Heaven Gets Yet Another

I’m not much of a Facebook person, I must admit. I also admit I’m a bit of a skeptic of what many people post. And, yes, the shock factor some set out to achieve does, indeed, shock me into another state of mind at times. And the amount of information many share, information that the world could certainly do without, never ceases to amaze me.

And yet, like a moth to a flame, I find myself drawn into the web of entertainment.

Tonight was one of those times I felt compelled to check and see what was happening in the Cyberspace zone of Facebook. And I’m still riding the wave of shock as I learned a very dear soul has journeyed to heaven. I had just sent him a message a week ago and since I hadn’t heard back from him, I thought I would call and check in this week. I never got that chance.

Shock, anger, and grief completely consume me tonight as I think of such a wonderful soul losing a senseless battle.

Friends, if someone you love is struggling, I beg you to reach out to them today. Don’t wait. Tomorrow may not come. If you love someone, tell them today, tomorrow, and the day after that. Frequently. Make the last words they hear from you be, “I love you.” If you know someone is hurting or lonely, be sure they know without a doubt that they matter and that they are important to you. Take that extra moment to let them know they aren’t alone.

The heavens gained another good man; another star shines bright in the night sky. And Mike, my friend, you have taught me more than I’ve ever taken the time to let you know.

That’s a heavy cross to bear.

Mike Posey

Here’s to living a life of love and service rather than one filled with regrets.

May peace be yours.

 

T.G.I.F. – Gratitude Friday

Thankful

My top three for the week:

3.)  My faith giving me confidence that my dear friend Guy is home with Jesus after a long, brutal struggle with liver cancer. He’s home and free.

2.)  Amazing friends who make the journey of life so much sweeter.

1.)  Unhurried time and conversation with each of my boys individually, talking about anything and everything, as laughter and hugs abound. I’m so blessed to have my boys! They are so good to their mama. 🙂

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“The most beautiful necklace a mother can wear is not gold or gem, but her child’s arms around her neck.” –Author Unknown

What tops your list for the week?

 

“S” is for…

S.P.E.A.K.

This past Saturday I participated in an event near and dear to my heart.  The Youth Commission in my city hosts a S.P.E.A.K. (Suicide Prevention Education Awareness and Knowledge) week each year and one of the events is a 5K walk, which was Saturday. Having been touched–and devastated–by suicide with a friend several years ago and again with my step-daughter almost nine years ago, the number of people who showed up to band together and walk for this cause made my heart swell with a kinship to others who have had to endure such a traumatic event in their lives.

Suicide leaves  those left behind in its wake with so many questions.  Did I fail?  Was it my fault?  Should I have seen it coming?  Could I have seen it coming?  Could I have done something to stop it?

It also leaves us with so many “What if’s.” What if I would only have answered that one phone call.  What if I would have followed my gut and made that one last follow-up visit to check in.  What if I did/said something that triggered it.  What if s/he had wanted to open up to me and I wasn’t emotionally available.  What if

The fact is that all the questions and the what if’s will not bring someone back. The day I was finally able to release all of those questions to God, the healing was able to truly begin.  And it was important to me to know that healing does not mean forgetting.  To me, healing is the ability to be able to let the guilt go and use the experience to help others.  To bring awareness to a tragedy that brings so many people to their knees.

And it was when I was on my knees with grief that I was able to find God.  Right beside me, holding me up from falling onto my behind.

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Our guardian angel, shining bright.

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Letting those balloons fly high into the sky, each with the name of a loved one written on it, watching until they were no more, was beautiful and symbolic to letting our loved ones fly to the heavens. As the balloons disappeared from sight, we knew they were still there.  Just as our loved ones disappeared from our sight, we know they are still there.  And I found such comfort in that.

Peace.

“K” is for…

Kindness

I read a post yesterday on a blog I follow, In Her Words Avenue, and it reminded me of an incident that happened several years ago that, each time I think of it, reminds me never to underestimate the power of kindness.  Its ripple effect travels endlessly.

When my grandfather was lying in a hospital bed, the angel of death at his door, family members surrounded him as he breathed his last few breaths.  My grandfather was  the pillar, the cornerstone, of our family, and his death left a huge void in each of our hearts.

The deacon’s wife from my grandpa and grandma’s church, such a kind, warm-hearted woman, stayed with our family offering comfort in presence and in kind words. And I will never forget her words.  My grandpa’s name was Vince, and she said ever so gently, “The bus to heaven was coming through town, there was one seat available, and Vince was chosen for that last seat to heaven.”

Wow! Hearing my grandfather was on his way to heaven brought a blanket of peace.  I had not a single doubt that my grandpa would go to heaven, the God-loving, God-honoring man that he was, so it’s not that I needed to hear someone say it, but the validation in this kind woman’s words was music to my soul.

To this day, her words and her kindness  echo through my life when I least expect it.  She made a difference to a grieving family that day and long afterward.

That evening on her way home from the hospital, the deacon’s wife was in a car accident and went Home to her Lord.  The same Lord that so mercifully and lovingly sent her to comfort our family in our time of grief. He knew we needed her.

There wasn’t just one seat left on that bus, but two.  And I can just imagine my grandfather escorting her through the gates of heaven.

Today I’ve been encouraged to re-commit to making it a daily practice to live more intentionally, making it a point to say at least one kind thing to someone every day.

Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”                     -Scott Adams (1957)

Peace.

 

The Journey

The street sign for "I Dream of Jeannie L...

The street sign for “I Dream of Jeannie Lane” in Cocoa Beach, Florida (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I remember when I was younger and our family would embark on a road trip, a car ride that could last five minutes or five hours,  my sisters and I would sing a chorus that consisted of  “Are we there yet?” And “How much longer until we’re there?”   Wherever “there” happened to be.

My patient parents would offer words to pacify us for as long as they were able.  Until one of us started the trio again. Often times it became a solo.  Apparently, my voice felt the need to be heard more frequently, demanding immediate arrival.

In fact, I had often wished I were Samantha from the TV Show Bewitched, so I could wriggle my pointed little nose and POOF!   We would instantly arrive.  Or Barbara Eden in I Dream of Jeannie.  All it would take would be to cross my arms in front of me, close my eyes, nod my head, and the magic of time travel would have happened in the blink of an eye.

Instead, I irritated my sisters to no end belting out the same few words to a single song over and over  and over.  I remember especially liking the song “Delta Dawn,” much to my sisters’ dismay. Or “This Little Light of Mine.”  They didn’t seem to mind that one as much so it usually wasn’t as much fun.

Yes, I realize I’m dating myself, revealing that somewhere along that journey I wished away my youth into someone somewhat…older.  Though I prefer to call it seasoned rather than older.

The point being, things haven’t changed a whole lot. Except the age factor.  But I won’t get caught up in such minor details.

I still find myself impatiently waiting for the red light to turn green.

For the following week to finally arrive landing me a day off from work.

When that day off finally arrives, I watch the clock for a certain time of the day that a certain fun event is scheduled to happen.

Or eagerly waiting for winter to turn into the rebirth of spring, then into the warm lazy days of summer that turn out to be not very lazy at all.  In fact, before I know it I’m falling into the trees turned yellow, red, and the beauty that is my favorite season of all.

And it’s there I wish I could linger a little longer.  Have a little more time to walk, breathing in the smells of the fall air, listening to the leaves crunch beneath my shoes, coming in from a cool, brisk afternoon of outdoor fun to be greeted by the warm, comforting aroma of a roast in the crockpot wafting toward me as I open the door.

Autumn

Autumn (Photo credit: blmiers2)

And then its the excitement of the first snow.  And  the cycle begins its…cycle.

As I become more seasoned in life, I’m learning instead of waiting for time to fly by at a red light, I can take advantage of that rare moment when time stands still.  When I don’t have anything demanding my immediate attention, and listen to an audio book.  Or offer up a prayer for a friend in need.  Or a prayer of thanksgiving for all of the good things I have that don’t get the attention they deserve when I’m so busy.

I’m learning, heaven forbid,  that I can actually sit in silence.  Paying attention to each slow, easy breath.  Enjoying the bird that flies right in front of my window, free.

I’m beginning to learn that I enjoy sitting still.  And silence.  And sitting still in silence.

I’m becoming aware of all of the opportunities I have in which to pay God the reverence due.

Trusting that I am exactly where God wants me to be at that exact moment in time.

In the dead cold of winter, I’m learning to focus on the purity of the white snow, appreciating the warmth of the sun on my face, or the way the sun makes the snow sparkle crystals, looking like a layer of diamonds strewn across the backyard.

I’m learning that I’ve never truly arrived at the destination, because the destination I set keeps changing.

Rather, it’s about the journey.

As I get…seasoned…in life, I become aware of my surroundings exactly where I am, doing exactly what I’m doing, and appreciate that I am there.  At that exact moment.  With an opportunity to experience that exact moment in life.

To practice perseverance through an ongoing trial.

I’m learning that it’s in the journey that we truly live, experiencing the flair and tasting the flavor of life.

It’s in the journey that memories are made, obstacles overcome, lessons learned.

Heaven

Heaven (Photo credit: adyyflickr)

And it’s in the journey that I learn to truly enjoy the living.  The living that prepares me for my ultimate destination.

The only destination I need ever to strive for. Home with God.

Peace to You.