Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Six Months of Missing Ray

Loved Ones,

Though hard to believe, it was six months today since Ray went to heaven.

I find myself so surprised by this milestone. Six months seems like such a long time. It doesn't seem possible that we have been missing Ray in our daily lives for such a long time.

Perhaps in recognition of this, Ray was so present today. I dreamed last night that he was here. It was so wonderful and puzzling, and I told him that he couldn't go on any more trips.

In reading my emails, in hearing a joke, I know my husband would be amused. Oh how I wish that I could share them with him.

I am thankful for every dream, every memory, every thought that ties us to him.

"I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the LORD." Hosea 2:19-20

not alone and not afraid --


Monday, July 20, 2009

Remembering Ray

Loved Ones,

We are adjusting to being back at home. We spent all day Friday cleaning and Saturday weeding, catching up on the tasks that we escaped at the beach.
The house and yard are accordingly organized. And this is comforting.

Today we had time for a little fun and we went fishing with neighbors. Nora caught twelve fish! Maggie caught a lot also and Lucy had lots of snacks. It was good to be with our neighbors and we've been glad to reconnect with our friends here.

While we were away a friend from chemo passed away. A bright and lovely light, snuffed out far too quickly by cancer. His passing and the grief of his wife and children have been on our hearts and minds, reminding us of our grief and filling us with empathy for our friends.

We found out while we were in DC that the language I worked on, requesting the National Cancer Institute to study GI cancer in patients under 40, will be included in the House and Senate Appropriations bills. We are so glad that research attention will be paid to this dreadful disease.

When Ray was sick, I had no doubts about the tasks and work that God had for me. Helping Ray and the girls and expressing the words God put in my heart were the things that I knew I had to do -- the burdens on my heart and mind.

Our favorite golfer Phil Mickelson is also fighting cancer; his wife began treatment for breast cancer July 1. Reading his blog I recall so dearly our fight against cancer. "We begin treatment..." The words are so familiar. I remember writing that "we" and sometimes correcting it. Our fight. But one that left us both in such different spots.

With Ray gone, God's plan for me in all of this is harder to find -- fighting cancer, helping others, living faithfully, telling our story, healing with the girls -- all these are important tasks -- ones to balance and weigh.

I would never summon back the tenor and veracity of the fight we fought. But I pray for that clarity of God's mission upon me -- it's very strength gives continued meaning to Ray's death.

"On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken. In that day they will say, "Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the LORD, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation." Isaiah 25:7-9

not alone and not afraid --