Sunday, December 31, 2006------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sorry I haven't been making entries lately. I have my marine, Eric and his new finacee staying with me right now (they are here for another week YAY) and have not had the energy to do the space thing if you know what I mean. Thanks for all the kind sentiments from my spaces friends. It really does mean a lot to me that you are here. I hope you all had a wonderful time this last couple of weeks and have a safe and happy New Year's! I am spending mine with my kids and my sister's kids so it sounds like fun to me! Congrats to my niece Nicole too who is marrying her high-school sweetheart, Derek (who is in the Navy and now in school for air traffic control) tomorrow. They are starting out their new year with a band!!!______________________________________________________
For now ... I want to share something I got from a good friend a couple of weeks ago. I have no idea who wrote it but its an interesting story. Its kind of a Christmas thing too ... but it works for a New Year wish to you all!
Till next year,
Semper Fi and God Bless you all.
Take My Son
A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art.
When the Vietnam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.
About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door.
A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands.
He said, "Sir, you don't know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly. He often talked about you, and your love for art."
The young man held out this package. "I know this isn't much. I'm not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this."
The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears. He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture.
"Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It's a gift."
The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.
The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection.
On the platform sat the painting of the son. The auctioneer pounded his gavel. "We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture?"
There was silence.
Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, "We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one."
But the auctioneer persisted. "Will somebody bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?"
Another voice angrily. "We didn't come to see this painting. We came to see the Van Goghs, the Rembrandts. Get on with the real bids!"
But still the auctioneer continued. "The son! The son! Who'll take the son?"
Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son. "I'll give $10 for the painting." Being a poor man, it was all he could afford.
"We have $10, who will bid $20?"
"Give it to him for $10. Let's see the masters."
"$10 is the bid, won't someone bid $20?"
The crowd was becoming angry. They didn't want the picture of the son.
They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections.
The auctioneer pounded the gavel. "Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!"
A man sitting on the second row shouted, "Now let's get on with the collection!"
The auctioneer laid down his gavel. "I'm sorry, the auction is over."
"What about the paintings?"
"I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings.
The man who took the son gets everything!"
God gave His son 2,000 years ago to die on the cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is: "The son, the son, who'll take the son?"
Because, you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything.
FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, WHO SO EVER BELIEVETH, SHALL HAVE ETERNAL LIFE...THAT'S LOVE
God Bless (pass this on if you wish, it may change someone's life!)
Monday, December 11, 2006------------------------------------------------------------------------
Many of you know how ill my father has been the past few months. He spent the last two weeks of his life in the hospital during which time I didn't have the time to even post here at all. We were all trying to spend as much time with him as possible because we knew how ill he was. We got Eric home to see him a week ago today, and many thanks to the Local Red Cross chapter for their kind and excellent help in getting Eric here through an emergency family leave. You can find a link to the info for Red Cross emergency leave in my helpful sites list. So I don't have to type this all again ... I am posting the email here I sent to my friends the first part of this week:
Eric flew in yesterday morning [Dec. 2nd]] and we went right to the hospital in Ft. Wayne from Indianapolis since it was the shortest way to get there. My dad's condition had been deterioating rapidly since about Thursday so we didn't even go home first.
When Eric saw his grandpa he leaned over him and held his hand and talked to him and my dad did manage to tell him "I love you too' which is what he has been saying a lot to all of us the past few days. He was in very bad shape, struggling to breathe and in pain the morphine they were giving him didn't even touch though. Eric turned around, looked at me and broke down at which made me start crying too. I opened my arms and he was in them just like he was when he was little. My heart was breaking for him and my poor dad. Later that afternoon my father asked the nurses and all of us to stop the treatments. The hospital took him off the drugs (except morphine) and put him in a private regular room where we could all be with him. He also asked that the assisted breathing mask be removed and they just put a regular oxygen mask on him. After they let us in with him there ... he looked more at peace than he had for several weeks. He passed away peacefully with his whole family around him and my mother holding his hand at 5:02am this morning [Dec. 3rd]. We miss him but it was truly for the best. None of us wanted him to suffer anymore like he was either. To the end, my father was a loving special man, taking the burden off of all his family by asking us to let him go home.
The Marine Corp extended Eric's leave so he could stay for the funeral which was held Wednesday. I extend a big thank you to Eric's command too. When his grandmother heard he could be here she was so happy she actually jumped up and down a little! Dad's funeral on Dec. 6th was special. He was a special, giving man to his family and it was hard to say goodbye to him but we did it together. I am so lucky to have a family as close as mine is. We will all be there for my mother and she knows it so she is doing okay.
During my father's funeral I got up and read a poem I wrote for him and I actually made it through it. I broke down a couple of times and halfway through it I had to turn around and look at my dad to gain a little of the strength he passed onto me back, but I did manage to say what I needed to and it helped us I hope. Now ... in remembrance of my father ... I am sharing my eulogy to him with you. Just like I did at the funeral ... I need to say that my dad was a wonderful father and grandfather ... but mostly he was also our friend. A true friend to the end.
My father, my friend
If you are lucky in your life,
A man who loves his family
A man who believes in honesty
A man who is there when you need him
Who comforts children when they're sad
A man who loves so many things,
I was so blessed in my life
Now I know that he is standing,
written by Tami, in honor of my father, who went Home Dec. 3, 2006