Grandma Boo is with God

Great Grandma Boo

Great Grandma Boo

Dear Lincoln,

I know it has been sometime since I wrote to you on this blog, about 2 months, but believe me I have wrote a lot in my many notebooks, iPhone Apps, iPad, and the many pieces of scrap paper and napkins I grab in a hurry.  It’s just been difficult to sit at the computer and type it out as we have been very busy the last few months.  I have some time today so I thought I would write a few letters to you and this first one is about Great Grandma Boo.

Lincoln & Great Grandma Boo

Lincoln & Great Grandma Boo

You have been a big part of helping Great Grandma Boo in her fight with cancer.  Now you may not believe that but your visits with her brightened her days and brought so much joy to her.  You have shown an uncanny knack of knowing when someone is hurting and you respond with such compassion for someone so young.  You melted her heart each time you would place your tiny little hands on her face and shower her with gently kisses.  Unfortunately Great Grandma Boo passed away on July 31, she is now no longer in pain and is with God and Great Grandpa Buck.

Little man, Boo was Nana’s momma, and my mother in-law.  The dictionary defines the term mother-in-law as – the mother of your spouse – a relative by marriage.  I have never been able to use that term with Boo, she has and always will be my mom.  I could write pages upon pages about Boo.  How she raised 4 girls into incredible women of God, her love for her husband of 58 years, how she turned a wayward boy into a man, how she instilled love, worship, family, integrity….did I mention love?, into every child, grandchild and great grandchild in her family.  I could write about how she cared for the love of her life until last June when he lost his battle with cancer.  How she found out only weeks later that she too had cancer and was told she had 3 months.  I could write about how she fought, prayed, loved, and held tight to her faith that in the end God has a plan.  I could write about the joy, the laughter, the guidance and the love she shared with all that were blessed enough to know her.  I could, I could write and write and write, but I won’t, not now.  Lincoln I want to share with you what your Uncle Jesse wrote and asked me to read at Great Grandma Boo’s funeral.

Keep love in your heart….. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.-Oscar Wilde

Daughter, Sister, Mother, Aunt, Grandmother, Great Grandmother…… This is the natural progression of a Woman. It is an inevitable progression of life. But what do those titles mean? What makes you a Mother or a Grandmother? What defines you after your days have passed? What defines your legacy? Your legacy is no more than a tiny footprint in the fabric of time. Legacy is a term most often associated with men of great achievements; men of war, power, or great intellect. They leave something lasting for the people of the world. But what of the smaller footprints in the sand? Are they less important, less meaningful? What happens when the small foot prints branch off into tiny ones, and then divide again? These are the footprints of every woman that has strode side by side with her husband, best friend and partner. Their lives so intertwined that often the tracks are indistinguishable from one another.

There is a common quote we hear….. “Behind every great man there is a great women”; unfortunately this is terribly inaccurate. As any couple can profess there are many times there is a single set of tracks to follow. Those are the instances that a woman must step forward and carry her partner through a moment of weakness. The only time she may falter or fall behind are deviations she must take in order to look after her own daughters, or grandchildren. She is the mother, she must not let harm befall her flock. She is the torchbearer, a rallying point, a light in the darkness for her offspring. This is no easy task as any matriarch can attest to, all throughout the cycle of life it is the matriarch that is the binding glue that holds the family group together. While the men fight their fights, harvest their crops, and dream of glory the mother is left holding the end of each delicate string, weaving them into a family tapestry.

Mom was the matriarch of her pride, a proud family. Every person sitting here today has been shadowed by her tracks in the sand. She was the driving force behind a much loved patriarch. Often times she was the quiet force without the mane; but when needed a fierce protector of her family or the gentle guiding hand for a daughter or grandchild. We know that there was nothing in her life more important than her pride,….. her family. No one knows a mother’s love like her own offspring, and each one of those cubs have grown and guide a pride of their own. Sometimes the love is shadowed in a harsh hard or a hard lesson. But inside you know that the matriarch is doing her best to guide you to the path in the sand so you may leave your own prints, branching off ever more; but forever alongside your husband, partner and best friend, as she did.

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I give thanks to my God upon every remembrance of you. ~Philippians 1:2-3 

Lincoln I pray that God blesses you each and every day, I love you little man, Puppa

Uncle Jesse The Sheepdog

Uncle Jesse and Lincoln

Uncle Jesse and Lincoln

Dear Lincoln,

It won’t be long and your Uncle Jesse and Aunt Carlee will be welcoming your little cousin into the world so I thought I would tell you why I call your Uncle Jesse a sheepdog.

On November 24, 1997 William J. Bennett, in a lecture to the United States Naval Academy said,

“Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures that can only hurt one another by accident. We may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is still remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent people, not capable of hurting each other except by accident or under extreme provocation. 

They are sheep. 

Then there are the wolves that feed on the sheep without mercy. Do you believe there are wolves out there that will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. 
There is no safety in denial. 

Then there are sheepdogs and I’m a sheepdog.

I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf. If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep.
If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive psychopath, a wolf. 

But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the uncharted path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed.

Lincoln, your Uncle Jesse is a sheepdog in the United States Army.  He has been in the service for 8 years and has done tours of service several times in Iraq and Afghanistan, each time he has been in the center of the action and has put his life in harms way daily while there.  Your Uncle Jesse has received several bronze stars and numerous others commendations for his actions.  All of these medals and awards lay in a drawer, not framed on a wall.  Uncle Jesse doesn’t talk about what he does, nor does he want accolades, he simply says, “I’m just doing my job”.  I hope you understand that not everyone can do the job that your Uncle Jesse has been called to do.  It takes a special person, a sheepdog.

Lincoln, your Uncle Jesse is a Sheepdog and he loves you very much and is going to be an amazing father.  We are all blessed that he is part of our family and I am very proud to call him son.

Until next time little man, I love you, Puppa.

2 Year Anniversary

Dear Lincoln,

Today is your Momma and Daddy’s 2 year wedding anniversary.  The following is the wedding vows I wrote for your parents.

 

You are not the air that I breathe,

You are the sweet scent that drifts upon it

You are not the sounds that I hear,

You are the music of my life

You are not the food that I need,

You are the nourishment of my soul

You are not my will to survive

You are my reason for living

It is with you that I experience the wonders of the world

It is with you that I triumph over the challenges in my path

It is your partnership that will lead me to the fulfillment of my dreams

It is your friendship that guides me as I grow and learn

It is your patience and wisdom that calms my restless nature

It is through you that I know my true self

I do not take you for granted,

I cherish you

I do not need you,

I choose you

I choose you today in witness of all the people who love us

I choose you tomorrow in the privacy of our hearts

I choose you in strength and weakness

I choose you in health and in sickness

I choose you in joy and sorrow

I will choose you, over all others, every day for all the days of my life

Reflecting on a Sunday Morning

Dear Lincoln,

It’s Sunday morning and as always I’m in that reflective mood.  Today I’m thinking about your Great Grandpa Buck.  Great Grandpa Buck is Nana’s dad, my father in-law, and best friend.  I thought today would be a good day to share with you something I wrote about him back in 2008.  That year I wrote a book titled Lake Effect for the family for Christmas.  As you grow up you will learn the impact Great Grandpa Buck had on my life.

The following was the dedication I wrote for the book.

Dad you are the main element of how I have become me. I think things through, long and hard, before I make a decision. Once the decision is made, I stick by it and make the best of the situation.  Because of you, I know the value of a dollar and how hard it is to earn it.  You love unconditionally.  I’ve messed up my life so many times and you were always there to love me anyway.

You are always there with advice when I need it.  And, you always know when to back off. You will drop everything to come and help me or rescue me out of a situation.  Whether it be car trouble or the police calling (of course the police thing has never happened-but I’m sure you would still be there).  At times, you made me take a hard look at myself which sometime hurt, but as I have grown up, I realize it was for my own good and I respect you for that.  

You are generous beyond what most people would consider generous.  You will give your last $20 if someone needed it.  Even though your very manly, you have not been afraid to show your emotions.  I’ve seen you laugh and I’ve seen you cry.  Your tears shot through me like an arrow and I realized how much you loved your family and didn’t want to see anything bad happen to them. You encourage me to the point that it makes my heart smile. When I’m hungry you will feed me, when I’m crying you will listen to me through my tears, when I screw up you don’t say I told you so.  Your always ready with a ear to bend.  

You have worked to give your family a good life, and you have never really wanted for anything.  You never complained.  You put everyone else first, yet you know how and when to say NO. Okay, I’m still trying to learn to do that with my girls, so it’s a virtue of yours I am nowhere near a master of.  My complete love and loyalty toward my family was learned from the lessons you taught. Because of the husband and father you are and have always been-I knew exactly what kind of man to be: honest, loyal, gentle, carrying and with a slightly odd sense of humor.  You are quite the role model. Notice how my marriage to your beautiful daughter is still strong and romantic after over 28 years?

What I’m trying to say dad-without you……… there would have never been a me.

 

As always, I love you Lincoln, Puppa.