Monday, September 28, 2009

I'll Be Seeing You

He said, "This is the time of weeping, but joy comes in the morning." That was last night. I kissed his forehead and told him that if I didn't get to see him again here, I would see him there. "Yes!" was his reply. That was the most clearly spoken word I had heard him speak all day. I lingered by his bedside, not wanting to leave. I said, "I am going home now Grandpa." His reply, in his usual teasing manner, was, "No, you have to stay with me." He was weak and tired and we could barely make out his words. But his love for us and for his Savior was still evident. I was afraid that last night was the last time I would see him, this side of eternity. It was the last time we spoke to each other. Before I left, I gave him one last kiss and heard him whisper the words, "I love you, dear." Just like always. Jesus came to bring my Grandpa home this morning. We were gathered around him, his wife, his girls, my Dad (as Grandpa put it on Thursday, like his own flesh and blood), a few of his grandchildren. As Grandpa breathed his last, the sun broke through the clouds and came streaming into the window. It's funny how God did that for us. Five minutes later it was raining again. And Grandpa was gone. To be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:8

I'll see you there Grandpa. I love you too.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The March of Time

My brain feels empty. Not that I don't have anything to think about. Cause there is a lot on my mind. I have found myself with more spare time these, having let go of my restaurant hours and working every other Friday at daycare. It is a very good time to have "extra"time, with Grandpa being sick. I love being able to go visit my Grandparents on Thursdays and being able to help my Mom watch "her" girls so she can go visit too. Like today for instance. I am here at my parent's house with the two girls she babysits, so she can go see her own parents. I guess Grandpa had a rough night last night. It's hard to know what to think and how to sort out thoughts about his sickness. We know where this road is going, but the journey there is difficult and trying. Please keep him and Grandma in your prayers. They seem to be taking it all in stride. Grandma is strong and she knows that Jesus is waiting on the other side, so she seems unafraid to say good-bye. Grandpa is reflective, speaking always of God and things of God, and of those who have gone before. Yesterday, he made me smile. He and Grandma got talking about this deli they used to go to together, before they were married. Grandpa was describing this sandwich they would eat. "The ham was sliced so thin... Paper thin. And the cheese was sliced thin. The bread was freshly baked. That was the best ham and cheese sandwich..." And Grandma agrees... I had to smile. Grandpa hasn't been able to enjoy food for a while. Of course he hopes that will change. He had a bowl of peaches in front of him which he was poking along at very slowly. Every once in a while, Grandma would say, "You ARE going to eat that, aren't you?" or "Are you going to eat those?" They are such an example to me; loving each other so much for so long. What an encouragement. What a Godly heritage.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Like Father, Like Son

Josh and I came into the bedroom one night to find Daddy watching a hockey game on TV. Josh immediately squeals, "Hockey!" And climbs up on the bed next to his Dad. The look on his face clearly demonstrates his excitement. I'm not sure what has caused this fancy of Josh's, but it is pretty funny. Daddy's favorite sport is hockey too. I guess Josh is just taking after his Dad! Although Josh is pretty sure that all sports on TV are hockey... Like tonight's football game. Funny little guy...

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Sense of Accomplishment

Today was a day for accomplishing. I accomplished 80% of my laundry. I accomplished writing a blog. (Actually make that two blogs!) I accomplished vacuuming a couch. I even accomplished grouting my garden chairs! Talk about taking forever to finish a task. Hey, at least I finished this project! And it didn't really take all that long. I mean, I started working on them in June. That was only three months ago. I am feeling good about my accomplishment. I'll have to wash the mosaic tiles once or twice more and then they will be beautiful and hopefully seat worthy. How about a nice pat on the back?

A Long Jumble of Goings-On

What a delicious week it has been. The Friday before Labor Day, we held a family meeting to determine what we were going to do to help my Grandparents, since Grandpa was going on hospice care and was told that they needed someone there 24/7. It was decided that we would all take turns, my Mom, Aunts, and the older cousins. This did put me in a bind though, since I was currently holding two jobs, one at the daycare and also working one day a week at the restaurant. I have for a long time contemplated giving up my weekly hours at the restaurant and being solely backup help. So I had to make the decision. I don't like saying good-byes, but telling myself that I could still go to the restaurant anytime I wanted and that once in a while I would be called on to come in to work, really helped ease my mind. I have worked there for almost 4 1/2 years now, so I have made many friends, mostly old wrinkly folks, and you kinda get attached. But this really opens up my schedule to be able to help my Grandparents and visit them more often. It's amazing how one extra day a week can make you feel so much more at ease.

The daycare where I work reopened on Tuesday, after two weeks vacation. The vacation time couldn't have been more timely, with all that conspired during that time. It was good to be back to work, I guess. The school year has started so our "big kids" have all started Kindergarten and it's strangely quite without them. Josh was glad to see "Lange" again and repeatedly asked to go there on Friday, which is the day I happened to have off last week. He, of course, also asked to go to "Bubba's" house. We had been to at least one Grandparents' house a day for a week straight, so he naturally thought we should go visit again. Who could blame him? I love going to Grandma's house too.

Speaking of going to Grandma's house, that is where we went on Thursday. It was my turn to visit... Weird saying it was "my turn", like we were playing a game or something. I was glad to see Grandpa looking so well and it seems that Grandma had an extra burst of energy. I think she has more motivation, now that Grandpa needs her help. Over the course of the day, I watched Grandpa go from perky, to peakish, back to perky. He slept on and off and had a couple of visitors. I set up Josh's port-a-crib at nap time and while he slept I vacuumed the hard-to-reach spots of Grandma's living room. It was nice to feel useful and it seemed to be a good trade from packing chocolates, which is what I had been doing the previous Thursdays. I am glad to have an extra day now to be able to visit them.

On Saturday, I took Josh to the library. We found a couple puzzles to borrow and I set about trying to locate some materials to help me learn Spanish. To learn Spanish is a goal of mine, ever sicne I went to El Salvador. I typically annoy people with me usage of words, especially if they don't understand me. But I am just a beginner and feel the need to practice my newly learned words once in a while. Anyway, back to the library. I have decided that it is not a fun thing to take a almost-two year old to the library by yourself. Especially since that cataloging system, our library has in place is none-so-helpful. I felt like I wasted a whole bunch of time and annoyed the librarians since it is very hard to watch him nonstop when you are trying to find materials. Next time, I will leave him home. Or maybe I just won't go to the library.

After the library trip, we stopped at our local grocery store. It was a rainy Saturday, late morning and the grocery store was packed. We live in a mostly agricultural area and during the fall season, we see many farm workers come and go. Mostly Hispanic or Hatian. And on this rainy day, the grocery store was a popular destination for many of them. Now, I always have my Spanish tracts (left over from El Salvador) in my purse, for these kinds of reasons, but for some reason, I was feeling a bit nervous and only gave out one. (Stupid me, to miss so many opportunities!) But this young Mexican man wanted to know where the church was. (¿De donde es la Iglesia?) And I had nothing to tell him. I don't know where there is a Spanish speaking church in the area or if there is one, for that matter. But it opened my eyes, to an area of ministry that is completely lacking in our area. Here we have a continual influx of people, who don't speak Spanish, who are here only temporarily for work, but there is no place for them to gather to worship our God. And who is telling these folks about Jesus? And so we may be trying to get our church to translate our service into Spanish or at least have a translator available, if thereis a need. It would have been such a blessing to have been able to tell that man exactly where he could come for church, but God could've just used this to open our eyes to a need. (PS, I don't care if they are illegal, they still need Jesus.)

Ok, so rambling on here. If you've made it this far, kudos to you.Oh, and here are some flowers I bought for myself about a week ago. Aren't they lovely? I think I might just get into the habit of buying myself flowers once in a while. I think it's kind of nice.

Monday, September 07, 2009

A Weekend Camping Trip

Over the last weekend in August, we went camping in the Adirondacks. Adam and I had never been camping together before and Josh had never been at all. We were surprised to find out how inexpensive it was to camp and Adam gave me the job of collecting everything we needed. Thankfully my parents had a bunch of camping stuff lying around and we were able to borrow almost everything we needed. We drove up to Old Forge and enjoyed a wonderful time together. It rained on and off, and was very cold at night, but it was sooo fun. Josh really enjoyed himself. He pushed his Tonka truck around our campsite and played in the water dripping from our drippy faucet. We brought Molly along and she loved playing with our neighbors' golden lab. The wildlife was insane... There were deer everywhere in the village. Literally everywhere. Front yards, parking lots, meandering slowly through the road... Totally comfortable with people presence. It was wild. There were bears in the camp. They wandered about at night and if you didn't put everything containing food away in your car, they would finish it off for you. (Like our neighbors' crockpot.) We took Josh canoeing, hiking and mini golfing. He fell asleep during our canoe ride and while we hiked down the mountain. We really had a great time, and although Adam really would like to get a pop-up, I still think there is nothing quite like tent camping. Especially when there is a bear sniffing around outside your tent...

Friday, September 04, 2009

Days of lazy blogging... Or non-existent blogging. And I return with a heavy heart.

Thoughts of him are almost constant. Who is this man, one that I love? Why do so many hold him dear? Why must he go so soon? And who will fill his shoes? He is faithful. He is God-fearing. He is young, but also old. Who will tickle me with their beard? Upon who's knee shall I climb onto, when I get that hankering to draw? Who will always welcome me with a kiss and a hug like he does? Where can I go where I will be so welcome and never be turned away? No one will be able to do those things, quite like this man. He is tall. He is scrawny. He is strong. He is wise. Who will play his banjo for me? And sing to me about fox's, Jesus, Jesse Taylor and trains? Who else could be so excited to hear of my gardening adventures and be so willing to share his own? Who will be my Grandpa, when he is gone? I dread the day when I will have to say good-bye, though it be only temporarily. I know Jesus will welcome him home with open arms and we will be reunited one day. But in the meantime, I will soak up all I can of this man. We may not have many days together, but I will enjoy every minute I can. I will listen with open ears as he recites scripture and to the stories he tells. I will cherish this time. There will be time for tears later. I am grateful that God has given us this opportunity to say good-bye, rather than abruptly taking him from us. I am so grateful. Thank you dear Lord.