To Read on the Journey

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

i ate a booger

you read that right, i ate a booger.

don't tell me you have never eaten a booger. i would guess 99.9% of the world has sampled their boogers. i recall a boy in my 4th grade class who really enjoyed his boogers. now he is 36, balding, drives a fancy car, and has a fancy job (i wonder if hair loss is a result of excessive booger consumption).

as you see from the video above we visited the jelly belly factory. if you live in cali. i recommend you take a detour and head over to the jelly belly factory and go on their 40 min. tour! it was Su.Weeeet.! the end of the tour there was a sample bar, with unlimited j.b. samples (you should have seen my kids eyes when they were told unlimited amounts of candy was available... you should have seen the "no it's not" look i gave them in return).
j.b. has some delicious flavors, but they also have some new flavors, "beanboozled." these flavors involve trickery- discovering your chocolate was replaced by dog food, your coconut for baby wipe, your peach for vomit, and your pear for booger. and that, that is how i ate a booger (yesterday anyway).with us on our tour my grandmother "vava," and my aunt vera.

as well as visiting the jelly belly factory we visited my dad. my dad lives in a state hospital. he is paranoid schizophrenic. you'd think that going to a state hospital would be the polar opposite of going to a candy factory. it could be. you'd expect it to be. but it wasn't it. it too was filled with sweetness.
sweetness as i watched my g-ma feed her son all his favorite portuguese foods. the way to his heart is though his mother's cooking, and she needed to love him that way. he needed to be loved that way.
sweetness was having his sister, my aunt, see him again for the first time in 12 years. my family tends to ignore his existence (i know it's not intentional, it hurts too much, the loss of their only brother, first to drugs, and now to mental illness). but it meant a lot to me, and i know it meant a lot to him.
sweetness came in conversations between him and his grandchildren. in talking about favorite colors, favorite foods, go-cart crashes, and how tall the grand-kids have gotten.
sweetness overwhelmed not just my taste-buds, but my other senses as my dad hugged each of his grandchildren and said to each of them, "i love you emilie, i love you noah, i love you josefine." i want that. i want them to be loved by my dad. i want him to be loved by my children, his grandchildren.
sweetness came in my own embrace, nestling for a moment into him, my dad.
and finally sweetness came as we left. he went through the doors of confinement,where he was searched by the guards, and we walked out the other door into freedom. there we waited, waited for him to turn around to see us not wanting to leave, wanting to wave goodbye one last time, wanting to take every moment given to us to soak him up. to us he isn't a patient or a criminal- he is a son, a brother, a dad.
he saw us waiting, waved goodbye, and looked at me, and said "i love you." (tears)

in many ways i have been "beanboozled," i received booger, vomit, dog food... instead of the sweetness i should have had in a dad. and it hurts. it hurts everyday.
i mourn and miss the dad i should have had (tears).
i mourn the life he should have had.

and i hate satan.

but i love God.
i love God because through His grace alone i have mercy for my dad (for a man who has been awful, hurtful, abandoning me, denying me as his daughter, torturing me with lies) but i really LOVE him. and i see him. who he is, under the illness. and i long for him.

and because of this, i see how God loves us, sees who we really are under our brokenness, and longs for us.


Thea Nelson said...

Loved this. And I loved reading your status update. At first I thought you meant your Heavenly Father, and then I knew exactly who you meant, and I was so happy for you.

Heart2Heart said...


What a great post so much "flavor" is found within the very words you shared here, not only in candy but the very essence of God's unconditional love.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Diane V. said...

Okay maybe not as heartfelt response, but this popped into my mind when I read you ate a bugger:

My friend had this observation about her children - My kids won't eat their dinner, but they'll eat their buggers.

Kids are weird.

denise said...

Thanks for this post. I love that what the enemy intended for your destruction God is using to make you more like Him, to help you see His goodness.

Btw - thanks for your sweet comment on my post about my grandpa. It meant so much.

Julie said...

What a beautiful post. I'm sorry for your loss... I cannot imagine how hard it would be to leave your father at the state hospital and walk away...

I found you from Sarah's blog. I'm a home school mom too. I'm in my 18th year.

It's great to meet you!

Julie said...

Denise, Thanks for stopping by my blog.

It's OK to be exhausted.... you can faint in His arms. He doesn't mind.
He'll let you rest and in that process, breathe His love deep into your life.
After all, you are the object of His deep affection.

Loved having you visit!