Sunday, November 25

A Village of Love

We had a fabulous, wonderful, fun Thanksgiving. My sister hosted & there were a ton of people: all the from everyside were there, plus family-friends...and of course everywhere! 

I call it our village, as there are truly enough people to populate a small village! A dear friend of mine wrote this in an email to me the following day:

Thank you so much for including us in your Village Thanksgiving!  We both had a great time and felt most welcome.  I was thinking, on our way home, that the ease and grace with which the whole thing came off was quite a tribute to all who participated.  Tiff and Mike made it look easy.  Is it the village that stands with them?  I believe your family is super hyped with the Gracious Host Gene along with the Fabulous Cook Gene.  I can see why you and your mom were so into the winery where those gifts and talents could be shared with the larger world.  And...the children, surrounded by The Village of Love are blessed as all children deserve to be.  It was heart-warming to observe the loving interactions. Mmmm. 

I liked that idea: The Village of Love. Makes me feel all warm & cozy inside.  

So here is a glimpse into our Thanksgiving Village of Love....

Thursday, November 22

Tuesday, November 13

November 13, 2012

Dear Demetri~

Three years have come and gone since we received that phone call that turned our lives upside down...the call that told us that you, Demetri, had slipped, who had been so full of vigor inside your mommy's womb, were instead to be born silent.

We'd have never thought it possible then...this healing that has taken place in our family. It is good to see a bounce in your mama's step & a light in your papa's eyes. Of course there is that saying that "time heals all wounds." This, off course, is wrong: it isn't that time heals the wounds, it is simply that over time, with time, and with many other things, such as love, new birth, family, friends, God's grace, and much, much more, healing takes place. Of course, for that to happen, one has to release one's hold on the pain, the saddness, the bitterness, the comfort in the grief, to be open to the healing.

And then there is the most important realization of all and that has to do with the fact that while grieving has it's time and it's place, it cannot & should not last forever. The Bible says that while weeping may endure through the night, joy comes in the morning (Ps 30:5).   But here is the 1st part of that realization, that is often difficult to penetrate through grief: after a while, our grief no longer honors the person who is no longer with us. But, instead, walking in healing and wholeness and joy does honor that person for a lifetime: because we are living life to the fullest, as they should have and as they would have wanted us to do--and as they would have wanted to do themselves.

And you know: joy has a funny way of creeping up on you too, if you open your heart, even just the littlest bit, and let it. And sometimes it just jumps right in!

Joy pops up when your cousin Teagan takes my face in both her hands when she's talking to me, to be sure she has my full attention. Joy leaps in my heart when I hear your little brother, Dante, call my name. And when they laugh together! Oh, my joy is practically filled to the brim & overflowing!....

I think, in a way, this is why I take such joy in our roses…it started with one simple bush to honor & remember you, Demetri,  and now it is a garden of “children” (all my nieces & nephews): living, growing, & blooming ~ always reminding me of the beauty & sweetness God has gifted us with.

But, my sweet Demetri, here is the 2nd part of that grand realization: just because we may walk in joy & peace & healing, doesn't mean that you are forgotten or that we don't still often wish you were here too. Yes, I still wonder what your personality would have been like (based on how you were in the womb, I'd say that you & your brother would probably be gettin' into all sorts of good-natured trouble!!!)...or what your laugh would have sounded like...or what it would have been like to see you with your cousins & brother. But these musings are fleeting and they don't pierce the heart with a sword as they once did. 

Because, sometime, somehow, slowly over the past couple years, healing has come to our family and to my heart too. And it is so sweet to be able to think of you with peace and not piercing pain. Because, you see, I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that one day we will meet in Heaven's Glory. And I can be satisfied with that. But always know: I still love you here on earth, too.

~Your Auntie M

Every year, since 2009, I've made one of these memorial cards for you. Gramma & I each print one up & write a little note on the back & then put them in our special "Demetri places." 

PS~Every single one of the roses pictured here is from one of your rose bushes. What started as one rose bush for you has become 3: one for each year you've been in heaven. The roses are climbing roses called Joseph's Coat and like his coat, each rose has many different colors from pale yellows to vibrant oranges, rosy pinks to almost firey fuschias. They are truly incredible roses! And they smell good too. The only downside: because they are being trained to climb: I can't pick them! But I do go out & faithfully gather the fallen petals & dry is that for devotion?!?

This is your "Year One" rose bush....

"Year Two"

"Year Three"

The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.
Isaiah 35:1 KJV

~ ~ ~ Later in the Day ~ ~ ~
For the first time, when we went to the park with our rose petals, it rained! But we didn't was still beautiful. And incredibly peacefully...because of the rain we only saw 2 other sets of people and no one crossed the bridge while we were on it.