Thursday, December 31, 2015

saying goodbye...

Adios! Ciao! Tinkunanchiskama! Kwaheri! Au revoir! Moikka! Dag!  Ma3 el saleme!  Zbogom! Sayonara!


No matter the language, saying farewell to something or someone is significant.

Today, I say, "so long" to the calendar year 2015

This year has been filled with celebrations, commemorations and tribulations.

In April, I celebrated my sister and new brother-in-law's Love and Commitment by throwing them a surprise wedding on her birthday. Yes, you read that right!
Mr. and Mrs. Ray and Kathie Douglas
 She thought she was coming to a birthday party in her honor, but oh how right (and wrong) she was as it turned out.
surprise wedding!

This is not something I would recommend in most cases because us girls generally prefer knowing the day and time we'll be saying, "I do," but in this instance it couldn't have worked out better because Kathie was growing increasingly frustrated with trying to figure out logistics, work schedules, dates, etc., so we just made it happen for her and she was an ecstatic, gorgeous, glowing bride. (For those who are cringing as you read this, the groom knew and was helpfully, eagerly onboard!)

I celebrated our country's independence by going to a 4th of July parade in the neighborhood I grew up in, followed by an evening fireworks display that would be hard to top except that my son and his friend Jason are already working on what they claim will be epic in 2016, the Red, White and BrOOMe spectacular! I can only imagine.

I celebrated my mother's 80th birthday. To say she is the world's best mom may seem cliche' because so many people can say the same about the woman who sacrificed, sweated, served and loved them as well, but there really are few people I've known who devoted more of her "all" to the role than Carolyn.  
Maybe the proof is in the pudding--her whole family marked the momentous occasion by taking vacation time from work and responsibilities just to spend the day with and say thank you to one who has been far too often under appreciated. Mom, I'm so thankful for you and wish you many more healthy years because you bless us all so!

I commemorated the 5th year anniversary of my 
dad's graduation to heaven in August.

As grateful as I am for the promise of a future reunion someday, there are times when I just need to ask his advice or hear him sing "Happy Birthday!" like only he could when that day rolls around for me.

He may be gone, but is never forgotten.

Interspersed between and beyond these events, I celebrated the joys of being Nana to seven of earth's most delightful kids and was thrilled to discover that an eighth one would grace us with his presence in 2016. 

I wept over the reports of national and world tragedies when, for reasons that are incomprehensible to me, evil terrorists killed strangers and themselves.  

I prayed for friends and family who were enduring trials that would test the mightiest and bravest. 

And at this year's end, I had the sweetest privilege of watching five of my grandchildren portray the nativity scene from the book of Luke in scripture as we opened our soon-to-be-home to friends and family for an inaugural Christmas celebration there.
Christmas Live Nativity 2015
The children planned, prayed and performed with great anticipation giving serious attention to accuracy in their reenactment of this most sacred historical event. Moments like these are made for Kleenex if you're a doting grandmother, and I confess I did require one or two. 

Through every high and low of 2015, I've seen the hand of God at work. Each new day has offered me the opportunity to make much of Him-- and every single failure to do just that reminds me that His grace is immeasurable, undeserved and unfathomable.

Our word "goodbye" comes from the Old English God þē mid sīe which means "God be with you."

My prayer as this year ends is that He will be.  And that you (and I) will wholeheartedly be with Him.  

Lord may we follow you with undivided minds and surrendered hearts for you are The Way, The Truth and The Life, and in You alone we live, breathe and have our being. Amen. 

Happy New Year!

2 Corinthians 2:14

But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.

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