Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Thanksgiving has come and gone. Today is the first day of December...my birthday. I love this time of year, Thanksgiving and Christmas, but I must confess...it makes me homesick. The memories come flooding in and I don't stop them.

I see Sharon and me as children making turkeys out of potatoes, construction paper and toothpicks. That was our contribution to the Thanksgiving table. I see my sisters and their families...all of us gathered around the table in the dining room on Victor Drive. Everyone is talking and laughing at once...I can hear it still.

I remember all the years - thirty-nine - that Bill and I shared the same birthday. I'm finally able to make it, for the most part, through my birthday now without tears...for I know in Heaven there are no tears.

Years pass...many years. My life is not what or where I imagined it would have been all those years ago, but I've learned that God is faithful. Through the disappointment, pain and grief, he has taught me that He is in control and is working all things out for my good and His glory.

Now, as I sit here at my desk and look out the window, I see the foothills of the Cascades across the valley and a ribbon of the Umpqua River below. It is the rainy season and a slow mist is falling. My Christmas list is on the desk in front of me, and I remind myself that there are presents to buy and packages to mail.

For now, though, I'm deep in thought. I'm thankful...truly thankful...for the blessings my Heavenly Father has given me. Three healthy, successful adult children. Each with God-given gifts and talents. Each uniquely different, and yet, in many ways, like both their father and me. I'm thankful for their wonderful spouses...each of which is very much my own child instead of an "in-law".

I'm thankful for the unbelievable JOY of grandchildren. I love each and every single one of them with all my heart. Each one is perfect...special...unique. I see "bits and pieces" of my children in them and it brings back memories of their childhoods. Three of my grandchildren are unexpected blessings: my beautiful dark-eyed adopted Peruvian granddaughter...a precious adopted Ethiopian baby boy, my grandson, whom I will meet for the first time on December 19th...and Mason, a beautiful blue-eyed baby boy, who technically is my husband's first grandchild...but very much my grandson too.

Had you told me years ago that Bill and I were not to grow old together, I would not have believed you. Had you told me years ago, that one day I would be living on a mountain in Oregon...I would not have believed you. Life is short. Life is precious. Why don't we know the things we know at this age when we're young and we need to know them? I don't have the answer either.

My life is different now. Now, I take one day at the time. That's all I ever had anyway. Now, I rejoice in the small things and try not to worry about the big things. I'm thankful for my macho logger tree farmer...my polar opposite. He has had his share of loss and grief as well. Given the best of odds, we know that we'll be two very old people if we're married as long as we were to our first spouses. So, for now, we find joy living on a mountaintop tree farm, which we evidently share with the bears, cougars, bobcats and lots of deer...

Note: The photo above was taken Christmas 1968 when our firstborn was four months old