Saturday, September 21, 2013

A Legacy of Love and Time

My dad's memorial service was incredibly sad -- yet uplifting.  There was such a sense of healing and hope--knowing he is now with Jesus, no longer suffering, and that his legacy lives on through all the lessons and happy memories that he left us. 

My husband gave the eulogy and he did a wonderful job.  His words made me laugh . . . and cry.  And the one thing that keeps coming back to me is a truth he shared in the eulogy--my dad always had TIME.  Time for the big things and time for the little things.  Time for community service, church, family and friends.

Dad was always willing to lend a helping hand, give advice, tell a funny story, encourage, smile, and play with his grandkids.  He always had time to read the kids stories and play games--lots of them!  I remember so often taking one of my children aside and telling them they needed to give their grandfather a break because the man wouldn't say no!  He wouldn't say no when someone asked for his time--he gave it away with a smile.  And it was true whether it was someone who knew him well or someone who hardly knew him at all.  Dad had time for everyone around him.



 
Time.  That was one of my father's greatest gifts.  And even though I always knew it was true, it wasn't until now that I see it so very clearly.  Funny how that happens.  Time is truly a gift of love.

I'm left pondering the legacy my father leaves behind--considering how to continue it on and make more time for those around me. Too often I let the seemingly urgent overtake the truly important.  I want to change that.  Time.  I am reminded of the famous words of Nelson Mandela.

"We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right."

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Heaven Sent

9/11 brings back so many memories--such deep sadness and despair.  Yet hope.  It seems an appropriate day to share with you that my father passed away last weekend.

Even though we knew this day would come, even though we knew the evil cancer would eventually overtake, even though we knew how empty the world would feel--we didn't really know. 

Grief.

Anguish.

Heartache.

Our solace is knowing he is now FREE!  Free of pain and confinement!  Free to hike through green forests, spot eagles in the far-off distance, free to chop wood, eat ice cream, LAUGH and DANCE!

I remember one of our last days together.  For a few minutes we were alone, and with tears running down my cheeks I asked, "Dad, when you get to heaven, will you give Joe a great big hug from me?"

He looked right at me and nodded.

And that brings me comfort.  I love thinking of the two of them together in heaven--sharing stories, playing cribbage, and building bird houses.  I know Joe was very, VERY happy to see his Papa again. 

And I can just see my dad running towards Joe, hugging him tight again and again, then whispering that the first hug came directly from his Mama. 

Forever loved.  Forever remembered.  You will be missed--until we meet again. 







 
 



 
 
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”  ~  John 14:1-4

 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

First Day Of School

The first day of school is always filled with excitement!  Lizzy will be starting clinicals in nursing school:


Kim is in 11th grade:


We have a new high-schooler:



A new middle-schooler:


and numbers 8, 9, and 10 in elementary:


I'd say we're doing our part in making sure teachers have job security!