Friday, July 31, 2009
In high school, we knew her as the mom who always brought lunch (something good) to Steven and Matt... and who was always at school early to pick them up.
I wish I had known her so much better. The most interaction I had with her was in the summer of 1999, at the airport right before Steven and I went on a school trip to France. She was really funny, though I don't remember everything she said. I just remember she made us laugh a lot.
It was during that trip that Steven and I finally became friends. He was no longer so "dorky", and I guess I was no longer so "scary".
A couple weeks after we returned from France, Debbie and her sister, Pat, were in a horrible car accident on their way home from visiting with their other sister.
Outside of Orangeburg, SC, a bucket fell off of a construction truck heading up I-26. The Honda behind the truck swerved to miss the bucket and lost control of the vehicle, colliding head-on with the van Debbie was driving. They didn't know it was coming.
In the Honda, the girl in the front seat was killed instantly. Her name was Amanda, and she and I had become friends the previous year during a weekend retreat. Her fiance, the guy driving the car, suffered some minor leg injuries but was able to walk away from the accident.
Aunt Pat's legs were severely injured, and she was eventually flown to MUSC in Charleston, while Mrs. Debbie was flown to Richland Memorial Hospital in Columbia. So, the two sisters were separated by a couple hundred miles, both hospitalized, in serious condition.
Mrs. Debbie's condition was critical. When the family arrived at the Columbia hospital, they were callously told by the surgeon, "I hope this isn't your relative because this person isn't going to live."
The following few days were filled with lots of doctors, lots of surgeries, and lots of hours spent in the waiting room. The family was only briefly allowed to visit Debbie, for short 15 minute periods of time every few hours. The waiting room became a second home and was filled to the brim with friends and family who came to support Debbie in her fight for life.
And, oh, was there PRAYER! Debbie's dad, Jesse Powers, has a lot of church connections in Columbia. One of the things the family remembers most from that time is all the people who visited and prayed with them. Every member of our family gained life-long lessons that week--about God, His will, and about prayer. Some have more understanding of it, and others have more questions. But without a doubt, that week of time was life-altering, in more ways than one.
On July 31st of that year, Mrs. Debbie was released from her earthly body. The effects from the accident would have been debilitating, and everyone who speaks of her knows she would not have wanted to live the life that would have been hers in that condition. And though God did not give her full physical healing, He called her home to be with Him. On that day 10 years ago, our family lost a precious jewel--and Heaven gained one.
I feel very sad that I don't know Mrs. Debbie as my mother-in-law. I feel very sad that Matt lost his mom when he was only 13. And I feel sad that the rest of the world lost such a beautiful person. A woman full of life, laughter and love for her Lord & family. From everything I know about her, she is the epitome of the woman I long to be.
Last week, as I was talking to the Lord about missing my mother-in-law and thinking of the grief and mourning of our family, I prayed aloud," God, 10 years! We miss her so much. That's just such a long time." His whisper to me was very clear,"It hasn't seemed long for us. For Me and Debbie, it has been just a moment."
May I continue to strive to be a woman like my mother-in-law, and may I continue to grow closer to the God who knows and loves us both. In the meantime, I'll continue to long for the day when we can all spend eternity with our Abba Father--where years will pass as moments in His holy presence!
We are so glad to have you in the family!
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Today is my last day on an 8-week run of the 7am-4pm shift. No more waking up before 6 am!
AND I'll be able to spend more time with Matt....
And I'll be able to get more than 4-5 hours of sleep every night.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
I have really loved blogging and having it as an outlet to process things, but I REALLY love it because it keeps me connected to people. I feel like there's a sense of community at times when I can read about what's going on in your lives... and when we give feedback on each others' blogs.
Though I love coffee dates and walks and phone dates much more, I'm thankful for this outlet to keep in touch with you, friend!
Here's to another year...
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
So, at the appointed time, we arrived at my Mom's house and went through the back gate to the back deck. It was beautifully decorated with white lights, candles, and flowers. The small table was set for two with nice linens, silver and my mom's fine china. It literally took my breath away.
Valerie put a lot of effort into making it a beautiful evening. She had made personalized menus, prepared a wonderful 6-course meal, and treated us like royalty. Though it started raining around Course 2, we were able to stay outside and enjoy it still because the outside umbrella kept most of the rain off us. Eventually it got too cold to stay out there, but we definitely enjoyed it while it lasted!
Thank you, Valerie, for all of your work to make our 2nd anniversary a very special celebration. We love you and are so thankful for you!Oh, and for those of you who are wondering, we did not do cards/gifts for each other this year, so there were no matching anniversary cards this year. :)
Then I got home and was standing in the kitchen. Matt went to let Nala out of the kennel... only two dogs came running into the kitchen intead of just one. Little Gaston was so sweet and fun, and I could tell instantly how much Nala loved having him. And oh, he is so cute! I was shocked, though, and when Matt said, "Happy Anniversary!", I was still trying to absorb that we now had two dogs.
We took them both for a walk around the new neighborhood. Talking and getting to know the new guy. We decided a better name for him would be "Pumba", in keeping with the Disney theme, of course--but it seemed to fit his lumbering gate better than "Gaston". We joked about how people would think we had an unhealthy obsession with The Lion King. We talked about everything we knew about him. He had all his shots. He was neutered. He did not bark. He was very friendly. (A friend of mine from Verizon volunteers at the SPCA and told me all about his personality when I showed her the pic that Matt had texted me earlier.) We can do this!, we thought. The extra expense won't really be that much. Our new place is big enough.
After a good couple of hours of trying to convince ourselves, we finally got honest with each other about our concerns. We had a grown-up conversation and realized we probably did not need another dog. And after struggling with my feelings that our 'rejection' of him would ruin him forever, and lots and lots of tears, we decided he would go back to SPCA. He's so cute, and his personality is so wonderful that we know he will find another home. One that will be much better for him than we are.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Since we are mostly in a classroom environment right now, I find myself in need of some online reading material. I CAN access my blog and other blogs on blogger and wordpress. And I've spent a lot of time on blogs of friends...and their friends. I even have some other friends from work sharing in my fun.
Here's my request: Blog often! AND leave commets when you do read posts...AND (most important right now), please leave me a comment with suggestions of other sites/blogs that I can visit. (thought I may not be able to get to it, I will try!)
P.S. I have some posts written but I'm waiting to be able to go somewhere with internet so that I can add pictures. There are a couple of fun recent updates to come!
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
...And I could get a lot more mushy, but I'll spare y'all!
Here's hoping that the next 100 years will be as great as the first 2 ... !
Monday, July 6, 2009
Saturday, July 4, 2009
She loves the green couches too.
We are still unpacking and finding places for all our stuff. Hopefully I'll be able to share the 'after' pictures with you soon. :)