Peace and love to you all.
Apologies yet again for the time between posts, but we have been doing what we can to live our lives. The weather has finally gotten nicer - after far, far too long a winter - so we have been spending more time outside doing different things. Activities like getting flowers with Mom (a task that Dad once managed that has now fallen to me), smoking meats (we have thus far done a couple of chickens and a fantastic pork belly), and simply cleaning up around the yard and enjoying the sun and cool breeze have been on the menu for once. At times, we may even laugh and joke around and all of that. Moments of joy.
There are other moments as well, of course. Yesterday, our Siamese cat Thor got a burn in his saddle, so to speak, and was running around the house, begging for attention. When I tried to pet him, he ran away and baited me further - a common game for our cats - before running into the office. I followed him and watched him walk around the chair there and it felt like a punch in the gut. See, the office is where Dad used to spend the majority of his time, either when he was working or when he was retired, and the cats winding around his legs was commonplace, especially when I would go upstairs to check in and see what was going on with him. Those conversations could be quick or could last a little while as we talked about whatever came to mind. Those little chats became a regular part of my life and something that I was used to experiencing. And now...well, I will not have one of those chats ever again.
It took the wind out of my sails, to be completely honest. That he is gone still doesn't quite seem real sometimes and that unreality can help with simply making it through the days. So, then, when a blunt force reminder hits you, it can be staggering. I know Mom and Adam are dealing with those as well.
Yet, we're here. We're together. I recently made a career-related decision that keeps me here and together with them for now and I don't regret it. We're taking it by the day and trying to find those moments of joy and happiness and peace in the middle of Everything Else.
I'll leave you today with a verse and the hope that the moments of happiness come for you and for us like rain in springtime.
"To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified."
After 43 years of ministry, Randy Cross lived his "fourth life" and shared about retirement, living boldly and intentionally in our world. To be sure, there was some North Dakota thrown in.