Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Dying Wish

My dear, lovely mother-in-law passed away from cancer this week at the wonderful age of 91 years young.  She was a gem and family anchor that valued her legacy of 7 children she gave birth to and many in-laws, grandchildren and great grandchildren.  My adopted children were blessed to call her Grandma and be on the receiving end of green beans, many quilts along with specially hand chosen books every year for Christmas to name a few.  She was a warm hug full of acceptance in a world of hurt that healed the hearts of my children.  She had their utmost respect and they’d bend over backwards to do what she asked of them. 

With her cancer growing and a family meeting formed to ask her what her goals were at this point….she had only one wish, that my son return home to the family as he’d departed ways from us in anger months ago.  This, was her last wish.  Before she passed away, he had the chance to tell her he’d moved home and he loved her….  I’m blessed we lived near  and all my children had the opportunity to tell her one last time they loved her as God called her home to her heavenly family reunion.

My youngest shows the suffering of grief the most, as the rest of us work to hold our tears and grieve in different ways – she cries and doesn’t want to go to the funeral next week, but wants to attend the graveside service only….my heart hurts for her pain and to honor her Grandma, she will be there…. despite her tears of sadness, she will be there for Grandma….
Just 14 weeks ago we lost Grandpa too, so this is a hard year for my husband to lose both his parents and my children their beloved grandparents.  We’ve lived in the same town as them, so we received many perks like the Saturday morning calls to come fetch some cinnamon rolls which a bike rolled out quickly to go get…..mowing for Grandpa and him sitting on the front porch to make sure they did a good job, paying them well for the job and many more memories abound.  So much to grieve and miss of two lives that made a difference.

This picture – it speaks volumes... 
My oldest is holding Grandma’s hand while saying goodbye to Grandpa in the church – that is his character of support.  My sons loved her longer than the girls, had more memories and blessings from this time.  I’m so glad God gave them such awesome grandparents that as time goes by, those moldings of life will continue with them.
2016 has been a hard year…. I’m ready for 2017…. but first we have some tough days ahead as we honor her with a funeral filled with love and respect for a journey well lived and a legacy left.

2 Timothy 4:7  “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race.  I have kept the faith.”

Her legacy to us.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


The magic of snow drifting down from the sky,
Then you look up and get a flake in your eye.
Beautiful, white and each one unique,
Watch them closely before they land on your cheek.
Each one falls gently onto another,
Giving way to a pile where they smother.
Drifts form with the wave of wispy wind,
Swirling the flakes making your vision thinned.
God’s weather reminder through nature divine
Live life like a snowflake, be special and shine.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

When God Says Love Your Neighbor As Yourself….

The challenges have been beyond real lately.  God pushes me to grow…..sometimes like my teens I just want to sleep in on life and ignore responsibility, chores and going to work…..I want to sit and do nothing.  This isn’t normally me – but occasionally this feeling comes.  More so with age.

So, I had part of my kidney removed. Tumor was all contained – praise God! No chemo, no radiation needed.  Hallelujah all the way.  I am blessed.  I stayed longer than anticipated in the hospital due to fever and the weekend wasn’t when they wanted me released if I ran into problems.  I was happy to get home, shower and wear normal clothes!  During the time I was in the hospital, our oldest, decided along with the lies he was giving us, to quit his job, move out and move in with his birth mother who found him via Facebook.  Shock.  Pain.  I’d take 10 kidney surgeries with the pain vs what this did to me emotionally.  Talk about a low blow.

My cries to God of why, 17 years and this is what we get?  Not the plan we had.  Major failure to launch here.  So I tried to set aside my selfishness…. resisted listening to God, pleaded with him…. a month went by.  I heard God telling me over and over what I needed to do…. but I didn’t want to do it.  A few more weeks went by, God gave me sleepless nights, mental angst…. finally, broken of my will I said “Yes Lord, I will do what you ask.”   

We reached out to the birth mother and for the benefit of my sons, we got together in peace to learn to know each other.  What struck me was the struggle of poverty, addictions of 17 years, a turned leaf struggling against the odds.  I felt humbled and guilty of all I have in my life.  A new view….and the fix it Val came out.  There are ½ siblings, so I’m treading softly.  I want to continue to hear God and what he asks of me.  My walls of fear exist and I’m slow to lower them, but God made me a loving being for a reason and I will rise to His challenge.  I’m actually excited about how this has released some of my fears – how the hurt can ease when I listen to what God says about loving your neighbor as yourself.
I am blessed and have been given talents and abilities that are clearer to me, given this interaction and I pray discernment as we move forward.  What mixed blessings will come from this initial olive branch we have begun?  Healing.  Healing for my heart, sharing of two boys we’ve had for over 17 years that we love beyond measure…. hope for their future.  And maybe, while we don’t have anything but love for two young men in common, a small bud of friendship and understanding will grow.  Peace – the peace I seek may be possible as I step outside my comfort zone.   It has been years since my voluntary service experience and I find myself needing to remember more – needing to be able to let go and risk.  So, a new journey begins.  
Prayers welcome. 

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