Remember and Celebrate

May 5, 2011

It’s “the continual presence of an absence”


5x7 landscape panel grief poem - Page 001

I created and framed these pics for my mom for Mothers’ Day, 2006, 5 months after she had lost her third child and I had lost my last sibling:

“The world loves closure, loves a thing that can, as they say,be gotten through. This is why it comes as a great surprise to find that loss is forever, that (two) decades after the event there are those occasions when something in you cries out at the continual presence of an absence.”  Anna Quindlen

51 years ago today, my little brother, Ronnie slipped away from us early in the morning, after a 16 hour illness.   I was 12 years old.  Nine  months earlier, my baby sister had been  born too early and lived only 7 hours. ( those footprints are only 1 3/4 in. long)

While there is a lot I have forgotten, I still remember parts of that day as if it were this morning.  Most of all I remember the despair of the finality of death.  It was 45 years later, after Gordon, my one remaining sibling died, that I found and understood the powerful meaning behind this quote by  journalist  Anna Quindlen.  I am grateful for people who capture profound concepts with words


May 2, 2011

Link to “Love Notes from God in the Garden”








I posted a few pages the last couple of days, but it really reads best all at one time – very short to “page” through.  Two years ago this week, I was very stressed and usure of the decisions we were making concerning my parent’s care.  Galen asked me what I needed and I said I needed to go to the Gardens.  This little book is the result.

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April 15, 2011

“There you are!”

It’s been January since I have seen them and I am So Excited! I run toward the door, but before I can get there, M. runs down the steps from the upstairs apartment, throws open the door and with Joy and Delight with a Huge Smile says “There you are!” I feel Loved and Cherished!

And I thought of something something I read on the plane as we flew eastward today in David Benner’s book – The Gift of Being Yourself.

“God loves each one of us with depth, persistence and intensity beyond imagination. . . . God loves you with what (the author) Hanna Hurnard calls “a passionate absorbed interest.” God cannot help seeing you through the eyes of love.”

I like that. I will remember this when I come into His presence. And I will picture him saying a welcoming “There you are.”

What word picture do you have of how God sees you? I’d love to hear about it.


April 15, 2011

I am back!

Back Blogging!

Late last fall I had two computer crashes in 6 weeks, followed by new computer, with new system in January (don’t even get me started) and then thumb joint replacement surgery on my right hand in Feb.

Now I can type and write and have a computer that I finally figured out Windows 7 – and I am back. Stay tuned.


April 15, 2011

I am back!

Back Blogging!

Late last fall I had two computer crashes in 6 weeks, followed by new computer, with new system in January (don’t even get me started) and then thumb joint replacement surgery on my right hand in Feb.

Now I can type and write and have a computer that I finally figured out Windows 7 – and I am back. Stay tuned.


February 27, 2011

When It Feels Like Winter, even if it’s not

“Waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question.”
Elizabeth Elliot

This is a post from two years ago, but it certainly fits into the theme of the Eternal Winter
More than that, it fits this time of my life where there is much uncertainty/unanswered questions

I gaze at the frozen lake…
in the gray of late afternoon.
“It’s sad, here today,” I think.
There is nothing here…
just cold

And You, oh God remind me . . .
There IS life here.
The trees , the grass
will be green again.

The resting is part of your plan.
Help me know
You are still at work
even when it seems like winter.

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January 10, 2011



As I sit in my recliner, often my eyes go to this clock. It’s a special clock, because Galen’s dad was a “Master Mix” Feed dealer as Galen was growing up, and when his sister found this clock, she bought it and gave it to Galen. It now resides in our “memory room.” I simply enjoyed the nostalgia of this clock.

But a few weeks ago, as I my eyes landed once again on it, I couldn’t help but notice the phrase, “Definate Feeds for Definate Needs” and I have returned often to that thought over the past days.

To me it is a reminder that my “Master” knows my needs and He has what I need. That thought speaks to my heart, especially on days when I question whether He is noticing at all. While my “head” knows it, it is good for my heart to be reminded.

Definate Feeds – For Definate Needs! – 
 provided by the “Master Mixer.”


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January 7, 2011

Birthdays, Rice Krispy Bars & and Missing A Brother

from my corner table in Botanic Gardens Cafe

Birthdays, Rice Krispy Bars & Missing A Brother

Hey Gordon, I’m sitting here at the Garden Café, eating a marshmellow bar – in your honor. I am sure you’d say it’s not as good as Carol’s and you’d probably be right. I can still picture you sitting at your counter in the kitchen enjoying every bite of one of her bars. She is a great cook. It’s just one of those pictures I have in my mind.

You also loved potato soup Sand Tarts and Blueberry muffins – without the blueberries! They say you picked them out and enjoyed the muffin.

I miss you and your wacky sense of humor, your quick wit that always had the right word/joke for the moment. You had such a way with words. People think I talk a lot – well, if they could only meet you, they would know why they called you “Gordon Longtalker!”

You loved your God and your friends. Keith told us how you shared your faith and says you are why he is a Christ-follower today. He said you didn’t preach sermons, you just asked penetrating questions and they you’d be gone, leaving him with things to ponder.

You simply loved people and wanted to help them – and you did, going out of your way to do it.

You loved your wife and your kids, your mom and dad and me!

And I love you and miss you.

Nov. 6, 2005, when you didn’t meet Paul at the end of the road as you had planned, marked my world into “Before & After.”

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to say what happened and all I learned in the “After” was worth the pain of losing you. That’s more than I can manage right now. But in losing you, I’ve learned a lot about myself and about God – what it means to trust and still love God. And I am grateful that in all the pain, God brought healing. I have seen the gifts that come with grief. I won’t go into those things now….those are in other posts here on this blog and there will be more.

So, enjoy heaven little brother. Carol and the kids are doing GREAT. These words from Matthew West’s song always makes me cry, but they fit what I want to say now. “So save a place for me. It must feel good to have the weight of the world off your shoulders.”

Enjoy Ronnie, Brenda, mom and all the others already there.
Be watching for me.
After Jesus, you are the first one I want to see.
Then you can take me to see the others.


December 6, 2010

Memoranda, Moleskins & Moments

Camera and Journal - always handy (My son will be so proud to see my tiny "Moleskin" journal!)

While with our family in Wisconsin over Thanksgiving, during one of my early morning quiet times, I was meditating on scripture and taking time to be quiet. And I remember having some kind of “insight” or “encouragement” that God brought to my mind. But I didn’t write it down and now I don’t remember.

This led me think of one of my favorite quotes from Through The Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll.  The King is referencing a frightening experience he has just had when he says:

“The horror of that moment,” the King went on, “I shall never, NEVER forget!’ “You will, though,” the Queen said, “if you don’t make a memorandum of it.”  (italics mine!)

I forgot to make a “memorandum” of my special moment with God and now I can’t remember it . . . kind of hard to  celebrate it by sharing it with you when I can’t remember.

So what does the purse have to do with this?  Well, there is a “Moleskin make-my son-proud” journal that fits into my purse.  And that’s my little camera in the side pocket there; A photo helps me remember too.   While I journal most days, I also carry a small journal for those God-Moments when I am in the muchness of life.  That’s what “Remember & Celebrate” is all about.

How do you record your God Moments? Maybe it’s as simple as noting something on your calendar. I’d like to hear about it.


November 20, 2010

Crashing Computers, Trips, Projects and Interruptions

Computer crash, the need to restore my journal program files from Carbonite, a trip to Virginia to a writer’s seminar by Vinita Hampton
Wright, ( )  and a 100 page digital book project for a client  – – – and the end result is interrupted postings! 

Oh,  and I also forgot my password to this site…so I had to contact my son Todd, who is my webmaster!  He supplied me with a new password….quite creative and one I shall always remember! (  &  )  I will return!

This morning I was reading  Then Sings my Soul, 150 of the world’s greatest Hymn Stories given to me in 2004 for Mothers Day by my soon to be daughter-in-law, Jill . . . I love what I read this morning and so I leave you with this blessing:

“The Lord Bless you and keep you.
The Lord make His face to shine upon you . . .
And be gracious to you
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you
and give you peace. Amen.
Numbers 6:24-26

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