Saturday, 26 December 2015


Almost every year our family watches the classic movie “It’s A Wonderful Life”.  And every time we do,  I end up in tears.  The outpouring of love and support from George’s community in his most vulnerable hour gets to me.  And it is a familiar feeling now.  I recognize it as a common emotion throughout 2012 - humbling gratitude.  When our family was in its most needy state, the thoughtfulness, generosity and sensitivity of those around us was like a cup of cold water.  There were nurses who went out of their way to take blood in the least invasive way possible when Jordan was feeling like a pin cushion.  An aunt offered to buy us new winter tires for Kim to drive our car over the often treacherous mountain passes.  Strangers donated money for free flights for Jordan to return home for precious days of normality in between dreaded hospital stays.  I have kept a box of all the cards, letters and emails through that year.  I haven’t had the heart yet to go through them all but their presence warms me from the inside out.  

The classic Christmas movie asks the question of how the world would be different if an individual would not have been born.  Such an incredible premise.  I don’t think any of us realize the extent to which our lives intersect with and impact others.  My life is so much richer for having known Jordan...for the privilege of being his mother.  Part of his impact in my life is a desire to be more open, more expressive of appreciation and love for others - not to play it safe - to risk. In several ways this last year, I have chosen safer paths - ones where I can’t be easily hurt.  

When I find myself shrinking back in prayer, I’m trying to protect myself.  Initially I think that I’m protecting the other from disappointment if my prayer is not immediately and visibly effective.  But really, I’m moving into self-protection.  The opposite of Christmas....the opposite of Easter.  Both the birth and the death of the Son of God didn’t bear immediate or visible effect.  In fact, Jesus and His parents were refugees, fleeing from threat of death.  And judging by the tiny representation of His followers at the cross, Jesus looked like a failure to His enemies.  
I don’t eagerly run toward chaos and confusion.  Kim often does.  When I and others are hurting, he moves closer.  That’s just one way he reflects Jesus.

For God so loved the world, that He gave. And He opened Himself up in a whole new way to the world hurting Him.

My youngest son kept on risking, right until the end, right until He went home. He could have quit. He didn’t. And somehow that spurs me on. 

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Jordan’s 18th

July 20th.  I can still hear the way Jordan emphatically and proudly pronounced July 20th when asked the date of his birth.  How can I still remember that when I haven’t heard his voice for over two and a half years?  But I can.  Being a summer baby had real advantages.  No school.  Hot days.  Beach parties or boating parties or waterslide parties -  all celebrating friends, health youth, and being in or near the water.  And wherever it was held, no matter how high the temperature, we managed to enjoy a Dairy Queen ice cream cake with whatever image had caught Jordan’s interest that year.  Cakes were decorated with dinosaurs, trucks, pirates, later on, superheros and inside jokes as his humor became more sophisticated.  Our family revels in a good party - one that celebrates both the guests and the host.  Jordan loved his birthdays.  Such lovely memories.  What a privilege to be given the opportunity of mothering Jordan.

I didn’t know we’d only get 15 with him.  I thought we’d have loads together.  I just assumed the celebrations would include graduations, an engagement, a wedding and grandchildren.  Jordan spoke often about the anticipation of making his wife feel precious and valued.  His new word was cherish.  That is the perfect word to describe how Jordan made me feel.  “Mom....I love you” followed by a slow smile and a strong hug were my daily fare.  I took for granted I would be enjoying them the rest of my life.  Now I anticipate heaven where affection will be better than ever.

Although I know and have experienced God working things out for good, I know that Jordan’s suffering and premature death were not His plan.  And I grieve for the young men and women that didn’t get a chance to know Jordan and experience his curious questions, goofy ideas, and loyal friendship.  I’m sorry for the hurting strangers who won’t know his bold offer to pray for their healing and salvation.  But I’m here.  

We’re here and we get to make the most of every opportunity we have while we are still here.  I love what I read recently about every square on our calendar being a box, not to fill up with stuff but as a gift to unwrap.  This thought challenges my tendency to live either in the past or the future.  The constant reminders of Scripture and almost every other plaque in HomeSense, is to

Cherish Yesterday, Dream Tomorrow and Live Today  

So I cherish my years of being cherished by my youngest child, who received his love from his relationship with Jesus.
And I dream of tomorrow, when our family will raise an ice cream toast to Jordan and share about our anticipated reunion with him, and my Dad and face to face with Heavenly Father.
Today...I will live, unwrapping the day with Holy Spirit, trusting Him to guide my thoughts and my actions.