Today is my 56th birthday.  I was born in Fort Smith, Arkansas at 4:45 in the morning on August 23, 1956.

I spent the day with my colleagues - all good friends - at a workshop sponsored by our school district.  Sitting at round tables, we enjoyed each other's company and laughed at tales of the first three days of school.

One of our company was noticeably absent.  We were all anxious to hear from A. since her husband had been ill and was to have a medical treatment today.    In an instant our mood changed from cheerful to anxious.  One of us received a text and read the message..."This can't be right..."  We all looked at each other.  I assumed that my face was a pale as everyone's at my table.  A.'s husband had passed away.

The rest of the day was spent in a blur.  I felt as though I had been punched in the stomach.   After lunch, we were all able to meet and make a plan to help A. and her family.  Visits were arranged.  Money was collected for a run to Walmart for necessities.   We made a memory book for visitors who came to the house to sign, leaving a phone number and address.  We know A.  She would want to write a "thank you" to everyone.

It is good to contemplate the short time we have on this earth, and to remember that God knows our past and future.  We are in His hands.

 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; 
      you formed me in my mother's womb. 
   I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking! 
      Body and soul, I am marvelously made! 
      I worship in adoration—what a creation! 
   You know me inside and out, 
      you know every bone in my body; 
   You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, 
      how I was sculpted from nothing into something. 
   Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; 
      all the stages of my life were spread out before you, 
   The days of my life all prepared 
      before I'd even lived one day.   ~ Psalms 139: 13-16 (The Message)


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