Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Love Letters From My Father

Dad with Baby mk and me (2)

 That’s me on the right, just in case you couldn’t tell.

After my father died, I found letters he’d written to me over the years and saved, like a journal, hidden in the old cabinet he used as an end table next to his recliner. I’m still processing the content of these letters. One of them is about why he didn’t come to my rescue when I wanted to come home from the college in the mountains.

This excerpt from my work in progress explains:

On my second day in Boone, before classes started, my roommate and I went to a pub not far from campus. I recognized Chris, a super brainy girl from my high school who’d already been at the college for a year. She waved to me and invited us to sit with her. My roommate saw some people she knew and went to sit with them. Chris made me feel welcome, and I started to feel comfortable with her. Maybe the beer helped. She asked me how I was doing.

“Well, I’m a little nervous,” I admitted.

“That’s normal. It’ll get better.”

“And I miss my boyfriend. I’m actually thinking of going back home.”

Chris looked thoughtful. “You know, you’ve got your whole life to go to college,” she said. “If you want to go home, it’s okay. It’s your decision.”

I was surprised by her response. I’d expected her to encourage me to stay. If this brainiac said it was okay to go home, then who was I to fight it any longer?

I called my parents and said I wanted to come home. Having just driven seven hours each way to bring me there a couple of days earlier, Dad refused to come get me. He didn’t say much, leading me to guess he was disgusted or at least disappointed.

Being stubborn, I managed to find another way home, but that’s another part of the story.

Fast forward to 43 years later when I read my Dad’s secret letters last week. One his letters revealed that the reason they didn’t come get me was because their old station wagon had a blow out on their trip home and left him “without a spare.” He wrote in Jan 2011: “Money was very short and, we had very little in the bank, and almost nothing on hand. I would have to have gotten permission from work…We also thought about what you were giving up….I have to admit my love for you was and still is a factor. After we made our decision not to come up, we went to bed, but I don’t think either one of us slept that night. The decision bothered us for years and we talked about it for even more years, even after you were married….I still felt guilty.”

I had no idea that money was a problem back then! I figured it was all about not wanting to bail me out when I should have stayed. I thought it was just because he was mad at me. I’ve carried that shame for years. And all this time, HE felt guilty for not coming to get me. I knew my parents loved me, but I didn’t know how much until I read these letters full of love.

Ive always wanted my father to be proud of me, even when I resented him. Even when I didn’t like his conservative beliefs. Even when I avoided him. I still, deep down, wanted him to be proud of me.

And what I’m finding out from his secret love letters is that he was.

love letters from dad (2)

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Write what…

I’m inspired! As I edit my memoir, I keep having this urge to write a book about my parents. I’ve just realized: I don’t have to create a novel about them now. All I need to do is get down the facts, the history of their pain and perseverance, their faith and service. The novel can come from that later, when the time is right. Thanks, Natalie!

Sacred Touches

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 10.59.27 PM.png**Image of tulips found on Pixabay; text box via Pinterest

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She wasn’t allowed to say “can’t”

You may have seen a video or two of a person with no legs doing amazing things. But this one is particularly interesting. It has a relationship twist pointing us to a greater awareness that there are no accidents, and anything is possible.

Watch this video about Jennifer Moceanu:

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10153154817558902&set=vb.672878901&type=2&theater

 Why was a girl with no legs so drawn to admire the gymnast who resembled her?

Did she somehow sense there was a special connection between them?

What are the qualities that empowered Jennifer to be successful?

Did God put her with parents who would empower her?

So many questions and so many possibilities.

We are stronger than we think.

We are more than we know.

We are deeply loved.

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They Come Around

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Young pine tree on a cloudy day, growing in sandy soil

My son told me, “You’re the only one who’s making any sense right now.”

“I’m just glad you’re listening to me,” was the response I chose.

“I know,” he said. “It only took 28 years.”

There was a whole year when my son was in his early 20’s, living in the mountains on the other side of the state, when he wouldn’t even talk to me, let alone listen. It nearly broke my heart.

Now my son is a parent. His unexpected visit from several states away came with his own relationship crisis and an opportunity- a wake up call- for change.  He’s been calling me more lately.  And that’s totally okay.

I remember a few years ago, my dad was talking about some crazy thing I did in my early 20s. “Well, I didn’t have my head screwed on right back then, Dad.” I said. Dad’s laugh was one of great relief. He was so glad I’d finally realized this and that I’d lived to tell about it.

The lesson here is that we continue to love, even from a distance, and maybe they will come around. And even if they don’t, send love anyway.

I think about some of the parents I work with who’ve lost custody of their children as a result of addiction. When their parental rights are terminated, they wonder, “What do I have to live for?”  Of course they need to live for themselves, for the hope of a better future for themselves, but sometimes they aren’t ready to hear that.  So, I tell them: Keep working on yourself. Be the best person you can be. Someday, maybe years from now, your daughter (or son) might come looking for you. You want to be ready.  They might be angry, but they also might need your strength and your wisdom.

The seeds we plant sometimes take a long time to grow and God can write straight with crooked lines when we see God’s work from a distance.

Don’t give up. Keep sending love.

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Heart Cloud at Wrightsville Beach