Friday, January 11, 2008


We use Keys for Kids for our family devotions. It is a bi-monthly publication that has been around for a while. My folks used to get it when we were growing up and it has updated a bit, but for*** the most part is very much the same. On Wednesday, we were reading it with the girls in shifts due to other things. I pulled up the right day and read through it as I waited for Je to get dressed after her bath. My first thoughts were that I couldn't read this with her, and can we skip it tonight...

This is a hard week in my family. Eleven years ago, Shan and I were newlyweds. I was anticipating my student teaching semester, settling into our first home, and getting ready to return to Manhattan for part of each week for three weeks for classes. Friday night, the floor furnace in our $100 a month farm house wouldn't stay lit. Early Saturday we called the landlord. He was a teacher who farmed on the side, so he was already out working. It was January and very cold so we were concerned when his wife indicated that he wouldn't want to put any money into the house and maybe we should look for a new home. We did a little looking that day but didn't really find anything we liked. We decided to go to Shannon's folks for the rest of the weekend to stay warm. My mom had called while we were out, so on our way west, we called her. A letter had come, confirming my student teaching placement, and since Dad wasn't feeling well they were being lazy, watching basketball. I thank God that I called home that day. My mom knew where to find me at 2 am when she had to tell me that my father had a heart attack and died. We'd been married three weeks, my sister had been in DC for just two weeks working for our Congressman, and my youngest sister was a senior in high school.

...I powered through and read the devotional with Je the other night. The whole time tears streamed down my face. She sat close, snuggling up with me as we read. When I finished reading, I used the discussion questions to talk with her about it. She remembers when GiGi, my grandmother died last summer, so we have talked about death before. As we talked I was crying a little, explaining that one of my biggest regrets is that she and Jo will miss knowing my dad. (Who BTW would have been over the moon for the kids. I know he would have loved the girls so much but I also can say that he would have been really nuts for my nephews, one is his namesake and looks like him) Je ran off in the middle of our talk and I wondered what she was doing. She returned quickly with my little pillow. When she is sad she wants her bear, her lovey. She thought Mama needed her lovey too.

***If you scroll down you can read today's entry or select an entry to read. The one that made me cry was January 9. You can also sign up to receive it in the mail or print out a PDF version of the whole month.

No comments: