Monday, September 22, 2014


Unexpected tears surprise me as I began my drive home pondering the last few weeks and the sweet reunion today with my cousins Mina Jo and Brent.  So many years have past since our times together as children, times with our beloved Grandma & Grandpa Gerry, the parents of our father's.  Great Aunts
Elida and Mary, Grandma's sisters took their place as a very large presence in all our lives as young children.  The days were magical in the little yellow, sometimes pink and finally red house with the swing in the willow tree.  There was a hammock for a nap or for wrestling with each other, a picnic table for our lovely summer meals together in Grandma & Grandpa's yard surrounded by a beautiful flower garden.  I couldn't wait for my cousins to visit.  Grandma would sit in her chair by the window watching for their arrival, anticipated for days, but a visit never long enough.  We were family and we loved. It was June in 1968 and a day of remembrance for me as the call came that my sweet Grandmother had suffered a stroke and was unlikely to recover.  As Grandma left us, our family
faltered and we suffered what was to become a breach of 45 years in our relationship with my cousins.
We all grew up, married and had our own children without each other, without a relationship, or understanding of what could have separated us all these years. But then----It was April 6, 2014 that I came across my cousin Brent's contact information after all these years.  I couldn't wait to write, to know if we could close the awful breach of our broken relationship.  The answer came quickly, yes, yes, we were family and we all wanted a new beginning.  Phone conversations, emails and a beginning visit.  A new foundation of relationship yet one built on the love of our grandparents so many years ago.  My heart is full-----

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Today was the birthday of my beautiful mother--

My thoughts have been with you all day,  Mom.  It's your second birthday in heaven, a day of joy and celebration for you and your life so well lived.  I so want to be joyful, too, but the expected tears come throughout my day as I reflect on our years of celebrating your birth together.   I'm happy, sad, full of joy and selfish sorrow.  I want you free from all your pain and suffering and yes, in the presence of the Lord.  And yet I'm so conflicted as I do life without you.  Devotions from your Bible, one of the many held in your hands over the years of your faith walk and full of little notes of encouragement and even address of those whose lives you were speaking into begins my day.  Some time to sort through some of your special things and remember their places in your home.  I can hear your voice on my phone on a still saved voice message, your last to me before you left for heaven, always closing with an "I love you, Cathy."  But it's your arms around me that I miss the most.  You were my rock and my cheerleader, always loving, always accepting, always praying.  I will let myself cry today as I so miss
 you and our life together but tomorrow will be a new day, a day I will, with a grateful heart, embrace
all God has for me that began with you, my sweet Mother.  Always loved, forever missed----

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

An Unexpected Storm

It was January 7, just a year ago.  I remember it  well as I woke up to a blanket of fresh snow, a winter storm, so beautiful from inside my warm home.  But so treacherous for travel.  You and I were to be in Spokane the next day, looking forward to our time with your two new doctors and hopeful for new direction to help us deal with the ever-increasing struggles of your physical challenges.  Oh God, help me know what to do.  I will be alone, traveling for hours to pick you up.  Can I get to you, mom?  And can we safely continue on to Spokane in the midst of this winter storm? A few moments of prayer, and  a quiet reminder that the Lord Himself, the Lord of the unexpected storms, would travel with us. I began the long drive on un-plowed, snow-covered road, knowing the Great Shepherd would lead us past the fields of beautiful white, that same beautiful white covering the slippery roads, through our unexpected storm .  Such a long, tedious drive but sweet time together.  It was so different now since your move from Hunters, the sense of unspoken loss of our time together and what that meant to the future, was always present.   Our time with Dr. Richardson and Dr. Fuehs was at a heart level as we spoke of your health and mortality.  There would be no help, no recovery, only preparation.  Expected but unexpected, a new storm was on my horizon as we made our way home through the continuing blizzard, unable to speak without tears. Tears of love for our life together and thoughts of how we would navigate the future, at the same time knowing the preparations were taking place for your heavenly arrival.  I don't know if I can face this, mom.  It's too deep.  We been together for 63 years, you and I.  And so death is the expected, but my deep, at times overwhelming, emotion as I think of losing you is more than I expected.  I'm so torn, so conflicted.  I can't imagine life without you, my sweet mother. At the same time the beautiful expected hope of you in heaven with Christ Himself sustains me as my heart breaks in these last days.  A new heavenly body free from all the limitations of aging, able to walk and breathe, the promise of God.  In the meantime, and through all this process, you have promised to continue to lead me and I will follow, Great Shepherd of my heart.  I need your help, oh God, as the expected and unexpected, joy and sorrow  continue to live together under the watchful care of Him who is able to keep me from falling.  Blessed be His name forever--