July 30, 2017

Grandma Buller's handmade quilts

The post I had planned is longer than this one, but I needed to buy myself some time as we've run into a snag with one of Jerry's medical issues becoming suddenly worse over the weekend and I must focus my attention on that for a few days. So, in the meantime...

I recently pulled my Grandma Buller's handmade quilts out of the storage containers and took photos of them. If I remember correctly, my dad told me she'd made them in the 1950s, but don't know for sure.

Both of these quilts have some machine-stitching in them, so I know not all parts were by hand. They're on one of our twin beds, but they're actually full-size bed quilts.

This next one is my favorite. I love the style and shape with all the calico designs and colors. The colors are much better in person.

I'll be back as soon as we figure out what's what with Jerry!

July 23, 2017

Laughing and loving through the darkness

None of us ask for the life we are given. Many have lives that rarely see tragedy, pain, heartache. And many have lives that are nothing but.

My family fits mostly in the latter. The deaths of my dad and stepmom within 6 months of each other in 2012. The tragic death of my oldest son in 2013 and my daughter-in-law A suddenly getting thrown into single parenting of our three grandkids. The continual downward spiral of my husband's health. The struggle of my youngest son J with his anxiety and PTSD, seeing his brother killed before his eyes, his health, and a soured relationship. The deaths and suicides of extended family members and those who were like family.

Of course, I've had other stuff happen over my lifetime. Like my mama dying of cancer when I was 14 years old. The divorce from my first husband. My brother being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and not seeing or knowing anything of him since 1987.

But, good golly Molly, these past 5 years have been constantly packed with things happening one right after another. *sigh* I found myself literally crawling through some of those deep valleys.

And yet...

There has always been the blessing from God of laughter and love.

Love and laughter go hand in hand. To love your family through tragedy and loss, grief, pain, sickness, depression, heartache. To find the moments – no matter how fleeting – of humor and happiness and memories. To encourage and pray for each other through it all.

This morning, our pastor challenged us to take this week to point to God for what others see in our lives. I do that already, but as pastor said, "If you have the Truth, then you have to share it." That's definitely a good reminder.

"You are the salt of the earth, but if it has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." [Matthew 5:13-16]

And so it is only by a loving God that I and my family have been laughing and loving through the darkness of even the lowest valleys these past several years.

Next time I'll share a couple extremely joyous things that suddenly developed in the past couple months. I'm still dazed at how God answered prayer out of the blue! It was like...
* B O O M *
And now I'll leave you with a couple humorous moments courtesy of grandson A.

I was going through artwork the grandkids have done over the years for us and found the following, written by grandson A when he was in third grade:

Hmm. So talented. *cough* 🤣 I remember him singing it to us.

And just this past month (he's sixteen now):

Me: *repositioning the whale string art I made for his mom for Christmas last year*
Grandson: I really like how you did that, Gramma.
Me: Thank you, honey.
Grandson: Do you think it's possible to do that for the Kansas City Chiefs arrow?
Me: Mmm, I suppose it could be done.

One week later...

Grandson (to his mom): But Mommmm, you can't do a Chiefs string art! Gramma is going to make me one for Christmas!
Me: *deer caught in headlights look* 😨

Here's to a week full of laughter and love for everyone! 😃 💖

July 4, 2017

Today I struggle

Today would have been son Jeff's 38th birthday. What a neat day to call your own, huh!

It's been somewhat of a struggle for me today... and in the couple of weeks leading up to this day. It used to be the kids and grandkids would spend the whole day with us. The guys would do the grilling, we'd all watch the grandkids playing in the pool or sprinkler, and us girls would be finishing up side dishes in the kitchen.

And of course, we'd all be getting into the sacks of fireworks and lighting up the small things that just made noise during the day, saving the big stuff for later in the evening.

Nothing ever stopped us from having loads of fun on July 4th, even during the one year that the weather was chilly and misty all day. We often invited friends or an elderly neighbor to join us.

One year, the guys were standing around talking and barbequing the meats. Jeff accidentally backed up into the chicken grill, knocking every leg, thigh, and breast to the dusty ground. We just picked up the pieces, washed 'em off and threw 'em back on the grill!

But when Jeff died, this day seemed to turn into a punch in the gut.

I've tried in recent months to talk the kids into doing something for July 4th again. It wouldn't be at our home since I'm in a ninth floor apartment and Jerry is in a nursing home, but the kids both have houses. I've been yearning to do something... anything really... to bring back some semblance of happiness to this day.

Nothing yet.


In the meantime, we parents (my boys' dad and stepmom, and me... Jerry wasn't feeling well so stayed at the nursing home) got together at the cemetery and each launched a balloon in Jeff's memory. (Mine in the photo.)

I have lots more to play catch-up about. I hadn't meant to take this long to get back to my blog, but then I realized it was the close timing of this day that kept stopping me. I'll be back!