Friday, June 14, 2013

honoring dad...

dear children of ours-
i want to say a million things to you, and yet know none of them will fill that gap left in your lives.  it is so painful with your dad still so physically capable, yet stripped of the essence of what made him your dad.  i so want to wrap my arms around you and give wisdom of understanding while you grieve what has been lost, but i have no clue what it feels like to lose the man that allowed you to scream as babies "because it was your only form of exercise"; shared his passion for a "gwink" & the art behind the it; told you, with all sincerity after your first breakup {and subsequent ones}, that he/she just lost out on the best person ever; and left you, anxious & distressed, on the step of your freshman dorm knowing you could handle the university ahead of you.

as we awkwardly celebrate dad's on sunday, i want to call to mind those freshman drop-offs.  he loved taking you children to college with your entire life packed upon the four wheels of our suburban.  some of the joy was the drive itself.  that man loved to drive absolutely anywhere.  it gave him time to converse with you, divvying out final words of wisdom based on both his successes and failures.  once you pulled up to that said university, he would unload his own handcart & speedily place all your boxes in what you would call home for the next nine months.  once his task was done, he would issue a warm hug & peck on the cheek and reassure you that you were capable.  he would then turn and load himself {and that trusty handcart} in the suburban & drive off, with complete confidence in you.  left standing on the doorstep of your new life,  you quickly found your roots and a balance to living without him close by. he was always a phone call away with astute words of wisdom, an "i love you", and quiet confidence would hang in the air leaving you knowing he expected nothing short of success.
july 2008...a man & his children.

i realize now we as a family have been dropped off at the freshman dorm of lives.  dad packed lessons, love, and laughs into our hearts.  his legacy is what continues to bind us as a family & there is that sweet brown eyed brother who needs to experience dad; his wisdom, pranks and "peterisms" through each of us.  while he isn't a phone call away, his lessons are tucked orderly in our minds and we simply need to recall both the logic & integrity he used when tackling a challenge.  his "love yous" must live in our hearts & that confidence he expected will press us to strive in the challenges we face as a family and individually.  we must lean in on one another in the middle of this sick uncertainty while allowing each other to fumble through all the grief.

so on sunday, as we {and you} celebrate the day dedicated to dads, remember:
-walk after dinner.  it's way better than TV & makes for family time.
-always wear sunscreen.  the higher the SPF the better.
-date your spouse regularly.  it lets your kids know marriage is first & they come second.
-give God, community, friends, strangers.
-invest in family...both immediate & extended.  one day you will need to lean in on them like we are learning in this season.

and have, his absolute favorite, a tanqueray-tonic with a squeeze of lime in honor of him!


Friday, June 7, 2013

its not about the stuff...

i am in the middle of a book that causes my mind to scream & struggle with the way i live-think-breathe.  it's called 7 by jen hatmaker.  it's kind of a diary of her journey of tackling seven months of less to become more.  less of her, jen & more of Him, God.  i realize i couldn't do she eats only seven foods for a month.  yep, she eats eggs, avocado, chicken, apples {and three other foods which escape me at the moment} for 30 days straight.  freakin' crazy-sriracha would be a MUST on that list just to continue to add spice to my little life.

the premise of the book is both fascinating & appaling-kind of like driving by a horrific car crash. i slow to see the damage, then immediately slam my eyes shut {while driving myself & beautiful family at 72 mph down the interstate-yea, i confess: i am a speeder & a rubbernecker}, hoping to erase the image forever from my mind.

we live in a culture of entitlement, with each generation puffing itself up a bit more-feeling more deserving of all the "stuff" life has to offer.  spacious homes, "greener" cars, trendier fashions, alluring vacations-i am a product of this entitlement.  i have lots of stuff & love collecting {actually purchasing-the "stuff" i crave is seldom free} more.  MORE.  AND MORE STUFF.  AND NOW PLEASE BECAUSE I DESERVE IT!

i have a drawer full of all sorts of bras-padded, push-up, demi, sports and yet, just two boobs.
i have over 102 dinner plates (yep, just dinner plates-not counting the ones for dessert or salad or saucers} and yet, just two of us eat here regularly.
i have a jar big enough to house a family of gold fish full of nail polish and yet, prefer {and pay!} someone else to paint my nails.

dear stuff {yeah, i am talking to you-bras, plates, polish}
i like having you all around.  you sparkle, shine, support my girls while i'm getting fit.  but some days {okay, almost all day-everyday} i am so busy with you i forget all about Him.  perhaps {and it breaks a piece of my heart to admit this} you need to take a backseat in my life.

when i had babies, the love in my heart i was sure there wouldn't be enough love for the next baby because my heart was so over-joyed {except a 3:24 am feeding time} and brimming with love i was adamant it was mathematically impossible for there to be anymore love for the next baby, but somehow the love grew ten-fold when the next and then the next baby came along.  but bras, polish, plates don't make my heart grow more love.  they have the adverse effect.  my heart grows greed, wanting more, believing more is due to me.

you see, stuff, it is about love & relationships.  with pjm being so sick, the lenses of life have been wiped clearer forcing me to realize life just isn't about my collection of stuff.  its about the family and friends &  their love filling the space dementia has left.  and all that stuff pjm collected over the years patiently waits for his return. motorcycles sitting silent in the garage, work boots collecting a thick layer of dust, tools yearning to cut, pound, build.  how will i tell all his stuff he is not coming back?  sorry stuff, pjm has forgotten you-he no longer cares about any of you.

stuff, you are intentionally distracting me from the purpose of life:  love of God & love of people.
i must work diligently at learning to let you go.

me...collector of fine stuff