Sunday, December 28, 2008

I Walked by There Today

"You're late." said his wife. "The reason I'm late, is because I walked by there today." said Bob Cratchit. "Today?" replied his wife. "I couldn't keep away, it's so quiet and green."

I didn't walk by "there," I drove. While I was picking up a few things at the grocery store, I passed by the flower stand and saw some beautiful, pink carnations. Jane loved carnations, but they didn't have any purple ones, so I chose the pink.

I went home, unloaded the perishables, and grabbed the camera. When I arrived at the cemetery, I trimmed the stems on the carnations, and placed them into one of the holes drilled in the marble plaque that will one day hold my marker.

Jane and I had a few words, and I took this picture. "I couldn't keep away, it's so quiet and green."

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

On Fire

I just bought the Switchfoot album "The Best Yet" and was listening to the song, "On Fire." I need these daily reminders that God is an all-consuming fire; that I'm on fire when He speaks. I invite you to listen to the song as you follow along with they lyrics.

On Fire - Switchfoot

"On Fire"

They tell you where you need to go
They tell you when you'll need to leave
They tell you what you need to know
They tell you who you need to be

But everything inside you knows
There's more than what you've heard
There's so much more than empty conversations
Filled with empty words

And you're on fire
When He's near you
You're on fire
When He speaks
You're on fire
Burning at these mysteries

Give me one more time around
Give me one more chance to see
Give me everything You are
Give me one more chance to be... (near You)

Cause everything inside me looks like
Everything I hate
You are the hope I have for change
You are the only chance I'll take

When I'm on fire
When You're near me
I'm on fire
When You speak
And I'm on fire
Burning at these mysteries
These mysteries...

I'm standing on the edge of me [x3]
I'm standing on the edge of everything I've never been before.
And i've been standing on the edge of me
Standing on the edge

And I'm on fire
When You're near me
I'm on fire
When You speak
(Yea) I'm on fire
Burning at these mysteries... these mysteries... these mysteries
Ah you're the mystery
You're the mystery

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Beautiful Gift

We went to my sister's house for Christmas dinner today. My brother in law, Dave, is a real craftsman, and he made a music box for my daughter Amy.

Several years ago, Jane and I went to see the Phantom of the Opera in San Francisco. We fell in love with the opera, and had the album on CD. When Jane was on hospice care, Amy would play one of the songs over and over again. If you're familiar with the opera, it's the one that Christine sings to her deceased father. The song is called, "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again."

Well my brother in law presented the heart-shaped, handmade music box to Amy, and when she opened the lid, it started playing "Music of the Night" from Phantom.

I broke into tears.

What a precious, special gift that was. Thank you Dave!

Music Of The Night - David Cook

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Our Christmas Tree

I went to the Boy Scout tree lot where we have purchased our Christmas trees for the last 16 years. As I walked through the lot, looking at the trees, my eyes began to well-up with tears. I thought that I might completely break down right there.

I found a somewhat misshapen tree; it just seemed to fit right now . . . I made it to the car and sat there for a few minutes, tears rolling down my cheeks, thinking of Jane, my kids, and me. How will Christmas be this year without her?

My good friends Duane and Melinda drove me there to pick it up, since I don't have a truck anymore. I thank my God for good friends.

Thank you to everyone who has sent words of encouragement these past few days. May your Christmas be filled with hope, joy, and peace as you celebrate the gift of life!

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Song of Hope

I am listening to a song that truly stirs my heart and soul. I want to share it with you.

Song Of Hope (Heaven Come Down) - Robbie Seay Band


Words and Music by Chase Jenkins; Dan Hamilton; Robbie Seay; Ryan Owens; Taylor Johnson; Tedd Tjornhom © 2007 Sparrow Records

All things bright and beautiful You are.
All things wise and wonderful You are.
In my darkest night,
You brighten up the skies; a song will rise.

I will sing a song of hope,
sing along, God of heaven come down,
Heaven come down.

Just to know that You are near is enough,
God of heaven come down,
Heaven come down.

All things new;
I can start again.
Creator, God,
Calling me Your friend.
Sing praise, my soul,
To the Maker of the skies,
A song will rise.

I will sing a song of hope,
sing along, God of heaven come down,
Heaven come down.

Just to know that You are near is enough,
God of heaven come down,
Heaven come down.

Hallelujah, sing
Hallelujah, sing


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Luminaria From Dee

Hi friends:

A blogger friend, Dee, set up some luminaries at her home and dedicated one of them to Jane. Please take a look at Dee's Blog and help me to thank her for her kind thoughtfulness.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thank You

On my way to work this morning, I popped a CD into the car stereo and played the Led Zeppelin song, "Thank You." As I started about my daily routine, the words to the song kept creeping back into my mind, until I could not stay the tears any longer. I went and grabbed a washcloth, slipped into the restroom and cried for a full 5 minutes.

Thank You

If the sun refused to shine, I would still be loving you.
When mountains crumble to the sea, there will still be you and me.

Kind woman, I give you my all, Kind woman, nothing more.

Little drops of rain whisper of the pain, tears of loves lost in the days gone by.
My love is strong, with you there is no wrong,
Together we shall go until we die. My, my, my.
An inspiration is what you are to me, inspiration, look . . . see.

And so today, my world it smiles, your hand in mine, we walk the miles,
Thanks to you it will be done, for you to me are the only one.
Happiness, no more be sad, happiness . . . . I'm glad.
If the sun refused to shine, I would still be loving you.
When mountains crumble to the sea, there will still be you and me.
-Led Zeppelin (1969)

Amy and I went out for dinner tonight, and I told her about my day and how this song affected me. On the way home, we listened to it and both began to cry. Here is a tribute version of that song by Kimberley Bosso:

Thank You - Kimberly Bosso

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Six Months Ago

Hello Friends,

Yesterday marked the six-month anniversary of Jane's death. Most of the day I was OK, but by 3:00pm I started thinking about the "Service of Remembrance" that was held at the First Presbyterian Church here in Corvallis.

Every year, the Benton Hospice Service hosts a Service of Remembrance for those who have died during the past year. About 100 people gathered last night to honor and remember loved-ones who passed away.

12 members of the Benton Hospice Service read names from a list, one person for each month of the year. I was surprised at how many people had died; and how many people Benton Hospice Service has served. As I listened to the readings, I began to hear names of people that I knew, or knew of . . . Bruce Alexander . . . Dwight Vance . . . Mark Egan . . . and of course, Jane Easton.

As Jane's name was read, the tears streamed down my face. Elaine, my step mom, placed her hand upon mine and gave it a squeeze. It is also important to mention that a lifelong friend of Jane's drove all the way from Lake Stevens, Washington to attend the event. Afterward, she and I went to dinner and talked about Jane.

I work with a wonderful Doctor at the Corvallis Clinic Surgery Center, and he asked me if it would be OK for him to attend last night's service. I told him that I would be honored. After the service I turned around, and Dr. Chow was standing at the back of the auditorium. It was an honor and a blessing to have him stand by my side.

As many have told me, there will be important milestones in the grieving process, and yesterday was one of those. As the apostle Paul wrote:
"I thank my God upon every remembrance of you," Phil. 1:3

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