Thursday, January 29, 2009

A best friend buys your toliet paper when your kids have been using Kleenex for two days.

A best friend scrubs baby puke off your carpet.

A best friend feeds your children spaghetti while you visit a friend at the funeral home.

A best friend marries someone who will bring you milk on a Saturday afternoon during play-off season.

A best friend will sit with you while you are "Miss Green."

A best friend rubs lotion on your dry, dish-pan hands.

A best friend is honest with you, even though it may be hard to hear.

A best friend lives in a house you can crash anytime.

A best friend tells good stories.

A best friend carpools your kids when you need to be somewhere else.

A best friend calls to make sure she picks up just the right baby wipes for your baby's tiny tush.

A best friend finds you a maid.

A best friend will hunt for a mouse with you instead of run home screaming.

A best friend hugs & kisses your children and treats them better than you do.

A best friend makes you laugh 'til you wanna wet your pants when sadness is all around you.

A best friend will drop everything on her plate to help you with all that's on yours.

A best friend treats you so good, you KNOW there is nothing you will ever be able to do to repay.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Dear Family & Friends,

I hope this note finds you well. Though we are heartbroken at our house, we are secure in the love of God and grateful for His goodness to us. Mother & Daddy met with Dr. Duttera this morning... perhaps for a final time. At this appointment, Dr. Duttera confirmed what we may have already knew... there are no further medical treatments to be considered for Mother. Even if a clinical trial could be found, he believes her liver to be too compromised to withstand any experimental treatment. She grows more jaundice each day.

"God's people are supplied with enough strength, faith and power to get through any crisis, knowing that our Lord is with us- comforting us, loving us and reminding us that all things are under His divine control and will eventually work for our good... the more we understand the way God works in our lives and the stronger our faith in Christ, the better we are able to find the sweet acceptance that proves so elusive for others without that personal relationship with Him... there is never a reason for despair, bewilderment or feelings of abandonment when we experience His lovingkindness and understand the truths of His word." ~ Deborah Howard

Are we sad? Yes. Is that o.k.? YES! As her family and you as her friends, we are sad and disappointed and scared. Mother has moments of fear and dread and worry. The Bible calls it "the valley of the shadow of death." ~Psalm 23. But we are not, nor we need to be angry or hopeless or desperate. Our goal now... our business for the next few weeks or months is to shower Mother with as much love, care & kindness as we can. To let her know we cherish her. To talk about the eternity we will share together in Heaven... never having to say goodbye again.

"But we do not want you to be uniformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you... that we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord." ~1 Thessalonians 4:13-17

"We can do great harm by attempting to do more than we are equipped to do. Yet we can all be comforters- we can be there for the hurting person, and we can share with them the comfort we have received from God." ~Susan Hunt

Y'all have been so faithful to Mother over the past 23 months. We owe you a debt of gratitude that we will NEVER be able to repay. We encourage you to continue sending those cards, notes and letters. About PHONE CALLS: Mother does NOT do well on the phone anymore. If you call, you will probably get one of us or our Daddy. We are Mama's personal secretaries! I don't even get to talk to her when I call. Let me simply encourage you to send her a note instead. She loves reading them or having them read to her. She enjoys the stories of your families, the memories y'all made together and, as always, encouragement from the Word. She does like visitors... but when she knows they're coming, she says she cannot relax because she feels like she has "to be on." If you would like to arrange a visit we encourage you to do so. We may also be asking some of you to come sit with her for a time, while we need to be elsewhere for a little bit. She will be admitted to the HOME HOSPICE program immediately. She is very weak and very tired. She loves to sit and listen to others talk around her even if she cannot keep her eyes open or continually keep up with the conversation. Not unexpectedly, she has good days and not so good days and there may be occasions when we need to reschedule.

1. Pray for PEACE THAT PASSES ALL UNDERSTAND... especially for Mother. Pray for acceptance, trust, hope, calmness, rest, joy and happiness.
"Being a Christian doesn't exempt us from the pain, but it frees us from it's power." ~Deborah Howard
2. Continue to pray for our Dad. He has been AMAZING!!! Pray for continued patience, lovingkindness, strength and peace.
"Understanding God doesn't mean we face the death of a loved one with a smile on our face or whooping with glee... it makes any situation "get-through-able." ~Deborah Howard
3. Pray for safe travels for Jim, Amanda & Baby Lauren this weekend as they come for a visit from Indiana.

We do NOT discount the fact that God CAN do a miracle. We whole-heartedly believe God COULD heal her in an instant. We also believe Psalm 139:16 "All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be." Before her birth on a cold February night 1950, God had already made the decision on the day she would die. Her death will not untimely, her death will not be years "too early"... her death, like our own, has already been perfectly determined. Whether or not we choose to believe and find comfort in that, determines on how we handle the death of someone we wanted to enjoy for 20, 25, 30 more years!

"When I get to heaven I’m gonna go find Job
I want to ask a few hard questions, I want to know what he knows
About what it is he wanted and what he got instead
How to be broken and faithful
I want to be broken and grateful
I want to be broken, peaceful, faithful, grateful, grateful" ~Sara Groves

I will be in touch with updates on how she is doing and to pass along new prayer requests as needed. THANK YOU AGAIN & AGAIN for loving us and offering to share in our struggle as we walk down this unfamiliar path.

With much love

"Death rescues us from the endlessness of this existence; it is the means by which those who love God finally are brought to Him." ~Erwin Lutzer

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Friday, January 9, 2009

Let's Make a Deal

I used to love watching the game show "Let's Make a Deal" on t.v. when I was a kid. Now as a diaper bag carrying adult, I'm quite certain I could win gobs of money if I were a contestant on the show. I think about it each time I grab my diaper bag or purse for what they are meant to carry... diapers or money and pull out just about anything but. Here is a documentation of the last time I cleaned out my Dreamgirl's diaper bag.

Here is the bag. Looks pretty good from the outside.

  1. A checkbook... pretty normal. Why it isn't in my wallet I'm not sure???
  2. Leaves. How did leaves get in my diaper bag? Someone explain.
  3. An old Park-n-Ride ticket. Last time I flew was in September. That old girl's been hanging around for a while!
  4. 1 sock. Would be nice if the match was in there too.
  5. A bar of soap. A mystery greater than that of the leaves.
  6. Magnetic tap strips. Maybe I could make refrigerator magnets out of the leaves?
  7. An assortment of pens & pencils. If I kept some of these inside at my desk I wouldn't have to write the kid's teachers notes with magic marker.
  8. My Bath & Body Works lip gloss. I love this stuff. Go get you some girls. I think my color is "Plum."

Round 2:

  1. My socks. Why I took them off & stuffed 'em in my diaper bag I'm not sure. I'm going to bet it was because I had worn my boots around town all day... my feet were killing me so I yanked them off as soon as I got in the car after my last stop.
  2. A receipt. One of a gazillion.
  3. Used lint brush strips. Is using a trash can against my religion?
  4. Swim ribbons. Guess My Firstborn thinks she's such a swimming hot shot she doesn't need to keep & display these ribbons... she must be planning on winning lots more.
  5. My make-up mirror. How many years of bag luck have I accrued from all those breaks & cracks???
  6. Dreamgirl's used raisin box. See end of #3.

Jackson is coming to see if there's a can of tuna fish in the bag. Heck, if there's a bar of soap in there I wouldn't be surprised to find cat food.

Round 3:

  1. Dreamgirl's shoe. Since I paid $32.00 bucks for those suckers I better find the other one.
  2. My Bible study homework materials. Those would be better served inside the house.
  3. C.D.'s of my Mother's Explorer's lectures. I'm putting these in a vault for preservation. What a treasure!
  4. A pamphlet I picked up about a Chinese circus that came to Atlanta. I'm kicking myself now for not going.
  5. Pretty Kitty's wallet. Don't tell her I had it.

Hi there Jackson. What a pretty boy you are!

And finally, a diaper.

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Thursday, January 8, 2009