24 August 2009

Come September

I've been busy gearing up for starting lessons with the kids come September. When I stop to think about this task that I've undertaken, I'm rather overwhelmed. OK, scared to death may be closer to the truth. I know that I'm up to the challenge, I just have to convince myself of that fact!

Mom made it all look so easy. She made being an amazing mother look as natural and effortless as breathing. I have a tremendous example to follow, but by the same token, it means that I have some very large footsteps to follow in! Dare I hope that someday my Munchkin will be saying that I made it look easy? Parents have heavy responsibilities, but the struggles are more than offset by the great joys.

I'm thankful to have help and advice from some really wonderful moms and teachers. Still, there are so many things that I'd thought to ask Mom. I feel a little more lost without her a phone call away. I guess this year will be a learning experience, for both the kids and me! As frightening as this all seems at times, it's a wonderful adventure that I face with anticipation, and a LOT of prayer!

(PS – Points for anyone who can tell me who starred in the movie with the same title as this blog post!)

20 August 2009

Ocean of Tears

I miss her today. I miss her so much. I can't say why today in particular.

Perhaps grieving is like the ocean. The tide goes out and you walk the sand by the edge of the water. Suddenly, the tide comes in and the waves overtake the shore again. It can take you by surprise the first time you visit a beach. Perhaps our grief is like that. Some of it almost seems to fade a bit and we walk on, unsuspecting. Then the wave of grief swallows us up again, just like the tide reclaiming the sand.

Maine has her share of sandy beaches, but much of her coastline is quite rocky. Watching the waves crash against the rocks, constantly assaulting them is quite the sight to behold. Perhaps the beach analogy is not entirely accurate for where I am today. I feel more like the rocks. I've stood against the battering waves of the ocean for so long, but they are beginning to wear me down. The unending attack of the salt water eventually has an effect. I've cried what seems like an ocean of tears over these past months, more tears than I've ever cried over any single event in my life. The sorrow threatens to overcome me.

But I think of what the ocean does to fragments of glass. Smoothing out all of the sharp edges, softening and shaping it, into something remarkable and beautiful. Have you ever held a piece of beach glass? There is just something about it that fills you with a sense of wonder. Perhaps I am a piece of glass.

Maybe the relentless waves of sorrow and raw grief are serving to polish and mold me into something better. I'm finding this to be a long and terribly painful process. One that I could never endure by relying on my own strength. I could never survive it without His strength to hold me firm.

For today anyway, rather than requesting grace for the day, I'll pray to God to give me grace for the moment.

16 August 2009

Bright Orange Crocs

When Munchkin was just a little toddler, Mom started wearing Crocs. They are those plastic foam shoes that have holes and come in bright colors. Not the most attractive footwear, but even I have to admit that they are comfortable! Mom discovered that they had introduced kids sizes. Well of course that meant that her little granddaughter just had to have a pair of her own. The only pair she could find in Munchkin's size was bright orange. I have photographs that I took of Mom and Munchkin on the lawn between the two houses, walking hand in hand, wearing those bright orange Crocs. It's a sweet picture, and a wonderful memory.

Those same shoes were worn by Mr. Q, and this summer by Camo. I was walking with my youngest little boy on the very same lawn last night. There we were, hand in hand, and he was wearing those bright orange Crocs that Grammy had found a few years ago. It seemed to me like an echo of that photograph, and reminded me of that day.

It continues to surprise me the little things that can trigger a memory. Remembering is such a bittersweet thing. The memories are sweet, and I am so thankful for that! At the same time, the realization of what we've lost is a bitter thing to swallow. Perhaps it is the worst when I think of Camo. He will likely never remember anything of the Grandmother who loved him so dearly. He won't remember, but I'll tell him just the same.

I think that life in general is bittersweet. We can't have one without the other. Consequences of a fallen world I suppose. Even so, as bitter as life is sometimes, there is still hope. Always hope. My hope lies not in myself, nor in anything on Earth. My hope is eternal, because my hope is in Him.

02 August 2009


I feel like a kid again. I had two birthday parties (and two cakes!) this year. The second was last night at the home of friends that have known me for so long that they qualify as family. They all got together with Aaron and Joyce and managed to find me a spinning wheel! I cannot tell you what a surprise that was! I've spent last night and all of this morning researching antique spinning wheels online and looking for books to help me get started spinning!

My wheel is the precursor to what the modern wheels today are. It's called a walking wheel. Walking wheels have a larger wheel, and you spin while standing. They are also a much simpler, very elegant design, and in my opinion, more beautiful than their modern day descendants! Of course, I've got a bit of a soft spot for anything historical, and my wheel was made in New Hampshire in the 1800's. It's steeped in history! Wouldn't you just love to get a peek at the stories it could tell us? I've found a few videos on the internet of people spinning with their walking wheels, and now I'm just ITCHING to get started myself!

I've also decided that I can count it as exercise. When spinning on a walking wheel you take a couple of steps back and forth as you spin, hence the name "walking" wheel. So, the next time that the doctor asks me if I exercise, I'll say, "Why yes, I spin every day!" Hmmmm, if I'm going to spin that much, I may need to look into buying a couple of sheep…

You know, I may have lost Mom, but I'm still richly blessed with friends who love me as if I was part of their family. And that's the real treasure.