I Did it!

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I did it, Peggy.

I set out to write your story and I completed it. But what I didn’t know was that I would be adding my own story as well.

I also didn’t know how hard it would be to put it in black and white. I figured it would be okay since I’ve shared our story for years. It was different, very different.

Holding the book in my hands the other day when I got it through the mail was surreal.

A lot of life within those one hundred and seventy-five pages. A lot of pain.

And now here I sit. Knowing I accomplished what I set out to do leaves me with mixed feelings. Yes, I feel a sense of accomplishment. The technological part alone caused me a lot of big headaches. And you can verify that with a number of people.

And as any author knows besides writing the book, I still had life to do. I dealt with things like a leaky pipe, a soaked carpet. Taking the rug out.  My computer broke. I had work done on our house as they insulated it. We had a few days clean-up after they were done. I worked on another computer, which was difficult. Well, you get the idea.

But I faced those obstacles and did it anyway. It feels good to say, “I did it.”

But I’m sad too. Writing BROKEN, opened the door to some memories which have camped out in my mind, refusing to leave. But maybe that’s okay. You see, remembering the difficult parts of our lives makes us sensitive to others who are hurting. I want to be sensitive to others.

We live our lives where people settle for imitations of community. Many are lonely. And when hurting people are alone, the pain is intensified.

I’m praying for those who hurt. I’m praying God uses words I’ve written to ease someone’s pain.

God’s the only one who can do that. He comforts us so we can comfort others.

I miss you Peggy. But that’s okay, it won’t be forever. Some day we’ll see each other again and then we’ll catch up.

But for now I’ll think about a story I recently wrote. It was about you, Mom and me going for a special tea. I know the story wasn’t real, but it felt real. And for five hundred words or so, I felt like we were together again. We talked, we laughed. It was special.

Well I’m going to have to go, the book launch is today. People can actually buy the book on Amazon.

I’ve made a list of things that determine what success means regarding this book. And you know what? That list is really helping me.  And guess whose idea it was? Your eldest son, Drew.

Too often we determine our success by the wrong indicators. We use things like money, numbers of sales, etc. Knowing this book can encourage someone will mean I’m successful.  Knowing someone else may feel less alone, that too would mean success.

It’s all perspective.

Well, now I do have to go. But I’ll talk again soon.

In the meantime. I can imagine what you would say if you were here.

You’d smile and say, “That’s good, Anne. I’m proud of you.”

I love, you Peg. I always will.

Your sister,

Anne

He Cried with Me

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My heart was heavy. How would we make it without our brother?

Martha stood before me, “The Master is calling for you.”

The weight around my heart released its grip. I knew he’d come. I ran towards Him. I had to see Him. He would understand.

And seeing Jesus, I fell down at His feet—my safe place to fall. (Tweet that)

From the first time I met Him, I devoured every word He’d say. I had to. Those words would sink into the deepest parts of me, like a healing balm. And when He spoke it was as if He knew me. My thoughts, my heart, the real me.

He’d come to our home and Martha would fuss. Martha loved fussing. She’d even get upset with me. Wanting me to get up and fuss with her.

But I wasn’t going to miss one word. Not one. And now in our grief He was here.

I stood up though my heart tried keeping me down. Grief weighs heavily. The closer the loved one— the heavier the weight.

Somehow standing next to Him I knew He’d help us through this. Jesus loved Lazarus. Oh Lazarus. How I ache.

The words forced their way out of my mouth.

“Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

He knew how I felt, whether I spoke it or not.

That “if only,” had tormented me for hours, ever since we saw him stop breathing. We were just so sure Jesus would come. His absence made everything much harder. Impossible.

And now, standing beside Him, my tears fell freely. This was my brother I lost, the one I shared my life with.

Looking up, I saw Jesus’ eyes. There were no looks of judgement. He felt no need to rebuke me in His gentle way.

He wasn’t disappointed in my humanness. Instead, I saw His compassion, reflected in His tears.

And in His grief, He prayed.

Grief would not stop Him, nothing would stop Him from acknowledging God. He thanked God for hearing Him.

He showed me God can always be reached, no matter where we are.

And Jesus called out, “Lazarus, come forth!”

The air was quiet. I saw the faces of those around me. Those who had loved Lazarus, loved us.

I struggled to believe good would come out of something so hard. But somehow with Jesus there, it seemed possible. With Him all things were possible.

All eyes were on the tomb. The anticipation was thick. No one moved.

And then, we saw him still bound, walking toward us. There was no question it was him. Martha and I had put those grave clothes on. Carefully, we dressed him, remembering our times together.

And now here he was. I caught my breath. Time stood still.

We ran to him. Embraced him.

He had been gone, yet he stood before us.

I always felt my Master loved me. But today I see how much. Do you know why?

He cried with me.

a ballerina

I used to be a ballerina. Not professionally, just a private one. My sister Peggy and I would tuck our little dresses in our underpants, taking a little bit out; our rendition of the tutu we always wanted. We didn’t see the bunchiness, we thought we looked beautiful.   

Our dad would tell us to stiffen our legs as he lifted us one at a time to reach the sky. He would smile and for those few moments everything was right in the world. But then we grew up and he put his smile away. 

Today is Father’s Day. Dads all over will be handed cards, some hand made, some store bought. But, not everyone will be giving a card.

Some dads will be receiving cards. Cards held in little hands while faces beam with anticipation. Cards with scribbled writing, by beginning writers, or those in a hurry.  But, not every dad will be receiving cards.

Some dads no longer have relationships with their sons and daughters. Some dads have lost a son or daughter. Today is a day of celebration, but not for all.

Father’s Day is a day of reflection. 

I’m thankful for the memory of being a little ballerina. But, I’m even more thankful that I know God in a personal way and He has been my heavenly Father who is healing a lot of painful memories.

God can comfort those who are hurting today. Those who are feeling lonely. 

God became all the things I needed:  

He’s my GUIDE showing me which way to go when I don’t know.

He LOVES me unconditionally.

He’s THERE for me, all the time.

Today, I won’t feel alone because I have an everlasting Father.

One who always smiles, even when I’m not dancing.