November 28, 2005
Lovely... and blessings! and Christmas!
Aside from being wiped out from having three children all week (Cara and Nino and you others, I have no idea how you do it!), I had a lovely Thanksgiving holiday. There was definitely a missing presence, but because the family tradition was changed, the day went a bit more smoothly than it could have. I do know now that my mom had a really hard time, but covered it up well until her family had left to go back home (out of state).
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I really couldn't have asked for a better holiday, except maybe I could have had a better attitude on Friday when we were putting up the Christmas decorations (I'm praying my problem was PMS, rather than a newfound bitchiness). I said, we had an extra kid most of the week - and she was 16. My cousin, B, has "grown up" a lot in the past few months and I really don't like it much. [wry grin] I said several times throughout the week to V, "When you are 16, you better not act like cousin B". To which she replied, "Okay, mommy, I won't..... But you might need to remind me." Methinks more prophetic words have never been spoken by a 5 year old.
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Monday, we were blessed to share dinner with some friends who were on their way home after taking their 2 year old genius son to see The Wiggles. We had a lovely visit and I wondered while they were here why we don't do it more often!
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Tuesday, I can't remember what I did - cleaned the garage? Or attempted to? I don't know. I am pretty sure I also went to the grocery and did my last minute shopping for holiday cooking. Actually, no, we did that Monday. I guess we went to Sam's on Tuesday. Which wasn't really fun, what with all the crazies out shopping for copious amounts of excess everything. Tuesday night... Oh! Tuesday night! We had a date! Alone! With no kids! We went to dinner and then to BB&B to buy a new bedskirt to go with our new duvet cover, which will hopefully make it on the bed this week. We spent an hour! browsing around the store and basically doing nothing but hiding in the various departments making out behind stacks of towels and curtains. :) I guess we pretended to be like my 16 year old cousin - only less dopey.
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Wednesday was filled with preparations and I have no idea what else, but it seems like I got some stuff done that day. Thursday was the holiday and it was all wonderful and mostly warm fuzzy feelings... .Though, maybe that was from the cheap champagne my grandfather-in-law brought for dinner.
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Friday morning, I was up before the sun to go out and get some good deals. Funny thing is, I never go to the popular stores. I guess I just like to have the time before dawn to browse around and buy a bunch of stuff. I prefer to go to Jo-Ann and use the coupons and buy the doorbusters and this year I bought a few new decorations, since we're in the house. I never know what to get for Christmas for my grandparents, but I saw something in the ad that is perfect for my grandma, so that was the main draw at 6 am. I also went to a department store and bought a couple things for Adam and the girls. After grabbing coffee at Starbucks, I headed home to help start the decorating.
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We got the tree up and some decorations, then I crashed, feeling like I was relapsing on being sick again. I woke with a start after a nearly 2 hour nap and then got started on dinner, since my mom and other family were coming for dinner to celebrate my mom's birthday.
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Saturday, more birthday celebration and a mini-feast with my in-laws since some couldn't come ON Thanksgiving. In the evening, our friends' son's 4th birthday party. Oh, and my cousin's 6 yr old daughter slept over.
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Sunday, we didn't get everything done that I wanted, but it was way more important that we rest and recover from many late nights and hundreds of miles of driving (just back and forth to our family!)
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I did, however, get almost all my holiday shopping done already. I have a few odds and ends to pick up and stockings need to be filled, but the bulk of the gifts are bought and tomorrow night I shall start wrapping them.
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My goal for tomorrow is to get some of the Christmas cards done while I am sitting at my mom's house waiting for her garage door to be installed. blergh!
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It's just a few short weeks until we leave for our trip and I need to have all my holiday prep done before then. I can't wait!
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There is a woman in my playgroup who was pregnant with triplet boys and they were delivered by emergency c-section last Wednesday at 27 weeks. They seem to be doing okay and all three are now off the ventilators. But, they're still all teeny tiny and need prayers. I am sure the parents need prayers too and their 3 year old daughter as well, as I am sure it is difficult to understand when she can't see them. So, if you're the type, please send up prayers for this family - especially that the precious sons (conceived w/o drugs! the odds!) would continue to improve and grow and that they willnot have future complications from such prematurity.
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Until next time.... I pray your holiday season is starting off with joy and peace. I am feeling excited and happy and also a bit sad. I know this time will have some sadness for us as we change our traditions to make Pop's absence less obvious for the girls. We do have so much to be thankful for this year and knowing that Pop is in heaven has been the greatest gift I could receive this year.
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November 23, 2005
A Blessed Thanksgiving to You
My list is long this year, in spite of the sadness and grief 2005 has brought to our family.
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I thank God for my family - for everyone who has pitched in to help my mom during the most difficult time of her life; for my mom, that she has pushed through her darkest days and is forging ahead, trying to honor her love by living; for my in-laws, who have been a family to me that I didn't know could exist; for the rest of my family, near and far, that I don't get to spend enough time with or even those who don't want to spend time, but I can learn lessons from. My family is filled with people from one end of the spectrum to the other, yet I love them, all the same. And I appreciate that God has allowed me to accept their differences and learn from each of them.
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I thank God for improved health of my family (last year, this week, my father-in-law spent several days in the hospital with virus-induced heart failure)
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I thank God for a good job for my husband that has allowed us to be closer to "home" and allows for me to continue to stay home with our beautiful daughters
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I thank God for friends who have been "here" for me, even when it is just through a note or email or prayers. My friends (you're on that list!) have kept my head above water when I was too worn out to swim anymore
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I thank God for my stepdad - for the time I got to have him in my life; for the times he helped me, loved me; for his tears when his granddaughters (my girls!) were born; for the dad he became to me; for his goofiness and love of rock music and all the little things that made him unique
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I thank God for my husband - my rock and my best friend and my lover - my life would be much less without him
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I thank God for my children - my daughters make me smile, even when they make me cry with frustration; they have brought a happiness to my heart that I couldn't have even dreamed for! I thank God that He is caring for my Gabriella and that she will never know the pains of this life - and I thank God that she has a Pop and Grandpa who dote on her, if that's possible in Heaven
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I thank God for my life - that during the times I felt hopeless, God carried me through - He hoped enough for me and loved me even through my weaknesses and unwillingness to do what is right or good
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I thank God for my faith, my beautiful, steadfast belief that He is here with me (unworthy me!). That His love surpasses all that I know here in my life and that His love and mercy are the center of my happiness.
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I thank God for abundance, that it allows us to teach our children to share, even when it means we go without something we want. I thank God that we have food on our table daily and that we have cool air in the heat and warm air in the chill. I thank God that we have two cars that need repairs, because it reminds me that we can still function in need of repair - but we'd be so much better if we did the repair!!!
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I thank God for these and the countless other blessings in my life this Thanksgiving. That His love and mercy shine in your lives this holiday season and give you joy and peace.
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Enjoy the holiday weekend!
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God Bless You!
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November 15, 2005
Little Miss Dis-Organization
That's me! I have no idea how Thanksgiving could possibly be NEXT WEEK!?!??!?!
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I have a long list of things to do between now and then if I am to complete my to-do-before-Thanksgiving list. I think there is NO way it is going to happen. I had grand plans to have my Christmas shopping done before then. I had plans to get cards done, addressed and stamped so they could go out next weekend. All these dumb plans. You know, I wouldn't be calling them dumb plans if I had hopes of accomplishing them on time. ;)
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I AM going to make a concerted effort to get as much as possible done, though. In spite of the fact that I am so freaking sick I literally slept 80% of Sunday and have felt like dog chow since last week. I finally went to the doctor today and he said "sorry, it's just a respiratory infection" Which means not much is going to help, but he did give me a "very strong decongestant" to try to dry things up so it doesn't turn into a sinus cavity infection. Fun.
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So, you wanna hear what I have to do? Well, you know that I've been working for weeks to get things ready for the craft fair last weekend. It was a bust. A total bust. Well, mostly, anyway. Those who organized it lied and said they'd be advertising in the paper and around town in the free publications (we can even advertise stuff for free on one news channel on tv). But you can guess that they didn't do any advertising at all. Unless you count our subdivision's monthly newsletter. drats! So I spent all that time working on it and then made next to nothing. Literally. I am determined to sell the stuff I've made - I wish I had time to create a website right now, but with the rest of my list..... I just don't have time).
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I need to get a dryer. We have an electric one, but this house is only set up for a gas dryer (anyone know where I can pick one up for less than $300?). This means I also have to finish sorting the things in the garage and have it cleaned out enough to GET a dryer in there, in the appropriate spot. Drying clothes at the coin laundry has gotten really old.
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Saturday, I'm having a Pampered Chef party. I've kicked A and the girls out for the entire night and invited my church MOMS group and my playgroup and a gaggle of my family and friends from the extended area to enjoy a Ladies Night Out. It should be a lot of fun, especially since we'll be serving chocolate martinis - Cara and Kelly, you wanna come? I know how you love your chocolate martinis!
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Sunday, we'll be picking up my cousin, B, who'll be arriving in town Saturday with her parents from SC. She'll stay with us probably until Thanksgiving. I'd like to take her to do something fun while she's here (maybe we'll go to the zoo, which is way more fun for my kids than her, but I think she'll enjoy it too).
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So, next week is Thanksgiving. I am making some things, of course, to contribute to our combined family meal. (My wonderful MIL has invited MY family to join us at their home, so she is making the turkey/dressing and we're making the rest). I am making the dough for the rolls tomorrow and freezing it in roll-size portions, so we can just thaw and bake. I have a couple other things I make traditionally, so there's that.
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In December, it seems like there are a lot of things going on. There is an important event on December 8th, that I missed last year since I was still in Atlanta. It is a big deal for those of us involved and I'll just say it is a religious commitment thing. Then, we have bought tickets to take the girls to see Annie (the Broadway musical). That night, we'll stay at A's parents' house and then leave from there the next morning to drive to Charleston. A's sister is in a big Christmas show there and since this is her third year, we figure we should actually go up to see it. This is really special, since she no longer lives in Charleston and the production company is paying for her to come back for most of the month. So, we'll be leaving on a Thursday morning to drive there, staying until Sunday lunchtime and then driving to Atlanta.
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Monday is A's 31st birthday, but we'll be spending it driving around like lunatics, visiting as many friends as we can cram into 2 days. I am really looking forward to seeing Becca and her family!!! Though, I wish we could spend more time.
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Wednesday, we'll get an early start and head back to the Sunshine State. We have reservations to stay at our kids' favorite hotel that night and the next day, we'll be heading to Epcot. We have reservations for an extra special dinner and then we'll see Jim Caviezel, live, tell the story of Christ's birth. This was a huge splurge, but one that we will all really enjoy.
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Of course, we'll get home late that night and have Friday to recover for Christmas weekend. Oy! I'm already exhausted thinking about it. And what was I thinking when I invited everyone to have Christmas dinner at our house?!?!?! Oh, I'll have to do as much as possible ahead of time. Plus, I think my mom is going to spend the night Christmas Eve, so she'll be here to help make dinner the next day.
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So, I wanted to tell you that I'll be busy. I won't be around much. I'll be thinking of you and praying for you, as always. But, I'll be scarce.
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If I don't get back on here soon, then I pray you have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving and you are able to have a countless list of things you are grateful for this year. My list overflows! And each of you is on it.
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God Bless you.
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November 11, 2005
Rockin Out and Free Boobs
My husband ROCKS!!!! He called me this morning and told me that he could make my day or make me wait for a later date.... I was so confused. He mentioned something about Valentine's Day and I grew more confused. (Honestly, I was thinking - he's planned another weekend away??) So, I said, "Yeah, tell me now"
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He got online this morning at 10 am.... and bought tickets to see INX$ in February!!!! I am so freaking excited! I don't know if you remember reading my entries about Rock$tar: INX$, but I absolutely LOVE the band and am so excited to see them with their new front man, JD. Ya know, I have, really, the best husband.
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So what does this have to do with free boobs? Absolutely nothing. But I got an email this morning from my cousin with a forward from a friend of hers. This girl (my cousin's friend) has 4 kids and I've met her several times - she's a beautiful girl, funny, nice.... And now she's won a free boob job from a local radio show. I am excited for her - silly, I know, but I can imagine how much she'll enjoy them after the effects of 4 babies.... :) Here is her letter of submission for the contest:
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"Okay so I’m not really one to brag, but it’s not every day you save the world from impending doom. There I was, waiting in the drive-thru to pick up some happy meals for the kids when this crazy looking man runs up to the passenger door and gets in my car!! He grabbed my arm and yelled, "Drive or DIE!"
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I was so shocked I started to drive, not noticing the briefcase that he had hand-cuffed to his wrist until he put it on his lap and started muttering to it. Once I had driven a few miles away I risked asking him who he was and where we were going. "They’re after me," he said. "I have to get this package Downtown."
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"What is it?" I wanted to know. "It’s a nuclear weapon, and I intend to use it to destroy Tampa!" Well you can imagine that this was not what I wanted to hear and I suddenly became so nervous I lost control of the car and ran into a ditch. Luckily I was wearing my seatbelt, but the same couldn’t be said for my would-be abductor and he was thrown forward and knocked unconscious.
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Once my head cleared I looked around and noticed that the briefcase had opened during the crash and red lights were flashing from inside. Reaching over my unconscious "passenger" I slowly opened the briefcase and saw something out of a nightmare; a timer, quickly counting down to zero. Time seemed to slow down as I recalled all the cheesy action movies my husband had forced me to watch and, without thinking, I reached into my purse grabbed my nail clippers and clipped the green wire right before fainting.
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When I awoke I found myself in a hospital surrounded by doctors and FBI agents. The FBI agents told me that I had somehow managed to avert nuclear disaster and that the man in my car was a highly wanted terrorist who they had been pursuing for months. Apparently I was a hero!
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Unfortunately, the doctors informed me that because of my close proximity to the nuclear bomb I had been exposed to high levels of radiation and they would have to remove my breasts. I turned to the FBI thinking they would tell me the government would pay for new ones, but imagine my surprise when they just thanked me and walked away……..
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So, please pick me, because this Wonder Women needs new Wonder Bra!!!! "
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All that being said, have a fantastic weekend. Ours is jam-packed with plans and I have a lot to do to get ready for the Craft Fair/Show tomorrow! Lots of jewelry to get ready and I'd like to take pictures of everything I've made before it is all sold. :)
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Until next time, God Bless you!
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November 10, 2005
Pray for Jacob
Jacob lives not too far from where I live and I can't tell you how long I've been reading his mother's account of their lives. He is suffering right now and needs an extra dose of prayer, so I thought I'd reach out to you, my friends, to pray for this little boy.
I was wondering if my spiritual director is the chaplain Heather refers to in her post. Wouldn't that be amazing?!
Anyway, please pray for Jacob. That he would be healed and his family would have peace and rest. And while you're at it, leave some encouraging words for his family. I know it isn't much, but I can only imagine what each word and each reaching out feels like to a family that feels like hell is knocking on their door.
And then, go hug your little ones (and not so little ones) and remind them how much you love them.
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November 07, 2005
God is GOOD!
Just when you feel like you can't handle any more...... He steps in and renews you.
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In spite of the fact I didn't get to spend the weekend with my family, we all had a wonderful weekend! A and I were at a retreat, each of us with our own assignments that left us without each other directly. I haven't talked about it much (at all?), but we are part of a group of ordinary people who get together to pray and work toward God's greater good. If I give too much information, it would be rather easy for anyone to figure out who I am with a few searches and such.
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Anyway, aside from a big hiccup in the schedule Saturday night - or rather something that was out of everyone's control - we had a fantastic weekend praying and praising and drawing ourselves closer to God. Perhaps you don't know just how important my faith is in my life - perhaps I am silent about it here... But, let me tell you, after the week I had last week, I wondered how my heart could handle much more.. But, God knew I'd be able to handle it all because of the upcoming weekend's renewal.
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The girls had a blast bouncing from sitter to grandmimi's to friends' houses, they thought it was one huge playdate weekend. :)
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Yesterday, was our 7th wedding anniversary. I have to say that the highlight of the day was watching our 5 year old offer her arms up in praise to our Father and asking for abundant blessings for herself. I know it's not romantic or directly related to our marriage, but when I think of the day 7 years ago when I married my husband - not one thought was given to what the future might really hold. We could not have imagined the beauty and wonder and awe and LOVE that would pour forth from our marriage. Sure, we loved each other then - but it is NOTHING compared to what we feel now. With each day that passes, I appreciate my partner more and feel even more blessed to be united with him. Happy Anniversary, Sweetheart.
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We did have a great weekend, but it has created a lot of work for me - I've taken a small p/t job and I have an assignment to complete this afternoon.
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I hope you all are enjoying beautiful fall weather. And if you're the praying type, please keep Bill and Jane in your prayers as their family and other friends celebrate their lives and honor them today.
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Until next time, God Bless you.
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November 03, 2005
My Words are Worth Something....
But I'm not exactly sure what.....


My blog is worth $3,387.24.
How much is your blog worth?



What are your words worth???
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One More Reason NOT to Read the News
Yesterday, as I was searching the local paper (Ohio) to find information on my friends, Bill and Jane, I saw a headline about a man pleading guilty for r*ping a 2 month old baby. The name of the man sounded familiar - maybe was that older kid that lived on the corner where my middle school bus stop was? But I thought, "nah... Certainly not HIM, not someone that I had acquaintance with...."
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This morning, as I was searching for more information (thought maybe they'd know something else by now about my friends), I ran across a more detailed article regarding the sentencing of the monster who abused that poor baby. And guess what? I was right yesterday. This monster WAS the kid in my neighborhood. I didn't know him well AT ALL - he was older and we didn't play with him and his friends. But, I do remember him - we all thought he was some sort of special guy - so many friends - he was cool, he was smart.... Turns out he was a pretty respected member of the community - law school, family...
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And he's now a convicted felon and I pray he NEVER gets out of prison for what he did. You can read about it here. I warn you, though, you probably shouldn't read it.
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I've decided to STOP reading the paper. I don't need to read this stuff. I don't need my mind obsessing over such horror.
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I'm going to take my children to the park and then we are going to run a few errands, one to buy sympathy cards for the families of my dear friends. And then I'm going to spend the rest of the day doing wonderful things with my girls and hugging them and watching them in awe as I thank God for the gifts in my life.
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And before I bid you farewell for now, I'd like to say that I appreciate you being part of my joy. I appreciate your friendship, your support, your prayers. And I appreciate YOU. That you take the time to read about what's going on in my life and that you care enough to stay in touch. I haven't been very good lately about reaching out, but I promise that once my kids are done being sick, I will be back to some sort of normal.
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God Bless you.
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November 01, 2005
May They Rest in Peace *edited*
I got incredibly sad news tonight. I .... I don't know what to write.... I wish I knew how to say this without it sounding dramatic or whatever, but I just need to record this for future reference, I suppose. I'm not looking for sympathy for myself. Maybe if you read it, it might make you stop to think of the people in your life that you care about. The people on the fringes of your life that you don't go out of your way to let them know you care... And if there are people on the fringes of your life that you care about, but haven't said it lately - do it. Now.
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I learned tonight that a couple that I have known practically my whole life (we moved in next door to them when I was 3 years old) was found dead in their house last night. Details are sketchy right now, but it appears he died about a month ago and it appeared she's been gone about a week.
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The backstory is that their only child, a son, was murdered 11 years ago (the month after my dad died) and they have never been the same since. They have been incredibly depressed and I found out tonight that almost 2 years ago, he put her into an in-patient mental facility because he feared she might endanger herself. This family has been through so much and their health was failing due to their emotional state. They weren't very old, I think about in their 60s, their son was my friend, only a couple years older than me.
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I have stayed in touch with them for all these years, though I hadn't heard back from them in the last year - maybe more? They usually sent a letter back, thanking me for the pictures of the girls and telling me of this or that going on with them (usually health issues) and asking me to write again with details on what the girls were doing. Two years ago, when we were in Ohio for my class reunion, we tried to visit them. I was saddened when I went to their door and they didn't answer - even though I KNEW they were home - and shouted it through the door. I guess that Christmas was the last letter I received from Jane. She responded to the letter I mailed after that failed visit. But I didn't hear from her after my last 2-3 letters.
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I am sad to know that they had cut themselves off from all their friends and family in the last year or so. I am sad they suffered as they did since the loss of their son. I am sad people don't have as much mercy as I know God does. I am sad I didn't specifically say to them "I care about you and think of you and pray for you and I love you."
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I pray they are finally at peace and united IN HEAVEN with their son.
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by the way, there's more behind the scenes
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