October 31, 2015

Hello again Doodleheads! As most of you probably know, my family is not having the happiest year. The news right at the beginning of the year about my little granddaughter’s Down Syndrome was difficult to process at first, but it didn’t take long to see her as the sweet gift of joy from the Lord that she is. Then March came. In twenty short days my sister was diagnosed with stage four cancer and passed away. I wrote about that in the March Doodle. Now seven months later, her husband is at the very threshold of heaven. And our twelve-year-old bloodhound, Eujane, has suddenly developed painful arthritic hips. She doesn’t want to get up even for food, although she will eat if we take it to her.

I’m trying not to dwell on these sad events even as we await news that it’s time to travel back to Kansas City for another funeral. Sooooooooo, for this month’s offering to the slowly growing Doodle archives, I want to think on “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, anything that is excellent or praiseworthy,” just as Paul encouraged the church at Philippi to do in Philippians 4:8. There’s certainly nothing wrong with crying and feeling sad when loved ones move on from this earthly sphere of life. That’s natural and even holy before God, who gave us our families and friends to love. But pitching a tent and dwelling in the sorrow doesn’t change the reality and it definitely doesn’t point others to the hope we have in Christ. I give you, therefore, my happy thoughts:

A couple of weeks ago I thought our autumn color was going to be drab this year. Then all of a sudden, Kablooie! Gorgeousness popped out all over!

My daughters are all healthy, living on their own, paying their own bills, and completely and awesomely lovely! I still marvel at that, knowing how weird and clueless their mother was while raising them. Their dad (who cringes at the thought of being mentioned in anything I write, for some silly man reason) was fairly weird and clueless also. But hey! God brought them out to the other side of growing up with us! And my husband and I are slowly acclimating to this empty nest thing.

The Royals are in the World Series for the second year in a row after a very long drought of baseball goodness! Since this is the one and only team in the one and only sport I care about, I’m enjoying acting like a half-crazed rabid fan, like most everyone in this neck of the woods acts during Kentucky basketball season.

I have lots of books in my closet just waiting to be read.

I was blessed to have Barbara and Vernon in my life for 58 years, longer than anyone else on this planet so far. They impacted my life immeasurably for the good.

I have many special friends and family all over the country that encourage and uphold me in prayer, as well as make me laugh like a Disney hyena. If you’re reading this, please look in the mirror for the visual.

To end this month’s ponderings, here’s a poem I wrote not long after Barbara’s death. It sums up my swirling feelings on this year so far. It’s a pantoum, in case anyone wonders.

>#Breath of Life

> A newborn’s breath so faint and sweet,
>I felt it touch my shoulder, here.
>The hope, the joy, of life complete
>Upon this stage, so far and near.

>I felt it touch my shoulder, here.
>The burden of a sister’s flight
>Upon this stage, so far and near,
>Into the shadows, then the light.

>The burden of a sister’s flight,
>So swift it took my breath away,
>Into the shadows, then the light.
>She left me with no strength to pray.

>So swift it took my breath away,
>She left me empty-handed, drained.
>She left me with no strength to pray.
>An overwhelming silence reigned.

>She left me empty-handed, drained.
>But in my heart I hear her song,
>Where overwhelming silence reigned,
>Renewed within me, pure and strong,

>Yes, in my heart I hear her song,
>The hope, the joy, of life complete,
>Renewed within me, pure and strong
>By newborn’s breath so faint and sweet.