We have a few "memorable" Thanksgivings that make us laugh every time they come up because of some fiasco that took place. Maybe not our favorite, but definitely ones we'll never forget.
Since my last post, we have made a five day trip to NC that included 26 hours of drive time round trip. As well as a four hour round-trip drive to Treasure Island, FL for Thanksgiving with our children. Frank and I both enjoy traveling - good thing. However, I AM standing up to type this post. That's no joke.
The wedding of our niece and her new husband was just lovely. She and her parents planned for every detail that could make it an enjoyable evening. The wedding and reception were held in a castle that was built 15 years ago for the purpose of hosting such events. Everything from turrets, to fountains, to flagstone pavers, to twinkling lights. The dream location for many brides.
The most beautiful moment for me was when Frank and I went in to pray with Ashley before the ceremony began. She was stunning, of course. No longer the little girl running around our living room. Now a confident young lady ready to move forward with her life partner. We held hands, bowed our heads and thanked God for His Grace and Love in all our lives.
I was especially taken with the handsome minister who conducted the ceremony. So much so that when he left the reception early, I went out and got into his car with him. Away we went to Ocean Isle Beach where we pastored from 1993-1999. We arrived around midnight; slept fast and were ready for the chapel service by 9 AM.
It's always a treat to minister there. We were also invited to speak that evening for the church we pioneered. But my mom had a great saying that is appropriate here. "My get up and go had already got up and gone!"
So Frank and I simply took Sunday evening and Monday to rest. We walked long distances on the beautiful shore. We took in two sunsets and a sunrise. We read and talked and sat quietly just listening to the waves. It was a resplendent respite indeed.
I'll write later about the great adventure we had with our children and grands for Thanksgiving.
The title of this post is, "Looking Up Today." And there's a special reason for that.
It was ten years ago, on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, that my mom departed this life and began her new life in Heaven. That exact date was December 2, 2008. So, I've been preparing myself mentally to mark this decade anniversary on Sunday.
We have a lot going on at church this Sunday with regular services and our annual Christmas party Sunday evening. I knew I would be extremely busy and anticipated how I would deal with a little sadness.
What I wasn't prepared for was the full-on wash of grief that hit me this morning. Apparently, my inner heart connected more with the actual day which followed the holiday more than with the calendar date. I'm not often given to tears but they've flooded my cheeks all day long.
After our first meeting this morning, I gave up and came home. We have a rather special dinner planned with dear friends of our church this evening. So, I'll pull myself together and go enjoy their hospitality and hugs.
I've let myself remember. I've allowed myself the luxury of weeping and laughing about my wonderful mom. I've quieted myself so God could wrap me in His rich love. I ate another serving of pumpkin pie.
Grieving is something very personal, I've discovered. Everyone walks it in their own way. But a few things I know for sure:
- I'm thankful for the years I had with my mom.
- I'm thankful she loved me richly and taught me about Christ.
- I'm thankful she taught me to pray and to laugh.
- I'm thankful she loved Frank and my girls. (She would have loved my sons and grandchildren, too!)
- I'm thankful I'll see her again some day.
So my choice on this day when tears keep flowing unbidden, is to look up. This world was not the forever home of my mama. It isn't my forever home either.
I look up and express my gratitude for God's rich love and free salvation.