Bottom of the 6th, 2 outs

So I haven’t tried to hide my dislike of baseball over the last few years. I mean, I like it because my two youngest love it, but it’s played outside, practices take up a lot of time,  and the season seems to take forever.

There is no middle ground regarding the temperature. It’s either bone rattling cold at the beginning of the season and mind numbingly hot by the end of the season. I like the night games, and I made most of Caboose’s games this season, and about 1/4 of Middle’s games, maybe less.

I have multiple flaws, but the top 2 are selfishness and impatience. When Middle started practice back in February, on Sunday afternoons (which I really disliked), I really showed my ability to pitch a fit, because I found out that all practices would be in a town about 20-25 minutes away. I was not happy, to say the least, and you know the old saying, “If mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy.”

I was pretty ugly, and certainly was not showing Christ like love, to the Hubs or Middle, and it took me a while to get over it. So then I wasn’t going to take him to practices or go to any games, because heaven forbid, I am forced to do something for my own child that he loves to do (sarcasm intended).  I really struggled those first few weeks, because he was also still playing basketball, and I felt like we were never home, where I love to be.

So fast forward a couple of  months. I actually did take him to practice a few times, especially toward the end, and I did make it to a few games. Fortunately, Hubs loves the game and being there, and he is hands down Middle’s biggest supporter.

And then, Middle’s team makes it to the Dizzy Dean World Series in Southaven, Ms. Now that place is as hot as anywhere in the South, and the other kids had lots going on that week, so I chose to stay home. But then I found…



That totally changed the way I viewed the tournament. I got to watch 5 games of Middle’s and saw how well the team was working. This team is full of talent, and every player is a contributor.  The parents are very dedicated, and the coaches have earned very high respect from the Hubs. He has told me that the head coach really focused on the little things, and the big things just came. It’s kind of like life, if you focus on doing the little things right ( which obviously I struggle with), then the big things will be easier.

This team really is special, and not just because my son is on it.

They made it to the World Series 2 years ago, were undefeated until the championship game and they were beaten twice to come in second. It was heartbreaking for them, and it was twice as much for Middle, because 2 days before that championship game, he lost his biggest fan, my father in law, and Middle was playing for him that day.

Fast forward 2 years:  they are undefeated going into the championship game, about to play the team they beat the day before. They have to win just one to be champions, and have to be beat twice.

They lost the first game. I was watching from a water park and yelling and keeping our church family up to date, and had to stop watching when it was the 6th inning and they were losing 5-1.  I was a nervous wreck.

So we are keeping up on the way home through an app, they are down 2-4, and I get a text from a friend, “Middle just crushed it over left field and drove 2 in!!’

My middle, my baseball loving, sleeps with a glove Middle, was up to bat at the bottom of the 6th inning, 2 outs, and they were losing by 2. His batting was only average the whole tournament, but when he stepped up to the plate that at bat, he came through.

I cannot imagine how nervous he was. He said that he just knew he needed to hit, and he did, and got 2 of his teammates home. That tied it up, and they held the team through the top of the 7th and ended up loading the bases with no outs, our catcher hit a sacrifice fly ball, and one of the most dedicated kids on the team slid into home for the win. He is one of the smallest players on the team, but when he made his way into home for that 5th run, he was casting a BIG shadow!!

So maybe I am an indoor baseball mom, because Caboose and I were whooping and hollering and I was crying!  This team never gave up, and it made me think about life, how many times I have been up to bat in a 6th inning, 2 out situation and just thought, “Oh, well, I’m gonna lose anyway, why even try?”

My son and his team will NEVER forget that moment yesterday when they won it all. I was a member of my high school’s volleyball team that won State in 1988, and I have never forgotten how good it felt.

And when my son feels like giving up, I hope God reminds him of this moment in his life, and how perseverance and stamina and NEVER GIVING UP can lead you to the WIN!!!




So this year…I am turning 48. For those who are 10 years younger than this, that seems OLD. But for those of us that are in our 40’s and above, that age seems pretty ok.  So here are my 48 things that I am grateful for or I have observed.

  1.  I am grateful for Salvation. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
  2. I am grateful for my husband. I fell in love with him the first time I laid eyes on him in 1998. I was going on a ski trip and he was house sitting, and his crooked grin and curly hair just fascinated me. I was patient and by 2001, I knew he was going to be mine. 17 years later, I am most grateful for his partnership, love and life together. We are blessed.
  3.  Ivan. My first born son. He is a 40 year old 13 year old. He helps me do everything. He changes light bulbs, cuts grass, pressure washes, calls when there is a problem, and takes care of problems for me. He is my problem solver, my go to boy, and I dread when he moves out. I am so grateful for him.
  4. Alex. My sports fanatic, my funny man, my surprise hugger, my one who does what he is not supposed to do and gets away with it. My sense of humor boy. The one who looks like the Jewish side of my family. The one who survived 26 days in the hospital and wasn’t supposed to live, and who I love dearly. He is my laughter.
  5. Cortland. My Caboose. The one who makes my soul laugh but annoys me with whining. The one who is caring and wants to make sure everyone is okay, and who is funny and loves his momma. The one who completes our family.
  6. My mom. The one who didn’t have to love me but married the man who loved me more than anything so she didn’t have a choice, so she loved me and became my best friend. My mom. My Matron of honor. My mom, my best friend.
  7. Diane, my mother in law. The woman who loves me in spite of my faults, and loves my children more than her life.
  8. Heidi….my very very best friend. Who knows me and still loves me. Who knows that I am the most selfish person alive and still loves me. My very best friend.
  9. Ray…my oldest brother. The one who taught me the importance of music, and fun. Queen, Beatles, and All of that. He was my protector and friend.
  10. Josh…my youngest brother. The one I depend on, the one that I LOVE to make laugh, the one that led me to Christ.
  11. Amy…Ray’s Amy, a friend that loves me when I am unlovable. She loves my brother and makes our family a happier place.
  12. Amy, Josh’s Amy, who is my friend in good and bad, and always makes me laugh, and loves my brother and makes him a better person. The one who makes our family better.
  13. Randy and Alice…our best travel and couple friends
  14. Jedi…my first nephew, and a fine man he has become.
  15. Melissa…my first niece, who is beautiful and loving and fun to be around.
  16. Kimber, who makes my heart melt.
  17. Taylor, my sweet nephew that always keeps me on my toes.
  18. Jackson…you crack me up all the time.
  19. Claira  Beth…my niece who knows she is in charge…and beautiful doing it.
  20. Brantley…our nephew that can put anything together and loves to play.
  21. Mollie Kate…the salve on Mamaw Di’s heart, you have helped her heal.
  22. Jason and Valerie…my family.
  23. Petie…what would I do without you?
  24. My beautiful goddaughters, Ellie, Hannah and Gabby…you guys taught me about parenthood before I became one. You light our lives up and I am so proud of the women you are becoming.
  25. Brandy Hutto….my wonderful staff and friend, who puts up with me even when I do not deserve to be put up with.
  26. Sara Murray…staff and dog and house sitter…she loves me even when I get on her nerves.
  27. Friends like Charity Hamilton and Becky Sherer who get your kids for you
  28. My church family…you know who you are
  29. Hot showers
  30. Beth…the one who taught me to be less self, more God…
  31. Indoor toilets
  32. washer and dryers
  33. air conditioning (this is really number one on my list of things I am thankful for but I don’t want to hurt my family’s feelings)
  34. heat
  35. A home that is nice and dry
  36. A car that is reliable
  37. toilet paper
  38. paper towels
  39. my job (this should be higher on the list)
  40. Ipads
  41. kindle books
  42. music (this is also something that should be higher on my list)
  43. traveling
  44. internet (again, should be higher on the list)
  45. running water
  46. electricity
  47. online shopping

48—I am grateful for my life. I am still here. I have a great family, I have a great job, and great patients. I have a beautiful church family, and I love this life.

48 is definitely better than the alternative….I have lost a lot, but I choose to focus on what I have. I have  A LOT. And so do you, if you choose to look at it.

Our God is amazing.

What if she were mine?

I live in a county that was recognized nationally recently. Unfortunately, it wasn’t for a great reason.

My county has been recognized for having the most drug overdoses in Alabama in the last few years, and we are in the top 10 of those counties in the nation. Makes you wanna shout, “We’re number 1!”, right?

WRONG!  I am appalled that this is so close to where I live. Growing up, I was exposed to the “simple” drugs, like marijuana and alcohol, and there were rumors of harder drugs like cocaine and ecstasy, but we never heard of or even had access to prescription drugs, nor did my crowd seek it out.

I believe it was because the drugs 30 years ago weren’t quite so available or dangerous. In the 90’s, meth started becoming a thing I heard of (and I was a grown up by that time so I was really out of the loop), but by the mid 2000’s, as a chiropractor, I was hearing of the big daddy drugs, like Oxycontin and Xanax and Somas and others that were extremely addictive. I was seeing some patients that would “nod” in my office, and was just heartbroken at the situations they were in.

Several years ago, a local MD was arrested in our town, and it was discovered that he had prescribed over 12,000 narcotics over a 2 year time, which average out to about 400 prescriptions a day 5 days a week.

We can point fingers and place blame, but the problem of drugs and the ripple effects are here and now and devastating to my county.  Let me share an experience I had this past week.

I was leaving my office on my off day, running errands, and saw this thin, youngish woman walking through my parking lot. For once, I had no where to be at that exact moment, and a voice in my head said, “Go ask her if she needs a ride.” It was 96 degrees, she had this huge pink bag she was struggling with, and just looked pitiful; she also looked like I could take her down easy if she pulled anything on me in my car, because I outweighed her by 300 pounds and she was not in the best condition, that I could tell.

I stop as she’s leaving the parking lot, and ask if she needs a ride somewhere, thinking I would just drive her down the road to a gas station or something of the like. Nope, she climbs in telling me she needs to go to Nauvoo, to her “Papa’s” house, and she is going to Detox as soon as she gets some clothes….

I won’t describe our whole conversation, but I did offer to drive her straight to Detox, knowing I could get her in the hospital and help her out there. Nope, she needed dry clothes and she was trying to sell her laptop, which I guess was in her pink bag. I said, “I am sure the Detox will give you clean clothes and help you out” but nope.

She said she needs to call her DHR worker, and I dial the number she knows by heart, on my phone, because she has a flip phone that looks older than my kids are, and I ask to speak to her worker (she has given me the name, and her name by this time, let’s call her “Jane”), and I explain to the worker about the situation. I listen to the conversation between Jane and her worker, and hope that the worker really will come get her from where I am taking her, because I am headed to Nauvoo for the first time in my life.

So let me tell you about Jane. She is skinny, bruised over about 50% of the parts of her body I can see, which is a lot, and never stops moving and is constantly twitching and touching her hair and her face. She mumbles most answers to the questions I ask, except for the fact that she’s 28, has an 8 year old daughter and a 4 year old son, both in foster care, but she doesn’t even know where her 4 year old is right now, although his name is tattooed across the left side of her neck. She also says that she wishes she had never given him that name; I told her that it was a great name and that I was sure he was being taken care of. Let’s hope that is true.

She smells like my birth mom. My birth mom didn’t stink, but she had a very unique odor of chronic cigarette smoke and mustiness. It is a smell that I have grown to associate with my birth mom, and smelling it on this young lady brought back memories and sadness.  It makes me think of what life must have been like for Chris during this period of her life; she was an addict until 1993, and AA and NA was the only way she got clean.

Did I mention that she never stopped moving? Touching her hair, muttering to herself, looking in her purse for money, and I just keep watching her bag, thinking if she goes for it, I will ask what she needs and if she tries anything I will just hit her. Yes, that thought went through my mind.

I called my husband and calmly told him I was taking a young lady I had picked up in my parking lot to Nauvoo; he matter of factly said “Okay” and I was a little surprised. When I asked him later if he wasn’t concerned, his response? “I figured you wouldn’t have picked her up if she looked like trouble and I trusted you to make that decision.”

She was so upset and discombobulated; she wanted cigarettes and to get to her papa’s house, telling me there was no power or water there. She told me she was going to walk all the way there if I hadn’t picked her up. I was like, “Girlfriend, it is 10,000 degrees out, you’d die”, and she tells me she has done it before.

I ask her if someone has been mistreating her. I ask her what her drug of choice is. I ask her if she has any drugs on her, because I don’t look forward to that conversation if I get pulled over with her in my car.

She said that meth and pills are her drugs of choice, her parents have never been parents and her papa has helped her. She was coming from a motel when I picked her up in my parking lot.

So we get to Nauvoo, and for the first time in my 47 years I am in the town, turning where I have seen the Slick Lizzard sign every time I have driven to Haleyville, which is more times that I can count. She tells me to let her out by the Dollar General, because she can find someone to get her cigarettes, and I object, saying, “You can go in and buy them” and she said that she has no ID and they won’t let her.

So, yall, she smells like my Birth MOM. She could have been my birth mom 30 years ago. I stop at the DG, and make her buy some food; not sure what the regular drug addict’s choice is, but she picked up a gallon of Milo’s sweet tea, a pack of ham and hamburger buns, and I bought that and 2 packs of cigarettes. She smelled like my B-mom, and I know that my B-mom would have done the same thing.

So we head out into the deep woods of Nauvoo, making a few left hand turns and coming to a trailer that looks extremely abandoned, trash in every square foot, and she gets out.

She doesn’t look at me. I am pretty sure she didn’t thank me. I watched her go in the trailer. I should have waited and given her a ride back into town. I looked her up on FB and couldn’t find her. Everyone under 30 has a FB profile, right? I think her habit is so far gone that she doesn’t.

So I had a first hand encounter with my county’s drug problem. What on earth can we do to MAKE THIS BETTER???  This poor girl has no chance. I realized even as I was speaking to the DHR worker on the young lady’s behalf, that I have the advantage of being listened to and respected; I spoke with the voice of someone who is in charge and used to having things done my way. This poor girl…no one is on her side; she’s just a druggie.

She isn’t, though. She is someone’s daughter, even if they ignored or neglected her. She is definitely someone’s mom, 2 someones, and she doesn’t even know where one of them is. She is a human being, loved by God and in need of His Salvation. I called a friend who works in the Detox unit and gave her a heads up; I hope this young lady makes it. I told her of a program that is a year long that is in Tuscumbia, Christian based, and it would get her out of Walker county.

Because I think the main issue for drug addicts that want to get better is this: they come back to the same playground and the same playmates that started their problems to begin with. If I had the funds, I would start a program that only served out of towners, even do like a “drug exchange student” program, swap out people so that addicts would have the means to go to a new place where they really could start over without drugs.

I have gained and lost 100s of pounds over my life, and I believe food addiction is a real thing, but I still function, love my kids and am a wife to my husband, and I am a productive member of society. This poor girl made me feel like I was moving in slow motion.

I am going to increase my prayers of redemption for our county and country, for the people who have no one to be in their corner, for the ones who don’t know where their children are and sometimes just don’t care. And for this young lady, I am praying God puts her in my path again, so that I will be resolved to do more, and so should you.  It starts with just one.  Because what if she was your daughter?  I am old enough to be her mom. Do I think she started off wanting to be tweaking in some lady’s van not knowing what to do next? When I asked her how old she was when she first did drugs, she said 12.

That is my middle son’s age. What if she were mine?

Act As If

There is a Barenaked Ladies song that has the line:

“I’m the kind of guy who laughs at a funeral”

And lately I have learned more about what that means.

I can remember my mother (Virginia) giving me a dirty look at my Granny Casey’s funeral because I am a loud laugher and when I think something is funny, even at a funeral, I am likely to still laugh out loud.

Lately, I have had too many opportunities to laugh at funerals.

But I still have an urge to laugh.

I read a verse recently that resonated with me (as many do, the Bible says that the Word of God is alive and never returns void), and it said this:

“…sorrowful, yet always rejoicing…”   2 Corinthians 6:10

So many of us have so many reasons to be sorrowful. People die, husbands and wives leave, finances can sink, church can be stressful, and work can be a drag.  Life seems to get harder and harder and can seem so pointless….

But I am here to tell you…It can get better.  My dad always said, “Act As If, and you will become.”  I do not always feel like smiling. I do not always feel like doing what I do. But I get up, I act as if, and you know what?  It seems to get better.

I do not take life for granted anymore. After losing part of my sight, my Dad, my Father in law, and my Birth Mom, I know life is hard. But God is still good.  People argue over the silliest things, but I just want to tell them….”The days are long but the years are short”, and hug every person you can and be overly affectionate to those you love, and act like it’s the last time you might see them, because it might be.

And in the midst of this, God has made Himself known to me in ways that I am in awe of.

Here is one way: I had always had a fear that my birth mom would pass and I wouldn’t know until later. I had the privilege, instead, of being a part of her last few months in a big way (we had been friends since 1990 but the last few years, because of kids and time, had drifted apart).  He allowed me to be with her when Hospice came, allowed me to be a part of her last lucid day, and my family got to be part of it too.

That last day…yall, that last lucid day was wild.


Chris, my birth mom, had been bedridden for 4 days, had nothing to eat, and had been catheterized and I had been called there because the hospice nurse didn’t think she was going to make it.

Then…the caregiver called me Saturday morning and said, “Guess who’s up?”  Chris had woken up, to HERSELF, early that morning, and the caregiver said that Chris was talking to the Lord, telling Him how pretty the gates were but she had more to do and see before He took her home, and it was on.

By the time I got there that morning (she lived 3 hours away), she was sitting in a chair, smoking (which she hadn’t done in 4 days) and was like a firecracker.

She was talking and gesticulating and PRAISING GOD!!  There were probably 20 people in and out of her house that day, all visiting and her laughing and talking and being who she always was, smiling in the midst of sorrow and pain and acting “As If.”

By the next morning, she was back in bed, barely responsive and not waking up as I said good bye.  Which was my final good bye.

By mid week, her pain was uncontrollable, and I made the decision to have her put into a 5 day hospice respite.  She struggled and was in so much pain, but by Sunday night, she was peaceful. I was worried, making plans to leave her there after the 5 days were up, but God always is on time, and she made her earthly exit and Heavenly entrance the day her respite care ran out, a year to the day that my dad passed away, and 14 years to the day that my beautiful stepfather Casey went to Heaven.

In her whole sickness, which began about October 2017 and ended February 13 of 2018, she told me that she was ready. She wasn’t acting “As If” telling me that. She was ready. She lived a tough life, people leaving and betraying and her love for animals consuming her days.

My birth mom loved life even when it was hard, and she discovered a new love for God through a loving church family, who loved on us after her death. She was unique and funny, and the stories they told made me laugh at her funeral.

Life is hard, and as we get older, it doesn’t get easier. But God gives us a strength that “surpasses our understanding” and He tells us that He is our Comforter and the Rock that is higher than we are. He is the reason I can act “As If”, because He gives me the strength to smile when I am crying, and laugh when I am mourning.  Samuel Beckett said, “I can’t go on. I’ll go on.”  And that is what I am going to do. Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice.


IMG_1324Most people grow up with the people who created them.  They grow up with those people’s DNA in their makeup and do not question anything about who they are where they came from.

I have always questioned where I came from.

I was adopted at the age of 2 months old, by a couple who were imperfect but loved me perfectly.

I do not remember a time that I didn’t know I was adopted; I thought it made me super cool and special, that I was chosen, not just “born into” my family.  This was thanks to my adoptive mother, Virginia, who instilled in me a gratitude beyond measure for my birth mom’s sacrifice.  Because giving me up for adoption was a HUGE sacrifice.

Think about today.  Young girls get pregnant all the time, and most choose to raise their children, whether they are ready to or not.  Or the grandparents are raising their children, after they are finished with raising their own. Nowadays, it’s cool to keep your baby, whether it’s a good decision or not.  I am not judging…I cannot imagine how hard it is to be a single mom and try to raise your baby with everything you want them to have and to meet their needs.

But I am telling my story. My birth Mom, Christina Hunter Sachs Bewley, made that sacrifice.  After she found out she was pregnant, she told her parents while they were in Japan (where abortion was legal in 1970), and her mother immediately suggested terminating her pregnancy (me).  Her father, George, disagreed, and when they came back to the States, he paid for Chris to spend her last few gravid months at the Salvation Army Home for Unwed Mothers, where I was born.

I spent a few weeks with her there, then was put into foster care. From there, I was adopted by the Boshells through the Department of Human Resources and became a Boshell, through and through.  I am my parents’ daughter, and I am grateful for that.

I am also grateful for that woman who made the ultimate sacrifice, giving me a life that she could never have.

Chris did the right thing.  She did the HUGE RIGHT THING!  And when I was 19, I met this woman, who I look like and who I sound like and who I act like, a little. I always wanted to know who I looked like, but that always meant my birth mom, not birth dad (and we don’t know who that is so we are going to ignore him.)

I have been friends with my birth mom since 1990.  She adores me.  She adores my children.  She loves my family because they are mine.

Her life has been hard. Mental illness, addiction, job issues, home issues. But she is a fighter, an optimist, a perserverer. She loves hard. She gives much, more than she can afford usually.  She is quirky.  She says “Bow wow” at weird times, which my kids think is hilarious.

She is the one part of me that is my DNA.

And that matters.

I am not sure why. But it does.

My dad passed away in February of 2017, and my Father in Law in July of 2017. My health has betrayed me for the first time in my 47 years.

And now I am losing the one part of me that is ME.

My poor birth mom has a horrible cancer that is going to take her life. In November, we knew it was coming.  Now the wolf is at the door.

My devotion a few days ago said, “Sorrow, under the power of divine grace, performs various ministries in our lives. Sorrow reveals unknown depths of the soul, and unknown capacities for suffering and service.  Lighthearted, frivolous people are always shallow and are never aware of their own meagerness or lack of depth. Sorrow is God’s tool to plow the depths of the soul, that it may yield richer harvest….

Sorrow makes us move more slowly and considerately and examine our motives and attitudes. It opens within us the capacities of the heavenly life, and it makes us willing to set our capacities afloat on a limitless sea of service for God and for others.”  (Streams In the Desert).

I am not a sorrowful person, per se.  I laugh every day, and laugh inappropriately a lot, and I talk a lot about unimportant things.

But I am constantly aware of my….holes? loss? sorrow? hurt?

And now I face another, while living life day to day, laundry and carpool and sports and work, and I am so sad.

But I have to keep my face toward the sun. As a dear friend said today, “Get up and make your bed and just go live.” I might not make my bed, but I am going to go live. Because not everyone will get that choice.


As we approach a new holiday season, about 40 days long, I am thinking about traditions. Where do we meet to celebrate? What days do we pick for each family’s gathering?

And what happens when your lynchpin of those gatherings is no longer there to bring everyone together?

I saw Fiddler On the Roof several years ago onstage, and have watched the movie a few times. The opening montage is great, with the narrator speaking and singing of “TRADITION!!”  and showing and telling of the things that are expected and how to keep your balance.  How do you stay on the roof?  Balance with tradition!  He says, “Because of our traditions, we’ve kept our balance for many, many years.”

The narrator goes on to describe some traditions, and says he doesn’t know why they do them but they do.   Then he says this line:

“Because of tradition, everyone of us knows who he is and what God expects us to do.”

So I started thinking about this song as we approach the first Holiday season without the Patriarchs of our family.  Here is what Fiddler has to say about the “Papas”:

Who, day and night, must scramble for a living,
Feed a wife and children, say his daily prayers?
And who has the right, as master of the house,
To have the final word at home?

The Papa, the Papa! Tradition.
The Papa, the Papa! Tradition.

The Papa.  Hubs and I have both lost our Papa, the lynchpins,  this year, and now we begin to learn how to celebrate without them.  And we are not the only ones with a new learning curve.

So how do we do tradition now?

I have some experience at this. Dad has not been a part of our family celebration for about 3 years, but we kept up the “tradition” of getting together with my family on Christmas Eve and being with Hub’s family on Christmas Day, which has worked really well the last 15 years.

This year…oh, this year, we are adrift. Our traditions have been rendered ineffective and the Papas who had the final word are no longer able to speak.

I am beginning to understand why some people so dislike the holidays.

As we try to figure out what we are going to do for the holidays and where we will be, I just remember that I am blessed to have my people who are still here.

Traditions are important, but don’t always last.

So we are making new traditions this year. We have a new baby in the family, and she has been a bright spot for us. We are still alive, which is always a plus.

After my stroke in January, I am grateful that I am able to continue my traditions without physical help from someone else.

I took my birth mom home from surgery and she was greeted at her door by her cute cats…I was greeted, when I got home, by my beautiful sons and husband, and that is one tradition that I will never get tired of.

So here’s the deal….

If you still have your mom, dad, grandparents, kids, friends to create traditions with, DO IT.

If you can hug someone, and tell them that you love them, DO IT.

If you can spend time with someone you love, DO IT.

And if you can’t…create a new Tradition. There is always someone who needs a hug, love and time out there. “What you do unto the least of these, you do unto ME”, Jesus said. Do it!!

Some would say that traditions are made to be broken.  This year, we are breaking new ground, and I am going to do it to honor those who have gone on before us.  I am going to pray that God allows me opportunities to bless those who aren’t as blessed as I am, and I am going to try to spend my minutes being glad that I am still here to make new traditions. You should too.


I’ve written a dozen sentences in my head this past month.

About loss, death, sickness, grief.

No sentence or word that I have thought of has really clicked.

This has been a year of loss, for my family.  There have been 222 days so far, in 2017. That leaves 143 days for something else to happen.

On the 8th day of this year, I lost a quarter sized piece of my right field of vision (which was my own fault for not taking care of myself).

36 days later, I lost my father. I lost my dad. I lost the man who was my biggest critic but also my biggest supporter, the one who believed that I could do whatever he expected out of me, and never any less. The man who gave me a life and a name, the man that has influenced me more than any other.IMG_1007

And then, 162 days later, I (we) lost my husband’s dad, my father in law, a man that loved me as his own, treated me with kindness and love and patience and humor, who did for my family things like family vacations and dinners out. He attended every baseball game, every special event that my boys had, every church play or school awards ceremony, or Grandparent’s day….He was there.

Caboose had his awards day the same day as his cousins, and Roger sent Diane to theirs and stayed here for my boys….even when he was struggling for breath near the end, he always wanted to know about the boys games and lives.

These are the things that have been running through my mind the last few weeks. I thought I had a little longer with him. The last time I saw him, he was in a hospital bed, behind a big mask, but still asking about us, and wanting to know about our lives. When we got the call in the middle of the night that he was being put on a ventilator, I never dreamed that I would never be able to talk to him again.

I so want to talk to my husband’s dad again. I want to tell him how grateful I am for him. I want to tell him that his love for my boys is one of the greatest treasures in my life. I want to tell him that his pride in me makes me a better person.

I want to thank him for the many vacations he helped finance in making so many memories.

I want to thank him for my husband, who looks so much like his dad.

I want to thank him for being such a great public servant.

I want to tell him that every time I told someone who I was married to, that I made sure to mention who my father in law was.

I want to tell him how proud I was to be his daughter in law.


My boys spoke at his funeral, all three of them, and so did my niece.  Caboose was last, and was so sweet; he said “I love my papaw Roger because he was a ….9   1   1 guy”.  He said it very slowly because he had a tendency to say “991” when he spoke fast.  All 3 of my boys spoke of the love Roger had for his job, him being the “911 guy”.

19 days after he’s left this earth, I am just missing these 2 men. I cannot believe that my husband and I have both lost the most important men in our lives within 5 months of each other. My dad was 82, Roger was 60 (how fair is that??)

But fairness has nothing to do with it.

Job says that it rains on the just and unjust alike. Habukkuk mentions empty stables and barren vineyards, and stills writes, “…yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful.”

I cannot believe what we’ve had to endure this year, but I know that my faith is in God.

I cannot believe that I am living this life without 2 of the most important men in it.

But I do know this…I will see them again. This world is not my home, and I will rejoice daily for the opportunity to tell others about the home they can have too.

God is good, even when life isn’t. And that will be enough. It has to be.