Thanksgivings

I’m sitting in the backyard testing out my fire pit and reflecting on the blessings God has sent me in the past 3-4 months. This list is not comprehensive, but a start at saying “Thank-You” to God and to those He has used to bless and uplift me.

To my daughters, Katherine and Leah, who were my anchor in the storm. Their love was expressed over and over in their actions, from making phone calls and making decisions to giving insulin shots and massaging feet. And finding this little house that is slowly becoming a home.

To my sons who called and visited and lifted my burdens in numerous ways. They provided expertise and they provided conversation and they gave love.

To my daughter-in-law, my third daughter, who gave so much advice and held Chuck’s hand on her last visit, with tears in her eyes and love in her heart.

To friends, known and unknown, who prayed when I couldn’t. I felt the prayers holding up my feeble arms.

To my little brother Norman who gave of his time to get me moved – twice – and provided his home to me and his heart. And his cooking- top notch stuff.

To my big brother David, who talked to me in the night as I walked Ruby, who knows firsthand the pain of losing a spouse.

“Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous” I Peter 3:8

To Al, who drove across town to take my car to get new tires. And visited Chuck. And Darlene who made cake.

To Holly and Ken, who visited and prayed and fed us with deliciousness and gave advice and showed the spirit of Christ in actions.

To Candace who was supportive in a time of need, who knows loss, and who gave me a bird feeder that brings me birds and joy every day.

To Darla, Jeannie, Robin, Peggy, Erica and Lee, who reached out and loved on me.

To Aunt Amy who was always a supporter of our family, and is no stranger to loss. She has empathized with tears and I love her.

To the nephews and nieces who have given the strength of their youth and reached out to me across the generational divide.

To Judy and Sheryl and Crystal and Maureen and Sarita who text and call and write letters from Birmingham. A sweet combination of southern hospitality and Christian fellowship.

To cousins, those childhood friends who are forever linked to my heart, no matter how many years go by. Thank you for all the prayers and conversations.

To my sisters in widowhood who have grieved with me and have suffered their own loss: Mary, Beth, Libby, Pam, and Tommie.

To Mark and Eric who prayed with me over the phone and Steve who texted scripture and encouraging words and prayers.

To Dorothy who prayed and wrote a poem, because those are her gifts.

Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. – James 1:27

A lot of of packin’

 

A lot of movin’, A lot of rollin’
A lot of drivin’, A lot of strollin’
A lot of leavin’ here
A lot of arrivin’ there
Trying to go just about everywhere
A lot of thinking about where I’m going next

I could add a whole verse here about a lot of packin’ :

A lot of packin’, A lot of sortin’

It’s nerve rackin’, We’re transportin’

A lot of leavin’ there

A lot of arrivin’ here

Goin’ on a lot of love and prayers

A lot of thinking about where we’re goin’ next

 

I’ve wanted to write a post for a while but have been so overwhelmed by life. To try to make a long story short, I’ll share my husband’s facebook post.

From my husband…

As some of you are aware, I put in for retirement effective June 1 and we placed our home on the market. The house went under contract immediately and we close on 5/19/20.

Unfortunately a few weeks ago I was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. We have consulted with UAB oncologists and decided to return to Jax, FL as planned and I have an appointment at Mayo Clinic this Thursday.

I wish all of you the very best in all life as to offer. Angie and I covet your prayers for strength, wisdom and that the Lord be glorified in our circumstances.

According to the Scripture all ‘our days are numbered’ so whether mine are few or many “I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ; who with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for my sins…”

Please forgive me if I ever offended you in anyway, it is never intentional but still there is no excuse.

I pray his blessings upon each of you.

 

So, here we are in Jacksonville. We are home. One more night in a hotel and we move into an apartment for six months.  This is not the move we planned. We were going to buy a house -our last home -in Jacksonville with cash so we would have no mortgage payment going into retirement. God had others plans. And He has provided for us.

My husband will start chemo next week. Our lives will be much different. But I look forward to a sweet time.

There have been many silver linings in all of this. I have seen God’s providence. Had there not been this “pandemic” our two daughters would not have been free to come help us as they have. We have seen amazing things with these two girls. Young women. Their love and care for their dad and me has been overwhelming. From cooking, packing, and making phone calls for me to massaging feet, taking vitals and tracking meds and food for their dad, they have been here for us. I could never have done it without them.

Our sons, too, have poured out love and help on us. Our oldest with his nursing skills has been a comfort to lean on, traveling back and forth from Tampa, which is NOT a hop, skip, and jump away.   The younger son, thankfully working a new job, maintains constant contact and cheers us up. A few weekends ago they were all at our house in Bham. It was the first time we had all been together in over 13 years.

Silver linings and blessings from God.