Wednesday, March 18, 2009

St. Patrick's Day

Loved Ones,

The girls and I had a Happy St. Patrick's weekend. We talked on Saturday night, saying that Ray would have loved everything about our day. We went to the Naperville Irish Parade, played games at Chuck E Cheese, Nora learned to ride a bike and thanks to Navistar, we went to see Mary Poppins on Saturday night.

Every one of those things were things Ray loved to do. We marched in the Irish parade every year except the year Lucy was born. We missed Ray racking up the points for us like he used to at Chuck E Cheese. We know he would have been so proud of Nora riding that bike! And he loved to go to the theater so I especially missed his presence as he and I had gone many times before.

We saw Ray's family on Sunday at the Southside Irish parade so it always makes us feel close to him to be with them. And we sent off balloons at Ray's grave which of course, got stuck in the trees!

All this to say that we thought of Ray all weekend and of course today on St. Patrick's Day.

Today was a little bit harder. It is often in our little family times that we really miss Ray's presence. And we all wished that he was here. A friend sent us an Irish Dancing Jib Jab with our faces cut out on the Irish Dance girls. It began and I was just so sad to see only the four of us. But then Ray appeared and it was so nice to see his smiling face with ours. How I miss that face.

It's kind of an appropriate parallel for what I feel these days. The girls and I are going along and doing our best to have special family times together as a little family unit just like we used to. But goodness, we miss his presence so much.

We appreciate so much your prayers for us. For us to be able to grieve and heal. For wisdom in all things -- especially for me. I've been working the past few days on trying to get some funding for gastric cancer research. Tight timeframes, lots of work. In my old life I could handle this. It's much harder now and the girls need me so much more. And I need myself! But I know that my involvement may be very important. So just for wisdom and direction always in every way.

I can't stop with this verse. We need so much the crown of beauty, the oil of gladness, the garment of praise.

"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor." Isaiah 61:1-3

not alone and not afraid --