My poor husband...

Saturday is usually the day that I try to "make" breakfast, which usually includes bacon. It is highly unusual for Greg to get real, pork bacon. Since his father has heart disease and high cholesterol and Greg's cholesterol is slightly elevated, about the only time he gets real bacon is if we are at Cracker Barrel. My husband LOVES bacon. Especially when it is cooked the right way, very crisp, but not burned.

Anyway, this past Saturday we were all up and about and Greg goes to the fridge and pulls out something and has this look on his face. It is the look of a happy child who has just found extra candy under the couch. Or an adult who finds $5.00 in their pocket when they didn't know it was there.

Most of you know my husband. He hides his excitement well, at least to you. Since I live with him I see the real Greg. He does get excited. He can be goofy. He's funny and just an all around great guy to be around. In my humble opinion.

Well, the look on his face was priceless. He was almost giddy. He was excited beyond any excitement I had seen in a while. He was almost doing a little dance in front of the refrigerator.

Imagine my surprise when I see that all that excitement is for bacon. Greg pulled out real bacon. I didn't realize it until I looked at his face and then to the package. I thought it was the new turkey bacon pack I had just bought. Not so....

Unfortunately, Greg's glee was short lived. The real bacon was old. Greg's smile deflated quickly. We looked at the date, it said something about September. Greg got excited again. He was tossing it around in his head, I could tell...."is it worth the risk of food poisoning to get "real" bacon?????" It was discolored, kind of a mucky brown and not nice and pink like bacon should be.

I said, "I will make it for you if you want me to, but there is a fresh pack of turkey bacon in the fridge."

Greg thinks a minute. It is cured meat....maybe it's not bad.....

Sigh. No he concedes that the real bacon is too old. He will have turkey bacon. He is sad.

He opens the freezer door and is looking all through it.

I say, "What are you looking for?"

Greg: "waffles" (You can tell I am a homemade breakfast maker, huh?)

I pause, "Um, we don't have any waffles, sorry".

Greg: (sigh) "That's okay".

He just didn't get a break Saturday! I guess I have one to make up to him, huh? Maybe some homemade blueberry pancakes with REAL bacon this can't hurt his cholesterol that much, right?

Oswald Chambers never ceases to amaze me

I think I have mentioned on her before that I read Oswald Chambers every morning. Most of the time it gets me started on my bible study. Sometimes, with a busy two year old, that is as far as I get, breathing a prayer as I go.

Well, today, July 16th, was another perfect example of how I can read My Utmost for His Highest every day and still get something deep out of it. And not only deep, but relevant. Relevant to me, what people around me are going through. A word I can share with a friend.

So, here it is. This is ALLLLL Oswald...

" much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!" (Matthew 7:11)
Jesus is laying down the rules of conduct in this passage for those people who have His Spirit. He urges us to keep our minds filled with the concept of God's control over everything, which means that a disciple must maintain an attitude of perfect trust and an eagerness to ask and to seek.
Fill your mind with the though that God is there. And once your mind is truly filled with that thought, when you experience difficulties it will be as easy as breathing for you to remember, "My heavenly Father knows all about this!" This will be no effort at all, but will be a natural thing for you when difficulties and uncertainties arise. Before you formed this concept of divine control so powerfully in your mind, you used to go from person to person seeking help, but now you go to God about it. Jesus is laying down the rules of conduct for those people who have His Spirit, and it works on the following principle: God is my Father, He loves me, and I will never thing of anything that He will forget, so why should I worry?
Jesus said there are times when God cannot lift the darkness from you, but you should trust Him. At times God will appear like an unkind friend, but He is not; He will appear like an unnatural father, but He is not; He will appear like an unjust judge, but He is not. Keep the thought that the mind of God is behind all things strong and growing. Not even the smallest detail of life happens unless God's will is behind it. Therefore, you can rest in perfect confidence in Him. Prayer is not only asking , but it is an attitude of the mind which produces the atmosphere in which asking is perfectly natural. "Ask, and it will be given to you..." (7:7)

She's gone...

Below are a few pictures of my friend Roxanne, whom I am remembering today. Today is the one year anniversary of her death.

A picture of Rox and I with our friend, Jessica, at my wedding in 2003

A picture of Roxanne with my son, Carter in July of 2006

A picture of Rox and I with our friend, Lisa, who lives in East Tennessee

Ah, a picture of Rox with our friend, Mark, in 2006

Finally, a picture of the ole Bible study gang in East Tennessee in July of 06. We had a "reunion" of sorts, and boy, are we glad that we did. Here we are playing charades. We always had bible study and then played charades...good times!!!

I'll never forget those words. She's gone.

It was one year ago today that I sat in my in-laws neighborhood and heard those words. I had been chatting with my sister on the way to get Carter from Greg's parents after volunteering at Vacation Bible school for the second day. My husband Greg kept beeping in while I was on the phone, very unusual for him to do that, but I just kept chatting away. I didn't really give it a second thought. Also, my friend Lisa, in Knoxville, had called too and was beeping in, how strange, I thought. Finally, I told my sister I needed to go because Greg kept beeping in. If only I could have savored that moment a little while longer. It was innocent. There was no shock or grief to come. No tears. I was having a happy little conversation with my sister and all the sudden my world shattered.

I finally called Greg and he told me about the message that Krista, Roxanne's cousin, had left on our machine at home. That Roxanne had passed away. WHAT??????????? I didn't believe it, didn't want to believe it. I just sat on the side of the road in shock. Luckily I had not retrieved Carter yet and he stayed at the inlaws a bit longer.

When I called the number I can't remember who I talked to first, Krista, I think. She gave me details. It was very sudden and unexpected. Then Alice, Rox's mom, got on the phone.

Me: "Alice???????" I wish you could have heard the sound of my voice. In an incredulous tone, I was asking if it was real all by just saying, "Alice?????"

Alice: "She's gone, Susan. She's gone"

I learned that Roxanne had been found in her apartment, sitting up, in bed. I won't go into the details but she had sleep apnea and had not been wearing her machine that helped her keep breathing at night. They feel she just stopped breathing. But, they were doing an autopsy to make sure that it was nothing else. After the autopsy and study of all her meds she had in her room, it was found that she just stopped breathing and died.

Roxanne had been through a lot the past few years. But her life was on an upswing. She had lost some weight. She had finally accepted her disabilities, or was getting there anyway. She had chronic, sometime severe, pain from IBS and Fibromyalgia. She had overcome an addiction to painkillers but, still had to take them sometimes to ease the pain. We were all very proud of her. She had found a new church home and was really excited about her church.

I was able to talk to her about two weeks before he death and she spoke clearly and upbeat. She was so excited about her parent's upcoming wedding anniversary party that she was planning. She sounded like the "old" Rox. The one that sometimes rarely made an appearance. It had been a long time since I had heard from the "old" Rox. I am glad we got to have that conversation before she died and not like some of the others that we have had. Where she was depressed, drugged, and not the Roxanne I knew and loved. No, this Roxanne was THE Roxanne I knew and loved and it was so good to hear her voice.

And everyone close to her had pretty much the same thing to say. Things were on an upswing. What a shock this was. She had never been happier. I found out at the receiving of friends that there were rumors that Roxanne had killed herself and that is why she had a closed casket. This was very far from the truth, however, I think there was a time in her life when we would not have been shocked if she had taken her life. She battled depression, like I said before, and there were some very, very low points the past few years. In fact, when I heard that she had died, the first thing that came to my mind was, "did she kill herself??" Again, the autopsy found nothing that would point to suicide.

Well, I was able to see Roxanne in a private viewing before we laid her to rest. Her parents were not happy about her appearance, THAT is why they did not want an open casket. They wanted everyone to remember the Roxie that they loved. Not the one in the casket. Roxanne simply stopped breathing. She wasn't wearing her machine for her sleep apnea. Period. She did not look like herself in that casket. But, I am so glad that I was able to say goodbye in person.

All day today and the past few days I have been thinking about July 10, 2007. I have been thinking about her funeral and her life. I have had several dreams about Roxanne the past few weeks. It isn't unusual. And today, I am remembering happy times. Roxanne's laugh. Our trips together. The time we were roommates (not a good thing). We go way back. Wow.

I don't guess I will ever get used to the idea that she is gone. I just have to come face to face with it every now and then. Then I go on, like it hasn't really happened, until, abruptly and uninvited, it crosses my mind, reminding me that it is in fact true.

She is gone. And I won't see her again on this side of heaven. But, I do "see" her everyday. In some shape or form. She is here. She is gone, but never forgotten.

Love you, Rox and I miss you a lot!!!!