Sunday, November 22, 2009

Today I visited a friend whom I haven't seen in 2 months. I've known him two years, and he's one of my dearest companions. This summer, he started dating a beautiful woman named Tiffany. I was happy for him, but he has dated a variety of women since we met, and it just never seemed to click. But now, after 6 months, he told me thinks they'll be getting married in the fall of 2011 and they're moving in with each other after Christmas. Today, he was a different man than the one I met two years ago. He's started caring more about his health - giving up smoking, monitoring his diabetes, eating less junk, etc. He smiles more. He's more laid-back. It was bittersweet for me...this transformation is a testament to his love for Tiffany. She didn't ask him to change - his feelings for her made him want to change...even if it was only subconscious. 
I left his apartment feeling happy for my friend, and longing for a kind of love that transforms one into a better person, just for knowing their other half. But then I remembered...that's what God's love does for me. HE makes me want to be better.
Hallelujah, His love transforms. 

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Go rest high upon that mountain

Donald E. Kobel, Outer Banks 1998

We all stood waving to my Grandma and Grandpa they slowly backed their RV out of the driveway. "See you in two weeks," my Uncle shouted. But we wouldn't. A week later my Grandma returned, alone, on a flight from North Carolina. A few days after arriving in Buxton, NC, Grandpa informed Grandma that he was going for a walk on the beach. When he returned, they snacked on some cookies and settled into bed. An hour later, Grandma woke up to find Grandpa red in the face and gasping for breath. She walked the quarter mile to the nearest phone, but it was too late.
I remember all too well the phone call informing my Mom of the news. Her painful screams startled me from sleep, and my 10-year-old mind raced with fear. I stood in the hallway watching Mom sob into Dad's chest. Everything else is kind of a blur, as it was more than 11 years ago.
Today, on all Saint's Day (as on many other days throughout the year), I find myself thinking about Grandpa. I remember only glimpses of specific memories, but I recall with certainty the way he acted, and the way he loved his family. He was a quiet man, but I remember seeing the prideful smile that illumated his eyes when my Mom would sing a solo in church or in a concert. Or the way held the last grandbaby he met, Brooke, shortly after she was born. I see Grandpa in my brother's work ethic, and in Uncle John's mind for business. I see him in the way Grandma still cares for her yard and gardens with meticulous precision, and in Uncle Bill's quiet sense of humor. I think of him often, and always with fondness.
We love you, Grandpa.

Oh, how we cried the day you left us
We gathered round your grave to grieve
I wish I could see the angels faces
When they hear your sweet voice sing

Go rest high on that mountain
Son, you work on earth is done
Go to heaven a shoutin'
Love for the Father and Son