Sunday, February 23, 2014

Aimee Williams' Wisdom From Her Daddy

I don’t usually use anyone else’s writing in this blog, but the wisdom here based on Jesus’ teaching and the Holy Spirit’s leadership  is so valuable that I want to share it with you in case you didn’t have an opportunity to see it.  Aimee and her husband Chris have just celebrated their baby girl’s first birthday, and I have every confidence that she too will learn these same lessons.  She is Pam and Sam’s first grandchild, and I am so glad they got to enjoy her this past year.  During his illness, every photo I saw of Sam showed  him smiling just like the one below with Aimee, Laurel, and Mike taken on last Father’s Day.  His smiles and joy on photos with his baby granddaughter always reflected those times as highlights during his illness.  [Whoops!  Sorry the photo Aimee had posted on Facebook with Sam and his three children last June did not copy with her lessons.]

22 Life Lessons from Dad

February 21, 2014 at 10:31am
1.    “I love you.”  No matter what. Nothing we could do or not do would change that.
2.    “I am not your mom.” – meaning, he didn’t have to do things the same way Mom did, and that was okay.

3.    Men can do laundry.  When mom started back to work full-time, Dad took over the laundry as one of “his” chores.  My parents ran our home with teamwork so that everything would get done.

4.    “Jesus loves you.”  Jesus is the perfect Son of God, who gave his life as the perfect sacrifice so that we could have forgiveness of our wrong-doing and eternal life with him.

5.    Men can bake cakes.  I remember one year when Mom was having a birthday and Dad made a cake for her.  As a little kid used to seeing Mom do most of the cooking, I was surprised.  He reminded me, “I lived on my own fora few years before I married your mom. I know how to cook.”

6.    Daddies are excellent bed-time story readers.  I was almost six when I got a baby sister.  When Laurel was little, she took up a lot of Mom’s attention and was often nursing when it came time for me to go to bed.  Dad stepped up and read me my bed-time stories and tucked me in.

7.    Prayer is important.  Every family meal began with a prayer giving thanks to the Lord for our food, our home, and our family.  If we were frightened, worried, happy or thankful we were encouraged to talk to God about it.

8.    Church matters.  Church is where we learn more about God and gain encouragement from other believers. As kids, we didn’t get to have sleepovers on Saturday nights because Mom and Dad wanted us to be rested and ready to learn God’s Word the next morning.  At the time we didn’t always appreciate this but I am thankful now for the commitment and strong Biblical foundation that were laid.

9.    We could always come to Dad with our problems,and we could always come to God with our problems.  Both loving fathers, their ears are there to listen to their beloved children.

10.  Hugs and kisses are important.  We should show the love we feel for others.

11.   Men can cry.  It does not in any way diminish their strength to show emotion.  It is appropriate to cry when you are sad or when your heart is touched by something.  As we danced to “My Girl” at my wedding reception, my dad and I both shed a few tears… we were seeing an end to one stage in my life and the beginning of a new one.

12. We should apologize when we hurt someone’s feelings or do something wrong.  I can remember times when Dad would lose his temper at one of us kids because we were being brats—and later, he
would always apologize if he had yelled or said something hurtful.  Wow.  Talk about practicing what you preach!  It made us respect him that much more.

13. Music can lift a broken spirit.  Mom and Dad both brought music into our lives… for Dad, singing and playing guitar was a way to make yourself feel better when you were down.

14. Family traditions should be meaningful— holidays should not be empty, not about commercialism.  Many years, we would all get up before dawn on Easter, drive to a near-by pond or lake, and have a sunrise service as a family. On Christmas, we read the story of Christ’s birth from the Bible and sang Christmas carols together before opening presents.  He was so good at keeping our focus on what really matters—Jesus Christ.

15. We should love others regardless of their differences.  Dad did a lot of work with internationals through the years.  I grew up around people from various different cultures, countries, languages and ethnic backgrounds.  We had Christmas parties for internationals, and sometimes invited them to our family celebrations.  God made each of these people and they are all important to Him—therefore they should also be important to us.

16. We should always forgive.  This was a big deal growing up due to the sibling rivalry in our home—and as the middle child, it seems I was always in the thick of it.  No matter who said or did what, at the end of the day, we always have to forgive.  After all,we do love each other, and the person it hurts the most when you won’t forgive is yourself. 

17. Although it’s great when Mom brings home groceries, it’s excellent when Dad does. Dad brought home more junk food than Mom—honey buns, swiss cake rolls, etc. (No offense, Mom!)

18. Dads are good at caring for sick kids, too. Once Mom went back to work full-time, Dad’s schedule was more flexible to be off work with a sick kid. He’s cleaned up my vomit, no complaints, and put on a movie for me while tucked in bed.

19. Recliner+ sports on tv= Dad napping

20. Your kid’s friends matter.  Dad was always good about asking how my friends were doing.  It made me feel good to know that he cared about the people that were important to me.

21. Dads can change diapers, even CLOTH diapers.  He did it for all of us kids.

22. The deaths of those who know Jesus is not the end.  We can have confidence that we will be reunited with those who had relationships with Christ when the time comes for God to take us home.  I have never been so thankful of that as I am now.  I will see my Dad again.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sunshine and Rain, Sadness and Joy

Life rolls on too full and at too fast a pace despite the lack of an email account. This has been a week of contrasts including fear, grief, and celebration.  After weeks of being careful to avoid falls on ice, tor the first time in a long time, I walked down our lane to the mailbox on Tuesday. I did not even wear a hat because it felt good to have balmy breezes gently moving my hair.  Only a thin layer of ice covered our lake with many gaps with water showing through.  Since then we have had another lovely day and then a rainy day yesterday with tornado warnings and high winds last night.  All the ice is gone from the lake today, and the weather is nice.

Not as nice as it is in Orlando where the University of Georgia Bulldogs are playing in the Citrus Classic softball tourney. We have  spent a large part of the day in Gerald’s office downstairs watching ESPN3 on the computer.  Mary Ellen and Fifi  had come over for a morning visit and enjoyed the game with us. We saw Geri Ann not only pitch a good game against Marshall, but also hit two grand slams in that game.  Freshman Bekah Farris came in to relieve Geri Ann, and they combined for a shut-out game winning 17-0 in five innings. The Georgia hitters were showing their stuff with two more homeruns by Kaylee Puailoa and two more by Paige Wilson and Maeve McGuire, both players from Illinois.

This afternoon Mary Ellen came back and our friend Don Boyd joined us as we watched the Bulldogs put down North Carolina State 8-0 also in five innings.  Chelsea Wilkinson pitched a complete game shut-out.  Geri Ann, Alex Hugo, and freshman Bethany Beggs hit the three homeruns in that game.  Needless to say, the Glasco family was in high spirits at the end of the afternoon, and we needed that. 

Our week has been filled with sadness.  Last Friday Gerald and I enjoyed dinner out for Valentine’s Day before I went on to spend the evening with our daughter Katherine as I do most nights. I came home and checked the computer as I also do most nights to distract myself from the grief of what multiple sclerosis has done to our beautiful and talented daughter.  I try to turn off my mind from the evening’s sufferings  before I go to bed and try to sleep. But the first message I saw on Facebook was from a daughter of Sam White, our friend and former pastor for over nine years. Laurel  shared that he was being brought home from Barnes-Jewish Hospital in Saint Louis to have hospice care. He had lost his battle with leukemia, after all.  There was nothing more the hospital could do.  Before I had finished crying over that message, I read the second message directly beneath that one from Sam’s other daughter.  Aimee told us that when he reached their Makanda home, Sam passed away.

Last fall just when Sam was ready with prepared syllabi to begin a full time teaching position with Morthland College, he learned the reasons for his health problems.  Soon he was a Barnes-Jewish with the diagnosed of leukemia.  Sam and Pam are both writers, and they and their two daughters kept their many friends from around the world updated on Facebook as they shared their struggle with this awful illness. Pam managed to continue to teach art and music at  DeSoto elementary school and carefully guarded her sick days to still be in St. Louis when Sam needed her. Driving through all the bad weather and managing to always find good things to share with us, Pam told of their struggle while constantly expressing appreciation for the friends who helped her at school and home and for the many visitors and prayers said for their family.  Her inspirational posts kept us close and reminded us of God’s love.

People celebrated with Sam and Pam when he was released from the hospital to come home for Christmas and to continue his recovery there.  We rejoiced with his family as they had a wonderful Christmas together celebrating the birth of Christ and Sam’s successful stem cell transplant from his brother Cecil. Although it was still necessary for many return trips to St. Louis, finally as he improved, some procedures were able to be done at the Carbondale hospital. With all the bad weather  and Pam’s full teaching schedule, friends knew how stressful and exacting their lives were even as they rejoiced at his recovery. Sam and Pam were strong and resilient and eager to use every new experience including all the hardships to serve wherever life required them to be. 
Before he pastored churches in our area, Sam and Pam had worked many years with college students and eventually ended back in this ministry at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. (That is how Katherine knew Pam and Sam.) After they left the SIUC ministry, Sam continued as a volunteer helping international students in English and in any way he could as their friend. Because they had so many close friends and multitudes of connections locally and around the world, Facebook was the only efficient way for their family to answer the questions about Sam’s condition and the bombardment of concern. 

Sam spent his last Valentine’s Day with Pam, the love of his life. They used that last day together to share their love with each other and to prepare for Hospice and his approaching death. They barely arrived at their home in Makanda before Sam spoke his last word:  Home.  His son Mike felt Sam meant it both literally and metaphorically as he arrived at home and was transported to his heavenly home.  Although she had expected some more days with him, she realized that Sam had held on so she would not have to make that return trip home without him. 

The visitation and the celebration of Sam’s life at his funeral brought many friends and family to support and share their grief with Pam and their children.  We did not try to go because we had our own hospital visit to make Wednesday for tests and procedures.  We took overnight cases with us in case we needed to stay over night. I would not be honest if I did not admit to fear. Mary Ellen came over to stay with me in the visitors room and to drive her dad home if reports were good.  They were.  Very good. Gerald invited us to celebrate with a late afternoon meal at Cracker Barrel on the way home. The nurse who heard him broke into a praise for the chicken and dumplings there.  I always order the grilled fish dinner,  but she threw a craving on me.  The dumplings were as good as she said.  Gerald followed the doctor’s orders and took the next day easy, and so did I.  Katherine had arranged for another aide to be with her the last two evenings, so I was glad to see her again tonight.

I hadn’t realized the Florida tournament started today, and I had planned to start cleaning off at least one paper piled desk in my office.   Instead I watched the Georgia reach their 11-0 record for early season play.  Tomorrow we will be watching the games on game tracker as usual, but exciting images from today’s plays will help us visualize those hard-hitting Dawgs.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

How Can I Make the Wizard Believe Me?

Last Sunday was a rare opportunity for a lazy afternoon and evening at home because Katherine had an aide who would work that day. I figured I would have all afternoon to play on the computer, read the Sunday paper, call my brother and sister, and then blog on here while Mary Ellen and Gerald watched the Super Bowl together. I had chili in the crock pot and some thawed chocolate cake and Mary Ellen fixed a pizza and brought other snacks. 

After lunch dishes were cleaned, I came downstairs early in mid-afternoon, to start my fun day.  First, of course, I would do as I always do and check my email. I always opened it daily for a quick run down to see if there were anything personal or important.  I’d check comments on Facebook and Red Room that come on my hotmail account.  I’d delete stuff and vindictively put into the junk spot any emails from anyone wanting to share a huge inheritance with me.  The best made plans can go awry, and mine did.  Hotmail and Microsoft wanted my password before I could open my account.  I was a little annoyed at not getting in with a click as I usually did, but I had a leisurely afternoon ahead of me and I could be patient.  No problem.  I had passwords written down in a little book my sister gave me once. 

At least I though there was no problem.  But what I said was my password, they did not agree with.  Had I typed it wrong?  Of course, I could not see it, so I typed it again (and again as the afternoon continued).  Since I was so suspicious, they wanted me to type those crazy letters all lopsided and run on top of each other.  They did not like the way I did that either even though I thought I was doing splendidly with their indecipherable codes.  How can you tell a lower case c from an upper case C?  Or a little s from a big S when the sizes of all the letters are different?  Is that what I was doing wrong?

I spent two hours and then quit and came back to it later.  And later every day except yesterday.  I have probably spent ten or more hours by now with no results.  I know who I am.  But the Microsoft Wizard  does not want to believe me.

Anyhow to make a sad story sadder and less long, just let me say that the other account that I could send to was pronounced closed because I had not used it recently, according to them.  It  is true I co not use the old genealogy account with my maiden name included as often as I did when I had time to work on family history.   But I have used it within the past few months.  So I had not choice but to open a new account on to satisfy them.  So far I haven’t figured out how to get into it.  But anyway I have never gotten far enough along to let that great Wizard (or whoever is behind all this ruckus) send me anything.  I asked for a code once, and they sent me one by phone, which I dutifully and carefully wrote down.  But the Wizard replied it was incorrect or something. 

Three times I have filled out a long form which asked me for titles of recent emails and addresses I’d sent emails to recently.  (I had no idea I was supposed to keep all this record on paper.  I thought that was what the computer did.)  They wanted to know the name of my favorite childhood movie.  I don’t remember telling them such a thing, and I am not one to do favorites.  So I wrote down Blossoms in the Dust and hoped the Wizard knew that was my favorite.  I hope I did not once tell somebody it was Home in Indiana—the horse movie I cried so hard in that the nice lady beside me was trying to console me.

It took a long time to fill this form out, but I did it.  In fact, three times I have done it.  The first time the “Submit” button would not work.  Then the second time, they told me that I could not send it because maintenance was being done.  Tonight they told me to try later because they were having a problem.  But my stuff is not longer there, and I am too tired to play this game with the Wizard again. 

Will I ever get my email accounts back?  Will anybody in Cyberspace ever believe I am Sue Glasco and my favorite childhood movie was Blossoms in the Dust?  Only the Wizard knows for sure and the Wizard is not available because he/she/they is/are having a problem himself/herself/themselves.

In the meantime or perhaps forever, if you need to get me a message, just go to my Facebook page and private message me there.