Christmas brings families together. Christmas is always is about the gift of Jesus. The Son of God. Wrapped in flesh. The light of the world. Our Savior. This Christmas we wanted to celebrate family. From the seven month old infant of our great niece Emma, to my 98 year old grandmother, to all of those in between. We spent much needed time with Bernie's nieces and Emma, who is the center of attention when she is in the room.
We saw Star Wars the Force Awakens. My niece Kim is the biggest fan and she waited to see it with us. She made sure everyone was decked out in Stars Wars gear. I will remember that for a long time.
Another great moment was meeting Emma. She's is beautiful. She growing so fast, so alert. I got to give her her bottle and I rocked her to sleep and loved every moment!
Spending time with my grandma was special. It was harder to say goodbye to her this time because she is 98 years old. Who knows when God will call her home but you have to take advantage of these moments.
This Christmas was focused on family and making memories. No one can take those away.
It's the weekend and the weather is going to be above average on this December day. The warmth in the air and the sunshine on my face does this body good.
This morning in the quietness, before I turn on the tv and get ready for my day, I am gazing at my decorated mantel and my tiny real life Christmas tree. There is something about Christmas, maybe more so than any other holiday, that makes you long to be with family.
As I look at my mantel, the stockings are hung with care. We have people and fur babies that are no longer with us. As I was getting the decorations out of their boxes I just couldn't bring myself to not hang those stockings that are engraved with Doug and Osa's names on them. They belong to us. Family. People we love. Loved ones we will never forget.
So as painful as that may be, it also brings to mind memories and the promise of Jesus. The hope in that baby born on Christmas Day. A gift for us from God the Father.
Tonight I am so saddened about the terrorist attack in Paris. A beautiful city that I love. What has happened to this world and when will the madness stop?
Praying for the families of those who died. Praying that there are no more deaths from these attacks. Praying for the leaders and law enforcement of France. Praying for the world we live in. Praying for peace.
It has been a year and half since our girl went to "doggie heaven." We miss her so much and on a day that is "nationally" set aside for our four legged babies, how could I not think of Osa. I love how dogs infiltrate you life and heart. You will always be in my heart Osa and I will never forget how you affected my life.
I think about you everyday Doug. You are loved and missed. The one thing you wanted to come of this journey was for people to know Christ. You have touched more lives than you could've ever known. You have profoundly changed my life.
Last Friday we participated in a relay for life in memory of Doug. My friends, the Farrell's came and hung out with my parents and me at Lilburn Park. It was a beautiful evening with friends as well as the weather.
I didn't know what to expect when I signed up for a team. In honor and memory of Doug. Team Dougie Fresh. His friends called him that. Some of his family and certain friends [i.e. John Zanders] call him Dougie. The name that carried over from childhood. I call him my brother and friend.
This relay was on a smaller scale unlike the event being held at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds in the next couple of weeks. It was very nice for our first experience. We talked. We laughed. We walked. We shed a few tears thinking abouth this man, this gift from God that we had for 43 years. A son. Brother. Husband. Grandson. Nephew. Friend.
As the luminaries we being placed around the track, my loving "pop" as Doug would call dad, walked around the track to find Doug's luminary. He found it! We took photos of this memory. As the night skies became dark, a bag piper played as everyone who participated walked around the track holding a lit candle. The path was lit by luminaries for survivors, for those who are currently suffering with this evil disease we call CANCER and those who have gone on to a better place we know as heaven. It was a beautiful moment.
Thank you to all my that helped me achieve my goal. We surpassed it!
Easter is always an emotional day for me. When I realize what Jesus did for me is beyond my comprehension. Easter is also a real reminder to me of Doug living in heaven with Jesus. Can you imagine that celebration?
Thank you God for your grace and mercy! By your stripes we are healed!