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There is an empty chair

There is an empty chair when someone in the family passes away.
Traditional seating becomes a reminder that this holiday will be different, and the chair will be empty.
We have known two people who were very significant in their family leave this month.
One had celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary with his wife, and three days later his heart attack happened.
One had been fighting cancer for two years. Long struggle, sweet memories made while saying goodbye.
One had a tragic death of a grandchild.
Around the table it will be a reminder that someone who was loved, is now not here.
I know it is life changing, and very hard.
Grief is not easy at any point in time.
Around the holidays it is magnified.
Things that were traditional reminders, getting the tree at Christmas.
Decorating the tree, hanging socks with one less, on the rack.
It is not easy, and it is always a very intense reminder, it’s different now.
Thanksgiving is a time of being together.
The chair that is empty is a reminder that life won’t ever be the same.
I don’t know how those who grieve move through the moments.
It is very hard to walk through the stores with festive music and celebrations when one has a broken heart.
I am very aware that this is a sad and difficult time.
Then we also know that the last few years many have lost loved ones.
The quarantine didn’t stop the loss. It magnified it.
Life It is empty but filled with memories that are sweet and good for the heart.
I don’t know how those who grieve move through the motions.
It would be tempting to curl up under blankets and tell others, “Not today”.
There is an empty chair when someone in the family passes away.
Nothing can change the tears that fall as the heart remembers.

It was 49 years ago

It was 49 years ago. A fall wedding featuring the colors of fall.

We were young. I was 18 and he was 19. At the time I had no place to go after I turned 18, so we got married.
It worked for us. It wasn’t easy growing up together, but God was with us, and we did it.

Our wedding was beautiful although I remember very little of it.
Too much to process and take in and we were young.
We had two children a son and a daughter, and our son had three sons and our daughter had three daughters. We are incredibly blessed to be called grandma and grandpa.
Years later we met our pastor who married us. It was very special to see this giant of a man and share in our journey with him.
We are older now.
The golden years is what they call them.
So much has taken place for us. So much memory making, with our kids and their kids and just life in general.
We have lost siblings, parents and friends. Life has a way of doing that, loss is always a part of it.
After 30 years, we moved from our two-story house where he has had double knee replacements and shoulder surgeries and recovery was a part of our journey then. The Lord blessed us with a small cozy home now and really that is all you need.
(These pictures are just a few of us in the years. They are not recent.)
We are at a time in our lives where the golden years are good. We will continue to make them good.
My recent journey was going through breast cancer recovery. We did survive it and we did ok.
It was not easy going through surgery and radiation, but I was able to ring the bell and God willing it won’t happen again.
It was 49 years ago, and our wedding was the beautiful colors of fall.
This picture is from the Hood River area of the Columbia River area near the gorge, The pacific Northwest in Oregon we took it on a fall drive.

Summer is over and fall is here

Summer is over and fall is here.
The air is cooler and the days that were full of heat and sun are now full of cool and rain.
I love this time of year.
I have waited for cooler days, and drizzle of rain sprinkling around the areas.
I am a sweater person; I love to bundle up and hunker down in the middle of rainy days.
Having a hot cup of tea in a large mug given to me by a friend. Is comforting.
I took down some of the normal decorations of the home and added in fake leaves and pumpkins.
It is fall. It is almost our anniversary. Forty-nine years this November.
That is a long time.
We just had a close friend of ours pass away, they were married 50 years and he was gone a few days later.
Makes one realize that life is short and unpredictable, and nothing is ‘for sure.’
It was shocking to hear he passed away, but we know he loved God and is in the ‘peaceful’ place now.
Heaven is our goal if we are believers.
He was an incredible man, and HE KNEW and walked with God.
I feel bad for the family left here to grieve. It is always so hard.
The holidays are soon to be here, and traditions will be different.
I pray for my special friend; I have a heart for widows.
It is a journey that is lonely, and sometimes empty and always alone.
I think for now we can be thankful that we KNEW him, and we KNEW his life to be a good one.
I am thankful we knew them as friends in the Lord and we remember the times we shared together.
I pray for all of those who are heading into this season with new heart pains and new losses.
It is very hard for many.
Summer is over and fall is here. We move through this time slowly and intentionally.

So many changes

So many changes are taking place.
Our three grandchildren are moved into college now and adjusting in little ways.
It’s nice because they all three are at the same campus and they can keep each other company.
It’s hard when you move away from home.
Your comfort zone is now a new one, your safe place must be established in the middle of college days and new people.
New rules or none are the norm now. Although when one is 18 the rules that work for an adult is what they have to pay attention to.
They are learning to manage daytime structure and how to navigate the expansive campus.
One has already changed her direction of study. The other two are doing the tasks to make it work.
I miss them a lot, but I know this is necessary for them to grow and become independent.
The weather is still nice and so far, they have had no difficult roads to navigate.
How are the parents doing? They are missing them.
It is a road of life for them. When I was their age, I got married.
None of them are ready for that. I am not saying we were either, but it was what everyone did in the 70’s.
We pray for them always. We try to encourage and keep an open wallet, if they need something.
They have no jobs at this point.
It is a major life change and how it all works out will be a wait and see for us adults waiting at home.
Soon fall will bring rain and the mountains will be harder to travel.
Thanksgiving and Christmas will be vacation times if they can come home.
I actually think this time of learning for them is good.
Becoming an adult is not easy and if you can do it together it is much easier for everyone.
They are becoming close cousins.
So many changes are happening in our lives, and we pray and turn our hearts to our loved ones.

I am waiting for autumn to arrive

I am waiting for autumn to arrive.
Fall foliage and crispy air, with sweaters and warm pants. My soul is peaceful in this setting.
Soon we will watch the trees change.
I read a message about how the trees teach us how to let go and right now we are feeling it.
Next week three of our grandchildren move from home and head to college.
Life changes for all of us. They are 18 and considered ‘adult’ but wow it is a big world out there.
I pray always for safety. I pray always for wisdom in their decision making. I pray for health.
It will be a change for sure to have them gone.
When I was 18, I graduated in June and got married in November.
I am not recommending that these days, but it worked for us.
One granddaughter thinks she wants to pursue a forestry program, one wants to be a writer, (they are twins).
Our grandson wants to pursue criminal justice and maybe law. It’s really hard to know what you want to do at this age.
Autumn is a time for change and a time for renewal and a time for school for many children to return to.
The leaves are always so beautiful and often times we get in our car and go for a drive to find the colors.
It is amazing. Not as defined as some states but we do have some beautiful valleys.
I am also waiting for the rain.
The parched land and rivers need it desperately we have had forest fires and without water it’s difficult.
The firefighters are doing their best to put out the fires by helicopters and by land.
It’s definitely a serious time and a time for rain to come and stay for a while.
I am waiting for autumn to arrive.