Saturday, March 31, 2007

The way I remember them...

This is a picture of my mother (on the left) and my mom's best friend Maxine. These 2 were a mess when you got them together...always into trouble, giggling, snacking during church, and of course, talking non-stop! They were the kind of friends that you hope to find in your life-time. Inseparable in life...and death!

There were so many wonderful stories at the memorial service - both of Maxine and my mom! There were lots of tears, and even more laughter, just the way Maxine would have wanted. There were memories that I'd forgotten and new stories that I'd never heard before.

They are most definitely "doing" Heaven at this very minute, and I'm sure God is just waiting for them to take a breath in between sentences so that He can say Hi!

"For I know the plans that I have for you", declares the Lord.
"...plans to give you hope..."
Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Pausing to Remember

Hi all. I'm writing to ask all of my readers and friends to please be praying for my family over the course of this week. Yesterday, we received the tragic news that a very, very close friend of our family's had taken her own life. She had been very ill for years and it seems that the pain was just too much for her to bear any longer. I will not go into all of the details, but this woman just happened to be my mother's best friend, and as close to a 2nd mother to me and my sisters as anyone could be. Her passing was just 1 week after the 5 year anniversary of my mother's passing. Whether or not this was a coincidence or not, we will never know. But, by having to deal with her sudden death, many memories of loss and hurt are being dredged up for all of us.

Please remember her family in your prayers, as well as the church she & her husband founded and pastored.

I will return at some point next week when I can see the sunshine through the clouds.

God Bless!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Joke

Due to a power outage, only one paramedic responded to the call from a woman in labor. The house was very dark so the paramedic asked Kathleen, a 3 year old girl, to hold a flashlight high over her mommy so that he could see while delivered the baby.

Very diligently, Kathleed did as she was asked. Mother Heidi pushed & pushed and, after a little while, Connor was born. The paramedic lifted him by his feet and spanked him on the bottom, and Connor began to cry.

The paramedic then thanked Kathleen for her help and asked the wide-eyed 3 year old what she thought about what she'd just witnessed.

Kathleen quickly responded, "He shouldn't have crawled in there in the first place...spank him again!"

Sunday, March 18, 2007

In Memoriam

Today marks the 5 year anniversary of my mother's passing. I never know what emotions to expect on this date as they might range from tears of sorrow and loss, to memories that bring tears of hysterical laughter. My sisters and I usually do our best to be together on this day each year, as we were together as we said our final goodbyes to the woman that gave us life. I am the oldest, with 2 younger sisters each 7 years younger than the other (yes, that means I was 14 when my youngest sister was born!). I don't think I've ever attempted to take my mother's place in our family, but my commitment to my sisters & father go very deep.

I can say, proudly, that I am indeed my mother's daughter. For those that knew her, casually or well, you might understand what that statement would mean. I think my mother's favorite phrase was, "Get over it!" She cared deeply for her friends & family, but she never put up with much from anyone. She said what she meant, meant what she said, and expected you to fall in line or get out of the way. She understood that to whom much is given, much is required. She had many wonderful gifts - administration, counsel, a beautiful voice that opened numerous doors for her in ministry, but above all, a gift of caring for her family. Though her responsibilities at church might require many, many hours away, she didn't just leave us at home. She took us with her! Being involved in church meant that the entire family was involved. My father was always at her side leading worship and playing guitar, and, at one point or another, each child ended up on stage doing something that would prevent us from misbehaving while she was otherwise occupied. We each grew up in the church, with hands-on experience to what the word 'ministry' really meant. We learned not to take it lightly, but to carry that responsibility with humility, dedication and respect.

At her funeral, more than 300 guests were in attendance for a standing-room-only service that lasted more than 3 hours! It was a fitting tribute to a woman that gave so much to so many people. We, as her family, were overcome with emotion at the amount of guests that traveled in excess of 4 hours just to attend the memorial service. The outpouring of love was overwhelming, and heartfelt.

But, even with all of those memories, one of the strongest memories I have is of the drive home from the hospital (on the day of her passing) with my husband, sisters & cousin. As we all crammed into her SUV and discussed all of the things we were getting ready to deal with - primarily telling our grandmother, her mother, that mom died before she arrived from Dallas, and breaking this same news to 2 of her 3 living sister - we couldn't help but laugh. We laughed about funny things mom did to completely embarrass us in front of our friends, we laughed about the things our parents did together that would completely embarrass us in front of our friends, we laughed about the things they did to completely embarrass us in front of strangers, and we laughed simply because the tears wouldn't come. For, it was only hours before those memories of hilarity that our mother was taken home to be with her Maker.

The woman that did so much for so many was finally released from her human body, so riddled with sickness and pain, and given a chance to walk in total health and healing. We all know within our 'knowers' that at some point, her Heavenly Father gave her a choice - to be with her family to continue to care for each of us as only she could, or to walk away from this earth, hand in hand with The One that loved her more than we ever could. It was a decision that we know she didn't make lightly, but she made finally.

As our pastor said at her funeral, and again at the church service that following Sunday morning, mom completed the tasks given to her by God. She raised 3 daughters in the knowledge and fear of Jesus Christ, equipped us for whatever ministry we might be called to in our lives, and left a legacy of grace, beauty and dignity for us to remember.

She was a true woman of God, cherished, loved...and yes, very deeply missed.

I want to be just like mom!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Self Portraits

Courtesy of Ian...

This child will not leave my camera alone! Thank God I paid the $65 for the accident protection policy. I have a feeling I'm going to need to use it before he reaches 3! As fun as it is to find 'special surprises' on my camera, I would much rather him not touch it!

I've seen better mornings!

Well, so far today has sucked and it's not even noon!!!

It all started when Morgann wouldn't eat her breakfast (she's hypoglycemic so eating isn't an option for her!). Her blood sugar was low - I could tell because she was shaking - so, I fixed her a bowl of Fruity Cheerios (her favorite). But because she preferred to sit on the couch and watch cartoons, she proceeded to throw up all over the living room. While I was running across the room to get her, I ran into Ian's fire truck with my foot, crammed a piece of it underneath my toenail and, I think, broke my toe! I had to get her to the sink to finish throwing up, then send her upstairs for another bath (she had one just last night). But, before I could bathe her, I had to get myself calmed down because I was feeling like I was going to throw up all over the place - my toe was bleeding everywhere and since it feels broken, it hurts like know...&$@#! Once I finally calmed down and the feeling of nausea had passed, I had to go upstairs to give her a bath.

While I was upstairs dealing with a vomit-covered, shaky 4 year old (mind you, she still hasn't eaten at this point), Ian decided to go looking for food - he'd already eaten breakfast! He is notorious for dragging chairs around the kitchen to reach things, and on this particular morning he found Michael's GIANT Hershey's candy bar...and helped himself to almost the entire thing! When I came downstairs, I found him hiding behind the couch, covered in chocolate.

After cleaning him up, and totally losing it and yelling at him at the top of my lungs (we'll blame it on the fact that my toe was still bleeding and throbbing) I still had to pick-up the vomit-laden blankets and jammies, then sanitize the couch - thank God for leather!!!

See, I'm having a good day...I'm praying for at least a measure of improvement...

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Preparation and Recuperation

Since my last post when I said I was super busy, things haven't changed much! I'm still working on balancing my home life (my responsibilities to husband, children and home) with the new job requiring me to work out of my home. It's a transition that I didn't anticipate as being a difficult one, but it truly is kicking my derriere!! Add to my busy schedule a weekend ladies retreat and you might be able to understand why I haven't posted in a while.

You see, I spent most of last week trying to get my house in order, laundry washed & put away, and children taken care of so that I could leave on Friday, only to return on Sunday afternoon to spend this week trying to get my house in order, laundry washed & put away and children taken care of! Throw in a very sick 7 year old boy, 3 doctor's visits and lab work, and a decisively stubborn 2 year old and whiny 4 year old, and you've got the makings of my last 2 weeks!!!

And, while I have enjoyed reading your blogs and commenting when I can think of something to say, I just haven't had the time or energy to put a post together for my own blog. So, this is about as good as it's going to get until next week, I fear. Granted, now that I've said that, something is bound to happen that will require an immediate post...