a new landscape

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Grief-Quote-CS-LewisToday is a tricky day.(https://missannsays.com/2013/01/18/tricky-days/). Today would have been my husband’s 62nd birthday but it has been 13 years since he celebrated a birthday here on earth (https://missannsays.com/2012/09/10/r-bruce-van-hine/). Actually I surprised myself with a “good cry” this morning. The wondrous birth of my first grandchild back in April has made today harder than it has been in the past. Each year the number of things that Bruce has missed increases. I am grateful for the years we had and I am grateful for the life I have today but…

C.S. Lewis says “Grief is like a long valley, a winding valley where any bend may reveal a totally new landscape.” My life is a totally new landscape now.  And in many ways that isn’t a bad thing but it is a different thing.  Happy Birthday, Bruce. See you again…

psalm 61

Appalachian Trail and Me

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app%20trail%20map

The Appalachian Trail and I have an interesting relationship. I am not a hiker. I have no desire to hike anywhere let alone the “A.T.” I will admit I enjoyed Bill Bryson’s book “A Walk in the Woods”. It was one of my husband’s favorite books.  My husband was a hiker and he enjoyed hiking the “A.T.”. Through the years I have played a role in making sure his car was where it needed to be so when he finished a day hike he could get home. Other times I dropped him off and at a set time picked him up. I have fed “through hikers” he brought home and welcomed strangers to take a shower and sleep in their tent in our yard. I purchased gallon zip lock bags so he could leave Bibles on the trail. And a few years ago I donated his trail guides to the National September 11 Museum and in June the Museum put his trail guide on display. Yesterday I had a telephone call from a Museum staff person telling me they had written a blog about Bruce’s story.

https://www.911memorial.org/blog/new-view-firefighter%E2%80%99s-appalachian-trail-guidebook

 

 

Symmetry

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Nature-Symmetry-4

Symmetry is the word that popped into my head as I drove home from Quincy, MA. In the truest sense it probably isn’t the right word but in my mind it fit the bill. Let me explain…

The voice on the other end of phone asked “I was wondering what your plans are for Kids’ Day?” ” Excuse me, Reverend Bergers I have no idea why you are asking me that question.” Reverend Jay Bergers was the director of our district church camp. At the time, I was the Sunday School Superintendent in my local church and had met him on several occasions during women’s retreat or family camp. My husband had worked alongside “Jay” clearing land at camp but why I was being asked about a district-wide event was a total mystery. At Reverend Bergers’ suggestion I called the district office.

“You made my day” responded Reverend Ken Blish as I explained the confusing telephone call from Reverend Bergers. Obviously a breakdown in communication had happened and no one had informed me that I had been appointed District Children’s Ministries Director. “So how do you feel about that”   “Like I should pray about it” Well, to be honest I was stunned, confused, overwhelmed and not sure if I should laugh or cry. My husband was thrilled, supportive and encouraging. Thus began my stint as Children’s Ministries Coordinator for the Metro New York District Church of the Nazarene.

And on Saturday as I checked name tags at the Eastern Field Children’s Bible Quiz at Eastern Nazarene College, a woman walked up to me, introduced herself and said “I think you know my father, Jay Bergers.” We had a lovely conversation. She explained to her spouse and teenage children how she knew me and how the 9/11 memorial at camp was for my husband. Later as I drove home the word symmetry popped into my head. Nineteen years ago a telephone call from Reverend Jay Bergers started it all and on Saturday at my last official act as Children’s Ministries Coordinator Reverend Bergers’ presence and influence was made known again.  A beginning and an end suddenly tied with a bow that only God could add.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Hebrews 12: 1-2