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Archive for September, 2010

No Goodbye’s



The body may journey

sunset over an ocean

no need to say goodbye

The soul may fly

But we won’t say goodbye

The heart may break

The tears will cry

But we won’t say goodbye

The mind may wonder

No answer why

The spirit may understand

And still draw nigh

But through it all, I know that we

Will never say goodbye

Like sunsets, each more lovely than the last

Like love that enters the heart and does not fade

Like dreams that source from memories long past

Like a dawn that breaks after an April rain

Souls will meet again

Hearts shine from within

Tears behind a smile

Deepening all the while

The spirit growing through the trial

There’s no need to say goodbye

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Of Forests and Future

A misty forest path

Life is beautiful—the way it changes each day, the expectancy of the unknown.

Change brings many things; change is a foundational element of life. Why, then, do we tend to fear it when it comes upon us unexpectedly?

We know that joy is ahead, for joy is always a part of life; but with it is the realization that we must also face sorrow. There will be the fulfillment of hopes; there will also be disappointments. Life is such.

Peering into the future is like walking into a forest—beautiful, misty, sometimes lonely, sometimes almost foreboding—always unknown. There is beauty. There are sights and sound: new, exciting, frightening at times. But who doesn’t love the forest?—the wonder, the magic, the prospect of adventure and discovery.

As a child, I loved camping in the forest. I pictured myself passing through some kind of vortex and being magically drawn into medieval times, a world of castles and princesses, fairies and dragons, rescues and adventures, magic and wonder. If nothing else, I imagined discovering treasure hidden hundreds of years before. Of course, it never happened; I am still here, rather than seeking enchantments to battle evil sorcerers. But the wonder and magic that I felt as a child whenever I was in the woods; this has never ceased.

Being an adult now, I have had to let go of some of those dreams and imaginations. It’s amazing how quickly we sometimes let go of our childhood wonder, without even realizing it. Facing changes ahead in my own life (an unexpected move halfway across the world), excitement and joy have not necessarily been the main emotions in my heart. In actually assessing my outlook, I realize that I have been almost dreading some aspects of the change I am soon to experience. What happened to the wonder, the magic, the delight?

I asked my son (four years old) what he is most looking forward to about our upcoming move. After a short hesitation, he said just what I expected him to say: “I don’t know.”

Then I asked, “Are you excited?”

“Yes!” (Big smile included, of course)

“Are you happy?”

“Yes!”

“Are you inspired?”

“Yes!”

My son seemed to understand and grasp these things better than I did: the underlying concept of the change. Change, to him, equaled excitement, inspiration, new experiences, and resultant happiness. Why shouldn’t it mean the same to me?

Just as my children hold my hand and knows they will be safe, I am holding the hand of the One who holds both me and the future safe within His loving hands. I think I’m going to let go of the worry, of the “what-if’s”, of any trepidation and fear. I’m going to adopt my son’s joy and expectancy. Who knows? We might come across a fairy or two, or an old enchanted castle. If nothing else, the delight and wonder in our hearts will carry us through the change, to the growth, beauty and fulfillment that is ahead.

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Dear Jessica,

It has been six years since I became a mother. It’s been six years since you were born—six amazing years! At first I was not sure just how I would do at being a mommy; even now I am not always sure I am doing that well, but the love I receive from you and your little brothers, and seeing you grow and learn new things every day—this assures me that although I’m sure not perfect, I am blessed and so happy to be your mother.

Jessica, four months

Today I just wanted to thank God for allowing you to be my daughter; thank you for choosing to be a part of our family. From the day that you were born, and I wondered at the perfection of a newborn baby, it has been a journey of love, a journey that we have taken together.

Some moments stand out as highlights of the journey: seeing you smile in your sleep as a baby, and just waiting for the moment you would first be able to say “mama”. Seeing your excitement at receiving your first Christmas present—a white teddy bear with red heart paws; we called him happy bear because he always made you smile. Watching you on your first birthday, unsure what all the attention was about—yet eagerly digging into the “rose” cupcakes I made—in honor of your middle name. Traveling with you on an overnight bus: surprised to see you looking out the big windows, smiling and waving to people in the cars beside us. Hearing you master your first words, and invent a few of your own—words that have become a part of our family’s vocabulary. Celebrating the day that you completed your first reader, and decided you wanted to be called “Jessica Books” because you like books so much.

More recently, I have been astounded by your maturity and a sweetness that has developed in your nature. Like the evening recently when we had all been invited to a birthday party; I told you that I would stay home with Aiden because he had a fever. Right away you told me that you would stay too, in case I needed help with Aiden. I knew you wanted to go, and assured you that I would be fine. You went with Daddy and Allen, and as soon as you returned, you ran to the room with the snack you brought from the party—so I wouldn’t feel left out.

Jessica "Books"

I know it couldn’t have been easy, everything you had to go through with your recent operation, but you were so brave. You asked me why you were born with a “double toe”, and why you couldn’t have been like Allen and Aiden instead. I tried to explain that sometimes we go through things we would not choose to go through, but that through them, we learn to understand others better and the things they face; we then can become stronger. I think you understood, and you didn’t even whimper as they wheeled you to the operating room. Your daddy commented that you did better than he had during his recent operation, and I don’t think he was joking. Even during your recovery, it was a rare moment when you asked when you would be able to run around with Allen again; I admired your patience and strength. You must be happy to be running and playing again now.

Now you are six; sometimes I wish I could suspend time and keep you and your brothers young for longer: these moments when you enjoy cuddles when you first wake up, and when you remind me and daddy if we ever forget to pray with you before bedtime; these moments when life itself is a wonder and the moments pass too slowly for you, and too quickly for us.

Happy Birthday, Jessica. I thank God each day for blessing my life with you. I pray that I will be able to show you every day of your life just how much I love you.

From Mommy.

The Birthday Girl with Daddy and Allen

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