Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The gift of their PRESENCE!

This weekend I had a dream! Some dreams come and go- but this one I couldn't let go easily- I pondered it over and over. This was one of those!

It wasn't a scary dream, or powerful dream or outstanding in any way really. It was just a dream about 'us'- my family! We were all there. We were 'together'!

It seemed - normal, natural, as it should be!

As I've pondered it this week, I've realized how much we accept/expect each other's presence as 'normal'. We take forgranted that people will be in our lives- always! And then something happens: a child goes to college, someone gets ill, or a loved one dies and we're not together anymore! We become painfully aware of what it means to NOT have them present in our world.

This morning, I woke with a strong desire to tell my dear family how grateful I am for their presence in my life. I sent a facebook message! (I know- how personal!) But I knew the girls would get it soon. And this was a time I wanted my world to know that I was indeed grateful for them.

I knew I would hear back from Cait & Brie and I talked to Ren on the phone because he's not great with facebook. But I found myself grieving, that I wouldn't hear from Leisha. I wouldn't know if she 'got the message' or not! She wouldn't be able to speak back to me!

And then...!

I went on with life! I just did the next thing I was going to do. I went looking in some old files for some notes I had taken a few years ago! And then it happened. It was the first file I opened- not having to do with family at all- there it was! I don't know why it was there. I had not seen it before - in the past 5 years, I have not opened that file!

There - first thing I saw at the front of that file- was a note from Leisha! In her handwriting, on her notebook paper - written for Mother's Day 2005 -was a note I had not read for 5 years- a note for me today! An immediate response to my facebook note to her. I even got it before Caitlin and Brielle responded on facebook.

Her message started... "I know that the past few years have not been all that easy..." I immediately began crying. These years since her death have been the most difficult in my life. But she didn't know that!

...all the while you have stuck in there with us and I am so thankful for that. I know you have heard this before, but I love you so much...Thank you for fighting for me, for giving me freedom to fight and find my own way to God. With God, I know that He will help me grow and to spread my wings, but He used you to do it. So thank you, Mom, for being all that God made you to be. I love you a million kisses! I win!! Always, Leisha"

A gift of presence! from heaven! Four and a half years after she left!

O Lord! Thank you for being so intimately acquainted with my ways that you would allow my sweet girls to speak into this day! All three of them!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Happy Birthday Cait!

I celebrate you today Sweetheart! Today you turn 24! I know- you feel 'old'- after all it is almost a quarter of a century! And yet you are so young with life & vision and knowlege!

I marvel daily at your joy of learning! Ok so writing a paper is not your favorite thing- and yet it is! You love the digging and reading and putting it all together. Your face lights up when Dad or anyone else wants to genuinely know what you are learning.

I admire so much the relationships in your life- the depth of friendship and comraderie you have with them. The loyalty and love you feel for them! Some of them invited you into the relationship- others you brought close.

I love the fact that you don't know what you'll be when you 'grow up'! I know it's awkward- and even hard at times! But you know from watching your Dad & I that WHAT you do is always changing. But HOW you do anything you do will always be part of you! So keep "BE"ing you! You are amazing!

I'm so grateful you are in our lives! I'm so proud of how you've weathered life as it has been dealt you and taken BOLD next steps. I love how you love! Deeply, "care"fully and authentically!

Happy Birthday dear one!
I love having you for a daughter!

(aren't you glad I didn't say "I remember when you were born...."?)