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)

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SETBACK

     We’ve all had them, right? Just when things seem to be rolling along, something happens to bring an abrupt halt, maybe even backward motion. That is the subject for today, a personal setback and how I’m dealing with it. Hopefully, there will be some insight for ya’ll.

     A number of years ago, I experienced a broken femur. Leave it to you-know-who to break the largest bone in the human body. Family and friends know that post-surgery, I began in a wheelchair, then progressed to a walker, then a cane, and ultimately, no assistance. Since that time, I walk, walk, walk – over to the Community Center and back, on the forest trail, and also around the neighborhood using Arborgate Circle. I have a goal, and worked toward it virtually every day that it wasn’t raining. The once-broken leg was getting stronger every day, heading toward that goal.

     Two days ago, out of nowhere, BAM, setback time. Having returned from the Community Center on the trail with my friend, Karen, something flipped and I started gathering speed, going out-of-control, literally spinning in circles like a psycho-ballerina. It was very scary, and I was helpless to stop. Long story shortened, I fell, and the hand of my Heavenly Father had protected me on two levels. First, the out-of-control spinning took me across the street, which happened to be free from traffic in either direction. Second, when I fell, I didn’t slam my head on the street or the curb. Yes, I messed up my face a bit, one knee bruised and bleeding, and my formerly broken leg was re-injured – cut and bleeding, with a massive bruise swelling larger than my fist. Karen muscled me to my feet, and we hobbled to my house, where she set to work cleaning up my face, and tending to my legs.

     The next morning was painful, but manageable. I was able to shuffle around the house, with only moderate pain. I was on-the-mend, or so I thought 😊 This morning, Day Two, was a different story. Not necessarily excruciating pain, but a whole lot more than anticipated – pain, everywhere – legs, arms shoulders, ribs. Sitting down and getting up takes several minutes each, and a lot of discomfort. Walking is hesitant; I’m certainly not ready to head out the door.

     After all the work I had put in since the initial femur break and surgical repair, I’m barely moving, and my goal is pushed into the future. Now what? I’ve been giving thanks that my head was spared a fourth TBI, for sure!! Cuts and bruises will heal, and I’ll be walking outside, beginning with up and down the driveway, then around the cul-de-sac, and in no time at all, I’ll hit the trails to the Community Center again. One might say this is a fairly large bummer, but look at the positive – no head injury, no broken bones – that’s huge!!

     This recovery is not beginning in a wheelchair, so I’m ahead of the game, have been here before, and know I can come back. Was this my choice? Not on your life, but I didn’t write the story before the world began. That’s my Heavenly Father’s arena. I have every confidence that His plan has a purpose, so I’ll grit my teeth and get to it, giving thanks all the while, beginning tomorrow morning.  Grace, joy, and peace, y’all; this is me saying G’night.  

 

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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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ch-ch-ch-Changes

Back in 2009, I wrote a post with this same title, borrowing from David Bowie’s classic song. This post will be different, because in 2019, a decade later, the changes are different. How do you handle change? Do you embrace it, roll with it, try to avoid it, perhaps ignore it? There are myriad ways human beings react to change. Some are healthy, others, less so. Regular readers know that my worldview is distinctly Christian. I believe the words written long ago, by King Solomon. In Ecclesiastes, chapter three, King Solomon wrote that there is a season for everything. We go through seasons of joy and seasons of mourning, times when we dance, and times we sit and ponder silently.

This is a new season for me. Having lived a half-mile from my Meghan Lee and her husband, Brian, for the last three years, since moving to South Carolina, 1300 miles now separate us – BIG changes. I knew it was part of the long-range plan when I moved here. But knowing something and living it out can be two distinctly different things. Their move to Texas resulted in me moving, too – from the townhome complex where I’d been, to a house, the house that Meghan bought when she was a twenty-something young woman, and in which Brian joined her after their marriage seven years ago.

They are off on a new adventure, one that could prove most interesting and rewarding. I’m in a new home, in a neighborhood, instead of a complex. Meghan returned from Texas for ten days to facilitate my move, and we’ve already received a dinner invitation from a neighbor.

I’m in the same community, still with access to 12 miles of paved trails through the forest, access to the community center with its varied programs and activities, even a book club. It’s a somewhat longer walk through the forest to get to the community center, but that’s a good thing – more steps three times a week when I usually go to the pool. There’s a new challenge in learning the route to the pool/community center from here. Twelve miles provides a lot of space in which to get turned around, so we’ve resolved to walk it repeatedly while Meghan is still here. I’ll get it, I have every confidence that I will adapt to the changes necessary to get where I want to be, without the security blanket of Meghan being nearby to receive an SOS text.

Ch-ch-ch-changes, part of life, providing new opportunity for personal/spiritual growth. I’ll be stretched, no doubt, but not fearful, never hopeless. A favorite old hymn says, “Jesus, Savior, pilot me over life’s tempestuous seas.” I’ve got a Lifeguard who walks on water (not an original thought), so I’m facing the changes and claiming a new adventure for myself, as well. It might just be time to write that book I’ve had on hold for awhile now, time to get real serious about my physical rehab, and time to step out further and share more of the good news, the life-changing faith that gives me hope, joy, and the grace and peace I speak of often.

This is me embracing change, looking forward with hope and joy, for Meghan Lee and Brian on their new adventure, and for myself on mine. All is, and will continue to be, well. It can be for you, too, if you have the solid foundation on which to build. Any questions, please ask them; there is so much more to the story. Grace and peace, y’all!!

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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

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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 

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HAPPY 63rd Anniversary, Mom and Dad !! 2017

 

 6.12.1954     Regular readers know I celebrate special days. A week ago today, our family noted  my mom’s 86th birthday, which wasn’t posted as usual,  due to site updating.  

     Today we celebrate both my parents in honor of their 63rd wedding anniversary. Yep, 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. After a honeymoon in Washington, D.C., they traveled  to Wisconsin and spent the summer at the Homestead 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 had similar values: faith and family. Dad was one of ten children born and raised on the wonderful old place I used to call home, a homestead in a rural Wisconsin  county. 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 63 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 my dad’s passport. 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, before Dad accepted an invitation (known as a Call) to serve in another church, and the 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 at 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. That’s how they begin every day. A couple 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 out 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, along with 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. Last week, they did an overnight to Milwaukee, for a Brewers’ (baseball) game, Dad’s birthday gift to Mom. They shop together on their travels, often coming home with new suits for Dad, complete with great shirts and ties, and dresses and ensembles for Mom, as well as gifts for family that they discovered 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 86 and almost 92, they have spent considerably more than half their lives together. Enjoy the photo below taken at their 60th celebration in 2014. 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.    That wraps this celebratory post, which I am thrilled to share with y’all! 

                                                           Joyeaux anniversaire de mariage!!  Je t’aime!        

Navigating life hand-in-hand!

 CELEBRATION 6.8.14

60th Anniversary celebration

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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†

 

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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!!         

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