Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Shelby's 21st Birthday

I can't believe how I just blinked, and now have a beautiful 21 year old daughter.

On the evening she was born, it seemed like she would always be my baby girl.

I guess nothing has changed. She always WILL be my baby girl!

Happy birthday, Shelby! I hope your life will be at least half as wonderful as mine has been with you around! :-)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Busy, Fun Christmas

Happy Boxing Day to all! We had an enjoyable and busy Christmas. Two days of singing and three Christmas celebrations equals lots of fun! Here are a few photos taken at my Mom's, our place, and Aunt Kathy and Uncle Terry's place.

I am so grateful for all of these blessings. Next up: Shelby's 21st birthday!!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Nativity thoughts

"And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him up in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn."

People must have had much harder hearts back then, than they do today. They were turned away because there was no room at the inn!! Well, why in heaven's name didn’t somebody MAKE some room for them? Can you imagine the people of today refusing to give up their room to a laboring mother about to give birth?

However, Mary and Joseph were from Nazareth, far from home.

They were poor.

They may have appeared "different" to the natives.

They may have spoken with a foreign dialect.

The people of Bethlehem, who were not privy to the information of the Immaculate Conception, may well have considered Mary an unwed mother.

But, we modern people would give up a room at the inn for any laboring mother, wouldn’t we? Wouldn’t we do everything possible to help a poor family who decided to take a cross-country trip in the woman’s 9th month of pregnancy, even if she and her husband were of different ethnicity, different religion, and questionable morals? Of course we would!

Or… would we?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

For a few minutes today I was Andy's wife again...

I have described my experience of being widowed and then marrying again as being sort of like living in a parallel universe. I am so in love, and feel like Art and I have always been together. We are crazy about each other, have so much fun together, are the best of friends, and sometimes it is hard to remember my past life. Then there are days that I not only remember, but I feel like that past life is just beyond the haze if I could only reach through it. Today was one of the latter.

It was a bit grey outside, and my mood matched the weather.

It's almost 10 years now since Andy died. I have been happily married to Art for the past 7 years. But, now and then I still feel the blues... not really a grief attack, just a little bit of pesky sadness. So, I did what I usually do when I feel this way. I made a visit to the cemetery.

The approaching holiday certainly wasn't helping matters any, and it really didn't help my mood when "The Christmas Shoes" came on the radio as I pulled up next to the grave site. Then when I went over to the headstone, my spirits drooped further; the headstone had sunk halfway down on one side due to a recent deluge of rain.

So, I made my way over to the cemetery office. A nice man named Rob greeted me, and I explained why I was there. He looked up Andy's information, then said, "Well, Mrs. AndysLastName, we will take care of the problem right away." Another employee came in and Rob said to him, "I'm printing out a copy of this work order for his wife." I thanked him, and he said, "Before you leave, Mrs. AndysLastName, you can put your husband's name on the memory tree over here, and here is an ornament for your tree."

It was actually comforting to put his name on the decorated memory tree. I didn't think I needed to do that sort of stuff after all these years, but it was... nice. It also was nice to be called Mrs. AndysLastName again, if only for a few minutes.

As I prepared to leave, Rob gave me the printout of the work order. He turned it over, and on the back was a printed photo of an American eagle in flight. I thought about one song I had selected for Andy's memorial service, "On Eagles Wings."

Rob laughed and said, "Hmmmm. It printed on eagle paper. That wasn't supposed to happen." I smiled, thanked him, and thought to myself, "Oh, yes it was."

As I stepped outside, I was hit by a ray of sunshine that peeked through the clouds.

It wasn't too bad of a day, after all.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A bit wistful before Christmas

There are so many people I love,
but they are scattered far apart.
If I could strike gold, I would travel the miles
just for a hug...
...or, better yet, I would bring them here.
I would make them a good meal,
share my space,
a glass of wine,
perhaps tears.
And, by the time they leave,
they will understand
that I really do love them.
It's just this world is too big,
not that my heart's
too small.