Happy Times


Cindy’s summer last year was consumed by her mother’s illness and death. Today she’s trying to finish the estate. A lot has happened in a realtively short period of time. I miss her Mom, but I think all this stuff with Narcie would have broken her heart with worry and ended her days with sadness. Instead Ganny died with a book in her hand, ever the librarian, looking forward not backward. I’m still amazed at how well she adapted from living in her special home to being under someone else’s care. I won’t forget how just a couple of weeks before her death, we went to see “Julie & Julia.” Then the bone marrow biopsy and the day before they were going to tell us what it was (Acute Myleoblastic Leukemia), she was dead. Just like that. She had asked Narcie and Josh to do her eulogy and they were great in sharing their special “Ganny Memories.” It would be tough for Ganny to know about Narcie. Just to think she died just a year and a half after seeing her precious Josh marry Karen. That was one of her last highwater marks exceeded perhaps only by the birth of Evy.

So, Cindy has been through a lot over the last couple of years. She is a trooper, dealing with last summer, a tough school year as usual as a guidance counselor, then just as school ended another saga began. I’ve had my break with the College World Series, she hasn’t. She’s been cheerleader, Mom, Grammie, friend, prayer-warrior, and so much more for all of us without so much as a thought for her own well-being. I sure do love her. I married my mother. She is so much like her. We joke around because I’ve sort of turned into her Mom which makes for an interesting visual when you think of our mothers marrying each other, but, hey, we’re more complex than that, and I’m grateful.

This December 20 is our 35th wedding anniversary, and I hope we can do it up right. I’m not telling what I’ve got in mind but she’ll love it if I can pull it off. She certainly deserves it. Both our best hopes would be fulfilled if Narcie’s MRI’s come back with no tumor. That would be gift enough. Nobody wants to outlive their child. I’m taking part in a funeral tomorrow for a child I baptized as an infant, who as a 19-year-old college student took his last breath on Saturday, from a summer cold turned into congestive heart failure. I cannot imagine his sweet parent’s heartache, but all of this with Narcie has made me feel just a bit of it, more than I want. I guess tomorrow’s sorrow has reminded me of how close we’ve come to the same horrible place and how grateful I am that Narcie Jo is alive and has the hope of being well.

Please pray for Wiley and DeLois Alexander and their family as they lay Karl to rest tomorrow. I never want to be in their shoes. I know that Jesus is in their hearts, but the ache that they must feel is beyond my pondering and is unfathomable. May God grant them peace. Ganny found peace and we are glad, but she was 76, not 19 like Karl, or 30 like Narcie. God please be with the families whose children are dying in Afghanistan and Iraq, Haiti, the neo-natal unit down the street, everywhere.

Garden of Eden, is that where I want to go? Back to Eden sounds good, but didn’t God put seraphim with blazing swords to keep Adam and Eve out? Why? If they had gotten back in they would have had access to both the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil AND the Tree of Life. Going back to Eden knowing good and evil, and eating of the Tree of Life and living forever would have been an eternal curse. God didn’t want them to go back to Eden for their own good, our own good. So, we’re people headed in a different direction – forward to the New Jerusalem, Rev. 21, no crying, no sadness, no good and evil – only good. Sounds good, but I’m in no hurry for any of us, not Karl, not Narcie, not Cindy. Maybe Ganny because she was ready and was wearing out. Maybe death can come as friend, but only through Jesus and not without a fight.

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