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Friday, February 27, 2009

Best Friend Therapy

The past 4-6 weeks have been a blur much of the time. Beginning with an emergency trip to the hospital to be with my dad who had a stroke, then endless days in the ICU waiting room and finally a Memorial service. I've tried to jump back into work, catching up on the stacks of meetings and paperwork that I'd put on the back burner. Now, in addition, there are endless tasks to get the estate in order and all of that is complicated by a step-family. So, when I decided that Saturday would be the best day to go down and visit my brother in his group home and take him out for lunch, I also thought that it was high time for some "best friend therapy". After school today, I'm headed down to spend the night with Valine---we're not doing anything really special, but the thought of eating out and then just laying around in a hotel room talking sounds wonderful to me. I cannot wait!
Thursday, February 26, 2009

It's In The Genes

I inherited the crafting gene from my mother, I'm certain. And both of my girls inherited it from me. Their interpretation of the gene differs from mine slightly, but they both definitely have that creative, artsy thing going, whether through visual arts, musical arts or written arts. My very talented, oldest daughter just sent this link to One Pretty Thing, where her Mardi Gras decorations are highlighted at the bottom. While the Mardi Gras party never actually materialized due to the death of my father and her need to come home for a few days, her crafty ideas were great and I hope she enjoyed them in her home.
Monday, February 23, 2009

Throw Me Something Mister!

About 20 years ago or so, Mardi Gras finally made it up to North Louisiana. And in the years that have passed since then, it has grown larger and more elaborate. Today is "Fat Tuesday", but the parades and festivities have been going on for a few weeks now. On Saturday evening, with cousins in town, my girls and their husbands decided to experience the madness one more time. Here they are as they arrived at the parade route (which by the way, completely encloses my neighborhood making it impossible to get in or out for hours). And once, they arrived, they found themselves right next to one of our very favorite families, the Parkers! Their children and grandchildren were in town for Norm's birthday, so they all had a great time catching beads and playing together. Here's a photo of my "krewe" after collecting the goodies.


After an incredibly difficult 4 weeks or so, I'm back. My gentle Daddy has gone on to be with my Mama in Heaven. We celebrated his life this past weekend with friends and family. My brothers and even my daughters live away from this area, so it was great to all be together for a while--even if under difficult circumstances. We did pause a while on Saturday to take some family photos, though. Here I am with my brothers (yes, my diet will begin today!) :

And then here's a picture of the grandkids: (this picture is set up by height, not by age)Here's the one by age (with husbands included)---my daughters are so petite that although they are the oldest of the "cousins", they rarely get to stand in the back of any line!
Monday, February 2, 2009

My Father's Hands

A few years back, I was in charge of a committee at church that put together a devotional booklet for members of our congregation to use during the season of Lent. Writing has never been my best talent, but I did write a short devotional for one of those publications. The last few days, as I have sat for hours in the ICU waiting room waiting for word on my Daddy, I keep recalling one that I wrote in 2004. Here it is:

"If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast." Psalm 139:9-10

When I was a little girl, it was always a treat to go downtown on Saturdays to visit my Daddy's office. While he and my mother worked, we kids amused ourselves with a variety of intriguing office supplies. Since his office was on the tenth floor, it was great fun to ride up and down in the elevator, and having three older brothers meant that I got twirled in the swivel desk chair until I was dizzy.

But my favorite memories are of the times that I went to the office with my Daddy alone! On those special Satrudays, it was much quieter in the office. I don't really remember what I did to amuse myself, but, I do remember holding my Daddy's hand to walk across Marshall Street to the Lane Building and holding it again when we crossed the alley next to the building. I remember loving the way that felt--safe, secure, my small hand in his much larger hand--as he guided me safely across the street to the other side. Through the years, his hand has always been there for me; lending me strength, helpig me up and reminding me of his love and support.

Our Heavenly Father's hand is like that, too. When we need extra guidance, protection from the "traffic" of our lives, or just that secure feeling of knowing that someone loves us, we can always turn to God. His hand is always there for us if we just reach out to him.

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