Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy (???) Father's Day

There are days that you know are coming and that you just put your head down and push through them. Today, is one of those days. For me, this is the hardest first yet. Why? Because Mike was an incredible Dad. His love for Elizabeth is so deep and strong. Elizabeth and I have been watching old tapes and he is such a great Father, teacher, protector, and man. I am going to be selfish here, because I know Mike is in Heaven with Jesus and is HOME, but it is just not fair. Every little girl needs her Dad and I wish he was here with us.

Elizabeth and I spent some time today at the Cemetery. Elizabeth wanted to buy a remote controlled airplane. We did and went to the cemetery and flew it with the Bell (our dog). We brought our folding chairs and just made ourselves at home. Elizabeth had a blast, and I enjoyed watching her. Tears flowed, just because I know that it was a perfect tribute to the man we love and miss so much. I wish I could say that the hurt doesn't hurt as much, but it still does.

I called to check in on Melissa today and happened to wrangle myself into dinner with friends tonight. It was great and I love talking to Melissa when we can, because we talk about good memories of Mike.

Tomorrow is our anniversary... another day to just put your head down and push through. I thank God every day for our marriage and only wish we could have celebrated many more years than we did.

I quick note to my Dad... Happy Father's Day. You have been an incredible support to Elizabeth and I. We love you very much.

Finally, I have a confession to make... I still haven't gotten around to Thank you notes and I think I know why. It is like putting a period on the end of the sentence. It is the final thing I need to do and I don't know what comes next. Please, please forgive. I will get to them because I have so much I need to say to each of you, but I am still working through the mental block of completing the task.

Happy, Happy Father's Day. Hug your kids and know God has given you a special gift to be a Dad.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Summer Starts fast and furios

You are supposed to slow down in the summer right?? Maybe soon.

I am "chewing" on what to post right now. I am completely frantic over Eric Schmidt. My heart of hearts wants to get on a plane and make things better. I am praying over him and for his wife. My stomach is just in knots knowing the path that is in front of them. I keep thinking, has anyone filed for Disability for him yet? Did you know you can still be on Active Duty and receive disability? My minds just rolls over and over everything we went through, but I would probably over-whelmed them with the details and all they need to worry about is fighting cancer and holding on to Jesus!

I had the joy of going to Youth Camp last weekend. I haven't laughed that much in a very long time. I didn't get enough sleep, but what a retreat! We went to Camp WOW in Oklahoma. It is a great camp with lakes, water extreme events, land extreme events, open sky, trees, and no cell phone reception. We woke up and worshiped. We went to seminars. We had extreme games, free time and then another time of worship. We ended the night with "Late Night" which was the funniest thing ever. They video taped everything and we got to see Gorilla's waking up 7th grade girls, a leaf blower waking up the 6th grade boys, wipes out on the tube behind the jet ski, and so much more. The greatest accomplishments were:
1. 30 kids accepted Christ!!!!!!!!
2. Elizabeth took a major step forward with Christ when she decided to be baptized again. God loves her so much, that He place her with another adult sponsor who lost her Dad to cancer when she was a teenager. Elizabeth spent a lot of time talking with her and she understood everything Elizabeth was saying. Elizabeth decided to go into the water as a symbol. She was stating, "I don't like that Daddy is gone, but I trust YOU, Lord." I cried and cried at the edge of the lake. I am so proud of her and will never forget that moment.
3. In the middle of my prayers on Sunday night, I told God that I was excited for the tomorrow. The day was great and filled with laughter and special time with a few campers. I was so excited to see what the next day held. I stopped praying and cried in my corner of the cabin. When was the last time I was excited about tomorrow? I always pray for "strength for tomorrow" or "one more day" or "that I get up tomorrow" but it has been a long time since I was excited for tomorrow. I am tearing up typing this, because it was a priceless gift.

So as you can tell, I will never forget those 4 days. I am so grateful that I have a Savior who is still intimately involved in this new life that I am living now. I miss Mike every day... almost every moment. But when I look around, I see how He is walking me through this place I don't want to be. Do you know what Elizabeth is doing? I once told Elizabeth how I missed Mike in the little things one day in the car. She asked what I meant by that. I told her that one thing Mike always did was take my change in the change holder and stack it by coin in order. He just did it. I told her I missed glancing down and see my change in order. The other day, I got in the car and my change was in order. She did it for me. What a sweet, sweet daughter Mike and I have.

Other than that, we are full swing into summer. Elizabeth is at Softball camp at University of North Texas over the next three days. We are looking forward to visitors and trips to Seattle, Myrtle Beach, and Germany. I had to push Tucson into the fall!

I am asking for prayer coverage over the weekend for Elizabeth and I. Father's Day is on Sunday and this is the one holiday that is going to be extremely difficult. We have bowed out of the family event, because Elizabeth was quick to point out that she will be the only one there without her Dad. Our wedding anniversary follows soon after. I need to celebrate that I had such an amazing marriage and husband, because I am grateful. I just want more. Actually, Elizabeth does too.

Prayer Needs:
Paperwork to wrap up.... Long story.
Eric and Buzz as they both fight an incredible battle with cancer
Elizabeth and I as we try to figure out what is next

People that continue to watch over me
That God is bigger than any battle

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Please read this post and pass it on to others

Dear friends -

I have so much to post. I have spent the past 4 days with incredible teenagers at our church Youth camp. God moved so strongly to include Elizabeth and I. However, I need to ask you to pray. A dear friend in Florida sent this link to Caring Bridge for Eric Schmidt. He is in the Air Force, a B-52 pilot, and been diagnosed with Stage four Stomach cancer. He is married, in his mid-thirties, and his beautiful wife is 20 weeks pregnant. I have read their short story, as it has only been a few weeks, but it sounds similar to Mike's story. Right now, he is stationed at Barksdale AFB, but has in the past been where we were in Florida. He is also in a lot of pain and having a procedure to help. They didn't say what it was, but based on where the pain it has to be the same procedure that didn't go well for Mike. I am asking you to pray boldly, for complete healing non this earth. A full on Red Sea Miracle.

By HIS stripes we are Healed! Lord, for your glory...


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Time flies

I want to start out with first saying thank you to all who serve. You guys (and gals) are my hero's. You put yourself behind the needs of this country. There is no greater call!

Elizabeth and I had an opportunity to go to Longview, Texas this past weekend to celebrate a graduation of a dear friend. I was fun, but sad to see how quickly time flies. The graduate was the first "baby" in our lives. He was born to a very dear friend and we got to hold him, play with him, watch him grow up, and even sometimes take him on our own. He was fascinating to Mike and I. We were not ready for kids, but we had a blast playing with babies that we could give back!

Honestly, I was happy to leave McKinney for the weekend. I just remember what a great Memorial Day we had last year. Mike was strong, gaining weight, his cancer was in remission,... life was filled with more good days and moments than bad. I remember Mike even carried folding chairs to the Memorial Day event at Pecan Grove Cemetery. (It is a historic cemetery that hosts the event every year). I was amazed. We also had a great craw fish boil with my cousins and laughed a lot. Now a short year later, Mike is buried there.

Elizabeth is finishing school this week. I am amazed at how far she has come this school year. She plays the oboe beautifully (compared to last September for sure!), has grown at least 6 inches, is thriving academically, and is completely ready to for summer to start. I was telling her last night on the drive home, what a strong person she is. She has been through so much and yet is still walking forward. We then spent more time talking about Mike dying and how things have changed. She is working through emotions (we both are) and really doesn't like when someone says, "Eventually you will see something good come out of it". She gets really angry when she talks about that comment in particular because as she says, "How can any good come out of Dad dying?" I see her point. I see the other point as well, but I lean more towards Elizabeth's point of view right now.

Time is still ticking forward though and Elizabeth and I are trying to make plans for the summer. We hope to travel, see friends, and stay busy with a side of rest. We are both going to Youth Camp, (yes... I volunteered! ) and are about to start adding a patio on to the back of the house. At Elizabeth's request, we are adding a fire pit so she can make smores whenever she wants. I gave in because there is nothing better than a burnt marshmallow smores on a great summer evening!

Prayer needs:
Please just pray us through this valley of grief. We are doing well, but the ups and downs are hard.
For Buzz and his cancer treatment

Angela's birthday at Blue Fish
Men and Women of Armed Services
My precious daughter
Good Memories
Friends and Family
My first "honey do list" visit - thanks Doug for everything.