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

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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!!!!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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…..

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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……

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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………

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

A Baby Changes Everything……….

So here’s what I’m thinking…………

Teenage girl, much too young

unprepared for what’s to come

a baby changes everything…”

Indeed……

A mother’s heart is a special place.  It holds many things close, some terrifying, some full of worry, some full of questions……but more than those…..moments of complete, unexplainable joy and love, moments so miraculous that words cannot be used……..

Not a ring on her hand

all her dreams and all her plans

A baby changes everything

A baby changes everything….”

As a mother, I’ve experiences some of both.  The unbelievable joy of carrying two beautiful children, after I was told I would probably not have any after two – one very extensive, and very painful – surgeries.  But God had other plans.  My children were waiting for me and God had graciously allowed me to be their earthly mother – or mama, as I’m known….And some of the inevitable moments all mothers experience – angst, worry, many nights of lost sleep, and unending prayers storming heaven for their babes…..

Most people in the town I grew up in assumed I would go on to be a music teacher or performer somewhere, as I had spent my entire school years preparing, and competing for just that.  But that was not the desire of my heart.  To be a mother was.  I have no doubt that’s what God had created me specifically for, and if I never had or will have another claim to fame – then I am perfectly content and happy.   I have had the blessing of birthing and raising two amazing, smart, funny, happy, kind, loving, followers of God as my children and I could not be more blessed……..

“The man she loves she’s never touched

How will she keep his trust?

A baby changes everything

A baby changes everything…

And she cries!

Ooh, she cries….”

Except…..that I have been even more blessed – How is that possible????!!!!!

“She has to leave, go far away

Heaven knows she can’t stay

A baby changes everything…”

One word.  Grandchildren.  You know what I’m talking about.  The moment when you realize that yes, you CAN love someone as much as you love your children – THEIR CHILDREN!!!

“She can feel it’s coming soon

There’s no place, there’s no room

A baby changes everything

A baby changes everything….”

How is it possible to find even more love in your heart than what you thought you had given totally and completely from your mother’s heart to your own children?????

“And she cries!

And she cries!

Oh, she cries!….”

Then they cry……and indeed, more love than you even knew you had comes washing over you as you gaze upon this most perfect of children and realize you have a second chance to do even more, and even more right, than you did the first time!!!  Grace abounding!!!!

“Shepherds all gather ’round

Up above the star shines down

A baby changes everything….”

Yet another chance to fall in love with those precious eyes, hands, feet, mouth……to cuddle and smell that unmistakable sweet baby smell that is found no where else in the universe…another chance to take a small hand and help lead it in HIS direction…….To share daily, as I do with my daughter’s son, all of those precious, precious moments once again……and to meet for the very first time in a few short weeks, my beautiful second grandson, born to my son and daughter of my heart…..

To share in the growing up and the bringing up of two precious, sweet souls that God has entrusted to our family….

“Choir of angels sing

Glory to the newborn King

A baby changes everything

A baby changes everything…”

THANK YOU GOD!!!!!

“Hallelujah

Hallelujah

Hallelujah

Hallelujah!!!!!”

And you just pray daily that you are up to the task,  that God will give you the grace, the mercy, the knowledge and the focus to do your part in His will for the life of this child……

“My whole life has turned around

I was lost but now I’m found

A baby changes everything

A baby changes everything….”

Another chance to hold my loved ones close and never let go…..and to be forever eternally grateful for The Baby that was born to give us life everlasting…………

“A baby changes everything……”

Indeed………

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Are we there yet?????

So this is what I’m thinking………

Who, pray tell, hasn’t heard, or spoken those words?

It’s Thanksgiving week. Less than one week from now, people all over will be traveling to the homes of their families to enjoy a day of thanksgiving.

When I was a child, we usually traveled to my Aunt and Uncle’s house, about 3 or so hours away. They had a really fancy house (at least I thought so!!) and I felt so special to be there!! In later years, my mom hosted, and boy was my mom the hostess with the mostest!!! She did everything up right!! She loved, loved, loved entertaining….and I guess that is where I get the same gift from, as my sister says I do it up right just like mama did! Now, with the addition of my daughter’s family, we go to her house where we spend the day and cook together!! I haven’t had a holiday, be it Thanksgiving or Christmas, or in fact birthdays either, for a number of years with our entire family since my son and his wife are stationed in Alaska with the Army… I miss them at holidays……in fact, every day….

I’ve started a new tradition with my little grandson, that every Thanksgiving we will build a gingerbread house together for them to display and enjoy during the Christmas season. Of course, last year, he wasn’t particularly interested, so his mama and I did it…..but this year…..I’m hoping he will be willing to at least place a few pieces of candy on the roof!!! And I’m hoping someday he remembers that his grandmama spent the time with him….

Traditions are important. They mark the continuance of family. And when those of us who have lost loved ones look back on our traditions, it brings happy memories to mind……so hopefully we continue some of those, or even begin some of our own. Like my mama’s dressings, which is included in every holiday dinner……like a family game after dinner, like the traditional Thanksgiving evening movie….Like Christmas decorating. It is scheduled to begin promptly this next weekend in our home, as has been our long-standing tradition. Can’t wait…..but first, there’s turkey to be cooked, potatoes to be mashed, pies to bake, and thankfulness and love to share….

By happenstance, as I was entering Barnes and Noble this morning, a young man passed my car and spoke out “Airborne Ma”am!!” (he recognized the insignia I have on my car!!) I turned and saw a tall, lean, young man with the telling no-hair haircut and asked if he too was airborne?? “Yes Ma’mm”!! I shouted back a word of encouragement, as I wrangled my little guy out of his carseat to go into reading time….Inside, I looked for him, started a conversation, and offered to buy him a cup of coffee, which he ever so politely refused. He was here on leave, on his way out East to another post. We visited a while, I shared with him about our military family, thanked him for his service, and wished him a Merry Christmas……I’m really mad at myself for not asking if he was here visiting family and if he had somewhere to go for Thanksgiving dinner…….

There are thousands like him all across this country, and thousands upon thousands who will spend their Thanksgiving away from anything familiar…..fighting in a war that has gone on way too long, and lost way too many lives……

My heart aches for them. I’ve been on the mama side of that equation and it is no picnic. I sympathize with their families as they gather with that one empty seat, missing and worrying about their loved one….aren’t they home yet???? This time of year there is brutal – especially in the mountain regions, where my son served. Desolate, freezing cold, rugged, just plain hard. Marching, marching…..are we there yet….?????

I’m a blessed mama. My son came home safe and sound, though he surely had angels surrounding him more than once when he had some close calls. I am eternally grateful every single day… My heart aches for those whose sons or daughters, husbands or wives, brothers or sisters….will never share this time with them again……

This year, when our families gather, let us all pause for a moment of remembrance for those who are serving, for their families, and for those who have given their all for this country. We owe them, and the generations before them who did the same, more than we can ever repay. They deserve our respect and our gratitude. And if you stumble upon a soldier this holiday season who is away from home, buy him or her a cup of coffee or a meal…. but most of all, offer your sincere, heart-felt words of thanks……

And most of all, if you are blessed enough to be surrounded by the ones you love, cherish every single moment…. and hold your loved ones close and never let go………..

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment