Sunday, September 23, 2007

Amy and Gloria

This month, two very special people whom I have met only through blogs, have passed away. I would like to share a little about each one so that you can be blessed as I was to know them.

Amy Wilhoite

Amy, a young mother, had battled leukemia for over a year. She kept a blog of her journey through cancer which detailed her faith in God and inspired all who read it. Her faith never wavered, instead holding fast and growing stronger while those of us who read daily were inspired while keeping a silent vigil, offering our prayers and leaving notes of encouragement for her. My hope is that she was as blessed by the prayers and words of strangers as we were to be a part of her journey. She died on September 10 while waiting for a second bone marrow transplant, leaving behind her husband and young son. Her story doesn't end there, however, as her husband plans to make her writings available in a book so that her story can reach others who didn't have the chance to know her while she was alive. Her legacy will live on through her words.

Gloria Strauss

Gloria, an 11 year old girl, had battled neuroblastoma for four years before succumbing to her illness on Friday, September 21, 2007. Gloria inspired all who knew her, whether personally or those like myself who read her story as written by Jerry Brewer for the Seattle Times. His words transport the reader and his touching tribute shows how Gloria has found her way into his heart and those of his readers. As I read her story, looked at the pictures and watched a video of the prayer vigil conducted in the ICU, I was amazed at her tenacity for life and the love of her family as they hoped for a miracle of healing for her. I was moved by her prayers for others even in the midst of her own suffering. After Amy's death, I prayed all the more diligently for Gloria, especially praying for the miracle that would be needed to keep her alive. I wondered if she knew just how many people from all over the world were also praying for her and thinking of her. She never gave up hope and through it all, she gave hope to those who are now left behind in a world without her. Her parents believe that this is only the beginning of Gloria's story. Her legacy will live on through her family and the many people who were touched by her and will never be the same.

It is odd how the internet can bring such people into our lives. People who we will never meet but whose lives touch ours in a way that is so personal and lasting. We are interconnected in so many ways: through modern technology, prayers, a belief in a God who loves us. Both Amy and Gloria are bright shining lights, now twinkling from Heaven to show us the way as we traverse our journeys through our own trials in this valley of tears.

Thank you God, for Amy and Gloria. Their lives are a beautiful testament of Your love.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Oopsy Daisy!

Is it any coincidence that I stopped blogging after we got the new puppy? I think not. I have been so busy working on getting her trained that I have had no time to sit and think about posting. Well, I did think about it but never got much farther than that. A puppy is fun but a lot of work. She is doing well with her training, even though there have been a few mishaps. Training a dog isn't that much different from training children. Really. Actually after raising two boys, I think the dog is a little easier. The key is consistency and sticking to a schedule. Sounds easy on paper, but carrying it out is the tricky part.

I just have one thing to say to any parent who is thinking of getting their child a dog, with the expectation that same said child will take care of the dog, walk the dog, feed the dog, play with the dog, train the dog. It doesn't matter how much they beg, plead and promise in the beginning that they will do all this--- the cold, hard fact is that the novelty wears off fairly quickly and what you have left is all the work while the kids get the fun part. What I have to say is, don't do it unless you are prepared to do the work yourself, while threatening the kids that if they don't help you are getting rid of the dog (seems cruel, I know but that is what happened) The kids do help with her but realistically, it should have been clear to me from the beginning that I was taking on this extra duty.

There are just more things to do now in my day. Things like going to the paint store to buy paint (specially mixed for exact color paint) for the decorative trim the dog chewed off in hopes of concealing it from hubby who would go ballistic if he saw it; things like spending hundreds of dollars at "Pets R Us" on every kind of chew toy in hopes of keeping her from eating the house; things like running down the street at 8:30 a.m. in my pink pajamas while all the neighbors watch the show. Things like screaming the word "DAISY" over and over while she runs further away. She has this annoying thing she does, when I get close enough to grab her collar, she bolts. Things like caring for, feeding, training, pretty much EVERYTHING.

But I do love her. She's gonna be a great dog.

So, if you are wondering where I've been or what I've been doing since July 21st, wonder no more.