Almost 2020 - Your chance to weigh in!

A new year is nearly here, and I realize I have not written in six months.  This is what I can tell you about why.

When I started this blog, I was writing about our family, and our journey together.  We are a family created by design, not by chance.  For one thing, both Kenny and I believe that we were meant to be together.  For another, we both believe we were created, in part, to be Lacy's parents.

No, Lacy was not our child biologically, but he was ours in every sense of the word.  I don't think we could have loved him any more fiercely.  And I think, without the knowledge that he was both our blessing and our mission, we would not have been able to continue to love fiercely and also prepare to let go.

We guided him into adulthood, and he gave us insight into what was really important.  We learned to be in the moment.  Every day is the best it's going to be.  God is good.  His amazing love has given us the promise of life beyond death, and the joy of knowing that He wil…

The Good Samaritan and Inspector Javert

This last weekend, Kenny and I went to a performance of Les Miserables at Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville.  This is the third, maybe fourth, time we have seen this production live.  As usual, the play did not disappoint, but I came away with a totally new view of Inspector Javert.

If you have not seen the play, Javert is a pious police officer who sees the world in black and white.  People are good, or they are bad; they follow the law, or they break the law.  In Act I, Javert pursues Jean Valjean over the span of decades, intending to put him back in prison after Valjean breaks parole.  Valjean's sentence: 19 years for stealing bread.  Never mind that Valjean's nephew was starving, and it was an act of desperation, or that in the intervening years, Valjean has become a kind and benevolent mayor. Javert believes "once a thief, always a thief" and he has no mercy. 

It seemed the actor who portrayed Javert made him a much more sympathetic character than in previous …

The "And Be Doing Thats" of Scripture

One of Lacy's most memorable sayings was "...and be doing that."  It meant that we would be doing something now or in the future.  I found after researching the grammar of the phrase, that it amounts to a sort of perpetual present action. 

As I was reading in Matthew yesterday, this verse caught my attention as one of the "..and be doing that" verses in scripture:

" first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness..."  The verb there means an continuous action.  Seek and keep on seeking.  Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness...and be doing that.

Here are so many more scriptures that, when I read them, I always add in my heart "...and be doing that."  Here are a few:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, make your requests known to God. ...and be doing that.

In everything give thanks...and be doing that.

Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me...and be doing that.

Beloved, let us love one ano…

Thoughts on Gratitude

When I took my dogs, Roger and Violet, out this morning, the birds were singing.  It had stormed during the night and early morning hours, but the rain had passed for the moment.  Listening to the songs floating through the air, I thought How grateful they must be for a new day.  It got me thinking about gratitude and the role it has played in our lives, particularly since the death of our son, Lacy.
Years ago, I learned the power of gratitude to uplift and encourage in hard times.  Lacy was in the hospital, on a ventilator, with strep pneumonia.  All together, he would be there for over a month.  The first three weeks were the worst, since he was in ICU and we could only visit three times a day.  I'd go in during the visiting hours and pray for our son, put lotion on his feet and hands, and read a story to him from his picture Bible.  What relieved my anxiety the most, however, was the time I took to express gratitude.  I'd list out loud what I was thankful for - a sunny day,…

A New Journey

So this hole in our hearts is now permanent, healed but never closed.  Lacy seems far away and so near at the same time.

Grief ebbs and flows with the times.  Right now, we are close to the 3rd anniversary of Lacy's death and we are both thinking of him constantly.  Happy times and gut wrenching ones, too.

Kenny and I are in the last third of our lives.  We want to finish strong.  As we walk forward, we don't know where our road leads.  Join us on this journey of rediscovery and reinvention. 

Spring Cleaning

This spring I'm determined to get through all the pictures my mom boxed up for storage.  As I've been looking through albums and envelopes of pictures, seeing them through eyes of experience, I understand that these icons of memory don't tell the whole story.

Pictures we keep are often staged with everyone smiling at the camera, sometimes wearing their very best clothes, but always in an arranged pose.  It is for us, who lived during that time, to put context to pictures. 

Two pictures stand out to me.  One is of my mother and I, smiling into the sun.  Mom is obviously pregnant, wearing a maternity suit that she wore in so many of the black and white photos taken during that time (1957-1958).  It must have been her best, or maybe the only one that she wanted to be photographed wearing.  She was pregnant with my brother, George Edward. 

The second picture is of my mother, father, and me,  smiling into the sun.  Mom is wearing the same suit, but has obviously given birth.  T…

Holiday Dread (hint: There is light at the end of this tunnel)

I've already begun to dread the holiday season...Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Eve.  Grief rolls back into my life like a heavy fog.  I have to remind myself to walk with my back straight - I feel myself slump off and on all day long.

I know there are other folks like me out there.  The constant parade of commercials depicting families joyfully celebrating; the music that seems to never, ever end;  these remind me of what I've lost. 

I could make a list of my losses, but that's not the point of this post. 

What I've realized is that the dread of the holidays is much worse than the actual celebrating of them.  I find so much joy in our families.  Kenny's brother and sister-in-law will be nearby this Christmas, and we'll be able to see them much more often in the years to come.  My extended family gets together at Thanksgiving, and we always have a great time.    Christmas Eve services at our church comfort us in ways we have not always appreciated.…