Sixty Years Later

Meet my cousin Diane. What a lady!

She is a modern day survivor. None of us would wish for the childhood she had.

Diane’s mom was a troubled soul. Back in the day she suffered mental issues that are now treatable. We owe my aunt much, due to the experimental treatments she endured.

Drama lived in Diane’s childhood home, leaving her bitter memories. My aunt was committed to a mental institution where she lived out her remaining years.

Diane was sent to an orphanage. Upon her return home, she and her father didn’t get along well.

Society didn’t make life easy for a single father. While still a minor, Diane left home. Society didn’t make life easy for a teenager on her own either.

New and Improved

Diane married, striving for the normal family she had never known.

The two of us had lost touch with each other long ago. But through my husband’s Ancestry page, she located me/us.

This summer we had made a return trip to Michigan, taking the opportunity to meet Diane.

Her first words reflected my own feelings, “I’m so nervous!”

We learned for seventeen years we lived forty-five minutes from each other, never knowing it. There is so much to catch up on.

A Mystery

It’s a mystery why life takes us places we never imagined. Maybe we wouldn’t have appreciated our family ties if they were normal. What is normal anyway, but a setting on our washer?

God’s reasons are beyond our way of thinking. Two things I can say with certainty:

The Lord carried Diane through tough times, and she came out fine. And both of us have been blessed with a restored relationship.

Restoration, that’s what He is all about. Okay, so three things.

Father is Watching

In my childhood our family didn’t take vacations, so I was eager to get to Burroughs Farms. It was beachfront park land owned by the company my dad worked for-only Burroughs employees were admitted in. Looking back, I don’t know why I was excited. Mom would secure the ties of my swimsuit so tight around my neck I couldn’t stand up straight. Besides I didn’t know how to swim. Most of the time I was at the waterfront making sand castles.

Burroughs Farms

But there was this slide in the water that all the kids loved. So I gave it try. However, once I got to the top of the ladder, my perspective changed. I was up high and from up there the water looked a lot deeper. So I was reconsidering my decision. But my brother wasn’t far from me. He told the kid behind me, “Go ahead and push her, it’s OK, she’s my sister.”

My arms and legs thrashed the water. Panic-stricken I couldn’t rise to the surface. Fortunately, Dad was watching and came to my rescue. I’m reminded our Heavenly Father also looks after us. Many a time he has saved me from what could have been a dangerous situation.

Moonwalk Memories

Do you recall where you were on the 20th of July, 1969?

Thunder Moon July 2019

If you need some help, that day went down in the history of mankind for the American astronauts landing and walking on the moon. The news stations talked of nothing else it seems.

Turning downhill

My grandmother came over to see it with us. That’s when this momentous day took a turn downhill. We had two televisions, both tuned in, so whichever room we were in, nothing would be missed. Unfortunately, when the landing took place, Mom, Dad, and myself happened to be in one room, leaving Grandma in the other room by herself. It wasn’t deliberate by any means.

But Grandma was offended. Big time. She marched into the room we were in, tossing her words< “If I wanted to watch this alone, I would have stayed home!: With that she stormed out of the house, making a beeline down the path to her home next door.

Needless to say, Dad went scrambling after her. Completely ruining the moment in my eyes. Every once in awhile Grandma showed us her drama queen tendencies.

There Comes a Time

But I guess I shouldn’t be so hard on her. There comes a time when we all need a little companionship. Grandma had lost her husband, seemingly lost her daughter due to mental issues, and considered her son (my dad) gone too. There was another woman (my mom). Even though she lived next door and could keep tabs on him. She was good at that. She was lonely, as though she had no one to live for. That can be an empty feeling. We never know what is going on in another persons life. But we can exercise our patience and mercy muscle-just as God does with each of us.

Am I Contented?

Magnolia bouquet

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve gone shopping. Fun shopping I mean, groceries don’t count. Recently though the time was ripe for some retail therapy. 

My husband and I had the pleasure of a visit from his brother and wife. My sister=in-law is a good shopper. She buys  things. If they should not be quite right, she returns the merchandise. I have a tendency to collect items in my cart, but prior to checking out, I return them to the shelf. It’s economical, but needs don’t always get met that way.

As I said, the time was right. There was a sale going on because management wanted to clear merchandise for new incoming goods. Making a great deal for me. It couldn’t be anymore perfect, right? Only I couldn’t find anything I couldn’t live without.

What’s with that? Any other day I have to exercise self control to keep from buying too much. Could it be I’m content? That’s never happened before. Kind of a new experience, actually.

God is so good to help me remember everything has to have a place to go. We are in downsize mode, so I am okay with what I already have.    

Honoring Dads

 

Oftentimes I have heard that girls marry someone like their dad; likewise boys marry a girl like mom. Sort of I did, I know my husband definitely did. I could go to great lengths telling you of the fun my mother-in-law and I shared, but today I celebrate fatherhood.
Just like Dad.

My husband is a hard-working devoted family man. Just like Dad. The two of them served in the Navy. Both men are thinkers. But that is pretty much where the similarity ends. My marriage partner is a man of few words and a problem solver at heart. He enjoys a challenge and gets aggravated at things that keep him from achieving his goal. Giving up is never an option. He teaches me patience.
This love of my life loves and supports our children. But he’ll redirect their thoughts if he deems it necessary. He desires to always be available for them, which is hard when we all live in different parts of the country. Some decisions are made for us, so we deal with them.
A character.

On the other hand, Dad was a talker. Always thinking up ideas that were mostly wishful thinking. I can still see him tapping his forehead saying, ‘Twenty-four hours a day,’ indicating his mind never stops.  To say he was a character is putting it mildly. I still laugh to recall my dad trying to figure out how the light went out on our regrigerator, nearly shutting the door on his head in the process. Dad was a hard-working man, his first job was delivering newspapers.  Even in his nineties he could give you the names of those on his route that refused to pay him. He readily accepted responsibility in providing for his widowed mother along with his own family. He taught me appreciation.

Grateful

I’m grateful for both of them. My life is what it is because of these two influential men. Oh yeah, God too. He knew exactily the kind of men i needed. Open-minded problem solvers that know how to have fun. I love you guys dearly.

Happy Father’s Day

 

 

My Two Moms

A tribute to my two Moms. One gave me life, the other gave me her son.

Isn’t it interesting how much love grows when we no longer have what we once had? In my youth, I didn’t give my mother the respect and admiration she deserved. My eyes never saw what she had experienced, bringing her into motherhood. I made the mistake of comparing her to my mother-in-law, whom I had seen events that changed her life.  So my lack of facts influenced this immature mind. But I know now Mom, thank you for your loving and humble perseverance as I grew to be a Mom myself.

Oh yes, that lovely promotion to motherhood, that opens our eyes to how much we don’t know after all!

What I witnessed and/or heard about my mother-in-law led me to believe she had a challenging life. In one particular conversation she surprised me  saying she never felt anger at God for the hard places she was in. What a lesson that taught me! Life is what it is. Its how we respond to circumstances that makes all the difference in the world.

That’s why these photos I’m sharing are in their young adult years. Like all of us, they started out in life with hope in an unknown future. What took place in our Mom’s life prior to motherhood is a mystery, but says everything about who they grow to be. Events come and circumstances go, but in the process give us the means to know God better as He molds our life in accordance to his plan for each of us.

Thank you Lord, for my two Moms, I love them dearly. They have moved to their eternal homes, but because they remain in my heart they continue to live. Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Intro

Have you ever had an inadvertent conversation with a know-it-all? There is no point in bringing up reason or logic because this individual has an answer for everything.

This is how mine went:

My thought: I would like to read a book about an average Christian and how God impacted her life.

Mindreader: Why don’t you write it?

Me: Are you kidding? I’ve never dreamed of writing or becoming an author. I wouldn’t even know how to go about it.

Know-it-All: You could learn. Did you notice that Heart of America Christian Writers Network website about a conference in your area?

Myself: Yes, but it’s expensive.

God: Following me is costly, but its worth it.

I: You know I’ve gotten myself in trouble too many times with saying things better left unsaid.

God: I let that happen for you to realize how much power there is in words. Now that you have an inkling of that, write!

Me: What about that quilt ministry i was involved with? That was serving you.

God: Yes it was, but that was your idea and it didn’t go as you planned. You and I don’t think the same, I have something different in mind.

Myself: You know how uneventful my life is. Writing requires using a computer, you know how much I hate technology. I get in places that i don’t know what to do.

Holy Spirit: That’s part of the world you live in, I know some folks that can help you deal with it. You’ve had some experiences to write about, I’ll help bring them to your mind.

I: There’s another issue, interacting with people. I’m not comfortable sharing my life with others.

Jesus: I love people! Tell them about me. Sometimes I can be funny, tell them that too.

Me: You mean like this house you led me to? The type I swore I’d never live in?

God: You’re catching on!

And so my story begins…