scenes

Scene 1 fades in from black: I’m standing in the doorway of what used to be the bedroom for my two daughters. Eleven months before I said, “Her mother and I do,” at my oldest daughter’s wedding, and like the refrain of a song, I just said the same words at my youngest daughter’s wedding! My oldest son is already married. Three down, one to go. I pull out my phone and capture… this… empty room. I guess I was hoping to capture the conversations, dance parties, tears, Christmas mornings, laughter, prayers… capture all that happened in that room. The phone displays an empty room. But I am filled with gratitude as I remember that grace brought me here and will continue to lead me…home. I am crossing the vast Canyon of Parenthood, which is followed by the great Canyon of Fatherhood and the Canyon of Where Did the Time Go… and I realize that I am at the beginning of that time in my life where I will be remembered a bit less, and less. And that is what will be. And it’s ok. Scene 1 fades to black.

Scene 2 fades in from black. I’m standing in the doorway of what used to be the bedroom for my youngest son. I pull out my phone… you know the rest. Now, the emptiness of the room is a bit more final in my heart. All four of our children (can I still call them children?) are gone. Now I watch our children and their families, and I see them and the 6 little ones that are the new generation in their “rooms” praying, crying, laughing, enjoying dance parties, creating moments to remember and one day say good-bye to… one day let go… one day to try and capture on a phone. And I know that the new generation will forget more than they remember of their papa and nana. And I know that is what must be. And it’s okay. Scene 2 fades to black. One more scene.

Scene 3 fades in from black. I am being held by my mom in an impossibly strong, firm embrace. Impossible because my mom’s 96 year old body appears to be so frail, brittle and fragile. I see her connecting to my dear wife in a hushed conversation filled with memories and love. She can’t really stand up straight anymore. It seems like she is always folding in on herself, like she is ever seeking the fetal position. I tell her, as often as I can, that I love her, and her frail, thin voice tells me the same. My mom is a stranger in this world. She has lived long enough to bury he mom and dad and all of her siblings. The neighborhood is filled with strangers, for all of her friends from the old days have passed as well. She is, in so many ways, alone. Few remember who she is. And as I have had the opportunity to watch her in these late years, I am grateful for all that she has taught me. She has embraced her reality, and it is okay. She has taught me to welcome your emotions and the reality that you are in, but to not let it steal the grace and love that you can, at any moment, give to someone. She is frustrated, but not angry. She is sorrowful, but not bitter. She feels forgotten, but is not resentful. I want so badly to take away all the pain, heartache and struggle that makes up her days and nights. But I can’t. It must be this way. And that is okay. If I could take it away, it would diminish her and also diminish me. It is okay. This scene will fade to black. I am not sure I will be able to navigate that blackness. But, it will be. And that’s okay.

guatemala part 3a – volcano hike

Guatemala is a beautiful country that has at least 37 volcanoes! On one of rest days we had the opportunity to hike Pacaya. The path itself was easy to follow, but it was a challenging, steep climb. The locals followed us for quite some time hoping to get a passenger for their horses. More Pacaya pics in the next post. Thanks for stopping by.

letting go

at this ripe young age
can it be three score
as i turn each page
i know less not more
and the more of less i know
it seems
it’s about letting go

i let go of the boy
i used to be
though he still
seems to want his own way
so still letting go
of my selfish ways
that boy won’t go away
that’s okay
i’m learning
letting go

i let go of just me
“i do” means now “we”
can it be two score
and there is so much more
of letting go
that i need to know
for “we”

letting go of
seeking me in her
letting go
of smashing mirrors
with my pride
letting go
of thinking
it’s better to hide
letting go
of staying inside
my head
letting go
of keeping my heart
to myself
i guess
the long slow road
of letting go of self

letting go
of expectations
of
well
everything
and
everyone
letting go
of just taking
letting go
of just faking
that we’re all okay

i pray i practice well
all the lettings go’s
that wait for me
‘cause someday soon
the last let go
will come into my room
and i want peace
and i want to know
that all those other letting go’s
will help me see
what waits for me
is an eternal embrace
it really is amazing grace
He never has
and never will
let go
of me

guatemala part 2

Welcome to this episode of Guatemala: the photoblog posts. Today’s episode: Why we went to Guatemala. If you are just tuning in, this is the second post from a recent trip to San Lucas Sacatepequez, Guatemala. I was part of a team who volunteered from our church to work at this church: Iglesia Galilea. We helped pour the concrete floor for their sanctuary. This was all done by hand! We helped make the concrete (we went through 340 bags of cement), then brought it inside with wheelbarrows, then the Guatemalans finished the floor. It was HARD work, but so rewarding and fun. The team was outstanding, but I was never able to stop the mixer from spitting cement all over me! Coming in the next episode: volcanoes! Thanks for stopping by.

guatemala part 1

Each late Spring, early Summer I say to myself: “Yay! Summer is coming. Looking forward to slowing down a bit.” Well, still looking forward to slowing down a bit! It has been just as busy as any other summer, but a wonderful summer as well. One of the ingredients that have made this summer wonderful is an unexpected missions trip to Guatemala.

So, this is the first in an as yet unknown number of posts on my Guatemala experiences. I am not a traveler, so I tip my lens cap to those travel bloggers out there. (For a fantastic travel blog check out https://julesvernex2.com)

These images were taken on the grounds of the home we stayed in. Our home was in San Lucas Sacatepequez, a beautiful town located about 7,000 ft above sea level. Stay tuned for the next episode featuring the reason for our trip to Guatemala. Thanks for stopping by.