Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Summer is winding down

I can smell it in the air. School is upon us. Even though we homeschool, I can't help but get caught up in the back to school excitement. This weather makes me think of tennis practice; watching the football team practice; new clothes; hope for a successful year (or a popular year!); homework; new friends and a new teacher; and a wide world opening up for whatever adventure awaits us.
The end of summer also means that we'll never have another summer when the kids are 9, 7 and 5. Because of all the changes we've seen the last year or so, it makes me sad that I can't really remember anything fun we did this summer. This past year has just been about survival. So I have some making up to do this year!
I've been contemplating some deep thoughts lately, on the evangelical church in America. I'm finding that I'm quite disillusioned and not so sure what my thoughts are on church, Christians, conservativism, and the like. But one thing I have realized is that I was in a habit of putting God into a box and making Him fit into my description. Now I'm seeing that He is so much bigger than I let Him be and that is opening up so many options to me, as far as what being a Christ follower, a Jesus lover is. I'm not embarrassed of Christ--I'm embarrassed of Christians and the dumb things we say and do, and the way we hate each other in the name of love sometimes. At any rate, that is what I've been pondering.
What are you pondering lately?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Indeed, it was goodbye

Grandpa did die sometime in the night, quietly and peacefully, we're told. We feel blessed that we went over there yesterday and didn't wait until today, as originally planned.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Saying Goodbye

September 2006

Today we got the call that Grandpa is probably going to be leaving us over the weekend. We knew it was coming, but still sideswipes you when the moment actually comes. So Teddy left work and went over there, while we met him there an hour later. Just in the 9 days since we last saw him, he has deteriorated ten-fold. He wasn't able to acknowledge anyone's presence. It was a bit scary for the kids. But Teddy was able to spend lots of time there today and talked to him of spiritual things, which was a conversation that had weighed heavy on Teddy's heart. So it was encouraging to be able to talk to him, even if there was no response. There's always hope that he can still hear him. Grandma is holding up well, at least when there's visitors there. From experience, I know that it's always the quiet times, the private times that are the hardest to keep the brave face on.
September 2006

Ben wasn't doing well there. Of the three kids, he's the most sensitive to death. Madeleine understands it, and cries, but also gets it that it's part of life and we need to live with it. Ben thinks and feels so deeply that it's overwhelming to him. Sophia just talks about heaven and the funeral. Anyway, Ben held onto me a lot today, crying. As we were leaving, he haphazardly waved goodbye to Grandpa. I whispered to him, "Ben, this is the last time you'll be seeing Grandpa. He will likely pass away before we can come back." Ben jumped into my arms, wrapping them tightly around my neck and began to weep. He then walked over to Grandpa, held his hand and said goodbye.

Madeleine, in her knack for being a caregiver, gently rubbed his hand and said "I love you, goodbye" but she wouldn't let go for a long time.

Sophia still could only think in literal, black and white terms of funeral and heaven. At least she's holding up okay.

Teddy didn't want to leave. It is more than likely the last time he will see his Grandpa. He loves him so much, in spite of what's transpired over the last decade or what other people think. He loves him so much and has always craved approval from him. Disappointing Grandpa and Grandma has always been paramount in his mind. So saying goodbye to him today, seemingly forever, was also letting go of childhood memories that he holds dear. Of watching his world change. Of losing an icon in his life. He didn't want to let go. Needless to say, he's a bit emotional today.

Anyway, we said goodbye today to Grandpa and it was very hard. It sucks. Cancer sucks. Death sucks.

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the
everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He
will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can
fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power
of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men
stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:28-31

Goodbye Grandpa Kay. We love you very much.

Monday, August 4, 2008

A funny thing happened on the way to the fair

Actually, it wasn't so funny, it was a bit scary! We spent a lofty Sunday morning at home, recuperating from the not-so-successful garage sale and an off-the-wall wedding reception. It was unfortunately a late night for the kids, so we missed church AGAIN! We were all packed and ready to go to the fair, we just had to take down our sale signs. I was in the house when I heard Ben screaming. I go outside to see Teddy walking him down the street, holding his arm. I immediately thought broken arm, but as they got closer, saw that it was his hand. The little man had been unable to reach a sign, so he climbed the fence. His foot slipped and he tried to stop himself by grabbing the top of the fence. Well, instead of going to the fair, we spent 4 hours at the emergency room.
This was after they'd stitched him up. After he awoke the morgue inhabitants with his piercing screams from the anesthetic needle. Poor guy, you'll notice a small patch in the middle of his pants. Let's just say he was VERY scared leading up to the stitches, and lost control a bit while being numbed! :( This picture makes me want to cry, he looks so miserable, but trying so hard to be brave!

They gave him a cool Matchbox set of cars for being so brave. Here he is outside the hospital.

Close up shot of his toy and his wrapped hand. Feeling better now that everything was done!