Thursday, October 16, 2008

Look Alikes?

Below are two baby pictures. The first is a picture of me as a baby. The second is a picture of my youngest granddaughter.

When I first saw this baby picture of Sierra, I was struck at how much it reminded me of mine. I quickly dug through the old pictures and found the one I was remembering.

Although we are 58 years apart in age, this little girl grabs my heart each time I am with her. She's very caring, and last Sunday we treated her to a banana split and a couple of presents celebrating her ninth birthday.

She had never noticed Paul's carotid artery surgery scars, and it was a movie in the making to watch her discover them. She did it all with looks, a look of discovery,  then a look of questioning, and when explained, looks of loving and caring. She laid her head on Paul's chest and just loved on him. It was such a freeze frame moment. Paul was raw emotionally from having buried his Mom a few days before, and just watching the two of them was special!


My reality check was going to be that I hope I'm a good role model to this young girl. As I've written this I've changed my mind. My reality check is really that I hope I can be as transparent, as loving, and as caring as this little girl. One of my favorite sayings is "Love like you've never been hurt." That's so much harder to do than to say. Seeing that attitude in a young girl is a real challenge to me. I hope I can be like her.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fans and Family

Yesterday, we attended the OU/TX football game at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. Our grandson bought the tickets and told us that he got tickets in the Texas section and he hoped that was okay. From our picture here, can you tell whom we are for? Pretty obvious, right?

Now, look at Ty's picture. Whom do you think he is for? We walked by one fan outside the stadium and he remarked when he saw Ty, "Now, there's an obviously neutral fan." Ty didn't have on the burnt orange of UT or the crimson red of OU.

Now, here's the "reality check" I want to write about in this post. Ty wasn't neutral, but I didn't catch on until well into the first quarter. He was yelling loudly for UT. OU made the best plays right at first, making a touchdown on their first possession, so I didn't realize that Ty was not for OU because I was so busy standing and yelling and yelling "Boomer-Sooner" at the top of my lungs that I didn't notice that Ty was calm and just watching. I think I thought he just wasn't going to be a loud fan, and than I had the thought I might be embarrassing him. But, I quickly dismissed that and went right on being a good OU fan. :)

Then a strange thing happened. When UT made a good play or stopped OU, Ty would stand and yell and give a loud "YEAH!" What? And then it dawned on me, he is for UT and maybe he purposely bought tickets smack dab in the middle of UT fans. Huh? How could this Grams be so dense? Ty lived almost all of his developmental years in Texas and was never very fond of Oklahoma. He's a die-hard UT fan! Well, duh!

Here's the point of this post: (finally :)
An interesting phenomenon took place in my thinking and feeling, although it took just a little transitional time. I began to laugh and enjoy the TX fans and didn't feel the previous animosity I had had toward them. Reason? Someone I loved was enjoying UT's successes. Completely changed my perspective. In the end when UT won, it was okay. I was glad for Ty. Do you find that as interesting as I do?

As all this was happening, I made the application to the SBC and all the fussing and differences within an organization that's supposed to be "family" and showing the world how to celebrate differences, rather than fighting about it. I think when your heart is really committed to the "brother" or grandson, as the case may be, that it's easy to accept and live with the differences. 

Makes me wonder what's just lip service and what's real. Just a reality check taken from being football fans to other areas of life. Whether we wear our preferences out where others can see or whether we wear neutral so others have to guess, when our differences become apparent, how do we respond? I think I discovered my response shows my heart, my reality.  

Sunday, October 5, 2008

On Birthdays and Deathdays

Yesterday, my mother-in-law, Paul's mother died. She had a peaceful death and as some would say, "a good death." I think what is meant by that is that there was not a lot of physical suffering at the end, but just more sleeping and finally a final breath.

Interestingly, the day Margaret died was also my 67th birthday. Some birthday present!! At first, I thought this is going to be bittersweet in the future, celebrating my birthday and always remembering that's the day Paul's Mom died.

But, on the other hand, it will be easy to remember what day she died, the anniversary of her death. For me, death days are hard to remember. I always have to go back and refigure or think of some signpost that helps me get the date right. That won't be true of Margaret's death date. I know!

This has caused me to wonder about something. Wonder why we don't celebrate deathdays as we do birthdays. Especially if our loved one was a believer, a Christian.

Think about it: we celebrate someone coming into this world with all its pain and suffering and we grieve when someone leaves this world to go to a better place, free of all tears and sorrow, pain and suffering. Now, how strange is this?

What would a "deathday" celebration look like? Perhaps on the death day each year later, the family would gather and reminisce about that loved one, looking at pictures and sharing memories. I know that when I go to the cemetery to the graves of my sister, my dad, my grandparents, and others, that's what I do somewhat. I think back to who they were and what they meant to me and how much I miss them.

Just a thought as I start the process of working through grief and sadness.