Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy...It's a New. Year!

Hard to believe it's 2012! But, it's a NEW year and I'm ready to get off to a new start! I'm ready for some new changes. Yes, I've made a lot this past year. It has definitely been a year of change. Started out the year with surgery and made a bunch of lifestyle changes that have benefitted me physically and I'm lovin' life! I feel like a new person. Feels like I've made the outside changes and now I'm ready for the inside changes. So my new year's resolutions are:
1. Keep off the almost 40 pounds I've lost.
2. Memorize the book of Philippians.

Yeah, that about covers it. We'll see where it takes me.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Climbing out of the Hole

A few months ago I fell into a hole. Not any kind of hole, a deep hole, sometimes dark but with a few holes of light. Well, now thinking about it...tomorrow it's been six months that I've been in this hole. I've been trying to claw my way out. Some days I make progress; some days I'm find comfort in where I'm at and some days I take a few steps back.
Can it really be six months that he's really been gone? It feels like just yesterday we sat, just sat and said nothing, but the words between us, though silent, were many. It feels like just yesterday I was holding his hand, kissing his cheek. It feels like just yesterday...
Reality sets in and more light comes. I am ready to climb out, I'm ready...Spring is around the corner...a time for new beginnings, a time for climbing out of the hole!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Beautiful Fall Day

It was a beautiful fall September afternoon. Perfect for an afternoon drive. And that we all did!

That is my dad's 1931 Oldsmobile. He loved that car. He has had it as long as I can remember. So we piled in (no seatbelts needed and no turn signals for that matter!) And we got icecream. It was beautiful afternoon and I ordered my dad's favorite, Michigan Black Cherry. Oh how I cherish the memories. My dad had a big smile today and I did too.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Upside Down

Life has a way of turning you upside down; a time when the blood rushes to your head and you've been spun so far and so fast you don't know which way is up and which way is down. I wrote exactly one month ago about change, change...well the change came hard and fast and so fast that I hardly had a second to breathe.
In one month's time I became an orphan. Yes, an orphan. I am still in disbelief; no matter how much you think you're prepared to lose a loved one, you're never prepared.

So here I stand at the cross roads and I'm not sure really what happened over the last month. It seems like a blur, like a nightmare that didn't really happen. I want to wake up and have my mom tell me it's okay, it was just a dream. I want to sore above it all and forgo all the pain.

Hospice called us in on Wednesday, August 25th, noting that it was soon to be the end. We gathered, all of us, 8 grandchildren, 3 of the 4 children and spouses, along with Sharon. It was a time of all of us having the opportunity to say our last goodbye. What do you say when you know it's your last time you'll be with that person? Wow. Tough day and hard to put into words. I had some time alone with dad. I told him how much I loved him. I thanked him for all the memories and advice he'd given me over the years. I told him it was okay to go and that Jesus was waiting for him.

Dad fought quite a fight. He hung on through the night and hospice called us in again Thursday morning. He had spiked a fever over night and usually that is the sign the end is near. I thought I didn't really want to be there at the end but I'm so glad that I was. It was pretty much a waiting game all day. It had really started to drag on and it was agnonizing! We continued to repeat to dad that it was okay to go.

At 5:00 pm dad's breathing had started to change, enough that it was noticeable. I was holding his hand on one side and my sister on the other side. You would think that it was the last breath and then there it was again. Quietly and slowly, he breathing slowed until it was no more.

And the Lord said, well done my good and faithful servant. And there he ran into the arms of Jesus.

The service was beautiful and very honoring of my dad. I was so proud to hear all the kind things people said about him, all the memories shared and was overwhelmed by all the love and support!! And while it was good to see people I haven't seen in ages, to hug those who also loved him, it was emotionally exhausting.
I have to say that I was and am glad to have the support of my family....

And I couldn't be where I am without my sister....

And life goes on...and I continue to remind myself that he's not in pain anymore and all week, he's been enjoying a heavenly round of golf! Life, yes, it will never be the same; it will never return to the normal that it once was. But that doesn't mean that God isn't there, holding my hand, just like I was holding my dad's. He's right there, even through the tears, even through the fears. And the winds of change continue to blow...

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Change, Change!

Things have been crazy busy and so much change is happening! I can't even believe it all! Sometimes change is hard but it is good.
So for awhile now, I have had this tug on my heart that I needed to move on in my job. I ignored it for a long time because I know change is so hard. I didn't want to face it. I loved my job and I have so much there! I had an offer earlier this summer and I turned it down. It just didn't feel right. I prayed over it. I really, really wanted it. I just knew in my heart it wasn't right.
So I came home from camping a few weeks ago and I was just looking through all the websites I browse. I don't know why but I just clicked on my kids' school website and why, I still don't know but I clicked on the human resources and there it was...a job as a secretary at my son's school. Wow! I could do that! The job description and the qualifications sounded like me. Hmmmm...Dave and I talked about it. Well I decided to just try it out. If it worked out, great and if not, that was okay too! But the resume was due on Monday and here it was Friday night already. I worked over the weekend and upated my resume. I turned it in at the very last minute on Monday!! Oh it goes!
Friday I got a call from the principal, "Could you come in for an interview on Tuesday? You're the first person I am calling so you have your choice of time!" Was that a good sign?
The interview went so well. I knew the teachers who sat in on the interview. I felt good about the answer I gave to their grilling questions! I left knowing I gave it my best and ultimately there was nothing else I could do. They told me there were 45 applicants and they had narrowed it down to 10. From there they would narrow it down to 3 and they would call me later in the week if I was one of those for a 2nd interview.
So on the golf course Tuesday night at 7:30 pm I got a call and instantly recognized the number! Yes, I had gotten a second interview; "Can you come in tomorrow morning at 9:30 am for a 2nd interview with the Assistant Superintendent!?"
Oh my gosh! I have a shot! Well, the 2nd interview went well. (I did have to take a 4th grade math test...I think I passed!) I left again knowing I had given it my best. I had been true to myself. I presented myself honestly and openly and knew that it was out of my hands! They told me she would call me later that day with the results either way.
12:30 pm, two hours after having left the interview, the phone rang again and I knew without looking at the number who it was going to be. I couldn't stop saying, "Oh my gosh...oh my gosh...oh my gosh!!" I was thrilled and excited and nervous and scared and happy and sad....I thought how can you feel so many differing emotions at once.
So....I'm excited to be called one of the secretaries at Ralya Elementary in Haslett! It's a new turn; a new path and a new "lease on life." It will be a good distraction and a good thing in my life!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Yes, I have been absent for a little bit. It was nice to get away but also strange to not have internet at my fingertips at any given moment. It's funny how we begin to rely on those things. But in my time away, I did have lots of time to think about things, to journal, to have time refreshed.

When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
                                     Isaiah 43:2

O joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain
That morn shall tearless be.
                                George Matheson
                                 "O Love That Will Not Let Me Go"

So do not fear, for I am with you;
  do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
                                Isaiah 41:10

More difficult news came but I didn't wash my car. Dad was moved to a hospice home today. I don't know if he really understood where he's at or fathom what is at hand. Sometimes he has that look....that look that no one is there. And it's gut wretching. It cuts to the soul and breaks my heart. I understand  feeling as small and as insignficant as humanly possible. And how it can actually ache in places that you didn't know you had inside you.

Storms come in many forms. Some come with no warning. Some we see brewing on the horizon and we know it's only a matter of time before they are upon us. Whenever that storm comes, we know that into our lives will blow heartaches and pain. And although we cannot choose what happens to us; a tornado, hail, sprinkles or just a gentle rain, our choice lies in what we do with what life brings us.

Sharon said today as she handed me a new book to read (Heart in the Right Place), "'Fear not!' is a command given more than 300 times in the Bible. The Lord's telling us not to let ourselves be afraid. We can't afford to be scared. It just gets in the way of us doing whatever it is that we're supposed to be doing." We were reminded of that several times today...helping Dad out of the house he's known for the last 15 years, watching the car slowly make its way down the drive, returning and seeing an empty chair in the house, looking at the old, grungy ball caps hanging in the garage and contemplating what life just might be like in a few months knowing that with every turn is a reminder of what we will be missing.

One of the things I did during my journaling time was to work on Dad's obituary. I told someone I did that and their first reaction was, "Really? Wow! That must have been difficult." Honestly, it was very healing for me. It was a step. So, here it is:

Paul Peacock, 66 of Brooklyn passed away under the loving care of his beautiful wife, Sharon and his family. Born November 4, 1943, Paul was a quiet man with a sense of humor who made people laugh despite his often reserved nature. Paul was a person who always put others ahead of himself. He was a platelet donor at the ARC and had donated almost 50 gallons prior to his cancer diagnosis.
A man of great courage and strength, he strived to teach his daughters important lessons in life and always had wise words and advice. He once wrote on the corner of a paper to his eldest daughter, "Always plan ahead."
On March 22, 1986 Paul married his soul mate and friend, Sharon Mary. They were so good for each other. Many rich memories were made over their 24 years of marriage. They made each other laugh and love life. They enjoyed ballroom dancing, square dancing, golf and many, fun activities together.
Paul served at the Brooklyn Presbyterian Church for more than 36 years as deacon and on various boards and committees. Everyone who met Paul fell in love with his gentle nature and loving presence.
Paul worked at Consumers Energy in Jackson for over 30 years when he retired in 2002 as a Senior Rate Analyst. He loved his job and made many lifetime friendship including Carl Gilzow, Bill Milligan, Jerry, Jack and many others!
He loved sailing, golf, NASCAR and fishing! Family was of utmost importance. Paul, an avid race car fan, taped every race since the early 80's. He watched every week and enjoyed several races with his oldest daughter. Another sport he loved was Red Wings Hockey, which he enjoyed with his youngest daughter!
Paul was preceded in death by his brother, John, in 1972. Surviving are his wife, Sharon; his parents, Maynard and Bertha of Alma, MI, his brother Dan (Kathy) of Kalamazoo, his sister Elizabeth (Grant) Tucker of Houston, TX, his daugthers Cammie (Dave) Krueger of Haslett, Dana Everett of Jackson, stepdaughter, Sheryl McKeown of California and stepson, Chuck (Kim) McKeown of Jackson, his 8 grandchildren, Alexis, Emma and Matt Krueger, Trent Futrell, Logan and Caleb Everett, and Duncan and Devin McKeown; numerous nieces and nephews.
A very special thank you to Allegiance Hospice for their special care.

A prayer from Riches Stored in Secret Places....

Lord, the storms come and we cry out in our agony that life is unfair. We doubt your love and question your goodness. And the pain often blinds us to the rainbows of your presence. The fear that life will never be good again keeps us clinging to the shreds of what we had instead of allowing you to build a new and deeper life out of our brokenness. Help us, Father to remember in these dark days the things we know to be true about you, the things that seem so easy to believe when life feels good. Help us to cling tenaciously to the promises that your love is unfailing, your strength is made known in our weakness, and you will never leave us or forsake us. Give us the grace to offer up to you our tear-stained praises for being our anchor in the storm.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Sometimes when I get "not so good news" my first reaction is to go wash my car.

I don't know why. Maybe it just helps relieve stress! Sometimes it's just therapeutic! I remember when I was little watching my dad wash and wax his truck. I wanted to help; just to be doing something with him. He was very particular about how it was done and he showed me just how to do it, making sure to wax it just the right way. That was a fun thing to do when I was a kid and I still enjoy it today! That's what I did yesterday. And while I was washing and cleaning and vacuuming that song came on (see previous post) and I cried!

We have Dad now on a waiting list to get into the hospice home. Things are declining quickly. Yesterday he didn't know Sharon, his own spouse. It was so heartbreaking to hear that. But he did know his girls (me and my sis). His strength is weakening. I think things are going to happen sooner than we might have expected.

I keep listening to Louis Armstrong's version of "What a Wonderful World" just so I can be reminded everyday, despite the circumstances swirling around in my life, that it really is a wonderful world.