Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Posts tagged ‘Sisters’

Embrace Loving Memories


In Loving memory
Of my dear, only sister
All of us gathered

Many remembered
The loving kindness of her
I wrote and read this poem:

Sisters are a real treasure –
A gift from Heaven with love.
Sally shared with me a relationship
Designed by God above.

When Sally and I were little,
Mom dressed me as her twin.
People thought we really were –
But she would say, “I’m the oldest –
so I win!”

I used to blame my sis for things
When I was the culprit – clearly!
“I no pick the flaws – maybe Sally d!”
Fist full of flowers, I’d point sincerely.

She never held it against me;
Her heart was too big for grudges!
Always first to shrug nd forgive,
She didn’t need a lot of nudges.

We both joined Turlock High Band;
Played clarinet – marched in every parade.
But she preferred being treasurer –
Being sure ny dues were paid.

When God gave out number sense,
I must have hid behind the door –
Or else I missed it because my sis
Had enough for the two of us -and more!

We never really competed with each other.
She did her own thing – for sure.
A more unique soul never existed –
Cut from a loving mold – honest and pure.

She’d give you the shirt off her back
If she thought you needed one –
And she never missed a potluck –
Or any other activity with games and fun.

Her closet was quite organized
From Valentine’s to New Year’s Day.
You never had to guess the holiday –
Her clothing was the display.

After God created Sally, though,
He threw away the mold.
No one earth could match
Her heart, her style – so quirky and bold!

Sally loved her family – of that we had no doubt.
She loved her church and her yippy pups.
She adored her Lodge sisters and her scouts.
She generously gave us oregano, bee stuff, and cups.

I smile when I look at her pictures.
They tell a story of a life filled with joy.
They help me recall my sister’s love –
And be grateful – She was the Real McCoy!

Here is Sally with my grandson, Jordan. The two of them shared a December 20th birthday.

I ended my remarks at Sally’s Memorial with this scripture:

1 Kings 3:12b
“…no one like you has been before you
and no one like you shall arrive after you.”

Rest in peace, Sis.
I’ll see ya later!

And my dear blogging friends, I’ll see YOU later, too.
Bob & I will head back to Montana via Delta Airlines tonight.
Your prayers for our safe travel and smooth connections will be greatly appreciated.

Embrace Storytelling


Don’t let your stories
Die inside you when you’re gone
Let stories out now

We are headed to California to spend time with our son and his family and with Bob’s brother and his family.

With my niece and her family, we will have the Memorial Service for my sister that had to be cancelled last December. My niece wants me to say a little about my sis at the memorial service. Where do I begin? Where do I stop? How do I choose? There is so much to tell.

That picture of the two of us was taken 30 years ago at my daughter’s wedding. It brings back so many memories!

There is Sally with her two nephews and two nieces (our son’s children)… taken when the youngest two were around 8 years old. They are 25 now! I could write a book about my sister’s affection for holidays and the joy she got out of dressing up for each one of them. Her closet – full of clothes – was arranged according to holidays!

I don’t have to tell you what time of year this was! She and GiGi (or was that MeMe?) were headed to celebrate with us. Life with Sally was one celebration after the next. Lordy! Don’t let the stories die with her. Keep them alive!

Let those stories out
Just Embrace Storytelling!
Share more tomorrow…

Lord help the mister
Who comes between me and my sister
And Lord help the sister
Who comes between me and my man…
(or something like that… hah!)
We never had that trouble!

… but isn’t that a cute song?

I CAN Keep it Simple


If you have followed my blog for a month or more,
you have seen this journal before.
The topics are inspired by life and living.
I have written about:
I CAN
Volunteer
Share
Bee Hospitable
Tackle Transitions
etc.

Little did I know when I wrote some of those how difficult some would become. Hospitality requires guests, right? Well, so much for that! Most of our friends are afraid in this pandemic world to socialize.

Little did I know how hard it would become to volunteer. Most of my volunteer activities are forbidden right now. I can’t be a “Purple Lady” at the medical center desk. Our auxiliary couldn’t hold its fund raiser this year. We couldn’t earn the money to donate for new equipment and/or medical supplies as we have done in the past.

Yes, that’s right… $31,700. donated .
And remember, we are a little town of about 1,000 residents!
We couldn’t have our usual Madison Valley
Medical Center Christmas party.

Little did I realize how many opportunities I would have to “Tackle Transitions.” Back in June of 2018 when I wrote on that topic, God knew what was coming, but none of us had a clue. My transitions poem was prophetic:

Times of transition
Can be disconcerting –
Facing the unknown
Running, dodging, skirting.

Life is full of changes;
Nothing stays the same.
Rolling with the punches –
Listening for our name.

In the “roll call” of life,
Showing up to be
Ready for transitions
Sometimes is difficult for me.

But I know the Leader
Is my Maker who decides
What my next assignment is.
In Him my life abides.

So, embrace the coming changes;
Set aside all fear and sorrow.
Joyfully put your hand in His;
He’s gotcha covered for tomorrow.

Choosing JOY in the midst of this pandemic is not easy.
My list of “I Can” do’s has changed this year.
But, I try to keep it positive:

I CAN
Believe
Only Imagine
ReJOYce
Whistle!

You recognize some of those. They became blogging themes.
This morning’s I CAN prompted today’s post:

I CAN
Keep it Simple

No large family gatherings
No stockings stuffed with toys
No sounds of giggling laughter
From excited girls and boys

No trudging through the snow
With accordion on my back
No carols at windows
Or St. Nicholas with his sack

It’s a different sort of year
COVID-19 has changed us quite a lot
We cancelled our travel plans
And we altered what we bought

Christmas Day will be different
We can mourn the things we miss
Or we can vow to keep it simple
Pray for those we cannot kiss

The virus and death took too many –
They’re in Heaven with our Lord
Let us focus on Christ Jesus
And the grace He richly poured.

Believe the Christmas promise
Jesus came to save our souls
Eternity knows no endings
His love comforts and consoles

Keep it Simple!

This nativity is over a hundred years old.
It belonged to my grandmother.
I treasure its simplicity.
My sister is one who went to her eternal home this year.
Sally would have been 83 on December 20th.
Eternity knows know endings.
I will see her again someday.
I Believe!
Thank You, Jesus!!

Have a Beautiful Christmas Week!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
See you tomorrow.

My Sis, Sally, Died Today


Me with Mom and Sally

Today my sis, Sally, died.
She was only a year and a half older than I.
As children, Mom often dressed us alike.
People thought we were twins.

As adults we looked so much alike, too, that our long-time friends sometimes called me Sally.

When you lose your only sibling,
A part of you dies with her.
Sally came every Thanksgiving from CA
To spend the holiday with us in Montana.

Sally with oregano

Sally always came with an extra suitcase.
She filled it with oregano that grew in her back yard.
She spent most of the week here at the kitchen table or counter
Picking the leaves off the oregano stems.

I have a couple of quart jars left of her herbs.
When they are gone, another part of her
Will disappear – You can’t find oregano that fresh –
Not in a store, that’s for sure! Can you smell it?

Sally with our son, Ty’s kids

Sally was a nut about holidays!
She had a closet full of clothes
Sorted by the holiday they represented
And she loved every one of them.

She joined her nieces and nephews
For Halloween and Christmas,
For Easter and birthdays, and
For special lunches and dinners.

Sam, Faith, Hope and Jordan with Aunt Sally at Burger King
Sally loved giving gifts and playing games
Sally & Jordan shared a Dec. 20th birthday
They continued to share even as Jordan entered his teens and young adult years.
Bonnie was Sally’s best friend. They enjoyed many River Cats games together.
Sally & Ty

Naturally Sally was there to celebrate her daughter, Jodie’s wedding.
Here she is at the wedding reception, dancing with her nephew,
our son, Ty, the daddy of those nieces and nephews.
And she was there of course, for her grandson, Liam’s baptism.

Bill & Jodie Welge (Sally’s dughter) and their infant son, Liam

Sally loved spending time with her grandson, Liam.
During the last few years of her life, she moved
from California to PA to be near her daughter, son-in-law,
and her dear grandson, Liam.

Besides her family and holidays, Sally had a love of dogs.
She inherited her poodle, Gigi, from our mom after Mom died.
Gigi was stolen from Sally when Gigi was about 4 years old.
Gigi was gone nine years, but Sally never gave up the idea of
finding her!

Sally & Gigi

Sure enough, nine years after the theft, Sally received a call from a veterinarian.
Gigi had a chip, and when she was found wandering, dirty, toothless, and infected,
the person who found her brought her to a vet. The chip had Sally’s number.
Can you imagine her joy at that reunion after nine long years? Gigi lived to be 15.
Dear friends of ours here adopted her and gave her a loving last 9 months of life
when Sally moved to PA and could not take Gigi with her to the Masonic Home.

Sally & Jodie at Christmas in Pennsylvania
Sally with me at Christmas in California
Can’t deny we’re sisters, can we?
Last Thanksgiving in Sewickley, PA

Although Alzheimer’s robbed my sis of her memory and ultimately of her ability to converse, she was tuned in and enjoyed the concert Liam and I presented in her nursing home last Thanksgiving. I am so glad Bob & I were able to go – and we had that time with her. My life is filled with wonderful memories of times we shared together.

I’m pregnant with Ty – Bob’s next to Sally & Dave with Denise
and that’s our Mom & Dad in front
Bob & me with Sally & Dave – one Easter waaaay back when!

Sally had a life filled with service to others through her church, the Hospital Auxiliary, the Girl Scouts (she led a troop for at least 50 years) and her favorite organizations, Rebekahs and Eastern Star.

Her life also was one of tragedy (her oldest daughter died at age 19 and her husband, Dave, was only 60 when he died suddenly and unexpectedly of a heart attack). But Sally was a trooper. She continued to volunteer and give of her time and talents to others.

I was blessed to grow up with a sister who had such a big, giving heart,
She will be missed by all of us who loved her. But her spirit will live on.

Sally and Jan
at my daughter, DeAna’s wedding in 1987

I know her spirit will recognize mine when I join her in Heaven someday.
Meantime, rest in peace, dear Sis. I will carry your love with me always.

Thanks for visiting today my friends.
Treasure every sunrise.
Enjoy every sunset.
Tell your siblings how much you love them.

See ya tomorrow, God willing!
JanBeek

Memories


Susan Hardwick & Phyllis Wasick

In March Susan got to visit
With Phyllis, our dear sister,
Before our dear friend’s life
Ended on earth. Oh how we missed her!

Tomorrow we’ll remember
Stories of Phyllis’ life
And share them with each other.
She was a loving wife.

Her husband died too young,
Over thirty years past.
Phyllis made his ring a heart
And wore the love that last.

The heart hung ’round her neck
All these many years –
She willed it to her Yana
Through memories and tears.

How many of us have
A memory to share
Of a loved one gone too soon
To their heavenly home up there?

If life is lived so fully
That when time comes, we are ready,
It’s easier to say good-bye.
Live your life with grace. Be steady!

Be loving and kind-hearted.
Be compassionate to those you meet.
Then, like my good friend, Phyllis,
Your friends’ memories all will be sweet.

Her children know the treasure
Of a mom whose love was always true.
She shared her life with God and friends.
I hope there is a friend like her for YOU!

Keep your memories of friends
Alive and smiling in your heart.
Make memories others will treasure.
Today’s a perfect day to start.

Rest in peace, dear Phyllis.
I’ll love you forever!

Phyllis was a grown up who did not “act more like children than children”
BUT
She was one of those people who needed people… just as I am.
We are/were “the luckiest people in the world!”
We each have (had) the person who made us whole…
… thank God for that “very special person.”


Share your memories of a loved one with me.
I’d love to read some of your thoughts on this subject
in the comments below.
Hugs,
JanBeek

What Do You Miss?


Ennis Bell Ringers

There I am in the top-middle – happily holding my two bells, ready to practice with the Ennis Bell Ringers. This photo was taken last December before all this COVID-19 pandemic was known. We learned a series of songs to play at a Christmas concert, and were set to start learning patriotic songs so we could give a concert here in Ennis on the 4th of July. And all of a sudden, everything was cancelled. You know the feeling.

I sing in our church choir, too… and those practices had to be cancelled.

I volunteered (past tense) at our Senior Center as a sous chef, and at our local hospital as a receptionist one day a week. Those opportunities to serve were cancelled.

I miss:

  • singing with the choir
  • playing with the bell ringers
  • volunteering as a sous chef
  • volunteering to work one day a week at our local hospital
  • visiting my friends at the local nursing home
  • having neighborhood parties
  • hugging my friends
  • the carefree safety of flying to California or Pennsylvania or Switzerland to be with my children and their families, my sis and my niece
  • the freedom to shake hands with people I meet
  • and so much more…
I miss family reunions

I am grateful that we live where we do because here in the Madison Valley of Montana, we still are able to:

  • go four-wheeling in the mountains with friends in the wide-open spaces
  • attend church services outside on the lawn
  • hug one another (Bob & me… thank God!)
  • wear a mask and socially distance at CostCo or our local grocery store to do our shopping
  • interact with family and friends using the internet… here’s my sister in her last FaceTime meeting with her daughter and grandson (a real smile – yay!)
Yay! Thank God for the magic of the internet!

We still can hop in the car and go to see the beautiful scenery around us. In places up high, there still is snow on the ground!

And thanks to the internet, friends who go to visit Yellowstone Park can send pictures of the bison – and we can enjoy the sights they see vicariously!

So, instead of focusing on what I miss, I guess I should look at the joys we still can enjoy, right? My grandson, Mike, in Switzerland, went to a friend’s wedding last weekend – and he sent me a lovely picture of him with his darling girlfriend, Tania. I miss seeing him in person and meeting his friend in person, but I am grateful that he reaches out to me and that he sent this terrific photo:

Tania must have been a bridesmaid, don’t you think? Lovely dress!!

They have those same beautiful mountains there – even prettier – that we have here in Montana. See them behind the couple? The Alps are pretty spectacular! And of course, you noticed that foot that’s stuck in the photo there, right? Someone’s having fun. I can feel the joyfulness, can’t you?

What is it that you are missing?
And what are you grateful for today? Tell me!

I’m grateful for life itself…
and for my health.
Cheers, my friends!
I’m grateful for YOU!!

See ya tomorrow.
Love ya…. thanks for visiting
JanBeek

Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams


“… So wrap your troubles in dreams,
and dream your troubles away!”

Do you remember that song? I thought of it today because it has something in it about “no matter if it’s sunny or gray” – and today is another gray day in s-w Montana. We’ve needed the rain, but enough already! I’m ready for summer sunshine and no “w.” (We never say that “w” word for fear the gusts will follow and blow us right off our Pintail Ridge!).

We had gusts up to 52 mph last week. Oh my! I was praying to God that our hanging baskets wouldn’t blow off to the end of our Madison Valley!!

Sing Your Troubles Away

Both Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby sang this song… I like the Sinatra version because I love the swing! But listen to the original, too… that’s Bing Crosby waaaay back in the beginning of his career. Doesn’t even sound like him. Accompanying music is 1930s melancholy stuff…. but yup, it’s the Crosby whistle! He had it perfected even in the late 30’s.

Oh, if you hang on, following Sinatra, we hear Doris Day’s version on this first link. She was a favorite of mine, too. (Wasn’t that his whistle I remember in “Singin’ in the Rain?”)

“Just remember that sunshine
always follows the rain,
so wrap your troubles in dreams,
and dream your troubles away.”

Sing along:

I don’t know about you, but I really enjoy hearing various versions of the same song. It’s fun to hear how different artists take liberties and make it their own.

Another popular artist back in the 40s and 50s was Perry Como. Here’s his version of the song:

By the time you heard that last one, you HAD to sing along, right?

Have you wrapped your troubles in dreams
and dreamed them all away?
I wish it were that easy!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Do you remember dreams?
If not, maybe you need a dream catcher by your bedside.
Catch your best dreams – and live them!

I have a dream catcher by my bed …
and a nice big one in the window
down in the guest bedroom.

This dream catcher is really special.
It was a gift to us from my sister, Sally.
(If you’ve followed my blog for awhile,
you know my only sister, Sally,
lives in a care facility in PA near her daughter.

Sally has Dementia.)

Come and dream your troubles away here in Montana.
It’s a perfect place to do so!

Do you have troubles you want to “dream away”?
Tell me about ’em and I’ll add ’em to my prayer list.
No better place to put your troubles than in the hands of God!

Pray your troubles away!

Thanks for singing with me.
Share your troubles.
I care.
I’ll pray for you.
Hugs, Jan

Each Man as My Brother


Each man as my brother,
Each woman as my sister
Each one as my friend
We need one another…

When I was in college back in the late 50s and early 60s, we sang this song in the A Cappella choir at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. I loved it then. I love it even more now. We need it!!

We need one another
So I will defend
Each man as my brother,
Each man as my friend.

Each woman as my sister,
Each one as my friend.

Lord, heal our nation.
Almighty God, step in and heal our divisions.
Help us understand our Oneness.
Help us just LOVE ONE ANOTHER!!

Lie down, my friends.
Put your feet up.
Fold your hands.
Click that arrow up there –
And pray this as a prayer with me
As we sing that song together,

“No man is an island…
No man stands alone,
Each man’s joy is joy to me
Each man’s grief is my own.
We need one another,
So I will defend
Each man as my brother,
Each man as my friend.”
Each woman as my sister,
With love that knows no end.

Beth Guckenberger,
from her book, Reckless Faith: Let Go and Be Led,

“Hope is reborn in the form of faith,
faith that God will take over,
even if you can’t see how.”

Rest in that thought!!

You are in my thoughts,
in my prayers,
in my heart.

Bee well.
Just love!

See ya later,
JanBeek

St. Pat’s Day Wishes


In honor of my sister, Sally, who always dressed to the hilt for every holiday, I bought a sparkling shamrock necklace today. Happy St. Pat’s Day, Sis!!

My necklace has a sparkling light – – – Sally would love this! She’s in a nursing home in Pennsylvania, and like all nursing homes in the USA now, they are on “lock down” for their own safety. Coronavirus is keeping a lot of folks away from the corned beef and cabbage fun they usually enjoy with family and friends on this day. I hope the Masonic Home serves it for her dinner.

Photo by Jaime Fernández on Pexels.com

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, dear friends.
I hope your day is a blessed one –
even if you are quarantined
and unable to get out.
Just let the leprechauns come to you!

Photo by Pressmaster on Pexels.com

Peace, Health, and Hope to you.

See ya tomorrow

Music, Birds & Joy


Yesterday I promised I would send you a video of Liam and me playing at my sister’s Masonic Home. My niece, Jodie, recorded videos and took these pictures. Thanks, Jodie!

We had a “full house” of residents from the Masonic Home listening to our “concert.”
I have videos so you can hear the residents singing along to “Home on the Range” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic” – but I can’t get the videos to load here. Sorry! You just gotta trust me, it was fun – and the residents really seemed to enjoy it. I know I did!
And today I said “Good-bye” for now to my sis, Sally. I’m glad I got a chance to see her in her new environment.

Now, as Thanksgiving approaches, we plan to celebrate with dinner out – and then our first opportunity to see a performance of Les Miserables! Thanks to Jodie & Bill… what a wonderful gift!

Have YOU had a chance to see that production?

This afternoon I am sitting and watching the birds find food here in Pennsylvania. I pray with God’s grace, tomorrow we will be looking for birds in our Montana snow. They won’t be these colorful ones… but we’ll be happy with whatever feathered friends we find.

Photo by Frank Cone on Pexels.com

What kinds of birds do you have in your area this time of year?

Are any of yours this colorful?
Photo by Andrew Mckie on Pexels.com
Please keep an eye out – and listen for their song.
Happy Thanksgiving to you, my USA friends –
and Happy end of November to you all.
See ya tomorrow.

Pray for our safe flight back to Montana, okay?

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