Wow – this week has just flown by and I’ve not had a chance to share pictures of our trip to the zoo with our grandchildren and our daughter. The photos are wonderful and I can’t wait to share them with you. Here's a sneek peek at the fun we had together. This was a week of remembering dear ones who are no longer with us. Of course Father’s Day was a bittersweet day. Our children honored my sweetheart and I remembered, with a few tears, the dear father who blessed my life. And it was a day that nearly overwhelmed our three grandkids who lost their daddy just months ago. But we all, in different ways, celebrated the dads we have loved so much.
As I shared in my last post, Monday would have been our son-in-law’s thirty-fifth birthday and we wanted to do something special with his children and our daughter. So – we went to the zoo. There is so much to tell you. Like the fun we had and the animals who seemed to know we had come to visit them. Tuesday marked six months since our son-in-law died. It was the third day in a row of emotions and memories for the children and our daughter. But they made it through and are committed to doing things that he would want them to do to move forward.
Wednesday would have been my parents’ sixty-fourth wedding anniversary. Each year since Dad has been gone I have spent this special day with my dear little mother. Just the two of us. We go somewhere a bit different than usual and we do something she enjoys. And I treat her to lunch. This year we had such a good day. A day to celebrate the love my dear mother and father had for each other and the blessings of God through the years they had together. We took a beautiful bouquet of flowers to the cemetery. Flowers from my dear mother's garden, artistically arranged by her hands - just for him. If Dad could see us, he would have laughed and enjoyed my antics as I dodged the sprinklers that were watering the grass at the cemetery. I retrieved the flowers I had put there on Father's Day and the vase we needed for my dear mother's arrangement. After filling the vase with fresh water and the new flowers I waited until the sprinklers were in that certain spot again before I ran (like crazy!) across the grass and successfully placed the vase in its holder before the water came my direction again! It would have made a great video! Then we thrifted and shopped and we found a wonderful place for lunch where the food was good and the staff treated her like she was the queen of the universe. They honored (and surprised) her by upsizing her steak and then they gave her a free dessert. And they asked her to come back again.
Yesterday was a busy day of care center chaplain ministry. It was one of those days that had such special moments that remind me why I love doing what I’m doing. And make me realize again how important my visits are to the dear folks who mean so much to me.
So, what am I doing today? Putting the last things in my suitcase and heading south. To California. With my sweetheart. It’s a long story and an unexpected, happy surprise. From God’s hand to ours. We are driving a car down to our former Worship Pastor. He and his wife became good friends while they were here but he recently resigned to return to school. He is pursuing his Doctor of Theology, with hopes to teach in a Bible college or university. Maybe overseas! Tomorrow we will deliver their car - their second car they couldn’t drive down when they moved last week – and tomorrow evening we will go to a community not far from there to visit my best friend forever from college days. She and I remain very close friends. We keep our computers humming with emails back and forth. We never dreamed that this visit would happen. Sunday morning she and her husband and my sweetheart and I will go out for breakfast together before my sweetheart gets on a plane to fly home. Without me!! I am staying for a few more days to visit my dear friend. And walk on the beach. And talk. And laugh. And maybe shed a few tears together. But most of all, just enjoy being together again. An unexpected blessing. It still doesn’t seem real. When I return I’ll tell you all about it. For sure!