Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Her passing has put me in a somewhat reflective mood.
I say reflective, but that makes it sound like I'm sitting serenely on my grand Mississippi porch, listening to the whippoorwills in the willows and sipping on a mint julep. It would be closer to the truth to say my train of thought went way too fast, jumped track after track, and finally derailed in a heap of tears and smeared mascara.
Track 1: Grandma isn't going to make it. I'm nine hours away. I want and need to be with my family. But when? Should I go now and see grandma even if she doesn't know I'm there? Or should I wait and go after?
Track 2: God is in control. Joey can get a week off. We'll go now. If grandma lives the week, Praise God! If not, we'll be there for the funeral.
Track 3: How will I explain to the girls - who have been praying for weeks and making get well cards - that grandma isn't going to get better this time?
Track 4: Who is this frail woman I'm seeing? I don't recognize her at all! Non-responsive, no food or water for days. She's wasting away!
Track 5: Paddy, aunt S and cousins K and K are exhausted. They've been so careful to make sure that grandma is never alone. Thank you God for allowing us to come when we did. I'm glad to give them a little relief. And I find I love the quiet nights staying up with grandma. Just sweet memories for company.
Track 6: WHY!! Why God? It's been a week with no nourishment! If you are going to take her, what could possibly be the reason for allowing her to hold on like this? It's no good to her and it's agony for the family!
Track 7: Forgive me God. I remember Job and have no desire to hear your voice asking " where were you...?" It's not my place to ask why. Help me to trust your timing.
Track 8: What a wonderful couple of hours! Sitting at Hospice with Joey, and J and K and the other J and K! We've never all been together like that. It was wonderful sitting around grandma's bed and talking, laughing, and sharing stories. There's nothing like family.
Track 9: It's been days and days. Maddie wants to see grandma. Shelby does not. People are different. We each handle sadness in our own way. They'll never recognize her. Should I take them?
Track 10: It's been eleven days with no IV, fluids, or food. She slips away quietly. All family is there around her bed. Thank God this is over for her.
These were the thoughts that went through my head - some of them over and over, for days. Five times that I know of, the family was called in to say goodbye. And five times, grandma's breathing regulated and she pulled through all on her own. We had all kissed her and bid farewell so many times, that when she really did go I think peace rather than grief was the overwhelming emotion.
I did have one crazy emotional day when I broke down and just sobbed. We were away when the other "grands" passed and I didn't have days and days to say all that I wanted to them before they left. This last grandma had the whole of my pent up emotions spilled out. It was the end of a generation. And I am so thankful for every year I was given with them. There lifes journey is over.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Let the mayhem begin!!
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
The account of this particular prayer comes from Isaac Potts, a Valley Forge resident who was 26 year old at the time. Isaac Potts was a Quaker. Like many other Quakers he was opposed to war, and therefore a "Loyalist", one who sided with the British during the American Revolutionary War.
The "Diary and Remembrances" of Reverend Nathaniel Randolph Snowden gives the fullest account of Isaac Pott's encounter with Washington praying:
"I was riding with him (Mr. Potts) in Montgomery County, Penn'a near to the Valley Forge, where the army lay during the war of ye Revolution. Mr. Potts was a Senator in our State & a Whig. I told him I was agreeably surprised to find him a friend to his country as the Quakers were mostly Tories.
He said, "It was so and I was a rank Tory once, for I never believed that America c'd proceed against Great Britain whose fleets and armies covered the land and ocean, but something very extraordinary converted me to the Good Faith!"
"What was that," I inquired? "Do you see that woods, & that plain?" It was about a quarter of a mile off from the place we were riding, as it happened. "There," said he, "laid the army of Washington. It was a most distressing time of ye war, and all were for giving up the Ship but that great and good man. In that woods pointing to a close in view, I heard a plaintive sound as, of a man at prayer. I tied my horse to a sapling & went quietly into the woods & to my astonishment I saw the great George Washington on his knees alone, with his sword on one side and his cocked hat on the other. He was at Prayer to the God of the Armies, beseeching to interpose with his Divine aid, as it was ye Crisis, & the cause of the country, of humanity & of the world.
Such a prayer I never heard from the lips of man. I left him alone praying. I went home & told my wife, I saw a sight and heard today what I never saw or heard before, and just related to her what I had seen & heard & observed. We never thought a man c'd be a soldier & a Christian, but if there is one in the world, it is Washington. She also was astonished. We thought it was the cause of God, & America could prevail."
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.
Be not intimidated... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and
These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed, if so celestial an article as Freedom should not be highly rated.
Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.
A company commander’s first object should be to gain the love of his men, by treating them with every possible kindness and humanity, enquiring into their complaints, and when well–founded, seeing them redressed. He should know every man of his company by name and character.
Baron von Steuben
He is mine.