Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thirteen Years

Yesterday was the celebration of an event that had a profound impact on this family. It was the thirteenth anniversary of the death of Elita. Parts of it are still so vivid to this day. I remember holding her in my arms for the first time in over two weeks after she had been extubated. Her body was relaxed for the first time since he heart arrested on October 27, 1997. I was just siting in the chair holding her while I was eating a hamburger that her Aunt Linda had brought up to me. Midway through the burger, her breathing started getting more shallow. When the nurse came by and checked, I asked if Elita might be starting to slip away and the nurse agreed. I held her close as her breaths got shorter and smaller until finally she just stopped. She slipped from the bonds of sickness, pain and discomfort into the outstretched arms of her heavenly father. To this day I question why.

A lot has happened since then. I will never know what might have happened if we had never gone to Ecuador and encountered Elita; if her heart had never been attacked by the virus; if she had survived and lived as a severely impaired individual; I will just never know. I had to trust God ( and keep on trusting Him to this day) that He has everything in control.

I do know this. If she had not died, it is very likely that we would not have moved to Ecuador for four years. We would not have fallen in love with little Michelle (a whole other adventure). We would not have adopted Michelle. Our hearts would not have been broken again by Michelle’s death. In grieving for Michelle, Sarah would not have met James. And today, I would not be celebrating the second birthday of Gracie. God is definitely Good. I am so blessed by my children and grandchildren. Both those here with us and those with our Father. Isaac, Emery, Gracie and Malachi you are a simple reminder to me of the goodness of our God and King. Thank you!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Wonder and awe

For the fourth time, I welcome into this world a grandchild. Little (4 lbs 12 oz) Malachi was born on Tuesday evening. I know that when my own children were born, there was a sense of wonderment and awe. A sense of understanding my own parent’s actions and words over the years. A sense of incredible responsibility. A sense of amazement.

To some degree those same feelings accompanied the welcoming of Malachi to this world. Although the feelings have been tempered by the cumulative life experiences with our children, the feelings were still there. To see a life coming from a union of two...that is beautiful and indescribable. And on top of all of that....he is unique. He is not like any of my other grandchildren although he shares some features and traits. He is not like any other child in the world. He is unique, made in God’s image, like no other. Because of this, he will hold a unique place in my heart. A space made just for Malachi. A place not over lapping or displacing the love I have for my other grandchildren or my children, or my wife, or any other person with whom I have a relationship.

I learned some years ago that God created us each as unique beings and with each being, He created a unique space in the heart of other humans to love that person. The addition of a new person in our heart does not displace an existing love we have for any other. The loss of a loved one creates a hole in your heart that can never be filled by another. So it is with God, only on an infinite scale. We are each unique and precious in His eyes. He longs to have each of us near Him always. Us turning away from Him does not erase our place in his heart. Our birth or death does not consume or free up space in His heart to love another of His creations. I am always and forever on God’s mind and in His heart.

Now that is cool!

Friday, July 9, 2010


Perspective - how we view something. Our perspective is unique from that of anyone else. Our perspective is formed by our life experiences whether happy or sad, positive or negative, joyful, heart-wrenching, uplifting, depressing, challenging, or any other of a myriad of emotions. The sum of our life experiences forms our perspective.

Steven Covey, in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People says “we don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.” Our view of any situation is colored by our perspective or by the sum of our life experiences. We simply cannot see things objectively because our perspective distorts, clarifies, complicates, simplifies or just changes the way we see things. Our perspective is unique because we are unique. We were created unique by the Creator of the Universe, the Star Breather, God and our life experiences are unique to us alone. It is true that sometimes we share experiences with others and that our perspective is similar to that of someone else, but ultimately our perspective is as unique as we are.

Sometimes, it is even good to try to see a situation through the perspective of someone else. For me, I hope to learn how to see things through the eyes of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am pretty sure that I will spent the rest of my life attempting to see things though the eyes of the Lord. But, it is my ultimate goal. After seeing through the eyes of Christ, I endeavor to act as Christ. I do this not to obtain favor in the life beyond, but because I am selfish. I have found that the most fulfilling times in my life are the times when I have served others as Christ would serve me.

I have a long way to go on this journey, but progress I will.

I hope that this blog will somehow and somewhere touch someone. Please feel free to comment on it.