Friday, June 12, 2009

Family Vacation

Loved Ones,

Tomorrow the girls and I are off to the East Coast for some time at the beach and at various locales with family and friends.

We are looking forward to the time together, although not so much the some 44 hours in the car!

We'll be in DC at a few key points for some Congressional events honoring Ray which bookend our vacation time.

A friend watched the girls today while I packed up the car.

During our day to day life, we have come to expect Ray's absence and thus are rarely suprised, for example, by his car parked in the driveway. It is most often the evenings and weekends -- times he would have been home -- that we miss him. And, we are even becoming more accustomed to those times.

However, because a vacation is not day to day life, I was reminded of Ray throughout today. As I did the jobs he usually did to prepare, and as I thought of our vacation, even our drive, without him there. I remember when both Ray and I were working, there was nothing so delicious as stepping away from it all, together. Because a family vacation is by definition, family time, it emphasizes, even more than our daily life, that our family has changed.

Today I was reminded of how much I miss our old family!

I've hoped so much that this vacation will strengthen the tenacity of our smaller family unit, bringing all of us joy, even and especially in our new world.

I pray for the strength to lead us on that path, for safety and patience on the road, and for time and tenderness with our family and our friends.

"I am laid low in the dust; preserve my life according to your word.
I recounted my ways and you answered me; teach me your decrees.
Let me understand the teaching of your precepts; then I will meditate on your wonders.
My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.
I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws.
I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free." Psalm 119:25-28,30,32

not alone and not afraid --


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Remembering Their Dad

Loved Ones,

Ray has been so present for the girls the past few days. All three of them have talked about memories with their dad.

A few nights ago we were watching Animal Planet and a preview for a show came on. Nora told us that she used to watch that show with Daddy. Similarly, Maggie mentioned the way he used to scratch her back. Not to be forgotten, as we left Costco today, the checker drew a smiley face for Lucy on our receipt. She said it was a picture of her dad.

There is such poignance in all of this for me. When Ray was feeling a little better last summer, I would send the girls in with him while I put Lucy to bed. They usually watched TV and once I asked if they wanted to read books. Ray told me that he hoped they would remember watching Animal Planet with him.

They remember Ray!!

Along with the many things I want to tell him about their progress in school, soccer and ballet; their efforts to help clean up the house; all their growing beauty; I just wish I could tell Ray that he was right! That this memory will stand out for them.

Lucy told me today that Daddy had a Doctor with him in heaven. I told her, no, Daddy is well. She then told me that Jesus and God were with him in heaven.

I am thankful for all the things Ray taught them, for every special memory and for each reflection of him in the girls.

"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." Deuteronomy 5:4-9

not alone and not afraid --