Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Since You Left...

Dear Mom,

Since you left not much has happened, but really, a lot has happened. I guess my initial thought is that nothing happened because life came to a screaming halt the day you died. But although that seemed to happen at the time, and I didn't want to go on without my momma', somehow the sun came up the next morning and life continued.

 It surely doesn't seem like four years since you asked for that last cup of tea in the back bedroom at our house. "Hurry," you told Rosemary as she held that cup to your lips. Being the dear British soul right to the end, you knew your last sip of earthly refreshment had to be a cup of tea. Good for you. It makes us all smile when we think and talk about that sad and glorious day. We consider the day sad, because we had to release you. But we released you all together into the arms of Jesus and now we know you are pain free, oxygen free, wheelchair free and That's the glorious part.

 Did you notice how Dad visited your grave every Wednesday for two and a half years? He sure does miss you - how could he not after being in your life for 55 years? But we are trying hard to keep him happy, safe and comfortable. "Look after your Dad,"  you told us. We're trying. He's liking it here in Drayton in his little house. He has lots of friends. You would be proud of how he gets out to socialize at least two times a week now! He heads up to The Crest for coffee every Tuesday and Thursday like clockwork on his scooter. Once in a while they have an evening dinner there and they always invite him to come. He packs up his cutlery and plate and usually goes with a smile on his face, although I know he wishes you were by his side on your scooter! We are all glad he is getting out, though. The house gets a little lonely for him somedays.

Amanda, Janice, Ruthie, Janine, Annie, Angie, Jenny all had babies after you left. Can you believe that? Ruthie actually has had two little darlings since you went home and Annie is pregnant with her second right now. Maybe you already knew this, though. Did you get to kiss each little angel before they left heaven? So many great grandbabies for you and Dad. You would have been ecstatic, I am sure. I think Jocelyn looks like you in that one picture. Remember the one of you, Auntie Gwen and Auntie Val swimming in the sea - the one where you are all wearing those bathing suits that Nana knitted for you? Jocelyn has your curls and a bit of your stubborn, beautiful independence!

Rosemary has been such a blessing since she moved close to Drayton and her biggest job was last year when she made a fish pond for Dad. It continues to be both a challenge and a thrill. Rosemary has the challenge and Dad has the thrill! The fish are being most fruitful and know their math very well - especially their times tables, if you know what I mean.
Dad has some in the aquarium (or should we call it the birthing room?) inside the house and the big ones are outside enjoying the heat in the pond these days. I guess Rosemary has created a happy home for the fishy family!

Have you noticed Dad's back yard? Lots of flowers and plants, huh? The new shed was a great acquisition - now the garage won't be so full in the winter. Each winter we bring in that lovely hibiscus tree. Dad likes looking at it every day next to the pond. It's bit of work looking after Dad's garden but well worth it when we see how it makes him happy.

Sue tries to get down to see Dad most Wednesdays but sometimes she doesn't feel so well since that
(Mom - Enid Latham 1926-2007)
stupid lupus took up residence. She bought herself a nice little house in London and works hard looking after her big old German Shepherd babies. Sometimes she takes them to dog shows.

We don't see John a lot, but that probably isn't a big surprise to you - the happy recluse? When I do talk to him I always hear your voice saying "Put the flag out!"  I know he misses you a lot, too and when we do get together and your name comes up then I see him being a little teary.

Eight months after you departed for a better place, Mom, I ended up with ovarian cancer. I think you knew that, though, right? I'm saying that because when I was journeying through some of those valleys, I would sometimes sense that you were nearby. Gosh, I am so glad that that did not happen when I was still looking after you. We would have been in a bit of a mess, wouldn't we? I'm not sure why God allows things to happen like that, but one thing I do know - His timing is perfect! They say I am in remission now but they are keeping an eye on me so they switched me back from six month check-ups to three again. one way...but I am glad in another. They do say early detection is the key, although the new kid on the block - doctor - told me that if my cancer does come back then it means the chemotherapy that I endured for six months didn't work and I would be considered terminal. Methinks those are pretty harsh words. I do wish I had my original oncologist back but he ended up leaving the hospital and going back to France. Oh well. I remember some of the doctors you and I dealt with over the years as you dealt with your many different ailments. We don't always hit it off with everyone, right.
I have to run, Mom. It's getting late and I need my beauty sleep. Gilles, bless his heart, is already sleeping soundly after a hard day's work.  But I did want to say one thing before I go...thanks...thanks for being a wonderful mom and my best friend. Thanks for caring and for quoting those lovely words to us often - "To thine ownself, be true..." (was that from Hamlet?) And most of all thanks for opening the door to Jesus when I was very little and for teaching me how to pray...maybe you did not know that then, but you really did give me words that opened the door to me getting to know my Lord -                                    May four good angels guard my bed,
                                    Two at the foot, two at the head,
 And keep me safe all through the night,
                                  Until I see the morning light,
                                   Thank you God; goodnight. AMEN 

(Thank you, Mom, and may four good angels be guarding your bed now. Good night. Love you - forever) xx

Monday, July 4, 2011

Tyranny of the Urgent

"I just don't have enough hours in a day!"
Thus the familiar, woeful moan echoes in my mind once again. So much to do. So little time.

Sometimes I look at my fellow prolific writer friends or supermoms & (grandmoms) and I wonder how they do it. I try not to, but when I read and hear about their lists of accomplishments, envy rears its ugly head and a pity party commences.Thank goodness, though, God has been keeping a close thumb on me lately and reminds me often how blessed I really am.

The other day as I sat in the cancer clinic again, waiting (what a waste of time) my turn, I tried not to think about all the things I could be doing instead. Then I looked up and noticed the sun shining through the clinic skylights, lighting up the room with a sort of divine brilliance. Then I thought about the Son who lights up my heart. The envy slipped away and I counted blessings instead.

1.  I am upright, breathing and I have hair
2.  I am a wife, a mom, a grandmom and my family loves me and my friends love me - warts and all.
3.  God forgave me [and continues to do so.]
4.  I love to teach.
5.  I love to write.
6.  I get paid to teach and write as a profession and I do it out of my own home so my hours are flexible.
7.  I am at the cancer clinic for a check-up, not chemotherapy.
8.  I got to attend five books signings in May, four in June and there will be one more in July just because I had one little short story published in Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider.
 9.  98 people wished me Happy Birthday on Facebook; 2 wished me a belated one.
10.  Jesus Christ is my Lord and Saviour (How much more blessed can I be?)

Psalm 90:12-17
Oh, teach us to live well Teach us to live wisely and well! Surprise us with love at daybreak; then we´ll skip and dance all the day long. And let the loveliness of our Lord, our God, rest on us, confirming the work that we do. Oh yes, Affirm the work that we do! AMEN