Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘tragedy’

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

Stop, Look, Listen!


In this crucial time
We need to stop, look, listen
Stop now and bow down!

In kindergarten, we were taught to stop, look and listen. We made traffic lights as an art project. As a kindergarten teacher in the 70’s, I taught the children to recognize their colors, write their numbers, sing their ABC’s and listen for the sounds the letters made. I taught them safety features. Looking out for themselves and for one another. Yes, we had partners who took care of each other when we went out on field trips.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It’s time once again
For us to stop, look, listen
Practice safety rules

It’s time once again
To look out for each other
Hold hearts across miles

Just STOP, everyone!
Stay sequestered and stop now
Look for ways to help

Listen for the cries
Of people less fortunate
Look for solutions

Kim Taylor Henry is one of the contributing writers for Daily Guideposts 2020. This week, she has taken us through her devotionals on a journey to the Holy Land. We stopped with her in Jerusalem and bemoaned the way “the city bustled on.”

Kim thought of the words of Jesus:
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem…
how often I have longed
to gather your children together
as a hen gathers her chicks
under her wings,
and you were not willing.”


She wrote that
when she traveled to Jerusalem, she
“had expected to feel
connected to God
through tranquility.”

Instead, as she stood on a hill
looking down at the expanse of the city,
she wanted to cry out,
“Stop everyone! This is holy ground!
Bow down. Worship. Praise.”

Photo by Cameron Casey on Pexels.com

We were just like that –
Chaotic, bustling, busy –
Moving way too fast

Then this virus hit
We came to a screeching halt
Stop, look and listen!

Now we have the time
We are forced to be at home
How will this change us?

Photo by Alexas Fotos on Pexels.com

Will we use this time
To reclaim our best values
To reach out in love?

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

The city is still
The children are in their homes
It seems the world stopped

Take time to bow down
Reconnect with your Maker
Let His Will guide you

When Kim Taylor Henry left Jerusalem
and traveled on to Gethsemane,
she expected to find “a hushed highlight” for her trip.
She wrote that she thought she would find
“a spot where I would reflect on our Savior’s suffering,
a place of pain, yet serenity.”


“Instead ,” she wrote,
“I saw a fenced-off grouping of knobbly olive trees…
It didn’t feel peaceful.”

Opportunity or Tragedy

We have the opportunity
during this COVID-19 pandemic
to create in our homes
a place of peace,
a spot where you sense
a “hushed highlight”
in the opportunity to just BE…
just BE together with family
or alone in your space…

OR

We can create a tragedy
where we feel “fenced off”
and we can be resentful,
and we can worry
and let our fear
blind us to the opportunities
that are before us.

Photo by namo deet on Pexels.com

Indifference or Awareness?

Traveling on the Via Dolorosa, the road to Calvary, the place outside the city of Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified, Kim Taylor Henry wrote in her Guideposts devotional,

“I felt irritated by what I viewed as near oblivion to the sanctity of the path. Crass crowds and the array of souvenir shops disturbed me.”

But she went on to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and Golgotha, the hillside where Jesus and the two thieves’ crosses remained, and she felt a sense of hush and respect.

Kim asked herself, “Why is the Via Dolorosa bustling with indifference and commercialism while the sites of death and resurrection are worshipful?” And she postulated, “Perhaps it’s a reminder that I, like so many wrapped up in the world… realize my errors too late, and bow down after the fact – when crisis has already struck.”

Is it Too Late?

Help us not to wait
Until the crisis has struck
Devastating us

Help us to heed NOW
The directions we’re given
And let us bow down

Stop, look and listen
Like kindergarteners did
No, it’s not too late!

Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com

Thank you, Kim Taylor Henry, for permission to quote your writing. Thank you, Guideposts, for your wonderful Daily Guideposts 2020 spirit-lifting devotionals. I appreciate this resource that helps me each day stay focused on the positive ways we can remain in His Word and “Walk the Talk” as we learn to better love and care for one another.

See ya tomorrow.

Tenacity Defined


Gracie is Tenacity Defined. We all need such role models!
Check her out:

Look and see what an amazing person Gracie is.
I met her her in Ennis, Montana. She and Peter live in our Madison Valley.

And look for her husband, Peter, while you are checking out Gracie.

He is an amazing person, too.

Regardless of our hardships, we CAN survive and thrive.
It takes tenacity – a bucketful of it – like Gracie’s.
And someone’s hand to hold!

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

Hold on!
Have a good night.
See you tomorrow.

Difficult Day – 9-11


pexels-photo-1655998.jpeg

Photo by anna on Pexels.com

“Today was a Difficult Day,” said Pooh.  

There was a pause.  

“Do you want to talk about it?” asked Piglet.  

“No,” said Pooh after a bit. “No, I don’t think I do.”  

“That’s okay,” said Piglet, and he came and sat beside his friend.  

“What are you doing?” asked Pooh.

 

“Nothing, really,” said Piglet. “Only, I know what Difficult Days are like. I quite often don’t feel like talking about it on my Difficult Days either.  

“But goodness,” continued Piglet, “Difficult Days are so much easier when you know you’ve got someone there for you. And I’ll always be here for you, Pooh.”  

And as Pooh sat there, working through in his head his Difficult Day, while the solid, reliable Piglet sat next to him quietly, swinging his little legs…he thought that his best friend had never been more right.  

Mental Health Matters

This is National Suicide Prevention Week. Do you have a friend who needs you to just sit there and be a quiet supporter? Reach Out!

Let’s just love one another.

See ya later!

Absconded


My country has been taken

Prisoner as it makes

Prisoners of children.

Who absconded with

My country and turned

Its southern border into

A Hellhole?

What can we do,

What must we do

To take it back?

Where is God?


Tragedy is a common denominator;
We all face it from time to time.
It saddens and isolates us.
It covers our hearts with grime.

The suffering we all endure
Is not foreign to our friends.
It is not foreign to our Lord.
God is in the darkness around each painful bend.

God sent His Son to the cross for us.
There is not a place He will not go.
He walks beside us in our desolation.
His presence is a comfort; don’t you know?

But God is not the cause of our sorrow.
Death – an early earthly departure –
is not the will of God; His heart breaks, too.
He gives us free will. Misuse of it breaks His heart – sure!

When we are in pain, we cry out to God
The way Jesus cried out from the cross.
“Why hast Thou forsaken me? Where are you?”
He answers, “I am here! I cry with you for your loss.”

Christ on Cross Illustration

A Bleak Week


I wrote this and it sat in my “draft folder.” I don’t know why. Maybe it wasn’t supposed to be posted in the midst of the turmoil, but as a reminder now – to keep on praying. It’s not over for those caught in the middle of it! It’s only begun for some.

A Bleak Week unfolded.
Depressing and dreary to be sure.
Horrifying, frighteningly hair-raising.
Heart-breaking and sobering,
Defying explanation.
Beyond comprehension.
Bombings in Boston,


Explosions in Texas,


Senseless killings,


Needless deaths,


Water overflowing banks – Flooding,


Earthquake in China,
More than a million people affected.


A bleak week indeed
– and the misery continues.
Tragedy upon tragedy.

My heart weeps.
God is crying with us all.
He gave us free will; He didn’t want puppets.
But, oh my, how it must break God’s heart
To see the devastation.
Innocent bystanders mowed down.
Innocent bystanders stepped up.
The air was electric.
The energy, enthusiasm, and love
Were palpable as desperate victims
Gratefully accepted whatever help
Good Samaritans could offer.
Life-saving operations,
Belts and shirts torn off – used as tourniquets,
Bravery only God knows.


Blue Sky turned gray
With ash too thick for tears
To wash it away.
Tears mingle with Texas fertilizer.
Tears increase rains in Illinois and Iowa.
Gray water, gray skies, gray days.


Gray tombstones.
A Bleak Week.

Bravery continues.

Continue to pray.
There is so much hurting out there!

Let Us Pray


In the wake of the horrendous events in Newtown, Connecticut yesterday, the Rev. Jean Johnson in Ennis, Montana sent this prayer to her friends. Thoughtful and well-written, it is worth sharing.

Let us pray…………
Loving God,
you are nearest when we need you most.
In this hour of sorrow we turn to you,
trusting in your loving mercy.
Your love cares for us in life
and watches over us in death.
We bless you for our Savior’s joy in little children
and for the assurance that of such is the kingdom of heaven.
In our sorrow,
make us strong to commit ourselves, and those we love,
to your unfailing care.
In our perplexity,
help us to trust where we cannot understand.
There are days when the burdens we carry are heavy on our shoulders and weigh us down,
when the road seems dreary and endless,
the skies gray and threatening,
when our lives have no music in them,
and our hearts are heavy with pain
and we have lost courage.
Flood the path with light,
turn our eyes to Your promises,
tune our hearts to brave music;
gives us a  sense of companionship and community;
quicken our spirits
that we may be able to encourage all who journey with us on the road of life.
Write Your blessed name, O Lord, upon my heart,
there to remain so indelibly engraven,
that no prosperity,
no adversity,
shall ever move me from Your love.
Be to me a strong tower of defense,
a comforter in tribulation,
a deliverer in distress,
a very present help in trouble
and a guide  through the many temptations and dangers of this life.
In the name of Jesus the Christ we pray………….   Amen.

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