Tag Archives: loss

When Your Christmas Isn’t Merry …

Christmas isn't Merry 2 December 2015

Family, friends, laughter and love are all byproducts of the Christmas holiday. The love of Christ and the warmth of His presence, mold the beauty and joy of the holiday. But for everyone, it’s not a happy time. Someone lost a loved one recently, and ache at the thought of the first Christmas without them. Another person has a tragic, painful memory associated with this time of year, and it colors their joy and happiness a paled shade of blue. You may be lonely, frightened, and unable to find rest. You might be worried about money, and unable to provide much of anything for your children.

I just want you to know that people do care.  Some of us do realize that Christmas is so much more than presents, sales, big dinners, and new toys.  It’s about truly sharing the love of Jesus. And in an effort to do just that, I’m reaching out to you now with that love to say I understand, and I care. I am praying right now for anyone struggling with any of the hurts I’ve mentioned.  While you may not feel joy or peace, that’s exactly what Jesus came to give you. Allow yourself to feel, but trust in Him to give you strength, courage and ultimately joy.  That’s something no situation can take away.  Praying for you.

Merry Christmas.

How Do You Say Goodbye?

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I can’t imagine losing a child. At any age. My eyes begin to well up with tears at the thought. It’s so unnatural. It’s just not the way it should be.

How do you say goodbye …
to the early years, bathing and feeding, tickling and hugging, kissing and holding.
the elementary years, of discovery and wonder, where everything is new and exciting
the teen years, of growth and development, of patience (or trying of patience for you)
the adult years, of friendship and laughter, of memories and bonds. Of caring and commitment.

My heart hurts for Vice President Biden, and the scores of other parents who have had to do it. You are truly in my thoughts and prayers.

How do you say goodbye to your baby? I don’t know …

Through Fresh Eyes

October - MLK blog

I took my boys to the Martin Luther King Jr Center last week. My oldest has been before, but it’s been years. I’ve been many times. I’ve learned the facts of those who struggled for civil rights, seen the pictures, and internalized the anger at their pain, as well as pride in their victories. But because I’d seen it before, I didn’t expect it to be such an emotional experience. It became that way by seeing it … through fresh eyes.

My boys couldn’t understand why black people had to eat and drink separately, use separate restroom facilities, and deal with the separate and extremely unequal school experiences. Being an education lover, my oldest son took particular note of this. He was appalled at the extreme intimidation used to keep black children out of certain schools; saddened at the thought of people needlessly brutalized; upset at the second class citizen treatment … and ultimately proud … of the non-violent fight, the legacy and the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

We Remember . . .

September Blog - September 11

I remember vividly what I was doing that day.
I was at work, and heard on the radio about the attacks on the twin towers.
I initially thought there was no way it could be real, like the War of the Worlds broadcast.
But it was. Very real.
I watched people jump for their lives … to their deaths.
I wept with countless Americans … over the tragic loss of life … over the senseless cruelty of it all.
I cried out to God to heal our land … and our people.
I watched a nation come together on one accord, to help the hurting. To comfort. To support.
September 11, 2001 left an indelible imprint on me, on our nation, on the world.
May we honor the memory of those who lost their lives, and continue to pray for their families.

We remember…

More Than A Wing and A Prayer . . .

September Blog - Truett Cathy

He didn’t invent the chicken … just the chicken sandwich. I am so saddened to hear of the passing of Truett Cathy. Our family loves Chick Fil A and Truett’s Pizza Cafe. The food is delicious; however, it’s much more than the food that keeps us going back. It’s the true legacy left by Mr. Cathy.

As a reflect on the reasons why his establishments prospered, they extend far beyond good quality food and a great deal. As indicated by the photo above, Mr. Cathy’s priorities were in order. And because he knew the intrinsic value of focusing on the things that truly matter, he was able to make a difference in our lives and the lives of others. Here are a few of the things I take from his life … and his legacy.

1. Putting God first. His restaurants are not open on Sundays, yet they are highly profitable. Mr. Cathy chose to put his convictions and desire to honor God before money. We can all learn a lesson from this. God and family are more important than profits.

2. Service. Whenever we visit one of his restaurants, we are greeted warmly. Every service requested brings forth a response of “my pleasure.” There is not enough space to speak about the help rendered to my family and I above and beyond the call of duty. I could mention the time that my son held a fundraiser to benefit foster children, and Truett’s Pizza Cafe opened their doors and hearts to help. Or I could talk about requesting assistance from Chick Fil A for another event and being given an enormous amount of gifts and meal cards to pass out to others. A lot of commercial “service” now is focused on the bottom line, making a dollar and getting the product in as many hands as possible. His bottom line was serving people.

3. Quality. As a mom I am very careful about what I let my children eat. We don’t eat out a lot. However, when we do, it is at a Truett Cathy establishment. The quality of the food, and the taste, speak for themselves. It is possible to provide a quality product that benefits others … and you still profit.

My prayers are with the Cathy family members as well as his extended restaurant family. Thank you, Mr. Cathy, for your vision and for showing Chick Fil A was about more than just a wing and a prayer.

Goodbye, Little One

Holding baby finger

A few weeks old, you filled me with joy.
Fun guesses … will you be a girl or a boy.
Excitement, giddy with thoughts of you.
A blessing for us, full of life anew.
An answer to prayer, cause to celebrate,
Time to prepare, for this wonder so great.

Yet the moment was fleeting, happiness so real.
The sudden turn left feelings … unexpected to feel.
I knew you, I felt you, you were mine from day one.
It doesn’t seem fair. Life hadn’t even begun.
As I fight the tears, through gripping pain,
Some days I can’t move, others I sustain.
My heart is broken, only God can heal.
Thank Him for His presence; I know He is real.

This too shall pass … though hurt I won’t deny.
As I say to my precious little one gone too soon … Goodbye.

And Still I Rise

Like many of you, I was deeply saddened by the death of Maya Angelou. Tears welled up in my eyes; I felt like I lost a member of the family. As I grappled to come to terms with her passing, and why she meant so much to so many of us, I attempted to put some of what she meant to me into words.

Dignity and Grace. Head held high, a smile of knowing and wisdom, she was an elegant mixture of dignity and grace. Somehow you felt as though if in her presence, you would have stood up a little taller, walked a little straighter, and felt a whole lot prouder.

The Beauty of Transparency. She said what she meant, and meant what she said. In her writing, her words, even her actions, we saw the truth of humanity. She shared with us her existence, and all that it involved – the pain, the suffering, the embarrassment, the losses … and also the triumphs, the victories, the discovers and the joys. She lived. She laughed. She loved. And she took us along for the journey.

Grit and Determination. Nothing seemed to stop her. When there seemed no higher honor to achieve, yet another was bestowed upon Maya Angelou. I love how she rose to each challenge, and left an indelible footprint on our culture, and on humanity.

While her leaving us pains me, the essence of who she was is still here. For that, I am grateful.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise…..

Chapters

We all have chapters, or seasons, in life. I’ve been so busy preparing for one chapter to open, that I’ve failed to count the cost of the one that I am leaving.

I’m about to embark on the exciting adventure of homeschooling my son. I think it will be a little crazy, a little difficult, a little overwhelming at times, but a whole lot of fun. I am looking forward to spending that quality time with my boys, getting to know them better, and sowing into their lives in a way only their mother can. I can’t wait to be there for every discovery, every fun moment, every adventure. We’ll have fun experiencing it together.

But I love my son’s school. I love his friends, their families and his teachers. Many of the moms and teachers are now my friends. And not just casual acquaintances – friends I’ve shared with, laughed with, cried with and most importantly prayed with. I’ve spent so much time preparing my son for what’s in store, and being concerned about him missing his school friends, that I’ve failed to think about what I’ll be missing … my friends.

Thankfully, play dates (and mom dates) will be a priority on our list. Change is a part of life, as are seasons. Thankfully I can embark on a new one without completely leaving the current one behind.

Death Is Never Easy

A young man I previously worked with died yesterday. Suddenly. He had beautiful curly hair, a great smile, and a daughter he loved more than life itself. I didn’t know him as well as some. We spent time together working on set during production, viewed Facebook pictures and connections; yet I feel profound sadness. I haven’t stopped thinking about him or his family since I heard the news.

Maybe it’s the fact that he was barely 30 years old. Or perhaps it’s the face of his precious toddler daughter staring back in pictures with Daddy that once seemed heartwarming … but now are haunting.

But deep down, I think my heart aches because of the abrupt finality of it all. I am shocked, then saddened, but above all burdened with the fact that this young man is never coming back. Death strikes without warning, leaving a hole in its wake. And that, is never easy.

Farewell, my friend.