Thursday, October 28, 2010

Back To Blogging

Did I ever show this picture? This is Casey's half-brother.
They found each other a couple of years ago
and I'm fascinated by how alike the look and act.

Abby's close band friend, Amy (on your left)

Casey's good friends.
The one she is hugging also loved and was loved by Jae as well.
Below are my squillion year old friends.
Been together since Jr. High.

This young thing below is one of my NEW friends.
Teri works with me in my educational role at the hospital and is also one
the best ICU nurses that ever cared for a patient.

No excuses.
I've been busy but just not on this site.
I've been emailed and called by several friends to start again and I'll tell ya that it makes me feel warm and fuzzy to know I've been missed.

Here's a few things on my mind:


Casey made some cupcakes the other night that looked exactly like big rats.
On purpose.
I requested that she cover them up during the night.
She also made a pound cake which she didn't like 'cause she says "It tastes like butter".
Does that make sense to you?


Abby has been a competing fool. Her band has already marched in 4 competitions and did "the big one" this past Saturday. They consistently get excellent ratings and do "Elvis" proud as they play his songs.
She also is in drama "compet". Poetry, mime, improv, etc.
Her first event got her all revved up for more. Good thing because she is scheduled for one a month until summer!


Abby had to write her very own personal "Declaration of Independence" for an history assignment. It was great fun to do with her. One of her declarations was to "declare herself free from ever singing again the old hymn "To The Work". Know that one?

It encourages us all to worketh and cometh and is filled with loooooooong awkward pauses.

I'm so inspired.


Ralph and I entered into negotiations and finally purchased a small piece of land.

I spent a few minutes walking it a day or two ago and am positive that the last 5 tornadoes in Pulaski County deposited every piece of loose debris directly onto that small half acre of land.

Oh! It also has a storm cellar.....

Filled to the brim with water.

Ralph has kinda not paid attention to me when I told him how ridiculously junked up the place was. This afternoon, he sent me a text message which said:
You win.
We need a bulldozer.
I had no idea.


The burn ban here in this county is ruining my life.
As we traveled to Jonesboro the other day, the farmers in that area were burning their fields.
I think I need to buy a farm.
1000's of acres were burning.
Big Beautiful Flames and good-smelling smoke.
I rolled my window down for a whiff and sent up a prayer for a deep drenching long rain in our neck of the woods.

God cares about stuff like that!
It rained for 36 hours just this week.


The first street you come to as you enter Jonesboro is called "Wimpy Avenue".
None of the men (or women!) in my family could or would ever live there.


A note of good news:
Sunbeam makes an electric blanket with no brain.
It gets warm when you tell it to.


A note of bad news:
Yesterday I saw two cats in my barn.
Folks,..that's real bad.
B.C. can stay because he/she has learned to take care of him/herself but I'm gonna sic Ralph's hairy daughter on the other one.


My spiritual journey trivia:
I'm working on Leadership and Management skills in my professional life and it just so happens that I am also studying the book of Joshua.
That man was some kind of great leader!

I'm also reminded why I could never come to grips with the theology that says that
"God is a peaceful and loving God. He would never let something like______ happen".
Joshua is a wonderful story of God's provision and faithfulness but it's also an absolutely brutal and bloody book.

AND by the way,...

The book of Joshua starts with God telling him to "Take the shoe off his foot".
Did Joshua only have ONE FOOT?
Well THAT would be mean, wouldn't it, for God to then tell him to go MARCH around Jericho!?!


It's good to be blogging again.
I've missed you.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Jo's Companions

By far, one of my favorite posts ever written on Weepyseeds was by a "guest blogger".
My brother David wrote of his experince running the LR Marathon in 2009.

Today I am posting writings from another guest.

Jo Lauer is a cherished friend who I've met in the pit of grief as we've both attended the monthly Bereaved Parents meetings in North Little Rock. Jo's adult daughter died months ago and as we grievers know,..her journey is unique.
I was deeply moved when she shared these thoughts last month and and she has given me permission to share them with you.

Jo Lauer:
In the past few months, I have decided it’s time to make peace with my grief; to welcome grief as a friend into my life;
to allow grief to walk with me and teach my soul the lessons only grief can teach.

The time as come to allow grief to expand my heart, to teach me how to reach out to others who are hurting.

Grief has become my life long companion; a companion to embrace and to listen to.
A companion I must follow willingly if I’m to learn the lessons she was sent to teach me.
Grief strips away the trivial, the unimportant.
Grief leaves me naked and defenseless again the pain I felt. It’s only when I accept the fact that I have no defense against grief, when I stop battling it, denying it, suppressing it, hating it, and allowing it into my heart and head with no more barriers, that grief changes from a relentless, assaulting enemy into a gentle companion.

Grief is teaching me the preciousness of life.

Grief is teaching me the value of forgiveness and acceptance that can only come from the experience of total helplessness and powerlessness.
If I listen to grief as a friend, I will find a value and a purpose in the tears I‘ve shed. My tears are washing away those things in me that I held on to so tightly – control, unforgiveness, revenge, bitterness, selfishness – the barriers I put into my life to distance myself from the suffering in the world.

Grief is teaching me that my tears are mingled with the tears of mothers all over the world who have lost a child.

When I embrace grief as a companion, she brings yet another sister, in addition to consolation …compassion.
When I battled grief, she couldn’t introduce me to her other sisters, mercy, peace, and empathy. Grief brings cleansing and acceptance.
Grief brings a type of being born again.
The line between my life before Alyson died and my life now is becoming wider and deeper each day.
I’ve felt this sense of not knowing who I was any more and my companion grief is here to help me in my rebirth.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Three days. Three Daughters.

I'm wore out.

Friday night. Abby Night
She is inviting her marching band to our home after the home games.
"The whole band?" I confirmed a few weeks ago.
There's about 110 kids in it.
To prepare, we began "re-doing" the back room a few weeks ago . Finally finished (more-or-less) and the outcome is surprisingly cool. I was pretty skeptical of her dark gray, teal and pink color scheme. As she suspected, Friday night came and they did NOT all show up.
We're still eating the food.

Anyway,...big night,...lots of prep and I'm tired.

Saturday. Casey day.
She volunteered to be stage crew for CityFest in Little Rock.
The organizers saw her application, called her up and asked to take a huge position (no pay, no authority) as one of the main volunteer coordinators.
Yep,..for the entire event.
I was her assistant.
For the entire day yesterday, my main job was to do whatever Casey told me to do. It was kinda neat seeing her in charge and watching her network with other key players in the large event.
One of the volunteers had no one on her team show up as scheduled, so Casey sent me a "quick!" order to assist with decorating the hospitality room for the artists/bands.
Of all the things I can do and I'm asked to go decorate?
Their desperation was apparent.

(side story:....a nice looking young band member had a regular lunch with his regular looking parents who evidently had traveled several hours to see his show. Quiet. Normal. Then,..a couple hours later I see that young man on stage in very different apparel, playing the electric guitar and screaming his lungs out to unintelligible head-banging rock music. I heard later that the mom was touched by all the decorations.)

Casey and I began the day around 7:00am and got home around 11:00pm.
Big day. I'm tired.

Sunday. Jae Lynn.
23 years ago today a beautiful young woman gave birth to a baby who was meant for my arms.
My mind is recalling all the birthdays and celebrations that this day has been in our home. Now we spend her birthday going to a nice restaurant, of her many faves. Then,..usually around sunset, I will release balloons at her grave.

One of the things about a child's death is that their life seems to lose significance as time passes. Some of you may react to that statement by saying "NO! We'd never forget Jae!"
But remembering a person is different than being significantly changed by them.

My dad crossed into Heaven a couple of years ago. His memory and his significance will live on for generations through those of us who were raised by him.
Children, however, don't often get a chance to leave that strong of a legacy. Their life was often too short and their impact seems to be primarily on those in the family and their close circle of friends.

A child's birth will change us.
Their death, however, will transform a parent to the point where we will say that "we" died.
The transformation, coupled with the pain and fear of loss of significance for our child will compel us to do new things like establish foundations, oversee scholarships, change careers, write, speak and jump flat in the middle of other things that we ordinarily would never do.

Our transformation becomes our child's significance.
These are deep thoughts.
But then,..I'm feeling deep sadness.

I'm tired.
I don't belong here.