Sunday, April 27, 2014

If You're Ready .... Come Go With Me

Why is it that death shows us how to live?

I have watched our community - and those surrounding us completely come together after the tragedy we experienced.

The loss of a teenager always hurts.  The loss always makes us snap back into the reality that we are only here for a short time.

But we have known that all along.  And death taught us how to live a long time ago.

Many years ago our sixth grade class lost a classmate.  She was in a car wreck with her mom & sister and Sherry left instantly.  When we were in first grade we were all invited to a birthday party for a classmate.  Birthday parties in the early 1970s were fun and everyone wanted to be there (I am thinking that hasn't changed) - Sherry could not go - her parents would not take her but our first grade teacher did.  Our teacher left school with Sherry - took her to the party - and then back to school before the buses ran.  That first grade teacher... my mom.

Without any doubt I know my mom is so glad that she took the time to love Sherry and do something out of her way to make Sherry's life better.  This week I found a valentine from Sherry. (not a day to get aggravated at my mom for keeping everything!)

So how to live?

I know I forget.  In our Wednesday night ladies Bible study group we talk about LOVE  - all.the.time.  Sometimes I want to roll my eyes when I realize that yet once again - every discussion ends up at that point - LOVE.  Simply LOVE.  

It should not be so difficult.  

This conversation makes me want to sing (or rather listen to others who really can - and sing along!)....

Have you heard of The Staple Singers?  I feel quite sure I watched them on "Soul Train" - what a great show!!

Their song "If You're Ready" is a great reminder of what it is all about.  Take some time & search You Tube and see their Soul Train performance.  

If you're ready, Come go with me.
No hatred - will be tolerated
Peace & Love will grow between the races
Love is the only transportation to where there's total communication

Live today - like He taught us to live.  With love for each - taking time to be a part of someone's life - showing love to others while they are here - while we can receive the love right back.  

Back of the t shirt created to remember Candice Martin 1996-2014.

We went to FUMC today as our sweet friend was confirmed.  The quote during the sermon was just a perfect reminder....

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Our Dancing with the Stars

I danced with Ms. Love today.

Oh Ms. Love isn't really her name - but that is her name for my writing.  Ms. Love has friends that I know too:

Ms. Four
Ms. Paint
Ms. Flyright
Mr. Red
Ms. Valero
Ms. Meeks
Ms. Solo

and my dad.

He opened doors for my dad to live at Horizon Bay.  HB (as it is referred in my million text messages to my family) is maybe 5 minutes from my home.

HB is a retirement community that provides apartments for residents and also has a memory care section - Clare Bridge.

Some think of this as a sad decision for our family - that is completely far from where I am.  I have known for a while that my dad would need more than just my (awesome) care.  And the timing was right and a place was available.

So now I have a whole new set of friends - and Kerry has made new friends too.

My dad has lifelong health concerns that require Kerry and I (together or alone) to visit him twice daily.  Mornings are pretty much on my own - and that tends to be the easiest time slot.  In the evenings we typically go together.  And it is during those evening hours that we have the opportunity to visit with our friends (provided we can get there before they are all in bed!).

But on my non Groves Mechanical days - I spend time during the day too.  And today the music was playing and Ms. Love wanted to dance. And dance we did.

As he was getting ready to go to sleep, I told my dad that he is the best dad and I am so thankful to be his daughter.  His life continues to be a blessing for me.

One of those selfies that I am horrible at taking....

My mom lives in an apartment directly above Clare Bridge in the Assisted Living part of the community.  She has made wonderful friends and is enjoying all the aspects of living at HB.  Their activities remind me of camp - I think my mom just gets to go to camp every single day.  My mom chose her camp life so that she could be closer to my dad on a daily basis.  My dad can join her upstairs to watch the Rangers, they can go outside, they can eat together.

My mom celebrated the 2nd anniversary of her 39th birthday at HB in March.

My role of primary care giver is still in full force.  But now we have many more friends to love and I have an amazing staff to help our family.

I of course changed their names.  But oh how I wish you knew them too.  Seriously - you should visit.

Kerry and I with my parents one evening at HB.

My dad is doing SO much better!  It has been a long and hospital filled life since the beginning of 2014.  HB is a safe haven for my parents and a place that Kerry and I have found people that bless our lives every moment we share with them.

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.