In the short time it took me to drive granddaughter #4 from her house to school one day last week, I was awed and sobered by the change before me.
I’m a writer.
I even do a workshop titled “Color Me a Story”
using colors as a way to create your characters.
But then, God comes along, and reminds me that
His character is so awesome, so magnificent, so beautiful
that words fail.
Then, because He is so faithful
He reminds me that all He wants is for me to
BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD!!
Granddaughter #1 sent me these pictures, taken on her way home from Council Grove to Wichita last night. What a blessing!!
I went to the post office this morning.
Big deal, you say! But in a whole lot of ways
this morning was a gift, and it was a big deal
The postal worker I most often see there always has a smile,
never seems to get frustrated no matter how many are in line
and has helped me find the most efficient way to send my books.
SO–this morning I decided to give her a copy of Robin.
She said, “This is really interesting because just this weekend
I was wishing I had a good book to read.”
That led to her questions about my writing.
And that led to deeper conversation.
Long story short–we discovered we have both lost children.
And that led to sharing even deeper, and tears and a ‘knowing’
that only comes through shared experiences.
I know that our meetings from now on will be on
an entirely different level, deeper, more personal.
And she no longer will be a just the nice lady at
the post office.
Because, now she’s a kindred spirit.
I don’t even know her name, but
I know her heart!
In some ways, this is a hard post to write.
In other ways, it’s such a blessing.
It’s long, so choose now to read or not!
In the fall of 1979, we sent out oldest daughter, Tammy, off to college. Not such a big deal to some, but for us it was huge. This daughter was in a wheelchair, and had to sleep with a respirator at night to keep her CO2 level from building to the point she would quit breathing. PLUS–the college was 1500 miles away in Portland, Oregon.
But you see, this daughter had prayed, sent feelers to different Christian colleges, and constantly reminded us that she was safer that far from home if it was God’s will for her, than to stay close to home and play it safe.
Bob and I drove those miles first. I suppose, in a way, to confirm in our own hearts that this idea was ridiculous. But God had prepared the way–and why were we so surprised? The school, known then as Multnomah School of the Bible, had at one time been a school for the blind. Thus, ramps everywhere. And because the school was approved by the VA, where there weren’t already ramps, they were being built. Add to that the fact they gave her a scholarship, and allowed for her very good friend Bonnie to accompany her. We paid room and board for Bonnie, and the school allowed her to audit all classes free of charge.
It was a great year for Tammy, perhaps one of her healthiest years after so many health crises. Tammy stayed home that next year after being promised by a doctor that the incurable neuromuscular disease that both she and her younger sister, Lori, had, may not be that at all–and there was hope and promises and more promises than never came to fruition.
I won’t go into a great lot of detail, only to relay this information. Our Lori died in 1985. She was 23 years old. And Tammy died in 1994, at age 34. Words can’t describe how much we miss them. So I won’t even try.
Fast forward to this past July, 2016:
Our youngest son and daughter-in-law and family traveled to Oregon for a family wedding. And while there attended the church of the relative they were visiting. To make an even longer story short–the pastor of this very church had also attended Multnomah School of the Bible, and remembered our Tammy. In fact, had often helped her in various ways.
There is something incredibly comforting to know your child is remembered when they are no longer on this earth. Parents don’t forget. Siblings don’t forget. Even good friends still remember. But to realize that someone from so long ago, so many miles away—plus the fact their paths never crossed again after that year—still remembers, is a balm to hearts that still miss her so very much.
Pastor Jim Jamison, I have no idea if you will ever see this, but thank you so very much for sharing the article and pictures, and most of all for sharing your heart with Tammy’s brother.
When I was growing up, Saturday was house-cleaning day, cause
Comp’ny was comin’ on Sunday!
We’d clean, and bake and kill a chicken or two
And if, by chance, we got invited somewhere else
We’d still clean, and bake and offer to take the baked goodies with us
Cause, that’s just what ya did.
Seems different now
What with all our labor saving devices
We no longer have time for such thing as
Leastwise, not without planning and planning
and maybe even painting or hangin’ new curtains.
I have a picture hanging right by my chair.
You can tell it was stitched up a long time ago
Cause it tells neighbors when they are welcome!
Which is pretty much all the time.
Lord, make me a woman given to hospitality.
Not just on Sunday, when I’ve cleaned and baked
and killed a chicken or two.
But anytime. Anytime you deem it proper for
My day, which is really Your day!
Where They Are Planted!!
Whether in a crowd
The bottom line is…to stay rooted.
And I do my children, or other acquaintances, a huge disservice
When I use prayer and/or persuasion
In an attempt to pluck them
Then plunk them into
A container which I deem
More appropriate than
Where their Maker has ordered.
He is, after all, God
And I am not!
Therefore, it behooves me to
pray, and allow to them
Where they are planted.
Hate it, stomp on it, try to dig it out: It sends its roots even deeper
Mow it off: And the next morning it’s back, smiling, bringing friends to greet your day.
It has no ovaries: It merely reproduces because that’s what it was meant to do.
Always available, it welcomes the hands of a small child, knowing that even should it be plucked from its moorings, it will bring joy to that child, and a smile to the child’s mama.
And when it grows old—
AHH! When only a fuzzy white head appears where once was the bloom of youth
The winds of adversity, or even the puff of tiny lips, will scatter the seed the heart of the plant produced.
And more will come, more will bloom, more will send roots deeper and deeper
Because it was content to be what God created it to be, and do what it was created to do.
Oh! That I should be so faithful!!