iBelieve

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24

Archive for the category “Birthday”

Late Night Visitor – Gone Fishin’


When I was a child, my family spent summer weekends at our cottage and fishing was a popular activity. At dusk on Friday night, dad held a shovel in one hand and my little hand in his other, and we made our way to a specific spot in the yard to dig up worms to use for bait in the morning. The worm-hunting excursion brought a song to my dad’s lips and to this day, makes me giggle.

“Nobody likes me, everybody hates me. Sitting in the garden eating worms. Big fat juicy ones, small little thin ones. Oh, how they wiggled and they’d squirm.”

Shovel in hand and me on the sideline, dad made his first plunge into the dirt. I remember he used his foot to stomp on the shovel to get deep into the the earth. With his brawn, he’d flip the dirt pile over and I would start to paw my way through looking for big, juicy nightcrawlers. Dad put some dirt in an empty coffee can and empty whipped cream plastic bowl and I would drop nightcrawlers in one at a time. The lids of the containers had holes poked for the sake of oxygen and they were placed near our fishing gear for the morning.

At dawn on Saturday, when the lake looked as smooth as glass, we packed the fishing boat with our safety cushions, nightcrawlers, and fishing poles and motored to a fishing spot dad felt would wield a good catch.

Even though I caught the worms, I was not able to put them on the hook as well as he could, so dad did it for me. I fished with a bobber on my line so I could learn what it felt like when a fish was interested in my bait. Nibbles would make the bobber wiggle in the water and a hooked fish pulled the bobber out of sight. Depending on the size of the catch, it could take some effort to reel in, but once in the boat, we’d size up the catch. Too small a fish, it gets released to the water, if large enough by state fishing regulations, it becomes dinner.

So it is with grief. The tug at my heartstrings when a memory of my parents comes out of nowhere is like the bobber wiggling in the water. Then the milestone moments knowing they will not be there for a special event or holiday makes that bobber disappear. As hard as it may be to face what is on the end of the line, I reel it in. At this point, whether a nibble of grief or a major catch, it is healthy to face it. Sit with it if I must; ride it out until it fades away.

I have a big catch on the end of my line. June 24 will be my first birthday without either parent. It is the hardest thing for me to reel in right now. My parents made birthdays fun and grief is showing me the slideshow of memories on the wall of my mind.

Thank you mom and dad for bringing me into this world and giving me such a good life that I have, yet another, reason to grieve your passing.

1 Thessalonians 3:6 (NIV)  Timothy’s Encouraging Report

But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you.

 

Late Night Visitor – Storm Chaser


Grief has similarities to that of a meteorologist.  Read more…

Ecclesiastes 3:2


November 9 is an emotional day for me. Read more…

Cottage Birthdays


Every summer weekend, during the first 12 years of my life, my family would pack our things in the car to head south. As my dad maticulously packed the car so everything would fit a family of 7, he’d yell out to my brothers and I, “Go get your Polish suitcase!” Yes, we had Polish suitcases…otherwise known as a brown grocery bag. My little clothes for two days fit perfectly in my Polish suitcase. This memory brings a grin to my face. I wonder, was this a well-known piece of luggage in other households or was this just my dad being his goofy self?

Twenty minutes later, we’d stick our heads out the car windows as my father slowed down so we could greet the cows in their native tongue, “Moooooo!!” Jostling side-by-side and to-and-fro we knew the dirt road we were on meant minutes to a fun-filled weekend at the cottage.

The best weekend for me was the end of June when aunts, uncles and cousins would arrive to celebrate my birthday. Our Polish heritage was in rare form. We had Polkas blaring from our portable radios during the Polka-Time radio show for 3 hours on Saturday afternoon. One adult would sneak away to the party-line telephone and call in a special request wishing me a very special birthday. It was such a treat to hear my name announced on the radio and a song played in my honor. I felt like a celebrity on my birthday.

I wish I could turn back the hands of time and spend one more birthday at the cottage with the family. The clang of horseshoes, water splashing in the lake and people baking in the sun…what a carefree life. The celebration was topped off with birthday cake made by the talented, loving hands of my mother. Always delicious.

My birthday is June 24. Although many of the family members that used to celebrate with me are in Heaven now, and the cottage has been sold many years ago, I will cherish these memories forever.

Psalm 146:2 (NIV)
I will praise the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.

A Birthday to Remember


One day to call your very own.  One day of extra-special treatment, presents, cake and ice-cream.  Yes…the birthday.

My family is big on birthdays.  We like to celebrate them and it is a great excuse to get together.  Extra-special treatment is given on each of our birthdays – no exceptions.  Birthdays entail an assortment of presents and a delicious homemade cake beautifully decorated by my very talented mother.  Our favorite ice-cream waits patiently in the freezer to be invited to the celebration table.

When we were younger, we used to celebrate summer birthdays at our family cottage.  A hot and  sunny day drove the kids to swim and play in the lake, while the sun baked the adults during their afternoon game of horse shoes.  Birthdays were not complete until we pulled out the Bingo game.  We played Bingo like it was going out of style.  A line, 4-corners, X, postage stamp…we played them all. The $5.00 pots at the end of each set gave the winner of each final full-card not only a heavier coin purse, but also bragging rights for the day.

Fall and winter birthdays brought the fun indoors.  If we weren’t playing a card game called Tonk, then we were playing Bingo.  Inflation did not touch us as we always played with nickels and dimes and the big pots were usually around $5.00. 

We were always laughing and we were always together.  The laugh I miss the most is my Dad’s.

Dad would have been 84 today.  He celebrated life and his family.  The older he grew, the less he neither needed nor wanted gifts, as the gift of family was present enough. 

We are experiencing a blizzard today, but my family will gather as planned around my father’s earthly resting place at the cemetery.  Today is bittersweet; we continue to mourn his passing.  Extra-special treatment is shown on each of our birthdays – death is no exception, we celebrate this wonderful man.  We know he will be present with us, after all, his memory lives in our hearts.

One day to call your very own.  One day of extra-special treatment, the present of us together once again, and there will be delicious homemade cake beautifully decorated by my very talented mother. 

Yes…the birthday.

Happy Birthday Dad!!!

Love Always,

Kristine

Psalm 118:24 (New American Standard Bible)

    This is the day which the LORD has made;
         Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

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