August 2013

On August 30, 2003 a beautiful young lady left her baby daughter in the care of her husband and went to search for treasures at garage sales. Little did she know she would never again see them on this earth. 

The scene has replayed in my mind hundreds of times. The call telling us that Angie had been in a car accident and we needed to hurry to Arizona to help care for Sophie. The trip to the airport, driven by Joe's best friend Dave Durkin. The call from Eric on the way to the airport telling us Angie had died instantly. Trying to reach our son on the phone, and barely having time to tell him what happened before we boarded the plane. 

The pain of seeing Eric suffer and Sophie crying for her mother. Sleeping with Sophie, and feeling the comfort of her little body next to mine. Finding her pacifier when she lost it during the night and cried. Comforting her. Feeling comfort flow from her tiny body and thanking God she was still alive and had not been with Angie when she had the accident.

Less than a year later we moved here... to Shallowater Texas. Eric had come to Olton with Sophie, and his parents had helped him that first year. When we moved I was able to spend a lot of time with Sophie, because Eric moved to Shallowater. I remember when I helped her learn how to cut with scissors, thinking to myself how happy Angie would be that we had moved to help Eric with Sophie and watch her grow up. 

A few months later we met Connie, and we kept Sophie while Eric and Connie went on a short trip and were quietly married. What a blessing for us that Eric and Connie both recognized the importance of Sophie learning about her first mother. (We call Connie Sophie's second mother.) 

Then the blessings of two grandsons came into our lives! What joy they have also given us! Little did we know when we moved here that one grandchild would grow to three! And how very thankful we are to be one of three sets of grandparents for the three grandchildren. 

As school is about to begin, Keaton is going to kindergarten. I remember when he graduated from preschool and led the closing prayer (such a brave young man!) and asked God to help them be good in kindergarten. How that warmed our hearts as it brought a little chuckle from the crowd. So sweet. 

Barrett is beginning the first grade. He is a fine young man and we are so proud of him, too. Last year I was able to help with lunch duty a few times and then assist at recess. The children would call to me, "Barrett's Grandma, would you push us?" And I would push the swings for them. It is nice to be called, "Barrett's Grandma."

Sophie is already in the 5th grade. She is a beautiful young lady. Many from Eudora tell us how much she looks like Angie. We are thankful that she has blonde hair and blue eyes like Connie. This year Sophie tried out to be part of the Lubbock Swim Club. She made the top group (Gold) and has been practicing four times a week except for trips, breaks, etc. 

Joe is looking forward to being able to go to more of the school activities this year now that he has retired. He will be 67 in December, so it is about time for him to quit going out to those two-a-day football practices in the heat, and working long days teaching and coaching. I know Joe has touched many lives, as he has gotten mail from so many former students. On August 28 Joe and I will have been married 47 years. And we love each other more and more as time goes by. 

Our son Mike and his wife Maria took a trip to Italy this spring. When we went to Raleigh, NC to visit them this summer we were treated to a slide show, which we greatly enjoyed. Mike has a good job with Cisco. Maria took us to see her office at Red Hat in the new building that is within walking distance for her. 

As I sit propped up in bed using my laptop, I can see Angie's picture on the wall. And I am reminded of how proud she was of my writing. Before she died, Angie had planned to begin teaching Sophie's Cradle Roll Class. She even wanted to develop some curriculum for me to sell through Hanna Publications. We talked about some of her ideas. I am happy to have completed an OT and NT series of nine months each. How I wish she could have been here to help with it and see the finished publication. But I know she is in a much better place and my wish is more to see the smile on her face and have a hug from her because I miss her so much. How thankful I am that God has prepared a place where we can spend eternity with our loved ones, and that Angie was a devoted Christian. 

Jesus said, "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also" (John 14:1-3, NKJV).

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