Thursday, July 29, 2021

A Piece of my Heart

 


The wind blows wherever it pleases.  You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.  So, it is with everyone born of the Spirit. ~John 3:8

The photo above depicts a Maine buoy bell that my parents added to their spacious, screened-in porch ages ago.  Mom loved hearing its deep, resonating tone when the wind blew.  It reminded her of her childhood, growing up near the ocean, and hearing the harbor buoys in the distance, tolling in the choppy waves.  When a thunderstorm was brewing, Mom would head for the porch and wait expectantly for the powerful downdraft that would set this bell ringing loud and clear.

The week of Mom's passing, Danny and I receive an unexpected gift from son, Giovanni, and his wife, Hope.  It is this unique wind chime that takes only a breath of air to stir its haunting, echoing melody.


 

Oh, how this thoughtful gift touches the both of us!  These two couldn't have known about Mom's lifelong love for the wind and chimes, yet this is the gift Hope and Giovanni choose to send to Danny and me in her memory.

And for all of us who have ever lost a loved one, we know that in their parting, they have taken a piece of our hearts with them, one we will recover only when, one day, we are reunited in heaven.

In the meantime, I can sit on our deck, and hear the chimes, reminding me of all the good memories I cherish of my mother, and the long and blessed years we had together as a family.

Amen!

Monday, July 26, 2021

Happy Birthday!

 


Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. ~Romans 12:15

Our family has certainly been on a roller coaster of emotions these past two weeks.  Having my mother pass away is definitely a reason to be in mourning, but we can also rejoice in knowing she lived a good, long and healthy life, and is now at peace with the Lord.

And yes, for a time, Danny and I both mourned over our inability to visit with our grandchildren this summer, especially during the week of Virginia's and Alexandra's birthdays, but we can celebrate and rejoice in these photos my daughter, Sarah, sends to us.

Virginia's birthday is July 21st, and she turns eleven!  I can hardly believe it!  Where has the time gone?





She's especially thrilled when she opens the package from her Gammie and Papa.  As many of you know, Virginia is mesmerized by all things space, and this Blisslights Sky Lite, an RGB LED laser star projector fits the bill.


What a star-studded show!  Both in the light,


and in the dark.


Now, Virginia can easily imagine she is a real astronaut exploring space.

Alexandra's birthday is July 23rd, and turns six-years-old.  Isn't she so intent on opening her gifts?


And although her present from us is much more down-to-earth than Virginia's, practical even, it's exactly what Alexandra asked for:


A Paw Patrol backpack, lunch box, pencils pouch, and water bottle.  I'd say she is all set to launch into first grade this year.

But wait, there's more!  Though this little guy isn't a birthday gift per se, Finn is adopted by the family this past week.  All three girls are reveling in their new friend.  The pup is, fortunately, a Shih-tzu, so shouldn't grow too big to be a handful for them.  Isn't this face too adorable?


I foresee many fun and frolicking days ahead for Finn and his family!

So, friends, even in our times of trials and troubles, heartaches and sorrows, we can lean upon the Lord, knowing that this, too, shall pass, and times of happiness and joy will return.  Jesus walks faithfully with us through all our seasons of life, and that is something in which we can rejoice each and every day.

Amen!

My mother would have turned 93 on Wednesday, July 28th.  Happy Birthday in Heaven, Mom!

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Lightning Bugs

 


When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” ~John 8:12


Lightning bugs emerge

As day concedes to night

Twilight emissaries

Turn the dark to light

Hope is signaled

Promise in a blink

In longing eyes

Becomes God's wink

Amen

Monday, July 19, 2021

Birthday Blues

 


"I have told you these things, so that in me you may find peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world." ~John 16:33

Back in April, after daughter, Sarah, son-in-law, John, and the three grands visit over spring break, my husband, Danny, and I promise to see them during the summer.  What's that old saying?  If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.  Yep!  Turns out to be all too true.

What with Mom's extended illness, and all the post-death chores dumped in our laps, time for vacation and reuniting with our distant family is out of the question.  It is especially wrenching for me this week as both Virginia and Alexandra are celebrating birthdays.  We missed being there last year due to Covid, and now, having to miss another one?  Talk about birthday blues!

Of course, we will do the tried and true FaceTime this week, but as we all know too well, it's no substitute for being with family in person.  Sarah will be sure to send us photos of the birthday festivities, and that will have to suffice. >Sigh!<

I must admit, there is a part of me that simply no longer wants to plan ahead.  It seems that every time we craft a strategy these days, we're met with roadblock after roadblock.  Yet, I have to keep faith that the Lord has a reason for all of this stalling.  So, I'm going to keep praying, and when the time is right, I'm sure God will open our eyes to His opportunities.

Yes, there will always be trouble in this world, but we need to remind ourselves that Jesus has already overcome them all.  We will continue to abide in His peace and love, and do the best we can to share that peace and love with others.

In the meantime . . .

Happy Birthday, Virginia!


Happy Birthday, Alexandra!


Gammie and Papa love you both up to the moon and back!  (And Savannah, you know we love you, too!)


Amen!

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Right at Home

 


In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you. ~John 14:2

What a long and arduous journey this has been for our family as we've strived over the last several weeks to secure a place for Mom where she can heal, and recover from her fall.  Our overarching hope is to eventually be able to bring her back to her house, assisted by round-the-clock care.

When Mom is discharged from the hospital, the assisted living home where we'd signed her up won't take her back due to the bed sores having gotten worse.  Once again, Danny and I are scrambling to find an interim place that will meet her needs.  Fortunately, we locate one close to Mom's home in Oxford and for a while, she seems to be holding her own and even improving with the attentive care she is getting.

This move makes us even more determined, though, to bring her back to her house.  We jump through countless hoops to make arrangements for the company, Right as Home, to do the job.  Both Danny and I are so impressed with their competence, their solid connections with medical PT and wound care teams, and medical supply companies.  The date is set to bring Mom home to the house a week ago Friday.

I visit with Mom at the rehab place the day before.  She doesn't seem to be herself.  I hold her hand and repeatedly tell her that she will be coming home tomorrow, that she'll finally see her house again.  She nods as if she understands, but even then, I'm not sure she does, at least not fully.  After all, this poor woman has gone from pillar to post over these last weeks.  I'd be confused, too.

Then, the unthinkable happens.  Mom is rushed back to the hospital that Thursday evening in breathing distress.  Once again, ICU places on bipap on her to help her lungs function.  But when the doctor and nurses remove it in the morning so she can eat, her oxygen plummets so fast, they have no choice but to put it right back on her.

The doctor calls me.  He is compassionate, but realistic about the situation.  It's obvious that Mom cannot be off a bipap.  Her status is DNR (Do Not Resuscitate).  It's decide to make her as comfortable as possible, and leave it all in God's hands.

Mom passes peacefully on Monday, July 12, just weeks shy of what would have been her 93rd birthday.

We're all grieving, as you can imagine, but we take comfort in knowing that she's with the Lord.

Mom is finally right at home.

Amen.

A Book Review and Give-Away!

  They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. ~Acts 2:42 For those of y...