Thursday, October 25, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mama Tew

I don't remember the exact date, Elizabeth was only a couple of months old and I had flown with all three kids to visit my parents before school started. As customary, I made the drive north to Alabaster to visit my best friend and let our kids play together for the day. Funny, Peyton and David, although only seeing each other maybe once a year, have formed a bond and friendship that I hope will span their lifetimes just like ours, and Peyton looks forward to these visits as much as I do.

On the day we were set to visit, Tamara had an obligation arise, so Pat came up to visit with me and help watch the kids. I can't say anything spectacular happened that day, there was no feeling of the impending loss that would occur less than a year later, or deep philosophical conversations about anything in particular. Mainly, we sat on the couch together chatting. Pat cooed over Elizabeth, we both fussed at Tamara, even though she wasn't there to defend herself, about the state of the kids' rooms and we folded laundry.

Pat had been intwined in my life since second grade as my best friend's mom, but this was the first time we had spent a significant amount time together as adults. She was a little short of breath, but that was the only indication of the battle she was enduring. Just a normal day, but now one that is forever seared in my memory.

At one point, Madalyn wanted to follow the boys around the neighborhood, but Pat wouldn't let her go. She impressed upon me that I had to watch over Elizabeth more protectively since she was a girl. I can still picture Madalyn leaning into her as Pat played with her hair.

Eventually, Tamara returned and I packed up my three kids to head home. To be honest, I couldn't help when I first arrived to be a little annoyed that I wouldn't get the hours I craved to gab with my best friend, but by the end of the day, I found I had quite enjoyed myself and as Tamara often mentions, the peace that Pat exuded.

Today, Pat would have celebrated her 66th birthday, much too young to be taken from us. I know though, she's there, praying for her family and friends, cheering them on and probably still fussing over the state of her grandchildren's rooms. I love you, Mama Tew!

Monday, October 22, 2012

According to Pi

I'm currently reading "Life of Pi" by Yann Martel and I had to share this passage. Pi is a Hindu boy and early in the novel, he comes across a Catholic priest. Pi had no understanding of Christianity, so the Father explains the story of Jesus and the following are some of Pi's thoughts. It's a little long, but I love the pure, unencumbered train of thought.

" That a god should put up with adversary, I could understand. The gods of Hinduism face their fair share of thieves, bullies, kidnappers and usurpers. . . . But humiliation? Death? I couldn't imagine Lord Krishna consenting to be stripped naked, whipped, mocked, dragged through the streets and, to top it off, crucified - and at the hands of mere humans to boot. I'd never heard of a Hindu god dying . ..divinity should not be blighted by death. It's wrong. ... Why would God wish that upon Himself? Why make dirty what is beautiful, spoil what is perfect?

Love. That was Father Martin's answer.

. . .

This Son, on the other hand, who goes hungry, who suffers from thirst, who gets tired, who is sad, who is anxious, who is heckled and harassed, who has to put up with followers who don't get it and opponents who don't respect him- what kind of god is that?

. . .

This Son is a god who spent most of his time telling stories, talking. This son is a god who walked, a pedestrian god- and in a hot place, at that- with a stride like any human stride ... This son is a god who died in three hours, with moans, gasps and laments. What is there to inspire in this Son?


I couldn't get him out of my head. Still can't. I spent three solid days thinking about him. The more he bothered me, the less I could forget him. And the more I learned about him, the less I wanted to leave him."

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Month Eighteen

Dear Boo,

Today you turn 18 months. Oh the time, she is flying. When I look at your little toddler body, it's hard to remember my sweet, tiny newborn, so new and defenseless. You've turned into quite the stinker. Very opinionated and mischievous. Already when I tell you no, you cut those big, brown eyes my way and try it again just to see what I'll do.

Sunday, you decided you'd had enough of the crib, so you climbed out. I lowered the mattress another knotch and you climbed out again. I mean, really, isn't 18 months too young to be making such big decisions. Needless to say, the past few days have been a little rough in the sleeping department. Right now, you're asleep on your floor, but you've been lying there an hour and a half, so I'm not complaining. Be thankful you won't wake with the aches and pains of a 35 yr old body!

You are absolutely fearless, my baby girl. Transversing the playground equipment like kids twice your age, flinging yourself down slides and climbing up ladders. You scare me sometimes, but it also makes me proud. No one will get in your way. The world is yours.

You're starting to "talk" more and more and you are so earnest with your stories that I know once the right words come, your brothers will have a hard time getting a word in edgewise. You already like bossing them around and beating them up.

I love you, My wild child. I could never imagined how wonderful life would be at home taking care of you.