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Posts Tagged ‘family life’

affirmation-message

 

December 21, 2016

Da da dadadum doobie da dadum…..Catching Up is hard to do. Hearing the old melody and lyrics of the Breaking Up is Hard to Do run through my memory station.

I am trying to catch up a little bit for Napkinwriter. I never like to be away from her for too long.  And it is not that I’ve been uninspired or leading a dull life. It’s been quite the opposite.  I haven’t even written a Christmas letter at this late date of Solstice, December 21, 2016. But, I will look back now at what has been a rather Fast Forward year all year long. I did not even journal as much as usual.

 

After the Christmas concerts and festivities of 2015, we leaped right into the winter weather of January and February. There were ridiculous storms piled upon us, one after another. From the day before Thanksgiving, snow befell us continually. During this time, we were often enroute to Ann Arbor via the treacherous I-94 for Tom’s skin cancer treatment for ever more involved procedures to rid his body of this demanding disease. An exhausting and dangerous trip, made under forced bad weather conditions. We were brought through safely each time during which there were multiple pile-ups and one that was over 122 car and truck pileup.

I looked for my angel billboard messages — and the encouraged me; usually a brief look at a board with only one word on it, but it was the word I needed at the time …..brave………confident……you got this…….healed.  I wanted to write this down, but I also was not journaling as much as usual this year. I plan to turn over a new leaf in 2017.

 

It’s been kind of a year where I needed to do this:

 

big-girl-britches

 

but I have a precious loosely formed band of magnificent girlfriends who helped me feel more like we were doing this:

 

campfire-quest-companions

 

A very dear friend of mine, Marsha Pricco English died suddenly this summer and stunned myself and our Resurrection High School classmates as well.

Marsha - Duane & Scotty

Several others passed too, yet Marsha’s was the deepest sorrow.  A grieving husband, Duane, is having the worst year of his life as December grows to a stop.

The extent toward which Tom has had physical problems this year, and my own body creaking around with new discoveries of limitations and challenges has caused us to take stock and think of maybe changing directions a little in our own lives. Maybe we need to be out of our home, with its growing costs and responsibilities and consider another type of abode. Maybe, as one of our daughters looked into new professional opportunity for her, we might even expand our definition of possibilities for us. Whatever it is, love will lead the way.

 

labyrinth cardinals

 

Another pull on my heart was the sudden death of my brother, Dave, who after suffering a long period of time with progressive Early Onset of Alzheimers, collapsed departed Earth to a calling of Higher Being. I love Dave with all my heart and miss being able to be with him.

dave-sue

brother-and-sister

John and his wife, Joan remain in a nursing home in Diamondale and for various reasons our trips over to see them and join our Class of ’61 monthly luncheons have diminished.  I continue to pray for his needs.

Wonderful blessings as life keeps expressing itself fill my life, as well. I had a wondrous visit in Sarasota Florida, flown down by my friend Martha and we had the best of girl time together, visiting the white sands of the beach and watching the flow of the ocean waves. A balm of joy washed over me, as well as the stay I had in her beautiful home with pool and full suite to myself. How pampering. I definitely was “raised up” when I returned to Michigan.

 

beach-martha-and-sue

Friendship — long, long friendships — are rare and dear. Another dear friend from Kentucky days of the 60’s – 70s visited us in September,  Lucretia Thomas.  And Tom helped us take her hither and yon to show her a good time, as her own style of Southern hospitality is  something to behold.

lucretia-is-here

Family remains the most precious and centering vitality. Our daughters provide rich gifts in their chosen professions. Kathleen, in her music education to school children, and music and drama in the Marshall Community Theater, along with gigs  with the jazz band, “Misdirection” she founded and fills venues with.

kathleen-and-us

Dr. Laura Mitchell, after more than twenty years in her chosen field of Optometry, made a really big change and chose a new Optometric practice to join in her birth hometown of Lexington, Kentucky.  They have just arrived there and are settling into the return to the Bluegrass way of life. It holds so many new openings for them at a stage of life where she will be able to balance home and work much better and she is looking forward to that.

kentucky-blue

And oh, my the Grands!  Devon got married to the one and only love of her life, Tyler; and she is nearing the end of her undergraduate education in Music and Creative Writing at CMU, on full scholarship.

 

bride-and-groom-dance

Andrew is finishing up senior year at Marshall High School, making and leading music everywhere anytime, as percussion section leader and Marshall Singers president. He has his sights set on UK, University of Kentucky, and we will watch how that turns out.

andrew

And Amy, the darling of my heart. What fun we have together, just as I did with those others when they were toddlers and small children. Amy and I love to do art together. Amy LOVES Star Wars and has brought Tom and me up to speed on the whole saga.  She plays piano beautifully and proudly.  She’s just a tad on the dramatic side.

clownfish

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Tom and I are catching up on ourselves too…..and that  has come to mean preparing for a move of our own — to Lexington Kentucky also where we have found a beautiful apartment, near where Laura lives, filled with amenities which we intend to use to focus on improving the status of our health and giving us freedom from the many responsibilities of home ownership.  Wahoo!  A return to the surroundings of where our married life and mission started over 51 years ago.  We are blessed and happy and have a moving date of January 28, 2017.

sue-tom-hajec-r61-1

So this actually became sort of a Christmas letter; one that will never be sent.  It is too long, but I will keep it on file here in Napkinwriter. And Napkinwriter, somehow will be faithful to shorter posts about life on a regular basis as we enter into the new year.

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IMG_5398SoulCollage® by Susan Heffron Hajec

Angel of God, my Guardian dear
To whom God’s love
commits me here.
Ever this day, be at my side
To light, to guard
To rule and guide. Amen

I say this prayer each morning for Tom and myself, our children and grandchildren and place trust in the scripture that says, “For I have sent an angel to watch over you and guide you in your ways”  and I expand this prayer to include all those who have asked for prayer or are presently facing challenges of any kind in their life.

Today, Napkinwriter copies a reading from an essay posted in the October 2014 Magnificat for Thursday, October 2, the Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels. It is the same day that Catholic Charities Caring Network celebrated twenty-five years of work dedicated to the unborn babies, mothers and ongoing family needs in the Kalamazoo area.

And it is the day that the newly formed Prayer Place was dedicated and blessed by the bishop and begins its prayer ministry for all who need guidance and support in their lives and responsibilities toward the young life that has been placed in their care.

Prayer Place Image

I believe the light of the angels shone upon us that day, for when I took the photo of the blessing, it was a dark and dreary day, just holding off the rain. Yet the light shone brightly upon Fran Denny, the founding director of Catholic Charities and Julia and William VanDomelen, who created the VanDomelen Center to house the charitable works and services that help so many.

The Bishop's Blessing

The writer of the following essay is Jennifer Hubbard. She resides in Newtown, CT. The younger of her two children, Catherine Violet, was a victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, on December 14, 2012.  The news was just breaking on television while Tom and I were having his birthday luncheon celebration.

Jennifer writes:

” ‘Angel of God, my guardian dear…’ I watch as his eyes light up for what feels like the first time in a very long time. He interupts her, saying, “That’s what my Pop said when he tucked us in.”

Instantly, I am taken back to the summer when they all shared the same bedroom. As he finishes the prayer, it’s their voices I hear alongside his. ‘…to whom God’s love commits me here. Ever this day, be at my side, to light to guard, to rule and guide.’

It was the prayer my father taught us as children and now he was teaching my children. It is one of the simple prayers planted deep into the crevices of my soul.

Now, my brave little one says it to remember that he is not alone. I say it with him, and realize these are the words I have been searching for but couldn’t seem to find. The prayer we recite together is the divine insight for which I have been pleading. It is only then I realize the reason we are given this promise as children. It is the heart of a child that is willing to accept unconditionally. A child — truly opens to receive — to believe — to feel, deep within her heart, the truth.

This is the promise that grows in my soul, even when the days seem dark and my body is weary. It is the everlasting reminder. I am his child.  He will guide and protect me. He is my Father and my Shepherd. He will light my path and bring me home to the little voice I long to hear.”

– End of Jennifer’s Essay –

Clients at Caring Network are filling out prayer requests in the lobby and putting them in the Prayer Place Mail Box.  During our Monday and Wednesday noon hour small group prayer where “two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them”,  we pick up these intention slips and pray for each request.

If they are signed, they are returned to the requester through their social service worker with notes on them that they have been prayed for. We trust God, in the midst, will bestow his blessing to make all things work onto good. We place our faith in the promise that to ask, believing we have received, will bring about goodness in what are often scary and threatening situations.

Above all, we know that faith, as tiny as a mustard seed, can bring about a full, joyful harvest. For all these things, we pray.

And during my Wednesday time tomorrow, I will add a prayer intention slip for Jennifer Hubbard, her husband and child, that God, in his infinite mercy, will bless them mightily through their lives and bring them to once again complete union with Catherine Violet, at the end of their days on earth.

IMG_5403Praying in color.

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