November 25, 2009
In C’s childhood room there is this attic crawl space. His dad and mom had been asking us for years to claim what is valuable. If we had only known what treasures would be unearthed, would we have been more responsive?
Among the savables:
*** A Favorite Personality from the 80's
Index cards from C’s and his friend, Steve’s, infamous college Navigator skit
Yet another box of ’77 BSA Jamboree Goodies that tell the story of one entrepreneurial lad.
Bank statements that tell the story of one young man who was very interested in the principles of compounding interest.
A file of codes, broken and unbroken, as well as an article written for his Jr. High School paper.
We came away with 4 boxes of that which couldn’t be parted with, but thankfully more than that found its way to the garbage bin.
Though we missed out on the beauty of the leaves changing
color, my kids finally got to participate in a true
There is nothing like it –
the joy of jumping in the leaf pile –
the character building of sticking with a job till it is done.
***an unearthed cold soul
November 23, 2009
Location: Hershey KOA,
Five states in 5 ½ hours. Gotta love those small Northeastern states. The most exciting part was pulling into C’s Dad’s driveway. We finally arrived!
February 11, 1931 - September 1, 2009
Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. -Titus 2:3-5
Often it is death that presses us into realizing what an impact someone has had on our life. Thinking back over the last thirty years I was taken with the fact that Mom had a big part in setting a vision for my family. She lived out her convictions daily, not in secret, but for all to see. Her love for God, her husband and children were apparent. From the start of our relationship Mom was an “older women” in my life. My parents would have said that we met when I was in 5th grade. C’s and my parents took a square dancing class together. But really our relationship began five years later when I began dating her son. I wasn’t too bold of a teenager when relating to adults, but I always remember her kindness and hospitality to me whenever I was in her home.
Two years later she became more involved with our family when my mom was hospitalized with leukemia. She drove her to the hospital and was very attentive to my sister and me by arranging details for my mom such as who was going to feed and house her children. (I can only now being a mom myself appreciate what my mom must have felt in receiving help like this.) I still remember the day she made a point of telling me that my mom had told her that she would be happy if C and I married one day. From the look on her face, I took her statement as approval from her as well.
All my childhood I had told my parents that I wanted a large family. My notions came from comparing our quiet small family home to those I saw on shows like The Waltons, The Brady Bunch and Eight is Enough. Finally, here was reality played out for me (and made attractive) as I sat around the dinner table and as I watched Mom bustle about feeding and caring for her husband and five children.
She was a unique individual that not only challenged my vision but also my character. She lived out her gifts with zeal. These three areas come to mind:
Creativity: Our house is full of handmade items by Mom – Christmas stockings, children’s clothes, pillows, cards - to name a few. She knitted C a stocking as a little boy and made one for me when I joined the family. By the size of mine she either thought I deserved a bit more at Christmas or that C needed some encouragement in gift giving. The first Christmas I had it we hung it on the mantel. He was thinking big so he bought a 2 liter soda bottle. Defeating his purpose, the heavy beverage stretched the stocking to the ground.
Curiosity: The first trip we took together was to
Caring and Compassion: Many attending her funeral gave testimony to the fact that she wasn’t afraid to get involved with the mess of people’s lives. If she saw a need that she could meet she was willing to reach out to others, to make things, to give of her time and resources, and to give her opinion as to how to remedy the situation. This led her often to take the road that was a bit more uncomfortable (as in the example of helping my mom in her struggle with cancer) when she could have kept her eyes only on the many needs of her immediate family. I benefited from her caring then and again as she delighted in coming to our home with addition of every grandchild.
As C said in his tribute to her during the funeral service, she lived her life under the Son. She reflected the God she knew so well in her creativity and in her caring and compassion. She marveled at the wonders that her Lord had done in creating this world and cared deeply for those in it as she knew in whose image they are made. She will be profoundly missed.
August 26-31, 2009
*** Three Generations of the Fourth Child - C, Mom and E. Taken 10-2-1995.
When C's Mom discovered she had pancreatic cancer in mid August, E and I just wanted to figure out a way that we could get up there to spend time with her. Thanks to Delta frequent flier miles (and God's providence) we soon were on our way. What a whirlwind of days it turned out to be.
We arrived after she had undergone the procedure to have a port put in so that she could begin chemotherapy. For the first few days she was sleepy and weak, but we were happy to spend time with her and Dad and help where we could to get things in order in their home. We also zipped up to K20 on Saturday to close up our tent. E could not resist another swim in the lake.
The gift was Friday. She was bright and talkative. We reminisced. She laughed with her two 13 yo granddaughters as they helped her weed out the refrigerator items - little did we know that there are so many types of jelly. We listened as she told of friends that have been dear to her over time. We ironed and vacuumed and sorted and cleaned. More family joined us for lunch. She sat up at her spot at the large dinner table and talked of a day when she'd have a better appetite - but for now was content with her watermelon, her Boost drink and company. In the evening she was energized from a visit from a high school friend of mine and C's. Overall, it was a great day.
Saturday was a bit more subdued.
Sunday and Monday are a blur. She awoke Sunday morning with shortness of breath and by evening was settling into the ICU with a vague diagnosis - pulmonary embolism or lung infection? I left the ICU that evening encouraged by the nurse's report and promising looking blood gases.
Monday morning E and I packed up to head home and I popped into the hospital expecting progress. Instead Dad and I were ushered out in the hall. The medical team surrounded us as one of the MDs explained their reasoning for determining she had a pulmonary embolism. As they spoke all I could think of was, "This is too fast. We're not ready." We were pushed as to a decision for treatment. Since she had just last night in the ER expressed her desire to be put on a ventilator so her children could be with her, that was the way we chose. When I walked back in that room I knew that I was saying, "Good-bye" for the last time.
Tears did not stop flowing over the next hours. I relayed the decisions to S&K (C's brother and wife). E and I headed back to the airport to fly home. C, who had just landed in California, found a return flight and eventually made his way back to Connecticut. Her girls came from RI, VT and CA. Over the next few days everyone said their good-byes.
What a God we serve! He knew Mom's days as in Psalm 139:16 the psalmist proclaims: ... in your book were written, every one of the them, the days that were formed for me,... I praise Him that He was so kind as to give me the desire to go to CT just when we did. E and I will be ever greatful for these special days.
May 30, 2009
In honor of C’s brother’s 48th birthday, a group of his high school friends planned a reunion of MYFers (Methodist Youth Fellowship) from our childhood church. Loaded down with scrapbooks and photos, all arrived to reminisce, laugh, eat and laugh more. The exclamation, “Why did we wait so long?” was heard over and again.
**Sharing photos of family ** Even our Pastor joined us - at the age of 91!
**My high school buddies
**N and A. They heard plenty of stories of their parents past. :-)
May 16-17, 2009
An abundance of food.
A Survivor Finale.
Celebrating three May birthdays.
Late night talking among cousins.
Lots of Laughter around several tables.
Running one energetic puppy.
Worship in our childhood church.
Thankful hearts that we were able to be there, share laughter and make memories.