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Monday, June 23, 2014

Paying Respect

Late last night I found out that two very special people had passed away.
The first was an older gentleman from the church which I attended as a child/teenager.
He and his wife would have been happily married for 65 years in August.  
His name is Earl.
The second was a lifetime friend of my Daddy's. 
They grew up together.
They goofed around and laughed together.
They were blessed to call each other true friends.
His name was Raymond.

Raymond's visitation was before Earl's early in the afternoon.
I left our home and drove two and a half hours to his visitation.
While driving, I was sad to think about how quickly he lost his battle with cancer.
(It was just 3 weeks from the time he found out until he passed away.)
My heart was at ease, though, when I thought of Daddy and Raymond catching up in Heaven.
I stopped to get a water at a Casey's store on my way.  
As I was making a dash down the candy aisle,
my Daddy's favorite chocolate covered peanuts jumped out at me, and I had to smile.  
They were Casey's brand, and he ate them a LOT.
I bought them. 
I also bought a lottery ticket because Daddy would also have done that.
Sometimes I get my $2 back from a ticket.
Well, as luck would have it, or not, 
the chocolate peanuts were NOT in the least bit yummy, 
and I did not win the lottery.  
I ate every single peanut, and I talked to my Daddy until the bag was empty.
Then a song came on the radio which assured me that he and God were with me, 
and that I would be okay while I was at the visitations.  
(Sometimes they are harder than others.....)
When I hugged Raymond's sister and told her who I was,
she just smiled really big, hugged me again, and said, (grab a tissue) 

"Just before Raymond passed, he opened his eyes and said,"
( the tissue? )
"Oh look.  It's Larry."
I know...tears.
Me too.
My daddy met his buddy as he transitioned from his earthly body into Heaven.  
I've read stories.  
I've heard stories of people seeing Jesus.
I know He is real, and I also knew that Daddy was in Heaven.
I just can't tell you how reassuring it was to not only know that a friendly face met Raymond, 
but also that it was my sweet, ornery, loving Daddy who was there for him.
God is good.

At Earl's visitation, I saw many people I knew from my childhood.
(My pediatrician, elders from the church, 
some of my high school teachers and even a few of their parents, 
as well as many friends)
When I talked to Earls wife, she said how happy it would have made him to know I was there. 
She couldn't believe I was there.
She said that I was like their daughter.  



She said it again.

"You were our daughter, and we love you!"

I had no idea.

I mean... I admired them.
I loved them.
They were happily married.
They were active in church.
They respected each other and had a happy life.
Their daughter lived away and was such a sweet and successful girl.
They were always very kind to me.

I. Had. No. Idea.
I didn't know.

Oh boy, how I wish I had known how strongly they felt about me.
I have thought of them often throughout the years,
But I always just smiled and kept on doing my thing.
Apparently that was a nudge for me to keep in touch.
I should have known.
I should have picked up a pen and wrote them a note
Or picked up the phone and called them.

Today I was reminded of how important it is to tell people how you feel.
We must take time to say thank you.
We MUST take time to tell people how important they are in our lives.

As for paying last respects?
The grieving families helped ease my own grief.
I just THOUGHT I was there to support them.
It's so backwards.
How did that even happen?
I learned so much in just a few hours.

I'm on a mission now.
The mission is to appreciate the small stuff.
The little things are the important things in life! delicious.
Live everlasting is even MORE delicious.
I'm excited to know that one more friend is there...
waiting for me on the other side!

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Living the Dream

Living the Dream
I love Christmas Eve when the house is quiet and there is nothing left to do but wait for Santa and Christmas morning to arrive!