About me...

Pop the lid on my Mason Jar and meet my family. Jim {Jimma} and I have four kids, Creston (Ashley), Jami (Matt), Brandon and Chance. Our grandkids, Cade, Kirby, Eisley, Beck and Reed bring us more joy than any Mason Jar could ever hold. I am counting my blessings over and over and thanking God for His amazing love and grace.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Our hearts are full of sadness...

Even as early as high school, my daughter Jami has been an inspiration to me in her walk with God. On numerous occasions I have called her in tears and she has been the one to comfort me, assuring me that God is taking care of my hurts, fears, concerns, and problems and that He has it all under control. More than once, she has said, “Mom, you have to let go of this and trust God.” I have watched her with a sense of pride at her ability to remain calm and steadfast in her faith, in the midst of a storm.

So, when the phone rang yesterday afternoon and I heard the shakiness in her voice as she said, “Mom” I sensed that something horrible had happened. I asked if something was wrong and waited in fear for her answer. I could barely understand what she said, for the tears in her voice. “Yes,” she said, “ Matt’s daddy died.” Hoping I had not heard her right, I asked if she had just said Matt’s daddy had died. “Yes” was her heart wrenching answer. She had just found out that her father-in-law, John had died of a heart attack. Matt was at school preparing for the start of the school year and she was alone with the two kids when the call came. I felt so helpless in that I am over a thousand miles away from her and could not rush to be by her side. The only solace I could offer was my love and prayers.

Jim and I met Matt’s parents, Liz and John shortly after Jami and Matt started dating and we liked them right away. Liz and John had a very unique and special relationship. Their love for each other was evident and written all over their lives. They enjoyed riding on a tandem bike and in a convertible with the top down. They went to church, the beach, swam together, volunteered, picnicked, gardened, canned vegetables, cooked together, wrote the best Christmas letters ever and even dressed alike. Liz and John had the unique ability to make the simplest of things fun, and the big celebrations in life simple so they would be more fun.

We considered Liz and John as part of our family and invited them for holidays and other events. We loved having them with us and always had more fun when they came. I told Matt this summer that I envied his parents. He asked, “How’s that?” I told him that I have never seen two people who enjoy life as much as his Mom and Dad. They soak up every moment, squeezing it for all it’s worth. Talking with Matt that afternoon made me realize I wanted to be more like his parents, never letting a moment of fun pass me by.

I’ve often told Liz and John how much I love Matt, but realized today that I never thanked them for doing such an incredible job of parenting. Among many other things, they set an example of love and faith for their children. I can honestly say that the lives of our family have been enriched by knowing Liz and John and we are all saddened by his loss. As I told Jami yesterday, they had a relationship like no other. With any unexpected loss, you become more aware of how fragile life is and how in an instant lives are forever changed. My heart aches for Liz as she has lost her soul mate. I ache for Jami, Matt and the rest of the family who knew what a special person John was and loved him so dearly. My sorrow is for my grandchildren as well. They are too young to remember their Opa and will never know what a remarkable, kind, faith living, loving and fun person he was. My prayers, sympathy and love go out to this family. Thank you John for giving us our incredible son-in-law that has so many of your attributes. There’s not a guy out there that I’d rather have married to my daughter and be the father of her children than Matthew.

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