Monday, May 06, 2013

Jimmy




Yesterday my brother-in-law Jimmy died. He was the second of three brothers in my husbands family. It is hard to comprehend that he is gone.

The three Evans boys assigned themselves roles to play in the family. Big brother Denny was the family scholar. Little brother Bobby was the family athlete. Middle brother Jimmy was the popular one, the boy who was student body president. He was funny. He told wonderful stories. He made people happy because he really did care about them. Everybody loved Jimmy.

When I started dating Dennis, Jimmy was dating Marci. They managed to beat us to the alter by six months. They were married 52 years in January. They raised two boys and were in the middle of helping to raise their grandson.

Time and distance meant we did not see each often, but I will miss this good man. Rest in peace Jim Evans.
(The picture is Jimmy & Dennis at Dennis'a 70th birthday.)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Baby Shower


Yesterday I hosted a baby shower for two sisters who are both expecting their first babies this summer. I've known these girls since before they were born. They fill a big corner of my heart.

The party was wonderful. The walls seemed to stretch as my house filled with the laughter of old friends who had been apart for too long. I wanted to say a prayer to bless these girls and their babies. As I started to pray my heart filled to overflowing with memories and tears started to fall. It's funny how tears can mark our moments of great joy. Love is a funny thing.

God bless you Debbie and Sarah. May these sweet babies fill your lives with a joy that fills your lives with love.
A happy mom with her four daughters and one granddaughter.

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Special Holiday Program


          Over the years I have attended countless school holiday programs. They are all similar, with cute children singing and being adorable. The program I attended yesterday brought tears to my eyes.
          My son Paul is a special ed teacher. I have often heard him talk about his kids, but I had never been to his school or met any of students until yesterday when I attended the Holiday Program at his school for kids with special needs.
          Walking into the gym I saw the usual holiday decorations but there was something different. Orthopedic devices were covered with shiny tensile. Kids were waiting in wheelchairs bedecked with bright garlands. Paul found us and took us to meet his kids, a group of teenagers in specially fitted wheelchairs. Paul introduced me as his mommy. The kids are mostly not able to talk, but they seemed happy and excited.
          Paul’s class was the opening act. The biggest boy was wheeled out and fitted into an orthopedic device that enabled him to stand. It was decorated to look like a pulpit. “Winter Wonderland” played on the sound system and his other students were wheeled into two rows. Then a young man all dressed up in a suit and a girl wearing a white veil were wheeled down the aisle to the pulpit. After the wedding ceremony the kids were pushed in circles and “danced” in celebration.
          The program included lots of music, lots of proud parents and lots of excited kids. It just seemed to be a little more special.
           I watched my son the teacher interact with his kids and help them accomplish something that was very big. This boy of mine is a compassionate, capable, competent teacher in a very special place. He makes me swell with pride.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Wedding

I know that God does indeed answer our prayers. My daughter's beautiful wedding last Saturday is another proof for that truth.

The bride was radiant.

She had found her Prince Charming

They blended their families into a beautiful new family

My entire family is rejoicing.









Monday, November 05, 2012

Election Day


“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” Romans 12:15

Tomorrow will finally be Election Day. I think we all have campaign fatigue and are ready for this to be over. According to the polls the country is divided and the results are far from certain. When we wake up on Wednesday half the country will be rejoicing over the outcome, and half the country will be mourning the results.

My vision for what the future of this country should be is much more closely reflected by the Democratic Party platform. I will again be voting for President Obama and the Democrats. Many of my friends and family disagree and think the other side will be better for the country. I love and respect the opinions of these folks, but I just can’t share their political views. If my team loses tomorrow I will be sad and concerned about the future. I will then have to hope that my more conservative friends will be correct in their judgment.

Whatever tomorrow’s outcome may be, I am praying that we will all be gentle with another.

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Friends


           
 We met Dot and Mark forty years ago. They were a young couple expecting their first baby. We were the parents of four young children. We became friends and our lives intertwined. My children became babysitters for their children. Their children became babysitters for my grandchildren. We shared our holidays. We shared our joys and we shared our sorrows. We became part of one another.

            Dot and Mark sold their house this week. They are retiring and moving to North Carolina where their youngest daughter lives. They will no longer live around the corner. They are leaving a hole in my world. I will miss them.

            Go with God my friends. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mom



Today is my mom's 107th birthday. Theses are the words I spoke at her memorial service nnine years ago. I still miss here every day.

MOM

            One of my earliest memories is standing in my crib and listening to the mourning doves outside my window. They sounded so sad. Mom told me my first sentence was during that moment when I said, "They're crying for their mommy." I knew from my infancy that the safest place to be when life was sad or painful was in my mother's arms. It was always warm and secure there. I remember many nights snuggling in her lap while she rocked me and sent all my fears away.
            I still long for the safety of her lap when life is scary and painful.
            We all must grow up and leave that safe spot, and we all did. But mom had prepared us well for life. She gave us the tools we would need to survive. We just had to follow her example of faith, love, and laughter.
            Mom's faith in God and confidence in his love were unshakable. She knew that a loving God would always be there for her. There was a purity and assurance in that faith that always guided her. Her faith was a solid rock, a safe harbor, as warm and secure as her lap was for her babies.  The last time mom spoke to me was just a year ago. She could no longer carry on a conversation, but for a moment she was there with me. We sang, "Jesus Loves Me." At the end of the song she said, "That's right, honey, He still does."
            Mom loved everybody. She loved her husband. She loved her children. She loved her grandchildren. She loved her friends.
            Oh how she loved our dad. From the moment she met him on a blind date and sat in the rumble seat of the car with him, he was her man. She devoted her life to making him happy, and she succeeded. Their love for one another was a constant thing. They demonstrated true love and marriage everyday.
            She loved my brothers and me with a fierce, protective love that knew no limits.
We all know that Dad loved me best, but mom loved us all. My brothers were the joy of her life. She was always so proud of them. I can't remember how many times we walked down the railroad tracks to watch the boys play football. She didn't want to miss a game. She thought we were all geniuses and felt sorry for everyone else because her children were perfect. We were frequently a trial to her. I clearly remember the time I stole some ice cream from the Beverly Market. I must have been about five. She was very angry with me and tied me to the clothesline with the dog's leash as a punishment. That probably would be an unacceptable punishment in today's' world, but it was very effective.
            Then came the grandchildren. They were each perfect - intelligent, beautiful, and far above average. They could do no wrong. What joy they brought to her and dad!
            Mom was blessed with a multitude of friends because she was such a good friend. And she was so funny and so much fun! Who but my mom would put on two bras, one forward and one reversed, and wear it in a fashion show as a double-breasted suit? What other 85-year-old lady put on a sweat suit and slam-dunked shots for the church basketball team? She never did take herself too seriously. Life was just too much fun.
            I can only imagine what mom is doing now. I like to think she has settled into heaven and is talking with dad and all the others who are there. She once told me that one of the things she hoped to find in heaven was banana trees. She wanted to fly from banana tree to banana tree eating all she wanted. What I do know is that this world is better because Byrtle Burrow lived here and I miss her.