Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Laughter and Tears

Things that make me Laugh:

1. A good practical joke. (Nothing to do with tatoos, though.)
2. Sarcasm. (Gregg's, mine, or anyone else's)
3. Everybody Loves Raymond, but mostly his dad! (Pretty close to my real life)
4. Making someone else laugh. (My favorite)
5. Other peoples' phobias. (Screaming men and spiders really crack me up.)
6. Making up new words to songs that make them a little "naughty".
7. Colter Lemmon.
8. Little kids trying to be funny.
9. Swinging. (Sorry...The one with chains and a seat.)
10. The word weiner. (I know...I know)
11. A good groin shot. (Probably because I am not a man)
12. Looking at myself in a mirror. (You might as well laugh)
13. When my boss brings me a stack of work and says I need this done in an hour.
14. Beating someone better than me at a game.

Things that make me cry:

1. Funerals, weddings, and graduations (Anybody's, Really)
2. A good sermon.
3. Onions.
4. Trying to hold in the giggles at the movies or at church.
5. The smell of my own feet.
6. Being really, really angry.
7. Injustice.
8. Abortions
9. Jeanne
10. My children
11. Losing things.
12. Fear
13. Pounds. (Only on myself, though.)
14. A sad movie...A happy movie....A moving movie....A boring movie...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Family Dynamics

It is interesting to me how as your children grow up into adults with families of their own the whole dynamics of the term "family" changes. Let me explain. As a parent, my family is and will always be the circle of me, my spouse, and my children. As the children go off and get married and have circle expands. My family now also includes their spouses and their children, (my grandchildren). Sometimes it even includes their spouse's extended family. They become my family, also. But, it seems I've also noticed a strange phenomenon. It's not really that strange, but whatever. My children's "family" circle becomes different. It becomes them, their spouse, and their children. Their own brothers and sisters are all still included in their family circle, also. But I've noticed that we, "their parents" become less and less a part of their family circle. "We" began to be excluded and they began to have "family" excursions without including us. Surprisingly, they no longer want to spend time with us. Hey! I know! It's weird, huh? Somehow...they no longer really see their parents as an essential part of their family.
As a parent, I guess it's difficult to understand why you some how have slipped from the pedestal you once stood on and have fallen in their eyes to the level of being somewhere between a pesky, annoying mosquito to a downright pain in their patooty! Now, may I state that as a parent, you never intend to become that! But somehow, amid their teenage years, your voice to them becomes as shrill as the scratching of fingernails across a blackboard and you begin to think that your questions are written on the ceiling the way they roll their eyes at you.
My brain realizes that this has become the way of family dynamics to this generation. It wasn't all that long ago that granny and gramps was essential to the family, and I'm sure Carol Brady and Marian Cunningham were always needed for crucial decision making in their children's lives and always a welcomed addition to Marcia and Ritchie's family outings.
Alas, this is no longer the case. Which brings me to the subject at hand.
As a parent, I wish I could take the higher road....I wish I had no feelings to express, which would make all of my children's life easier. But, I'm going to lay it out there. Sometimes it hurts! My brain heart hurts. My brain understands that my children and their families all want to go together on a summer outing. My heart says...why didn't they want and need us. Why does our role as parents never end but their role as our children ends the day they head to college?
It's a question that I'll ask God someday...and I'm sure He'll answer, "My children leave me out all the time, too. They don't seem to need or want me, either. They don't invite me along on their outings or to their homes, either. And heaven forbid, that they pay a price for Me. My heart understands this all too well. But, rest assured, I made the family dynamics, the family circle, that way on purpose. You see, a parent's heart is always bigger than their child's heart. It can take the pain. Pain helps the heart grow bigger and softer. It makes you vulnerable and real. That's a good thing. But I tell you the truth, my child, someday your child's heart will grow into a parent's heart. And when that happens, they'll understand, and they will have days that their heart will ache and hurt so bad they won't believe they can hardly stand it. But it will stretch their heart. And that in turn will stretch your heart somemore, also. In fact, somedays the pain will stretch your heart so big you will believe it will explode or break. But it won't, because I am the heart expert and making big, soft hearts is what I'm all about. So get use to it. And learn by looking at how you treat your own parents. Their hearts are the biggest and softest of all."

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I Thank My God Every Time I Remember You.

I am amazed that people enter our lives, become important to us in various ways, then exit as quickly as they came...and they seem to be no longer all that important to us any more. School friends, teachers, pastors, neighbors, coworkers, school crushes, students, even enemies. They all fit into that catagory. People we swear we will never lose contact with, become nothing but photos in an album or memories long since faded. I suppose in some ways, it is a good thing we do not become so emotionally attached to these people or our hearts could not bear the great weight of losing them. But still, it is sad that people who were once so important and vital to us in that special time period leave us without too many tears. I guess I would like to pause to remember some of these very special people. I never stopped loving them...I guess I just outgrew them or they me. Some have passed on. Some moved away. And others, well, we just grew apart. I have a huge bulletin board above my computer filled with pictures of these special people. I look at them every day and remember them. I really haven't forgotten!
Childhood & high school friends I'd like to remember: Debbie...Billy...Kay...Jan...My high school group and graduating class...
Teachers...Mrs. Kloppel...Miss Daniels....Mrs. Ruble....
Special relatives....Theresa...Cindy...Uncle Milton...My grandparents...Aunt Shirley...
Special community members: Frank Uhl...Bill Richards....Ruby Snook...
Pastors...Rev & Lois Sauter...Rev. & Mrs. Runyan
Co-workers....Kathy...Phyllis...Twila...Kathy many! Students....Nathan....Robert....Colter...Dakota...Dustin...Kalla...Danny...Chance...Kelsey...Philip...Brandi...Ashley...Jesse...this list is so very long and special..I loved every single one of them.
Enemies...If you ever were one..I doubt you are now. But still, you have made me who I am. Thank you.
If your life has crossed paths with my life....thank you. You have been important to me. If your name is not on the does not mean you aren't important. Everyone of you has made a contribution to who I am. Thank you.
I have a scripture hanging on my bulletin board with all of your pictures. It is Philippians 1:3, "I thank my God every time I remember you." Robert Louis Stevenson once said, "A friend is a gift you give yourself."
I have given myself many friends!

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Really Good Holiday

The house is quiet again. We are back to just two. The Easter holiday has come and went...another year quickly past amidst the laughter of grandchildren and the reflections of the sacrifice Christ endured for us to enjoy that laughter. We're still cleaning up from what looked like a gigantic Easter basket explosion. Plastic eggs and candy, colored grass and abundance of leftovers invade every room and we are left with the screaming quietness that always follows a holiday. Everyone is safely back to where they came from, a bit fuller, maybe, but back just the same. It was a good holiday. Like every holiday, there is always the minor bickerings of too many people in a house at the same time, too many chocolate laced children with sticky hands and chocolate filled diapers! Still, I am contented. God has graced me with wonderful parents and children, a fantastic daughter-in-law and son-in-law, and of course, the most perfect and beautiful grandchildren you could ever hope for. And what a husband! He went along behind everyone cleaning up our messes! I never could do holidays without him. Our prayer time and communion before the dinner was extremely meaningful, even when, during the middle of prayer, our 7 year old grandson, thinking the prayer was going a bit too long, spoke up sighing, "Okay..who ever hasn't prayed yet, raise your hand." I can still hear the laughter of my three year old granddaughter as she played with the noise making Flarp in her Easter basket. I smile as I reflect on the time I spent at the table with my other granddaughter enjoying an imaginary tea party with my little angel tea set that I never take out of the china hutch. I felt peace as my one year old granddaughter climbed on my lap with her "Woobie", a small fuzzy blanket with a bear's head attached to it, and pressed her nose to mine. We sat cheek to cheek in blissful contentedness for quiet sometime, gazing into one another's eyes and smiling. It was a good holiday. We frosted Easter cookies together...we hunted eggs together..went to church together as a family. We played cards and ate too much. We laughed. We fought. We cried. We were a family. A family who loves each other. My heart is full. It was a really good holiday!