BUNNIES WITH NO HEADS: A tale of hope and encouragement

     

      Despite the unusual title, I promise this post will give you hope and encouragement 🙂 As is often mentioned in these pages, I’m a traditionalist. I believe tradition is the glue that binds us together. Today I’ll tell a quick story about a mother who used to buy solid chocolate Easter bunnies, the big ones, $16 each, only the best for her daughters, year after year. Tradition was that early Easter morning; the mother would hide colored eggs and two baskets. While the daughters were hunting for eggs and baskets, she was cooking a special breakfast, one for each of her daughters as they had different favorites.

     This particular year, the night before Easter as the mother was preparing the baskets, the temptation of those fabulous bunnies overcame her. Just one little nibble, she  thought, who’ll notice? Y’all know how this goes – the edges had to be evened out and smooth so one nibble followed another and all of a sudden one ear was gone, Horror! What could the mother do? She had to do the same to the other bunny; it was not possible to give one daughter an intact bunny and the other, one with a missing ear. On with the “evening-up” process. Now two bunnies without ears, very uneven, more work to do.

     What next? May as well even things up, you know, neaten it up a bit. One head gone, on to the next – gotta be fair. Enough already. It’s Saturday night, Easter eve, no replacing these special bunnies. The mother then tucked each bunny back into its little bag and replaced the original ribbons, pink and purple. Early Easter morning, the mother went about her business, then woke the daughters to begin their hunt, during which, she went into the kitchen to begin cooking those special breakfasts, didn’t miss a beat….

          Suddenly – horrified screams! The girls had discovered headless bunnies in their otherwise beautiful baskets – no doubt as to the culprit. Good thing they were old enough to know that the Easter Bunny really was their mother. The thing that I remember most vividly – yes, I’m the mother – was the absolute indignation that there were teeth marks in the bunnies!! To use FDR’s words spoken long ago, this was a day that will live in infamy.”  And it has – brought up every Easter and shared with love and much laughter.

      I promised encouragement? You bet. My friends, regardless what you might be thinking about your shortcomings, faults, or misses, remember the mother who ate the heads of fabulous chocolate bunnies and laugh!  You haven’t done that yet, have you?  There is HOPE and there is GRACE.  My daughters love me, forgave me, and we share another precious memory.

          Easter is a special day, not a present-giving holiday in our home, but without it, we would all be hopeless. Remember, because of what occurred that first Easter morning, there is abundant hope and grace for all of us.  I hope you’ve found, or find, yours in the risen Savior. My prayer is that all the blessings of Easter – life, forgiveness, grace and joy – live within each and every one of you!  Be blessed…

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CELEBRATING LIFE THIRTEEN YEARS LATER!

     Yes, indeed, I am one fortunate woman, sharing my story and my joy with y’all. Thirteen years ago, Easter Sunday was April 16. Visiting daughters tricked me (they lied, actually) into my truck and drove to the small local hospital. After a CT scan, the emergency room doctor delivered the findings, prefaced with the words, “I cannot believe you can walk with the size of that thing growing in your head.” I was shipped off to Green Bay, interrupting everybody’s Easter dinners. Two days later, Tuesday, April 18, 2006, a neurosurgeon and his team took a buzz saw to my skull and a scalpel to my brain. Later he delivered the news that the tumor they had removed was malignant and I had a fairly virulent form of brain cancer.

     Waiting daughters, family, and friends had already been given the word. The stats were fairly grim; conventional prognosis for a glio blastoma is 12-18 months to live. In my worldview, the clinical folks leave out a huge piece and that piece is a game-changer. My Heavenly Father had plans that are not bound by conventional medicine.

     He handled that tumor and thirteen years later, despite enormous odds and severe statistics, I surely do have hope and a future and I am on a mission to share the blessings and the joy! This is also a bittersweet day because I’ve lost two friends to the same disease, the first one within five years of my diagnosis. Yet I’m still here.

     I’ve wondered, sometimes aloud – asking the perennial questions about the mind of God when He wrote the story so long ago. Why are some folks here for longer or shorter duration than others? What is the plan? Those are unanswerable questions in this temporal world, but in my heart of hearts, I believe in an all-knowing, all-powerful Creator God, who authored the story before time began.

     My friends are gone, their families have grieved, each in their own way and time. Yet I know, on this partly sunny April morning in the Carolina Midlands, that God has the plan firmly in hand. I will celebrate that I am here, that for whatever reason, my Father still keeps me on my feet. I am most grateful to be alive, to have family and friends with whom to share this post. I will continue to move forward and play my part in the story, hopefully with grace and dignity. 

     As I say repeatedly in these pages, hold your loved ones close; tell them regularly and often how very valuable they are to you. Share with me, please, the joy and thanksgiving that thirteen years later, I am alive and well!  Blessings †

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Rainy Day Reflections

It feels like it’s been raining for days, and actually, it has been. If the proverbial April showers really bring May flowers, then next month should be overflowing with blooms; the courtyard azalea is already gorgeous.

Courtyard Azalea

   Being me, I looked for appropriate music to accompany this post. Gene Kelly sang and danced in the rain, Dylan and Waylon sang about women and rain. Electric Light Orchestra believed it was “raining all over the world,” and children sing about an old man snoring.

What do you do when it’s gloomy and wet, and you don’t belong outside, unless you’re a duck? I love storms, big weather, for certain, but this drip, drip, drip and grey skies? If you were my elder daughter, you’d go outside and dance in the rain in your underwear, and lock yourself out of the house in the process, creating a lifetime story 😊. I put on music and danced my way through the house, gotta get my steps in somehow.

There’s plenty to do; having finished unpacking after my move in March, there are two items yet to be found. I could continue the somewhat arduous process of handling every unpacked file, folder, and drawer, in search of precious and vital documents, along with a delicate, blue – glass wind-chime that carries a fair bit of sentimental value. I could continue messing with my fitness watch, trying to make it functional again; I’ve already tried multiple new batteries. It just might be more complex.

From my desk, I can see into the forest – lush, varying shades of green and the dark, almost black, appearance of sodden tree trunks. It is beautiful in its own way, just like each of us.  Really, comparing us to sodden tree trunks and wet leaves? You bet. As faithful daughters of the Creator King, we are, indeed, beautiful, reflecting the beauty and grace of our spirits to a world in need.

I’m thinking of ways to spread joy this morning. I’ve got it in me, regardless of what’s happening around me, joy that is independent of circumstances. Regular readers know the source of my joy, and that I believe it’s available to all. Even on this cloudy, gloomy day, I’ve got sunshine and smiles to spare. How about you?

I’ll be singing and dancing my way through this soggy day, and I’ll maybe even come across the missing items. These are my thoughts on a rainy day. Grace and peace, y’all!

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