Sunday, May 24, 2015



  1. the date on which an event took place in a previous year

How in the world can it possibly be two years since you left us?

Some days ... it seems soooo much longer ...

I still miss you


Saturday, April 4, 2015

He Is Not Here

Sandwiched in the midst of shopping bargains 
and a stop for nourishment at the Habachi Grill 
was a quick stop at the Blue Ridge Hospice Thrift Store
where I finally dropped off the bag that contained Charley's clothing,
what was left of things already given away to family and friends,
what had been sitting in the trunk of my car for weeks ....
Blue Ridge Hospice seemed an appropriate place
considering they were the ones who looked after him 
during his last weeks at home ....

Here it is ... almost two years later 
and I'm still taking baby steps in the healing process of grief ....

The manchild, who helped carry in the bag,
stood by my side in the foyer of the store 
while I shed a few tears at the closing of another door ....
and then we walked back out into the sunshine
embracing Spring and Eternal Hope

Tomorrow we continue our celebration
of the Resurrection and the Life ....
He is Risen Indeed


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Embracing the New

A lot has happened in the three months since my last post.

I applied for substitute teaching and found myself looking forward to days spent with students who have special needs. Those are the classes where an aide is more likely to be called in to sub. I'm not ready to be the one in charge, so I tend to decline the teacher subbing positions except for the special need classes because the aides step up and take charge, so I'm still "aiding" more than leading the parade.

I started out at the high school and then some elementary school assignments became available. Just before Christmas break I was able to finally visit the middle school. All three schools have awesome special ed teachers and aides working with these special students. There are several students who have captured my heart as I find myself learning wonderful life lessons from them. I've really enjoyed spending time with people who appreciate my help. Several staff have added my name to their call list for future assignments, so I think they've enjoyed me, too.

I spent so much time helping Charley during his last year on earth that when he left us I felt kind of lost .... so it really soothes my soul to work where I feel needed.

Being a sub is a part time position, so I kept an eye out for something else that I could do along with working at the schools. I've always enjoyed playing with numbers, whether it be putting together a budget, balancing a checkbook or filling in a samurai-sudoku puzzle ... so when I saw an advert for a tax class I thought I would check it out. I've filed our taxes for years, but I would always have a CPA friend do them when I felt it might be too complicated, like when we had rental property or bought a house. I was able to complete the course and pass the test required to prepare taxes. I like the people I'm working with and I hope this tax season goes well for all of us.

I really appreciate all the years that Charley was the bread-winner of our family and his income was sufficient so that I did not need to work outside the home. There are nights that I can barely keep my eyes open as I sit in his recliner and remember him taking a little nap after a long day at the office so that he could stay awake for an evening program. Most of the time he ended up dosing off during the commercials, waiting for my nudge to open his eyes when the show came back on .... I'm familiar with this kind of fatigue, having been a single working mom before .... but it's a satisfying feeling ... especially when you feel like maybe you're making a difference.

And God is able to make every grace overflow to you, 
so that in every way, always having everything you need, 
you may excel in every good work. 
~2 Corinthians 9:8~

Sunday, October 19, 2014

There is a Time ...

I didn't make any plans for Charley's birthday this month.

It wasn't until the day before, when I was preparing the house for a little guest to spend the week with us, that a few ideas started slowly gathering in my mind.  The morning of his birthday some more ideas fell into place and we ended up spending the day in a unique "to our family" kind of way.

First, after our little guest arrived, I went to the store and selected four balloons, one for each of us and we traveled down to the cemetery.

I wasn't sure if our three year old guest would be willing to relinquish his balloon ... and already planned in my heart that that would be okay ... but, when it came time to release our balloons with our birthday wishes, one by one they all took flight ... as we stood watching them soar higher and higher into the sky I couldn't help but smile and think that Charley would be smiling, too.

Then we traveled over to the Green Valley Book Fair where I picked up a few gifts, one for our little guest and a few others for some loved ones with birthdays coming up.

Because I couldn't find one particular item I was commissioned to look for we made a quick stop at the Farmer's Market where I found it straight away.

Next stop was The Wood Grill, where we all stuffed ourselves and made sure to have a bowl of ice cream in Charley's honor.

Then we crossed over to Costco where we purchased a few more gifts ... after all, that's what birthdays are for ... spending time with family, good food, ice cream and gifts.

Happy birthday, Charley!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

My Helmet Shielding My Head

I said to Adonai, “You are my God; listen, Adonai, to my plea for mercy.” 

Adonai, Adonai, my saving strength, my helmet shielding my head in battle, 

Adonai, don’t grant the wicked their wishes; 

make their plot fail, so they won’t grow proud. 

~Psalm 140:6-8~


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Inching Forward

A year of "firsts" have come and gone ... anniversaries ... the kind that you don't want to celebrate ... because they're all reminders that someone special is missing .... 

first Father's Day, 

first summer break, 

first family reunion, 


holidays ...

and the one day you will always look at with a twinge of sorrow ... 

the first anniversary of when you said goodbye.

My emotions are still all over the place ... up ... down ... sideways.  Like yesterday, while I was pulling together stuff from the garden to make for dinner, random tears suddenly started flowing and I had to stop and catch my breath ... treasured memories just want to spill out when you least expect them.

It's a strange road to travel ... but I've managed to fool everyone into thinking I'm doing just fine ... well, not everyone ... there are the chosen few who see beyond the platitudes ... the ones who have an occasional glimpse of the loneliness and confusion .... but they don't push me to "move on" and even allow me to drag my feet a little in the healing process.

God is so gracious to me.

Still ... it seems like I'm making progress ... my smile isn't so forced ... and it's finally showing up now and then when I'm all alone.  

I guess you can say I'm inching forward .....

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Give Us This Day

A little over two years ago I was compelled to start sharing a daily verse on Facebook. Another year passed and I was compelled to find a picture to go with the verse. I never know where the Lord is going to lead me when I open His Word ... this was the picture and verse for today ... which seemed very appropriate for the eve of Charley's passing ....

My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead. Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 3:10-12~

I am still struggling with a LOT of emotions and still find myself crying at the most inopportune moments  .... some days I really don't know what in the world I'm doing here .... but I'm trying .... "trying" being the key word .... trying to stay in His will and not rush into anything or do anything stupid .... trying to let Him lead me and guide me in every area of my life .... thankfully the Lord has been faithfully feeding me His "daily bread" every single morning, so that I can get through each day in a way that honors Him.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Hope Will Pull You Out

Promise once it shut you out
You ask, "What was that all about now?"
You and I, through rise and fall
We've seen the horizon through it all now
Close your eyes this time
'Cause trust is all we have tonight
But trust will be forever
Safe your dreams will be
'Cause trust will be the light tonight
So close your eyes this time
The trust will be your light tonight
So close your eyes this time
The house sits stale, it lets you roam
Inside it just don't feel like home now
I promise hope will pull you out
For that's what love is all about
Close your eyes this time
'Cause trust is all we have tonight
But trust will be forever
Safe your dreams will be
'Cause trust will be the light tonight
So close your eyes this time
The trust will be your light tonight
So close your eyes
And time will turn this place around
For a man you call Jesus was still a son like you
Sons will spend their days searching hard
For the things they are made of
They are made of
So close your eyes this time
And trust will be the light tonight
So close your eyes this time
And trust will be the light tonight
So close your eyes

To Listen To This Song Go Here ----------------->   Close Your Eyes

Friday, February 14, 2014

Just because ...

I really don't need a special day 
to remember you ... 
but just for the record ... 
you will always be my Valentine 
and I will love you forever, Charley.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Two Precious Souls

We were devastated to hear
that during a routine ultrasound check up
they discovered no heartbeat for both twins.

Even though we know that these two precious souls
 are now resting in the glorious arms of our Lord
we still grieve the loss of watching them grow up.

It comforts me to imagine that Charley,
along with many of their other Grandparents,
and family members, will be hovering nearby
waiting for a turn to snuggle
these two new inhabitants of eternal joy.

I imagine that eventually their Aunt
and a whole host of other little ones
will gladly give them a tour
of their new home.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Charley's Insight

A little over two years ago, just before Thanksgiving, an ear infection suddenly turned into a life threatening episode with meningitis for Charley.  It still amazes me how quickly we found ourselves transported from the comfort of our living room to the sterile environment of the Critical Care unit.  As I hovered nearby, watching Charley wake up to awareness of who we were and slowly accept what had happened to him, I could not help but wonder what might have been ....  We have always been a family that understood the importance of hugging someone and telling them that you love them, just in case ... this took on an even greater significance after Charley's near brush with eternity.

When Charley was transferred out of Critical Care and into a regular room to fully recover from his ordeal the first thing he wanted was a Bible.  I could not put my finger on it, at the time, but I did notice that there was a greater sense of urgency and need behind his wanting to read the scriptures.  I admit that I was a little baffled to see him break down and weep when he got to John 3:16 ... such a familiar verse in our lives and yet this time it was read with great emotion.  After he had fully recovered and returned to work again, he eventually told me that he had seen some things while he was hovering between our world and the eternal ... mostly peaceful things, but some, which he would not go into detail, were unsettling.  He mentioned, briefly, seeing the faces of demons ... and other things ... which only confirmed how near death he had been.

Charley's awareness of what could have been ... then ... helped him to face what was happening earlier this year, when he realized that the surgery to remove the tumor from his spine was not as successful as we had hoped.  He had already been given a glimpse of the eternal, so he could face it with peace ... he knew what to expect and he knew where he was going.  After seeing everyone near and dear to him, and expressing his love for them that weekend, he suddenly blurted out, "Well, I think it's time to go."

If I ever had even the tiniest doubt about eternity, they were all quickly dispelled in those moments of watching him peacefully prepare to meet his Maker.  To this day I still wonder over what he saw, as he reached for the ceiling ... and though I could not make out what he was saying, there was no doubt that it was something marvelous to behold, as he spoke nonstop towards the end, with great excitement in his voice.

This insight into eternity was something that Charley wanted everyone he loved and knew to share.  Charley prayed every single day for the salvation of every single person he encountered in life.  I can still hear his voice echoing in my mind as he prayed for all of his nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters and friends ... and he always ended his prayers thanking God for the gift of salvation and the love of Jesus Christ.

This Christmas, I hope that you, dear reader, have received this gift of salvation ... for indeed, God ... so loved ... the world ... that He gave ... His Son ... so that you, too ... might face death and eternity with peace.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Share the Comfort

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. ~2 Corinthians 1:3-7~

This passage has become a familiar activity throughout the many trials in my life, taking comfort and sharing in comfort.  Such a simple word ... comfort ... but so full of depth and meaning ... for in receiving comfort I take into my life, my soul, if you will ... love ... hope ... peace ... and then I have the privilege of sharing in comforting others.

Yet He knows the way I have taken; 
when He has tested me, 
I will emerge as pure gold. ~Job 23:10~