In Loving Memory

Dyan
1979 – 2019

As the year comes to a close I remember those that have taken the last exit. Dyan was my eldest daughter. She moved on after a year-long bought with cancer. I miss her, and think of her every day.

Your first born is special in a way that no other child is. As the one that introduces you to parenthood, they suffer the most from your learning experience, and Dyan taught me a lot about being a father. She taught me patience, to allow her to grow in the way she wanted; acceptance, in loving her for who she was, and that love, even when it seemed to be broken, lived much deeper than the surface.

I didn’t get to see her much as she grew older and followed her path, a path filled with animals. They were her first love, and I witnessed this directly with Jenga, her first dog. Her attention and training took a bright lab mix to a very intelligent and obedient canine.

She loved horses, and kept them until a month or so before she died. When I talked with someone who knew her well and worked with her at one of the stables she worked, I found that there was nothing she wanted to do more than be around horses.

The last six months of her life were the most precious to me as I spent more time with her, helping her by massaging her ankles, bringing her food (which my wife cooked) and smoothies, and just sitting with her. I didn’t have to say much. I listened to her when she talked, or kept a hand on her arm or leg. Gave her ice water when she needed it or just sat in the room with her watching tv.

I don’t pretend that her leaving had the same impact on me as it did others who were more involved in her life, who had bigger voids to fill than I will. And as much as you can rationalize it in your head, the loss still hurts and brings sadness. But I don’t dwell on what could have been. I focus on what was, in the end, a great re-connection with my child.

No matter how old they become, how much they grow up, they are still our children, and the love we felt for them when they first introduced themselves to the world with a little cry, only grows stronger over the years. A love that grows without regard to how frequently we see them. A love filled with joy at all their joys and accomplishments. A love that grieves with all their sadness and grief.

I loved you every day of your life, and continue to love you forever.

Dad

Thanksgiving Paradox

The Thanksgiving Paradox

What do I mean by a Thanksgiving paradox? As I reflected on all those people in my life who I’m thankful for, I came to realize this holiday has been darkened by Black Friday, due to the extension of that shopping spree to cover this entire week. The little focus that is given to this holiday is now overshadowed by materialistic greed.

Seriously, how many of you use Black Friday sales to do your Christmas shopping for others only? I’ve been as guilty as the rest – finding a great bargain in something I wanted (but not always needed), and braving the hungry crowds fighting to save a few dollars. I think this may be the third most spiritual holiday (after Christmas and Easter) in a faith-based sense, yet it is given less attention than any other (including Memorial, Labor, and Independence days).

Today let us remember those we are thankful for – people (and/or pets) – who make life worth living.

JR

 

Moments to Treasure – a Prayer Book

New Book Moments to Treasure Released

I’ve just released Moments to Treasure: Prayers for Navigating Life’s Journey, a prayer book that covers the seasons of life. It’s available on Amazon and CreateSpace, and the Kindle version (without pictures) is a free download through Thanksgiving 2013 (11/28). This book actually includes one prayer from Spiritual Response, along with about 29 others plus several reflections. The paperback includes color photos and is dedicated to my granddaughter, who’s doing very well.

I’ve set up a website for it and there’s a special offer to download FREE a fillable PDF document – where you can create your own special book – collecting all the inspiring and comforting words in one place.

I hope you find it useful.

John

I Believe – October Special

It’s not ready yet, but it turns out that’s not a big deal. What? I’ve enrolled I Believe: A Year of Reflecting on One’s Faith in the Kindle Matchbook program. However, just before preparing to release the news I found out that I was a month too soon. Not in enrolling, but in when you can see it.

So, beginning in October, if you’ve purchased the book from Amazon you can download the Kindle version – FOR FREE!

That’s right. And it doesn’t matter when you purchased it. So you don’t have to buy them together or think, ‘Rats! I bought the paperback last year.’ You’re still eligible.

I’ll mention it again when it actually goes live.

John

Easter Sunday

Happy Easter!

(To those that celebrate it, especially beyond the eggs and candy.) Someone asked an entertainer last night that I went to see what he was going to do on Resurrection Sunday. I’m thinking this had to be a setup, right? The entertainer was Jewish. He said all he knew was that Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead.

Do we really know that? Or was his victory over death the act of choosing to do what he believed he had to do, knowing it would lead him to death? How often do we remain silent, unmoving, or turn away, thinking or knowing that if we act, it will result in our own death?

J