Monthly Archives: January 2009

  The faces of my kids —

Kids Jesse and Christina

Kids Deborah

Kids Raph and Gina

Kids Lem and Jessica

Kids Rachel


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Okay, time for some lighter fare:

What would you do with an oversized teacup
that your daddy gave you for Christmas???

Christmas 178


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Sponge of Grief

I’ve started once again to write a post,
and find my fingers and my heart caught in a vise.
I think of friends I love who are suffering so much
In ways that I cannot begin to comprehend,
And I am so ashamed of myself.
I almost think I shouldn’t write,
And yet . . .

My cousin Ken calls it “The Sponge of Sorrow”
And I find the word picture so fascinating.
Something in my heart,
Soaking it up and soaking it up
Until it can hold no more.
And if I hold really, really still,
And if no one touches me,
I can hold even more.
But if something jiggles my heart,
Or someone hugs me unexpectedly,
The sorrow pours out, running down my cheeks,
Flooding them and me.
And they don’t always understand.
And they don’t always want to get wet.
And sometimes their own sponge is so full
That they can’t hold any more, either.

My Beloved Daddy’s Twin
Is suffering the ravages of an enemy named Lou.
Lou Gehrig, that is.
Every day it seems that one more thing
Falls before Lou’s relentless, ruthless onslaught.
Mobility, agility, independence, writing, reading, dignity.
But he still smiles and encourages his family.
He still laughs.
There are pictures to prove it.
Does he cry?
There are no pictures of that.
My heart breaks to think he might.

His family has rallied around.
They are wonderful people,
My beautiful Auntie, My steady, courageous cousins.
Their lovely, supportive families.
And they are doing everything right.

But everything is so wrong.

I do not  have the words to say
How much I HATE IT.

I feel so selfish.
I feel numb and slow and introspective and sad.
I feel like I’m grieving for my father all over again,
And I miss him more acutely than I ever have
in these last three years.
He would know what to say.
He would know what to do.
He couldn’t FIX this,
But he could help me wrap my faith around it.
He would suffer with us, but he would be strong.
And even though I know he would weep for his brother,
He would not let his grief make him stupid —
(Which is how I feel–)
And he would comfort us.

I’ve seen it happen often,
Where grief made it impossible
To look at life through the eyes of faith.
I don’t want that to happen to my heart.
And maybe this post is part of how I deal with it.
I know that people care.
I know that people pray.
And I believe that God’s grace was meant for times like this.

And I am thankful that
God isn’t afraid of The Sponge of Sorrow.
He holds me fiercely.
He always understands.
And He isn’t afraid of getting wet.



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My Sweet Mama is 80 years old today!

She took me aside and fiercely admonished me that she DOES NOT WANT ANY FUSS!!!

“NOW LISTEN TO ME, MARY ANN,” She said with THE LOOK, “I MEAN IT!  YOU HAVE TO PROMISE ME!!!”  (etc., etc., etc, , , )

I remember a day when I was a little girl and my daddy (Who loved nothing better than a big, noisy gathering) called a neighbor (who was also a good friend) and got her to invite all the neighbors in for a birthday party for Mama.  We kids were terribly excited, and one of us let it slip.  She was terrified.  She flew to the phone and called Mrs. Pittman (Dad’s cohort in crime) who was clearly in a pickle.  “Only Dot and I are coming,” she lied.  Poor Mama, whether it was two or 15, it unnerved her.  She flew into a frenzy of cleaning and getting ready and in the evening, there were a whole bunch of neighbors there.  Perhaps I get my love of a crowd, the more diverse, the better, from my Daddy.   I remember him that night.  He had gotten together some games (of all things!)  One was to divide the whole group in half, and hold a blanket between the two groups.  A person from each group would stand directly on either side of the blanket, and when it was dropped, the first one to call the name of the other person got a point for their side.  I remember old Arley Taylor (the one with the double thumbs on each hand) laughing so hard he almost split himself, and my Daddy’s eyes–Oh, my Daddy’s eyes!  They were happy and alive and shining.  He loved every minute of it.

He loved my Sweet Mama so much, and I sometimes wonder how he didn’t know that parties like that were more for him than for her.  But it made great memories for the children, if nothing else.  Our Mama could cook up a storm, and have all sorts of company, but if the attention was focused on her, she was just plain uncomfortable.

So, we aren’t planning a party.  We aren’t planning a card shower.  But you could go over to her site: 
(Click on link below

EDIT:  If this link doesn’t work, try typing it into your browser and it should go that way.  It works for me — and I can’t figure out why it doesn’t for some of you.  It won’t work when I click from the comment page, but it goes straight there when I click from here.  Anyhow, you can always click on her address there on the left under my subscriptions, too.

and wish her a happy birthday.

I surely do love you, Mama.  You were the best Mama any of us could have ever asked for.  We didn’t know how good we had it, but I think it has sunk in just a little bit.  I’m thankful, once again, that God spared your life that terrible year when things looked so dark.  Happy Birthday!  And many more!


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