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So Blessed

May 30, 2016

Last night, I asked my 10 year old grandson to accompany me today to the DFW National Cemetery for the Memorial Day event. In my hometown, Jacksonville, we had wreath hangings and they usually had a nice ceremony and a beautiful remembrance of our fallen soldiers. I’ve missed going to that the last 2 years. Brandon asked why we needed to go to a cemetery to see markers of a bunch of dead guys. Here’s what I told him:

“According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, between the years of 1775-1991, 41,892,128 soldiers have served in our armed forces. 1,190,110 of those soldiers died while serving their country. 1,581,331 were wounded; some of those returned to battle to fight again. From 1991 to 2010 another 24,211 soldiers lost their lives in war. They died to protect our freedom. They leave their homes and their families for long periods of time to go all over the world to keep us safe.

Brandon, you are 11. Some of these men and women were only 7 years older than you. Others lied about their age and went even younger. They loved their country, their flag, their families, and you and me. ”

He was listening closely by this time and asked, “Nynny, why would they fight for me? They don’t even know me.”

I explained that the heart of a soldier was big like that and they loved the freedom we enjoy in this country. They loved the people in it and they wanted to see it preserved for everyone and their children and their children’s children. I also said, “A soldier stands at his duty post somewhere in the world as we are talking, is in danger, but is keeping watch, losing his sleep so that we can sleep without worry safe in our beds. Somewhere tonight, a soldier may die, giving his life up so we can be free. Somewhere today,a soldier’s family is eating their burgers with friends and praying their soldier will come home soon. Tomorrow, people will visit the graves of their soldiers bringing flowers in the only way they can show love to that soldier anymore.”

His reply, “Wow, so they are like Jesus. He gave up his life too.”

Today, we donned our red, white, and blue and drove to the cemetery. We did not expect the traffic and the press of people as families came to lay flowers and wreaths all over the cemetery and attend the ceremony. Brandon was visibly touched by the rows upon rows of graves and the flags at the ready. He began reading the names on some of the stones as our cart passed. There was silence in the cart and others listened respectfully.

On arrival at the ceremony, an older veteran was speaking but we were much too far away to hear his words and Brandon just watched other people. He was displeased that others around us were talking and disrespecting the speaker. A piper furled his bagpipes in the opening bars of Amazing Grace and he was on his feet in appreciation of the solemness of this moment. On hearing taps, he was ready to go and was silent as we rode back to our vehicle.

As we walked to our car, a soldier in uniform came toward us and Brandon met him halfway, shook his hand and thanked him for his service. With tears in his eyes the man hugged him, shook his hand and thanked him.

Be still, my heart. What a privilege to see my grandson grow very tall in that moment and show his gratitude for service and awareness of sacrifice.

He had little to say for much of the way to our lunch spot, Big State Diner. A sign on the wall said, “Do not let fear take away your dreams.” He asked what it meant and then said, “Wait, I know! I can have dreams because there are soldiers.”

After ordering his milkshake and cheeseburger with all the trimmings, he began to talk about his morning and what he had seen. When the food arrived, he asked to bless it.

Here is his prayer:

“Dear God, thank you for all the soldiers and Navy Seals like Uncle Peter. Thank you that they love us and love freedom. Thank you that I can have dreams because soldiers give up their time to make sure I get to dream. Thank you for our food.”

And Nynny said, “Amen,” with tears in her eyes.

 

Just Sayin’

August 15, 2013

I’m known for saying I’m only as old as I feel.  Sometimes, I feel OLD.  Too many times in recent months, I’ve been lacking in energy or.  On August 3 I joined the kids in vegan meals.  On this 12th day, I feel better!  If veggies only reverses the aging process, I’m in.  Ra-Ra is not convinced.  He’s laughingly said he was glad I finally slowed down so he could keep up with me.  If this keeps up, he may have to speed it up again.  Maybe my worries of having enough energy to chase after 9 little ones are unfounded since my Tonya is giving me power food!

Truly Blessed

August 13, 2013

Yesterday, as people read this blog for the first time and promised to pray for kids and grandkids, I was humbled and blessed to know that so many care and will lift this ministry and this family to the Lord.  My heart is full and I thank you all.

Many questions were asked yesterday and here is the answer to the most frequent one of all.  The children are currently 7,5,4,3, two 2 year olds, and three 1 year olds.  

The plan for Rodney, Amber, and I is to move to their neighborhood.  Amber will provide full time help for Tonya and Rodney and I will be there as jobs allow.

Rodney and I will continue to be in East Texas on Sunday mornings to do music at Lake Community Baptist Church.  

Packing is a daunting task.  Purging is a simultaneous chore so it is slow.  I will be much more organized when it’s done though.

Once we are settled, Rodney and I will begin the job search process.  We ask for your prayers as we start our search.  Pray God will send just the right places to aid us in helping with the children.

Truly Blessed

August 13, 2013

Yesterday, as people read this blog for the first time and promised to pray for kids and grandkids, I was humbled and blessed to know that so many care and will lift this ministry and this family to the Lord.  My heart is full and I thank you all.

Many questions were asked yesterday and here is the answer to the most frequent one of all.  The children are currently 7,5,4,3, two 2 year olds, and three 1 year olds.  

The plan for Rodney, Amber, and I is to move to their neighborhood.  Amber will provide full time help for Tonya and Rodney and I will be there as jobs allow.

Rodney and I will continue to be in East Texas on Sunday mornings to do music at Lake Community Baptist Church.  

Packing is a daunting task.  Purging is a simultaneous chore so it is slow.  I will be much more organized when it’s done though.

Once we are settled, Rodney and I will begin the job search process.  We ask for your prayers as we start our search.  Pray God will send just the right places to aid us in helping with the children.

 

 

Truly Blessed

August 13, 2013

Yesterday, as people read this blog for the first time and promised to pray for kid and grandkids, I was humbled and blessed to know that so many care and will lift this ministry and this family to the Lord.  My heart is full and I thank you all.

Twelve!

July 23, 2013

Today, Kate and William became parents of one.  Tomorrow, I will be grandparent to Twelve.  4 more arrive tomorrow.making 9 in one house!  I move in 2 weeks to live near them and help their parents.  Wow.  It’s all come down since Thursday.  Still reeling.

I’m glad I’m me.

July 21, 2013

With all the media frenzy around England’s royal baby and other celebrity births, it’s truly amazing that the targeted moms are not rising up in arms. I’m appalled that the world thinks they have a right to know about a private event. I remember the last month of pregnancy well and I was a fully loaded hormonal mama bear in protective and anticipatory mode; in tears one minute and cleaning frantically the next. That is not what I wished for others to see. Well done on being able to avoid the cameras duchess. If the miseries inflicted upon poor Kate Middleton had been my lot, media folk would be replacing cameras and microphones….just saying. I wouldn’t blame the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge if they had had their baby quietly at home just after she christened the cruise ship. How nice for them if they have been able to enjoy these weeks at home as a family of three. How wonderful for them if they can outwit the media circus and have their little one privately away from prying eyes. How sad that the public in Britain and abroad feels an entitlement to be a part of a family occasion. I truly am sorry the media has intruded on their happiness and want to go on record as apologizing for the bother caused by the curiosity of the world.