ever have lived with myself...with the remorse! I believe with all my heart it would have driven me insane because I could never have gotten that time back! Never! But God intervened and saved me. My last months with Missy were wonderful instead of being spent in near estrangement from her.

Still, after Missy's death, I struggled with how angry I had been. It was my last point of anger with her. I could not forgive myself! It haunted me during long, sleepless nights. And then one day I made a decision--I was going to get a tattoo. Call it penance...call it a peace offering... I felt it was my best I could offer to Missy and to Karri and to myself. Eight months later, I sat in a tattoo parlor, at the age of 61, with Karri, Don, a friend, and perhaps Missy, there by my side lending me love and moral support. When the tat was finished, tears, cheers, and hugs filled the room. I was at peace...

The tattoo is a constant reminder to me of anger's cost. That who people are has nothing to do with ink on their skin. That we have to live so we can live. And that we cannot foolishly assume we have the promise that our loved ones will be here tomorrow! Every moment with them is a sacred gift from God to be treasured!

The cost is much too dear for us not to!

~Shirley

Shirley's tattoo was carefully chosen for it's symbolism....

"Just when a caterpillar thought it's world had ended, it became a butterfly"

Missy is now a butterfly.



Today is the second anniversary of Missy going Home to Heaven.....won't you please take a moment and say a prayer for Shirley and her family. May they feel God wrapping His loving arms around them.....May they feel a supernatural peace over them knowing that Missy is at the feet of Our Savior, happy and whole.

Thank you Shirley for sharing Missy with us.....and may you all hug your loved ones a little extra tighter today.



Peace and love~
*~Michelle~*

16 comments:

Bill (cycleguy) said...

WOW Michelle: what a fantastic story and post. 2009 was brutal to the church I pastor and especially to me. Gossip and hurtful lies were spread and since you know things spread we are now about 20-30 people shorter than we were before those started. I was the brunt of those lies. Nothing immoral but causing questions about my leadership and honesty and whether I had myself or the church in mind. I chose to forigve. Angry? yes Hurt? yes. Unforgiving? No. I have better things to do with my life than hold a grudge. Thanks for sharing this story. Now I have to go back and read your former post. :)

Denise said...

Awesome post.

amanda said...

way to get me all teary!! :0) great post!

Joyce said...

I hate to admit that pouting is often my 'weapon of choice' ... such a powerful story. I will pray today...I am the mother of two daughters as well so this hit me particularly hard. Thanks for sharing.

christy rose said...

What a beautiful story! I will lift Shirley and her family in prayer today.

nAncY said...

thank you

Heart2Heart said...

Michelle,

What a timeless post that needed to be read by anyone stopping here. Life is simply too short to allow pointless things to get in the way of those that we hold dear. You never know when that last and final moment will come, and you certainly don't want to be living with regrets when it does.

Live and love for today. Tomorrow will take care of itself and yesterday can't be changed.


Love and Hugs ~ Kat

rcubes said...

Glad that we have a God Who sees everything before we do...That He saved Shirley from those what would have been a "forever guilt" moments. Great lesson. Thank you for sharing. May God's comfort continue to cover sister Shirley and family. Blessings.

sonja said...

I am already a big fan of Shirley's...she has so much to say that is 'right on target'. I have been blessed many times as I read her words. I'm so glad you shared some of her story here. And the tatoo's... I have smiled more than once as I picture that. Sometimes life has a way of turning 'old ideas' upside down! I found myself cheering them on when I read about the tatoos!

Blessings!

Sonja

Laura said...

Thank you for sharing this post with us. I too have lost those closest to me. That fact motivates me to be slow to anger and quick to forgive. We're not promised "tomorrow." Thank you for this very timely reminder of what's most important!

Michelle said...

Thanks for sharing. A great reminder for us all...

wife.mom.nurse said...

Tears...

God bless you Shirley and your family. May you feel His comfort as you grieve your precious daughter.

What an amazing testament to the power of peace and love and turning our backs upon anger and resentment.

The butterfly is beautiful Shirley. Thanks for sharing your story.

~Julie

Children of Eve said...

Thank you for sharing this, an important message.

Tracy said...

Thank you for this post

anewcreation said...

Hi Michelle,

That is a very sobering story and one which lesson I often need to remind myself about.

It is often our most loved ones who get the worst of our temper, anger and frustrations; the very ones who are a blessing in our life and so should be treated as such.

Forgiveness is key in all of this, not only forgiving others, but also forgiving ourselves.

Lovely story full of lovely people

Blessings,

anewcreation

sanjeet said...

I have better things to do with my life than hold a grudge. Thanks for sharing this story

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