Friday, July 22, 2011

Serious Things on Celebratory Days

One of my greatest fears as a blogger is that those who don't know me personally or are only casual acquaintances misunderstand when I am being sardonic and when I am being serious. Inflection doesn't translate well in print.

That brings up another one of my greatest fears. I am afraid of embarrassing or offending those of you who do know me personally.   It is NEVER my intention to do so.

Although my given name has not been revealed (and has become somewhat of a joke between writer and readers) most know it or have deduced it.  Even the blog name itself is somewhat misleading.  A more thorough nomenclature would be From the Fishbowl on a High Hill because the life of a minister's family is even less hidden than the city on the hill scriptural description of the Christian life.

Anyway,it boils down to this:  sometimes I feel the need to hide things, at least for a little while.  And also I'm afraid I might say the wrong thing and need to profusely apologize.  Endlessly.  (This has been happening to me a lot lately.  Really.)

I'm not myself these days.  And since I already feel like I live inside a fishbowl 'way up high on a hill in my real life the thought of virtually opening up has just seemed a bit much lately.

For instance, this weekend Pastor Dad will participate in the 10th and 11th funerals he's conducted or helped with in some way since April 1st.  That doesn't count other deaths in families of loved ones that have caused us to travel to other cities.   And there were at least 2 other local funerals in friends' families that we could not attend because of other obligations.  That's a lot of grief in less than 4 months!

Here's the part that I fear might be misunderstood.  Some might scoff since we have not personally buried a loved one.  I assure you, we have experienced multiplied sorrows ourselves.   It is quite overwhelming to spend so much of one's time in funeral homes!  And we are not hirelings.

About a month ago we recognized that we needed a break and took a Sunday evening off to attend another church.  The brief reprieve was to be the prelude to a week's vacation or Staycation.  It really was brief! That's the night Fen was rushed to Children's Hospital for emergency surgery.

Then a couple of weeks ago I went in for my check-up and unexpectedly found myself scheduled for tests in the radation department because of my answers to routine questions.  The bad news is that there is reason to be concerned.  The good news is that it looks like we caught it early.   Hooray for regular check-ups!

Why am I telling you all of this now of all days?

I guess it is because today is the day that Pastor Dad and I celebrate 33 years of marriage.  On this day in 1978 we promised to love each other in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, 'til death do us part.  Those promises were easy to make back then when the future looked like child's play.  We've reached the harder days.

And we just said good-bye to Dan and Lisa as their visit came to an end.  I hated to see them leave.

So while I hope to return to my regular style of blogging, including telling you about the things done this spring and summer apart from the moments of saying good-bye to loved ones departing for their homes in Glory or Vegas (which I know are nothing alike:  see, I can still be sardonic), for now I will just close by saying that life is wonderful, marriage is joyful, and every moment is a gift from God! 

Pastor Dad and I have spent 33 years pursuing Happily Ever After and are looking forward to the time when time together will eternally contain only the positive words of "health," "richer" and absolutely no parting with each other or our loved ones!

(Note to Pastor Dad:  You may now kiss the bride.)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Guess Who Will Be Coming to Visit Soon!

Two of my favorite people! And I can't wait! The last time I saw either of them was the week they parted. (He left the week of her birthday and I was the consolation prize to help her celebrate the day as well as we could under the circumstances.)

Here's a picture of their recent reunion (ripped shamelessly from Lisa's blog). :)

And here's a video reminder that it is our loved ones and neighbors who are serving our country, which is the nation of us:  we are the people who make up these United States of America. (And I shamelessly copied this link from my friend Vicky's blog.) :)

Watch and then say a prayer for those serving in harm's way.  Say one also for the families of those who made the ultimate sacrifice. And if you know someone who is serving, why not send them an email or a note on Facebook just to let them know you care?

In just a few more days I will be able to give my favorite staff sergeant a hello hug! I will be so much happier than I was on the early December morning when I hugged him good-bye. My heart broke then because of the necessity of the separation he and Lisa had to endure. It will be great to see them together again.

Monday, July 4, 2011

A Daughter Sends Birthday Greetings to America

Pool at Korean War Memorial (taken by author)

I am a Daughter of the American Revolution. Such a statement evokes thoughts of the lineage society that honors those who provided a patriotic service in the founding of this great nation, the United States of America! And such would be true in my case. As the descendant of a man who endured winters with General Washington at Valley Forge and died during the struggle, and of several patriots that returned home to raise the next generation of soldiers for the conflict that could be called the second war for American independence, The War of 1812, I can truly say that I am honored to be a member of the organization that admits me purely on the merits of the sacrifices of my ancestors.

But lineage societies cannot be the only way that those patriot's daughters and sons should be recognized. There is another way, and it requires no knowledge of one's family tree or having one's name on the rolls of a lineage society, but it does require membership. I am a daughter of the American Revolution in this way, too, as are many. It could be said that those sacrificing patriots are the Parent of every citizen of the United States. This is true whether the citizen's roots go all the way back to the revolution like mine, or exhibit marks of recent transplanting like those who took the Oath of Citizenship last week. The patriots who fought for the liberty declared 235 years ago and celebrated today provided the way for all who would be citizens of this great nation to be their daughters and sons through an inheritance bought with their blood.

As Samuel Francis Smith so beautifully put it in his poem My Country 'Tis of Thee, "Long may our land be bright, With freedom's holy light . . . ." As a citizen of America it does not matter whether someone's "fathers died" here or if this is their "native" land. Each can sing this as a grateful prayer acknowledging the liberty to engage in God-given rights!

My country tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died!
Land of the Pilgrim's pride!
From every mountain side,
Let freedom ring!

My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love.
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture fills
Like that above

Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees
Sweet freedom's song.
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.

Our father's God, to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright
With freedom's holy light;
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, our King!

Happy Birthday, America!

God bless you!

And while we're at it, let's not forget our "noble free" stationed around the globe who, like those patriots of the past, are willing to sacrifice so that America remains the "sweet land of liberty." Thank you for your service!

Friday, July 1, 2011

To My Husband

Happy Birthday!

The words are big to match the sentiment, not because I thought you needed larger print in order to read them.  :)

Remember when you promised that we'd grow old together?  Well, that hasn't happened yet so just hang in there.  However, I do see signs that it is trying to creep up on us . . . and I don't mean that as a personal indication.  But there are signs everywhere.

Once someone's oldest child is celebrating anniversaries of their 29th birthday, and their youngest child is driving, and they have 5 grandchildren scrambling to be the first one to yell, "Hi Grandad!" whenever you see them . . . well, it just seems inevitable that old age is right around the corner.

That's okay.

We'll always be young at heart.  And that's the part that will never grow old.  So growing old with me will be something that never ends.