Friday, February 13, 2009

best. video. EVAR!

Thanks to Dave Hasz, my week has been made. He posted this video of the ATF call center doing a fabulously entertaining dance. Makes me miss Texas.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

looking back

Five years ago, in my final year of high school, my family awoke
to an early-morning phone call, the kind that only carries bad news.

Aunt Melissa was gone.

Her body had been destroyed by cancer and chemotherapy, and the weekend before she died, we had a family gathering at her house, where she lay on a hospice bed in the living room, sleeping because of the heavy dose of morphine in her system. She awoke for a few brief moments that afternoon as we ate Chinese food (we had always gathered at a certain Chinese restaurant in Asheboro for birthday celebrations because it was about halfway between us and the rest of the family). She couldn't speak much but upon seeing my new, super-short "pixie cut" hairstyle, she managed to give me one of her famous "looks"-this one saying, "What on EARTH did you do to your hair!?" That was the last time I ever saw her. A few days later, she was gone.

That week was a very cold, rainy week. My sisters, mom & I all wore purple blouses to her funeral to honor her (her favorite color was purple), and wore little purple flowers on our lapels. Fortunately, I was not sick that week like I am right now! Nine hundred or so people showed up to her wake, some waiting two hours or more to pay their respects, and five or six hundred attended her funeral. She was a National Board-Certified teacher, and well-loved and respected by both her students and her colleagues. After the funeral was over, my aunt and uncle (the uncle being Melissa's and my mom's only brother) set to work pulling flowers out of the dozens of flower arrangements so that they might be rearranged in vases and delivered to local nursing homes-just the sort of thing that Melissa would have wanted. The food that was arranged
for my family was quite delicious. There was such a wonderful outpouring of love and generosity from so many people, it was just lovely. I am so grateful for the love that was shown my family in that difficult time. I hope that in the future, I may be able to do the same for others.

My mom, her brother and her other sister recorded "How Great Thou Art" for her funeral. It is one of my family's favorite hymns because my grandfather (their dad) used to sing it gloriously well. It is one of my favorite hymns as well.

Oh Lord, my God
When I, in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made
I see the stars
I hear the rolling thunder
Thy power throughout the universe displayed

Then sings my soul, my Saviour, God, to Thee
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Saviour, God, to Thee
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!