Saturday, May 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Daddy

I can't believe it has been 5 years since you left us to go to Heaven to live with Jesus and Mama. I'll bet mama was glad to see you, but was a little ticked that you took 9 years to join her. Did you recognize her right away since she was given a new body? I'm guessing she looked like she did the many years ago when you were both young and just starting out your lives together.....and what a surprise to her when she saw the young man she fell in love with when she was just 16 years old! What a glorious reunion it must have been...............

Since it has been a while since we were able to spend a birthday with you, I just thought I would tell you what's been happening in the lives of your little girls and all those grand kids you left behind. We all miss you and were sad when you left, but we were happy you were finally home where you wanted to be.....

Life continued to happen as it always does; as you know days turn into nights and nights pass away, giving us a new day whether we are ready or not. For me, the "job"continues, but I am starting to see retirement on the horizon. Griff retired a few years ago and has become quite the farmer in the sense of taking care of our little farm. Since hard work was always a part of your earthly life, I am sure you understand and I want to thank you for teaching me that hard work never hurts, it only builds character and working for what you want and need is part of God's plan. You will be happy to know I have passed those "work ethics" along to my children, your grandchildren. Speaking of grand children....

Well, Brandon and Kellie are doing great, they are still working hard, but finding time to get away occasionally and play. Brandon took it hard when you left, he loves you very much and you were such an influence in his life. I see so much of you in him and am so glad he had you to walk behind growing up. They lost Prissy a couple of months ago and it broke their hearts, so if you see her running around on those streets of gold, you might want to scoop her up and take care of her until they get Home.

Crystal and Peanut are married and now have 2 wonderful little boys, Jaylon and Braydon, that you would be so proud of, adding more great grand babies to the family tree. Tell mama she sure would have a house full if she were here and her heart would be over flowing with the love of her precious great-grand babies. They live close and I do get to see them often. We always told mama she would never let us get away with what she let her grand kids get away with; now I know how mama felt about her grand babies and I understand.

Alex is graduating this year.....your name sake "Toll" Alexander; can you believe he will be 18 years old next week? It was kinda sad that you had to leave on his birthday, but he understands when you gotta go and Jesus is the one calling, you gotta go! He is growing into a find young man that you would be proud of, I just wish you and he could have spent more time together so he could have known his pawpaw like Trampas, Brandon and Crystal did. Oh, and speaking of Trampas, he is my prodigal son at the moment. I am sure Jesus has reminded you of that story again if he keeps you informed of what is happening here.....

Anyway, Trampas and Crystal have a beautiful little girl named Tia and of course you remember our sweet little Ty who is growing in leaps and bounds....TJ is graduating and has grown into a handsome young man. Tell God to work on Trampas' heart and remind him his family loves him.....Kids!! Oh, and remember Jeanie Dawn? I saw her a couple of months ago and she is a mommy of a sweet little boy.....I guess you could say that makes me a great grandmother since she was technically my first grand child!

As for the rest of the family, Sara and David are still on the hill. David finished your little house for you and we even gave him a pot-belly stove to put in it. We can just imagine you setting beside the warm fire in your comfy chair on those snowy days we had last winter and sitting on the porch talking to passers-by as the weather turns warmer. David is not able to work anymore but Sara is still working. Ricky married a beautiful girl named Katie and they have the most adorable little girl.....Jennifer is adding to her family soon with a new baby who will be joining Taylor, who is now a working young man and Wyatt who is growing up fast...and Amanda got married to a man named Chuck. I think you and Chuck would have been great buddies! Amanda has a precious little boy named Nathan and you would be so proud of him.

Gail and Nicky and their family moved into your old house after a year or so, Kelsey and Justin are growing up fast, already teenagers! Brian moved back home with little Austin after he and Jamie went separate ways. Justin stays with them sometimes and Cassie lives with her mother, all are growing up so fast.Tabitha is married to Andrew and little Andrew, who is not so little anymore, lives with them, but I don't hear from her much. Gail is active in finding a cure for Cancer and raises money every year though relay for life. I know you would be proud that she is working to find a cure for the disease that took you and mama from us in the prime of your lives.

Your baby girl, Trisha, is married to Jerry and they live in Spring Hill. She still works for the Sheriff's department and is a grandmother! Sam is all grown up and ready to find his place in the world. Jay and Laura have 2 precious little girls Haylei and Emma, that are the joy of their lives. Zachery married Megan and they have a precious little boy Danny and a precious little girl, Jordan and they just bought their first home. And you won't believe where Matt Australia!!! He met a sweet girl from there and decided he wanted to be there with her and left in March. He got a job, asked her to marry him and she said yes.....our little Matt on the other side of the world building a life....hard to believe..

As you see, life just keeps racing by.......but your memories and the love you and mama raised us with remains in our hearts. Happy 85th earthly birthday to a wonderful daddy who will be forever young as he waits with our sweet mama at Heavens gate to welcome their family home someday.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

The Girl
I Used To Be

by Rowena K. Lewis

She came tonight as I sat alone, the girl I used to be.
And she gazed at me with her earnest eye, and questioned reproachfully:
Have you forgotten the many plans and hopes that I had for you?
The great career, the splendid fame, all the wonderful things to do?
Where is the mansion of stately height, with all of its gardens rare?
The silken robes that I dreamed for you, and the jewels in your hair?
And as she spoke, I was very sad, for I wanted her pleased with me.
This slender girl from the shadowy past, the girl that I used to be.
So gently rising, I took her hand, and guided her up the stair
Where peacefully sleeping, my babies lay, innocent, sweet, and fair.
And I told her that these are my only gems, and precious they are to me;
That silken robe is my motherhood, of costly simplicity.
And my mansion of stately height is love, and the only career I know
Is serving each day in these sheltered walls, for the dear ones who come and go.
And as I spoke to my shadowy guest, she smiled through her tears at me.
And I saw that the woman that I am now, pleased the girl that I used to be.
Copyright 1997 Rowena K. Lewis. Used with permission.

As a young girl, I was a dreamer. My dreams were big, always taking me to far away places where life would be adventurous, exciting and romantic. Books were my best friend so much so that "bookworm" would be a good descriptive word for me during my adolescence and teen years. I was addicted to romantic movies set in far away places, I even kept a journal of the movies I watched and the ones I could watch again and again.
I was totally mesmerized by Wurthering Heights........I can't remember which came first, reading the book or watching the movie, I just know Heathcliff and Cathy running through the Heather on the Moors of Wuthering Heights and sharing a love so deep that death could not keep them apart still lives in my heart the same today as it did so long ago.

My silken robe of Motherhood came to me in the form of a rambunctious 4 year old as I entered married life and 2 1/2 years later my bouncing baby boy joined his almost 7 year old brother.

Life with the boys....birthdays, bicycles, go-carts, little toy trucks, 1st days of school, Christmas's, scraped knees, scolding and discipline, sick days for Dr's appointments; Life with the boys revolved around mom's job that came about just after my baby boy turned 1 yr old...........
I took a little job that fit around my son's school schedule, I worked when he was in school and I was home when he was baby boy was safe in the care of my sweet mother or my loving sister while I was away at the workplace........What started as a job to bring home a little extra money gradually got bigger and the need for the extra money became more and more necessary. As my boys grew and the responsibilities of supporting our family grew heavier on my side of the scale, my days off, Christmas Break and Summer Vacation, became a time for a temporary job. Working part time in Tea Room type eateries offered a break from the regular routine of serving the nutritional needs of school children.

Now I am not complaining, I found that I loved to work and I worked at something I loved. I found that each day was an adventure, making new friends,  interacting with co-workers, sharing their lives, sharing ideas and most of all, learning about people and realizing I could be a positive influence in their lives with the service my job provided.
Many years have passed, life brought with it a beautiful baby girl who has worked along side her mother on many occasions and has learned the value of good work ethics. She is a fountain of enthusiasm in everything she pursues and loves with her whole heart. She has grown into a wonderful mother of 2 precious little boys.

Life has a way of taking you to new horizons as you come out of  difficult and trying times........
God blessed my life with another son who has recently gotten his first job, will be graduating high school and starting college in the fall.

I have also been blessed with wonderful step-children and beautiful grandchildren.........they are truly jewels in my hair and my heart swells with hope for their futures filled with dreams that will take them to faraway places..........
My boys have grown into wonderful men who seem to find work when work is hard to find.Their work ethics to provide for their own "precious gems" go beyond whatever dreams they may have had as young boys.

Have you forgotten the many plans and hopes that I had for you?
The great career, the splendid fame, all the wonderful things to do?

Did my choice to take a little job that turned into a 35 year career take me off course from the dreams of the girl I used to be? Were my hopes left behind as I rushed ahead with life and the needs of my children? Was I selfish in spending my days serving other children instead of waiting for the school bus to bring my children home in the afternoon? ......My life is exactly what God intended for me. My "great career" has taken me to faraway places, has been the source of exciting adventures, has allowed me to see into the lives of people I would never have met otherwise and has introduced many great friends into my life  It has allowed me to stretch my imagination, use my talents and show my children hard work does not go unrewarded. What it has also given me is a chance to influence the lives of others including my own children.......

And my mansion of stately height is love, and the only career I know
Is serving each day in these sheltered walls, for the dear ones who come and go.

"She watches over the affairs of the household and does not eat the bread of idleness. her children call her blessed and her husband also and he praises her. Many women do noble things but you surpass them all". Proverbs 31: 27-29
Happy Mother's Day to my children, as I put on my silken robe of motherhood and reflect on the gems in my life.