A Conversation With Kat Revisited

 

The original Conversation with Kat took place years ago. It was a birthday conversation and very meaningful for both of us. Today there was another one. Yes, we’ve spoken many times since that original conversation, but today’s conversation was impactful, and served as the genesis of this post. This time Kat called me, and what began as a catch-up, “how’s things?” kind of conversation turned into a great call that benefited us both.

As we talked, we moved from one subject to another and ended up in the third chapter of Ecclesiastes, a favorite biblical spot of mine. King Solomon writes about seasons, which I like to interpret as periods of time along the paths of life. Just as they occur in the natural world, life seasons change and pass, not remaining the same forever. I apply this teaching to human relationships, too. Sometimes friendships are intense and short-lived, but they serve a valuable and necessary purpose for a particular season. Digging deeper, I believe our Heavenly Father, places people in our lives, or places us in someone else’s life, for strategic purposes, often to assist in weathering a storm.

To help clarify, I shared the true story of two women who became fast friends and confidantes at a time when one of them was experiencing a deeply personal and painful family challenge. The friendship lived for months, culminating in a death, and the fallout from that death. With the passing of time, and a change in geography for one of the women, the intensity waned and the friendship continued in the form of acknowledging birthdays and/or an occasional reaction to a Facebook post. That was a seasonal friendship, valuable in its time, and though contact is now infrequent, that meaningful, helpful, seasonal, friendship retains fond memories and is no longer actively missed. Each of the two women has moved forward along life’s trail, and both were blessed because of the season they shared. Our Heavenly Father certainly knows our needs, and knows how best to meet those needs. Grace, joy, and peace, y’all!

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

1 “To everything there is a season,

A time for every purpose under heaven:

2 A time to be born, and a time to die;

a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted;

3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down,

and a time to build up;

4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn,

And a time to dance;

5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones;

A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6 A time to gain, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away;

7 A time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence,

and a time to speak;

8 A time to love, and a time to hate;

a time of war, and a time of peace. (NKJV)

Share

Honoring a Special Woman!

     It’s been a few years since I wrote the first post celebrating an important woman in my life – my very special Auntie Arlene Buelow. I’ve updated the post over the years, noting birthdays and special occasions as they occurred. Today marks the third birthday without her physical presence in my world; she went home to Jesus on January 12, 2017. On this day, Auntie Arlene would be 101 years old, and the empty space is palpable, even two-and-a-half years later. 

      Aunt Arlene was unique on multiple levels. She was the daughter of a twin, married a twin, my dad’s brother, Elmer, became the mother of twins, my cousins, Jane and Janice. Even more, she became the great grandmother of twins, which I always thought was fairly awesome! On another level, I often saw her dressed in what she called her “barn clothes” – overalls, red bandanna, and workboots. She worked the farm side-by-side with my Uncle Elm. She maintained a “kitchen garden” as well as many of my grandmother’s plants. She’d come in from outside, get “washed up” and dress for company, putting on an apron to prepare plenty of food for a crowd. Auntie Arlene was a multi-faceted woman for sure.

     Why was she so special to me? It was through her that I was able to purchase the original Buelow homestead in rural Shawano county, which became my home for thirteen years. Living near her allowed our relationship to blossom and we spent a fair amount of time together, many meals shared at the table in her apartment in town, many heartfelt conversations. We talked about everything- especially family history, much of which was recorded in her Bible. We discussed religion – theology and doctrine – as well as politics, all those things one isn’t supposed to speak of in polite company. We didn’t always agree, but we could say anything and often share a chuckle at our differences. She kept me informed about local events – people we knew and who knew our family. We discussed world and sociopolitical events as well. She kept her mind busy, and for a long time, was an avid Packers fan; she could tell you names and stats. 

     For me, the most treasured piece of our relationship was that she was always in my corner, my biggest encourager. When I was debating grad school and ministry, she advised me to go for it, an affirmation I received gladly and gratefully. When I got my first Master’s degree – Christian Ministry (MACM: pastoral counseling), I took that diploma to her and we opened it together. It was huge, much larger than the bachelor’s diplomas and we had all kinds of fun with that. It was like a scroll; I said I felt like the mayor of Oz, which caused a fair amount of laughter. She held one corner and I unrolled that diploma while my cousin, Jane, took pictures and joined in the fun! When I received my Master of Divinity (Mdiv: pastoral counseling) diploma in May of 2017, I spoke with Jane and we agreed that her mom/my aunt was indeed smiling at, and cheering for me. And while I knew she was in a better place, I missed being able to take a diploma to her one more time.

     Auntie Arlene was my faithful encourager. When I was looking for confirmation of the path I had chosen, she reminded me why I was on that path in the first place. I knew without a doubt that she was praying for me during my cancer battle and throughout my grad school journey; she told me so, regularly. She was a prayer warrior for her family, and I was blessed to be counted among them. 

     My Auntie Arlene was an influence from my youngest years. The Buelows were a large crew and on any given Sunday, any number of aunts and uncles with all the cousins would show up to share a meal and an afternoon of socializing. She had a beautiful, ready smile, and everyone was welcome at her table. 

     My precious Auntie Arlene would be 101 today. Enjoy the photos; the first is one of my all-time favorites – Auntie Arlene and me, approximately 1959, on the front steps of the Buelow homestead.  We re-staged that photo in August, 2011, without me sitting on her lap, of course. As you see, there was lots of love and laughter shared that day! Thank you for allowing me to reminisce and share the story of this special woman. Grace and peace, y’all!!

Arlene and LeeAnn circa 1959

Favorite photo recreated 2011

Share

Happy 65th Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

 

     Regular readers know I celebrate special days. A week ago today, June 5, 2019, the special day was for my mom, Carola’s, 88th birthday. Today features both my parents as they celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary.

     One week after Carola’s 23rd birthday, she and my dad, Leonard, a not-yet-ordained minister, married in Rhode Island, a long way from a farm in Shawano County, WI. After a honeymoon in Washington, D.C., they traveled to Wisconsin and spent the summer at The Farm with my grandma, an aunt and uncle, and their three children. The city girl was visiting the country for the second time; in her absence Grandma Buelow had hired a contractor to install indoor plumbing – for Mom, a most welcome addition. They came from different backgrounds, but shared similar values: faith and family. Dad was one of ten children born and raised on that wonderful old place I used to call home. Mom was an only child from Rhode Island, a city girl. Their love and commitment have sustained them all these years.

     After their Wisconsin summer, they set sail for Germany, and grad school for my dad. Now expecting me, they packed everything they needed to set up housekeeping in a foreign country for one year with a baby on the way. I cannot even imagine the magnitude of the plan. They went by ship with all their belongings in two steamer trunks, one of which is a treasured possession of mine. In a day without Internet, cell phones, or digital devices, they set off, leaving home and family behind. News of my birth was telegraphed to family in WI and Rhode Island. They laid a foundation that has held firm for 65 years, through the trials and tribulations common to human beings everywhere.

     When their year in Germany came to a close, they flew to Paris for a few days. Mom says, precocious baby that I was, the time in Paris might have been when I developed my love of all things French. An interesting side note: I was the first baby to fly Lufthansa after it reverted to commercial flights following World War II; it even made the papers! And in those days all three of us traveled on one passport – my dad’s. They settled in Shawano, WI, where my dad was ordained and installed as a pastor at St. James Lutheran Church.

     They had three more children, all boys, then Dad accepted an invitation (known as a Call) to serve in another church, and our family moved to Green Bay in 1965, where Mom and Dad remain to this day.  Once the nest was empty, they built a custom home with a music room for Mom and a study for Dad. Faith and church are still central in their lives. They work together, Mom serving alongside Dad in the church they planted in 2013. They have a piece of woods on their property and an added four-seasons room, where they share their meals, morning devotions, host family gatherings, and enjoy great views of wildlife and changing seasons outside their windows.

     They’re a team – when Mom teaches late, Dad prepares dinner, sets the table for two, and they eat together when she’s through. When Dad has a meeting, Mom prepares; together they clean up.  It’s actually amusing to spend time there; after meals, I have learned to just get out of the way and not interrupt their routine and rhythm. Breakfast is a treat – Dad makes my egg, slices my grapefruit into sections, and I’m privileged to share their post-breakfast devotions and prayers. That’s how they begin every day. Several years ago, faced with extensive repairs on Mom’s vehicle, they spent a few days at a favorite getaway, and on their return, purchased a new Buick, having decided to become a one-car couple, and it’s working well. They are truly a team.

     They travel frequently, taking a major road trip at least once a year, along with frequent trips to visit family in Kentucky, as well as whatever other opportunities present themselves. Mom schedules and books the trips, on which, Dad drives and Mom navigates. Several weeks ago, they drove to Fort Wayne, Indiana, for the 65th reunion of my dad’s seminary class. The day after my mom’s birthday, they went down to Milwaukee for a Brewers’ (baseball) game, something they do annually. They play together, sharing an enjoyment of miniature golf, board games, theater, and fine dining.

     They shop together on their travels, often coming home with new suits for Dad, complete with great shirts and ties, ensembles for Mom, along with gifts for family that they discover along the way. My dad has a penchant for choosing absolutely beautiful cards, which Mom treasures; she says the cards, themselves, are gifts. They’re patient with one another and at 88 and nearly 94, they have spent considerably more than half their lives together. And on this date in 2019, they celebrate 65 years of married life. They, and we, are very blessed!!

Enjoy the photos – their wedding, 60th anniversary, and most recent, at Dad’s seminary reunion.  Grace and peace, y’all!

Leonard and Carola are                          married

60th ANNIVERSARY

CEB – LPB 60th Anniversary

 

LPB’s 65th SEMINARY CLASS REUNION MAY 2019

Share

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…

Share

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 †

Share

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!

Share

Happy 64th Anniversary, Mom and Dad!!

     Regular readers know I celebrate special days. A week ago today, June 5, 2018, the special day was my mom’s 87th birthday. Today’s feature is both my parents as they celebrate their 64th wedding anniversary.

     One week after my mom’s 23rd birthday, she and my dad, a not-yet-ordained minister, married in Rhode Island, a long way from a farm in Shawano County, WI. After a honeymoon in Washington, D.C., they traveled to Wisconsin and spent the summer at The Farm with my grandma, aunt and uncle and their three children. The city girl was visiting the country for the second time; in her absence Grandma Buelow had hired a contractor to install indoor plumbing – for Mom, a most welcome addition. They came from different backgrounds, but shared similar values: faith and family. Dad was one of ten children born and raised on that wonderful old place I used to call home. Mom was an only child from the East, a city girl. Their love and commitment have sustained them all these years.

     After their Wisconsin summer, they set sail for Germany and grad school for my dad. Now expecting me, they packed everything they needed to set up housekeeping in a foreign country for one year with a baby on the way. I cannot even imagine the magnitude of the plan. They went by ship with all their belongings in two steamer trunks, one of which is a treasured possession of mine.  In a day without Internet, cell phones or digital devices, they set off, leaving home and families behind. I believe news of my birth was telegraphed to family in WI and Rhode Island. They laid a foundation that has held firm for 64 years through all the trials and tribulations common to humankind.

     When their year in Germany came to a close, they flew to Paris for a few days. Mom says, precocious baby that I was, the time in Paris might have been when I developed my love of all things French :).  An interesting side note: I was the first baby to fly Lufthansa after it reverted to commercial flights following World War II; it even made the papers! And in those days all three of us traveled on one passport – my dad’s. They settled in Shawano, WI, where my dad was ordained and installed as a pastor at St. James Lutheran Church.

     They had three more children, all boys, then Dad accepted an invitation (known as a Call) to serve in another church, and our family moved to Green Bay in 1965, where Mom and Dad remain to this day.  Once the nest was empty, they built a custom home with a music room for Mom and a study for Dad. Faith and church are still central in their lives. They work together, Mom serving alongside Dad in the church they planted in 2013. They have a piece of woods on their property and an added four-seasons room, where they share their meals, morning devotions, host family gatherings, and enjoy great views of wildlife and changing seasons outside their windows.

     They’re a team – when Mom teaches late, Dad prepares dinner, sets the table for two, and they eat together when she’s through. When Dad has a meeting, Mom prepares; together they clean up.  It’s actually amusing to spend time there; after meals, I have learned to just get out of the way and not interrupt their routine and rhythm. Breakfast is a treat – Dad makes my egg, slices my grapefruit into sections and I’m privileged to share their post-breakfast devotions and prayers. That’s how they begin every day. Several years ago, faced with extensive repairs on Mom’s vehicle, they spent a few days away at a favorite place and on their return, purchased a new Buick, having decided to become a one-car couple, and it’s working well. They are truly a team.

     They travel frequently, taking a major road trip at least once a year, along with frequent trips to visit family in Kentucky, as well as whatever other opportunities present themselves. Mom schedules and books the trips, on which, Dad drives and Mom navigates. They play together, sharing an enjoyment of miniature golf, theater, and fine dining. In a few weeks, they will do an overnight trip to Milwaukee, for a Brewers’ (baseball) game, something they do annually.

     They shop together on their travels, often coming home with new suits for Dad, complete with great shirts and ties, ensembles for Mom, along with gifts for family that they discover along the way. My dad has a penchant for choosing absolutely beautiful cards, which Mom treasures; she says the cards, themselves, are gifts. They’re patient with one another and at 87 and nearly 93, they have spent considerably more than half their lives together.  In February, ’17, Meghan Lee, Brian, and I met them in Atlanta where we walked the entire Atlanta Aquarium, billed as the world’s largest indoor aquarium. I walked behind them for the fun of watching them wander hand-in-hand; always connected, a photo of which is below, also. The last photo shows my folks at home, earlier this year. That wraps this celebratory post, which I am thrilled to share with y’all!     

                                                                               

Leonard & Carola Lovin’ Life Together!

 

Navigating life hand-in-hand

 

 

Folks at Home 2018

Share

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO ME: 2018 UPDATE!!

 

     Yes, indeed, I am one fortunate woman, sharing my story and my joy with y’all. Twelve 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 by 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, 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 information. The stats were fairly grim; conventional medical prognosis for that cancer is 12-18 months to live. In my worldview, the clinical folks leave out a huge piece and that piece is a fairly major game-changer. My Father had plans and as He says in His book, “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV).

     Those plans included handling that tumor and twelve 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, one in the last three years and the other six years ago, the day after my  survival anniversary. Yet here I am alive and well, and most content.

     I wondered, sometimes aloud, during my friends’ ordeals, 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 durations 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, that did, indeed, write the story before the world began, as we first talked about twelve years ago when I was diagnosed.  

     My friends are gone, their families grieved, each in their own way and time. Yet I know, on this beautiful  April morning in South Carolina, that my Heavenly Father has the plan firmly in hand.  I will celebrate that I am here, that for whatever reason, God has still got me on my feet. I am most grateful to be alive, to have family and friends with whom to share this post, and 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, my joy that twelve years later I am alive and well!  Thank you for joining me in in giving thanks and celebration; be blessed 

Share

Happy Anniversary to Me!! 2016 Update

Yes, indeed, I am one fortunate woman, sharing my story and my joy with y’all. Ten years ago today, Easter Sunday that year, my visiting daughters stuffed me into my truck and headed to the small, local hospital, where doctors were stunned by what they found.  A fairly large mass in my head, so big that the ER doc, in explaining it, said, “I cannot believe you can walk with the size of that thing growing in your head.”  I was shipped off to Green Bay, interrupted everybody’s Easter dinners and two days later, a neurosurgeon and his team took a buzz saw to my skull and a scalpel to my brain.  Later he visited me in the night and delivered the news that the tumor they removed was malignant and I had a fairly aggressive form of brain cancer.  Waiting daughters, family, and friends had already been given information and the stats were not great; but the clinical world leaves out a huge piece and that piece is a fairly major game-changer. My Father had plans and as He says in His book, “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV).

Those plans included handling that tumor and TEN years later, despite enormous odds and severe statistics, I surely do have hope and a future and I’m on a mission to share the blessings and the joy!  This is also a bittersweet day because I have lost two friends to the same disease, one in the last six months, and the other three years ago, the day after my seven-year survival anniversary. Yet here I am alive and well, and most content.

I’ve wondered, sometimes aloud, during my friends’ ordeals, asked 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 durations than others? What’s the plan?  Those are unanswerable questions in this temporal world, but I still believe in an all-knowing, all-powerful Creator God, that did, indeed, write the story before the world began, as we first talked about ten years ago when I was diagnosed.  

So my friends are gone and their families grieve, each in their own way and time. Yet I know on this beautiful April morning in South Carolina, that my heavenly Father has the plan firmly in hand and that despite my friends’ families’ losses, they would not begrudge me the celebration of this anniversary in my life. I will celebrate that I am here, that for whatever reason, God’s still got me on my feet. I am most grateful to be here, to have family and friends with whom to share this post, and 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 and share with me, please, my joy that ten years later I am alive and well!  Be blessed†

 

Share

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MEGHAN LEE, 2015

Having begun what is becoming the annual birthday post in 2011, it is time for the new round of my daughters’ birthday posts. I have fun with them and hope you and the honoree do, as well.

     Thirty years ago this evening, I met my younger daughter, Meghan Lee, for the first time. Weighing in at just six pounds, she showed early signs of being her own person, struggling to be released from the hospital swaddling that her sister, a year earlier, had found so comforting.  An early reader determined to keep up with her sister, she began calling me Mother, likely based on something she read; not mom and not just to my face, but in reference to me as well.  It was very noticeable coming from this little person, so formal – Mother.  She still does, today, but I’m used to it and no longer feel like Joan Crawford. That’s Meghan Lee, no nicknames, please. Being her mother, one might accuse me of bias, but I am so very proud of the woman she has become. I am blessed to be close to her, not in proximity, but in mind and heart, the places that matter. I have watched her grow over the years, overcoming challenges and learning to soar like an eagle!!

Since I began the birthday post, each year has been one of continued growth in grace and beauty for Meghan Lee. who, in 2011, began a tradition of wearing a tiara on her birthday, even on the bike. The 2012 birthday post addressed a major life event, marriage to R. Brian Smith, known to me as FSIL. 

Three years later, they continue to grow closer and are, as I describe it, incredibly well matched.WELL-MATCHED

They have embarked on and completed  fitness challenges like the Tough  Mudder twice! They enjoy DIY home renovations. Together they are into weight training, running, and travel. A newer venture is gardening, with which I’m thrilled. I always told her it’s in the Buelow genes; we love to “play in the dirt.” For years she denied it because of spiders – my fault for making my daughters pick too many beans as children, or so they said. In typical fashion, Meghan did the research and came up with a plan for raised beds, which she and Brian built together.  More research led to plans for squirrel-proofing those beds, which she designed, they built, and now their gardens are safe from critters and they’re well into their second year of gardening

This past year brought new challenges and changes.  Making a career shift after soul-searching, and with Brian’s full support, Meghan resigned from her former position, enrolled in and successfully completed a new course of study in the IT field. Having excelled in school and enjoying the change in direction, Meghan launched her own business Meghan Smith Solutions; her work has already attracted clients in the South and in WI; she enjoys the freedom of working at home and/or wherever she happens to be.

My younger daughter turns 30 today and I couldn’t be more pleased to claim her, though I’ve learned to share her with Brian. She is intelligent, kind, loving, and generally an exceptional human being, grown now, with a family of her own –  Meghan Lee, Brian, and three cats – the Smith family.

I’m thanking the Lord for putting her in my arms and into my care – a gift to me beyond compare.   Joyeux anniversaire, Meghan Lee, je t’aime en bric, broc, our French slang for “I love you to pieces.”  Literal translation is “I love you to bits and chunks,” which makes us giggle.  Enjoy the photos – faces of Meghan Lee – and join me, please, in wishing a most wonderful new year and new decade of life to Meghan Lee Smith!

 

     MEGHAN LEE              M__BD POST_2015      MBCOURTYARD_CROPPED        

Happy 30th Birthday, Meghan Lee!! Be blessed†, my precious daughter!!         

Share