Saturday, May 28, 2011

Funeral Poem

Today the body of my dear friend Linda was laid to rest in a beautiful, park-like setting. Her spirit--her true self--left earth very early Monday morning. I ache for her husband, whose mother died three hours before Linda; I ache for her children, who didn't appreciate her until the last two months; I ache for those of us who will think, "Oh, Linda will want to hear about this!" and then realize that our time for talking together is past.

But I do not hurt for her. I am happy for her, for leaving behind the eleven years of fighting cancer, for her release from pain, for her reunion with dear ones gone before. On the day she died, she kept calling the names of deceased family and friends, some whom she hadn't mentioned in years. Was she seeing them beckon her to them? I'd like to think so.

Steve's funeral message was lovely--very much centered on Linda, whose life was centered on Jesus. He ended with this poem by an anonymous author, a poem I'll save to share with others as needed.

When I come to the end of the road,
and the sun has set for me,
I want no rites in the gloom-filled room,
Why cry for a soul set free?
Miss me a little, but not too long,
and not with your head bowed low;
Remember the love that we once shared,
Miss me, but let me go,
For this is a journey that we all must take
and each must go alone.
It is all a part of the Master's plan,
a step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick at heart,
go to the friends we know
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds,
miss me, but let me go.

Go in peace, dear Linda.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Guest Post

We had a lovely week with grandson Knox, but I'm been working in the yard ever since our return from Lafayette. Josh and Kinley arrived safely in London and are having a grand time.

I haven't written anything except an update for Linda's CaringBridge page. I did have a guest post, however, on author Mary DeMuth's blog yesterday. You can read it here.

I especially enjoyed reading people's comments. If you choose to comment on it, perhaps you could return here to comment so I'll be sure to read it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Modern Inconveniences

Travel these days is so uncertain. I guess it’s always been that way, come to think of it. We don’t deal with ill winds or tribal attacks, or scurvy or our horses wearing out. We no longer have to wait weeks or months to hear of a safe arrival. But we do have to deal with security measures that irritate as well as protect and with engine problems, whether it’s auto or airplane.

Josh and Kinley were at the Indianapolis airport yesterday in time for their 6:40 pm flight to London via Boston. First there were delays, and then they were no longer in line for a runway and then they were told that it was too late to connect in Boston to Heathrow so they’d have to wait another day to leave! So he put in a call, and Steve and I went back to get them. They even had to retrieve their luggage yesterday and start all over today!

So—disappointment and blessings, all mixed together! Kinley’s sadness about leaving school early was all about missing the talent show. She didn’t miss a minute of it! She performed with her three friends and also participated in a “flash mob” number of teachers and some students that was a surprise for the rest of the school. She did great in both.

We got to spend some time with Josh and Kinley that we’d otherwise have missed. Steve took them back to the airport (about 1 hour 20 minutes drive) and I picked Knox up from preschool. After a trip to the Dollar Tree, Knox’s “favoritest store in the universe,” we are playing knights and practicing with squirt guns on and off. There is no limit to this child’s imagination.

And through it all, praying without ceasing. Praying for safe journeys, good connections, competent airline personnel. Praying for wisdom in influencing my precious grandchildren. Prayers of thanksgiving for my children and the people they married. Prayers of thankfulness for husband who shows no limit to his willingness to help his children. He constantly demonstrates on an earthly level the limitless love of our heavenly Father. How can our children not follow the lead of such a godly man?

So I kind of got away from the inconveniences of our modern conveniences, but that isn’t important, anyway. People are what matter—to me and to God. And, as my great-uncle Zach used to say, I got a “good ‘un.”

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ingredients for an Exhilarating Weekend

Being with family is both exhilarating and exhausting! My brother and his wife visited us for five days that were warm, loving, peaceful, and enjoyable. In the middle three days we mixed in their daughter, another brother and his daughter, all our children and grandchildren, and my husband’s sister and husband.

Knox, age 4½, and Findlay, age 13 months, stirred constantly. Kinley celebrated her tenth birthday on Saturday, midst much Hawaiian hoopla.

On Saturday, along with various colleagues, connected friends, and former students, we all celebrated with Steve his retirement with a dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, China Gourmet.

On Mother’s Day we folded in our son-in-law’s mother and husband and brother and fiancĂ©e. All the mothers had children there, and the husbands and children prepared our Mother’s Day feast. Delightful!

My brothers and I intensely missed the fourth generation that used to be at our Mother’s Day celebrations—our third year without our mother, and much longer without Steve’s and my sister-in-law’s mothers.

There’s something about family celebrations that needs four generations. We need the Aunt Mae to wait on or the Grandma to pamper. We need the pictures with the youngest in the lap of the oldest.

So now we’re the oldest, but we’re not yet ready for only lap pictures. We can all still assemble on the lawn for one of those stilted, “everyone look at the camera when it starts blinking” pictures made with the camera timer. We can still play with the children in the yard or on the floor; we can still stay up well past midnight playing Scrabble or Boggle or Quirkle. (Guess our family has a thing for games ending in le.)

So we must relish these times, remembering Mother playing in the yard with her children and then her grandchildren, adding our own memories with our children and grandchildren. This is truly a terrific time of life for us—schedule flexibility and enough body flexibility to enjoy a multitude of activities and events.

Praise God from whom all these blessings flow!