Friday, March 30, 2007

WALKER'S BAPTISM...was done at Parish Presbyterian Church on March 11. It happened about a week after my mother died. I think it made the occasion more sobering for me, but was also a reminder of the legacy of faith that Walker has. It will not put him in any more special standing with God certainly, but it is a wonderful treasure for any child to have generations of people before him who have loved the Lord...and prayed for him before he was even born or known about. With my mother's death, came the end of one generation. Now we are the senior living generation for our children and grandchildren, on this branch of the family tree. It is a sobering thought.
The week before Walker's baptism, his church was organized officially. The term for it in our denomination is "particularized". Their temporary meeting place is in a historic church that is called a community center. It is quite pretty and historic looking. We are glad his parents have settled into a church where they are happy and can worship in a meaningful way.
During his baptism, Walker was happily verbal. He was smiling and talking to the pastor, George Grant. Finally, George stopped and looked at him and said, "Walker, I think you may end up being a preacher someday!" Who knows, stranger things have happened! He has a grandfather who is one, had a greatgrandfather who was one plus a number of Southern Baptist preachers on his dad's side of the family tree. It wouldn't be surprising at all, if he became a pastor:) We shall see. Our hope and prayer for him is that he grow to become a man of God

CATCH-UP...that's what I'm doing today! This month has flown by and since we got back from FL, I've been playing catch-up most of the time. Today I'll catch you up on the high points of the month and we'll be able to get into April caught up with each other...sort-of.
We arrived home from the funeral and my grandson's baptism, on March 13. Two days later, I needed to be ready for my regular Thursday evening Bible study that started in January. That is what has been hounding me each week. It is something I enjoy working on, but I am not a teacher and never feel prepared enough. It is one of those relentless tasks. I feel I have to put everything else on hold and prepare, prepare. I felt I was getting the feel of Colossians and the method used in our teaching guide, when I went out of town and got out of my rhythm. Now I'm getting back into the groove again.

On top of that, my cousin from OK came to visit the Monday after I got back in town so I was forced to clean my house (not nearly so much for her as for me! It had gotten very bad.) By the time she arrived on Sunday afternoon the 18th, I had the cleanest, most dust-free house I have had in a very long time! I had rearranged my basement family room (too bad I didn't take a "before" photo!) as I cleaned and was able to camouflage some of the debris down there and make it into quite an inviting space. Whenever I am able to clear away clutter, I always find that I am able to think much better. Now the only place I have to fix up is the office. It is a mess, but is a very small room with a door that can close on the mess:) I'll get to it after the Bible study is over.
While Susan was here, we went to Galesburg one day. She took the train into Chicago one day. And the final day, after her very tiring day in Chicago, she slept in and then we took a little time in downtown Peoria down by the riverfront. I was supposed to get tickets for a Caterpillar tour, and did...for the wrong week!! By the time I realized my goof, it was not possible to repair the damage:( During our trip, we took "flat Stanley" with us to all the sights. He was sent to her by her nephew Joey. She ended up having two "flat Stanleys" actually.
That weekend, Miss America, who is from the town where she lives in OK, was home visiting. The mother of Miss America teaches in the same school system with my cousin and agreed to take "flat Stanley"
home with her during the spring break so he could get photos with Miss America, who was truly on vacation. Since Susan was coming to our area, she had to make "flat Stanley Xerox" for the trip to IL:) During the trip, both Stanleys were injured--the original's arm was torn/broken and the xeroxed one's head was torn/neck broken:) so they were mailed back in a shoebox hospital bed! my cousin is nothing if not creative!
That takes us to this week. It was also eventful. My husband had one of his "migraines". Over the years, he has occasionally had what his doctors have often called "silent migraines". He doesn't get much pain, only spots in front of his eyes that block out his vision when he tries to read. Usually excedrin and lying down for awhile has brought relief. often, if he feels one coming on, he takes the excedrin right away and it is gone! This week, that didn't happen. after 3 days (over the weekend) of that nuisance, he called his doctor to get some relief. The doctor wanted his eyes checked out! So our week, a fairly busy one already, got 3 additional doctor appointments added in...before thursday afternoon! The eye dr. called his migraine an ocular migraine. It doesn't change a thing, just gives us another name to call it! This was my week for 2 preps--a leadership team meeting and a Bible study.

We got through it all though, found out that his eyes are fine, got medication for prevention of the headaches, pain medication and set up an MRI for after Easter to be positive that there is nothing else going on in his head. (We won't even go there! :) I think we are both relieved to have this cared for, at least for now. Today he has a funeral and then should have time to work on the rest of his preps for the weekend. I'm taking it slow today and catching up on things around the house and have the week off from a Bible study but will get to catch up and maybe even get ahead on some preps coming up.
We will be going out of town on Mother's Day weekend (leaving the Thursday before) to have the burial of my mom in VA. Most of the plans for that have been made now as well as reservations. All of our children will be able to come, for which I am very glad. I am going to prepare something to say for that, but haven't even started on it...and won't until the Bible study is done. I know it will be difficult and want to complete the one thing before starting what will probably be an emotional project.
The final upcoming project that seems to have fallen out of the sky--of course it is one of those providential delights--is the upcoming visit of Tara Barthel. But come to think of it, this blog is getting long and I should probably put that in a separate entry. More later.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

GOOD-BYE MOM...after eighty-two years on earth, my mom passed on to heaven tonight at about 10:45 PM EST. Those are the raw facts. I said my good-byes when I visited there in October with my brother and sisters. I didn't expect to see her alive again after that visit even though my youngest sister and I had plans to meet in FL for Easter weekend and the week after to visit my mom. God had other plans. This past Thursday, she appeared to be at death's door and totally unresponsive. On Friday, she woke up, opened her eyes and even though she couldn't swallow well or respond to commands, or even talk, she was following people across the room with her eyes and trying to talk. That lasted for a day and a half and then she went rapidly downhill this afternoon. Some close friends were with her and read scripture to her and prayed with her in her last hours. Other friends were with Carl and helped him to the nursing home so he could be with Mom awhile during her final hours.
We are now making plans for either a Tues. or Wed. funeral (depending on when Kathy can get here from Amsterdam) at Penney Farms Retirement Center. It is about an hour from Jacksonville, FL.

But just think of stepping on shore and finding it heaven;
Of touching a hand and finding it God's;
Of breathing new air and finding it celestial;
Of waking up in glory and finding it home!
(Don Wyrtzen...thanks Dyan!)

Thanks for your prayers for our family and for Carl as we make this new adjustment. We will be having a family burial service sometime this summer in Waynesboro, Virginia. (She will be cremated and buried next to my father.)