Remembering 9/11

IMG_9650  I remember it vividly.  Waking up in my beautiful upstairs bedroom, in my newly built log home, in an idyllic setting in the country.  It looked like it was going to be a picture perfect sunny day.  My daughter was a state away attending Bible College and my son was in the United States Navy at the time, (now a US Army Officer) stationed in San Diego, my husband at work. It was just me and the dog getting a lazy, easy start to the day.

I turned on my television to catch up on the news and reached for my phone to call my husband.  As it was ringing, I watched  what was being described as a “second” plane crashing into the second world trade center tower on live television.  As my husband answered I told him what I had just witnessed and could hear him shouting to those around him that something was very wrong.  Indeed.  We mumbled something about talking in a few minutes and both hung up to gather what information we could.  Another plane hit the other tower shortly before.  The newscasters were stating that this could not possibly be a second “accident” and that America had surely been struck by an intentional attack.  Intentional attack….Oh dear God, help us. Tears.

The Pentagon hit.   Possibly the White House next.  Planes “lost” or unaccounted for.  The crash in Pennsylvania. What was happening??????   Planes were grounded.  Phone lines going down.  Fear.  More tears.

Panic and uncertainty ruled the day, none of us knew what, why, how.  We watched our television screens in absolute horror as the unimaginable happened, the towers fell, our hearts sank even lower.  Surely no one could survive that.  How many were in those towers on a normal work day?  How could this happen, and who would do such a thing? Still, the tears.

And for me, all I wanted were my children within arms reach.  I was able to reach my daughter later in the day when the phone lines finally let me through but by then the lines at the gas stations were miles long, and she didn’t want to try to make it home, nor did I particularly want her on the highway alone, not knowing what could happen next.  Were there more attacks coming in the next few days?  I knew she was safe and sound, surrounded by people who would look out for each other if need be. I didn’t like it but it was best if she stayed put, at least overnight. It took several more days before I heard from my son …….long, miserable, days…full of anxious anxiety..Where was he?  Had he been sent somewhere?  What was happening?  The base had been put on immediate lock down, but he was safe.  Tears.

Like many Americans, by the end of this long, agonizing day, we were completely spent.  With worry, with broken hearts, with sadness in the very pit of our soul, and just sick.   We went to the only place we could think of for comfort – our church.  Gathered there were others who came seeking some comfort, encouragement, crying out to God for answers and comfort for those directly affected by the tragedies of this day.  Many more tears….

As bad as the day had been for those of us who had been mere spectators to these tragedies, there were thousands whose lives were changed in those instants forever.  Loved ones lost.  Lives that would never be the same.  Hearts that would ache for all time. I could not fathom it.  Who among us could?  The scenes were devastating.  Raw.  Hard to watch,  Even harder to live. Seemingly impossible – a river of tears…..

And yet, amazing stories of real life heroes who rose to the occasion in the middle of the terror.   Firefighters.  Police.  Doctors and nurses.  Ordinary citizens doing what was necessary.  Whatever was needed.  Risking their lives for strangers.  Fellow Americans.   People took care of each other, took them in, fed them, clothed them, comforted them.  Cried for, and with them, when their loved ones never came home that dark day.   Scenes and stories that made you realize what good there was in people, and how proud you were to be an American that day.  Tears, tears, tears…. 

We have seen evil in the world prior to this dark day,  to be sure.  Evil is roaming this earth looking opportunity to destroy, discourage and kill.  It rears it ugly head in many forms, and we may find ourselves facing and reliving another day like this, perhaps even yet during our lifetime.

 

But hope prevails!!!!

 

Read the Book.

Evil does not win, nor will it ever!!!!

Hold your loved ones close..EVERY MOMENT OF EVERY DAY……

 

 

 

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Life happens…………….

So here’s the deal.

I’ve been busy.  Yup.  Probably just like all of you have been.  With what you may ask?  Life.

That’s it.  Just life.

Selling one home, buying, gutting, remodeling, and now, adding on to another one.  A much smaller one.

Taking some road trips in the old RV.  Enjoying the outdoors.

Spending most waking moments with the little love of mine, my grandson.  At least one of them.  Sadly, one of them is clear across the country, but he is just as dear none-the-less.

Keeping track and in line the hubby.  He needs lots of day to day attention.  Always.  (Love ya honey!!)

The disbelief, sadness, and grief of losing a dear, dear pet, our beloved Golden, Esther.  She was a near perfect dog in our estimation, tho our lives have held spots for many wonderful dogs, she certainly holds the top spot.

The introduction of a new fur baby to our home.  Our little chocolate lab, Princess.  Named so because my little grandson, upon gazing at her photo before we picked her up, turned to me one night in bed and said, “Granma, she looks just like a princess!!” – and so she is.  Back to square one with the training, the walks, the nibbles, the incessant activity of a 3 year old and a new best friend.

Growing older.  Yup, it’s happening.  More aches and pains, yet nothing major to complain about.  New vigor for exercise, eating healthily and yoga classes with the hubby.  Who would’a thought?

Remembering to keep in touch with dear friends who live away.  That those bonds can’t be broken by time, distance or just plain stuff.

Watching a super moon, the stars, the waves, all of God’s creations I am so blessed to see, hear and experience.

There’s bread to bake, cookies to mix up, jam to cook, beans to can.  Life is good.

As I head into these years I realize more and more that nothing, absolutely nothing, is more important that the people we are blessed to have in our lives.  I want to cherish every single minute, live every single minute, take it all in.  Because believe me, it is over in the blink of an eye.  

So whatever life is dealing you right now, stop. Take a deep breath.  Remember to look into your loved one’s eyes, hold their hand, hug them longer and more often.  Tell them every single time you have the chance how much you love them.  

Hold them close and never ever let go…….

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Birth Day Day

So here’s what I KNOW………

On this day in 2010, at exactly 2:11pm, my world was turned upside down by the birth of the most precious, amazing child – my first grandson. (I have since been blessed with another miracle – but he too, deserves his own story!!)

I had no earthly clue how the birth of a child could be such a world shaker – but indeed it was! I was ill prepared for the emotion I would feel watching him come into the world, cutting the cord he had depended on for life inside his mother for all those months, and holding and looking into the very face of God at that moment. The face of God brought to life in this most amazing gift to our family. Little did I know of the wave of highs that would come as I have watched him grow, learn, smile, laugh, eat, play – or the depths of despair I would feel during times of his pain, discomfort or hurt. The hours rocking, singing, feeding, dressing, laundry – I have counted it all joy beyond belief though at times this grandmama has learned she’s not what she used to be in the endurance department. No matter. I would endure any sleepless night, long day, or endless activity of a small child to spend just one second with this beautiful child.

He has a smile that would melt an ice cap and dimples just to top it all off! And when he comes running to me with open arms, or cries out “Grandmama kiss! Kiss!!” it thrills me to my very core…..

I have been blessed beyond measure to be a daily part of his life from moment one, and pray that I may continue to be so for many years to come, as I am sure of this – my grandson is a mover and a shaker and I want to be around to watch God’s plan unfold in his life! As I’ve said from day one – he’s a genius!!

No matter the number of days, I pray that he always will know, sense, beyond any doubt, that his Grandmama loved him with a love so fierce that she herself could not imagine it that moment he came into our lives.

So today, on his birthday, I KNOW beyond any doubt that if you are blessed with a gift of such magnitude, a miracle that only God could have conceived in all His glory – that you should hold it close and never, never, never let go……

Happy Birth Day Day my precious grandson! I love you!!….Grandmama

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It’s all about the passion……

No.  This is not X Rated!!  I’m not speaking of that kind of passion!

I’m talking about the passion we have when we are excited and intensely involved in what we are doing – in other words, we are passionate about it.

There are many things we can passionate about.  For some, it’s cooking or gardening.  Some are over-the-top passionate about fashion or some sort of collection they have.   For some, their career is what makes their day!  Most all of us are passionate about our families and our beliefs.

I started thinking about this after a conversation with a friend the other day.  I was particularly passionate about a subject and they just didn’t see it my way!  Can you imagine??!!   My passionate outburst regarded the state of our country – pointedly – the state of the government.  I admit, I am passionate about politics, our laws, and most importantly this country that I love so much.  My family, along with many others, has a history of service to this country ie long ago relatives, as well as father, son, and husband have devoted a period of their lives to this country during war time.  My son still is.  He is a career Army man – and I couldn’t be prouder of him.  They all sacrificed much, going to foreign lands, doing and seeing things that I shutter to imagine.  They left their families, their loved ones, and their homes for this country.  So yes, I am passionate about it.  Which got me to thinking…….

As a Christian, I know that God is in control.  He has all of this under his watchful eye.  But he has also given man free well, which when left to our own devices, can sometimes be disastrous.  So what IS our role here?

The afore mentioned friend, prefers to dwell only on the good, the happy and the joy – and isn’t that a wonderful thing to do?  To see the good in people rather than the bad?  To assume the best outcome instead of worrying about the “what if’s”???  Absolutely that is a wonderful place to live.  To come and go in your day and have everyone in contact with you say what a happy optimistic person you are?   Yes indeed it is.  But there is a big big world out there.

This is how I was imagining it –  Yes, I could hang in my own little bubble – my own little happy every day bubble – and I DO think that is a great place to be!  But I also realize that beyond my own little universe, there is much more…..Because who, really, am I reaching?   If I’m preaching to the choir so to speak?   Are we not called upon in this world to be light?  To be a voice for the downtrodden, the helpless, those who are being mistreated?  Those whose voice is silenced out of convenience?  A voice against moral injustices and and just plain wrongs???

God doesn’t need little old me to “fix” the world.  But He did call me.  He called me to be His hands, His voice, His conscience to a world full of darkness.  A world where morality is slipping into the abyss.

And were I to just go gleefully along in my own little world without standing up, speaking out, or  (to use a military term) putting boots to the ground, am I really, really making a difference in this world?

I want to be passionate and involved without being judgmental or mean.  And I realize at times I may have seemed both, not intentionally, but because my passion got the better of me.  I’m working on that.  I want to be a passionate messenger – in the right way!!!

So go find it.  Find YOUR passion.  Then spread it around – passionately!!!

And as far as that passion for your loved ones…..hold them close and never let go!!!!

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Mama on steroids…….

Motherhood.

The word evokes emotion from every single person.

Weather you were raised by your birth mother, an adoptive mother, a grandmother, an aunt, a sister, a foster mother, it all started with – that’s right – your mother.  You were given birth by your mother.  Where it went from there, is as vastly different and exciting as each one of us are.

As for me, I was raised by an amazing mother.  She was kind to a fault, giving, selfless, compassionate, fun loving, and my heroine.  I knew from when I can remember remembering, that I was loved, wanted, adored, cherished and bathed in praise, acceptance, and encouragement…I was beyond blessed to call her my mama.

She had a humble beginning, born into not much of anything, but to parents who loved her.  After meeting my daddy in Kansas where he was stationed with the Army before leaving for Europe during WW2, they fell instantly in love, and he asked her to wait for him until he returned from war.  She did.  As he was returning on the Queen Mary to America in 1945, she boarded a troop train from Kansas to Georgia to meet him and get married – all without ever meeting his family.  They were married in a tiny town in Georgia, where they spent the first few years of their lives together, but soon moved to Kansas.  That’s where I entered the picture.

I was placed in the arms of this most amazing couple by a God who knew exactly where I belonged.  You see, someone else had “given physical birth” to me, but my mama was waiting anxiously for me to arrive in her arms.  And oh what arms they were!  She was devoted to me and her family.  We were always first, she was always last.  We had, she went without.  New dress for Easter – yup, I had one.  She didn’t.  I am thankful that my daddy did very well for himself in the years after that which afforded he and my mother a great life.  They retired early, moved to the lake, toured in a motor home.  He never said a cross word to her in his life.  He showered her with love and affection and she didn’t do without much she ever wanted.  They were blessed.

But it was I who was most blessed.  Because from her, and them, I learned what a healthy, loving family was.  And what a privilege and honor it was to be a mama.  Not everyone, I realize is so blessed as I.

All of this brings us to me.  I am a mama.  My two beautiful children, a son and a daughter, are the joy of my life!  They have brought me my mama’s share of a full range of emotion – love, excitement, joy, pride, worry, heartache, relief, and most importantly, the assurance that I will be with them always in Heaven someday!  Little did I know that being a mama – as amazing as it is – was a precursor to being Grandmama – a Mama on Steroids!!!

Grandmotherhood, if you have not arrived there yet – is a joy untold!!!  And if you have arrived there, then you know exactly what I am saying.  You cannot imagine a world where you have more love to give than you already give to your own children – but the minute your baby has a baby – well just get out the kleenexes and prepare to cry a river!!!

It is a whole new world.  A new life, in which you get the honor and joy of sharing so many of those precious moments again.  You likely see your baby in their baby….and oh the heart just bursts!!!

We revere athletes for throwing a ball around, political figures for, well I guess for just being what we think is important, high powered businessmen and women because of their business talents.  But we too little revere the most important person in our lives, the one without whom we would not even be here – our mothers.  Mother’s go humbly about their days doing exactly what we have all done, work ourselves to the bone,  stay up all night with sick babies, throw endless birthday parties, carpool to every sporting, music, cheerleading, etc. event imaginable, take untold number of visits to the doctor, clean up food, puke, pee and poo off of every conceivable surface known to man, all on less sleep than we ever imagined possible…….many times without ever a thank you, and most certainly without the national accolades afforded so many other “jobs”.

But every mother know a secret.  There is no amount of money or praise that could possibly be lavished on us that means more to us than looking into the eyes of that precious child at the end of a day for one more hug, one more kiss, or one more “I love you mama”….no matter how old they are….

Happy Mother’s Day…..

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A love like no other……

So here’s what I’m thinking……….

 

Today is the day we celebrate love – or as Joe Biden says, the 3 letter word for the day -

L-O-V-E…………:)  Sorry, I just couldn’t resist!!

 

If we are lucky as we pass through this life, we will find love.  Some of us find love in a spouse, a child, a grandchild, our God.  If we are really lucky – we have all of those….

 

I’m lucky.  I have a spouse that I love dearly, children that I would give my life for, and grandchildren that make my world.  But the rock of my life, the foundation of my life, is my God.  The God.  The one and only God.

 

I have this God in my life because I was blessed with two amazing parents who nurtured me, taught me, and showed me in their every day lives  who and what God is.  They saved me in every way.

 

None of us know what our lives would be if things had been different, if a different path had been taken.  My path could have been different.  But God had it all under control.  He had my parents picked out for me before I was a whisper.  He had ordained those two amazing people to come together to provide a home for me. To be in that place, at that exact moment this child was born into this universe.

 

My precious parents have gone home to Heaven, rejoicing together in His glory – but I miss them here every day.  They were priceless and I loved them so.

 

My prayer is that someday when I’m gone from this earth,  my children, my grandchildren  remember me with the love and tenderness that I remember my parents.   And I pray that they saw in me the relationship with God that would make them desire that in their lives, that our family would be forever bound together by His love……

 

If you’re lucky today, reach out and love on your valentines, whoever, wherever they are…..And no matter how near or far, hold your loved ones close and never let go……

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Out with the old…..in with the new…..

So here’s what I’m thinking…….

It’s that time of year again, the beginning that is, when folks like to make what we commonly call “resolutions” for the new year.  Oh most of us have done this at one time or another, vowing to do such things as eat better, lose weight, exercise, clean out the attic, get rid of the clutter, go on that dream vacation, etc, etc, etc.  Some actually get done.  A lot do not. 

We started our new year out with a trip to see daughter Dana who purchased a lovely new home outside Houston last fall.  This was our first trip down there since then, and we were anxious to see this place we had only seen pics of.  We opted to forego the trip in my beautiful luxury car and instead hopped into the pickup truck.  Why you ask?   Well, we wanted to bestow upon her and her newly acquired space, some “stuff” that we had here in our attic, things that had been in David’s family and we wanted her to have.  Among these treasures were a porcelain nativity set, very well worn but still exquisitely beautiful, along with the crude homemade creche that David’s father has fashioned himself.  in fact, one of the only things David could ever remember his father making.  We had set this nativity up in our home for over 26 years every Christmas, and we will miss it, but know it is in good hands and just where it should be; as well as some wonderful handwritten notes and memorabilia from David’s parents, including war letters, and David’s hospital bill from when he was born.  It cost about $95 to have him enter this world in Chicago back in l946!!   Also making the trip was a bed, complete with the original sales receipt from l935.  This bed is solid walnut.  Solid.  No filler, no fiberboard.  Solid Walnut.  As the receipt states, this bed, along with the companion chest and dresser,  a davenport (“sofa” for you youngsters) and a chair, cost exactly $166.83.  Yup that’s right.  $166.83.  The bed was $20.00, the dresser $25.00, the chest $20.00, the davenport was $65.75 and the chair $39.75 for a grand total of $170.50 minus a 5% discount,  plus tax.  The thing is, this bed, and two chests, are still in perfect condition.   Furniture that is 77 years old, used by at least 4 members of the family that I am aware of, moved, moved, and moved again, and still in perfect condition!!  The dining room chairs I bought 4 years ago brand new don’t even look new!!!!

Sometimes, old isn’t worth throwing out.  Sometimes old is better.  Sometimes new isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

The second trip of my new year found me traveling north to Alaska to meet my precious new grandson.  He’s still very new.  And very perfect.  And oh the joy to see my son with his son.  It goes straight to a mother’s heart.  There were tears.  Lots of joyful tears!!  And tears of utter despair to leave him there…. New, in this case, was perfection.  New was amazing.  New was a gift from God.  Sometimes new is just the ticket.

Life is a mixture of old and new isn’t it?   “Old” grandbabies – “New” grandbabies!!  Old friends.  New friends.  Old hometowns.  New surroundings.  Old habits.  New better ones.  Old “stuff” and some new “stuff”…..and all of it priceless………

This time, this “new” time we have been given is a gift.  Full of anticipation!!  So much to see, do, explore, learn…. don’t miss a minute of it.  Be present.  Be thankful.  Be mindful.  Do some of those things you have vowed to do and see what happens!!  And whatever you do, hold your loved ones close and never let go………

 

 

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